In the condition called ‘blindsight’, a person who is missing part of V1 (usually the entire left or right visual field) seems to blind. Asked what…

  

In the condition called ‘blindsight’, a person who is missing partof V1 (usually the entire left or right visual field) seems to blind.  Asked what the patient can see, they will reply ‘nothing’. But if asked to guess about, say, the location of a light presented in their blind field, the same patients can give accurate responses, pointing to the correct place, while nonetheless claiming that their correct responses were mere chance. Many philosophers interpreted these results as proof that there could be zombies, people who behaved exactly as if they had visual experience but did not.  Surely these are people who act as if they are sighted, yet they report no conscious visual experiences of the relevant kind.  Dennett puts forward a hypothetical case, the super blindsighter.  Suppose a person with blindsight was given feedback during blindsight training sessions.  That is, whenever the patient produced the right answer, they were told that their answer was correct, a standard way of reenforcing learning. Suppose then that this training worked so well that patients began to gain confidence in their answers and this carried on until they began to report spontaneously what occurred in their blind fields—i.e. behave as do normally sighted people.  Would the super blindsighter be a zombie—or a person with conscious vision in their blind fields?  Why or why not? Arts & Humanities Philosophy COGS 310

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