A Philosophical Critique of Heterophenomenology

 Posted by on 12 November 2008 at 12:05 pm  Philosophy
Nov 122008

Christian Beenfeldt, Oxford graduate student in philosophy and occasional writer for the Ayn Rand Institute, recently published a paper in the Journal of Consciousness Studies entitled “A Philosophical Critique of Heterophenomenology.” Here’s the abstract:

In this paper Dennett’s method of heterophenomenology is discussed. After a brief explanation of the method, three arguments in support of it are considered in turn. First, the argument from the possibility of error and self-delusion of the subject is found to ignore the panoply of intermediate position that one can take with regard to the epistemic status of first-personal knowledge. The argument is also criticized for employing an epistemic double-standard. Second, the argument from the neutrality of heterophenomenology is found to be defeated by the fact that, contrary to Dennett’s claims, third-person, functionalist and instrumentalist assumptions substantially underpin and inform the method. Similarities between heterophenomenology and the Turing Test are furthermore explored, and it is shown that a weaker version of the neutrality claim also fails. Third, the argument from the appeal to the standard practice of science is shown to substantially rest on an equivocation on the term ‘heterophenomenology’ and is therefore rejected. Finally, it is suggested that the use of introspective reports is not inherently at odds with sound scientific procedures.

I haven’t read it yet, but it looks of interesting! (It should be available for free via university accounts.)

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha