Where Is Consciousness? The Intermediate Level

Jesse J. Prinz

in The Conscious Brain

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195314595
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979059 | DOI:

Series: Philosophy of Mind Series

Where Is Consciousness? The Intermediate Level

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There is ample evidence that perception is hierarchically organized. This raises the question, where in perceptual hierarchies does consciousness arise? Long ago, Ray Jackendoff proposed an answer: consciousness arises only at an intermediate-level, which lies between piecemeal sensory inputs and the more abstract representations used in object recognition. The intermediate level is perspectival; it presents a world of objects from a particular point of view. The chapter surveys evidence from neuroscience in support of the hypothesis is restricted to this level of representation. The evidence mostly concerns vision, but is extended to other sensory modalities, to language, and to emotions. Nine objections are addressed, including evidence that purports to show evidence for consciousness at low or high levels of perceptual hierarchies.

Keywords: perceptual hierarchy; visual brain areas; the senses; the intermediate-level hypothesis; perceptual deficits

Chapter.  14001 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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