The Phenomenological Mind is the first book to properly introduce fundamental questions about the mind from the perspective of phenomenology. Key questions and topics covered include: What is phenomenology? naturalizing phenomenology and the empirical cognitive sciences phenomenology and consciousness consciousness and self-consciousness, including perception and action time and consciousness, including William James intentionality the embodied mind action knowledge of other minds situated and extended minds phenomenology and personal identity Interesting and important examples are used throughout, including phantom limb syndrome, blindsight (...) and self-disorders in schizophrenia, making The Phenomenological Mind an ideal introduction to key concepts in phenomenology, cognitive science and philosophy of mind. (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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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.
Mirror self-experience is re-casted away from the cognitivist interpretation that has dominated discussions on the issue since the establishment of the mirror mark test. Ideas formulated by Merleau-Ponty on mirror self-experience point to the profoundly unsettling encounter with one’s specular double. These ideas, together with developmental evidence are re-visited to provide a new, psychologically and phenomenologically more valid account of mirror self-experience: an experience associated with deep wariness.
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.
__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)
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.
On the phenomenological view, a minimal form of self-consciousness is a constant structural feature of conscious experience. Experience happens for the experiencing subject in an immediate way and as part of this immediacy, it is implicitly marked as my experience. For the phenomenologists, this immediate and first-personal givenness of experiential phenomena must be accounted for in terms of a pre-reflective self-consciousness. In the most basic sense of the term, selfconsciousness is not something that comes about the moment one attentively inspects (...) or reflectively introspects one's experiences, or in the instant of self-recognition of one's image in the mirror, or in the proper use of the first-person pronoun, or in the construction of a self-narrative. Rather, these different kinds of self-consciousness are to be distinguished from the pre-reflective self-consciousness which is present whenever I am living through or undergoing an experience, i.e., whenever I am consciously perceiving the world, whenever I am thinking an occurrent thought, whenever I am feeling sad or happy, thirsty or in pain, and so forth. (shrink)
Self, No Self? is the first book of its kind. It brings together leading philosophical scholars of the Indian and Tibetan traditions with leading Western philosophers of mind and phenomenologists to explore issues about consciousness and selfhood from these multiple perspectives.
Phenomenology has recently come under attack from proponents of speculative realism. In this paper, I present and assess the criticism, and argue that it is either superficial and simplistic or lacks novelty.
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)
Given the recent interest in the subjective or phenomenal dimension of consciousness it is no wonder that many authors have once more started to speak of the need for pheno- menological considerations. Often however the term ‘phenomenology’ is being used simply as a synonym for ‘folk psychology', and in our article we argue that it would be far more fruitful to turn to the argumentation to be found within the continental tradition inaugurated by Husserl. In order to exemplify this claim, (...) we criticize Rosenthal's higher-order thought theory as well as Strawson's recent contribution in this journal, and argue that a phenomenological analysis of the nature of self-awareness can provide us with a more sophisticated and accurate model for understanding both phenomenal consciousness and the notion of self. (shrink)
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)
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.
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)
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)
Can phenomenology contribute to the burgeoning science of consciousness? Dennett’s reply would probably be that it very much depends upon the type of phenomenology in question. In my paper I discuss the relation between Dennett’s heterophenomenology and the type of classical philosophical phenomenology that one can find in Husserl, Scheler and Merleau-Ponty. I will in particular be looking at Dennett’s criticism of classical phenomenology. How vulnerable is it to Dennett’s criticism, and how much of a challenge does his own alternative (...) constitute? I will argue that there are some rather marked differences between these two approaches to consciousness, but as I also hope to make clear, Dennett’s own account of where the differences are located is off target and ultimately based on a somewhat flawed conception of what classical phenomenology amounts to. (shrink)
The phenomenological approach to schizophrenia has undergone something of a renaissance in Anglophone psychiatry in recent years. There has been a proliferation of works that focus on the nature of subjectivity in schizophrenia and related disorders, and that take inspiration from the work of such German and French philosophers as Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty, and such classical psychiatrists as Minkowski, Blankenburg, and Binswanger (Rulf 2003; Sass 2001a, 2001b). This trend includes predominantly theoretical articles, which typically incorporate clinical material as well (...) as reviews of empirical and experimental findings in psychopathology. Some very recent examples (since 2000) are studies of .. (shrink)
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.
The ‘self’ is increasingly used as a variable in cognitive experiments and correlated with activity in particular areas in the brain. At first glance, this seems to transform the self from an ephemeral theoretical entity to something concrete and measurable. However, the transformation is by no means unproblematic. We trace the development of two important experimental paradigms in the study of the self, self-face recognition and the adjective self ascription task. We show how the experimental instrumentalization has gone hand in (...) hand with a simplification of the self-concept, and how more conceptual and theoretical reflections on the structure, function and nature of self have either disappeared altogether or receded into the background. We argue that this development impedes and complicates the interdisciplinary study of self. (shrink)
In his recent book The Stream of Consciousness, Dainton provides what must surely count as one of the most comprehensive discussions of time-consciousness in analytical philosophy. In the course of doing so, he also challenges Husserl's classical account in a number of ways. In the following contribution, I will compare Dainton's and Husserl's respective accounts. Such a comparison will not only make it evident why an analysis of time-consciousness is so important, but will also provide a neat opportunity to appraise (...) the contemporary relevance of Husserl's analysis. How does it measure up against one of the more recent analytical accounts? (shrink)
There is a long tradition in philosophy for claiming that selfhood is socially constructed and self-experience intersubjectively mediated. On many accounts, we consequently have to distinguish between being conscious or sentient and being a self. The requirements that must be met in order to qualify for the latter are higher. My aim in the following is to challenge this form of social constructivism by arguing that an account of self which disregards the fundamental structures and features of our experiential life (...) is a non-starter, and that a correct description and account of the experiential dimension must do justice to the first-person perspective and to the primitive form of self-referentiality, mineness or for-me-ness that it entails. I then consider and discuss various objections to this account, in particular the view that an endorsement of such a minimal notion of self commits one to an outdated form of Cartesianism. In the final part of the paper, I argue that the self is so multifaceted a phenomenon that various complementary accounts must be integrated if we are to do justice to its complexity. (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)
Since the publication of Chalmer’s influential work, The Conscious Mind , it has been customary to divide the philosophical problems of consciousness into two groups. Whereas the so-called ‘hard problem’ of consciousness concerns the nature of phenomenal awareness and the first-person perspective, the ‘easy problems of consciousness’ mainly concern the notion of intentionality. But is it really possible to investigate intentionality thoroughly without taking the experiential dimension into account? And vice versa, is it possible to understand the nature of subjectivity (...) and experience if we ignore intentionality, or do we not run the risk of thereby reinstating a Cartesian subject-world dualism that ignores everything captured by the phrase “being-in-the-world”? In my article, I will inquire whether phenomenal consciousness and intentionality are two sides of the same coin that cannot be separated without committing a fallacy of division. (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)
Sartre’s analysis of intersubjectivity in the third part of Being and Nothingness is guided by two main motives1. First of all, Sartre is simply expanding his ontological investigation of the essential structure of and relation between the for-itself (pour-soi) and the in-itself (en-soi). For as he points out, I need the Other in order fully to understand the structure of my own being, since the for-itself refers to the for-others (EN 267/303, 260/298); moreover, as he later adds, a treatment of (...) the relation to the in-itself must necessarily include an analysis of the Other precisely because this relation is played out in the presence of the Other (EN 410/472). Secondly, Sartre wants to supply a concrete solution to the problem of solipsism (EN 289/329, 296/337). This problem was already preoccupying him in The Transcendence of the Ego, but at that time, Sartre argued that solipsism could be avoided by means of a non-egological theory of consciousness, since such a theory—which sees the transcendental field of consciousness as non-personal and the I as a product of reflection (TE 36/52-53, 63/80- 81)—would no longer confer a privileged status to the I vis-à-vis the Other (TE 85/104). In Being and Nothingness, however, Sartre concedes that this renunciation of the transcendental I has in fact been of no help in overcoming solipsism (EN 280/318). The problem remains and has to be solved. As he is quick to add, however, a proper solution will not involve any proof of the existence of Others; rather, it will be a question of revealing the foundation of our “pre-ontological” certainty with regard to the existence of the Other (EN.. (shrink)
Even a cursory glance in Die Bernauer Manuskripte über das Zeitbewusstsein makes it evident that one of Husserl’s major concerns in his 1917-18 reflections on time-consciousness was how to account for the constitution of time without giving rise to an infinite regress. Not only does Husserl constantly refer to this problem in Husserliana XXXIII – as he characteristically writes at one point “Überall drohen, scheint es, unendliche Regresse” – but he also takes care to distinguish between several different regresses. One (...) of the more troubling ones is the one that might be called the regress of foundation. It concerns the problem of how to avoid always having to presuppose yet another underlying constituting consciousness. As we will soon see, the attempt to avoid this specific regress is closely linked to the problem of how to come up with a satisfactory account of self-awareness. That Husserl himself was well aware of this link can be inferred from some of his reflections in the beginning of Husserliana XXXIII. As he writes at one point, consciousness exists, it exists as a stream, and it appears to itself as a stream. But how the stream of consciousness is capable of being conscious of itself, how it is possible and comprehensible that the very being of the stream is a form of self-consciousness, is the enduring problem of the entire treatise. In this article, I wish to take a closer look at some of Husserl’s attempts in the Bernau Manuscripts to account for time-consciousness without giving rise to an infinite regress. (shrink)
If one interprets transcendental subjectivity as an isolated ego and in the spirit of the Kantian tradition ignores the whole task of establishing a transcendental community of subjects, then every chance of reaching a transcendental self- and world-knowledge is lost. Krisis (Ergänzung), 120.
The question of the relation between the collective and the individual has had a long but patchy history within both philosophy and psychology. In this chapter we consider some arguments that could be adopted for the primacy of the we, and examine their conceptual and empirical implications. We argue that the we needs to be seen as a developing and dynamic identity, not as something that exists fully fledged from the start. The concept of we thus needs more nuanced and (...) differentiated treatment than currently exists, distinguishing it from the idea of a ‘common ground’ and discerning multiple senses of ‘we-ness’. At an empirical level, beginning from the shared history of human evolution and prenatal existence, a simple sense of pre-reflective we-ness, we argue, emerges from second-person I-you engagement in earliest infancy. Developmentally, experientially and conceptually, engagement remains fundamental to the we throughout its many forms, characterized by reciprocal interaction and conditioned by the normative aspects of mutual addressing. (shrink)
Until recently, cognitive research in infantile autism primarily focussed on the ability of autistic subjects to understand and predict the actions of others. Currently, researchers are also considering the capacity of autists to understand their own minds. In this article we discuss selected recent contributions to the theory of mind debate and the study of infantile autism, and provide an analysis of intersubjectivity and self-awareness that is informed both by empirical research and by work in the phenomenological tradition. This analysis (...) uncovers certain problems in the theory-theory account of autism, and at the same time illustrates the potential value of phenomenology for cognitive science. (shrink)
My discussion will focus on what is arguable the main claim of Being No One: That no such things as selves exist in the world and that nobody ever was or had a self. In discussing to what extent Metzinger can be said to argue convincingly for this claim, I will also comment on his methodological use of pathology and briefly make some remarks vis-à-vis his understanding and criticism of phenomenology.
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)
The text surveys the development of the debate between Zahavi and Brough/Sokolowski regarding Husserl’s account of inner time-consciousness. The main arguments on both sides are reconsidered, and a compromise is proposed.
On many standard readings, shame is an emotion that in an accentuated manner targets and involves the self in its totality. In shame, the self is affected by a global devaluation: it feels defective, objectionable, condemned. The basic question I wish to raise and discuss is the following: What does the fact that we feel shame tell us about the nature of self? What kind of self is it that is affected in shame?
Current scientific research on consciousness aims to understand how consciousness arises from the workings of the brain and body, as well as the relations between conscious experience and cognitive processing. Clearly, to make progress in these areas, researchers cannot avoid a range of conceptual issues about the nature and structure of consciousness, such as the following: What is the relation between intentionality and consciousness? What is the relation between self-awareness and consciousness? What is the temporal structure of conscious experience? What (...) is it like to imagine or visualize something, and how is this type of experience different from perception? How is bodily experience related to self-consciousness? Such issues have been addressed in detail in the philosophical tradition of phenomenology, inaugurated by Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) and developed by numerous other philosophers throughout the 20th century. This chapter provides an introduction to this tradition and its way of approaching issues about consciousness. We first discuss some features of phenomenological methodology and then present some of the most important, influential, and enduring phenomenological proposals about various aspects of consciousness. These aspects include intentionality, self-awareness and the first-person perspective, time-consciousness, embodiment, and intersubjectivity. We also highlight a few ways of linking phenomenology and cognitive. (shrink)