Gurwitsch's Relevancy for Cognitive Science

Volume 52 of the series Contributions to Phenomenology pp 111-129

Field Theories of Mind and Brain

  • Jeff YoshimiAffiliated withUniversity of California, San Diego

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Aron Gurwitsch’s Gestalt-inspired “field theory of consciousness” was introduced in the same period as Wolfgang Köhler’s theory of “electrical brain fields.” I consider parallels between these theories, drawing on results that have emerged in the last five years. First, I consider the claim that fields of consciousness supervene on electromagnetic fields in the brain, then I outline Gurwitsch’s field theory of consciousness, and finally I consider how the structures described by Gurwitsch might relate to structures in the brain’s electro-magnetic field. Along the way, I expose a dogma (that qualia are paradigmatic conscious states) and develop an interpretation of Gurwitsch’s field theory.