Identity-Crowding and Object-Seeing: A Reply to Block


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Contrary to Block's assertion, “identity-crowding” does not provide an interesting instance of object-seeing without object-attention. The successful judgments and unusual phenomenology of identity-crowding are better explained by unconscious perception and non-perceptual phenomenology associated with cognitive states. In identity-crowding, as in other cases of crowding, subjects see jumbled textures and cannot individuate the items contributing to those textures in the absence of attention. Block presents an attenuated sense in which identity-crowded items are seen, but this is irrelevant to the debate about phenomenal experience of an object in the absence of object-attention. Finally, even unconscious object perception in identity-crowding likely involves an attention-like selective process.