Mechanisms and Consciousness: Integrating Phenomenology with Cognitive Science

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2022.11.03 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews

Marek Pokropski, Mechanisms and Consciousness: Integrating Phenomenology with Cognitive Science, Routledge, 2022, 206pp., $160.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780367465254.

Reviewed by Dave Ward, University of Edinburgh

Phenomenology, the philosophical movement founded and baptised by Edmund Husserl in the late 19th Century, has always had a fraught relationship with the empirical sciences of the mind. Ever since there has been phenomenology, people have argued about naturalizing it. Can we? Should we? In his book, Marek Pokropski argues that the answers to these questions are ‘yes’ and ‘yes’. The questions are tricky in part because there is so little agreement about what either ‘phenomenology’ or ‘naturalization’ consist in. Pokropski makes progress by arguing for particular conceptions of both. His overarching thesis is simple and appealing—phenomenology can be productively integrated with cognitive science when we work with a de-transcendentalised ‘phenomenological psychology’, and use its analyses of mental states and processes to constrain…

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