Unconscious Inference Theories of Cognitive Acheivement

In Anders Nes & Timothy Hoo Wai Chan (eds.), Inference and Consciousness. London: Routledge. pp. 15-39 (2019)
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This chapter argues that the only tenable unconscious inferences theories of cognitive achievement are ones that employ a theory internal technical notion of representation, but that once we give cash-value definitions of the relevant notions of representation and inference, there is little left of the ordinary notion of representation. We suggest that the real value of talk of unconscious inferences lies in (a) their heuristic utility in helping us to make fruitful predictions, such as about illusions, and (b) their providing a high-level description of the functional organization of subpersonal faculties that makes clear how they equip an agent to navigate its environment and pursue its goals.

Author Profiles

Kirk Ludwig
Indiana University, Bloomington
Wade Munroe
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


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