This chapter presents a definition of “reflective awareness” to introduce the link between it and language. It treats reflective awareness as synonymous with “consciousness,” i.e. the knowing that one knows. In thinking about itself, the brain is faced with a myriad of difficulties because it becomes “thinker” and “thought” at once, and this duality is beyond introspection. The generality of this duality makes it more problematic, apart from the brain trying to identify a phenomenon that is constantly part of what is being experienced. There are two main difficulties that must be addressed in the brain’s self-investigation. First, the brain cannot get past regressive circularities about itself; and second, it cannot allow inquiry into itself if this undermines its sense of security.
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