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  • Print publication year: 2007
  • Online publication date: June 2012

Chapter 25 - Hunting the ghost: toward a neuroscience of consciousness

from Part II - The neuroscience of consciousness


This chapter focuses on two distinct, linguistically oriented approaches to language and consciousness taken by Ray Jackendoff and Wallace Chafe. Jackendoff identifies three basic levels of information processing. One can be conscious of both thoughts and sounds. Language provides evidence of several kinds that consciousness of thoughts has priority over consciousness of sounds in ordinary mental life. It enhances the power of thought in three ways: by allowing thought to be communicated, by making it possible to focus attention on selected aspects of thought, and by providing access to valuations of thought. Chafe distinguishes between immediate and displaced consciousness, the former engaged in direct perception and the latter in experiences that are recalled or imagined. The imagistic and the ideational components of consciousness are held to be central components of thought, as thought is ordinarily understood.


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