Phenomenological Reviews

Series | Book | Chapter



the naturalistic attitude cannot grasp meaning for consciousness

Ian R Owen

pp. 1-14


This chapter introduces are the basic of what it is to be aware and notes that there are a number of traditions that interpret the consciousness-biology or consciousness and natural being relationship in ways that refuse to acknowledge the abundant evidence of how the world is represented in consciousness. This chapter focuses on the problems of their positions and their consequences in general as a false problem and briefing offers a genuine solution to the being of consciousness. The first section comments on the problems of the natural attitude and the limits of the naturalistic attitude of natural science that refuses the existence of the consciousness that gives it its methods and meaning. The dominant natural psychological scientific paradigm is sketched and absurd consequences of Scientism are noted. Second, the problem of naturalistic approaches that cannot grasp meaning for consciousness because they mis-interpret the consciousness-being relationship and forever remain in an unclear position with respect to consciousness that they cannot or will not represent while asserting that natural being is the only being worthy of consideration: a version of a doubly negative dualism. Third, some brief comments are made about Husserl's brief sketch of the type of answer provided is made. The starting point for understanding consciousness is phenomenology, a methodical qualitative cognitivism that identifies the contours of its territory before any empirical approach to ensure that the empirical methods properly refer to conscious experiences. A taxonomy of the types of intentionality has consequences that helps understand the infinite set of instances of conscious experience involving processes that are implicit, tacit, preconscious or unconscious and highly variable. The fundamental territory to be understood are emotions, moods, thoughts, behaviours, mental habits and relationships between people and are evident in how persons treat themselves. The reflective phenomenological attitude provides helpful insights about consciousness and its processes of intentionality. There is consciousness of what it is like to be you or me, to be a child or adult, to be someone in history or merely a person in general who thinks and feels and struggles to understand. The project is to identify consciousness in general from its evidence. Being conscious is evidently discussible through speech and is certainly not the type of being of an inanimate thing. Indeed, some phenomena of being consciousness are undeniable and can be used to structure qualitative and quantitative reasoning in psychology and psychotherapy for instance.

Publication details

Published in:

Owen Ian R (2015) Phenomenology in action in psychotherapy: on pure psychology and its applications in psychotherapy and mental health care. Dordrecht, Springer.

Pages: 1-14

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-13605-9_1

Full citation:

Owen Ian R (2015) Introduction: the naturalistic attitude cannot grasp meaning for consciousness, In: Phenomenology in action in psychotherapy, Dordrecht, Springer, 1–14.