III CONSCIOUSNESS AND SKILLED COGNITIVE ACTIVITY

In earlier chapters, I described a perspective on consciousness and developed a theoretical framework for encompassing consciousness in cognitive theory. This part of the book, chapters 8 through 13, is concerned with several topics central to cognitive theory. My goal is to show how the experienced cognition framework can be applied to understanding the kinds of mental activity prototypical of everyday cognition, and how we can understand the control of cognition as individuals become more experienced in particular domains. Chapters 8 and 9 are concerned with topics important for understanding a wide range of phenomena. In chapter 8, I discuss working memory, arguing that it is best seen as a collection of performatory strategies for temporarily maintaining information. In chapter 9, I consider the concept of goal structures, the patterns of goals and subgoals needed to guide complex activities. Chapters 10 and 11 are concerned with traditional categories of higher mental processes, problem solving and reasoning. In chapter 10, I discuss the links among causal thinking, problem solving as the generation of goal structures and coordinative modes, and our experience of ourselves as agents. In chapter 11, I develop a view of reasoning as relations among mental states, characterized in terms of their intentional structure. Chapter 12 is concerned with expertise and skill acquisition; my central theme is that the alleged mindlessness of expert

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