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AN EPISTEMOLOGY FOR THE STUDY OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Velmans, Prof Max (2007) AN EPISTEMOLOGY FOR THE STUDY OF CONSCIOUSNESS. [Book Chapter]

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Abstract

This is a prepublication version of the final chapter from the Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. In it I re-examine the basic conditions required for a study of conscious experiences in the light of progress made in recent years in the field of consciousness studies. I argue that neither dualist nor reductionist assumptions about subjectivity versus objectivity and the privacy of experience versus the public nature of scientific observations allow an adequate understanding of how studies of consciousness actually proceed. The chapter examines the sense in which the experimenter is also a subject, the sense in which all experienced phenomena are private and subjective, the different senses in which a phenomenon can nevertheless be public and observations of it objective, and the conditions for intra-subjective and intersubjective repeatability. The chapter goes on to re-examine the empirical method and how methods used in psychology differ from those used in physics. I argue that a reflexive understanding of these relationships supports a form of “critical phenomenology” that fits consciousness studies smoothly into science.

Item Type:Book Chapter
Keywords:epistemology, consciousness, subjectivity, intersubjectivity, objectivity, public, private, phenomenology, psychology, physics, empirical method, repeatability
Subjects:Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy > Philosophy of Science
Philosophy > Epistemology
Psychology > Perceptual Cognitive Psychology
Psychology > Psychophysics
ID Code:6451
Deposited By:Velmans, Professor Max,
Deposited On:10 Jun 2009 08:58
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:57

References in Article

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Velmans, M. (1993) A Reflexive Science of consciousness. In Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Consciousness, CIBA Foundation Symposium 174, Wiley, Chichester, pp 81-99.

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Velmans, M (2001) Heterophenomenology versus critical phenomenology: A dialogue with Dan Dennett. On-line debate at http://cogprints.soton.ac.uk/documents/disk0/00/00/17/95 /index.html.

Velmans, M. (2006) Heterophenomenology versus critical phenomenology. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences (in press).

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