Skip to main content

Experience and consciousness in the shadow of Descartes

Buy Article:

$53.17 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

A conscious being is characterized by its ability to cope with the environment—to perceive it, sometimes change it, and perhaps reflect on it. Surprisingly, most studies of the mind's place in nature show little interest in such interaction. It is often implicitly assumed that the main questions about consciousness just concern the status of various entities, levels, etc., within the individual. The intertwined notions of "(conscious) experience" and "(phenomenal) consciousness" are considered. The predominant use of these notions in cognitive science can be traced back to Cartesianism. What is important is the survival of the central methodological commitments despite seemingly profound changes of metaphysical outlook. The author argues (1) that cognitive scientists typically assimilate perception to sensation, thereby ignoring ways in which descriptions of perception and descriptions of the environment are logically intertwined; (2) that this involves methodological solipsism and an unacknowledged sceptical position that was originally part of Descartes' Dream argument; and (3) that it is impossible to identify the object supposedly to be studied by a science of the phenomenal consciousness. A somewhat parallel argument is identified in Kant's critique of rationalist psychology.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09515080120109388

Publication date: March 1, 2002

More about this publication?
routledg/cphp/2002/00000015/00000001/art00001
dcterms_title,dcterms_description,pub_keyword
6
5
20
40
5

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more