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An Agent of Attention: An Inquiry into the Source of Our Control

Dissertation, University of Toronto (2019)

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  1. Attention.Christopher Mole - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • What is Attention? Adverbialist Theories.Christopher Mole & Aaron Henry - forthcoming - WIREs Cognitive Science.
    This article presents theories of attention that attempt to derive their answer to the question of what attention is from their answers to the question of what it is for some activity to be done attentively. Such theories provide a distinctive account of the difficulties that are faced by the attempt to locate processes in the brain by which the phenomena of attention can be explained. Their account does not share the pessimism of theories suggesting that the concept of attention (...)
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  • Drifting and Directed Minds: The Significance of Mind-Wandering for Mental Agency.Zachary C. Irving - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (11):614-644.
    Perhaps the central question in action theory is this: what ingredient of bodily action is missing in mere behavior? But what is an analogous question for mental action? I ask this: what ingredient of active, goal-directed thought is missing in mind-wandering? My answer: attentional guidance. Attention is guided when you would feel pulled back from distractions. In contrast, mind-wandering drifts between topics unchecked. My unique starting point motivates new accounts of four central topics about mental action. First, its causal basis. (...)
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