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Metacognition

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Abstract

Given disagreement about the architecture of the mind, the nature of self-knowledge, and its epistemology, the question of how to understand the function and the scope of metacognition – the control of one’s cognition – is still a matter of hot debate. A dominant view, the self-ascriptive view, has been that metacognition necessarily requires representing one’s own mental states as mental states, and, therefore, necessarily involves an ability to read one’s mind. The main claims of this view are articulated, and the difficulties that they raise are discussed. An alternative view of metacognition, the ‘self-evaluative view’, is then examined. It is argued that this view provides an account of metacognition that is both empirically and conceptually more adequate than the self-ascriptive model. Particular attention is given to the problem of transferring self-evaluative judgments to the case of others.

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