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Aristotle on Attention

Cagnoli Fiecconi, E; (2021) Aristotle on Attention. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie , 103 (4) pp. 602-633. 10.1515/agph-2018-0014. Green open access

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I argue that a study of the Nicomachean Ethics and of the Parva Naturalia shows that Aristotle had a notion of attention. This notion captures the common aspects of apparently different phenomena like perceiving something vividly, being distracted by a loud sound or by a musical piece, focusing on a geometrical problem. For Aristotle, these phenomena involve a specific selectivity that is the outcome of the competition between different cognitive stimuli. This selectivity is attention. I argue that Aristotle studied the common aspects of the physiological processes at the basis of attention and its connection with pleasure. His notion can explain perceptual attention and intellectual attention as voluntary or involuntary phenomena. In addition, it sheds light on how attention and enjoyment can enhance our cognitive activities

Type: Article
Title: Aristotle on Attention
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1515/agph-2018-0014
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1515/agph-2018-0014
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Aristotle, Attention, Perception, Thought, Pleasure
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Greek and Latin
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10071838
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