Attention, Consciousness, and Commonsense

Abstract
The relation of dependency between consciousness and attention is, once again, a matter of heated debate among scientists and philosophers. There are at least three general views on the issue. First, there are those who suggest that attention is both necessary and sufficient for consciousness (e.g. Posner, 1994; Prinz, 2000, forthcoming). Second, there are those who suggest that even though attention is necessary for consciousness, it may not be sufficient (e.g. Moran & Desimone, 1984; Rensink et al., 1997; Merikle & (...) Joordens, 1997). Finally, there are those who suggest that attention is neither necessary nor sufficient for consciousness, that—at most—they are two different processes that happen to be concomitant some of the time, but which, under very specific circumstances, can be shown to come apart (e.g. Lamme, 2003; Koivisto et al., 2005; Koch & Tsuchiya, 2007). Piles of evidence have been marshaled in favor and against each of these alternatives, and as far as I can see, there is no hope of agreement on the horizon.
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