Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Consciousness and the World$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Brian O'Shaughnessy

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199256723

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199256721.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 October 2020

Active Attending or a Theory of Mental Action

Active Attending or a Theory of Mental Action

(p.379) 14 Active Attending or a Theory of Mental Action
Consciousness and the World

Brian O'Shaughnessy (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Typically our perceptions occur in the setting of an active perceptual process. This chapter attempts to analyse active attending, and in particular, active perceptual attending. The exemplar phenomenon discussed is listening, which is a mental activity. Now mental actions fall into three different structural kinds, exemplified in soliloquy/recollecting/active attending, and the aim is the structural analysis of the latter. Theories as to the relation between listening and hearing are examined, and the conclusion reached is that listening encompasses that part of the co‐present hearing that owes its existence to the will, a sector that inevitably has no more than a probabilistic measure. But how could hearing (of realities) immediately derive from willing? This puzzle finds its resolution in the character of the special causal situation realized in listening. While will and sound are distinct existents with non‐identical causal powers, they are token‐identical causal agencies in the generation of the hearing sector of listening. This strange analysis vindicates the concept of active attending.

Keywords:   attending, hearing, listening, mental action, the will, willing

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .