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Mark Fortney
University of Toronto at Scarborough
  1. Unity in the Scientific Study of Intellectual Attention.Mark Fortney - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):444-459.
    I argue that using information from a cognitive representation to guide the performance of a primary task is sufficient for intellectual attention, and that this account of attention is endorsed by scientists working in the refreshing, n-back, and retro-cue paradigms. I build on the work of Wayne Wu, who developed a similarly motivated account, but for perceptual attention rather than intellectual attention. The way that I build on Wu’s account provides a principled way of responding to Watzl’s challenge to Wu, (...)
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  2. The Centre and Periphery of Conscious Thought.Mark Fortney - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (3-4):112-136.
    This paper is about whether shifts in attention can alter what it is like to think. I begin by taking up the hypothesis that attention structures consciousness into a centre and a periphery, following Watzl's (2014; 2017) understanding of the distinction between the centre and periphery of the field of consciousness. Then I show that introspection leads to divided results about whether attention structures conscious thought into a centre and a periphery -- remarks by Martin (1997) and Phillips (2012) suggest (...)
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  3. Conceptualizing Intellectual Attention.Mark Fortney - 2019 - Theory & Psychology 1:1-14.
    Remembering that there’s a difference between intellectual and perceptual attention can help us avoid miscommunication due to meaning different things by the same terms, which has been a particular problem during the last hundred years or so of the study of attention. I demonstrate this through analyzing in depth one such miscommunication that occurred in a philosophical criticism of the influential psychological text, Inattentional Blindness. But after making the distinction between perceptual attention and intellectual attention, and after making an effort (...)
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  4.  89
    Buddhaghosa, James, and Thompson on Conscious Flow.Mark Fortney - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    This paper is about whether consciousness flows. Evan Thompson (2014) has recently claimed that the study of binocular rivalry shows that there are some moments where consciousness does not flow, contra William James (1890). Moreover, he’s claimed that Abhidharma philosophers reject James’s claim that consciousness flows. I argue that binocular rivalry poses no special challenge to James. Second, I argue that because Thompson did not take up the question of how James and Abhidharma philosophers analyse or define flow, he under-described (...)
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  5.  48
    Evans on Intellectual Attention and Memory Demonstratives.Mark Fortney - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Intellectual attention, like perceptual attention, is a special mode of mental engagement with the world. When we attend intellectually, rather than making use of sensory information we make use of the kind of information that shows up in occurent thought, memory, and the imagination (Chun, Golomb, & Turk-Browne, 2011). In this paper, I argue that reflecting on what it is like to comprehend memory demonstratives speaks in favour of the view that intellectual attention is required to understand memory demonstratives. Moreover, (...)
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  6. Universal Hinges and the Bounds of Sense.Mark Fortney - 2019 - Philosophia:1-13.
    According to Danièle Moyal-Sharrock, Wittgenstein’s On Certainty presents a theory of hinges, and hinges have a role to play in a foundationalist epistemology (2013). Michael Williams (2005) and Annalisa Coliva (2013 ) have claimed that the hinges are not suitable to play such a role as they are not shared universally. Moyal-Sharrock has replied that a subset of the hinges is suitable to play such a role: the “universal” hinges. I argue that for Moyal-Sharrock’s reply to be sustained, she must (...)
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