Some Papers

  • Attention, Visual consciousness and Indeterminacy

Mind & Language, Vol. 26, No. 2, April 2011: 156–184

I propose a new argument showing that conscious vision sometimes depends constitutively on conscious attention. I criticise traditional arguments for this constitutive connection, on the basis that they fail adequately to dissociate evidence about visual consciousness from evidence about attention. On the same basis, I criticise Ned Block’s recent counterargument that conscious vision is independent of one sort of attention (‘cognitive access’). Block appears to achieve the dissociation only because he underestimates the indeterminacy of visual consciousness. I then appeal to empirical work on the interaction between visual indeterminacy and attention, to argue for the constitutive connection.

Penultimate draft here.


  • The Visual Presence of Determinable Properties

In Phenomenal Presence, eds. Macpherson, Dorsch & Nida-Rümelin. OUP, forthcoming.

I explain and defend a way of understanding the idea that properties of things, such as their shapes and colours, are visually present to a subject of experience. I argue that this idea is coherent, well motivated and empirically plausible, provided that we reject two traditional assumptions: (i) that maximally determinate properties, rather than just determinable properties, are visually present; (ii) that we can tell through introspection exactly which properties are visually present to us.

Penultimate draft here.