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Attention, Not Self$
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Jonardon Ganeri

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198757405

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198757405.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 31 July 2021

Attention and Action

Attention and Action

(p.9) 1 Attention and Action
Attention, Not Self

Jonardon Ganeri

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the belief that what explains the nature of our consciously active involvement with the world, our freedom from passivity, is attention. Attention is a kind of mental action. Different kinds of attention have distinct roles in explaining perception, memory, testimony, self-knowledge, social cognition, intention in action, and introspection. The chapter discusses the Authorship View of self, which is the view that selves are just the agents posited by agent causalists, and argues that it is false because the theory of action it presupposes is false. The Authorship View is the view of self rejected in Pāli Buddhist doctrine of ‘no-self’ (anatta).

Keywords:   philosophy of mind, Buddhist philosophy, Buddhaghosa, agency, authorship, attention, mental action

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