Two Levels of Metacognition

Philosophia 39 (1):71-82 (2011)
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Abstract

Two main theories about metacognition are reviewed, each of which claims to provide a better explanation of this phenomenon, while discrediting the other theory as inappropriate. The paper claims that in order to do justice to the complex phenomenon of metacognition, we must distinguish two levels of this capacity—each having a different structure, a different content and a different function within the cognitive architecture. It will be shown that each of the reviewed theories has been trying to explain only one of the two levels and that, consequently, the conflict between them can be dissolved. The paper characterizes the high-level as a rationalizing level where the subject uses concepts and theories to interpret her own behavior and the low-level as a controlling level where the subject exploits epistemic feelings to adjust her cognitive activities. Finally, the paper explores three kinds of interaction between the levels

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Santiago Arango-Munoz
Universidad de Antioquia