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The Missing Link in CognitionOrigins of self-reflective consciousness$
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Herbert S. Terrace and Janet Metcalfe

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195161564

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161564.001.0001

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Self-Reflective Consciousness and the Projectable Self

Self-Reflective Consciousness and the Projectable Self

Chapter:
(p.57) 2 Self-Reflective Consciousness and the Projectable Self
Source:
The Missing Link in Cognition
Author(s):

Janet Metcalfe

Hedy Kober

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161564.003.0002

The chapter describes the link between episodic memory and autonoetic consciousness. Autonoetic conscious is needed to allow a person to travel mentally through his own personal past, free of the immediate stimulus environment. The chapter delineates the relationship between this kind of episodic memory and the ability to project into the future. As per this chapter, the latter is the kernel of consciousness that is necessary for culture. It also suggests a practical test called the “spoon test,” as a method of determining, without language, whether a person or an animal possesses autonoetic consciousness. One long-lasting virtual tug-of-war has to do with the nature of the similarities and differences between species. The chapter argues that only human beings possess “autonoetic” episodic memory and the ability to mentally travel into the past and into the future.

Keywords:   episodic memory, autonoetic consciousness, language, stimulus environment

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