Javascript Menu by
MindPapers is now part of PhilPapers: online research in philosophy, a new service with many more features.
 Compiled by David Chalmers (Editor) & David Bourget (Assistant Editor), Australian National University. Submit an entry.
click here for help on how to search

8.5e. First-Person Approaches in the Science of Consciousness, Misc (First-Person Approaches in the Science of Consciousness, Misc on PhilPapers)

See also:
Alston, William P. (1972). Can psychology do without private data? Behaviorism 1:71-102.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Baker, Lynne Rudder, Science and the first-person.   (Google)
Abstract: I want to raise a question for which I have no definitive answer. The question is how to understand first-personal phenomena—phenomena that that can be discerned only from a first-personal point of view. The question stems from reflection on two claims: First, the claim of scientific naturalism that all phenomena can be described and explained by science; and second, the claim of science that everything within its purview is intersubjectively accessible, and hence that all science is constructed exclusively form the third-personal point of view. Using these two claims as premises, we can construct a simple valid argument, which I’ll label ‘The Master Argument:’
Chalmers, David J. (1999). First-person methods in the science of consciousness. Consciousness Bulletin.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Abstract: As I see it, the science of consciousness is all about relating _third-person data_ - about brain processes, behavior, environmental interaction, and the like - to _first-person data_ about conscious experience. I take it for granted that there are first-person data. It's a manifest fact about our minds that there is something it is like to be us - that we have subjective experiences - and that these subjective experiences are quite different at different times. Our direct knowledge of subjective experiences stems from our first-person access to them. And subjective experiences are arguably the central data that we want a science of consciousness to explain
Chalmers, David J. (2004). How can we construct a science of consciousness? In Michael S. Gazzaniga (ed.), The Cognitive Neurosciences III. MIT Press.   (Cited by 19 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In recent years there has been an explosion of scientific work on consciousness in cognitive neuroscience, psychology, and other fields. It has become possible to think that we are moving toward a genuine scientific understanding of conscious experience. But what is the science of consciousness all about, and what form should such a science take? This chapter gives an overview of the agenda
Christensen, Tamlin C. (2004). Experience-Sampling Procedures: Are They Probes to Autonoetic Awareness? Dissertation, Boston College   (Google | More links)
Conrad, D. (1996). Consciousness, privacy, and information. Biosystems 38:207-10.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Dennett, Daniel C. (ms). The fantasy of first-person science.   (Cited by 10 | Google)
Abstract: A week ago, I heard James Conant give a talk at Tufts, entitled “Two Varieties of Skepticism” in which he distinguished two oft-confounded questions:
Descartes: How is it possible for me to tell whether a thought of mine is true or false, perception or dream?
Kant: How is it possible for something even to _be_ a thought (of mine)? What are the conditions for the possibility of experience (veridical or illusory) at all?
Fingelkurts, Alexander A. & Fingelkurts, Andrew A. (2009). Is Our Brain Hardwired to Produce God, or is Our Brain Hardwired to Perceive God? A Systematic Review on the Role of the Brain in Mediating Religious Experience. Cognitive Processing 10 (4):293-326.   (Google)
Abstract: To figure out whether the main empirical question “Is our brain hardwired to believe in and produce God, or is our brain hardwired to perceive and experience God?” is answered, this paper presents systematic critical review of the positions, arguments and controversies of each side of the neuroscientific-theological debate and puts forward an integral view where the human is seen as a psycho-somatic entity consisting of the multiple levels and dimensions of human existence (physical, biological, psychological, and spiritual reality), allowing consciousness/mind/spirit and brain/body/matter to be seen as different sides of the same phenomenon, neither reducible to each other. The emergence of a form of causation distinctive from physics where mental/conscious agency (a) is neither identical with nor reducible to brain processes and (b) does exert “downward” causal influence on brain plasticity and the various levels of brain functioning is discussed. This manuscript also discusses the role of cognitive processes in religious experience and outlines what can neuroscience offer for study of religious experience and what is the significance of this study for neuroscience, clinicians, theology and philosophy. A methodological shift from “explanation” to “description” of religious experience is suggested. This paper contributes to the ongoing discussion between theologians, cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists.
Ginsburg, Carl (2005). First-person experiments. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (2):22-42.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: The question asked in this paper is: How can we investigate our phenomenal experience in ways that are accurate, in principle repeatable, and produce experiences that help clarify what we understand about the processes of sensing, perceiving, moving, and being in the world? This sounds like an impossible task, given that introspection has so often in scientific circles been considered to be unreliable, and that first-person accounts are often coloured by mistaken ideas about what and how we are experiencing. The first-person experiments I suggest are different from experiments done in the psychology laboratory in that there is no narrowing down of the experiments to looking at a singular aspect of a question, and that they are to be carried out in most instances in a natural or specially structured environment without strict task controls or statistical experimental design. There is no intent to replace formal second- and third-person investigation, but to use a phenomenological approach to conjoin with hard research, and to suggest ways of awareness training that can enhance the skills of researchers. I take as a model an informal phenomenological approach for experimentation. I also suggest that it is possible through directing and broadening the attention process to turn consciousness towards what is non-conscious or unattended to in order to develop an improved sensory awareness and an ability to be open to experiencing without prejudging and without expectations. The idea is to go back to experience without first creating a theoretical stance from which to interpret what happens. I conclude with some other examples of this approach
Giorgi, Amedeo (2004). A way to overcome the methodological vicissitudes involved in researching subjectivity. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 35 (1):1-25.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Goldman, A. (1997). Science, publicity, and consciousness. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):525-45.   (Cited by 20 | Google | More links)
Jack, Anthony I. & Shallice, T. (2001). Introspective physicalism as an approach to the science of consciousness. Cognition 79 (1):161-196.   (Cited by 82 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Most ?theories of consciousness? are based on vague speculations about the properties of conscious experience. We aim to provide a more solid basis for a science of consciousness. We argue that a theory of consciousness should provide an account of the very processes that allow us to acquire and use information about our own mental states ? the processes underlying introspection. This can be achieved through the construction of information processing models that can account for ?Type-C? processes. Type-C processes can be specified experimentally by identifying paradigms in which awareness of the stimulus is necessary for an intentional action. The Shallice (1988b) framework is put forward as providing an initial account of Type-C processes, which can relate perceptual consciousness to consciously performed actions. Further, we suggest that this framework may be refined through the investigation of the functions of prefrontal cortex. The formulation of our approach requires us to consider fundamental conceptual and methodological issues associated with consciousness. The most significant of these issues concerns the scientific use of introspective evidence. We outline and justify a conservative methodological approach to the use of introspective evidence, with attention to the difficulties historically associated with its use in psychology
Jack, Anthony I. (ed.) (2004). Trusting the Subject? The Use of Introspective Evidence in Cognitive Science Volume. Thorverton UK: Imprint Academic.   (Google)
Jack, Anthony I. & Roepstorff, Andreas (2003). Why trust the subject? Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (9-10).   (Cited by 11 | Google | More links)
Kirsh, Marvin Eli, Logic, nature and the town council.   (Google)
Abstract: Consider, in the study of the evolution of human beings, consciousness, and intelligence, the hypothesis that men are a special instance of the reflection of nature, and later in return to this notion, as unproven hypothesis, consider the dynamics of a town meeting when asking about intelligence, consciousness, the genes or evolution, when questioning to scientific rigor, the origin and nature of the logic that pervades existence. If reasoning is a special (or specially evolved) property exclusive to humans how might one account for it's lowered or appearing absent property in other species if each by necessity of the assumed hypothesis also reflect nature. Is there a separate nature for each species (excuse the pun) or is the nature of each species the same as a unique, one, nature (reflects) as a single unique entity
Kirsh, Marvin Eli, The hard problem of consciousness studies.   (Google)
Abstract:      The question addressed by the hard problem of philosophy (3), how cognitive representation is acquired from the physical properties of self and the external, is examined from a perspective originating with Boethius(14) that knowledge is dependant on the nature of the perceiver and discussed with respect to the philosophy of George Berkeley (1,2,7) concerning the existence of matter with respect to perception. An account of the trails of history, scientific method, with respect to the naming and delineation of the hard problem suggest that its topic of address is a factor of plural elements-perceived as singular, a monism, only an aspect of its universality is perceived. A surface aspect is what seduces scientifically and, as a result, a confusion involving excessive abstraction and perceptually absent empirical fact, is postulated to accompany a false morality-an inclination to conquer it from scientific method is attributed to a seduction by naturally existing perplexity that is intermingled with unknown physical elements, themselves rooted from the same singular perplexity such that an ensuing interrogation targeted at the physical world and unavoidingly overlapping with the strictly philosophical has taken place. An invisible paper thin but sharp and self denigrating third facet to the commonly known philosophical walls, within the perplexing and the logical incongruence's, an artifact of perception and modeling of nature, results in a combined scientific (physical) and philosophical (reflective) assailing of natural paradox in a pursuit to summit human sufferings that are suggested to be, at least in part, of an unnatural and physical origin. Included as a conceptual tool is a section that discusses all possible human behavior as intuitively contained by the set of all the possible paths of nature emerged up to present and continued to emerge
Kirsh, Marvin Eli, The universe framed with respect to paradox: Is memory physically all that exists?   (Google)
Abstract:      If all of the motive forces of the physical world, physically of the world, can be agreed upon to occur from the conceptual/ethereal as a confrontation of the logically entailed with its' antithesis, as the paradox, a scheme might be evolved to detail all phenomenon as occurrences that are the result of an elemental universal construction effected by the inversion, then one might account for the sciences, its' theory, the questions of nature, natural history, human history, rather than as explanation, as if seeking explanation for existence in the third person, but as an accounting that is closer conceptually to the innately perceived. If it is at the juncture of paradox where the pursuits of civilization seem to expand in a never ending seeking, perhaps one might reorient his frame to define in terms of paradox. Though this reorientation does not appear on the surface as potentially productive, does not resolve the paradox, one might assume it to be the only route available and, if not productive, one might also potentially assume that all efforts to extract a knowledge of nature are in vain in the sense that one might only arrive at paradox, originating itself from an active pursuit to bear fruit for continuance. At the surface of this inquiry is presentation of a valid criteria for the ubiquitous existence of paradox throughout all of nature, though more in line with presentation first of paradox and subsequently exposed as ubiquitous and employed for explanation. Since paradox arises from the willed/active application of the intellect to the external world there is no ground to assume that it is innate itself in a simpler setting of nature, the natural world and its' processes, in this presentation I will try to establish that paradox, defined as logically irreconcilable conflict, other than being solely the product of active perception, is, in an analogous corresponding form, ubiquitously companioned ,and tangential to direction, a partner to the inversion that pervades the universe. The inversion is given as a substrate for the faces of the paradox and the two combined as an elemental unit of nature. With regards to paradoxes of mind and matter, an ultimate conceptually/philosophically arrived paradox, a synthesis of the physical/biological/philosophical concepts with the empirical, DNA is given a role as the actual embodiment of all that can and does ensue in the universe - path and memory. In light of theory and current research results in the science of physics, DNA is elevated, with potential, scientific validity, to possess both a ubiquitous nature and unique existence confined to biological entities as 'a physical piece of physical path', a biological source of all memory, perception and cognition, a physically energetic absolute and fixed differential standard of path/emergence in physical form, contained physical emergence that serves to energetically emerge, and defining of all from a first perspective beholding to the possessor of life as a sole criteria for perspective and reference with which to scientifically organize experiences of nature
Lehar, Steven (2000). The dimensions of conscious experience: A quantitative phenomenology. Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Psychology was originally formulated as the science of the _psyche_, i.e. the subjective side of the mind / brain barrier. However time and again it has been diverted from this objective in the supposed interest of scientific rigor. The Behaviorists proposed to transform psychology to a science of behavior, and today the Neuroreductionists propose to transform it to a science of neurophysiology. In the process they attempt to deny the very existence of conscious experience as valid object of scientific scrutiny. However the subjective conscious experience is a primary source of evidence for the nature of the representation in the brain. I propose a quantitative phenomenolgy to express the dimensions of conscious experience in information theoretic terms. This approach leads to interesting observations of the properties of phenomenal perspective, that clearly reveal the phenomenal world as an internal rather than external entity
Livingston, Paul M. (2002). Husserl and Schlick on the logical form of experience. Synthese 132 (3):239-272.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Over a period of several decades spanning the origin of the Vienna Circle, Schlick repeatedly attacked Husserl''s phenomenological method for its reliance on the ability to intuitively grasp or see essences. Aside from its significance for phenomenologists, the attack illuminates significant and little-explored tensions in the history of analytic philosophy as well. For after coming under the influence of Wittgenstein, Schlick proposed to replace Husserl''s account of the epistemology of propositions describing the overall structure of experience with his own account based on the structure of language rather than on the intuition of essences. I discuss both philosophers'' accounts of the epistemology of propositions describing the structure of experience. For both philosophers, this epistemology was closely related to the general epistemology of logic; nevertheless, neither philosopher had a completely coherent account of it. Comparison of the two approaches shows that perennial and severe theoretical obstacles stand in the way of giving an epistemology of the structure of experience, a central requirement for both philosophers'' theories. Consideration of these obstacles sheds a new light on the reasons for the historically decisive split between the continental and the analytic traditions, as well as on the subsequent development of the analytic tradition away from the structural description of experience
Menant, Christophe, Evolution as connecting first-person and third-person perspectives of consciousness (2008).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: First-person and third-person perspectives are different items of human consciousness. Feeling the taste of a fruit or being consciously part of a group eating fruits call for different perspectives of consciousness. The latter is about objective reality (third-person data). The former is about subjective experience (first-person data) and cannot be described entirely by objective reality. We propose to look at how these two perspectives could be rooted in an evolutionary origin of human consciousness, and somehow be connected. Our starting point is a scenario describing how evolution could have transformed a non self-conscious auto-representation into a conscious self-representation (Menant 2006). The scenario is based on the performance of inter-subjectivity existing among non human primates (Gardenfors 2006). A key item of the scenario is the identification of the auto-representation of a subject with the representations that the subject has of her conspecifics, the latter feeding the former with the meaning: “existing in the environment”. So during evolution, pre-human primates were brought to perceive their auto-representation as existing in the environment. Such process could have generated the initial elements of a conscious self-representation. We take this scenario as providing a possible rooting of human consciousness in evolution. We develop here a part of this scenario by expliciting the inward and outward components of the non self-conscious auto-representation. Inward components are about proprioception and interoception (thirst, pain, …). Outward components cover the sensory information relative to the perception of the body (seen feet, … ) and of its effects on the environment. We consider that the initial elements of a conscious self-representation have been applied to both inward and outward components of the auto-representation. We propose that the application to inward components made possible some first-person information, and that the application to outward components brought up third-person information. Relations between the two perspectives are highlighted. Such approach can root first-person and third-person perspectives in the same slot of human evolution. We conclude by a summary of the above and introduce a possible application of this approach to the concepts of bodily self and of pre-reflexive self-consciousness (Legrand, 2006)
Noë, Alva (2000). Experience and experiment in art. Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (8-9).   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Petranker, J. (2003). Inhabiting conscious experience: Engaged objectivity in the first-person study of consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (12):3-23.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Piccinini, Gualtiero (2009). First-Person Data, Publicity and Self-Measurement. Philosophers' Imprint 9 (9):1-16.   (Google)
Abstract: First-person data have been both condemned and hailed because of their alleged privacy. Critics argue that science must be based on public evidence: since first-person data are private, they should be banned from science. Apologists reply that first-person data are necessary for understanding the mind: since first-person data are private, scientists must be allowed to use private evidence. I argue that both views rest on a false premise. In psychology and neuroscience, the subjects issuing first-person reports and other sources of first-person data play the epistemic role of a (self-) measuring instrument. Data from measuring instruments are public and can be validated by public methods. Therefore, first-person data are as public as other scientific data: their use in science is legitimate, in accordance with standard scientific methodology.
Punzo, Vincent A. & Miller, Emily (2002). Investigating conscious experience through the beeper project. Teaching of Psychology 29 (4):295-297.   (Google | More links)
Shear, Jonathan (1996). The hard problem: Closing the empirical gap. Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (1):54-68.   (Cited by 13 | Annotation | Google)
Thompson, Evan (2001). Between Ourselves: Second-Person Issues in the Study of Consciousness. Imprint Academic.   (Cited by 21 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This book puts that right, and goes further by also including decriptions of animal "person-to-person" interactions.
Varela, F. (1998). A science of consciousness as if experience mattered. In Stuart R. Hameroff, Alfred W. Kaszniak & A. C. Scott (eds.), Toward a Science of Consciousness 1996. MIT Press.   (Cited by 10 | Google)
Varela, Francisco & Shear, Jonathan (1999). First-person methodologies: What, why, how? Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (2-3):1-14.   (Cited by 136 | Google | More links)
Varela, F. J. & Vermersch, Pierre (2003). The point of view of the researcher. In Natalie Depraz, Francisco J. Varela & Pierre Vermersch (eds.), On Becoming Aware: A Pragmatics of Experiencing. John Benjamins.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Velmans, Max (1994). A reflexive science of consciousness. In Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Consciousness. (Ciba Foundation Symposium 174).   (Cited by 20 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Classical ways of viewing the relation of consciousness to the brain and physical world make it difficult to see how consciousness can be a subject of scientific study. In contrast to physical events, it seems to be private, subjective, and viewable only from a subject's first-person perspective. But much of psychology does investigate human experience, which suggests that classical ways of viewing these relations must be wrong. An alternative, Reflexive model is outlined along with it's consequences for methodology. Within this model the external phenomenal world is viewed as part-of consciousness, rather than apart-from it. Observed events are only "public" in the sense of "private experience shared." Scientific observations are only "objective" in the sense of "intersubjective." Observed phenomena are only "repeatable" in the sense that they are sufficiently similar to be taken for "tokens" of the same event "type." This closes the gap between physical and psychological phenomena. Indeed, events out-there in the world can often be regarded as either physical or psychological depending on the network of relationships under consideration