14 Implicit Cognition and Automaticity: A Perspective on the Cognitive Unconscious

Postulating unconscious activity in direct analogy with human conscious processing is by no means specific to this area of research. This view is standard in domains such as cognitive ethology, linguistics, psychoanalysis, formal models in artificial intelligence, and the information-processing approach in cognitive psychology.

-- Perruchet, 1994, p. 829

Freud thinks that our unconscious mental states exist both as unconscious and as occurrent intrinsic intentional states even when unconscious.

-- Searle, 1992, p. 168

In fact, just about every author who has written about consciousness has made what we might call the first-person plural presumption: Whatever mysteries consciousness may hold, we (you, gentle reader, and 1) may speak comfortably together about our mutual acquaintances, the things we both find in our streams of consciousness.

-- Dennett, 1991, p. 67

The current surge of interest in the topic of consciousness is, oddly enough, often reflected in empirical and theoretical efforts to establish the existence and theoretical respectability of unconscious mental processes. In my view, much of this work is characterized by vague hypotheses about consciousness and extravagant hypotheses about the cognitive unconscious that stand in the way of theoretical progress on the topic of consciousness.

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