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Attention

By Wayne Wu

Routledge – 2014 – 314 pages

Series: New Problems of Philosophy

Purchasing Options:

  • Add to CartPaperback: $37.95
    978-0-415-53224-2
    April 15th 2014
  • Add to CartHardback: $155.00
    978-0-415-53222-8
    April 30th 2014

Description

Attention is a fundamental feature of the mind yet has languished in the backwaters of philosophy. Recent years, however, have witnessed a resurgence of philosophical interest in attention, driven by recognition that it is closely connected to consciousness, perception, agency, thought, justification and introspection. As is becoming clear, attention has a rich philosophical significance.

This is the first book to provide a systematic overview and assessment of different empirical and philosophical aspects of attention. Wayne Wu discusses the following central topics and problems:

  • major experiments and theories of attention in psychology since the 1950s
  • the neuroscience of attention, including basic mechanisms and models
  • attention’s intimate relation to agency
  • the phenomenology of attention
  • attention as a gatekeeper for consciousness
  • attention as the basis for perception-based thought about objects
  • the role of attention in the justification of belief
  • attention in introspection of consciousness.

A key feature of the book is its skilful analysis of the empirical work on attention, and how this relates to philosophy. Additional features include chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary, making this an ideal starting point for anyone studying attention for the first time, as well as being suitable for more advanced students and researchers in psychology, cognitive science, and philosophy.

Reviews

"A masterful survey of current work on attention, at once highly informative and readily accessible. It covers all the main current theories and empirical findings about how attention operates, its neural underpinnings, and its ties with agency, perception, cognition, and consciousness, adding much that is novel and challenging. This will be rich and rewarding reading for anybody curious about attention and the mind generally, and a must for anybody in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, and cognitive science." - David Rosenthal, Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA

"A ground-breaking exploration of what happens when we attend to things, Attention provides a thorough and original examination of the nature and functions of attention and its relationship to classical problems in philosophy and psychology. If you read only one book on attention this year, make it this one." - Berit Brogaard, University of Missouri, St. Louis, USA

Contents

Introduction 1. The Psychology of Attention 2. The Neuroscience of Attention 3. Attention and the Metaphysics of Agency 4. Attention and Phenomenology 5. Attention as the Gatekeeper of Consciousness: Inattentional Blindness 6. Attention as the Gatekeeper of Consciousness: Cognitive Access 7. Attention and Demonstrative Thought 8. The Epistemic Role of Attention Conclusion Appendix: Shannon Information Theory. Index

Author Bio

Wayne Wu is Associate Professor in and Associate Director of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University, USA.

Name: Attention (Paperback)Routledge 
Description: By Wayne Wu. Attention is a fundamental feature of the mind yet has languished in the backwaters of philosophy. Recent years, however, have witnessed a resurgence of philosophical interest in attention, driven by recognition that it is closely connected to...
Categories: Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Psychology, Cognitive Psychology