Resumen de tesis. El giro fenomenológico en las neurociencias cognitivas: de Fancisco Varela a Shaun Gallagher
El giro fenomenológico en las neurociencias cognitivas: de Fancisco Varela a Shaun Gallagher
Tesis y disertaciones académicas
Universidad de Salamanca (España)
Resumen de tesis
Fecha de publicación
[EN]Our doctoral dissertation is entitled "The phenomenological turn in cognitive neurosciences: from Francisco Varela to Shaun Gallagher". This subject is highly relevant and innovative because, as noted Edmund Husserl ( 2009: 8), we are persuaded –even in our 21st century– that “it is still being discussed until today in what relation is philosophy with the sciences of nature and spirit”. This discussion has been rekindled, again and again, in the last decades with regard to natural sciences and cognitive (neuro)sciences. In this thesis, we wanted to contrast the hypotheses that drove our research: one general hypothesis and three special ones in derivation of the first one. Hence, we opted to formulate them as follows: • General Hypothesis (GH). There has been a phenomenological turn in cognitive (neuro)sciences, which was originally led by Francisco J. Varela and continued, after him, by Shaun Gallagher. o First Special Hypothesis (SH1). The above phenomenological turn is reaction and product of some particular assumptions pertaining to a naturalization project, which we intend to investigate. o Second Special Hypothesis (SH2). The above turn was originally promoted by the Chilean neurobiologist Francisco J. Varela in a determined intellectual and historical context. o Third Special Hypothesis (SH3). The above turn has been updated and ripened, without injury from other authors who claim a similar action, by the Irish-American professor Shaun Gallagher in a determined intellectual and historical context. If, on the one hand, GH comprehends all the present doctoral research, SH1 belonged to Part I, SH2 to Part II, and, as it could not be otherwise, SH3 to Part III. But before continuing, let's explain why we titled our thesis of the already enunciated form. Thus, the proposed title of this book is composed of various elements, as diverse was our standpoint: "Phenomenological turn", "cognitive neurosciences", "Francisco Varela" and "Shaun Gallagher". The very presence of these elements showed that we were faced with a research aimed to build bridges and not trenches between the different fields of knowledge. There is no work in our field of study that is strictly parallel to our chosen theme and authors. This point reinforced the originality of this book. By "phenomenological turn", an original expression of ours, we were not willing to mean the positioning towards the mind or the conscience as a problematic entity on the part of philosophy or the sciences of cognition, since it was something already done by authors like John Searle (1992 ), Ray S. Jackendoff (1987) or Owen Flanagan (1993), among others; but rather we denoted with it the exceptional turn towards phenomenology as a complementary method on the part, not of a qualified philosopher, but of a renowned neuroscientist with outstanding philosophical skills: Francisco J. Varela and his philosophical partner, Shaun Gallagher. They tried to step out “the relation between philosophy and empirical science [as] one-way enterprise [or] an application of ready-made concepts [where there is] no reciprocity, and there is no feedback. The application does not lead to a modification of the original analysis” (Zahavi 2009: 13).
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