Phenomenal Experiences, First-Person Methods, and the Artificiality of Experimental Data

Philosophy of Science 81 (5):927-939 (2014)
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This paper argues that whereas philosophical discussions of first-person methods often turn on the veridicality of first-person reports, more attention should be paid to the experimental circumstances under which the reports are generated, and to the purposes of designing such experiments. After pointing to the ‘constructedness’ of first-person reports in the science of perception, I raise questions about the criteria by which to judge whether the reports illuminate something about the nature of perception. I illustrate this point with a historical debate between Gestalt psychologist and atomists, both of whom used first-person methods to investigate perception.

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Uljana Feest
Universität Hannover


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