This chapter introduces the main goal of the book, which is to provide a systematic account of the relationship between consciousness and attention in order to better understand the purpose of conscious awareness. By describing a spectrum of dissociation between consciousness and attention, some conceptual clarity to the debates concerning these topics can be achieved. This proposal concerning dissociation is referred to as the Consciousness and Attention Dissociation (CAD) and includes theories that range from claiming that they are identical processes to theories that argue for a complete dissociation. The requirements for the different levels of dissociation are outlined in this chapter, and the overlap between the two—conscious attention—is introduced.
Keywords: access consciousness, ambiguous images, conscious attention, consciousness and attention dissociation (CAD), mental paint, phenomenal consciousness, phenomenal self, phenomenology, recognitional self, self-awareness
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