Self-Reflective Consciousness and the Projectable Self

Janet Metcalfe and Hedy Kober

in The Missing Link in Cognition

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780195161564
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848386 | DOI:
Self-Reflective Consciousness and the Projectable Self

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The chapter describes the link between episodic memory and autonoetic consciousness. Autonoetic conscious is needed to allow a person to travel mentally through his own personal past, free of the immediate stimulus environment. The chapter delineates the relationship between this kind of episodic memory and the ability to project into the future. As per this chapter, the latter is the kernel of consciousness that is necessary for culture. It also suggests a practical test called the “spoon test,” as a method of determining, without language, whether a person or an animal possesses autonoetic consciousness. One long-lasting virtual tug-of-war has to do with the nature of the similarities and differences between species. The chapter argues that only human beings possess “autonoetic” episodic memory and the ability to mentally travel into the past and into the future.

Keywords: episodic memory; autonoetic consciousness; language; stimulus environment

Chapter.  11230 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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