5 Symbolic and Representational Awareness

Perceptual-enactive awareness is the primary form of experienced cognition, but symbolic awareness characterizes states and processes that are prototypically mental, such as verbal reasoning. In this chapter, I consider symbolic awareness and how it is related to perceptual-enactive awareness. Using explicit instantiated belief as an illustration, the analysis of intentional structure begun in the last chapter can be developed further. In such states, the distinctions among self, mode, content, and object are clearer and have been the subject of much prior analysis (e.g., by Searle, 1990). The cospecification hypothesis also applies to symbolic and representational awareness, showing the theoretical continuity between perceptual-enactive and symbolic awareness, and clarifying the concept of conscious representation. The result of analyzing the intentional structure of mental states is a framework for describing conscious mental states and their relations in mental processes.


THE INTENTIONAL ANALYSIS OF CONSCIOUS SYMBOLIC STATES

The previous chapter introduced the basic concepts needed to analyze the intentional structure of conscious mental states. Applying these concepts to the analysis of symbolic awareness will lead us to understand conscious mental states in terms of variables that can provide a basis for cognitive theory. This is an important step toward a theoretical framework because on most accounts of what it means to do scientific research, or

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