dijous, 30 d’octubre de 2008

The realm of neurophenomenology

Extremes tend to meet. No matter if you are a hard monist or a emergent/dualist, your solution to the hard problem of consciousness is usually to deny the possibility of a scientific analysis of the subjective qualities of consciousness. On the surface they might look quite different: the hard monist denies that there is such a thing as the "first person view" and the dualist does insist on how nothing is more important than that. But if you make something important but at the same time push it into a realm which does not admit intersubjective discussion then the final result is quite close to a plain denial.
Is it possible to take into account the first person approach to mind; introspection, qualia and the like from a scientific point of view? I think there is, and one possibility is the field of neurophenomenology which argues that the study of consciousness from a first person approach is not only possible, but necessary if we really want to have a science of mind (as opposed to a mere "science of the brain").
In neurophenomenology -as well as this blog devoted to the subject- you will find analytic philosophy hand in hand with phenomenology; neurologists working together with buddhist monks, and lots of combinations that nobody considered possible just 20 years ago.

I'm sure we will all learn something during the way