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Authors: Gottschling, Verena
Title: Bridging the gap : a commentary on Jonathan Schooler
Online publication date: 26-Oct-2016
Language: english
Abstract: In my commentary on this rich paper, I will focus on the methodological approach proposed by Schooler. The main goal of this commentary is to introduce an improved and more detailed interpretation of Schooler’s distinction between experiential consciousness and meta-awareness. I will address four issues. After summarizing Schooler’s main ideas, I will discuss some general problems regarding the proposed distinction between experiential consciousness and meta-awareness. I will relate the distinction to the more general debate. I then discuss some conceptual claims to which Schooler seems to be committed to making, and show how they relate to one another. I point to some tension between them. As I will argue, the central issue has to do with the underspecified notion of “reflection”. Different kinds of reflection are required for Schooler’s “pure experience” and for meta-awareness. I will try to get a better grasp on the author’s underlying position by discussing the main empirical evidence motivating the account, namely mind-wandering, in section two. I argue that the evidence does not support the distinction as introduced, but does give us some insight into the complexity of the required meta-cognitive processes. I will suggest some conceptual changes in the underlying framework, which I believe make the main project stronger and help to avoid some of the problems we have encountered. Specifically, I want to introduce a taxonomy of different kinds of reflection and show which kinds of reflections might required both for Schooler’s “pure experience” and for his meta-awareness. In the third section, I turn to the author’s main claim, which is the existence of a new meta-perspective. According to Schooler, this is the central proposal of his paper, and it follows from his initial perceptual-perspective-shifting analogy and the distinction he proposes. Schooler claims that the meta-perspective helps us to overcome the limitations of both perspectives: the first person perspective and the third person perspective. In effect, by introducing the meta-perspective we can bridge the gap between self-reported experiences and observable behavior, and get a completely new perspective on the mind–body problem. As I will argue, this ontological element is relatively independent of the rest of his methodological project. Moreover, it is an unnecessary strategic move.
DDC: 100 Philosophie
100 Philosophy
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 05 Philosophie und Philologie
Place: Mainz
URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:77-publ-550242
Version: Published version
Publication type: Buchbeitrag
License: in Copyright
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Citation: Open MIND
Metzinger, Thomas
Pages or article number: Kap. 34(C)
Publisher: MIND Group
Publisher place: Frankfurt am Main
Issue date: 2015
Publisher URL:
Publisher DOI: 10.15502/9783958570658
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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