CIS faculty member Dr. Carolyn Jennings has become widely known in her field of philosophy not only for her cutting-edge research on attention and consciousness, but also for her contributions to the profession itself.

Recently, she has published a number of research papers. “Attention and perceptual organization” (published with Philosophical Studies online in June 2014) argues that attention is necessary for conscious perception, while “Conscious experience beyond attention: from phenomenal consciousness to conscious entrainment” (forthcoming in the newly inaugurated Journal of the American Philosophical Association) puts forward a form of conscious experience that does not require attention. These papers are part of her larger project on the relationship between attention and various functions of the mind. You can read about her work at her website here.

She has also contributed to the profession of philosophy itself, including obtaining a recent grant to support this work.

For the past few years, Dr. Jennings has collected data on job placement success of various programs in the United States. The result has been her own quantitative assessment of the state of philosophy, and the competitiveness of various graduate programs. For the past several months, this also brought some interesting attention from other philosophers with similar goals but, in some ways, quite different findings. This work has now found its way on wide-ranging internet blogs and discussion forums. Many in the field have been attracted to her approach to this problem by quantifying the issue, rather than focusing on survey data or intuitive impressions.

Dr. Jennings recently obtained a grant from the American Philosophical Association to support this agenda, for which she’ll develop a team to collect and analyze further data. The work has been given wide praise by many who appreciate her fresh approach to the discipline.