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The Missing Link in Cognition – Origins of self-reflective consciousness - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Missing Link in Cognition: Origins of self-reflective consciousness

Herbert S. Terrace and Janet Metcalfe


How do we develop self-awareness, or a sense of self? One of the most popular theories is that language plays a major role: language and the narrative form allow us to develop a sense of self because this sense is dependent upon representational thought and the psychological manipulation of representations. Some argue against this theory, claiming that more than language and representational thought is needed. Comparing human and animal cognition is a particularly powerful way of examining this disagreement; if animals possess self-awareness without having the representational linguistic capab ... More

Keywords: self-awareness, sense of self, language, narrative form, representational thought, animal cognition

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780195161564
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161564.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Herbert S. Terrace, editor

Janet Metcalfe, editor
Columbia University, USA

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