Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Volume 11, Issue 1, 2011

Terry Horgan, Matjaž Potrč
Pages 73-86

Attention, Morphological Content and Epistemic Justification

In the formation of epistemically justified beliefs, what is the role of attention, and what is the role (if any) of non-attentional aspects of cognition? We will here argue that there is an essential role for certain nonattentional aspects. These involve epistemically relevant background information that is implicit in the standing structure of an epistemic agent’s cognitive architecture and that does not get explicitly represented during belief-forming cognitive processing. Since such “morphological content” (as we call it) does not become explicit during belief formation, it cannot be information that is within the scope of attention. Nevertheless, it does exert a subtle influence on the character of conscious experience, rather than operating in a purely unconscious way.