Theoretical / Philosophical Paper

Human Studies

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 199-216

First online:

Restructuring Attentionality and Intentionality

  • P. Sven ArvidsonAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, Seattle University Email author 

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Phenomenology and experimental psychology have been largely interested in the same thing when it comes to attention. By building on the work of Aron Gurwitsch, especially his ideas of attention and restructuration, this paper attempts to articulate common ground in psychology and phenomenology of attention through discussion of a new way to think about multistability in some phenomena. What psychology views as an attentionality-intentionality phenomenon, phenomenology views as an intentionality-attentionality phenomenon. The proposal is that an awareness of this restructuring of attentionality and intentionality can benefit both approaches to attention. After reviewing Husserl’s position on attentionality and intentionality, this paper examines multistable phenomena, redefines the attentional transformation called restructuring, discusses disciplinary perspectives on attention and gives an example using common ground.


Attention Intentionality Gurwitsch Husserl Gestalt Index Multistable phenomena