•  253
    Toward a neurophysiological foundation for altered states of consciousness
    with Shadab Tabatabaeian
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41. 2018.
    Singh's cultural evolutionary theory posits that methods of inducing shamanic altered states of consciousness differ, resulting in profoundly different cognitive states. We argue that, despite different methods of induction, altered states of consciousness share neurophysiological features and cause shared cognitive and behavioral effects. This common foundation enables further cross-cultural comparison of shamanic activities that is currently left out of Singh's theory.
  •  219
    Action without attention
    Analysis 76 (1): 29-36. 2016.
    Wayne Wu argues that attention is necessary for action: since action requires a solution to the ‘Many–Many Problem’, and since only attention can solve the Many–Many Problem, attention is necessary for action. We question the first of these two steps and argue that it is based on an oversimplified distinction between actions and reflexes. We argue for a more complex typology of behaviours where one important category is action that does not require a solution to the Many–Many Problem, and so doe…Read more
  •  165
    Attention and perceptual organization
    Philosophical Studies 172 (5): 1265-1278. 2015.
    How does attention contribute to perceptual experience? Within cognitive science, attention is known to contribute to the organization of sensory features into perceptual objects, or “object-based organization.” The current paper tackles a different type of organization and thus suggests a different role for attention in conscious perception. Within every perceptual experience we find that more subjectively interesting percepts stand out in the foreground, whereas less subjectively interesting p…Read more
  •  129
    The subject of attention
    Synthese 189 (3): 535-554. 2012.
    The absence of a common understanding of attention plagues current research on the topic. Combining the findings from three domains of research on attention, this paper presents a univocal account that fits normal use of the term as well as its many associated phenomena: attention is a process of mental selection that is within the control of the subject. The role of the subject is often excluded from naturalized accounts, but this paper will be an exception to that rule. The paper aims to show …Read more
  •  78
    It takes two: Ethical dualism in the vegetative state
    Neuroethics 2 (3): 125-136. 2009.
    To aid neuroscientists in determining the ethical limits of their work and its applications, neuroethical problems need to be identified, catalogued, and analyzed from the standpoint of an ethical framework. Many hospitals have already established either autonomy or welfare-centered theories as their adopted ethical framework. Unfortunately, the choice of an ethical framework resists resolution: each of these two moral theories claims priority at the exclusion of the other, but for patients with…Read more
  •  71
    The Diversity and Inclusivity Survey: Final Report
    with Regino Fronda, M. A. Hunter, Zoe Johnson King, Aubrey Spivey, and Sharai Wilson
    APA Grants. 2019.
    In 2018 Academic Placement Data and Analysis ran a survey of doctoral students and recent graduates on the topics of diversity and inclusivity in collaboration with the Graduate Student Council and Data Task Force of the American Philosophical Association. We submitted a preliminary report in Fall 2018 that describes the origins and procedure of the survey [1]. This is our final report on the survey. We first discuss the demographic profile of our survey participants and compare it to the United…Read more
  •  47
    You have thoughts, feelings and desires. You remember your past and imagine your future. Sometimes you make a special effort, other times you are content to simply relax. All of these things are true about you. But do you exist? Is your sense of self an illusion, or is there something in the world that we can point to and say: ‘Ah, yes – that is you’? If you are familiar with the contemporary science of mind, you will know that the concept of a substantive self, separate from the mere experience…Read more
  •  41
    Peak human performance—whether of Olympic athletes, Nobel prize winners, or Carnegie Hall musicians—depends on skill. Skill is at the heart of what it means to excel. Yet, the fixity of skilled behavior can sometimes make it seem a lower-level activity, more akin to the movements of an invertebrate or a machine. Experts in multiple domains have described what they do as sometimes “automatic.” Expert gamers describe themselves as “playing with” automaticity (Taylor and Elam 2018). Expert musician…Read more
  •  40
    Consciousness Without Attention
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2): 276--295. 2015.
    This paper explores whether consciousness can exist without attention. This is a hot topic in philosophy of mind and cognitive science due to the popularity of theories that hold attention to be necessary for consciousness. The discovery of a form of consciousness that exists without the influence of attention would require a change in the way that many global workspace theorists, for example, understand the role and function of consciousness. Against this understanding, at least three forms of …Read more
  •  39
    Playing Nice and Teaching Good
    Philosophy Now 63 6-7. 2007.
  •  36
    Inductive parsimony and the Methodological Argument
    Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2): 605-609. 2012.
    Studies on so-called Change Blindness and Inattentional Blindness have been taken to establish the claim that conscious perception of a stimulus requires the attentional processing of that stimulus. One might contend, against this claim, that the evidence only shows attention to be necessary for the subject to have access to the contents of conscious perception and not for conscious perception itself. This “Methodological Argument” is gaining ground among philosophers who work on attention and c…Read more
  •  27
    Attention by Wayne Wu (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 11. 2014.
    Like many who work on attention, Wu takes William James as an anchor point, concluding, "So, James was right" (274). In fact, this book can be seen as a continuation of James' project -- as with James' "Attention," Wu's book provides an extensive review of current research on attention.[1] In fact, he engages at length with an impressive amount of work in contemporary philosophy and science, mentioning 10 such researchers – Ned Block, John Campbell, Marisa Carrasco, David Chalmers, David Marr, C…Read more
  •  24
    Re-thinking the active-passive distinction in attention from a philosophical viewpoint
    with Takeo Watanabe
    Journal of Vision 10 (218). 2010.
    Whether active and passive, top-down and bottom-up, or endogenous and exogenous, attention is typically divided into two types. To show the relationship between attention and other functions (sleep, memory, learning), one needs to show whether the type of attention in question is of the active or passive variety. However, the division between active and passive is not sharp in any area of consciousness research. In phenomenology, the experience of voluntariness is taken to indicate activity, but…Read more
  •  24
    We present several quantitative analyses of the prevalence and visibility of women in moral, political, and social philosophy, compared to other areas of philosophy, and how the situation has changed over time. Measures include faculty lists from the Philosophical Gourmet Report, PhD job placement data from the Academic Placement Data and Analysis project, the National Science Foundation's Survey of Earned Doctorates, conference programs of the American Philosophical Association, authorship in e…Read more
  •  22
  •  14
    Academic Placement Data and Analysis: 2017 Final Report
    with Patrice Cobb, Pablo Contreras Kallens, and Angelo Kyrilov
    APA Grant Funds: Previously Funded Projects. 2017.
    Academic Placement Data and Analysis (APDA) has released its complete 2017 Final Report, an 81-page document that collects data on PhD-granting philosophy programs (including ratings by former students, placement rates, and diversity) and the discipline as a whole (including hiring networks, placement maps, cluster analyses of programs, job descriptions, non-academic hiring). The report was created by Carolyn Dicey Jennings, Patrice Cobb, Pablo Contreras Kallens, and Angelo Kyrilov, all of Unive…Read more
  •  12
    The Standard Theory of Conscious Perception
    Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. 2015.
    In this paper I argue that the prioritization of sensory input by top-down attention is constitutive of and essential to conscious perception. Specifically, I argue that top-down attention is required to provide informational integration at the level of the subject, which can be contrasted with integration at the level of features and objects. Since the informational content of conscious perception requires integration at the level of the subject, top-down attention is necessary for conscious pe…Read more
  •  10
    Academic Placement Data and Analysis: 2016 Final Report
    with Patrice Cobb, Bryan Kerster, Chelsea Gordon, Angelo Kyrilov, Evette Montes, Sam Spevack, David W. Vinson, and Justin Vlasits
    APA Grant Funds: Previously Funded Projects. 2016.
    Academic Placement Data and Analysis (APDA), a project funded by the American Philosophical Association (APA) and headed by Carolyn Dicey Jennings (UC Merced), aims “to make information on academic job placement useful to prospective graduate students in philosophy.” The project has just been updated to include new data, which Professor Jennings describes in a post at New APPS. She also announces a new interactive data tool with which one can sift through and sort information. (from Daily Nous)
  •  9
    Academic Placement Data and Analysis: 2015 Final Report
    with Angelo Kyrilov, Patrice Cobb, Evette Montes, Cruz Franco, Justin Vlasits, and David W. Vinson
    APA Grant Funds: Previously Funded Projects. 2015.
    The first research report of the APDA project. Findings include that "gender is a significant predictor of type of placement (i.e. permanent versus temporary). The intercept tells us that the odds for male participants to have a permanent academic placement within the first two years after graduation are statistically significant at .37, p < 0.001 when year of graduation is held constant. The odds for female participants to have a permanent academic placement are 1.85, p < 0.001 when graduation …Read more
  •  7
    Proceedings of the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society
    with D. C. Noelle, R. Dale, A. S. Warlaumont, J. Yoshimi, T. Matlock, and P. P. Maglio
    Cognitive Science Society. 2015.
  • The Attending Mind
    Cambridge University Press. forthcoming.
    An ancient metaphor likens attention to an archer pulling her bow—the self directing her mind through attention. Yet both the existence of such a self, and the impact of attention on the mind, have been debated for millennia. Advancements in science mean that we now have a better understanding of what attention is and how it works, but philosophers and scientists remain divided as to its impact on the mind. This book takes a strong stance: attention is the key to the self, consciousness, percept…Read more