The Phenomenology of Consciousness and Subjectivity

Consciousness and subjectivity are central to lived human existence yet have been remarkably downplayed by objectivist and naturalistic tendencies in contemporary science. This project proposes to revision conceptually and to re-assess critically the enduring relevance of the phenomenological approach to consciousness, embodiment, and subjectivity, with regard to contemporary discussions of these issues in the philosophy of mind, cognitive sciences, and related human sciences. This contemporary re-conceptualisation of the phenomenological approach to consciousness and subjectivity, aims specifically to reinsert phenomenology into current, more naturalistic cognitive science discussions of these topics, and to present phenomenology in a rigorous manner, accessible not just to philosophers but also to those in the human sciences.

The project will construct a considered, robust and reasoned defence of the phenomenological approach against theoretical challenges and criticisms that emerge from contemporary more naturalistic approaches of the mind, consciousness and subjectivity, criticisms that often dismiss phenomenological findings as ‘merely’ subjective, introspective (hence unreliable) and not amenable to objective assessment or lawful generalisation. An informed theoretical clarification of phenomenology will potentially have a significant impact in the human sciences where theoretical concepts clustered around subjectivity, consciousness, and embodied selfhood are regularly deployed.