Attention and consciousness

Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews 1 (1):51-59 (2010)
Abstract
For the past three decades there has been a substantial amount of scientific evidence supporting the view that attention is necessary and sufficient for perceptual representations to become conscious (i.e., for there to be something that it is like to experience a representational perceptual state). This view, however, has been recently questioned on the basis of some alleged counterevidence. In this paper we survey some of the most important recent findings. In doing so, we have two primary goals. The first is descriptive: we provide a literature review for those seeking an understanding of the present debate. The second is editorial: we suggest that the evidence alleging dissociations between consciousness and attention is not decisive. Thus, this is an opinionated overview of the debate. By presenting our assessment, we hope to bring out both sides in the debate and to underscore that the issues here remain matters of intense controversy and ongoing investigation.
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Citations of this work BETA
Sebastian Watzl (2011). The Nature of Attention. Philosophy Compass 6 (11):842-853.
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F. de Brigard (2010). Consciousness, Attention and Commonsense. Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (9-10):189-201.
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Sebastian Watzl (2011). Attention as Structuring of the Stream of Consciousness. In Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies & Wayne Wu (eds.), Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Essays. Oxford University Press. 145.
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