Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (5-6):156-178 (2018)

Authors
Kranti Saran
Ashoka University
Abstract
Prominent figures in the philosophical literature on attention hold that the connection between attention and selection is essential (Mole, 2011), necessary (Wu, 2011; 2014), or conceptual (Smithies, 2011). I argue that selection is neither essentially, necessarily, nor conceptually tied to attention. I first isolate the target conception of selection that I deny is so tightly coupled with attention: graded intramodal selection within consciousness. I analyse two visual cases: analysis of the first case shows that there can be attention without a connection to tasks or action; analysis of the second case shows that there can be attention without a phenomenal foreground/background structure. Finally, I extend the argument into the domain of the body by considering a form of meditative absorption in body sensations to recapitulate the conclusions drawn from the two visual cases.
Keywords Attention  Selection  Bodily Sensation  Meditative attention
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