Consciousness, Attention and Commonsense

Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (9-10):189-201 (2010)
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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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Felipe De Brigard
Duke University

Citations of this work

Attention.Christopher Mole - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Nature of Attention.Sebastian Watzl - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (11):842-853.
The Philosophical Significance of Attention.Sebastian Watzl - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (10):722-733.
Attention to Unseen Objects.Christopher Mole - 2014 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (11-12):41-56.
Folk Psychology and Phenomenal Consciousness.Justin Sytsma - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (8):700-711.

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