Attention & Inscrutability: A Commentary on John Campbell, Reference and Consciousness for the Pacific APA Meeting, Pasadena, California, 2004
Author: Clark, Austen
Source: Philosophical Studies, Volume 127, Number 2, January 2006 , pp. 167-193(27)
Abstract:We assemble here in this time and place to discuss the thesis that conscious attention can provide knowledge of reference of perceptual demonstratives. I shall focus my commentary on what this claim means, and on the main argument for it found in the first five chapters of Reference and Consciousness. The middle term of that argument is an account of what attention does: what its job or function is. There is much that is admirable in this account, and I am confident that it will be the foundation, the launching-pad, for much future work on the subject. But in the end I will argue that Campbell’s picture makes the mechanisms of attention too smart: smarter than they are, smarter than they could be. If we come to a more realistic appraisal of the skills and capacities of our sub-personal minions, the “knowledge of reference” which they yield will have to be taken down a notch or two.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Email: email@example.com
Publication date: January 2006