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Who will be the scientists? a review of B. Alan Wallace's 'the taboo of subjectivity'

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Abstract:

In the emerging discipline of consciousness studies, the bright-line distinction is between third-person methodologies -- honed to a fine edge by the physical sciences -- and first-person methodologies -- usually associated with such disciplines or approaches as phenomenology, introspection, and meditation. Proponents of each approach tend to marvel that their opponents can be so thick-headed, so downright perverse. Third-person methodologists maintain that since physical reality is (a) all there is and (b) causally closed, consciousness will yield its secrets to inquiry that follows the scientific straight and narrow. There is simply no need to traipse off into the tangled thickets of subjectivity, where lurk the wily monsters of bias and self-deception. First-person methodologists respond that their opponents, blinded by loyalty to an inapposite research program, reject the subjective and experiential qualities that are the very essence of consciousness.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center for Creative Inquiry, 2625 Alcatraz Avenue #605, Berkeley, CA 94705, USA. Email:petranker@att.net

Publication date: 2001-11-01

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