Consciousness, First-Person Perspective and Neuroimaging in Mihretu P. Guta and Sophie Gibb (eds.) Insights into the First-Person Perspective and the Self: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (11-12):218-245 (2015)
Mihretu P. Guta
Biola University
In this paper, my main goal is to discuss two incompatible answers proposed to what I shall call, the objectivity seeking question (OSQ). The first answer is what I shall call the primacy thesis, according to which the third-person perspective is superior to that of the first-person perspective. Ultimately I will reject this answer. The second answer is what I shall call the skepticism thesis, according to which the distinction between the first-person perspective and the third-person perspective can be maintained without reducing to/explaining away the former in terms of the latter. This is the answer I will defend albeit with some qualification. In this case, I will advance my discussion by appealing to the metaphysics of conscious experience/phenomenal consciousness. Third and finally, I will consider some empirically motivated objections against the skepticism thesis. In this case, my focus will be on modern neuroimaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and positron emission tomography (PET) and see whether or not they pose a serious threat against the skepticism thesis. My overall conclusion will be that science and subjectivity, which is rooted in the first-person perspective, can coexist in the sense of complementing each other.
Keywords Subjectivity  Objectivity  Intersubjectivity
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