•  753
    Making enactivism even more embodied
    with Shaun Gallagher
    Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies (2): 232-247. 2013.
    The full scope of enactivist approaches to cognition includes not only a focus on sensory-motor contingencies and physical affordances for action, but also an emphasis on affective factors of embodiment and intersubjective affordances for social interaction. This strong conception of embodied cognition calls for a new way to think about the role of the brain in the larger system of brain-body-environment. We ask whether recent work on predictive coding offers a way to think about brain function …Read more
  •  542
    Developing open intersubjectivity: On the interpersonal shaping of experience
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (3): 455-474. 2015.
    The aim of this paper is to motivate the need for and then present the outline of an alternative explanation of what Dan Zahavi has dubbed “open intersubjectivity,” which captures the basic interpersonal character of perceptual experience as such. This is a notion whose roots lay in Husserl’s phenomenology. Accordingly, the paper begins by situating the notion of open intersubjectivity – as well as the broader idea of constituting intersubjectivity to which it belongs – within Husserl’s phenomen…Read more
  •  363
    Husserl’s Motivation and Method for Phenomenological Reconstruction
    Continental Philosophy Review 47 (2): 135-152. 2014.
    In this paper I piece present an account of Husserl’s approach to the phenomenological reconstruction of consciousness’ immemorial past, a problem, I suggest, that is quite pertinent for defenders of Lockean psychological continuity views of personal identity. To begin, I sketch the background of the problem facing the very project of a genetic phenomenology, within which the reconstructive analysis is situated. While the young Husserl took genetic matters to be irrelevant to the main task of …Read more
  •  276
    Husserl’s theory of instincts as a theory of affection
    Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 45 (2): 133-147. 2014.
    Husserl’s theory of passive experience first came to systematic and detailed expression in the lectures on passive synthesis from the early 1920s, where he discusses pure passivity under the rubric of affection and association. In this paper I suggest that this familiar theory of passive experience is a first approximation leaving important questions unanswered. Focusing primarily on affection, I will show that Husserl did not simply leave his theory untouched. In later manuscripts he signifi…Read more
  •  256
    Daubert’s Naïve Realist Challenge to Husserl
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 96 (2): 211-243. 2019.
    Despite extensive discussion of naïve realism in the wider philosophical literature, those influenced by the phenomenological movement who work in the philosophy of perception have hardly weighed in on the matter. It is thus interesting to discover that Edmund Husserl’s close philosophical interlocutor and friend, the early twentieth-century phenomenologist Johannes Daubert, held the naive realist view. This article presents Daubert’s views on the fundamental nature of perceptual experience and …Read more
  •  197
    Husserl on Hallucination: A Conjunctive Reading
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (3): 549-579. 2020.
    Several commentators have recently attributed conflicting accounts of the relation between veridical perceptual experience and hallucination to Husserl. Some say he is a proponent of the conjunctive view that the two kinds of experience are fundamentally the same. Others deny this and purport to find in Husserl distinct and non-overlapping accounts of their fundamental natures, thus committing him to a disjunctive view. My goal is to set the record straight. Having briefly laid out the probl…Read more
  •  75
    While classical phenomenology, as represented by Edmund Husserl’s work, resists certain forms of representationalism about perception, I argue that in its theory of horizons, it posits representations in the sense of content-bearing vehicles. As part of a phenomenological theory, this means that on the Husserlian view such representations are part of the phenomenal character of perceptual experience. I believe that, although the intuitions supporting this idea are correct, it is a mistake to mai…Read more
  •  43
    The recently published volume Rasmus Thybo Jensen and Dermot Moran have put together, The Phenomenology of Embodied Subjectivity, displays the richness that phenomenological approaches to embodiment have to offer, both in terms of the many insights of some of its major figures and as a style of inquiry that continues to be aptly deployed in diverse theoretical contexts. As such, the collection is accessible to a broad audience. The phenomenological perspectives represented are primarily those of…Read more
  •  38
    Open peer commentary on the article “Towards a PL-Metaphysics of Perception: In Search of the Metaphysical Roots of Constructivism” by Konrad Werner. Upshot: I disclaim the need for a metaphysics for perception, in the sense of a general metaphysics, and suggest that the motivations for embarking on that project can be satisfied in an interesting way without any general metaphysical stock-taking, by appeal to phenomenological and enactive accounts of perception
  •  37
    Categorical Desires and the Badness of Animal Death
    Journal of Value Inquiry 52 (1): 97-111. 2018.
    One way to defend humane animal agriculture is to insist that the deaths of animals aren’t bad for them. Christopher Belshaw has argued for this position in the most detail, maintaining that death is only bad when it frustrates categorical desires, which he thinks animals lack. We are prepared to grant his account of the badness of death, but we are skeptical of the claim that animals don’t have categorical desires. We contend that Belshaw’s argument against the badness of animal death relies on…Read more
  •  22
    Levinas's Philosophy of Perception
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (4): 383-414. 2017.
    Levinas is usually discussed as a philosopher wrestling with the nature of our experience of others, ethical obligation, and the divine. Unlike other phenomenologists, such as Husserl and Heidegger, he is not often mentioned in discussions about issues in philosophy of mind. His work in that area, especially on perception, is underappreciated. He gives an account of the nature of perceptual experience that is remarkable both in how it departs from that of others in the phenomenological tradition…Read more
  •  19
    Husserl on Perception: A Nonrepresentationalism That Nearly Was
    European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4): 1768-1790. 2017.
    There is a longstanding debate among Husserl scholars about whether Husserl thinks perception involves mental representation. The debate, I believe, has not been settled. I deny that the existentialist-inspired charge of representationalism about perception in Husserl is precise enough to stick. Given a clearer understanding of just what mental representation amounts to, I contend that those who defend Husserl against the accusation of representationalism fare little better than Husserl's existe…Read more
  •  18
    Genetic Phenomenology, Cognitive Development, and the Embodied/ Extended Mind
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (9-10): 83-108. 2015.
    There is clearly some area of thematic overlap between the subject matter of Edmund Husserl's genetic phenomenology and studies of cognitive development. I aim in this paper to clarify the extent of this overlap. This will, I hope, serve as an indicator about whether genetic phenomenology might be able to shed some light on actual cognitive-development phenomena. To begin with, I differentiate two strands within Husserl's genetic phenomenology, an idealized and a concrete approach. After providi…Read more
  •  9
    Husserl on Hallucination: A Conjunctive Reading
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (3): 549-579. 2020.
    One of Edmund Husserl's theoretical priorities throughout his philosophical career was to understand the nature of perceptual experience. His analyses of perceptual experience had a profound impact on subsequent thinkers in the phenomenological tradition, such as Aron Gurwitsch and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Naturally, his account of perception remains a topic of discussion among Husserl scholars. Despite the attention it has received over many decades, Husserl interpreters diverge considerably in h…Read more
  •  9
    Husserl’s Concept of the Vorwelt and the Possible Annihilation of the World
    Research in Phenomenology 45 (1): 108-126. 2015.
    In this paper I explore a curious phenomenon discussed in Husserl’s later manuscripts under the name “pre-world.” This notion arises in the context of his ongoing development of a genetic phenomenology, i.e., a phenomenology that is concerned with the dynamics of conscious life, concerning both the generation of new meaning for consciousness and new dimensions of conscious life. The pre-world is one such dimension. I explore it here in two stages. First, I consider the initial unsavoriness of th…Read more
  •  3
    Finding a Way Into Genetic Phenomenology
    In Iulian Apostolescu (ed.), The Subject of Phenomenology. Rereading Husserl, Springer. pp. 185-200. 2020.
    The relation of genetic phenomenology and the project of phenomenological reduction is the primary concern of this paper. Despite Husserl’s occasional loose references to “the” reduction, performing the reduction actually refers to numerous interrelated techniques. I want here to delve into these intricacies with the aim of determining the place of genetic phenomenology within the whole of phenomenological technique. It will be necessary to both state in general terms what the aim of the reducti…Read more
  •  2
    Bodily Affects as Prenoetic Elements in Enactive Perception
    with Shaun Gallagher
    Phenomenology and Mind 4 (1): 78-93. 2013.
    In this paper we attempt to advance the enactive discourse on perception by highlighting the role of bodily affects as prenoetic constraints on perceptual experience. Enactivists argue for an essential connection between perception and action, where action primarily means skillful bodily intervention in one’s surroundings. Analyses of sensory-motor contingencies (as in Noë 2004) are important contributions to the enactive account. Yet this is an incomplete story since sensory-motor contingenc…Read more