Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 3 (2022)
AbstractHow are attention and consciousness related? Can we learn what the contents of someone’s consciousness are if we know the targets of their attention? What can we learn about the contents of consciousness if we know the targets of attention? Although introspection might suggest that attention and consciousness are intimately connected, a good body of recent findings in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience brings compelling reasons to believe that they are two separate and independent processes. This paper attempts to bring attention and consciousness back together to make the study of attentional distributions an essential ingredient for the study of the contents of consciousness. My proposal has two main components. First, I introduce a framework for systematizing the relations between attention in its different forms and consciousness in its different forms. Although philosophers and cognitive scientists have repeatedly highlighted the importance of such systematization, most details are still to be worked out. Here I take an initial stab at this project based on the notion of degrees of informational enhancement. Second, I introduce the notion of vicarious attention to account for a kind of additional processing benefit that comes for free when attention is allocated to a target. I then propose that this kind of processing must also be considered when mapping attention targets into contents of consciousness.
Similar books and articles
Consciousness, Attention, and Conscious Attention.Carlos Montemayor & Harry H. Haladjian - 2015 - MIT Press.
Consciousness, Attention, and Conscious Attention. [REVIEW]Jack Shardlow - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (7):1068-1070.
Consciousness Without Attention.Carolyn Dicey Jennings - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2):276--295.
Some Essential Differences Between Consciousness and Attention, Perception, and Working Memory.Bernard J. Baars - 1997 - Consciousness and Cognition 6 (2-3):363-371.
Attention and Consciousness.Christopher Mole - 2008 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (4):86-104.
Consciousness and the Flow of Attention.Tony Cheng - 2012 - Dissertation, City University of New York, Graduate Center
Consciousness, Attention and Commonsense.F. de Brigard - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (9-10):189-201.
Sensation's Ghost: The Nonsensory Fringe of Consciousness.Bruce Mangan - 2001 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 7.
On the Evolution of Conscious Attention.Harry Haroutioun Haladjian & Carlos Montemayor - 2015 - Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 22 (3):595-613.
Consciousness Engineered.Michael Graziano - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 23 (11-12):98-115.
Are There Degreess of Self-Consciousness?R. Milliere - 2019 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (3-4):252-282.
Attention explains the transition to unlimited associative learning better than consciousness.Carlos Montemayor - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-5.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
References found in this work
On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Whatever Next? Predictive Brains, Situated Agents, and the Future of Cognitive Science.Andy Clark - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (3):181-204.
The Conscious Brain: How Attention Engenders Experience.Jesse Prinz - 2012 - Oup Usa.