access consciousness

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According to a distinction introduced by the US philosopher Ned J(oel) Block (born 1942) in a co-edited book entitled The Nature of Consciousness (1997), a non-phenomenal category of consciousness involving cognitions and representations that are poised or ready for use in controlled processing. A state is A-conscious if it is not experienced directly but is poised for the control of thought and action, as might occur if a thirsty person with blindsight responded spontaneously (without prompting) by reaching for a drink perceived without conscious visual experience. Representations that would be available for use if re-activated are not necessarily access-conscious unless they are poised and ready to control behaviour. Also called A consciousness. Compare phenomenal consciousness. access-conscious or A-conscious adj. [From Latin accessus an approach, from accedere to agree, from ad to + cedere to yield + English consciousness]

Subjects: Psychology.

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