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Attention is Rational-Access Consciousness

In Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies & Wayne Wu (eds.), Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 247--273 (2011)

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  1. Combining Minds: A Defence of the Possibility of Experiential Combination.Luke Roelofs - 2015 - Dissertation, University of Toronto
    This thesis explores the possibility of composite consciousness: phenomenally conscious states belonging to a composite being in virtue of the consciousness of, and relations among, its parts. We have no trouble accepting that a composite being has physical properties entirely in virtue of the physical properties of, and relations among, its parts. But a long­standing intuition holds that consciousness is different: my consciousness cannot be understood as a complex of interacting component consciousnesses belonging to parts of me. I ask why: (...)
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  • Can Representationism Explain How Attention Affects Appearances?Sebastian Watzl - forthcoming - In Adam Pautz & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Themes from Block. Boston, USA: The MIT Press.
    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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  • Acquaintance, Conceptual Capacities, and Attention.Anders Nes - forthcoming - In Jonathan Knowles & Thomas Raleigh (eds.), Acquaintance: New Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Russell’s theory of acquaintance construes perceptual awareness as at once constitutively independent of conceptual thought and yet a source of propositional knowledge. Wilfrid Sellars, John McDowell, and other conceptualists object that this is a ‘myth’: perception can be a source of knowledge only if conceptual capacities are already in play therein. Proponents of a relational view of experience, including John Campbell, meanwhile voice sympathy for Russell’s position on this point. This paper seeks to spell out, and defend, a claim that (...)
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  • Understanding Visual Consciousness in Autism Spectrum Disorders.Tal Yatziv & Hilla Jacobson - 2015 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9.
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  • The Rational Role of Experience.David Bourget - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (5-6):467-493.
    If there is content that we reason on, cognitive content, it is in the head and accessible to reasoning mechanisms. This paper discusses the phenomenal theory of cognitive content, according to which cognitive contents are the contents of phenomenal consciousness. I begin by distinguishing cognitive content from the closely associated notion of narrow content. I then argue, drawing on prior work, that the phenomenal theory can plausibly account for the cognitive contents of many relatively simple mental states. My main focus (...)
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  • Attention, Psychology, and Pluralism.Henry Taylor - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):935-956.
    There is an overriding orthodoxy amongst philosophers that attention is a ‘unified phenomenon’, subject to explanation by one monistic theory. In this article, I examine whether this philosophical orthodoxy is reflected in the practice of psychology. I argue that the view of attention that best represents psychological work is a variety of conceptual pluralism. When it comes to the psychology of attention, monism should be rejected and pluralism should be embraced. _1_ The Monistic Consensus _2_ The Varieties of Pluralism _3_ (...)
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  • Horizonal Extensions of Attention: A Phenomenological Study of the Contextuality and Habituality of Experience.Thiemo Breyer & Maren Wehrle - 2016 - Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 47 (1):41-61.
    Attention is a complex process that modulates perception in various ways. Phenomenological philosophy provides an array of concepts for describing the rich structures of attention, thereby avoiding reductions to singular aspects of an experiential spectrum. By suggesting various modes and levels of attentional experience, we intend to do some justice to its complexity, taking into account sub-personal and personal factors on the side of subjective horizons and feature-oriented as well as context-oriented aspects on the side of objective horizons.
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  • The Role of Consciousness in Grasping and Understanding.David Bourget - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):285-318.
    One sometimes believes a proposition without grasping it. For example, a complete achromat might believe that ripe tomatoes are red without grasping this proposition. My aim in this paper is to shed light on the difference between merely believing a proposition and grasping it. I focus on two possible theories of grasping: the inferential theory, which explains grasping in terms of inferential role, and the phenomenal theory, which explains grasping in terms of phenomenal consciousness. I argue that the phenomenal theory (...)
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  • Mind-Wandering is Unguided Attention: Accounting for the “Purposeful” Wanderer.Zachary C. Irving - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (2):547-571.
    Although mind-wandering occupies up to half of our waking thoughts, it is seldom discussed in philosophy. My paper brings these neglected thoughts into focus. I propose that mind-wandering is unguided attention. Guidance in my sense concerns how attention is monitored and regulated as it unfolds over time. Roughly speaking, someone’s attention is guided if she would feel pulled back, were she distracted from her current focus. Because our wandering thoughts drift unchecked from topic to topic, they are unguided. One motivation (...)
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  • Pollard on Habits of Action.Christos Douskos - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (4):504-524.
    Bill Pollard has recently developed an account of habits of action, endeavoring to rehabilitate the traditional notion of habit in a way that can be used to address current philosophical concerns. I argue that Pollard’s account has important shortcomings. The account is intended to apply indiscriminately to both habitual and skilled acts, but this overlooks crucial distinctions. Moreover, Pollard’s account fails to do justice to the various ways in which the idea of habit figures in the explanation and assessment of (...)
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  • Attention Is Amplification, Not Selection.Peter Fazekas & Bence Nanay - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy065.
    We argue that recent empirical findings and theoretical models shed new light on the nature of attention. According to the resulting amplification view, attentional phenomena can be unified at the neural level as the consequence of the amplification of certain input signals of attention-independent perceptual computations. This way of identifying the core realizer of attention evades standard criticisms often raised against sub-personal accounts of attention. Moreover, this approach also reframes our thinking about the function of attention by shifting the focus (...)
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  • La atención y los límites de la experiencia consciente.Francisco Pereira - 2015 - Filosofia Unisinos 16 (2):145-163.
    La concepción fenomenológica del sentido común inspirada por James sostiene que atender es esencialmente un fenómeno mental consciente. Las implicancias filosóficas modales de esta tesis sobre la naturaleza de la atención son claras. No es posible atender una cosa, sin ser consciente de ella. Sobre la base de estudios clásicos en torno a patologías visuales como la vista ciega y a experimentos recientes con sujetos no patológicos, este artículo argumenta que la conclusión filosófica jamesiana acerca de la metafísica de la (...)
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  • A Dilemma for ‘Selection‐for‐Action’.Denis Buehler - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):139-149.
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  • Wonder and Value.Kevin Patrick Tobia - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (4):959-984.
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  • Against Unifying Accounts of Attention.J. Henry Taylor - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (1):39-56.
    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, (...)
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  • Kant on Consciousness, Obscure Representations and Cognitive Availability.Yibin Liang - 2017 - Philosophical Forum 48 (4):345-368.
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