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Profile: Jonathan Shear (Virginia Commonwealth University)
  1. Fred Travis & Jonathan Shear (2010). Focused Attention, Open Monitoring and Automatic Self-Transcending: Categories to Organize Meditations From Vedic, Buddhist and Chinese Traditions. Consciousness and Cognition 19 (4):1110--1118.
    This paper proposes a third meditation-category—automatic self-transcending— to extend the dichotomy of focused attention and open monitoring proposed by Lutz. Automaticself-transcending includes techniques designed to transcend their own activity. This contrasts with focused attention, which keeps attention focused on an object; and open monitoring, which keeps attention involved in the monitoring process. Each category was assigned EEG bands, based on reported brain patterns during mental tasks, and meditations were categorized based on their reported EEG. Focused attention, characterized by beta/gamma activity, (...)
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  2. Frederick Travis & Jonathan Shear (2010). Reply to Josipovic: Duality and Non-Duality in Meditation Research. Consciousness and Cognition 19 (4):1122--1123.
    We agree with Josipovic that a fundamental differentiating feature of meditation techniques is whether they remain within the dualistic subject–object cognitive structure, or they transcend this structure to reveal an underlying level of non-dual awareness. Further discussion is needed to delineate the basic non-dual experience in meditation, where all phenomenal content is absent, from the more advanced experience of non-duality in daily life, where phenomenal content is obviously present as well. In this discussion, it is important to recognize that the (...)
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  3. Jonathan Shear (2007). Eastern Methods for Investigating Mind and Consciousness. In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell. 697--710.
  4. Jonathan Shear (2004). Mysticism and Scientific Naturalism. Sophia 43 (1):83-99.
    How, from a scientific standpoint, should we understand mystical experiences? On the one hand such experiences are obviously capable of being studied scientifically. Nevertheless there is a sense in which such experiences often seem strongly opposed to our ordinary scientific views of reality, for they often seem to point to a domain quite outside that examined by naturalistic empirical science. Indeed, this is often precisely what seems to be ‘mystical’ about them. The present essay takes a hard look at specific (...)
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  5. Jonathan Shear (2002). Experiential Clarification of the Problem of Self. In Shaun Gallagher & Jonathan Shear (eds.), Models of the Self. Thorverton Uk: Imprint Academic. 5-6.
    This paper presents the pure consciousness theory of self, derived from Eastern meditation traditions, and uses it to unravel some of the paradoxes of Western philosophical models of the self. The theory is ontologically neutral and compatible with the widest variety of different ontologies. However the theory does, I think, have significant implications for questions of personal identity, emotional maturity and moral values, but exploring these topics here would take us too far afield. The article attempts to show something of (...)
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  6. Jonathan Shear (1999). Editor's Response. Metascience 8 (3):441-443.
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  7. Jonathan Shear (1999). Reply to Nixon on Meditation. In J. Shear & Francisco J. Varela (eds.), The View From Within: First-Person Approaches to the Study of Consciousness. Imprint Academic. 267.
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  8. Jonathan Shear & Shaun Gallagher (eds.) (1999). Models of the Self. Imprint Academic.
    A comprehensive reader on the problem of the self as seen from the viewpoints of philosophy, developmental psychology, robotics, cognitive neuroscience, ...
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  9. Jonathan Shear & Ron Jevning (1999). Pure Consciousness: Scientific Exploration of Meditation Techniques. Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (2-3):189-209.
    This paper will explore the integration of elements of traditional Eastern meditative procedures with modern objective scientific methodologies. In contrast to the introspective methods usually relied on in modern Western treatments of consciousness, the Eastern procedures in question have the possible advantage of being the products of centuries of effort to develop systematic first-person exploratory methodologies. But since these methodologies developed outside of the context of our traditions of science, their reported results of course cannot simply be taken at face (...)
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  10. F. J. Varela & Jonathan Shear (1999). Editors' Rejoinder to the Debate. Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (2-3):2-3.
    Response to the Commentary on ‘The View from Within’ The numerous commentators to this Special Issue have greatly enhanced its focus and usefulness. We thank them all very sincerely for their efforts. Within the restricted space of this rejoinder we cannot respond in detail to all the issues raised. Instead, we shall concentrate first on some fundamental criticisms.The remaining additions and complementary ideas will only be touched on briefly, merely to see them in perspective. We shall start with our two (...)
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  11. F. J. Varela & Jonathan Shear (1999). First-Person Accounts: Why, What, and How. Journal of Consciousness Studies 6:1-14.
     
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  12. Francisco Varela & Jonathan Shear (1999). First-Person Methodologies: What, Why, How? Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (2-3):1-14.
  13. Francisco Varela & Jonathan Shear (1999). Peer Commentary and Responses 307. In J. Shear & Francisco J. Varela (eds.), The View From Within: First-Person Approaches to the Study of Consciousness. Imprint Academic. 6--2.
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  14. Shaun Gallagher & Jonathan Shear (1997). Models of the Self: Editors' Introduction. Journal of Consciousness Studies 4 (5-6):5-6.
    There is a long history of inquiry about human nature and the nature of the self. It stretches from the ancient tradition of Socratic self-knowledge in the context of ethical life to contemporary discussions of brain function in cognitive science. At the beginning of the modern era, Descartes was led to the conclusion that self-knowledge provided the single Archimedean point for all knowledge. His thesis that self is a single, simple, continuing, and unproblematically accessible mental substance resonated with common sense, (...)
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  15. Jonathan Shear (ed.) (1997). Explaining Consciousness: The Hard Problem. Mit Press.
    In this book philosophers, physicists, psychologists, neurophysiologists, computer scientists, and others address this central topic in the growing discipline..
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  16. Jonathan Shear (1996). The Hard Problem: Closing the Empirical Gap. Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (1):54-68.
    It stands to reason that full understanding of what is involved in the ‘hard problem’ will emerge only on the basis of systematic scientific investigation of the subjective phenomena of consciousness, as well as the objective phenomena of matter. Yet the idea of such a systematic scientific investigation of the subjective phenomena of consciousness has largely been absent from discussions of the ‘hard problem’. This is due, apparently, both to philosophical objections to the possibility of such a science of consciousness, (...)
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  17. Jonathan Shear (1990). Mystical Experience, Hermeneutics, and Rationality. International Philosophical Quarterly 30 (4):391-401.
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  18. Jonathan Shear (1983). The Experience of Pure Consciousness: A New Perspective for Theories of Self. Metaphilosophy 14 (January):53-62.
  19. Jonathan Shear (1981). Maharshi, Plato and the Tm-Sidhi Program on Innate Structures of Consciousness. Metaphilosophy 12 (January):72-84.