Handbook of Phenomenology and Cognitive Science

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9789400786479: Handbook of Phenomenology and Cognitive Science

This volume explores the essential issues involved in bringing phenomenology together with the cognitive sciences, and provides some examples of research located at the intersection of these disciplines. The topics addressed here cover a lot of ground, including questions about naturalizing phenomenology, the precise methods of phenomenology and how they can be used in the empirical cognitive sciences, specific analyses of perception, attention, emotion, imagination, embodied movement, action and agency, representation and cognition, inters- jectivity, language and metaphor. In addition there are chapters that focus on empirical experiments involving psychophysics, perception, and neuro- and psychopathologies. The idea that phenomenology, understood as a philosophical approach taken by thinkers like Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and others, can offer a positive contribution to the cognitive sciences is a relatively recent idea. Prior to the 1990s, phenomenology was employed in a critique of the first wave of cognitivist and computational approaches to the mind (see Dreyfus 1972). What some consider a second wave in cognitive science, with emphasis on connectionism and neuros- ence, opened up possibilities for phenomenological intervention in a more positive way, resulting in proposals like neurophenomenology (Varela 1996). Thus, bra- imaging technologies can turn to phenomenological insights to guide experimen- tion (see, e. g. , Jack and Roepstorff 2003; Gallagher and Zahavi 2008).

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From the Back Cover:

The Handbook of Phenomenology and Cognitive Science contains a comprehensive and authoritative overview of the main ideas and methods currently used at the intersection of phenomenology and the neuro- and cognitive sciences. The idea that phenomenology, in the European continental tradition, has something to offer to the cognitive sciences is a relatively recent development in our attempt to understand the mind. Here in one volume the leading researchers in this area address the central topics that define the intersection between phenomenological studies and the cognitive sciences. They address questions about methodology, the analysis of perception, memory, imagination, attention, emotion, intersubjectivity, the role of the body and language, and they explore a variety of pathologies that throw light on our everyday experiences. The authors draw on the classical works of phenomenologists such as Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Gurwitsch, and Sartre, but they also push the traditional lines of phenomenology to new boundaries, mapping out new terrain in connection with the empirical science of the mind and body. These essays are revelatory for both phenomenologists who want to understand what cognitive science can contribute to an understanding of experience, and for scientists who want to understand how they can use phenomenology in their empirical studies.


From the reviews:

“It is a much needed volume for examination of possible connections between phenomenology and cognitive science, the current vanguard of the dominant mainstream school of cognitive psychology. ... There are different topics covered and there are different perspectives presented. ... chapters have their respective merits and deserve consideration. Springer has provided to readers a broad coverage of the possible relationship between phenomenology and cognitive science.” (Thomas F. Cloonan, Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, Vol. 43 (2), 2012)

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