Conceptualizing intellectual attention

Theory & Psychology 1:1-14 (2019)
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Abstract

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 to keep this distinction in mind, we are still faced with the problem of specifying what makes intellectual attention distinct from perceptual attention. In the second half of this article, I discuss the range of proposals about how to understand intellectual attention that are present in the literature, and the problems with them. I do this with the aim of stimulating further discussion about how best to conceptualize intellectual attention, although I do not settle that further question within this paper.

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Mark Fortney
Dalhousie University

Citations of this work

Attention.Christopher Mole - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Epistemology of Attention.Catharine Saint-Croix - forthcoming - In Kurt Sylvan, Ernest Sosa, Jonathan Dancy & Matthias Steup (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Epistemology, 3rd edition. Wiley Blackwell.
The Many Faces of Attention: why precision optimization is not attention.Madeleine Ransom & Sina Fazelpour - 2020 - In Dina Mendonça, Manuel Curado & Steven S. Gouveia (eds.), The Philosophy and Science of Predictive Processing. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 119-139.
Non-standard Emotions and Aesthetic Understanding.Irene Martínez Marín - 2020 - Estetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics 2 (57):135–49.

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References found in this work

On a confusion about a function of consciousness.Ned Block - 1995 - Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Mental Files.François Récanati - 2012 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The Principles of Psychology.William James - 1890 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 11 (3):506-507.

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