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A Reflexive Science of Consciousness

Velmans, Max (1993) A Reflexive Science of Consciousness. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Classical ways of viewing the relation of consciousness to the brain and physical world make it difficult to see how consciousness can be a subject of scientific study. In contrast to physical events, it seems to be private, subjective, and viewable only from a subject's first-person perspective. But much of psychology does investigate human experience, which suggests that classical ways of viewing these relations must be wrong. An alternative, Reflexive model is outlined along with it's consequences for methodology. Within this model the external phenomenal world is viewed as part-of consciousness, rather than apart-from it. Observed events are only "public" in the sense of "private experience shared." Scientific observations are only "objective" in the sense of "intersubjective." Observed phenomena are only "repeatable" in the sense that they are sufficiently similar to be taken for "tokens" of the same event "type." This closes the gap between physical and psychological phenomena. Indeed, events out-there in the world can often be regarded as either physical or psychological depending on the network of relationships under consideration.

Item Type:Preprint
Keywords:consciousness, subjective, intersubjective, objective, private, public, first-person, third-person, repeatability, symmetrical access, asymmetrical access, reflexive, science, reductionism
Subjects:Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Philosophy > Epistemology
Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy > Philosophy of Science
Psychology > Physiological Psychology
ID Code:243
Deposited By:Velmans, Professor Max,
Deposited On:13 Mar 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:53

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