No one really knows what consciousness is, what it does, or what function it serves.
-- Johnson-Laird, 1983, p. 448
What should cause some fear, actually, is the idea of selfless cognition.
-- Darnasio, 1994, p. 100
Consciousness and learning are central topics for psychology. Questions about how we experience and adapt to our environments- including the inner environment of the body and the social environments comprising other persons and artifacts--set the research agendas for a wide range of disciplines in the cognitive sciences. My purpose in writing this book is to describe a framework for thinking about consciousness and learning. The basis for this framework is what I call the cospecification hypothesis of consciousness, a hypothesis that is part of a cognitive, informational theory of what consciousness is and what it does. My hope is that this framework points the way toward understanding consciousness in a range of cognitive phenomena and toward developing a cognitive psychology that encompasses a scientific understanding of first-person perspectives, a cognitive psychology of persons.
I call this framework experienced cognition because that label captures the central themes I develop. First, I believe that successful cognitive theory must begin with, and account for, cognition as experienced by the