Pure Intentionalism is the view that the phenomenal character of a conscious experience is exhaustively determined by its intentional content. Contrastingly, impure intentionalism holds that there are also non-content based aspects or features which contribute to phenomenal character. Conscious attention is one such feature: plausibly its contribution to the phenomenal character of a given conscious experience are not exhaustively captured in terms of what that experience represents, that is in terms of properties of its intentional object. This paper attempts to get clearer on the phenomenal contribution of conscious attention. In doing so it considers and sets aside two prominent impure intentionalist accounts, namely the ‘phenomenal structure’ account of Sebastien Waltz, and the ‘demonstrative thought’ account provided by Wayne Wu. As an alternative I reconstruct a ‘Husserlian’ view. On this Husserlian view we should think of the phenomenal contribution of conscious attention in terms of attentive modifications of what Husserl calls the ‘pre-attentive phenomenal field’. I develop this view as a ‘mode-modification’ view and highlight its benefits over alternatives.
The Seminar is going to be held via Microsoft Teams in TT21. If you would like to attend, you must write to one of the convenors or to email@example.com to be added to our mailing list.
Post-Kantian European Philosophy Seminar Convenors: Joseph Schear, Manuel Dries, and Mark Wrathall