Consciousness, Attention and Commonsense

Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (9-10):189-201 (2010)
Abstract
In a recent paper, Christopher Mole (2008) argued in favour of the view that, according to our commonsense psychology, while consciousness is necessary for attention, attention isn’t necessary for consciousness. In this paper I offer an argument against this view. More precisely, I offer an argument against the claim that, according to our commonsense psychology, consciousness is necessary for attention. However, I don’t claim it follows from this argument that commonsense has it the other way around, viz. that consciousness isn’t necessary for attention. Instead, I want to motivate the claim that there isn’t such a thing as the view of commonsense psychology about the relation between attention and consciousness. I argue that people’s use of these terms — and, presumably, of their corresponding concepts — seems to be context-dependent. I conclude with a discussion of the possible implications of this claim for the empirical study of attention and consciousness
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Citations of this work BETA
Sebastian Watzl (2011). The Nature of Attention. Philosophy Compass 6 (11):842-853.
Similar books and articles
Christopher Mole (2008). Attention and Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (4):86-104.
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.
Declan Smithies (2011). Attention is Rational-Access Consciousness. In Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies & Wayne Wu (eds.), Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Essays. Oxford University Press. 247--273.
Kathleen V. Wilkes (1995). Losing Consciousness. In Thomas Metzinger (ed.), Conscious Experience. Ferdinand Schoningh.
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