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Killing the straw man: Dennett and phenomenology

  • Dan ZahaviEmail author
Article

Abstract

Can phenomenology contribute to the burgeoning science of consciousness? Dennett’s reply would probably be that it very much depends upon the type of phenomenology in question. In my paper I discuss the relation between Dennett’s heterophenomenology and the type of classical philosophical phenomenology that one can find in Husserl, Scheler and Merleau-Ponty. I will in particular be looking at Dennett’s criticism of classical phenomenology. How vulnerable is it to Dennett’s criticism, and how much of a challenge does his own alternative constitute? I will argue that there are some rather marked differences between these two approaches to consciousness, but as I also hope to make clear, Dennett’s own account of where the differences are located is off target and ultimately based on a somewhat flawed conception of what classical phenomenology amounts to.

Key words

phenomenology introspection first-person perspective second-person perspective intersubjectivity 

Notes

Acknowledgment

Thanks to Uriah Kriegel and Galen Strawson for comments to an earlier version of the article.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Danish National Research Foundation: Center for Subjectivity ResearchUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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