The main objective of this article is to capitalise on many years of research, and of practice, relating to the use of introspection in a research context, and thus to provide an initial outline description of introspection, while developing an introspection of introspection. After a description of the context of this research, I define the institutional conditions which would enable the renewal of introspection as a research methodology. Then I describe three aspects of introspective practice: 1) introspection as a process (...) of becoming aware, theorized through Husserl's model of consciousness modes; 2) introspection as recollection, through the model of retention and awakening in Husserl's theory of memory; 3) the use of universal descriptive categories for the description of all lived experiences, as a guide for skilled practice of introspection in research. Finally I examine the question of the validation of introspective data, suggesting a strong distinction between the ethical criterion and the epistemic criterion of truth. (shrink)
In this article I am not going to try and define introspection. I am going to try to state as precisely as possible how the practice of introspection can be improved, starting from the principle that there exists a disjunction between the logic of action and of conceptualization and the practice of introspection does not require that one should already be in possession of an exhaustive scientific knowledge bearing upon it. . To make matters worse, innumerable commentators upon what passes (...) for introspection do not seem to have practised it and have certainly never contributed anything to its development. My aim is therefore to bring to light a procedure for progressive improvement in the practice of introspection when it is employed in a programme of research. (shrink)
It is possible to consider attention as the modulating dimension of consciousness. Understood in this sense, attention can be a privileged theme for relating the first person point of view (conceived as a psycho-phenomenology inspired by the work of Husserl) to the experimental sciences (e.g. psychology, neuropsychology, etc.), which have done a great deal of work on attention. This article will take up in succession some different points of view regarding the status of attention and its structure (e.g. static aspects). (...) It will also consider the dynamic of attention from a micro-genetic point of view as well as a functional point of view. The final section will seek to show not only the unique and original contributions of each perspective, but also each perspective''s limitations and biases. (shrink)
The target article concludes that it is essential to introduce the personal level in cognitive science. We propose to take this conclusion one step further. The personal level should consist of first-person accounts of specific, contextualized experiences, not abstract or imagined cases. Exploring first-person accounts at their own level of detail calls for the refinements of method that can link up with neural accounts.
Open peer commentary on the article “Excavating Belief About Past Experience: Experiential Dynamics of the Reflective Act” by Urban Kordeš & Ema Demšar. Upshot: I discuss four points: The “excavation fallacy” is a skeptical assertion, therefore, it is not a valid argument; Nisbett & Wilson’s results are experimental artefacts; Guiding to recall enables the exceeding of limits ruled by experimental psychology of memory; A typology of research situations must be introduced to the way we consider methodology.
This book searches for the sources and means for a disciplined practical approach to exploring human experience. The spirit of this book is "pragmatic" and relies on a Husserlian phenomenology primarily understood as a "method" of exploring our experience. The authors do not aim at a neo-Kantian "a priori" new theory of experience but instead they describe a concrete activity: how we examine what we live through, how we "become aware" of our own mental life. The range of experiences of (...) which we can become aware is vast: all the normal dimensions of human life (perception, motion, memory, imagination, speech, everyday social interactions), cognitive events that can be precisely defined as tasks in laboratory experiments (e.g., a protocol for visual attention), but also manifestations of mental life more fraught with meaning (dreaming, intense emotions, social tensions, altered states of consciousness). The central assertion in this work is that this immanent ability is habitually ignored or at best practiced unsystematically, that is to say, blindly. Exploring human experience amounts to developing and cultivating this basic ability through specific training. Only a hands-on, non-dogmatic approach can lead to progress, and that is what animates this book. (Series B). (shrink)