Publication 7364

Carruthers P. (2017) The illusion of conscious thought. Journal of Consciousness Studies 24(9–10): 228–252. Fulltext at
This paper argues that episodic thoughts (judgments, decisions, and so forth) are always unconscious. Whether consciousness is understood in terms of global broadcasting/widespread accessibility or in terms of non-interpretive higher-order awareness, the conclusion is the same: there is no such thing as conscious thought. Arguments for this conclusion are reviewed. The challenge of explaining why we should all be under the illusion that our thoughts are often conscious is then taken up.

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