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Perceptual Experience$
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Tamar Szabo Gendler and John Hawthorne

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199289769

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289769.001.0001

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Perception without Awareness

Perception without Awareness

(p.147) 4 Perception without Awareness
Perceptual Experience

Fred Dretske

Oxford University Press

If psychologists can, as they say, really identify perception (of an object) without awareness (of that object), they must have a reasonably clear operational grasp of what perception and awareness are. If so, philosophers can learn something from them. After settling on a test (at least a sufficient condition) for perception of x, the subjective test for awareness (you are not aware of x if you cannot detect it) is examined and found wanting by looking at such phenomena as split brains, change blindness, and unilateral neglect. An epistemic test is proposed in its place: S is consciously aware of x only if information about x is available to S as a reason for doing or believing something, as opposed to a reason why S does or believes something.

Keywords:   conscious perception, detection, subjective test, consciousness, blindness, split brains, change blindness, neglect, reasons why, reasons for

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