Philosophy Professor Publishes Book on Cognitive Self-Awareness

By Staci Wilson, CHASS Dean’s Office Student Intern
November 30, 2010

Professor Eric Schwitzgebel, a professor of philosophy at UCR, has been producing discourse on the limits of human consciousness since roughly 1999, when he became interested in developmental psychology. Professor Schwitzgebel describes being originally intrigued by the research of Alison Gopnik and John Flavell, whose research indicates that young children often make radical mistakes about their own mental state. The implications of these findings inspired many questions from Professor Schwitzgebel, who began looking at evidence from numerous thought experiments and has since come to the belief that people are not as aware of their own experience with stream of consciousness as previous philosophical thought suggests. Schwitzgebel’s observations are an intriguing departure from traditional theory on human thought which may significantly aid knowledge on cognitive processes and self-awareness. His insights on the subject have heretofore been available through various journal articles, but will soon be published by MIT Press as a collective volume entitled Perplexities of Consciousness.

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