Phenomenology, Naturalism, and Religious Experience

In Alasdair Coles & Fraser Watts (eds.), Religion and Neurology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 35-47 (2019)
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Contemporary philosophical debates about the competing merits of neurological and phenomenological approaches to understanding both psychiatric illness and religious experience—and, indeed, the relationship, if any, between psychiatric illness and religious experience. In this chapter, I propose that both psychiatric illness and religious experiences - at least in some of their diverse forms - are best understood phenomenologically in terms of radical changes in a person's 'existential feelings', in the sense articulated by Matthew Ratcliffe. If so, explanatory priority should be assigned to phenomenology and not to neurology.



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Ian James Kidd
Nottingham University

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