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Naturalized Phenomenology: A Desideratum or a Category Mistake?

  • Dan Zahavi (a1)

Abstract

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.

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References

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1 Husserl, E., Aufsätze und Vorträge (1911–1921), Husserliana XXV, Nenon, T. and Sepp, H. Rainer (eds.) (Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, 1987),102.

2 Ibid.,103.

3 Chalmers, D., The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996); Levine, Joseph, ‘Materialism and qualia: the explanatory gap’, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 64 (1983), 354361.

4 Flanagan, O., Consciousness Reconsidered (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992).

5 Dennett, D.C., Consciousness Explained (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1991), 44.

6 Metzinger, T., Being No One (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003), 83.

7 Ibid., 591.

8 Cf. Zahavi, D. & Stjernfelt, F. (eds.), One Hundred Years of Phenomenology. Husserl's Logical Investigations revisited (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002).

9 Cf. Gurwitsch, A., Studies in Phenomenology and Psychology (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1966), 89106; Husserl, E., Einleitung in die Logik und Erkenntnistheorie, Husserliana XXIV, Melle, U. (ed.) (Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff, 1984), 201216; Heidegger, M., Grundprobleme der Phänomenologie (1919–1920), Gesamtausgabe Band 58 (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1993), 1117; Merleau-Ponty, M., Phénoménologie de la perception (Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 1945), 70.

10 Husserl, Aufsätze und Vorträge, 36.

11 Husserl, E., Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie. Drittes Buch: Die Phänomenologie und die Fundamente der Wissenschaften, Husserliana V, Biemel, M. (ed.) (Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff, 1952), 38.

12 Metzinger, Being No One, 591.

13 Laughlin, C.D., d'Aquili, E., and McManus, J., Brain, Symbol and Experience: Toward a Neurophenomenology of Consciousness (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990).

14 Varela, Francisco J., ‘Neurophenomenology: A methodological remedy for the hard problem’, Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (1996), 330349.

15 Cf. Lutz, A., ‘Toward a neurophenomenology as an account of generative passages: A first empirical case study’, Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1 (2002), 133–67; Lutz, A. and Thompson, E., ‘Neurophenomenology: Integrating subjective experience and brain dynamics in the neuroscience of consciousness’, Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (2003), 3152; Thompson, E., Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind (Cambridge, MA; Harvard University Press, 2007).

16 Cf. Gallagher, S., ‘Mutual Enlightenment: Recent Phenomenology in Cognitive Science’, Journal of Consciousness Studies 4 (1997), 195214; Phenomenology and experimental design’, Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (2003), 8599; Gallagher, S. & Zahavi, D., The Phenomenological Mind. An Introduction to Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science (London: Routledge, 2008); Zahavi, D., ‘Phenomenology and the project of naturalization’, Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 3 (2004), 331347; Naturalized Phenomenology’, in Gallagher, S. & Schmicking, D. (eds.): Handbook of Phenomenology and Cognitive Science (Dordrecht: Springer, 2010), 219.

17 Varela, F.J., Thompson, E. & Rosch, E., The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1991), 15.

18 Varela, Thompson & Rosch, The Embodied Mind, 16–17, 68.

19 Thompson, Mind in Life, 413.

20 Ibid., 416.

21 Varela, ‘Neurophenomenology: A methodological remedy for the hard problem’; Varela, F.J., ‘The Naturalization of Phenomenology as the Transcendence of Nature. Searching for generative mutual constraints’, Alter 5 (1997), 355381; The Specious Present: A Neurophenomenology of Time Consciousness’, in Petitot, J., Varela, F.J., Roy, J.-M., and Pachoud, B. (eds.): Naturalizing Phenomenology: Issues in Contemporary Phenomenology and Cognitive Science (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999).

22 Cf. Lutz, ‘Toward a neurophenomenology as an account of generative passages: A first empirical case study’; Lutz and Thompson, ‘Neurophenomenology: Integrating subjective experience and brain dynamics in the neuroscience of consciousness’; Thompson, Mind in Life; Lutz, A., Lachaux, J.-P., Martinerie, J., and Varela, F.J., ‘Guiding the study of brain dynamics using first-person data: Synchrony patterns correlate with on-going conscious states during a simple visual task.Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 99 (2002), 15861591.

23 Roy, J.M., Petitot, J., Pachoud, B. and Varela, F.J., ‘Beyond the Gap: An Introduction to Naturalizing Phenomenology’, in Petitot, J., Varela, F.J., Pachoud, B. and Roy, J.-M. (eds.), Naturalizing phenomenology (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999).

24 Petitot, Varela, Pachoud and Roy, Naturalizing phenomenology, 1–2.

25 Husserl, Aufsätze und Vorträge, 41.

26 Ibid., 9.

27 Ibid., 7.

28 Ibid., 17.

29 Husserl, E., Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy. First Book. General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1982), 39.

30 Husserl, Aufsätze und Vorträge, 104.

31 Merleau-Ponty, M., Phénoménologie de la perception (Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 1945), 72.

32 For various explorations of these issues, see Zahavi, D., Self-awareness and Alterity: A phenomenological investigation (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1999); Zahavi, D., Husserl's Phenomenology (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003); Zahavi, Dan, ‘Internalism, Externalism, and Transcendental Idealism’, Synthese 160 (2008), 355374; Zahavi, Dan, ‘Phänomenologie und Transzendentalphilosophie’, in Figal, G. & Gander, H.-H. (eds.), Heidegger und Husserl. Neue Perspektiven (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 2009), 7399.

33 Zahavi, Dan, ‘Husserl and the ‘absolute’’, in Ierna, C., Jacobs, H., Mattens, F. (eds.): Philosophy, Phenomenology, Sciences: Essays in Commemoration of Husserl. Phaenomenologica Vol. 200 (Dordrecht: Springer, 2010), 7192.

34 Husserl, Aufsätze und Vorträge, 13–14

35 Husserl, E., Briefwechsel, Husserliana Dokumente III/1–10 (Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht, 1994), V. 178.

36 D. Zahavi, ‘Phenomenology and the project of naturalization’.

37 L. Lawlor, ‘Becoming and Auto-Affection (Part II): Who are we?’, Invited Lecture, ICNAP, 2009. Published at http://www.icnap.org/lawlor%20-%20paper.pdf (accessed 3 March 2012). The published version of this talk is Lawlor, Leonard, ‘Becoming and Auto-Affection (Part II): Who are we?’, Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 30 (2009), 219237.

38 Gallagher, S., ‘Phenomenology and experimental design’, Journal of Consciousness Studies 10:9 (2003), 8599.

39 Cf. Lewis, Michael, ‘The Development of Self-Consciousness’, in Roessler, J. and Eilan, N. (eds.), Agency and Self-awareness (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 275295.

40 Cf. Rochat, P. & Zahavi, D., ‘The uncanny mirror: A re-framing of mirror self-experience’, Consciousness and Cognition 20 (2011), 204213

41 Gallagher, ‘Phenomenology and experimental design’.

42 Cf. Gallagher, S., ‘Mutual Enlightenment: Recent Phenomenology in Cognitive Science’, Journal of Consciousness Studies 4 (1997), 195214.

43 Cole, J., Pride and a Daily Marathon (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995).

44 Husserl, E., Phänomenologische Psychologie, Husserliana IX, Biemel, W. (ed.) (Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff, 1962), 343.

45 Hume, D., A Treatise of Human Nature (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1888), 474.

46 Roy, Petitot, Pachoud and Varela, ‘Beyond the Gap: An Introduction to Naturalizing Phenomenology’.

47 Petitot, Varela, Pachoud and Roy, Naturalizing phenomenology, 54.

48 Ibid., 16–17.

49 Thompson, Mind in Life.

50 Ibid., 358.

51 Ibid., 128.

52 Zahavi, D., Husserl und die transzendentale Intersubjektivität (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1996); Zahavi, D., Husserl's Phenomenology (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003).

53 Husserl, E., Cartesianische Meditationen und Pariser Vorträge. Husserliana I, Strasser, S. (ed.) (Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff, 1950), 130; Husserl, E., Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie III, Husserliana V, Biemel, M. (ed.) (Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff, 1952), 128.

54 Husserl, E., Transzendentaler Idealismus. Texte aus dem Nachlass (1908–1921), Husserliana XXXVI, Rollinger, R.D. and Sowa, R. (ed.) (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003), 133.

55 Ibid., 135.

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