The experienced cognition framework draws together a means of describing awareness that shows the continuities among perceptual-enactive, symbolic, and emotional experience. The purpose of this part of the book is to make the case that the same formal structure characterizes each of these aspects of experienced cognition. That formal structure describes the intentionality of conscious mental states--that each mental state comprises an individual self experiencing some content in some psychological mode, directed at some object or state of affairs. Analyzing the intentional structure of conscious mental states provides a set of variables for theoretical descriptions of experienced cognition. The cospecification hypothesis guides this analysis, suggesting approaches to understanding how states with symbolic content are grounded in perceptual-enactive experience and how emotionality and cognition can be integrated in a single theoretical framework. The analysis of experienced cognition in terms of intentional structure can be reconciled with standard information processing theory by considering the relations of conscious mental states to the nonconscious information systems that support them, a topic addressed in chapter 7.
The account sketched in these chapters is an attempt to address the homunculus problem while avoiding the absent-agent or implicit-agent approaches critiqued in chapter