Against Unifying Accounts of Attention

Erkenntnis 80 (1):39-56 (2015)
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Abstract

There have recently been a number of attempts to put forth a philosophical account of the nature of attention. Many such theories aim at giving necessary and sufficient conditions for something to be attention. In this paper I will argue that any such theory must meet two criteria. Then I shall examine four prominent accounts of attention in some detail, and argue that all of them face problems meeting one or the other of the criteria. I propose an alternative view, which involves taking seriously a pluralistic approach to attention. If the position I advocate is correct, then much of the philosophical work currently carried out on attention is fundamentally misguided, as most of the prominent theories of attention currently available are based upon assumptions which should be rejected

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Citations of this work

Attention.Christopher Mole - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Conceptual Fragmentation and the Rise of Eliminativism.Henry Taylor & Peter Vickers - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):17-40.
Unity in the Scientific Study of Intellectual Attention.Mark Fortney - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):444-459.
Attention, Psychology, and Pluralism.Henry Taylor - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):935-956.

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