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How to Improve on Heterophenomenology: The Self-Measurement Methodology of First- Person Data

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Abstract:

Heterophenomenology is a third-person methodology proposed by Daniel Dennett for using first-person reports as scientific evidence. I argue that heterophenomenology can be improved by making six changes: (i) setting aside consciousness, (ii) including other sources of first-person data besides first-person reports, (iii) abandoning agnosticism as to the truth value of the reports in favor of the most plausible assumptions we can make about what can be learned from the data, (iv) interpreting first-person reports (and other first-person behaviours) directly in terms of target mental states rather than in terms of beliefs about them, (v) dropping any residual commitment to incorrigibility of first-person reports, and (vi) recognizing that third-person methodology does have positive effects on scientific practices. When these changes are made, heterophenomenology turns into the self-measurement methodology of first- person data that I have defended in previous papers.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Philosophy Department, University of Missouri, 599 Lucas Hall (MC 73), 1 University Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63121-4400, USA., Email: piccininig@umsl.edu

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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