Continental Philosophy Review

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 83-126

First online:

Attending and glancing

  • Edward S. CaseyAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy

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The activities of glancing and attending are rarely compared, yet they have significant affinities to the point where we may say that glancing is a mode of attending while the latter, in turn, often proceeds by glances. This paper explores these affinities, showing that each activity is a form of “reactive spontaneity” (James) and that each engages in a particular version of advertence. Mental as well as ordinary perceptual glances are examined, with examples being taken from laboratory studies, everyday life, meditation, and the psychotherapeutic technique of focusing. In the end, the two acts collaborate closely, enhance each other, and can be considered conterminous in many of their aims and procedures for reaching them.