Philosophy of Attention
A seminar for M.A. and advanced B.A. students
Session 1: "Beyond brain mechanisms"
Session 2: "Attention is amplification, not selection"
Session 3: "The subject of attention"
Session 4: "Selection effects" + "Attention norms"
Session 5: "The ethics of attention"
Session 6: "Virtue and salience"
Session 7: "Attentional moral perception"
Session 8: "Attention, action and responsibility"
Session 9: "Beyond appearances"
Session 10: "Consciousness without attention"
Session 11: "Joint attention and perceptual experience"
Session 12: "Free will and Necker’s cube"
Session 13: "Do we reflect when we perform skilful actions?"
Bruya, B., ed. (2010). Effortless attention (a collection of essays on skilled action, flow and top-down control).
Fisher, Kane, Pereboom & Vargas (2007). Four Views of Free Will.
Lucas Battich's Ph.D. dissertation, The Nature of Joint Attention: Perception and Other Minds.
Friedenberg & Silverman (2016), Ch. 11: "The social approach: Mind as society" (joint attention is discussed in pp.12-14 of the pdf, but the whole chapter is interesting).
Change blindness demo
Iconic memory demos:
Illustration of high & low frequency filters
Moral Machine (participate in a trolley dilemma online experiment)
Studies on moral pop-out and binocular rivalry:
Anderson et al (2011). "The visual impact of gossip"
Gantman & Van Bavel (2014). "The moral pop-out effect"
Studies on eye-tracking and moral dilemmas:
Decety, J., et al (2012). "The contribution of emotion and cognition to moral sensitivity"
Garon et al (2018). "Visual encoding of social cues predicts sociomoral reasoning"
Garon et al (2018). "Visual encoding of social cues contributes to moral reasoning in Autism Spectrum Disorder"
Kastner, R. (2011). "Moral judgments and visual attention"
Skulmowski, A., et al (2014). "Forced-choice decision-making in modified trolley dilemma situations"
Studies on cheating and generosity:
Hochman et al (2016). "Biased processing and increased arousal in dishonest responses."
Rahal et al (2020). "Prosocial preferences condition decision effort and ingroup biased generosity in intergroup decision-making"
Teoh et al (2020). "Attentional priorities drive effects of time pressure on altruistic choice"
Project Implicit (detect your own unconscious biases)
Siegel, S. (2017). The Rationality of Perception.
Sripada, C. (2018). "An exploration/exploitation trade-off between mind- wandering and goal-directed thinking."
Mole, C. & Henry, A. (2017), “What is attention? Adverbialist theories”
Reynolds, J.H. & Heeger, D.J. (2009). “The normalization model of attention.”
Watzl, S. (2011), “Attention as structuring the stream of consciousness”
Wu, W. (2011). “Attention as selection for action”
Why should you care about attention?
Sebastian Watzl, “Who needs a theory of attention?”
Clinton Castro & Adam Pham, “Is the economy of attention noxious?”
C. O. Evans, “Free will and attention”
Dan Goleman, “Attention regulates emotion: Focus and self control”
The philosophical landscape:
Attention (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry)
The science of attention:
Grace W. Lindsay, “Attention in psychology, neuroscience and machine learning.”
Handouts & slides:
1. Why do we need a philosophy of attention?
2. The Amplification View of attention
3. Attention as a process we control
4. Epistemic norms of attention + Slides
5. Towards an ethics of attention + Isabel's slides
6. Salience as an indicator of virtue + Thomas' slides
7. How attention might pick up moral difference-makers
8. The role of attention in action, responsibility and free will +
9. How attention alters consciousness
10. Is there consciousness outside attention?
11. Beyond individual attention + Anpeng's slides
12. Attention and free will slides
13. Attention in skilful action + Fabian's slides
Bonus: Wrapping-up slides