Inner Speech and Metacognition: In Search of a Connection

Mind and Language 29 (5):511-533 (2014)
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Abstract

Many theorists claim that inner speech is importantly linked to human metacognition (thinking about one's own thinking). However, their proposals all rely upon unworkable conceptions of the content and structure of inner speech episodes. The core problem is that they require inner speech episodes to have both auditory-phonological contents and propositional/semantic content. Difficulties for the views emerge when we look closely at how such contents might be integrated into one or more states or processes. The result is that, if inner speech is especially valuable to metacognition, we do not currently understand why it is. The article concludes with two positive proposals for understanding the content and structure of inner speech episodes, which should serve as constraints on future accounts of the metacognitive value of inner speech

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