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Phenomenal Consciousness

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Ned Block argued for the distinction between phenomenal and access consciousness by pointing out that P-consciousness can occur without A-consciousness and vice versa. He supported this claim by suggesting that blind sight patients may have access to information but without the subjective awareness of the stimuli. Flanagan gave an illustration by suggesting that that the “blind field area does not invoke any voluntary actions due to the lack of subjective awareness” (Flanagan, O., 1991; Block, 1995). The assumption is made when the patients indicated that they were unaware of the stimuli. He further argued that the concept of superblindsighter, akin to the idea of imagination and imagine “what it is like” to see a stimuli in the blind field…show more content…
Dennett argued that the consciousness of events can be restored in scotoma* with self-cues or prompts (Denett, 1991). Inability to visually experience does not indicate the absence of perceptual experience of the stimuli and it could be compensated with the phenomenal states of visual experience and other form of perception that could give rise to the subjective experience. Furthermore, Dennett argued that difference between being able to see and experience would be down to the amount of content. By being visually handicapped, the patients are deprived of the richness of content and this does not equate to the absence of P-consciousness. Hence, this means that instead of convincingly accept the idea that P-consciousness is absent in blind sight patients, this concept should be taken with caution. There is a possibility that the content is richer in normal people but degraded in the blind sight patient and it is compensated with previous visual experience. Furthermore, by isolating vision from other perceptual senses would mean that consciousness depends entirely on vision. P-consciousness could arise from other forms of senses such as touch and smell. For example, those who are blind from birth do not have any visual experience but they rely on other senses. Does this mean we can then assume that people who are visually handicapped from birth do not have P-consciousness at all or could they have lesser “rich content”? Therefore, the evidence of blind sight patients by Block for the distinction of P-consciousness from A-consciousness is based on assumption and should be discuss with
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