Secondary Consciousness

Secondary consciousness, coined by Gerald Edelman, is a term used to describe an individual’s accessibility of their past history and future plans. The term is also loosely and commonly associated with having awareness of one’s own consciousness. The ability allows its possessors to go beyond the limits of the remembered present of primary consciousness. Primary consciousness can be defined as simple awareness that includes perception and emotion. As such, it is ascribed to most animals. By contrast, secondary consciousness depends on and includes such features as self-reflective awareness, abstract thinking, volition and metacognition.