Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-78dcdb465f-9pqtr Total loading time: 1.269 Render date: 2021-04-17T04:05:41.781Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

Neurophenomenology and the Spontaneity of Consciousness

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

Get access

Extract

Consciousness is what makes the mind-body problem really intractable (Nagel1980, p. 150).

My reading of the situation is that our inability to come up with an intelligible conception of the relation between mind and body is a sign of the inadequacy of our present concepts, and that some development is needed (Nagel1998, p. 338).

Mind itself is a spatiotemporal pattern that molds the metastable dynamic patterns of the brain (Kelso 1995, p. 288).

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Authors 2003

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

Footnotes

1

We gratefully acknowledge the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, Tucson, which provided a grant for the support of this work. ET is also supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada through a Canada Research Chair, and the McDonnell Project in Philosophy and the Neurosciences. For helpful comments on portions of earlier drafts, we thank Stephen Biggs, James Campbell, Bryan Hall, Eric Olson, Daniel Stoljar, Jessica Wilson, and the members of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield. Special thanks are due to the participants in the miniconference, “Beyond the Hard Problem: Consequences of Neurophenomenology,” in Boulder CO, May 2001, particularly David Chalmers and Alva Noë, for intensive discussion of this material and other closely related topics. Finally, we wish to thank the faculty and students at CREA, Ecole Polytechnique, especially Jean Petitot, for stimulating discussion when this material was presented at CREA in March 2003. We dedicate this paper to the late Francisco Varela, who inspired many of its main ideas.

References

Attneave, F. (1971). “Multistability in Perception,Scientific American 225: 6271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bermudez, J. (1998). The Paradox of Self-Consciousness. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blake, R. (2001). “A Primer on Binocular Rivalry, Including Current Controversies,” Brain and Mind 2: 538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Block, N. (2001). “Paradox and Cross Purposes in Recent Work on Consciousness,“ Cognition 79: 197219.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Casey, E. (1976). Imagining: A Phenomenological Study. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
Chalmers, D.C. (1996). The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Chalmers, D.C. (2000). “What Is a Neural Correlate of Consciousness?”, in Metzinger, T. (ed.), Neural Correlates of Consciousness, pp. 18-39. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Clark, A. (1997). Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Back Together Again. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Dehaene, S. and Naccache, L. (2001). “Towards a Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness: Basic Evidence and a Workspace Framework,Cognition 79: 137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dennett, D.C. (1991). Consciousness Explained. Boston: Little Brown.Google Scholar
Dennett, D.C. (2001). “Are We Explaining Consciousness Yet?Cognition 79:221–37.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Depraz, N., Varela, F.J., and Vermeersch, P. (2003). On Becoming Aware: A Pragmatics of Experiencing. Philadelphia and Amsterdam: Benjamins Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Engel, A.K., Fries, P., König, P., Becht, M., and Singer, W. (1999) “Temporal Binding, Binocular Rivalry, and Consciousness,” Consciousness and Cognition 8: 128–51.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Engel, A.K., Fries, P., and Singer, W. (2001) “Dynamic Predictions: Oscillations and Synchrony in Top-Down Processing,” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2: 704–16.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Frankfurt, H. (1988). “Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person,” in Frankfurt, H., The Importance of What We Care About, pp. 80-94. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hobson, J.A. (1999). Consciousness. New York: W.H. Freeman.Google Scholar
Horgan, T. (1993) “From Supervenience to Superdupervenience: Meeting the Demands of a Material World,” Mind 102: 555586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hurley, S.J. (1998) Consciousness in Action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Ihde, D. (1986). Experimental Phenomenology. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
Jack, A. and Roepstorff, A. (2002) “Introspection and Cognitive Brain Mapping: From Stimulus-Response to Script-Report,” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 6: 333–39.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jack, A. and Shallice, T. (2001). “Introspective Physicalism as an Approach to the Science of Consciousness,Cognition 79: 161–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
James, W. (1950). Principles of Psychology, 2 vols. New York: Dover Publications.Google Scholar
Juarrero, A. (1999). Dynamics in Action: Intentional Behavior as a Complex System. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kant, I. (1997). Critique of Pure Reason. Trans. Guyer, P. and Wood, A.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Kellert, S. (1993). In the Wake of Chaos. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kelso, J.A.S. (1995). Dynamic Patterns: The Self-Organization of Brain and Behavior. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Kelso, J.A.S., Case, P., Holyrod, T., Horvath, E., Raczaszek, J., Tuller, B., and Ding, M. (1995) “Multistability and Metastability in Perceptual and Brain Dynamics,“ in Kruse, P. and Stadler, M. (eds.), Ambiguity in Mind and Nature: Multistable Cognitive Phenomena. Springer Series in Synergetics, Vol. 64, pp. 159–85. Berlin and Heidelberg: Springer Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kim, J. (1993). Supervenience and Mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kruse, P. and Stadler, M. (eds.) (1995). Ambiguity in Mind and Nature: Multistable Cognitive Phenomena. Springer Series in Synergetics, Vol. 64. Berlin and Heidelberg: Springer Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kruse, P., Strüber, D., and Stadler, M. (1995) “The Significance of Perceptual Multistability for Research on Cognitive Self-Organization,” in Kruse, P. and Stadler, M. (eds.), Ambiguity in Mind and Nature: Multistable Cognitive Phenomena. Springer Series in Synergetics, Vol. 64, pp. 6984. Berlin and Heidelberg: Springer Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Leopold, D.A. and Logothetis, N.K. (1996) “Activity Changes in Early Visual Cortex Reflect Monkeys’ Percepts During Binocular Rivalry,Nature 379: 533–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Leopold, D.A. and Logothetis, N.K. (1999). “Multistable Phenomena: Changing Views in Perception,Trends in Cognitive Sciences 3: 254264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Le Van Quyen, M. and Petitmengin, C. (2002). “Neuronal Dynamics and Conscious Experience: An Example of Reciprocal Causation Before Epileptic Seizures,” Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1: 169–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Le Van Quyen, M., Martinerie, J., Adam, C., and Varela, F.J. (1997) “Unstable Periodic Orbits in Human Epileptic Activity,” Physical Review E 56: 34013411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Logothetis, N.K. (1999) “Vision: A Window on Consciousness,” Scientific American 281:6875.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Logothetis, N.K. and Schall, J.D. (1989) “Neuronal Correlates of Subjective Visual Perception,” Science 245: 761–63.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lumer, E.D. and Rees, G. (1999) “Covariation of Activity in Visual and Prefrontal Cortex Associated with Subjective Visual Perception,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 96: 11691173.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lumer, E.D., Friston, K.J., and Rees, G. (1998) “Neural Correlates of Perceptual Rivalry in the Human Brain,” Science 280: 19301933.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lutz, A. and Thompson, E. (2003). “Neurophenomenology: Integrating Subjective Experience and Brain Dynamics in the Neuroscience of Consciousness,Journal of Consciousness Studies 10: 3152.Google Scholar
Lutz, A., Lachaux, J.-P., Martinerie, J., and Varela, F.J. (2002). “Guiding the Study of Brain Dynamics Using First-Person Data: Synchrony Patterns Correlate with Ongoing Conscious States During a Simple Visual Task,Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 99: 1586–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Merleau-Ponty, M. 1962. Phenomenology of Perception. Trans. Colin Smith. London: Routledge Press.Google Scholar
Nagel, T. (1980). “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” In Block, N. (ed.), Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology, vo!. 1., pp. 159–68. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Nagel, T. (1998). “Conceiving the Impossible and the Mind-Body Problem,“ Philosophy 73: 337–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Noë, A. and Thompson, E. (2004) “Are There Neural Correlates of Consciousness?Journal of Consciousness Studies 11: 328.Google Scholar
O'Shaughnessy, B. (2000). Consciousness and the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Putnam, H. (1975). “The Mental Life of Some Machines,” in Putnam, H., Mind, Language, and Reality: Philosophical Papers, Volume 2, pp. 408–28. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rodriguez, E., George, N., Lachaux, J.-P., Martinerie, J., Renault, B., and Varela, F.J. (1999) “Perception's Shadow: Long-Distance Synchronization of Human Brain Activity,” Nature 397: 430–33.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rosenthal, D. (1997). “A Theory of Consciousness,” in Block, N., Flanagan, O., and Güzeldere, G. (eds.), The Nature of Consciousness, pp. 729–53. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Roy, J.-M., Petitot, J., Pachoud, B., and Varela, F.J. (1999). “Beyond the Gap: An Introduction to Naturalizing Phenomenology,” in Petitot, J., F.J. Varela, Pachoud, B., and Roy, J.-M. (eds.), Naturalizing Phenomenology: Issues in Contemporary Phenomenology and Cognitive Science, pp. 180. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
Sartre, J.-P. (1956) Being and Nothingness. Trans. Hazel Barnes. New York: Philosophical Library.Google Scholar
Sartre, J.-P. (1987) The Transcendence of the Ego. Trans. Williams, F. and Kirkpatrick, R.. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.Google Scholar
Scheinberg, D.L. and Logothetis, N.K. (1997) “The Role of Temporal Cortical Areas in Perceptual Organization,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 94: 34083413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
So, P., Francis, J.T., Netoff, T.L., Gluckman, B.J., and Schiff, S.J. (1998). “Unstable Periodic Orbits: A New Language for Neuronal Dynamics,Biophysical Journal 74: 27762785.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Srinivasan, R., Russell, D.P., Edelman, G., and Tononi, G. (1999) “Increased Synchronization of Magnetic Responses During Conscious Perception,” Journal of Neuroscience 19: 54355448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stadler, M. and Kruse, P. (1995). “The Function of Meaning in Cognitive Order Formation,” in Kruse, P. and Stadler, M. (eds.), Ambiguity in Mind and Nature: Multistable Cognitive Phenomena. Springer Series in Synergetics, Vol. 64, pp. 521. Berlin and Heidelberg: Springer Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thompson, E. and Varela, F.J. (2001). “Radical Embodiment: Neural Dynamics and Consciousness,Trends in Cognitive Sciences 5: 418–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thompson, E., Palacios, A., and Varela, F.J. (1992). “Ways of Coloring: Comparative Color Vision as a Case Study for Cognitive Science,Behavioral and Brain Sciences 15: 174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Varela, F.J. (1992) “Whence Perceptual Meaning? A Cartography of Current Ideas,” in Varela, F.J. and Dupuy, J.-P. (eds.), Understanding Origins: Contemporary Views on the Origin of Life, Mind, and Society. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol. 130, pp. 235–63. Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Varela, F.J. (1996). “Neurophenomenology: A Methodological Remedy for the Hard Problem,Journal of Consciousness Studies 3: 330–49.Google Scholar
Varela, F.J. (1997). “The Naturalization of Phenomenology as the Transcendence of Nature: Searching for Generative Mutual Constraints,” Alter 5: 355–85.Google Scholar
Varela, F.J. (1999). “The Specious Present: A Neurophenomenology of Time Consciousness,” in Petitot, J., Varela, F.J., Pachoud, B., and Roy, J.-M. (eds.), Naturalizing Phenomenology: Issues in Contemporary Phenomenology and Cognitive Science, pp. 266314. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
Varela, F.J. and Depraz, N. (2000). “At the Source of Time: Valence and the Constitutional Dynamics of Affect,” Arobase. Journal de lettre et de sciences humain 4: http://www.arobase.toGoogle Scholar
Varela, F.J. and Shear, J. (1999). The View from Within. Thorverton, UK: Imprint Academic.Google Scholar
Varela, F.J., Thompson, E., and Rosch, E. (1991). The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Varela, F.J., Lachaux, J.-P., Rodriguez, E., and Martinerie, J. (2001). “The Brainweb: Phase Synchronization and Large-Scale Integration.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2:229-39.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wider, K. (1998). The Bodily Nature of Consciousness. Sartre and Contemporary Philosophy of Mind. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Zahavi, D. (1999). Self-Awareness and Alterity: A Phenomenological Investigation. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
Zahavi, D. (2002). “First-Person Thoughts and Embodied Self-Awareness: Some Reflections on the Relation between Recent Analytic Philosophy and Phenomenology,Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1: 726.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 1 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 01st January 2020 - 17th April 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Neurophenomenology and the Spontaneity of Consciousness
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Neurophenomenology and the Spontaneity of Consciousness
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Neurophenomenology and the Spontaneity of Consciousness
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *