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In the Theater of ConsciousnessThe Workspace of the Mind$
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Bernard J. Baars

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195102659

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195102659.001.1

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The Theater Stage Has Limited Capacity but Creates Vast Access

The Theater Stage Has Limited Capacity but Creates Vast Access

In the Theater of Consciousness

Bernard J. Baars

Oxford University Press

This chapter uses the theater metaphor to analyze consciousness. It argues that the great body of evidence can be understood in terms of the six basic ideas: the stage, the bright light of attention, actors and their speeches, the audience, contexts, and director. The actors in the spotlight perform on the stage, cued by the director against a background created by contextual operators. The spotlight selects the most important events on stage, which are then distributed to an audience consisting of all the unconscious routines and knowledge sources in the hall. These are the basic ingredients of the theater, a few ideas to limn a vast biological brain in broad outline.

Keywords:   human consciousness, theater model, unconscious, problem solving, convergence, divergence, learning

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