Unconscious Thought
David Pitt (California State University, Los Angeles, Central European University)

part of: Yet Another Workshop on Phenomenal Intentionality
November 29, 2014, 9:00am - 10:30am
Department of Philosophy, Central European University

Gellner Room
Nador utca 9
Budapest 1051

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Katalin Farkas
Central European University
David Pitt
California State University, Los Angeles

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I address the obvious, and ostensbily fatal, objection to the thesis that thought content is phenomenal that there can be unconscious thoughts but no unconscious phenomenology.  I consider and reject strategies that attempt to assign unconscious states derived contents on the basis of their relation to conscious states, and conclude that there are only two viable responses to the objection.  One must either affirm that there can be unconscious phenomenology or deny that there can be unconscious thoughts.  I try to bolster the case for the former by appeal to blindsight and phenomenal sorites, and to soften the blow of the latter by arguing that contentless unconscious states may enter into processes that respect content relations, and that such purely syntactic processes can account for phenomena that appear to involve unconscious thought.  Such unconscious syntactic processing is programmed by conscious thinking.

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