There is already a field of systematic phenomenology, and it's called ‘psychology’

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Commentary on ‘The View from Within’, edited by Francisco Varela and Jonathan Shear

[opening paragraph]: I have great respect for efforts by Francisco Varela, Jonathan Shear and company to create a systematic phenomenology. In support of their efforts it should be noted that there is no need to start from scratch. We already have a systematic study of human conscious experience, and it is called ‘psychology'. True, many academic psychologists deny this rather obvious fact, but if we look at what they do rather than what they say, we find that they are always studying the things people can report with accuracy. But the things we humans can report accurately are the same things we experience as conscious! Reportability is the generally accepted index of consciousness. In point of fact, therefore, psychologists are always asking people about their conscious experiences.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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