HFIK03951U FILO, Module 9: Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind

Volume 2017/2018

Kandidatuddannelsen i Filosofi 2017-ordning 


Phenomenology and analytical philosophy count as two of the most influential philosophical traditions of the 20th Century. Unfortunately, their relationship in the past has not exactly been characterized by fruitful cooperation and exchange; rather, most of the time it has ranged from complete disregard to outright hostility.

Recently, however, things have started to change. A growing number of analytical philosophers of mind have started paying attention to arguments and analyses to be found in the phenomenological treatment of issues like intentionality, self-consciousness, subjectivity, embodiment and social cognition. Likewise, many phenomenologists are currently engaged in lively exchanges with their analytical colleagues. This ongoing dialogue stands now as a very dynamic and productive area in contemporary philosophical research.

This course shall explore some topics that are of concern to both phenomenologists and analytical philosophers of mind. It will show that analytical philosophy can profit from phenomenological insights, just as phenomenology can learn from analytical philosophy. It will also examine some of the ways in which philosophical approaches to the mind can productively engage with empirical work on consciousness and cognition. 

The course will start out by an extensive discussion of issues pertaining to methodology. What is the phenomenological method? Is there one or several different methods? And what are the relevant similarities and differences between the phenomenological approach and different methods employed by analytic philosophers such as classical conceptual analysis or Dennett’s heterophenomenology? Authors discussed will include Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Dreyfus, Dennett, Flanagan, Siewert and Thomasson.

After this focus on methodology, we will next turn to issues in philosophy of perception. Among the topics discussed will be the notion of Leibhaftigkeit, and we will try to place phenomenological accounts of perceptual experience in relation to the main analytic accounts of the same. Authors discussed will include Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, A. D. Smith, Walter Hopp, Elisabeth Pacherie, John Searle, and Mike Martin.


Suggested background reading:

Gallagher, S. & Zahavi, D. (2012) The Phenomenological Mind. London: Routledge.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 353,5
  • Total
  • 409,5
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assesment