View from Within

View from Within : First-person Approaches to the Study of Consciousness

4.18 (40 ratings by Goodreads)
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Over the last decade there has been a resurgence of interest in the scientific study of consciousness - an area that has been largely ignored since the time of William James. This renaissance has primarily been stimulated by developments in PET, fMRI and other brain-scanning technology that enable scientists to pinpoint the neural correlates of conscious experience with ever-increasing accuracy. However, the study of conscious experience itself has not kept pace with these advances in third-person methodologies. If anything, the standard approaches to examining the 'view from within' involve little more than cataloging its readily accessible components. Thus the study of lived subjective experience is still at the level of Aristotelian science. This has led many to deny that there could possibly be such a thing as a truly scientific study of conscious experience, or at least to ask: can one be objective about the subjective? Drawing on a wide range of approaches - from phenomenology to meditation - THE VIEW FROM WITHIN examines the possibility of a disciplined approach to the study of subjective states. The focus is on the practical issues involved.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 178 x 254 x 25mm | 700g
  • Exeter, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Illustrations
  • 0907845258
  • 9780907845256
  • 395,211

Table of contents

Introduction Francisco Varela and Jonathan Shear: First-person accounts: why, what, and how Part I: Introspection Pierre Vermersch: Introspection as practice Claire Peugeot: The intuitive experience: a first-person empirical investigation Carl Ginsburg: Body-image, movement and consciousness: examples from a somatic practice in the Feldenkreis method Part II: Phenomenology Natalie Depraz: Phenomenological reduction as praxis Francisco Varela: The neurophenomenology of time consciousness Andrew R. Bailey: Beyond the Fringe: William James on the transitional parts of the stream of consciousness Jean Naudin, Caroline Gros-Azorin, Aaron Mishara, Osborne P. Wiggins, Michael A. Schwartz, Jean-Michel Azorin: Reduction as a method in Psychiatric experience Part III: Contemplative traditions Alan Wallace: The Buddhist tradition of samatha: methods for refining and examining consciousness Jonathan Shear and Ronald Jevning: Pure consciousness: scientific exporation of meditation techniques Part IV: Commentaries James H. Austin, Six Points to Ponder Bernard J. Baars, There is Already a Field of Systematic Phenomenology, and it's Called 'Psychology' Guy Claxton, Moving the Cursor of Consciousness: Cognitive science and human welfare David Galin, Separating First-personness From the Other Problems of Consciousness, or 'You had to have been there!' Shaun Gallagher, A Cognitive Way to the Transcendental Reduction E.T. Gendlin, A New Model William S. Haney II, Pure Consciousness and Cultural Studies Piet Hut, Theory and Experiment in Philosophy William Lyons, On the Metaphysics of Introspection Response to Lyons from P. Vermersch Bruce Mangan, The Fringe: A case study in explanatory phenomenology Eduard Marbach, Building Materials for the Explanatory Bridge Gregory Nixon, A 'Hermeneutic Objection': Language and the inner view Response to Nixon from J. Shear Ian Owen and Neil Morris, The Husserlian Phenomenology of Consciousness and Cognitive Science: We can see the path but nobody is on it Response to Owen and Morris from F.J. Varela John Pickering, Words and Silence Jean-Francois Richard, Object, Limits and Function of Consciousness Jonathan W. Schooler and Sonya Dougal, The Symbiosis of Subjective and Experimental Approaches to Intuition Rachel Henley, Distinguishing Insight from Intuition Response to Schooler, Dougal and Henley from C. Petitmengin-Peugeot Jeffrey M. Schwartz, Mental Force and the Advertence of Bare Attention Mark Sullivan, Does Psychiatry need the Husserlian Detour? Response to Sullivan from J. Naudin Max Velmans, Intersubjective Science Francisco J. Varela and Jonathan Shear, Editors' Rejoinder to the Debate
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Review quote

"The publication is very timely indeed. It is a splendid initiative." -- Dan Zahavi * Times Literary Supplement * "This is an important collection addressing what is arguably the greatest challenge now facing a science of consciousness. Such a science must connect third-person data about brain and behavior with first-person data about conscious experience. But how do we gather the first-person data, and how can we represent it? This book explores sophisticated ideas from a variety of traditions. I hope it sets the agenda for a renewed investigation of first-person methodologies and formalisms in the next few years." -- David Chalmers "This looks like a great book series - a valuable extension of the Journal of Consciousness Studies. You publish a lot of things that would not be published in routine philosophical and scientific journals, and that seems to me exactly right at our present state of the investigation of consciousness. We don't know how it works and we need to try all kinds of different ideas." -- John Searle "Since William James, there has been remarkably little attention in the sciences of the mind to the detailed investigation of conscious experience at the personal level. THE VIEW FROM WITHIN advances such investigation along several fronts, with articles on introspection, phenomenology, and meditative psychology. Especially valuable is the editor's introduction, which provides a useful guide to the methodology of first-person accounts, and the articles that build bridges to cognitive science, psychiatry, and the scientific study of meditation techniques. Invited commentaries by leading investigators of consciousness, together with authors' replies, make for a provocative presentation that will be discussed for some time to come." -- Evan Thompson "THE VIEW FROM WITHIN is a major statement, and a brilliant presentation, of the need to include first-person accounts in a science of consciousness. The editors sensibly maintain that a judicious balance of first-, second-, and third-person perspectives is not only desirable but unavoidable in any satisfactory study of consciousness. But their integrative approach is not merely a theoretical call for such; they provide instances of precisely how such a comprehensive approach can be pragmatically executed. As such, this book marks a major milestone in the science of consciousness, and it will surely become one of the standard references in the field." -- Ken Wilber "THE VIEW FROM WITHIN provides a much needed counterbalance to the reigning trends in consciousness research. By emphasizing the importance of first person perspectives, and situating them within the context of third person accounts, one begins to see how a fully integrated research program into consciousness might develop in the future. These essays will establish an important beachhead directed towards a rich, multifaceted investigation of consciousness." -- Arthur Zajonc
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Rating details

40 ratings
4.18 out of 5 stars
5 48% (19)
4 30% (12)
3 18% (7)
2 2% (1)
1 2% (1)
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