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The Illusion of Conscious Thought

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This paper argues that episodic thoughts (judgments, decisions, and so forth) are always unconscious. Whether consciousness is understood in terms of global broadcasting/widespread accessibility or in terms of non-interpretive higher-order awareness, the conclusion is the same: there is no such thing as conscious thought. Arguments for this conclusion are reviewed. The challenge of explaining why we should all be under the illusion that our thoughts are often conscious is then taken up.
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Keywords: attention; confabulation; consciousness; self-knowledge; thought; working memory

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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