The fantasy of third-person science: Phenomenology, ontology and evidence

Article
  • 336 Downloads

Abstract

Dennett’s recent defense in this journal of the heterophenomenological method and its supposed advantages over Husserlian phenomenology is premised on his problematic account of the epistemological and ontological status of phenomenological states. By employing Husserl’s philosophy of science to clarify the relationship between phenomenology and evidence and the implications of this relationship for the empirical identification of ‘real’ conscious states, I argue that the naturalistic account of consciousness Dennett hopes for could be authoritative as a science only by virtue of the very phenomenological evidences Dennett’s method consigns to the realm of fiction. Thus heterophenomenology, qua scientific method, is incoherent.

Keywords

Heterophenomenology Phenomenology Scientific evidence Ontology Naturalism 

References

  1. Dennett, D. C. (1991). Consciousness explained. Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  2. Dennett, D. C. (2001). The fantasy of first-person science. http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/papers/chalmersdeb3dft.htm.
  3. Dennett, D. C. (2002). How could I be wrong? How wrong could I be? Journal of Consciousness Studies, 9(5–6), 13–16.Google Scholar
  4. Dennett, D. C. (2003). Who’s on first? Heterophenomenology explained. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 10(9–10), 19–30.Google Scholar
  5. Dennett, D. C. (2007). Heterophenomenology reconsidered. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 6, 247–270. DOI  10.1007/s11097-006-9044-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Drummond, J. J. (2007). Phenomenology: neither auto- nor hetero- be. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 6, 57–74. DOI  10.1007/s11097-006-9037-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Heelan, P. (1986). Interpretation and the structure of space in scientific theory and in perception. Research in Phenomenology, 16, 187–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hurley, S. L. (1998). Consciousness in action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Husserl, E. (1913 [1976]). Ideas pertaining to a pure phenomenology and to a phenomenological philosophy (First Book). Trans. F. Kersten. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  10. Husserl, E. (1929 [1978]). Formal and transcendental logic. Trans. Dorion Cairns. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  11. Husserl, E. (1948 [1973]). Experience and judgment: Investigations in a genealogy of logic. L. Landgrebe (Ed.), trans. James S. Churchill and Karl Ameriks. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Husserl, E. (1950 [1995]). Cartesian meditations: An introduction to phenomenology. Trans. Dorion Cairns. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  13. Husserl, E. (1952 [1989]). Ideas pertaining to a pure phenomenology and to a phenomenological philosophy (Second Book). Trans. R. Rojcewicz and A. Schuwer. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  14. Husserl, E. (1954 [1970]). The crisis of European sciences and transcendental phenomenology: An introduction to phenomenological philosophy. Trans. David Carr. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Husserl, E. (1962). Phanomenologische psychologie. Vorlesungen sommersemester 1925. Husserliana IX. Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  16. Marbach, E. (2007). No heterophenomenology without autophenomenology: Variations on a theme of mine. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 6, 75–87. DOI  10.1007/s11097-006-9027-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Merleau-Ponty, M. M. (1964 [1968]). In C. Lefort (Ed.) The visible and the invisible. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Noë, A. (2004). Action in perception. Cambridge: MIT.Google Scholar
  19. Noë, A. (2007). The critique of pure phenomenology. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 6, 231–245. DOI  10.1007/s11097-006-9043-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. O’Regan, J. K., & Noë, A. (2001). A sensorimotor approach to vision and visual consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24(5), 939–973 Medline.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Varela, F. J., Thompson, E., & Rosch, E. (1991). The embodied mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT .Google Scholar
  22. Zahavi, D. (2007). Killing the straw man: Dennett and phenomenology. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 6, 21–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophySanta Clara UniversitySanta ClaraUSA

Personalised recommendations