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Perception$
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Elizabeth Akins

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195084627

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195084627.001.0001

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Ships in the Night: Churchland and Ramachandran on Dennett's Theory of Consciousness

Ships in the Night: Churchland and Ramachandran on Dennett's Theory of Consciousness

Chapter:
(p.173) 8 Ships in the Night: Churchland and Ramachandran on Dennett's Theory of Consciousness
Source:
Perception
Author(s):

Kathleen A. Akins

Steven Winger

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195084627.003.0008

The chapter summarizes the discussions on perception between Churchland, Ramachandran, and Dennett. The arguments focus on a central issue—the relationship between the actual visual experience and one's internal neural representations. A detailed discourse on Dennett's Theory of Consciousness is provided, with particular focus on his explanations on the phenomenon of “filling in.” The chapter points out several weaknesses in Dennett's work, arising from his attempt to reconcile essentially divergent beliefs on philosophy as it relates to persons and science as it relates to “sub-personal” processing. Three concerns are identified: first, the supposed transparency of content and a person's capacity to make mistakes in describing one's own visual experience must be reconciled; second, an explanation on the similarity of our neurological experiences with both abstract and detailed veridical content must be given; and third, computational content must be provided to support his claim of content being transparent to consciousness.

Keywords:   Dennett, Churchland, Ramachandran, perception, theory of consciousness, filling in, transparency of content

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