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Profile: Carolyn Dicey Jennings (University of California Merced)
  1. Carolyn Dicey Jennings & Bence Nanay (2016). Action Without Attention. Analysis 76 (1):29-36.
    Wayne Wu argues that attention is necessary for action: since action requires a solution to the ‘Many–Many Problem’, and since only attention can solve the Many–Many Problem, attention is necessary for action. We question the first of these two steps and argue that it is based on an oversimplified distinction between actions and reflexes. We argue for a more complex typology of behaviours where one important category is action that does not require a solution to the Many–Many Problem, and so (...)
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    Carolyn Dicey Jennings (2015). Consciousness Without Attention. Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2):276--295.
    This paper explores whether consciousness can exist without attention. This is a hot topic in philosophy of mind and cognitive science due to the popularity of theories that hold attention to be necessary for consciousness. The discovery of a form of consciousness that exists without the influence of attention would require a change in the way that many global workspace theorists, for example, understand the role and function of consciousness. Against this understanding, at least three forms of consciousness have been (...)
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  3. Carolyn Dicey Jennings (2015). Attention and Perceptual Organization. Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1265-1278.
    How does attention contribute to perceptual experience? Within cognitive science, attention is known to contribute to the organization of sensory features into perceptual objects, or “object-based organization.” The current paper tackles a different type of organization and thus suggests a different role for attention in conscious perception. Within every perceptual experience we find that more subjectively interesting percepts stand out in the foreground, whereas less subjectively interesting percepts are relegated to the background. The sight of a sycamore often gains the (...)
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    Carolyn Dicey Jennings (2012). The Subject of Attention. Synthese 189 (3):535-554.
    The absence of a common understanding of attention plagues current research on the topic. Combining the findings from three domains of research on attention, this paper presents a univocal account that fits normal use of the term as well as its many associated phenomena: attention is a process of mental selection that is within the control of the subject. The role of the subject is often excluded from naturalized accounts, but this paper will be an exception to that rule. The (...)
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