Conscious, Preconscious, UnconsciousNed Block (New York University)
Senate House, Room 265 (Second floor)
A crucial distinction in assessing the philosophial significance of the Sperling experiment is the distinction between necessary failure of cognitive access and cognitive inaccessibility. The specific details of only a small proportion of the items presented can be cognitively accessed, but all are nonetheless accessible. The debate has crystallized around the issue of whether all those specific details that are accessible yet necessarily unaccessed are represented consciously or unconsciously. This issue is discussed in this talk in relation to a distinction made between conscious and preconscious representation and the methodology of deciding among these alternatives is explored.