The Attending Mind

New York: Cambridge University Press (2020)
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Abstract

Attention is essential to the life of the mind, a central topic in cognitive science, neuroscience, and psychology. Traditional debates in philosophy stand to benefit from greater understanding of the phenomenon, whether on the nature of the self, the foundation of knowledge, the natural basis of consciousness, or the origins of action and responsibility. This book is at the crossroads of philosophy of mind and cognitive science, offering a new theoretical stance on the concept of attention and how it intersects with other functions of the mind, such as perception, consciousness, and action. It presents attention as directed by a subject, essential for perception, but not consciousness or action. By taking seriously the existence of a subject it stands against current trends in philosophy and cognitive science. This book offers an account of the subject and its role in attention that will both help motivate a subject-centered account and avoid some of the common criticisms regarding its existence. It engages with work by many philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists, including Block, Campbell, Dickie, Husserl, James, Koch, Mack and Rock, Merleau-Ponty, Treisman, and Wu.

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Carolyn Dicey Jennings
University of California, Merced