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Authors: Schooler, Jonathan
Title: Bridging the objective/subjective divide : towards a meta-perspective of science and experience
Online publication date: 26-Oct-2016
Language: english
Abstract: In this paper I use the thesis that perspective shifting can fundamentally alter how we evaluate evidence as the backdrop for exploring the perennial challenge of bridging the divide between the subjective first-person perspective of experience, and the objective third-person perspective of science. I begin by suggesting that reversible images provide a metaphor for conceptualizing how the very same situation can be understood from two very different perspectives that appear to produce seemingly irreconcilable accounts of their contents. However, when one recognizes that both views are different vantages on some deeper structure, a meta-perspective can emerge that potentially offers a vantage by which the opposing perspectives can be reconciled. Building on this notion of a meta-perspective, I outline a framework for conceptualizing how science can draw on individuals’ first-person experience in order to explicate those experiences within the necessarily third-person perspective of science. I then show how this approach can illuminate one of the most private yet ubiquitous aspects of mental life: mind-wandering. Finally and most speculatively, I attempt to tackle the enduring ontological tensions that emerge from the disparities between the first- versus third-person perspectives. Specifically, I suggest that the present prevailing third-person perspective of material reductionism fails to adequately account for the first-person experience of subjectivity, the flow of time, and the present. While I argue that these differences are an intrinsic property of each perspective, and thus irreconcilable from the vantage of either, I raise the possibility of a meta-perspective in which these clashes might be better accommodated. Toward this end, I speculatively suggest that experience, the flow of time, and the unique quality of “now” might be accommodated by the postulation of a subjective dimension or dimensions of time.
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-550254
Version: Published version
Publication type: Buchbeitrag
License: in Copyright
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Citation: Open MIND
Metzinger, Thomas
Pages or article number: Kap. 34(T)
Publisher: MIND Group
Publisher place: Frankfurt am Main
Issue date: 2015
Publisher URL:
Publisher DOI: 10.15502/9783958570405
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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