This paper argues that, from the perspective of phenomenological philosophy, the study of intersubjectivity is closely tied to questions of the representational mind. It focuses on developmental studies of children's understanding of the human mind, setting out some of the main findings and theoretical explanations. It then takes up Husserl's idea of looking at persons in the 'personal attitude'. Understanding motivational connections among a person's subjective experiences is an essential feature of this attitude. Proposing a unified theoretical interpretation of children's (...) representational achievements, the paper suggests that understanding motivational connections among one's representations requires an ability for reflection that children apply in progressively more refined ways to themselves and others. (shrink)
The paper presents, first, some general remarks about Husserl’s philosophical Phenomenology in view of relating it to the scientific study of consciousness, and recalls some of the basic methodological tenets of a Husserlian phenomenology of consciousness (I). It then introduces some recent work on so-called “mental imagery” in cognitive psychology and neuroscience (II). Next, a detailed exposition of a reflective analysis of conscious experiences that involve “imagery” or “images” is given (III), arguing thereby that reflective conceptual clarifications of various forms (...) of such experiences could contribute to research into their finer details. In order to show more distinctly that the conscious experiences involved in the contemporary cognitive and neuroscientific imagery research are indeed differently structured, a simple notation for designating the various structural components of the experiences under study will be used. In concluding (IV), some methodological assets concerning the present proposal of integrating the method of Husserlian phenomenology into the present-day, and hopefully even more so into the future study of consciousness are highlighted! (shrink)
The paper assumes that the very source for an appropriate concept formation and categorization of the phenomena of consciousness is provided by pre-reflectively living through one’s own experiences (of perceiving, remembering, imagining, picturing, judging, etc.) and reflecting upon them. It tries to argue that without reflective auto-phenomenological theorizing about such phenomena, there is no prospect for a scientific study of consciousness doing fully justice to the phenomena themselves. To substantiate the point, a detailed reflective and descriptive analysis of re-presentational experiences (...) is presented, an essential property of which is their containing in themselves components that can only be individuated on the basis of reflection by the experiencing subject him- or herself. For heterophenomenology to account for them, autophenomenology is therefore presupposed. (shrink)
The focus of interest in this paper about the naturalization of subjectivity is a distinction between a naturalization in a strong sense and in a weak sense. In the strong sense, naturalizing subjectivity would be tantamount to a structural adjustment of the subjective life of consciousness to the natural, spatio-temporal and causal order of the physical world. In the weak sense, naturalizing subjectivity only amounts to inserting human subjectivity in the natural order of the world. On the basis of methodological (...) considerations as well as concrete analysis of consciousness after Husserl, naturalization of subjectivity in the strong sense is rejected, whereas the possibility of a naturalization in the weak sense is readily conceded. Of methodological relevance for the argument of this paper is the distinction between the naturalistic and the phenomenological attitude. Factually decisive for rejecting a naturalization in the strong sense is the phenomenological analysis of the experiences of consciousness themselves in their essential ownness; for their structures cannot be adjusted to the externality of the spatio-temporal causal reality, as the paper tries to illustrate with a concrete example of an act of remembering something. (shrink)
There is widespread agreement among philosophers that we refer to, think or talk about non-existent objects in much the same way as we refer to, think or talk about other objects. This paper explores the case of objects of fiction in the perspective of Husserlian philosophical phenomenology. In this perspective, everything objective is dealt with as object of some consciousness and as presenting itself in subjective modes. Within the scope of this paper, the focus of the descriptive analysis will be (...) on showing in some detail how conscious experiences of intentionally referring to something fictive in pre-linguistic intuitive acts of imagining something are to be articulated with regard to the object of consciousness, i.e. noematically, and with regard to the intentional act, i.e. noetically. Special attention will be given to the reflective finding of some consciousness being intentionally implied and thereby modified in the very performance of an intentional act of representifying something in fiction and to the question of identity and individuation of objects in fiction. It will be argued that modifications occurring in representificational consciousness, which Husserl called ‘as-if’ or ‘quasi’ modifications, provide the key for understanding the phenomenology of fictional intentionality and reference. (shrink)
(2005). On Bringing Consciousness into the House of Science – with the Help of Husserlian Phenomenology. Angelaki: Vol. 10, continental philosophy and the sciences the german traditionissue editor: damian veal, pp. 145-162.
The theory of so-called‘mental images’, which is put forward again in contemporary cognitive psychology, is criticized by way of elaborating the distinctly different intentional structures of the mental activities of‘remembering something’and‘representing something pictorially’(by means of a painting, photo, sculpture, etc.) It is suggested that psychology in its concept and theory formation could use profitably phenomenological-descriptive analyses of the different forms of intentionality as exemplified in the paper.
This paper reflects on the relationship between Husserlian phenomenology and scientific psychology. It tries to show how phenomenological results have relevance and validity for present-day cognitive developmental psychology by arguing that consciousness matters in the study of the representational mind. The paper presents some methodological remarks concerning empirical or applied phenomenology; it describes the conception of an exploratory developmental study with 3 to 9-year-old children viewing a complex pictorial display; it then illustrates how a phenomenological interpretation of the data works; (...) in conclusion, it sketches a view of realism about conscious experiences which is taken to be inherent in the phenomenological perspective of understanding the representational mind. (shrink)
The paper first addresses Husserl's conception of philosophical phenomenology, metaphysics, and the relation between them, in order to explain why, on Husserl's view, there is no metaphysics of consciousness without a phenomenology of consciousness. In doing so, it recalls some of the methodological tenets of Husserl's phenomenology, pointing out that phenomenology is an eidetic or a priori science which has first of all to do with mere ideal possibilities of consciousness and its correlates; metaphysics of consciousness, on the other hand, (...) has to do with its reality or actuality, requiring an eidetic foundation in order to become scientifically valuable. Presuming that, if consciousness is to be the subject-matter of a metaphysics which is not simply speculative or based on prejudice, it is crucial to get the phenomenology of consciousness right, the paper then engages in a detailed descriptive-eidetic analysis of mental acts of re-presenting something and tries to argue that their structures, involving components of non-actual experiencing, pose a serious problem for a materialistic or physicalistic metaphysics of consciousness. The paper ends with a brief comment on Husserl's broader view of metaphysics, having to do with the irrationality of the transcendental fact, i.e. the constitution of the factual world and the factual life of the mind. (shrink)
L’article est centré sur la distinction entre une naturalisation de la subjectivité au sens fort et une naturalisation au sens faible . Des réflexions méthodologiques et une analyse concrète de la conscience, inspirée de Husserl, conduisent au rejet de la naturalisation de la subjectivité au sens fort et à un plaidoyer en faveur de sa naturalisation au sens faible. Ces déductions sont fondées sur la distinction, méthodologiquement importante, entre une approche naturaliste et une approche phénoménologique. Le rejet de la naturalisation (...) au sens fort est déterminé par une analyse phénoménologique de l’essentialité du vécu conscient, dont les structures ne sont pas tributaires de la singularité de telle ou telle réalité spatio-temporelle et causale, ce qui est observé sur l’exemple concret d’un souvenir. (shrink)
[opening paragraph]: In recent years, David J. Chalmers has forcefully made a point that I consider to be extremely important for the study of consciousness, also from a Husserlian perspective. The point is that conscious experience is ‘an explanandum in its own right’ . In order to make progress in addressing the problem of the explanatory gap between physical processes and conscious experience, new approaches are therefore to be explored. As Chalmers has it, ‘a mere account of the functions stays (...) on one side of the gap, so the materials for the bridge must be found elsewhere’ . Now, as I see it, the editors of this Special Issue pursue, precisely, the most promising avenue for adequately studying the problem of consciousness in such an exploratory spirit. For, in their excellent Introduction, they un- equivocally propose to include first-person, subjective experience as an explicit and active component of a science of consciousness, to be elaborated with appropriate methods by a research community. Jonathan Shear already put it very clearly elsewhere: ‘what is needed . . . is not so much new conceptualizations of science or new objective methodologies for exploring relationships of the phenomena of consciousness to physiology and behaviour . . . but new systematic methodologies for the exploration of the subjective phenomena of consciousness’ . Among such methodologies, the editors now include ‘the most important western school of thinking where experience and consciousness is at the very heart: Phenomenology as inaugurated by Edmund Husserl . . .’. (shrink)
U središtu diskusije o naturaliziranju subjektiviteta u ovom radu stoji razlikovanje između naturaliziranja u jakom smislu i naturaliziranja u slabom smislu . Na temelju metodoloških razmatranja, kao i konkretne analize svijesti na Husserlovu tragu, naturaliziranje subjektiviteta u jakom smislu se odbacuje, a izričito se zagovara mogućnost naturaliziranja u slabom smislu. Za izvode je metodološki relevantno razlikovanje između naturalističkog i fenomenološkog stava. Za odbacivanje naturaliziranja u jakom smislu odlučujuća je fenomenološka analiza vlastite bîti samih svjesnih doživljaja, čije strukture nisu podređene zasebnosti (...) prostorno-vremenski-kauzalne zbiljnosti, što će se pokušati razmotriti na konkretnom primjeru jednoga sjećanja.Im Mittelpunkt der Diskussion der Naturalisierung von Subjektivität steht in diesem Paper eineUnterscheidung zwischen einer Naturalisierung im starken Sinne einer strukturellen Angleichungdes subjektiven Bewusstseinslebens an die natürliche, raum-zeitlich-kausale Ordnung der physikalischenWelt und einer Naturalisierung in einem schwachen Sinne der Einordnung menschlicherSubjektivität in die natürliche Weltordnung. Aufgrund methodologischer Überlegungen sowiekonkreter Bewusstseinsanalyse im Ausgang von Husserl wird eine Naturalisierung von Subjektivitätim starken Sinne verworfen, während die Möglichkeit einer Naturalisierung im schwachen Sinnedurchaus zugestanden wird. Methodologisch relevant für die Ausführungen ist die Unterscheidungzwischen der naturalistischen und der phänomenologischen Einstellung. Sachlich entscheidend fürdie Verwerfung einer Naturalisierung im starken Sinne ist die phänomenologische Analyse der Ei-genwesentlichkeit der Bewusstseinserlebnisse selbst, deren Strukturen dem Aussereinandersein derraum-zeitlich-kausalen Wirklichkeit nicht einzuordnen sind, wie an einem konkreten Beispiel einerErinnerung zu erläutern versucht wird. (shrink)
SummaryThe theory of so‐called‘mental images’, which is put forward again in contemporary cognitive psychology, is criticized by way of elaborating the distinctly different intentional structures of the mental activities of‘remembering something’and‘representing something pictorially’ It is suggested that psychology in its concept and theory formation could use profitably phenomenological‐descriptive analyses of the different forms of intentionality as exemplified in the paper.