About this topic
Summary

Attention is a central aspect of the mind. Like for other aspects of the mind, philosophers disagree on how to precisely characterize that aspect. Very generally speaking, attention concerns the current selective direction of the mind. Philosophy studies, for example: (a) The nature of attention. What exactly is attention? How are the various theories of attention in psychology and the neurosciences related to metaphysical nature of attention? (b) The explanatory role of attention. What is metaphysical or explanatory relationship between attention and other philosophically interesting aspects of our lives, such as consciousness, demonstrative reference, salience, agency and intentional action, mindfulness, or emotion, (c) The epistemological, aesthetic, ethical and political role of attention. What is the role of attention in the acquisition and exchange of knowledge, for rationality, or epistemic justification? Are certain forms of attention important for aesthetic appreciation? Does ethical virtue require a certain distribution of attention? Is there something problematic about the contemporary ‘attention economy’?

Key works

The treatment of attention in James 1890 is widely considered the classic in psychology. One of the most cited neuroscience works is Posner & Petersen 1990. Monograph length treatments of attention in contemporary philosophy include Mole 2010Watzl 2017 and Jennings 2020. For a specific focus on attention and consciousness, consider e.g. Block 2007, Prinz 2012, and Watzl 2017. For connections to demonstrative reference see Campbell 2002, Smithies 2011, and Dickie 2015. The role of attention for aesthetic experience is the topic of Nanay 2014. For attention and ethics see especially Murdoch 1970. For a popular treatment connecting attention with political issues see Williams 2018. Collections of works in the philosophy of attention and related issues are Mole et al 2011 and Archer 2022.

Introductions Wu 2014 for a book length introduction. For a shorter overview see the updated version of Mole 2010 and the somewhat older articles Watzl 2011a and Watzl 2011b.
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1100 found
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Attention and Consciousness
  1. Attention and Perception.Ronald A. Rensink - 2015 - In R. A. Scott, S. M. Kosslyn & M. C. Buchmann (eds.), Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: An Interdisicplinary, Searchable, and Linkable Resource. Wiley. pp. 1-14.
    This article discusses several key issues concerning the study of attention and its relation to visual perception, with an emphasis on behavioral and experiential aspects. It begins with an overview of several classical works carried out in the latter half of the 20th century, such as the development of early filter and spotlight models of attention. This is followed by a survey of subsequent research that extended or modified these results in significant ways. It covers current work on various forms (...)
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  2. Salience: A Philosophical Inquiry.Sophie Archer (ed.) - 2022 - Routledge.
    What is salience? This collection addresses this neglected question by considering the role of salience in a wide variety of areas. All 13 chapters are specially commissioned, and written by an international team of contributors.
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  3. The Many Faces of Attention: Why Precision Optimization is Not Attention.Madeleine Ransom & Sina Fazelpour - 2020 - In Dina Mendonça, José Manuel Robalo Curado & Steven Gouveia (eds.), The Philosophy and Science of Predictive Processing. London, UK: pp. 119-139.
    The predictive coding (PC) theory of attention identifies attention with the optimization of the precision weighting of prediction error. Here we provide some challenges for this identification. On the one hand, the precision weighting of prediction error is too broad a phenomenon to be identified with attention because such weighting plays a central role in multimodal integration. Cases of crossmodal illusions such as the rubber hand illusion and the McGurk effect involve the differential precision weighting of prediction error, yet attention (...)
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  4. Does Loudness Represent Sound Intensity? (Preprint).Kim Soland - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-27.
    In this paper I challenge the widely held assumption that loudness is the perceptual correlate of sound intensity. Drawing on psychological and neuroscientific evidence, I argue that loudness is best understood not as a representation of any feature of a sound wave, but rather as a reflection of the salience of a sound wave representation; loudness is determined by how much attention a sound receives. Loudness is what I call a quantitative character, a species of phenomenal character that is determined (...)
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  5. An Agent of Attention: An Inquiry Into the Source of Our Control.Aaron Henry - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Toronto
    When performing a skilled action—whether something impressive like a double somersault or something mundane like reaching for a glass of water—you exercise control over your bodily movements. Specifically, you guide their course. In what does that control consist? In this dissertation, I argue that it consists in attending to what you are doing. More specifically, in attending, agents harness their perceptual and perceptuomotor states directly and practically in service of their goals and, in doing so, settle the fine-grained manner in (...)
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  6. How Judgments of Visual Resemblance are Induced by Visual Experience.Alon Chasid & Alik Pelman - 2021 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 28 (11-12):54-76.
    Judgments of visual resemblance (‘A looks like B’), unlike other judgments of resemblance, are often induced directly by visual experience. What is the nature of this experience? We argue that the visual experience that prompts a subject looking at A to judge that A looks like B is a visual experience of B. After elucidating this thesis, we defend it, using the ‘phenomenal contrast’ method. Comparing our account to competing accounts, we show that the phenomenal contrast between a visual experience (...)
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  7. Attention, Not Self, by Jonardon Ganeri. [REVIEW]Sebastian Watzl - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
    In this review of Ganeri's book I focus specifically on the metaphysical issues about attention raised by it. On the one hand, there is a distinction between essence and constitutive explanation. On the other hand, there is a puzzle how a phenomenon like attention could (as it appears to be on Ganeri's position) be both explanatorily central and also disunified ('not a single psychological kind', as Ganeri puts it). I discuss several possible solutions to this puzzle.
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  8. Quantitative Character and the Composite Account of Phenomenal Content.Kim Soland - 2022 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    I advance an account of quantitative character, a species of phenomenal character that presents as an intensity (cf. a quality) and includes experience dimensions such as loudness, pain intensity, and visual pop-out. I employ psychological and neuroscientific evidence to demonstrate that quantitative characters are best explained by attentional processing, and hence that they do not represent external qualities. Nonetheless, the proposed account of quantitative character is conceived as a compliment to the reductive intentionalist strategy toward qualitative states; I argue that (...)
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  9. Attentional Structuring, Subjectivity, and the Ubiquity of Reflexive Inner Awareness.Amit Chaturvedi - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Some have argued that a subject has an inner awareness of its conscious mental states by virtue of the non-introspective, reflexive awareness that any conscious state has of itself. But, what exactly is it like to have a ubiquitous and reflexive inner awareness of one’s conscious states, as distinct from one’s outer awareness of the apparent world? This essay derives a model of ubiquitous inner awareness (UIA) from Sebastian Watzl’s recent theory of attention as the activity of structuring consciousness into (...)
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  10. Relative Priming of Temporal Local-Global Levels in Auditory Hierarchical Stimuli.Alexandra List & Timothy Justus - 2010 - Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics 72 (1):193–208.
    Priming is a useful tool for ascertaining the circumstances under which previous experiences influence behavior. Previously, using hierarchical stimuli, we demonstrated (Justus & List, 2005) that selectively attending to one temporal scale of an auditory stimulus improved subsequent attention to a repeated (vs. changed) temporal scale; that is, we demonstrated intertrial auditory temporal level priming. Here, we have extended those results to address whether level priming relied on absolute or relative temporal information. Both relative and absolute temporal information are important (...)
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  11. Higher-Order Theories of Consciousness Are Empirically False.N. Greely - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (11-12):30-54.
    Higher-order theories of consciousness come in many varieties, but all adopt the 'transitivity principle' as a central, explanatory premise. The transitivity principle states that a mental state of a subject is conscious if and only if the subject is aware of it. This higher-order awareness is realized in different ways in different forms of higher-order theory. I argue that empirical studies of metacognition have falsified the transitivity principle by showing that there can be awareness of a mental state without that (...)
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  12. Bodily feelings and psychological defence. A specification of Gendlin’s concept of felt sense.Jan Puc - 2020 - Ceskoslovenska Psychologie 64 (2):129-142.
    The paper aims to define the concept of “felt sense”, introduced in psychology and psychotherapy by E. T. Gendlin, in order to clarify its relation to bodily sensations and its difference from emotions. Gendlin’s own definition, according to which the felt sense is a conceptually vague bodily feeling with implicit meaning, is too general for this task. Gendlin’s definition is specified by pointing out, first, the different layers of awareness of bodily feelings and, second, the difference between bodily readiness for (...)
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  13. Too Much Attention, Too Little Self. [REVIEW]Carolyn Dicey Jennings - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):475-480.
    This is a good time for such a substantial book on Buddhaghosa. His ideas may be more difficult to digest than those of contemporary authors, but Ganeri convincingly argues for their relevance. Together with Ganeri’s considerable interpretive and philosophical work, Buddhaghosa’s view helps to fill out a perspective that is popular in cognitive science, in which the self is replaced by systems. In this case, the self is replaced by systems of attention, a view that Ganeri calls ‘Attentionalism.’ In this (...)
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  14. Perceiving Indeterminately.Bence Nanay - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (3):160-166.
    It has been argued recently that perception is indeterminate. But there are more than one ways of spelling out what this means. The standard line is that perceptual states attribute different probabilities to different propositions. I provide an alternative to this view, where it is not the attitude, but the content of perceptual states that is indeterminate, inasmuch as it consists of the representation of determinable properties. This view does justice to the more general claim that perception is indeterminate without (...)
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  15. A Puzzle About Seeing for Representationalism.James Openshaw & Assaf Weksler - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2625-2646.
    When characterizing the content of a subject’s perceptual experience, does their seeing an object entail that their visual experience represents it as being a certain way? If it does, are they thereby in a position to have perceptually-based thoughts about it? On one hand, representationalists are under pressure to answer these questions in the affirmative. On the other hand, it seems they cannot. This paper presents a puzzle to illustrate this tension within orthodox representationalism. We identify several interesting morals which (...)
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  16. Attentional Weighting in Perceptual Learning.Madeleine Ransom - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (7-8):236-248.
    Perceptual learning is an enduring change in the perceptual system – and our resulting perceptions – due to practice or repeated exposure to a perceptual stimulus. It is involved in the acquisition of perceptual expertise: the ability to make rapid and reliable high-level categorizations of objects unavailable to novices. Attentional weighting is one process by which perceptual learning occurs. Advancing our understanding of this process is of particular importance for understanding what is learned in perceptual learning. Attentional weighting seems to (...)
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  17. Consciousness and Attention.Christopher Mole - 2020 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford, UK:
    As a tactic for preventing an enquiry into attention’s relationship to consciousness from lapsing into ill-definition, this chapter treats ‘attention’ as a term defined by the role that is assigned to it in our explanations of empirically established psychological phenomena (especially those involving the modulation of reaction times). It reviews evidence showing that such modulations are associated with processing that stands in various relations to consciousness. The psychological phenomena that explain these modulations cannot be identified with the causes of consciousness. (...)
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  18. In Praise of Poise.Daniel Stoljar - 2019 - In Adam Pautz & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Blockheads! Essays on Ned Block's Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness. Cambridge, MA, USA:
  19. The Place of the Trace: Negligence and Responsibility.Samuel Murray - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (1):39-52.
    One popular theory of moral responsibility locates responsible agency in exercises of control. These control-based theories often appeal to tracing to explain responsibility in cases where some agent is intuitively responsible for bringing about some outcome despite lacking direct control over that outcome’s obtaining. Some question whether control-based theories are committed to utilizing tracing to explain responsibility in certain cases. I argue that reflecting on certain kinds of negligence shows that tracing plays an ineliminable role in any adequate control-based theory (...)
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  20. Self-Realization- A Spiritual and Modern Scientific Insight.Varanasi Ramabrahmam - manuscript
    The concept of evolution as envisaged and developed by modern scientists will be reviewed. The concept of consciousness and its evolution in humans as enlightenment and self-realization as experienced and expressed in the Upanishads, Vedanta, Yoga Sutras, Bhakti Sutras and in the experiences and expressions of modern spiritual seers will be critically analyzed. And self-realization in individual leading one to and getting established in jeevanmukta state will be discussed. The possible irreversible physicochemical nature and implications of such consciousness evolution in (...)
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  21. Higher-Order Memory Schema and Conscious Experience.Richard Brown & Joseph LeDoux - 2020 - Cognitive Neuropsychology 37 (3-4):213-215.
    In the interesting and thought-provoking article Grazziano and colleagues argue for their Attention Schema Theory (AST) of consciousness. They present AST as a unification of Global Workspace Theory (GWT), Illusionism, and the Higher-Order Thought (HOT) theory. We argue it is a mistake to equate 'subjective experience,' ad related terms, with dualism. They simply denote experience. Also, as presented, AST does not accurately capture the essence of HOT for two reasons. HOT is presented as a version of strong illusionism, which it (...)
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  22. Fore- and Background in Conscious Non-Demonstrative Inference.Anders Nes - 2020 - In Anders Nes & Timothy Chan (eds.), Inference and Consciousness. London: Routledge. pp. 199-228.
    It is often supposed one can draw a distinction, among the assumptions on which an inference rests, between certain background assumptions and certain more salient, or foregrounded, assumptions. Yet what may such a fore-v-background structure, or such structures, consist it? In particular, how do they relate to consciousness? According to a ‘Boring View’, such structures can be captured by specifying, for the various assumptions of the inference, whether they are phenomenally conscious, or access conscious, or else how easily available they (...)
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  23. Consciousness.Tony Cheng - 2019 - In Heather Salazar (ed.), Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy of Mind. Quebec: Rebus Foundation Publishing. pp. 41-48.
    The term “consciousness” is very often, though not always, interchangeable with the term “awareness,” which is more colloquial to many ears. We say things like “are you aware that ...” often. Sometimes we say “have you noticed that ... ?” to express similar thoughts, and this indicates a close connection between consciousness (awareness) and attention (noticing), which we will come back to later in this chapter. Ned Block, one of the key figures in this area, provides a useful characterization of (...)
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  24. Interés, atención, verdad. Una aproximación fenomenológica a la atención.Jorge Montesó-Ventura - 2019 - Sevilla: Thémata.
    El conocimiento es un bien necesario para el desarrollo de todo ser humano, deseamos comprender el funcionamiento de todo aquello que, de algún modo, nos afecta e implica. Nos es tan propio que llegamos a definir al ser del hombre como un ser preocupado y ocupado en y con el mundo, interesado por él, abierto mediante un gesto de arrojo cognoscitivo que no se da sino mediante nuestra capacidad de atenderlo, de verter nuestra vida de consciencia en él y alcanzar, (...)
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  25. Bayesian Frugality and the Representation of Attention.K. Dolega & J. Dewhurst - 2019 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (3-4):38-63.
    This paper spells out the attention schema theory of consciousness in terms of the predictive processing framework. As it stands, the attention schema theory lacks a plausible computational formalization that could be used for developing possible mechanistic models of how it is realized in the brain. The predictive processing framework, on the other hand, fails to provide a plausible explanation of the subjective quality or the phenomenal aspect of conscious experience. The aim of this work is to apply the formal (...)
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  26. Attention in the Predictive Processing Framework and the Phenomenology of Zen Meditation.P. F. Velasco - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (11-12):71-93.
    In this paper I will use the phenomenology of Zen meditation to look at the role of attention within the predictive processing framework. Section 1 introduces PP, according to which the brain is a dynamical, hierarchical, hypothesis-testing mechanism. Section 2 discusses the current proposal that attention is the process of precision optimization and presents some of the challenges for this theory. Section 3 introduces zazen and uses some of the emerging patterns of its phenomenology to clarify the workings of attention, (...)
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  27. Cracking the Buddhist Code: A Contemporary Theory of First-Stage Awakening.R. P. Boyle - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (9-10):156-180.
    The theory proposes that what Buddhists call 'awakening' is equivalent to 'pure perceptual experience' or the awareness our perceptual systems would present to us if they acted without interference from our symbol-processing systems. Two forms of interference are particularly apt to interfere: uncontrolled inner speech and the distortion of perception to fit reified conceptual structures. Uncontrolled inner speech has been linked with hyperactivity in the default mode network, which occurs when attentional demands are low. Reification occurs universally as children construct (...)
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  28. Paying Attention to Consciousness.R. Hine - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (5-6):52-69.
    Investigations into the relationship between attention and awareness appear to agree on one thing; the former is neither necessary nor sufficient for the latter. I argue that this might be a mistake. I look at a series of blindsight experiments, which conclude that attention occurs in the absence of awareness. By combining these cases with a widely accepted neurophysiological model of attention, I claim that the experiments are not nearly as compelling as they initially appear. I conclude by showing that (...)
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  29. Is Attention Necessary and Sufficient for Phenomenal Consciousness?John Taylor - 2013 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 20 (11-12):173-194.
    There has recently been a flurry of interest over how attention and phenomenal consciousness interact. Felipe De Brigard and Jesse Prinz have made the bold claim that attention is necessary and sufficient for phenomenal consciousness. If this turns out to be true, then we will have taken significant steps toward naturalizing the mind, which is a particularly exciting prospect. Against this position, several thinkers have presented empirical data which apparently show that consciousness is possible in the absence of attention, and (...)
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  30. Nota Del traductor.Rafael Stockebrand Gomez - 2018 - Ideas Y Valores 67 (168):345-353.
    RESUMEN Se interroga la atencionalidad propia del amor en cuanto que experiencia privilegiada y primordial del cuidado. En busca de un acceso al fenómeno del amor, se propone interrogarlo conforme al tipo de atención que promueve, asumiendo y discutiendo los recursos aportados por la fenomenología husserliana, así como por las fenomenologías contraintencionales, en particular la de Waldenfels. De este modo, si para describir este fenómeno es preciso dar cuenta del fundamento afectivo de la atención, también hay que reconocer que el (...)
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  31. The Role of Experience in Demonstrative Thought.Michael Barkasi - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (5):648-666.
    Attention plays a role in demonstrative thought: It sets the targets. Visual experience also plays a role. I argue here that it makes visual information available for use in the voluntary control of focal attention. To do so I use both introspection and neurophysiological evidence from projections between areas of attentional control and neural correlates of consciousness. Campbell and Smithies also identify roles for experience, but they further argue that only experience can play those roles. In contrast, I argue that (...)
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  32. Post-Perceptual Confidence and Supervaluative Matching Profile.Tony Cheng - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (3):249-277.
    ABSTRACT Issues concerning the putative perception/cognition divide are not only age-old, but also resurface in contemporary discussions in various forms. In this paper, I connect a relatively new debate concerning perceptual confidence to the perception/cognition divide. The term ‘perceptual confidence’ is quite common in the empirical literature, but there is an unsettled question about it, namely: are confidence assignments perceptual or post-perceptual? John Morrison in two recent papers puts forward the claim that confidence arises already at the level of perception. (...)
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  33. Acquaintance, Conceptual Capacities, and Attention.Anders Nes - 2019 - In Jonathan Knowles & Thomas Raleigh (eds.), Acquaintance: New Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 191-212.
    Russell’s theory of acquaintance construes perceptual awareness as at once constitutively independent of conceptual thought and yet a source of propositional knowledge. Wilfrid Sellars, John McDowell, and other conceptualists object that this is a ‘myth’: perception can be a source of knowledge only if conceptual capacities are already in play therein. Proponents of a relational view of experience, including John Campbell, meanwhile voice sympathy for Russell’s position on this point. This paper seeks to spell out, and defend, a claim that (...)
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  34. The Bodily Other and Everyday Experience of the Lived Urban World.Oren Bader & Aya Peri Bader - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology 3 (2):93-109.
    This article explores the relationship between the bodily presence of other humans in the lived urban world and the experience of everyday architecture. We suggest, from the perspectives of phenomenology and architecture, that being in the company of others changes the way the built environment appears to subjects, and that this enables us to perform simple daily tasks while still attending to the built environment. Our analysis shows that in mundane urban settings attending to the environment involves a unique attentional (...)
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  35. A Companion to Velmans, M. (Ed.) (2018) Consciousness (Critical Concepts in Psychology) Volume 2: Cognitive and Neuropsychological Approaches to the Study of Consciousness Part 1, Major Works Series, London: Routledge, Pp. 537.Max Velmans - manuscript
    This is the second of four online Companions to Velmans, M. (ed.) (2018) Consciousness (Critical Concepts in Psychology), a 4-volume collection of Major Works on Consciousness commissioned by Routledge, London. -/- The Companion to Volume 2 Part 1 focuses on the detailed relationship of phenomenal consciousness to mental processing described either functionally (as human information processing) or in terms of neural activity, in the ways typically explored by cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Beginning with reviews of functional differences between unconscious, (...)
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  36. The Attending Mind.Carolyn Dicey Jennings - 2020 - Cambridge University Press.
    Attention is essential to the life of the mind, a central topic in cognitive science, neuroscience, and psychology. Traditional debates in philosophy stand to benefit from greater understanding of the phenomenon, whether on the nature of the self, the foundation of knowledge, the natural basis of consciousness, or the origins of action and responsibility. This book is at the crossroads of philosophy of mind and cognitive science, offering a new theoretical stance on the concept of attention and how it intersects (...)
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  37. The Centre and Periphery of Conscious Thought.Mark Fortney - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (3-4):112-136.
    This paper is about whether shifts in attention can alter what it is like to think. I begin by taking up the hypothesis that attention structures consciousness into a centre and a periphery, following Watzl's (2014; 2017) understanding of the distinction between the centre and periphery of the field of consciousness. Then I show that introspection leads to divided results about whether attention structures conscious thought into a centre and a periphery -- remarks by Martin (1997) and Phillips (2012) suggest (...)
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  38. Toward a Neurophysiological Foundation for Altered States of Consciousness.Shadab Tabatabaeian & Carolyn Jennings - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
    Singh's cultural evolutionary theory posits that methods of inducing shamanic altered states of consciousness differ, resulting in profoundly different cognitive states. We argue that, despite different methods of induction, altered states of consciousness share neurophysiological features and cause shared cognitive and behavioral effects. This common foundation enables further cross-cultural comparison of shamanic activities that is currently left out of Singh's theory.
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  39. Attention and the Cognitive Penetrability of Perception.Dustin Stokes - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (2):303-318.
    One sceptical rejoinder to those who claim that sensory perception is cognitively penetrable is to appeal to the involvement of attention. So, while a phenomenon might initially look like one where, say, a perceiver’s beliefs are influencing her visual experience, another interpretation is that because the perceiver believes and desires as she does, she consequently shifts her spatial attention so as to change what she senses visually. But, the sceptic will urge, this is an entirely familiar phenomenon, and it hardly (...)
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  40. Moods Are Not Colored Lenses: Perceptualism and the Phenomenology of Moods.Francisco Gallegos - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (4):1497-1513.
    Being in a mood—such as an anxious, irritable, depressed, tranquil, or cheerful mood—tends to alter the way we react emotionally to the particular objects we encounter. But how, exactly, do moods alter the way we experience particular objects? Perceptualism, a popular approach to understanding affective experiences, holds that moods function like "colored lenses," altering the way we perceive the evaluative properties of the objects we encounter. In this essay, I offer a phenomenological analysis of the experience of being in a (...)
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  41. Inner Virtue.Nicolas Bommarito - 2018 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    What does it mean to be a morally good person? It can be tempting to think that it is simply a matter of performing certain actions and avoiding others. And yet there is much more to moral character than our outward actions. We expect a good person to not only behave in certain ways but also to experience the world in certain ways within.
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  42. Attention by Wayne Wu. [REVIEW]Carolyn Dicey Jennings - 2014 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 11.
    Like many who work on attention, Wu takes William James as an anchor point, concluding, "So, James was right" (274). In fact, this book can be seen as a continuation of James' project -- as with James' "Attention," Wu's book provides an extensive review of current research on attention.[1] In fact, he engages at length with an impressive amount of work in contemporary philosophy and science, mentioning 10 such researchers – Ned Block, John Campbell, Marisa Carrasco, David Chalmers, David Marr, (...)
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  43. The Standard Theory of Conscious Perception.Carolyn Dicey Jennings - 2015 - Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.
    In this paper I argue that the prioritization of sensory input by top-down attention is constitutive of and essential to conscious perception. Specifically, I argue that top-down attention is required to provide informational integration at the level of the subject, which can be contrasted with integration at the level of features and objects. Since the informational content of conscious perception requires integration at the level of the subject, top-down attention is necessary for conscious perception as we know it. I present (...)
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  44. Sensing, the Senses, and Attention.Casey O'Callaghan - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):485-491.
  45. Measuring Away an Attentional Confound?Jorge Morales, Yasha Mouradi, Claire Sergent, Ned Block, Vincent Taschereau-Dumouchel, David Rosenthal, Piercesare Grimaldi & Hakwan Lau - 2017 - Neuroscience of Consciousness 3 (1):1-3.
    A recent fMRI study by Webb et al. (Cortical networks involved in visual awareness independent of visual attention, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2016;113:13923–28) proposes a new method for finding the neural correlates of awareness by matching atten- tion across awareness conditions. The experimental design, however, seems at odds with known features of attention. We highlight logical and methodological points that are critical when trying to disentangle attention and awareness.
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  46. IX—Attending and Noticing.Alan R. White - 1963 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 63 (1):103-126.
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  47. Attention and Mental Primer.Jacob Beck & Keith A. Schneider - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (4):463-494.
    Drawing on the empirical premise that attention makes objects look more intense, Ned Block has argued for mental paint, a phenomenal residue that cannot be reduced to what is perceived or represented. If sound, Block's argument would undermine direct realism and representationism, two widely held views about the nature of conscious perception. We argue that Block's argument fails because the empirical premise it is based upon is false. Attending to an object alters its salience, but not its perceived intensity. We (...)
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  48. Attention to Mental Paint and Change Detection.Assaf Weksler - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (8):1991-2007.
    According to the influential thesis of attentional transparency, in having or reflecting on an ordinary visual experience, we can attend only outwards, to qualities the experience represents, never to intrinsic qualities of the experience itself, i.e., to “mental paint.” According to the competing view, attentional semitransparency, although we usually attend outwards, to qualities the experience represents, we can also attend inwards, to mental paint. So far, philosophers have debated this topic in strictly armchair means, especially phenomenological reflection. My aim in (...)
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  49. Is Attention a Non-Propositional Attitude?Sebastian Watzl - 2018 - In Alex Grzankowski & Michelle Montague (eds.), Non-Propositional Intentionality. Oxford University Press. pp. 272-302.
    I argue first that attention is a (maybe the) paradigmatic case of an object-directed, non-propositional intentional mental episode. In addition attention cannot be reduced to any other (propositional or non-propositional) mental episodes. Yet, second, attention is not a non-propositional mental attitude. It might appear puzzling how one could hold both of these claims. I show how to combine them, and how that combination shows how propositionality and non-propositionality can co-exist in a mental life. The crucial move is one away from (...)
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  50. Can Representationism Explain How Attention Affects Appearances?Sebastian Watzl - 2019 - In Adam Pautz & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Blockheads! Essays on Ned Block’s Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness. Boston, USA: The MIT Press. pp. 481-607.
    Recent psychological research shows that attention affects appearances. An “attended item looks bigger, faster, earlier, more saturated, stripier.” (Block 2010, p. 41). What is the significance of these findings? Ned Block has argued that they undermine representationism, roughly the view that the phenomenal character of perception is determined by its representational content. My first goal in this paper is to show that Block’s argument has the structure of a Problem of Arbitrary Phenomenal Variation and that it improves on other instances (...)
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