Do You Have Constant Tactile Experience of
Your Feet in Your Shoes?
Journal of Consciousness Studies 14, no. 3, 5-35
According to rich views of consciousness (e.g., James, Searle), we
have a constant, complex flow of experience (or “phenomenology”) in multiple
modalities simultaneously. According
to thin views (e.g., Dennett, Mack and Rock), conscious experience is
limited to one or a few topics, regions, objects, or modalities at a time.
Existing introspective and empirical arguments (including arguments from
“inattentional blindness”) uniformly beg the question.
Participants in the present experiment wore beepers during everyday
activity. When a beep sounded, they
were to take note of the conscious experience they were having at the last
undisturbed moment immediately prior to the beep.
Some participants were asked to report any experience they could
remember. Others were asked simply
to report whether there was visual experience or not (and if so, what it was).
Still others were asked about experience in the far right visual field,
or tactile experience, or tactile experience in the left foot.
A majority of participants in the full experience and the visual
conditions reported visual experience in every single sample.
Tactile and peripheral visual experience were reported less often.
However, the proper interpretation of these results is uncertain.
By downloading the files below, you are requesting a copy for personal use only, in accordance with "fair use" copyright laws.
Click here to view this document as a PDF file (published version): Experience Without Attention?
Or as a HTML file (penultimate version): Experience Without Attention? (HTML, March 1, 2006)
Or mail eschwitz at domain: ucr.edu for a copy of this paper.
Return to Eric Schwitzgebel's homepage.