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The phenomenal contribution of attention

Mitchell, Jonathan 2022. The phenomenal contribution of attention. Inquiry 10.1080/0020174X.2022.2107061
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Strong or Pure Intentionalism is the view that the phenomenal character of a conscious experience is exhaustively determined by its intentional content. Contrastingly, impure intentionalism holds that there are also non content-based aspects or features which contribute to phenomenal character. Conscious attention is one such feature: arguably its contribution to the phenomenal character of a given conscious experience are not exhaustively captured in terms of what that experience represents, that is in terms of properties of its intentional object. This paper attempts to get clearer on the phenomenal contribution of conscious attention. In doing so it considers and sets aside two prominent impure intentionalist accounts, namely the Phenomenal Structure view of Sebastien Watzl, and the Demonstrative Awareness view of Wayne Wu. As an alternative I outline a Modification view, which draws on ideas in Husserlian phenomenology. On this view, we should think of the phenomenal contribution of conscious attention in terms of attentive modifications of what I call a ‘pre-attentive phenomenal field’. I develop this view and highlight its benefits over alternatives.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1502-3923
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 September 2022
Date of Acceptance: 25 July 2022
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 13:41

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