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Profile: Sebastian Watzl (University of Oslo)
  1. 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.
    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 (...)
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    Sebastian Watzl (2013). Silencing the Experience of Change. Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1009-1032.
    Perceptual illusions have often served as an important tool in the study of perceptual experience. In this paper I argue that a recently discovered set of visual illusions sheds new light on the nature of time consciousness. I suggest the study of these silencing illusions as a tool kit for any philosopher interested in the experience of time and show how to better understand time consciousness by combining detailed empirical investigations with a detailed philosophical analysis. In addition, and more specifically, (...)
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  3. Sebastian Watzl (2011). The Philosophical Significance of Attention. Philosophy Compass 6 (10):722-733.
    What is the philosophical significance of attention? The present article provides an overview of recent debates surrounding the connections between attention and other topics of philosophical interest. In particular, it discusses the interplay between attention and consciousness, attention and agency, and attention and reference. The article outlines the questions and contemporary positions concerning how attention shapes the phenomenal character of experience, whether it is necessary or sufficient for consciousness, and whether it plays a special role in the best philosophical theories (...)
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  4. Sebastian Watzl (2010). The Significance of Attention. Dissertation, Columbia University
    This dissertation investigates the nature, the phenomenal character and the philosophical significance of attention. According to its central thesis, attention is the ongoing mental activity of structuring the stream of consciousness or phenomenal field. The dissertation connects the scientific study of attention in psychology and the neurosciences with central discussions in the philosophy of mind. Once we get clear on the nature and the phenomenal character of attention, we can make progress toward understanding foundational issues concerning the nature and the (...)
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  5. Sebastian Watzl & Wayne Wu (2012). Perplexities of Consciousness, by Eric Schwitzgebel. [REVIEW] Mind 121 (482):524-529.
  6. Sebastian Watzl (2011). The Nature of Attention. Philosophy Compass 6 (11):842-853.
    What is attention? Attention is often seen as a subject matter for the hard sciences of cognitive and brain processes, and is understood in terms of sub-personal mechanisms and processes. Correspondingly, there still is a stark contrast between the central role attention plays for the empirical investigation of the mind in psychology and the neurosciences, and its relative neglect in philosophy. Yet, over the past years, several philosophers have challenged the standard conception. A number of interesting philosophical questions concerning the (...)
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    Philipp Koralus, Felipe De Brigard, Christopher Mole, Catherine Stinson & Sebastian Watzl, Symposium on P. Koralus, "The Erotetic Theory of Attention". Mind and Language Symposia at the Brains Blog.
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    Sebastian Watzl (2014). Perceptual Guidance. Ratio 27 (4):414-438.
    Proponents of an intentionalist theory of perceptual experience have taken for granted that perceptual experience is an informing form of intentionality. Hence they often speak of the way an experience represents the environment to be, or what there is. In this respect perceptual experience is thus assumed to resemble a speech act like assertion or a mental state like belief. There is another important form of intentionality though that concerns not what there is, but what to do. I call this (...)
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    Sebastian Watzl (2011). Review of Christopher Mole 'Attention is Cognitive Unison: An Essay in Philosophical Psychology'. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
    A relatively detailed review (~ 4000 words) of Christopher Mole's (2010) book "Attention is Cognitive Unison". I suggest that Mole makes a good case against many types of reductivist accounts of attention, using the right kind of methodology. Yet, I argue that his adverbialist theory is not the best articulation of the crucial anti-reductivist insight. The distinction between adverbial and process-first phenomena he draws remains unclear, anti-reductivist process theories can escapte his arguments, and finally I provide an argument for why (...)
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