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  1. The Ethics of Attention: a framework.Sebastian Watzl - manuscript
    Discussions regarding which norms, if any, govern our practices of forming, maintaining and relinquishing beliefs have come to be collected under the label “The ethics of belief”. Included in the ethics of belief are debates about how those normative issues relate to the nature of belief, whether belief formation is, for example, ever voluntary. The present talk concerns an analogous set of questions regarding our practices of attention. “The ethics of attention” thus concerns the discussion of which norms, if any, (...)
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  2. Virtue Epistemology and Explanatory Salience.Georgi Gardiner - forthcoming - In Heather Battaly (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Virtue Epistemology. Routledge.
    Robust virtue epistemology holds that knowledge is true belief obtained through cognitive ability. In this essay I explain that robust virtue epistemology faces a dilemma, and the viability of the theory depends on an adequate understanding of the ‘through’ relation. Greco interprets this ‘through’ relation as one of causal explanation; the success is through the agent’s abilities iff the abilities play a sufficiently salient role in a causal explanation of why she possesses a true belief. In this paper I argue (...)
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  3. Changing Minds and Hearts: Moral Testimony and Hermeneutical Advice.Paulina Sliwa - forthcoming - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics. Oxford University Press.
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  4. Order-Based Salience Patterns in Language: What They Are and Why They Matter.Ella Whiteley - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    Whenever we communicate, we inevitably have to say one thing before another. This means introducing particularly subtle patterns of salience into our language. In this paper, I introduce ‘order-based salience patterns’, referring to the ordering of syntactic contents where that ordering, pretheoretically, does not appear to be of consequence. For instance, if one is to describe a colourful scarf, it wouldn’t seem to matter if one were to say it is ‘orange and blue’ or ‘blue and orange’. Despite their apparent (...)
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  5. The Focus Theory of Hope.Andrew Chignell - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (1):44-63.
    Most elpistologists now agree that hope for a specific outcome involves more than just desire plus the presupposition that the outcome is possible. This paper argues that the additional element of hope is a disposition to focus on the desired outcome in a certain way. I first survey the debate about the nature of hope in the recent literature, offer objections to some important competing accounts, and describe and defend the view that hope involves a kind of focus or attention. (...)
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  6. Practical judgment as reflective judgment: On moral salience and Kantian particularist universalism.Sabina Vaccarino Bremner - 2023 - European Journal of Philosophy 31 (3):600-621.
    Moral particularists and generalists alike have struggled over how to incorporate the role of moral salience in ethical reasoning. In this paper, I point to neglected resources in Kant to account for the role of moral salience in maxim formation: Kant's theory of reflective judgment. Kant tasks reflective judgment with picking out salient empirical particulars for formation into maxims, associating it with purposiveness, or intentional activity (action on ends). The unexpected resources in Kantian reflective judgment suggest the possibility of a (...)
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  7. Attention, Salience, and the Phenomenology of Visual Experience.Hemdat Lerman - 2022 - In Sophie Archer (ed.), Salience: A Philosophical Inquiry. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 24-49.
    Both introspection and empirical studies suggest that visual attention can affect the phenomenology of our visual experience. However, the exact character of such effects is far from clear. My aim in this chapter is to spell out the main difficulties involved in attempting to achieve a clearer view of these effects, and to make some suggestions as to how we can make progress with this issue while avoiding tempting mistakes. I do this by discussing the question of whether there is (...)
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  8. The Phenomenal Contribution of Attention.Jonathan Mitchell - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Strong or Pure Intentionalism is the view that the phenomenal character of a conscious experience is exhaustively determined by its intentional content. Contrastingly, impure intentionalism holds that there are also non content-based aspects or features which contribute to phenomenal character. Conscious attention is one such feature: arguably its contribution to the phenomenal character of a given conscious experience are not exhaustively captured in terms of what that experience represents, that is in terms of properties of its intentional object. This paper (...)
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  9. Rumination and Wronging: The Role of Attention in Epistemic Morality.Catharine Saint-Croix - 2022 - Episteme 19 (4):491-514.
    The idea that our epistemic practices can be wrongful has been the core observation driving the growing literature on epistemic injustice, doxastic wronging, and moral encroachment. But, one element of our epistemic practice has been starkly absent from this discussion of epistemic morality: attention. The goal of this article is to show that attention is a worthwhile focus for epistemology, especially for the field of epistemic morality. After presenting a new dilemma for proponents of doxastic wronging, I show how focusing (...)
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  10. Salience Principles for Democracy.Susanna Siegel - 2022 - In Sophie Archer (ed.), Salience: A Philosophical Inquiry. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 235-266.
    I discuss the roles of journalism in aspirational democracies, and argue that they generate set of pressures on attention that apply to people by virtue of the type of society they live in. These pressures, I argue, generate a problem of democratic attention: for journalism to play its roles in democracy, the attentional demands must be met, but there are numerous obstacles to meeting them. I propose a principle of salience to guide the selection and framing of news stories that (...)
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  11. Harmful Salience Perspectives.Ella Whiteley - 2022 - In Sophie Archer (ed.), Salience: A Philosophical Inquiry. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. Chapter 11.
    Consider a terrible situation that too many women find themselves in: 85,000 women are raped in England and Wales alone every year. Many of these women do not bring their cases to trial. There are multiple reasons that they might not want to testify in the courts. The incredibly low conviction rate is one. Another reason, however, might be that these women do not want the fact that they were raped to become the most salient thing about them. More specifically, (...)
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  12. Agential capacities: a capacity to guide.Denis Buehler - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (1):21-47.
    In paradigm exercises of agency, individuals guide their activities toward some goal. A central challenge for action theory is to explain how individuals guide. This challenge is an instance of the more general problem of how to accommodate individuals and their actions in the natural world, as explained by natural science. Two dominant traditions–primitivism and the causal theory–fail to address the challenge in a satisfying way. Causal theorists appeal to causation by an intention, through a feedback mechanism, in explaining guidance. (...)
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  13. Salience and metaphysical explanation.Phil Corkum - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10771-10792.
    Metaphysical explanations, unlike many other kinds of explanation, are standardly thought to be insensitive to our epistemic situation and so are not evaluable by cognitive values such as salience. I consider a case study that challenges this view. Some properties are distributed over an extension. For example, the property of being polka-dotted red on white, when instantiated, is distributed over a surface. Similar properties have been put to work in a variety of explanatory tasks in recent metaphysics, including: providing an (...)
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  14. Mathematics and Explanatory Generality: Nothing but Cognitive Salience.Juha Saatsi & Robert Knowles - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (5):1119-1137.
    We demonstrate how real progress can be made in the debate surrounding the enhanced indispensability argument. Drawing on a counterfactual theory of explanation, well-motivated independently of the debate, we provide a novel analysis of ‘explanatory generality’ and how mathematics is involved in its procurement. On our analysis, mathematics’ sole explanatory contribution to the procurement of explanatory generality is to make counterfactual information about physical dependencies easier to grasp and reason with for creatures like us. This gives precise content to key (...)
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  15. Salience reasoning in coordination games.Julius Schönherr - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6601-6620.
    Salience reasoning, many have argued, can help solve coordination problems, but only if such reasoning is supplemented by higher-order predictions, e.g. beliefs about what others believe yet others will choose. In this paper, I will argue that this line of reasoning is self-undermining. Higher-order behavioral predictions defeat salience-based behavioral predictions. To anchor my argument in the philosophical literature, I will develop it in response and opposition to the popular Lewisian model of salience reasoning in coordination games. This model imports the (...)
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  16. Opacity of Character: Virtue Ethics and the Legal Admissibility of Character Evidence.Jacob Smith & Georgi Gardiner - 2021 - Philosophical Issues 31 (1):334-354.
    Many jurisdictions prohibit or severely restrict the use of evidence about a defendant’s character to prove legal culpability. Situationists, who argue that conduct is largely determined by situational features rather than by character, can easily defend this prohibition. According to situationism, character evidence is misleading or paltry. -/- Proscriptions on character evidence seem harder to justify, however, on virtue ethical accounts. It appears that excluding character evidence either denies the centrality of character for explaining conduct—the situationist position—or omits probative evidence. (...)
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  17. What is a Situation?Mercedes Valmisa - 2021 - In Livia Kohn (ed.), Coming to Terms with Timelessness. Daoist Time in Comparative Perspective. Three Pine Press. pp. 26-49.
    This paper leads us in reflections regarding the ontological status of a situation inspired by two main sources: the Zhuangzi--a multifarious compilation from Warring States China (ca. 4th c. BCE)--and José Ortega y Gasset's (1883-1955) Unas Lecciones de Metafísica (Some Lessons in Metaphysics)--the transcripts of a course on metaphysics by a Spanish philosopher of the early 20th century. Much as other ontologically subjective entities and events, situations do not preexist the intentional subject: instead, they are created alongside our act of (...)
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  18. Epistemic Foundations of Salience-Based Coordination.Vojtěch Zachník - 2021 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 4 (28):819-844.
    This paper aims to assess current theoretical findings on the origin of coordination by salience and suggests a way to clarify the existing framework. The main concern is to reveal how different coordination mechanisms rely on specific epistemic aspects of reasoning. The paper highlights the fact that basic epistemic assumptions of theories diverge in a way that makes them essentially distinctive. Consequently, recommendations and predictions of the traditional views of coordination by salience are, in principle, based on the processes related (...)
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  19. Silence & Salience: On Being Judgmental.Neal Tognazzini - 2020 - In Sebastian Schmidt & Gerhard Ernst (eds.), The Ethics of Belief and Beyond: Understanding Mental Normativity. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. pp. 256-269.
    This chapter explores the concept of judgmentalism: what it is and why it’s morally problematic. After criticizing an account offered by Gary Watson, the paper argues for a broader understanding of what it is to be judgmental, encompassing not just the overall beliefs that we form about someone else, but also the very pattern of our thoughts about those with whom we are involved in interpersonal relationships. The thesis is that to care about someone is to be oriented toward them, (...)
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  20. Bilateral Symmetry Strengthens the Perceptual Salience of Figure against Ground.Birgitta Dresp-Langley - 2019 - Symmetry 2 (11):225-250.
    Although symmetry has been discussed in terms of a major law of perceptual organization since the early conceptual efforts of the Gestalt school (Wertheimer, Metzger, Koffka and others), the first quantitative measurements testing for effects of symmetry on processes of Gestalt formation have seen the day only recently. In this study, a psychophysical rating study and a “foreground”-“background” choice response time experiment were run with human observers to test for effects of bilateral symmetry on the perceived strength of figure-ground in (...)
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  21. Lingering stereotypes: Salience bias in philosophical argument.Eugen Fischer & Paul E. Engelhardt - 2019 - Mind and Language 35 (4):415-439.
    Many philosophical thought experiments and arguments involve unusual cases. We present empirical reasons to doubt the reliability of intuitive judgments and conclusions about such cases. Inferences and intuitions prompted by verbal case descriptions are influenced by routine comprehension processes which invoke stereotypes. We build on psycholinguistic findings to determine conditions under which the stereotype associated with the most salient sense of a word predictably supports inappropriate inferences from descriptions of unusual (stereotype-divergent) cases. We conduct an experiment that combines plausibility ratings (...)
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  22. Eyes as windows to minds: Psycholinguistics for experimental philosophy.Eugen Fischer & Paul E. Engelhardt - 2019 - In Eugen Fischer & Mark Curtis (eds.), Methodological Advances in Experimental Philosophy. London, UK: Bloomsbury. pp. 43-100.
    Psycholinguistic methods hold great promise for experimental philosophy. Many philosophical thought experiments and arguments proceed from verbal descriptions of possible cases. Many relevant intuitions and conclusions are driven by spontaneous inferences about what else must also be true in the cases described. Such inferences are continually made in language comprehension and production. This chapter explains how methods from psycholinguistics can be employed to study such routine automatic inferences, with a view to assessing intuitions and reconstructing arguments. We demonstrate how plausibility (...)
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  23. Can Representationism Explain how Attention Affects Appearances?Sebastian Watzl - 2019 - In Adam Pautz & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Blockheads! Essays on Ned Block’s Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness. Boston, USA: The MIT Press. pp. 481-607.
    Recent psychological research shows that attention affects appearances. An “attended item looks bigger, faster, earlier, more saturated, stripier.” (Block 2010, p. 41). What is the significance of these findings? Ned Block has argued that they undermine representationism, roughly the view that the phenomenal character of perception is determined by its representational content. My first goal in this paper is to show that Block’s argument has the structure of a Problem of Arbitrary Phenomenal Variation and that it improves on other instances (...)
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  24. Responsibility and vigilance.Samuel Murray - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (2):507-527.
    My primary target in this paper is a puzzle that emerges from the conjunction of several seemingly innocent assumptions in action theory and the metaphysics of moral responsibility. The puzzle I have in mind is this. On one widely held account of moral responsibility, an agent is morally responsible only for those actions or outcomes over which that agent exercises control. Recently, however, some have cited cases where agents appear to be morally responsible without exercising any control. This leads some (...)
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  25. Salience, Imagination, and Moral Luck.Nathan Stout - 2017 - Philosophical Papers 46 (2):297-313.
    One key desideratum of a theory of blame is that it be able to explain why we typically have differing blaming responses in cases involving significant degrees of luck. T.M. Scanlon has proposed a relational account of blame, and he has argued that his account succeeds in this regard and that this success makes his view preferable to reactive attitude accounts of blame. In this paper, I aim to show that Scanlon's view is open to a different kind of luck-based (...)
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  26. The phenomenology of attitudes and the salience of rational role and determination.Fabian Dorsch - 2016 - Philosophical Explorations 19 (2):114-137.
    The recent debate on cognitive phenomenology has largely focused on phenomenal aspects connected to the content of thoughts. By contrasts, aspects pertaining to their attitude have often been neglected, despite the fact that they are distinctive of the mental kind of thought concerned and, moreover, also present in experiences and thus less contentious than purely cognitive aspects. My main goal is to identify two central and closely related aspects of attitude that are phenomenologically salient and shared by thoughts with experiences, (...)
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  27. Salience and Epistemic Egocentrism: An Empirical Study.Joshua Alexander, Chad Gonnerman & John Waterman - 2014 - In James Beebe (ed.), Advances in Experimental Epistemology. Continuum. pp. 97-117.
    Jennifer Nagel (2010) has recently proposed a fascinating account of the decreased tendency to attribute knowledge in conversational contexts in which unrealized possibilities of error have been mentioned. Her account appeals to epistemic egocentrism, or what is sometimes called the curse of knowledge, an egocentric bias to attribute our own mental states to other people (and sometimes our own future and past selves). Our aim in this paper is to investigate the empirical merits of Nagel’s hypothesis about the psychology involved (...)
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  28. What Is the Role of Consciousness in Demonstrative Thought?Declan Smithies - 2011 - Journal of Philosophy 108 (1):5-34.
    Perception enables us to think demonstrative thoughts about the world around us, but what must perception be like in order to play this role? Does perception enable demonstrative thought only if it is conscious? This paper examines three accounts of the role of consciousness in demonstrative thought, which agree that consciousness is essential for demonstrative thought, but disagree about why it is. First, I consider and reject the accounts proposed by Gareth Evans in The Varieties of Reference and by John (...)
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  29. 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.
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  30. Knowledge as Credit for True Belief.John Greco - 2003 - In Michael DePaul & Linda Zagzebski (eds.), Intellectual Virtue: Perspectives From Ethics and Epistemology. Clarendon Press. pp. 111-134.
    The paper begins by reviewing two problems for fallibilism: the lottery problem, or the problem of explaining why fallible evidence, though otherwise excellent, is not enough to know that one will lose the lottery, and Gettier problems. It is then argued that both problems can be resolved if we note an important illocutionary force of knowledge attributions: namely, that when we attribute knowledge to someone we mean to give the person credit for getting things right. Alternatively, to say that a (...)
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