Consciousness and Cognition 32:104 - 128 (2014)

Fiona Macpherson
University of Glasgow
Unlike those with type 1 blindsight, people who have type 2 blindsight have some sort of consciousness of the stimuli in their blind field. What is the nature of that consciousness? Is it visual experience? I address these questions by considering whether we can establish the existence of any structural—necessary—features of visual experience. I argue that it is very difficult to establish the existence of any such features. In particular, I investigate whether it is possible to visually, or more generally perceptually, experience form or movement at a distance from our body, without experiencing colour. The traditional answer, advocated by Aristotle, and some other philosophers, up to and including the present day, is that it is not and hence colour is a structural feature of visual experience. I argue that there is no good reason to think that this is impossible, and provide evidence from four cases—sensory substitution, achomatopsia, phantom contours and amodal completion—in favour of the idea that it is possible. If it is possible then one important reason for rejecting the idea that people with type 2 blindsight do not have visual experiences is undermined. I suggest further experiments that could be done to help settle the matter.
Keywords Colour  Blindsight  Vision  Structure of Experience
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Reprint years 2015
DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2014.10.011
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References found in this work BETA

Epiphenomenal Qualia.Frank Jackson - 1982 - Philosophical Quarterly 32 (April):127-136.
Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man.Thomas Reid - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Colour Relations in Form.Will Davies - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (3):574-594.

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