Twentieth Century philosophical thought has expressed itself for the most part through two great Movements: the phenomenological and the analytical. Each movement originated in reaction against idealistic—or at least antirealistic—views of "the world". And each has collapsed back into an idealism not different in effect from that which it initially rejected. Both movements began with an appeal to meanings or concepts, regarded as objective realities capable of entering the flow of experience without loss of their objective status or of their (...) power to reveal to us an objective world as it would be if there were no subjective apprehensions of it. Both movements ended with a surrender of the objectivity of meanings and concepts in this strong sense, coming to treat them as at most more-or-less shareable components of a somehow communalized experience, but in any case incapable of revealing how things are irrespective of actual human experience. For the old Egocentric Predicament, with its "ideas" etc., is substituted a Lingocentric or Histrocentric Predicament of "language" and its elements. Hilary Putnam speaks for the current consensus: 'Internal realism says that we don't know what we are talking about when we talk about "things in themselves"' ( The Many Faces of Realism , p. 36). (shrink)
Besides presenting a phenomenological-experimental analysis of consciousness, Meinong challenged one of the major indisputable axioms of current scientific research, i.e. that perception in awareness has to be veridical on the stimulus. Meinong’s analysis of consciousness, which he conducted through a kind of dissection of its structures from a systematic and an experimental viewpoint, offers relevant insights to contemporary consciousness studies.
Visual Perception of Shape, Space and Appearance Liliana Albertazzi. the sort I have in mind. What I am speaking of is the mandatory correlations between attributes of visual space (those of, e.g., surfaces, shape, distance, direction) and ...
Nowadays cognitive science often views sensorial presentations and mental presentations as mutually exclusive, and they are also given separate treatment by neurophysiologists and by cognitive scientists, and some phenomena (like anomalous surfaces or various types of imagery) are reduced to either the former or the latter. Since no adequate methods for its investigation have been developed, the level of perceptual experiences analysed by Gestaltists and magnificently illustrated by Metzger in his Laws of Seeing remains unexplored. Starting from Metzger’s analyses the (...) paper deals with the question of the theoretical value of experimental phenomenology to the theory of knowledge and ontology. (shrink)
The contribution deals with some key problems of cognitive science, whose plurality transcends the boundaries of the disciplines drawn by classical epistemology. In particular, it addresses the issues of mental images, spaces of representation, and the architecture of cognitive processes in vision theory. The thesis presented is that a proper treatment of vision within psychophysics entails an analysis of a series of interconnected spaces, objects and methodologies, from psychophysics to the many virtual realities of representation.
The Author argues for a non-semantic theory of intentionality, i.e. a theory of intentional reference rooted in the perceptive world. Specifically, the paper concerns two aspects of the original theory of intentionality: the structure of intentional objects as appearance (an unfolding spatio-temporal structure endowed with a direction), and the cognitive processes involved in a psychic act at the primary level of cognition. Examples are given from the experimental psychology of vision, with a particular emphasis on the relation between phenomenal space (...) and colour appearances. (shrink)
In this article I try to emphasise the following three main points: 1. Brentano's metaphysics is not speculative; it is instead a programme for scientific research. 2. Some components of his metaphysics, especially those relating to the problem of perceptive continua -- and many aspects of it developed experimentally by his pupils -- are today discussed not only by philosophy but also by the cognitive sciences, more or less accurately, more or less consciously. 3. Some areas of the cognitive sciences (...) express the need for a scientifically -- even neurophysiologically -- founded theory of intentionality. (shrink)
The essay analyses the mereological structure of an act of intentional presentation, on the basis of Benussi' and Kanizsa's works. Several aspects are discussed, among which: The existence of diverse formats of representation, their eventual continuity, the presence of subjective integrations at primary levels, and the identification of phrases in the phenomenic structure of an act of presentation. It is argued that the difference between perceptual and mental presence, as elaborated by Kanizsa, proves to be a valid instrument for the (...) categorial analysis of phenomenic appearances. (shrink)
The essay underlines the complementarity between theory and experimentation as a characteristic feature of the Meinong-school. In particular, it deals with the nucleus of a theory of presentation implicit in the theory of production. In fact, on the basis of Benussi's experimental results, I distinguish between presentation and representation, relatively to the various phases of the moment-now as the qualitative primitive of cognition. This result has various consequences which shed light on the act-side: it shows that the production relation relates (...) to the act and not to the produced object, clarifying some difficulties concerning the nature of ideal objects in Meinong's ontology; that the psychological act grantes the objects of knowing on the basis of cognitive determinants which are assimilative determinants and determinants of connection. These cognitive aspects of the act are indeed forms of completions of the known objects. Endly, the essay deals with the a-modal development of Benussi's theory of the cognitive aspects of the act as performed by the Italian Gestaltist Gaetano Kanizsa. (shrink)
Brentano's Descriptive Psychology marks a breakthrough into clarification of internal time, made possible by using his doctrine of intentionality (and modality) of consciousness. Husserl's version of descriptive psychology, a pure phenomenological psychology, according to its author tries to overcome Brentano's (naturalistic) description of internal experience by explicitly considering the intentional content of mental events, and the different categories of objects as objects of a possible consciousness. Husserl's investigations on internal time are an example of a quite specific sort of genetic (...) inquiry, complementary to the descriptive one. Meinong, when discussing the relation of representation and perception of time, differentiates between the time as given in a representation (act time), in different sorts of (Meinongian) objects (object time), and in contents (content time). These questions of a Brentanist temporality problem are reconsidered and brought to a Husserlian conclusion. (shrink)