Perceptual Justification Outside of Consciousness
It is often assumed that rationality and consciousness share some sort of essential connection. Thus some theorists build rationality into their accounts of consciousness. Ned Block, for example, famously claims that a mental state exhibits what he calls access consciousness if it “is poised for free use in reasoning and for direct “rational” control of action and speech” (2007, p. 168). In his (2011) paper “There It Is” and his (2014, this volume) précis “It’s Still There!” Benj Hellie develops a complex account of how perceptions justify beliefs—an account which effectively builds consciousness into rationality. As Hellie puts it, he “advances a picture of the nature of rationality and rational explanation in which consciousness plays a central role” (2011, p. 110).
KeywordsPsychological State Conscious State Rational Explanation Conscious Perception Perceptual Justification
I thank Myrto Mylopoulos, David Pereplyotchik, and Marjan Persuh for help with this commentary. I also thank David Rosenthal for his thoughtful comments on the online version of this commentary, which was presented at the Third Annual Consciousness Online Conference. I especially thank Benj Hellie for his detailed replies to that online commentary and Richard Brown for organizing the conference as well as this volume.
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