Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology PhD student Judith Carlisle will contribute a chapter to the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Implicit Cognition, entitled "The Levels Metaphor and the Implicit/Explicit Distinction." An abstract is below. Congratulations, Judith!
Abstract: Are explicit mental states at a “higher level” than implicit mental states? Many philosophers and cognitive scientists have assumed that the explicit/implicit distinction implies that there are distinct levels of cognition – and that developing our understanding of levels could clarify the nature of the implicit/explicit distinction. Others have suggested that this assumption is unfounded – that explicit and implicit mental states are on the same level. What are the arguments used to support each side of this debate? Here I will taxonomize these arguments while attempting to clarify two complicated questions as they arise within this debate. First, what is the sense of level in play? Is it levels of organization? Or levels of complexity, processing, or sophistication? Is it perhaps best explicated by reference to Marr’s division of the computational, algorithmic, and implementational? Second, what is the central contrast between the explicit and the implicit? Is it between the conscious and the unconscious? The intentional and the unintentional? The rational and the automatic? Answering these questions will hopefully clarify the nature of this debate and show where the true disagreement lies.