The body and the mind, or the body lived and the body described?
In this article we ask the question of whether it is possible to connect phenomenology with neuroscience so as to develop the concept of the unified human being, which could be the subject of both objective information and lived experience. This question we answer with the help of the neuroscientist Jean-Pierre Changeux and the phenomenologist Paul Ricoeur. Our finding is that while both authors express the need to bridge the gap between science and phenomenology, in fact they remain locked in their respective methodological frameworks. Although neuroscience says that it needs to exploit the findings of phenomenology in order to adequately grasp experience, instead it actually replaces experience with mental states. On the other hand although phenomenological hermeneutics would like to include objectivity in its operations, in fact it only simulates it by the process of the sedimentation of experience. This finding leads us to further reflections about the character of thinking and about reflection on the person. We are interested in the question of what gives rise to the thought that neuroscience and phenomenology should indeed be concerned with the same thing. What gives rise to the supposition that there should be two perspectival viewpoints on one and the same reality? We suppose, as the preceding study shows, thinking does not grasp reality but rather divides it in a certain way, always differently to another way of thinking. It is not, therefore, the case that we understand better and better what a person is, or that from a different perspective we may regard that same person, but rather that we mean by the concept of person various forms of selfoverlapping. It does not therefore make sense to attempt to create coherent closed systems for dealing with the identical human being, but rather that on the basis of one thinking to divide reality and begin to think differently.
A. Klikova, Prirodovedecka fakulta Univerzity Karlovy, Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2, Czech Republic
Publication order reference
CEJSH db identifier