The Philosophy of Metacognition: Mental Agency and Self-Awareness

Paperback | January 3, 2016

byJoelle Proust

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Does metacognition, i.e. the capacity to form epistemic self-evaluations about one's current cognitive performance, derive from a mindreading capacity, or does it rely, at least in part, on sui generis informational processes? In The Philosophy of Metacognition Joelle Proust provides apowerful defense of the second position. Drawing on discussions of empirical evidence from comparative, developmental, and experimental psychology, as well as from neuroscience, and on conceptual analyses, she purports to show that, in contrast with analytic metacognition, procedural metacognitiondoes not need to involve metarepresentations. Procedural metacognition seems to be available to some non-humans (some primates and rodents). Proust further claims that metacognition is essentially related to mental agency, i.e. cognitive control and monitoring. 'Self-probing" is equivalent to a self-addressed question about the feasibility of a mental action ("Am I able to remember this word?"). "Post-evaluating" is a way of askingoneself whether a given mental action has been successfully completed ("Is this word the one I was looking for?"). Neither question need be articulated conceptually for a feeling of knowing or of being right to be generated, or to drive epistemic control. Various issues raised by the contrast of aprocedural, experience-based metacognition, with an analytic, concept-based metacognition are explored, such as whether each is expressed in a different representational format, their sensitivity to different epistemic norms, and the existence of a variety of types of epistemic acceptance.

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Does metacognition, i.e. the capacity to form epistemic self-evaluations about one's current cognitive performance, derive from a mindreading capacity, or does it rely, at least in part, on sui generis informational processes? In The Philosophy of Metacognition Joelle Proust provides apowerful defense of the second position. Drawing on...

Joelle Proust is Director of Research at Fondation Pierre-Gilles de Gennes pour la Recherche, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris. Proust first conducted research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in the domain of the history and philosophy of logic, and was awarded a CNRS bronze medal for her first book, Questions of Fo...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:January 3, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198748175

ISBN - 13:9780198748175

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. An evaluativist proposal: cognitive control and metacognition3. Metacognition as cognition about cognition: attributive views4. Metacognition or metarepresentation? A critical discussion of attributivism5. Primate metacognition6. A representational format for procedural metacognition7. Mental acts as natural kinds8. The norms of acceptance9. Epistemic agency and metacognition: an externalist view10. Is there a sense of agency for thought?11. The sense of self as the same12. Experience of agency in schizophrenia13. Conversational metacognition14. Dual-system metacognition and new challengesGlossayReferences