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The Concept of Consciousness in Cognitive Psychology

Lee Pierson

Presented at: CC 1988

Date: Jul 30, 1988

While rejecting strict behaviorism, cognitive psychology retains a distorted view of consciousness because of underlying philosophical premises. The metaphysical premise is materialism: (1) consciousness is completely determined by physical law, and (2) consciousness is incapable of self-generated action because it is merely the by-product of information processing in the brain. The epistemological premise is representationalism: we perceive our perceptions, not reality itself. This lecture will critically examine these premises and offer an alternative theory of consciousness as the manager and integrator of cognitive activity.

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