Reference and Consciousness

Reference and Consciousness

by John Campbell
     
 

ISBN-10: 0199243808

ISBN-13: 9780199243808

Pub. Date: 06/28/2002

Publisher: Oxford University Press

What explains our ability to refer to the objects we perceive? John Campbell argues that our capacity for reference is explained by our capacity to attend selectively to the objects of which we are aware; that this capacity for conscious attention to a perceived object is what provides us with our knowledge of reference. When someone makes a reference to a perceived…  See more details below

Overview

What explains our ability to refer to the objects we perceive? John Campbell argues that our capacity for reference is explained by our capacity to attend selectively to the objects of which we are aware; that this capacity for conscious attention to a perceived object is what provides us with our knowledge of reference. When someone makes a reference to a perceived object, your knowledge of which thing they are talking about is constituted by your consciously attending to the relevant object. Campbell articulates the connections between these three concepts: reference, attention, and consciousness. He looks at the metaphysical conception of the environment demanded by such an account, and at the demands imposed on our conception of consciousness by the point that consciousness of objects is what explains our capacity to think about them. He argues that empirical work on the binding problem can illuminate our grasp of the way in which we have knowledge of reference, supplied by conscious attention to the relevant object. Reference and Consciousness illuminates fundamental problems about thought, reference, and experience by looking at the underlying psychological mechanisms on which conscious attention depends. It is an original and stimulating contribution to philosophy and to cognitive science.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199243808
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2002
Series:
Oxford Cognitive Science Series
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
1Experiential Highlighting
2What is Knowledge of Reference?
3Space and Action
4Sortals
5Sense
6The Relational View of Experience
7The Explanatory Role of Consciousness
8Joint Attention
9Memory Demonstratives
10The Anti-Realist Alternative
11Indeterminacy and Inscrutability
12Dispositional vs. Categorical
Bibliography
Index

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