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Since the late 1980s, and especially the late 1990s, a variety ofwriters working in philosophy of mind have focused on the fundamentalcharacter of consciousness, ultimately a phenomenological issue. Doesconsciousness always and essentially involve self-consciousness, orconsciousness-of-consciousness, as Brentano, Husserl, and Sartre held(in verying detail)? If so, then every act of consciousness eitherincludes or is adjoined by a consciousness-of-that-consciousness. Doesthat self-consciousness take the form of an internal self-monitoring?If so, is that monitoring of a higher order, where each act ofconsciousness is joined by a further mental act monitoring the baseact? Or is such monitoring of the same order as the base act, a properpart of the act without which the act would not be conscious? A varietyof models of this self-consciousness have been developed, someexplicitly drawing on or adapting views in Brentano, Husserl, andSartre. Two recent collections address these issues: David WoodruffSmith and Amie L. Thomasson (editors), Phenomenology and Philosophy ofMind (2005), and Uriah Kriegel and Kenneth Williford (editors),Self-Representational Approaches to Consciousness (2006).

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Scholars Reevaluate the Significance of The Varieties of Religious Experience

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Consider logic. As we saw, logical theory of meaning led Husserlinto the theory of intentionality, the heart of phenomenology. On oneaccount, phenomenology explicates the intentional or semantic force ofideal meanings, and propositional meanings are central to logicaltheory. But logical structure is expressed in language, either ordinarylanguage or symbolic languages like those of predicate logic ormathematics or computer systems. It remains an important issue ofdebate where and whether language shapes specific forms of experience(thought, perception, emotion) and their content or meaning. So thereis an important (if disputed) relation between phenomenology andlogico-linguistic theory, especially philosophical logic and philosophyof language (as opposed to mathematical logic per se).

Hedonism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

More recently, analytic philosophers of mind have rediscoveredphenomenological issues of mental representation, intentionality,consciousness, sensory experience, intentional content, andcontext-of-thought. Some of these analytic philosophers of mind harkback to William James and Franz Brentano at the origins of modernpsychology, and some look to empirical research in today’s cognitiveneuroscience. Some researchers have begun to combine phenomenologicalissues with issues of neuroscience and behavioral studies andmathematical modeling. Such studies will extend the methods oftraditional phenomenology as the Zeitgeist moves on. Weaddress philosophy of mind below.

Phenomenology is the study of structures of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view

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Furthermore, in a different dimension, we find various grounds orenabling conditions—conditions of the possibility—ofintentionality, including embodiment, bodily skills, cultural context,language and other social practices, social background, and contextualaspects of intentional activities. Thus, phenomenology leads fromconscious experience into conditions that help to give experience itsintentionality. Traditional phenomenology has focused on subjective,practical, and social conditions of experience. Recent philosophy ofmind, however, has focused especially on the neural substrate ofexperience, on how conscious experience and mental representation orintentionality are grounded in brain activity. It remains a difficultquestion how much of these grounds of experience fall within theprovince of phenomenology as a discipline. Cultural conditions thusseem closer to our experience and to our familiar self-understandingthan do the electrochemical workings of our brain, much less ourdependence on quantum-mechanical states of physical systems to which wemay belong. The cautious thing to say is that phenomenology leads insome ways into at least some background conditions of ourexperience.

Origins of the concept of religion and definitions Etymology and history of the concept of religion

The Death of the Moth, and Other Essays

For Husserl, then, phenomenology integrates a kind of psychologywith a kind of logic. It develops a descriptive or analytic psychologyin that it describes and analyzes types of subjective mental activityor experience, in short, acts of consciousness. Yet it develops a kindof logic—a theory of meaning (today we say logical semantics)—in that it describes and analyzes objective contents ofconsciousness: ideas, concepts, images, propositions, in short, idealmeanings of various types that serve as intentional contents, ornoematic meanings, of various types of experience. These contents areshareable by different acts of consciousness, and in that sense theyare objective, ideal meanings. Following Bolzano (and to some extentthe platonistic logician Hermann Lotze), Husserl opposed any reductionof logic or mathematics or science to mere psychology, to how peoplehappen to think, and in the same spirit he distinguished phenomenologyfrom mere psychology. For Husserl, phenomenology would studyconsciousness without reducing the objective and shareable meaningsthat inhabit experience to merely subjective happenstances. Idealmeaning would be the engine of intentionality in acts ofconsciousness.

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A prominent line of analysis holds that the phenomenal character ofa mental activity consists in a certain form of awareness of thatactivity, an awareness that by definition renders it conscious. Sincethe 1980s a variety of models of that awareness have been developed. Asnoted above, there are models that define this awareness as ahigher-order monitoring, either an inner perception of the activity (aform of inner sense per Kant) or inner consciousness (per Brentano), oran inner thought about the activity. A further model analyzes suchawareness as an integral part of the experience, a form ofself-representation within the experience. (Again, see Kriegel andWilliford (eds.) (2006).)