, Volume 6, Issue 1-2, pp 201-220

In favor of (plain) phenomenology

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Plain phenomenology explains theoretically salient mental or psychological distinctions with an appeal to their first-person applications. But it does not assume (as does heterophenomenology) that warrant for such first-person judgment is derived from an explanatory theory constructed from the third-person perspective. Discussions in historical phenomenology can be treated as plain phenomenology. This is illustrated by a critical consideration of Brentano’s account of consciousness, drawing on some ideas in early Husserl. Dennett’s advocacy of heterophenomenology on the grounds of its supposed “neutrality” does not show it is preferable to plain phenomenology. In fact the latter is more neutral in ways we ought to want, and permits a desirable (and desirably critical) use of first-person reflection that finds no place in the former.