By Pierre Jacob.
In M. Frauchiger (ed.) The Theoretical and the Moral Face of Realist Philosophy: Themes from Putnam, De Gruyter.
Abstract: Is the phenomenology of visual perception limited to what is accessible to the cognitive mechanisms of attention and working memory, which are necessary for report, as advocates of the global neuronal workspace model of consciousness have argued? Or else does the phenomenology of visual perception overflow cognitive access, as Ned Block maintains? In this paper, I argue that the current evidence from the science of vision supports Block’s thesis that visual phenomenology overflows cognitive access. I further try to rebut several attempts by advocates of the global neuronal workspace model of consciousness, who claim that Block’s thesis rests on a cognitive illusion. Finally, I point out that acceptance of Block’s thesis raises in turn the deep puzzle that people might have experiences of which they are not aware.