, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 19–43 | Cite as

Unconscious Representations 2: Towards an Integrated Cognitive Architecture

  • Luis M. Augusto
Original Paper


The representational nature of human cognition and thought in general has been a source of controversies. This is particularly so in the context of studies of unconscious cognition, in which representations tend to be ontologically and structurally segregated with regard to their conscious status. However, it appears evolutionarily and developmentally unwarranted to posit such segregations, as, otherwise, artifact structures and ontologies must be concocted to explain them from the viewpoint of the human cognitive architecture. Here, from a by-and-large Classical cognitivist viewpoint, I show why this segregation is wrong, and elaborate on the need to postulate an ontological and structural continuity between unconscious and conscious representations. Specifically, I hypothesize that this continuity is to be found in the symbolic-based interplay between the syntax and the semantics of thought, and I propose a model of human information processing characterized by the integration of syntactic and semantic representations.


Human cognitive architecture Classical cognitivism Conscious/unconscious mental representations Syntax and semantics of thought 



I wish to thank the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and the European Social Fund for the post-doctoral fellowship that funded, among others, this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PhilosophyFaculdade de Letras, Universidade do PortoPortoPortugal

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