Attention and consciousness

Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (4):86-104 (2008)
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Abstract

According to commonsense psychology, one is conscious of everything that one pays attention to, but one does not pay attention to all the things that one is conscious of. Recent lines of research purport to show that commonsense is mistaken on both of these points: Mack and Rock (1998) tell us that attention is necessary for consciousness, while Kentridge and Heywood (2001) claim that consciousness is not necessary for attention. If these lines of research were successful they would have important implications regarding the prospects of using attention research to inform us about consciousness. The present essay shows that these lines of research are not successful, and that the commonsense picture of the relationship between attention and consciousness can be.

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Christopher Mole
University of British Columbia

Citations of this work

The Pleasure of Art.Mohan Matthen - 2017 - Australasian Philosophical Review 1 (1):6-28.
Attention as Selection for Action.Wayne Wu - 2011 - In Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies & Wayne Wu (eds.), Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 97--116.
Attention is Rational-Access Consciousness.Declan Smithies - 2011 - In Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies & Wayne Wu (eds.), Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 247--273.
Attention, Seeing, and Change Blindness.Michael Tye - 2010 - Philosophical Issues 20 (1):410-437.

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References found in this work

On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Perception and Reason.Bill Brewer - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
A Feature Integration Theory of Attention.Anne Treisman - 1980 - Cognitive Psychology 12:97-136.
Why Visual Attention and Awareness Are Different.Victor A. F. Lamme - 2003 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):12-18.

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