Attention, Salience, and the Phenomenology of Visual Experience

In Sophie Archer (ed.), Salience: A Philosophical Inquiry. London, UK: pp. 24-49 (2022)
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Both introspection and empirical studies suggest that visual attention can affect the phenomenology of our visual experience. However, the exact character of such effects is far from clear. My aim in this chapter is to spell out the main difficulties involved in attempting to achieve a clearer view of these effects, and to make some suggestions as to how we can make progress with this issue while avoiding tempting mistakes. I do this by discussing the question of whether there is a sense in which attention to a seen object can be said to contribute to the object’s visual phenomenal salience. It is often suggested that focusing visual attention on a seen object renders the object phenomenally salient. I look at potential evidence for this suggestion, and consider what form, if any, of visual phenomenal salience it may support.



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Hemdat Lerman
University of Warwick

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References found in this work

Attention and mental paint1.Ned Block - 2010 - Philosophical Issues 20 (1):23-63.
Attention as Structuring of the Stream of Consciousness.Sebastian Watzl - 2011 - In Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies & Wayne Wu (eds.), Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 145.
Setting things before the mind.Michael G. F. Martin - 1998 - In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Current Issues in Philosophy of Mind. Cambridge University Press. pp. 157--179.
Against intentionalism.Bernard Nickel - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 136 (3):279-304.

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