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 (2011)
Abstract
This paper defends and develops the structuring account of conscious attention: attention is the conscious mental process of structuring one’s stream of consciousness so that some parts of it are more central than others. In the first part of the paper, I motivate the structuring account. Drawing on a variety of resources I argue that the phenomenology of attention cannot be fully captured in terms of how the world appears to the subject, as well as against an atomistic conception of attention. In the second part of the paper, I show how the structuring account can be made precise: attention causes and causally sustains phenomenal relations to hold between the parts of the stream of consciousness; most importantly the relation of one part being peripheral to another. I end by pointing out consequences for both the scientific study of attention as well as for several areas of central philosophical interest.
Keywords Attention  Consciousness  Representationalism  Phenomenal Relations  Unity of Consciousness
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Citations of this work BETA
Elijah Chudnoff (2013). Gurwitsch's Phenomenal Holism. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (3):559-578.
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.
F. de Brigard (2010). Consciousness, Attention and Commonsense. Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (9-10):189-201.
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.
Uriah Kriegel (2006). Theories of Consciousness. Philosophy Compass 1 (1):58-64.
Christopher Peacocke (1998). Conscious Attitudes, Attention, and Self-Knowledge. In C. Wright, B. Smith & C. Macdonald (eds.), Knowing Our Own Minds. Oxford University Press. 83.
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