By Ralph Ellis (auth.)
The item of this learn is to discover a coherent theoretical method of 3 difficulties which seem to interrelate in advanced methods: (1) what's the ontological prestige of cognizance? (2) How can there be 'un conscious,' 'prereflective' or 'self-alienated' realization? And (3) Is there a 'self' or 'ego' shaped via the interrelation of extra trouble-free states of realization? the incentive for combining this kind of range of adverse questions is that we regularly study extra by way of interrelations of difficulties than shall we through viewing them in basic terms in isola tion. the 3 questions posed right here have emerged as specifically prob lematic within the context of 20th century philosophy. 1. The query of the ontological prestige of attention The query 'What is consciousness?' is without doubt one of the such a lot difficult in philosophy-so puzzling that many were inspired to continue as if attention didn't exist. If William James was once conversing rhetorically while he acknowledged "Consciousness doesn't exist," 1 many behaviorists of the hot prior weren't. 2 James intended in basic terms to suggest that cognizance isn't really an independently present soul-substance, alongside part actual elements. He didn't suggest that we don't quite 'have' realization, and he didn't offer ultimate answer for the matter of the causal interrelations among awareness and the actual realm (e. g. , our bodies). Many fresh philosophers and psychologists, even if, try and continue as if those difficulties didn't exist.
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Extra info for An Ontology of Consciousness
3) That literally hundreds of mutually conflicting psychological theories can respectably coexist is a well-known fact which in itself does not discredit those theories. In any science, more than one theory can successfully account for the same experimental data. A more significant point for our purposes is that in the field of psychology, conflicting theories often account for different sets of data, while there seems to be no way to determine whether one theory can account for the other's data or vice versa.
Amedeo Giorgi, one of the most articulate and systematic spokesmen for phenomenological methodology in psychology, emphasizes that phenomenology does not rule out the use of experiment. Rather, it uses experiment where appropriate, and uses the method of phenomenological description where experiment is not appropriate. 25 As far as validation of findings and theories is concerned, phenomenological psychologists seem to do three things that experimental psychologists do not do: Experiential observation on the part of the researcher, experiential observation on the part of the subject, and 'eidetic' or 'meaning' analysis on the part of the researcher and/or the subject.
2. Phenomenological psychology encounters similar problems Since phenomenologists have criticized empirical psychology for treating the subject as an object, one might expect to find in phenomenological psychology an alternative to the experimental method. Rather than an alternative method, however, phenomenology seems to offer a complementary method, to be used alongside the experimental method in order AN ONTOLOGY OF CONSCIOUSNESS 35 to get at facts which are inaccessible to the experimental approach.