Monday, September 1, 2014

Phenomenology and naturalism

See this Thompson review of a book on phenomenology and naturalism. It seems again like a methodological pluralism in comparing the above two paradigms. It reminds me of Bryant in that it deals with how the real, symbolic and imaginary simultaneously expand and constrain each other. For example:

"Phenomenologists generally argue that naturalism overlooks and cannot account for the necessary conditions of its own possibility. [...] Husserl (1970) also argues that scientific naturalism presupposes and overlooks the 'life-world' as a transcendental structure of intersubjective understanding, without which science would not be possible."

"Cognitive science and phenomenology can be mutually enlightening and reciprocally constraining. [...] By proposing that to reconcile naturalism and transcendental phenomenology we need naturalism to be 'minimal' and the transcendental to be 'domesticated.' 'Minimal naturalism' requires phenomenological accounts not to conflict with science but allows for the possibility that empirical science may not be able to illuminate certain cognitive phenomena (e.g., constitutively normative or ethical ones), whereas the 'domesticated transcendental' takes the necessary conditions of possibility for human cognition to be historically contingent (where 'history' includes natural and cultural history)."

And this one seems akin to the object a at the heart of Bryant's model:

"Grasping the world in perception and thought as an open space of possibilities of presence and absence. [...] Following Husserl, Ratcliffe claims that our ability to distinguish between 'is' and 'is not" presupposes an understanding of the world as a richly structured cognitive and affective possibility space."

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