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The Centre and Periphery of Conscious Thought

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This paper is about whether shifts in attention can alter what it is like to think. I begin by taking up the hypothesis that attention structures consciousness into a centre and a periphery, following Watzl's (2014; 2017) understanding of the distinction between the centre and periphery of the field of consciousness. Then I show that introspection leads to divided results about whether attention structures conscious thought into a centre and a periphery -- remarks by Martin (1997) and Phillips (2012) suggest a negative answer, whereas remarks by Maher (1923) and Chudnoff (2013) suggest a positive answer. Lastly, I argue that there is behavioural evidence that lends weight to the 'yes' side of the introspective dispute. My argument makes use of Hugh Garavan's (1998) study of forming and maintaining two mental counts at once.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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