Wesleyan University

Professor Katherine Hayles: The Cognitive Nonconscious: Millennial Reassessments of Consciousness and Judgment


As the digital realm continues to advance with networked and programmable devices embedded in the environment, carried on our persons, scattered on our desks, and hidden in our cars, nonconscious agency, intentionality, and cognition are arguably more pervasive on the planet than is human cognition. Moreover, even inside our bodies, the role of the cognitive nonconscious has achieved new levels of appreciation and importance. These developments are paralleled with a growing awareness of the costs of consciousness. How do these millennial reassessments affect the importance of human reason and judgment, for which Joseph Weizenbaum argued passionately in 1976?

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