The Epistemology of Attention

In Kurt Sylvan, Ernest Sosa, Jonathan Dancy & Matthias Steup (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Epistemology, 3rd edition. Wiley Blackwell (forthcoming)
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Root, branch, and blossom, attention is intertwined with epistemology. It is essential to our capacity to learn and decisive of the evidence we obtain, it influences the intellectual connections we forge and those we remember, and it is the cognitive tool whereby we enact decisions about inquiry. Moreover, because it is both an epistemic practice and a site of agency, attention is a natural locus for questions about epistemic morality. This article surveys the emerging epistemology of attention, reviewing the existing literature and sketching avenues for future investigation. It also argues for a reorientation of epistemology itself. This argument is the focus of Section 1. Section 2 briefly reviews philosophical accounts of attention, Section 3 focuses on issues in traditional, individualistic epistemology, and Section 4 turns to social epistemology.



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Catharine (Cat) Saint-Croix
University of Minnesota

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Echo chambers and epistemic bubbles.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - Episteme 17 (2):141-161.
Elusive knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
Epistemic norms on evidence-gathering.Carolina Flores & Elise Woodard - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (9):2547-2571.
The Sovereignty of Good.Iris Murdoch - 1970 - New York,: Schocken Books.

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