Directing internal attention towards ongoing thought

Consciousness and Cognition 85:103025 (2020)
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Abstract

The view that a mental state is “transparent” is the view that the mental state is such that we cannot direct our attention directly towards the mental state, and that instead, when we try to do so, we attend to something in the external world rather than the mental state itself. Results from the study of internal attention put transparency views under a pressure that has so far been entirely unacknowledged in the literature. I focus on Garavan (1998) study of switching the focus of internal attention from one mental count to another mental count. I argue that Garavan’s results are evidence that we can direct our attention to occurrent thought, contra Alexander Byrne’s (2008, 2018) claim that occurrent thought is actually transparent.

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Mark Fortney
Dalhousie University

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Attention.Christopher Mole - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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