If we want to assess whether or not a naturalized phenomenology is a desideratum or a category mistake, we need to be clear on precisely what notion of phenomenology and what notion of naturalization we have in mind. In the article I distinguish various notions, and after criticizing one type of naturalized phenomenology, I sketch two alternative takes on what a naturalized phenomenology might amount to and propose that our appraisal of the desirability of such naturalization should be more positive, (...) if we opt for one or both of the latter alternatives. (shrink)
It is widely recognized that prioritizing health care resources by their relative cost-effectiveness can result in lower priority for the treatment of disabled persons than otherwise similar non-disabled persons. I distinguish six different ways in which this discrimination against the disabled can occur. I then spell out and evaluate the following moral objections to this discrimination, most of which capture an aspect of its unethical character: it implies that disabled persons' lives are of lesser value than those of non-disabled persons; (...) it constitutes “double jeopardy” or violates Frances Kamm's non-linkage principle; it conflicts with equality of opportunity; it conflicts with fairness, which requires ignoring differential impacts of treatment; it wrongly gives lower priority to disabled persons for equally effective treatment; it conflicts with giving all persons an equal chance to reach their full potential; and, it is in conflict with giving priority to the worse off. (shrink)
Dan Zahavi engages with classical phenomenology, philosophy of mind, and a range of empirical disciplines to explore the nature of selfhood. He argues that the most fundamental level of selfhood is not socially constructed or dependent upon others, but accepts that certain dimensions of the self and types of self-experience are other-mediated.
This paper presents a simple argument against life being the product of design. The argument rests on three points. We can conceive of the debate in terms of likelihoods, in the technical sense – how probable the design hypothesis renders our evidence, versus how probable the competing Darwinian hypothesis renders that evidence. God, as traditionally conceived, had many more options by which to bring about life as we observe it than were available to natural selection. That is, the relevant parameters (...) were, in many cases, far more constrained under natural selection. Utterly mundane features of the world, like that the earth is very old, are actually powerful evidence that the world was not designed, since that outcome was optional on the design hypothesis but nearly inevitable on natural selection. (shrink)
Esta entrevista tiene como objetivo mostrar los aportes de la fenomenología de Dan Zahavi a algunas temáticas fundamentales de filosofía de la mente. El filósofo danés expresa su interés en vincular la fenomenología con otras disciplinas y comenta su último proyecto, dedicado al vínculo intersubjetivo. Además, explica su posición con respecto a la naturalización de la fenomenología, la importancia de desarrollar una filosofía de la mente desde la perspectiva de primera persona, y la cuestión del idealismo husserliano y su vínculo (...) con Putnam. Por otro lado, se refiere a cómo el estudio de los trastornos psiquiátricos aporta a la filosofía, presenta la propuesta de la tradición fenomenológica para evitar los problemas del debate internalismo-externalismo y explica la manera en que su concepto del yo ilumina la clásica discusión sobre la mente y el cerebro. Finalmente, Zahavi comenta sobre la posibilidad de vincular filosofía, ciencia y religión. (shrink)
It is commonly believed that Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), well known as the founder of phenomenology and as the teacher of Heidegger, was unable to free himself from the framework of a classical metaphysics of subjectivity. Supposedly, he never abandoned the view that the world and the Other are constituted by a pure transcendental subject, and his thinking in consequence remains Cartesian, idealistic, and solipsistic. The continuing publication of Husserl’s manuscripts has made it necessary to revise such an interpretation. Drawing upon (...) both Husserl’s published works and posthumous material, Husserl’s Phenomenology incorporates the results of the most recent Husserl research. It is divided into three parts, roughly following the chronological development of Husserl’s thought, from his early analyses of logic and intentionality, through his mature transcendental-philosophical analyses of reduction and constitution, to his late analyses of intersubjectivity and lifeworld. It can consequently serve as a concise and updated introduction to his thinking. (shrink)
__Husserl and Transcendental Intersubjectivity __analyzes the transcendental relevance of intersubjectivity and argues that an intersubjective transformation of transcendental philosophy can already be found in phenomenology, especially in Husserl. Husserl eventually came to believe that an analysis of transcendental intersubjectivity was a _conditio sine qua non_ for a phenomenological philosophy. Drawing on both published and unpublished manuscripts, Dan Zahavi examines Husserl's reasons for this conviction and delivers a detailed analysis of his radical and complex concept of intersubjectivity, showing that precisely his (...) reflections on transcendental intersubjectivity are capable of clarifying the core-concepts of phenomenology, thus making possible a new understanding of Husserl’s philosophy. Against this background the book compares his view with the approaches to intersubjectivity found in Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty, and it then attempts to establish to what extent the phenomenological approach can contribute to the current discussion of intersubjectivity. This is achieved through a systematic confrontation with the language-pragmatical positions of Apel and Habermas. (shrink)
Quite a number of the philosophical arguments and objections currently being launched against simulation (ST) based and theory-theory (TT) based approaches to mindreading have a phenomenological heritage in that they draw on ideas found in the work of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Stein, Gurwitsch, Scheler and Schutz. Within the last couple of years, a number of ST and TT proponents have started to react and respond to what one for the sake of simplicity might call the phenomenological proposal (PP). This (...) paper addresses some of these critical responses, and distinguishes—in the process—substantive disagreements from terminological issues and other issues that are symptomatic of different research agendas. It does so by focusing specifically upon some objections made by Pierre Jacob. These epitomize the kinds of concerns that are being raised about PP at the moment, and thus facilitate a reply on behalf of PP that also applies more generally. (shrink)
The alleged for-me-ness or mineness of conscious experience has been the topic of considerable debate in recent phenomenology and philosophy of mind. By considering a series of objections to the notion of for-me-ness, or to a properly robust construal of it, this paper attempts to clarify to what the notion is committed and to what it is not committed. This exercise results in the emergence of a relatively determinate and textured portrayal of for-me-ness as the authors conceive of it.
RESUMEN Esta entrevista tiene como objetivo mostrar los aportes de la fenomenología de Dan Zahavi a algunas temáticas fundamentales de filosofía de la mente. El filósofo danés expresa su interés en vincular la fenomenología con otras disciplinas y comenta su último proyecto, dedicado al vínculo intersubjetivo. Además, explica su posición con respecto a la naturalización de la fenomenología, la importancia de desarrollar una filosofía de la mente desde la perspectiva de primera persona, y la cuestión del idealismo husserliano y su (...) vínculo con Putnam. Por otro lado, se refiere a cómo el estudio de los trastornos psiquiátricos aporta a la filosofía, presenta la propuesta de la tradición fenomenológica para evitar los problemas del debate internalismo-externalismo y explica la manera en que su concepto del yo ilumina la clásica discusión sobre la mente y el cerebro. Finalmente, Zahavi comenta sobre la posibilidad de vincular filosofía, ciencia y religión. ABSTRACT The aim of this interview is to show the contributions of Dan Zahavi's phenomenology to some fundamental issues in philosophy of mind. The Danish philosopher expresses his interest to link phenomenology to other disciplines and talks about his latest project, dedicated to the intersubjective relation. He also explains his position with respect to the naturalization of phenomenology, the importance of developing a philosophy of mind from a first-person perspective, and the question of Husserlian idealism and his link with Putnam. On the other hand, he refers to how the study of psychiatric disorders contributes to philosophy, presents the proposal of the pheno-menological tradition to sidestep the problems of internalism-externalism debate, and explains how his concept of self illuminates the classic discussion on mind and brain. Finally, Zahavi comments on the possibility oflinking philosophy, science and religion. (shrink)
Drawing on the work of Scheler, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Husserl and Sartre, this article presents an overview of some of the diverse approaches to intersubjectivity that can be found in the phenomenological tradition. Starting with a brief description of Scheler's criticism of the argument from analogy, the article continues by showing that the phenomenological analyses of intersubjectivity involve much more than a 'solution' to the 'traditional' problem of other minds. Intersubjectivity doesn't merely concern concrete face-to-face encounters between individuals. It is also (...) something that is at play in simple perception, in tool-use, in emotions, drives and different types of self-awareness. Ultimately, the phenomenologists would argue that a treatment of intersubjectivity requires a simultaneous analysis of the relationship between subjectivity and world. It is not possible simply to insert intersubjectivity somewhere within an already established ontology; rather, the three regions 'self', 'others', and 'world' belong together; they reciprocally illuminate one another, and can only be understood in their interconnection. (shrink)
Simulationists have recently started to employ the term "empathy" when characterizing our most basic understanding of other minds. I agree that empathy is crucial, but I think it is being misconstrued by the simulationists. Using some ideas to be found in Scheler's classical discussion of empathy, I will argue for a different understanding of the notion. More specifically, I will argue that there are basic levels of interpersonal understanding - in particular the understanding of emotional expressions - that are not (...) explicable in terms of simulation-plus-projection routines. (shrink)
The question of whether a proper phenomenological investigation and analysis requires one to perform the epoché and the reduction has not only been discussed within phenomenological philosophy. It is also very much a question that has been hotly debated within qualitative research. Amedeo Giorgi, in particular, has insisted that no scientific research can claim phenomenological status unless it is supported by some use of the epoché and reduction. Giorgi partially bases this claim on ideas found in Husserl’s writings on phenomenological (...) psychology. In the present paper, I discuss Husserl’s ideas and argue that while the epoché and the reduction are crucial for transcendental phenomenology, it is much more questionable whether they are also relevant for a non-philosophical application of phenomenology. (shrink)
One of the central questions within contemporary debates about collective intentionality concerns the notion and status of the we. The question, however, is by no means new. At the beginning of the last century, it was already intensively discussed in phenomenology. Whereas Heidegger argued that a focus on empathy is detrimental to a proper understanding of the we, and that the latter is more fundamental than any dyadic interaction, other phenomenologists, such as Stein, Walther and Husserl, insisted on the importance (...) of empathy for proper we-experiences. In this paper, I will present some of the key moves in this debate and then discuss and assess Husserl’s specific proposal, according to which reciprocal empathy, second-person engagement and self-alienation are all important presuppositions for group-identification and we-identity. (shrink)
When it comes to understanding the nature of social cognition, we have—according to the standard view—a choice between the simulation theory, the theory-theory or some hybrid between the two. The aim of this paper is to argue that there are, in fact, other options available, and that one such option has been articulated by various thinkers belonging to the phenomenological tradition. More specifically, the paper will contrast Lipps' account of empathy—an account that has recently undergone something of a revival in (...) the hands of contemporary simulationists—with various accounts of empathy found in the phenomenological tradition. I discuss the way Lipps was criticized by Scheler, Stein and Husserl, and outline some of the core features of their, at times divergent, alternatives. I then proceed by considering how their basic take on empathy and social cognition was taken up and modified by Schutz—a thinker whose contribution to the analysis of interpersonal understanding has been unjustly neglected in recent years. (shrink)
The article explores and compares the accounts of empathy found in Lipps, Scheler, Stein and Husserl and argues that the three latter phenomenological thinkers offer a model of empathy, which is not only distinctly different from Lipps’, but which also diverge from the currently dominant models.
Recently, a number of neuroscientists and philosophers have taken the so-called predictive coding approach to support a form of radical neuro-representationalism, according to which the content of our conscious experiences is a neural construct, a brain-generated simulation. There is remarkable similarity between this account and ideas found in and developed by German neo-Kantians in the mid-nineteenth century. Some of the neo-Kantians eventually came to have doubts about the cogency and internal consistency of the representationalist framework they were operating within. In (...) this paper, I will first argue that some of these concerns ought to be taken seriously by contemporary proponents of predictive coding. After having done so, I will turn to phenomenology. As we shall see, Husserl’s endorsement of transcendental idealism was partially motivated by his rejection of representationalism and phenomenalism and by his attempt to safeguard the objectivity of the world of experience. This confronts us with an intriguing question. Which position is best able to accommodate our natural inclination for realism: Contemporary neuro-representationalism or Husserl’s transcendental idealism? (shrink)
In this entry, I tackle the phenomenon known as "faultless disagreement", considered by many authors to pose a challenge to the main views on the semantics of subjective expressions. I first present the phenomenon and the challenge, then review the main answers given by contextualist, absolutist and relativist approaches to the expressions in question. I end with signaling two issues that might shape future discussions about the role played by faultless disagreement in semantics.
In recent years, more and more people have started talking about the necessity of reconciling phenomenology with the project of naturalization. Is it possible to bridge the gap between phenomenological analyses and naturalistic models of consciousness? Is it possible to naturalize phenomenology? Given the transcendental philosophically motivated anti-naturalism found in many phenomenologists such a naturalization proposal might seem doomed from the very start, but in this paper I will examine and evaluate some possible alternatives.
If the self—as a popular view has it—is a narrative construction, if it arises out of discursive practices, it is reasonable to assume that the best possible avenue to self-understanding will be provided by those very narratives. If I want to know what it means to be a self, I should look closely at the stories that I and others tell about myself, since these stories constitute who I am. In the following I wish to question this train of thought. (...) I will argue that we need to operate with a more primitive and fundamental notion of self; a notion of self that cannot be captured in terms of narrative structures. In a parallel move, I will argue that there is a crucial dimension of what it means to be other that is equally missed by the narrative approach. I will consequently defend the view that there are limits to the kind of understanding of self and others that narratives can provide. (shrink)
In recent years, the social dimensions of selfhood have been discussed widely. Can you be a self on your own or only together with others? Is selfhood a built-in feature of experience or rather socially constructed? Does a strong emphasis on the first-personal character of consciousness prohibit a satisfactory account of intersubjectivity or is the former rather a necessary requirement for the latter? These questions are explored in the following contribution.
Drawing on the work of Scheler, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Husserl and Sartre, this article presents an overview of some of the diverse approaches to intersubjectivity that can be found in the phenomenological tradition. Starting with a brief description of Scheler’s criticism of the argument from analogy, the article continues by showing that the phenomenological analyses of intersubjectivity involve much more than a ‘solution’ to the ‘traditional’ problem of other minds. Intersubjectivity doesn’t merely concern concrete faceto-face encounters between individuals. It is also (...) something that is at play in simple perception, in tool-use, in emotions, drives and different types of self-awareness. Ultimately, the phenomenologists would argue that a treatment of intersubjectivity requires a simultaneous analysis of the relationship between subjectivity and world. It is not possible simply to insert intersubjectivity somewhere within an already established ontology; rather, the three regions ‘self’, ‘others’, and ‘world’ belong together; they reciprocally illuminate one another, and can only be understood in their interconnection. (shrink)
Short abstract (98 words). Reasoning is generally seen as a means to improve knowledge and make better decisions. However, much evidence shows that reasoning often leads to epistemic distortions and poor decisions. This suggests that the function of reasoning should be rethought. Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade. Reasoning so conceived is adaptive given humans’ exceptional dependence on communication and vulnerability to misinformation. A wide range of (...) evidence in the psychology of reasoning and decision making can be reinterpreted and better explained in the light of this hypothesis. (shrink)
For a cou ple of decades, higher-order the o ries of con scious ness have enjoyed great pop u lar ity, but they have recently been met with grow ing dis sat is - fac tion. Many have started to look else where for via ble alter na tives, and within the last few years, quite a few have redis cov ered Brentano. In this paper such a Brentanian one-level account of con scious ness will be out lined and dis (...) - cussed. It will be argued that it can con trib ute impor tant insights to our under - stand ing of the rela tion between con scious ness and self-aware ness, but it will also be argued that the account remains beset with some prob lems, and that it will ulti mately make more sense to take a closer look at Sartre, Husserl, and Heidegger, if one is on the look out for prom is ing alter na tives to the higher-order the o ries, than to return all the way to Brentano. (shrink)
Review of Philosophy and Psychology has lately published a number of papers that in various ways take issue with and criticize my work on the link between consciousness, self-consciousness and selfhood. In the following contribution, I reply directly to this new set of objections and argue that while some of them highlight ambiguities in my work that ought to be clarified, others can only be characterized as misreadings.
The article examines some of the main theses about self-awareness developed in recent analytic philosophy of mind (especially the work of Bermúdez), and points to a number of striking overlaps between these accounts and the ones to be found in phenomenology. Given the real risk of unintended repetitions, it is argued that it would be counterproductive for philosophy of mind to ignore already existing resources, and that both analytical philosophy and phenomenology would profit from a more open exchange.
Robert Nozick's experience machine thought experiment (Nozick's scenario) is widely used as the basis for a ?knockdown? argument against all internalist mental state theories of well-being. Recently, however, it has been convincingly argued that Nozick's scenario should not be used in this way because it elicits judgments marred by status quo bias and other irrelevant factors. These arguments all include alternate experience machine thought experiments, but these scenarios also elicit judgments marred by status quo bias and other irrelevant factors. In (...) this paper, several experiments are conducted in order to create and test a relatively bias-free experience machine scenario. It is argued that if an experience machine thought experiment is used to evaluate internalist mental state theories of well-being, then this relatively bias-free scenario should be used over any of the existing scenarios. Unlike the existing experience machine scenarios, when this new scenario is used to assess internalist mental state theories of well-being, it does not provide strong evidence to refute or endorse them. (shrink)
If one looks at the current discussion of self-awareness there seems to be a general agreement that whatever valuable philosophical contributions Husserl might have made, his account of self-awareness is not among them. This prevalent appraisal is often based on the claim that Husserl was too occupied with the problem of intentionality to ever really pay attention to the issue of self-awareness. Due to his interest in intentionality Husserl took object-consciousness as the paradigm of every kind of awareness and therefore (...) settled with a model of self-awareness based upon the subject-object dichotomy, with its entailed difference between the intending and the intended. As a consequence, Husserl never discovered the existence of pre-reflective self- awareness, but remained stuck in the traditional, but highly problematic reflection model of self-awareness. (shrink)
The analyses of the mind–world relation offered by transcendental idealists such as Husserl have often been dismissed with the argument that they remain committed to an outdated form of internalism. The first move in this paper will be to argue that there is a tight link between Husserl’s transcendental idealism and what has been called phenomenological externalism, and that Husserl’s endorsement of the former commits him to a version of the latter. Secondly, it will be shown that key elements in (...) Husserl’s transcendental idealism, including his rejection of representationalism and metaphysical realism, is shared with a number of prominent contemporary defenders of an externalist view on the mind. Ultimately, however, it will be suggested that the very alternative between internalism and externalism—an alternative based on the division between inner and outer—might be inapplicable when it comes to phenomenological conceptions of the mind–world relation. (shrink)
In this short paper I survey recent contextualist answers to the challenge from disagreement raised by contemporary relativists. After making the challenge vivid by means of a working example, I specify the notion of disagreement lying at the heart of the challenge. The answers are grouped in three categories, the first characterized by rejecting the intuition of disagreement in certain cases, the second by conceiving disagreement as a clash of non-cognitive attitudes and the third by relegating disagreement at the pragmatic (...) level. For each category I present several important variants and raise some (general) criticisms. The paper is meant to offer a quick introduction to the current contextualist literature on disagreement and thus a useful tool for further research. (shrink)
In a number of papers, Hubert Dreyfus and Ronald McIntyre have claimed that Husserl is an internalist. In this paper, it is argued that their interpretation is based on two questionable assumptions: (1) that Husserl's noema should be interpreted along Fregean lines, and (2) that Husserl's transcendental methodology commits him to some form of methodological solipsism. Both of these assumptions are criticized on the basis of the most recent Husserl-research. It is shown that Husserl's concept of noema can be interpreted (...) in a manner that makes his theory far more congenial to a certain type of externalism, but ultimately it is argued that his phenomenological analysis of intentionality entails such a fundamental rethinking of the very relation between subjectivity and world that it hardly makes sense to designate it as being either internalist or externalist. (shrink)