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Process Approaches to Consciousness in Psychology, by Michel Weber

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By Michel Weber

Opens a discussion among approach philosophy and modern cognizance reviews.

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We needn’t agree with the reducibility thesis of the unified science program to agree that physics will be the lowest order science in this scheme of grounding. Physical reality in space and time is what finally individuates the operative terms of the higher sciences. So Rosenberg poses the pointed question: what carries the circular relations that define physics? These carriers must have several interesting properties. “What the world needs from a carrier of physics are properties whose being would be extrinsic within every such system and yet which still have the requisite internal relations to one another.

On the one hand, consciousness—if not by nature, then at least when it is seeking knowledge—is objectifying; on the other hand, consciousness always involves a performative dimension that cannot be objectified as such, but is nevertheless always experienced. , “body”). However, when anything tacitly lived or performed (performed “in the first person”) is objectified, an unwitting substitution occurs. Because we assume parity between objectifying an object and objectifying the self, we think we have captured the intended actuality in the focus of our objectification, just as we would a live specimen, which doesn’t cease to live simply because it is subject to observation.

Substantialism is the view that accords metaphysical primacy to permanence. Weber suggests that substantialism is defined by a rigid metaphysical reading—inspired by everyday consciousness—of the principles of Aristotelian logic (Law of Identity, Law of Non-Contradiction, Law of Excluded Middle). Accordingly, substantialism manifests itself in psychology as the assumption that consciousness is also a thing defined by these three laws. Weber argues that this has the unfortunate effect of absolutizing consciousness in its normal and everyday manifestation to the exclusion of the fringe and alternative modalities that exercised James.

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