Unity in the Scientific Study of Intellectual Attention

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):444-459 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


I argue that using information from a cognitive representation to guide the performance of a primary task is sufficient for intellectual attention, and that this account of attention is endorsed by scientists working in the refreshing, n-back, and retro-cue paradigms. I build on the work of Wayne Wu, who developed a similarly motivated account, but for perceptual attention rather than intellectual attention. The way that I build on Wu’s account provides a principled way of responding to Watzl’s challenge to Wu, according to which Wu’s style of account is unintuitively broad. The fact that I find unity in the practice of science puts us in a position to resist the claim that scientists studying intellectual attention are frequently failing to study the same thing.

Similar books and articles

Seeing Circles: Inattentive Response-Coupling.Denis Buehler - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 9.
A Dilemma for ‘Selection‐for‐Action’.Denis Buehler - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):139-149.
Conceptualizing intellectual attention.Mark Fortney - 2019 - Theory & Psychology 1:1-14.
Why the performance of habit requires attention.Laura Bickel - 2024 - Mind and Language 39 (2):260-270.
Attention by Wayne Wu. [REVIEW]Carolyn Dicey Jennings - 2014 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 11.
Attention as Structuring of the Stream of Consciousness.Sebastian Watzl - 2011 - In Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies & Wayne Wu (eds.), Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 145.


Added to PP

485 (#41,078)

6 months
119 (#36,868)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Mark Fortney
Dalhousie University

References found in this work

Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Content and consciousness.Daniel Clement Dennett - 1969 - New York,: Humanities P..
The Principles of Psychology.William James - 1890 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 11 (3):506-507.
Content and Consciousness.D. C. Dennett - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 69 (18):604-604.

View all 26 references / Add more references