Volume 12 · Number 2 · Pages 131–138
Building a Science of Experience: Neurophenomenology and Related Disciplines

Camila Valenzuela-Moguillansky, Alejandra Vásquez-Rosati & Alexander Riegler

Log in to download the full text for free

> Citation > Similar > References > Add Comment


Context: More than 20 years ago Varela initiated a research program to advance in the scientific study of consciousness, neurophenomenology. Problem: Has Varela’s neurophenomenology, the solution to the “hard problem,” been successful? Which issues remain unresolved, and why? Method: This introduction sketches the progress that has been made since then and links it to the contributions to this special issue. Results: Instead of a unified research field, today we find a variety of different interpretations and implementations of neurophenomenology. We argue that neurophenomenology needs to give additional attention to its experiential dimension by addressing first-person methods’ specific challenges and by rethinking the relationship between the frameworks of the firstand third-person approaches.


Valenzuela-Moguillansky C., Vásquez-Rosati A. & Riegler A. (2017) Building a science of experience: Neurophenomenology and related disciplines. Constructivist Foundations 12(2): 131–138. http://constructivist.info/12/2/131

Export article citation data: Plain Text · BibTex · EndNote · Reference Manager (RIS)


Bayne T. (2004) Closing the gap? Some questions for neurophenomenology. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 3(4): 349–364 http://cepa.info/2260
Bitbol M. & Petitmengin C. (2013) A defense of introspection from within. Constructivist Foundations 8(3): 269–279 http://constructivist.info/8/3/269
Bitbol M. & Petitmengin C. (2013) On the possibility and reality of introspection. Kairos 6: 173–198 http://cepa.info/2298
Bitbol M. (2012) Neurophenomenology: An ongoing practice of/in consciousness. Constructivist Foundations 7(3): 165–173 http://constructivist.info/7/3/165
Bockelman P., Reinerman-Jones L. & Gallagher S. (2013) Methodological lessons in neurophenomenology: Review of a baseline study and recommendations for research approaches. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7: 608. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Brooks R. A. (1991) Intelligence without representation. Artificial Intelligence 47(1–3): 139–160. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Chalmers D. (1995) Facing up to the problem of consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 2(3): 200–219. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Chang H. (2012) Is water H2O? Evidence, realism and pluralism. Springer, New York. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
De Preester H. (2002) Naturalizing Husserlian phenomenology: An introduction. Psychoanalytische Perspectieven 20(4): 633–647. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Dennett D. C. (1984) Cognitive wheels: The frame problem of AI. In: Hookway C. (ed.): Minds, machines, and evolution: Philosophical studies. Cambridge University Press, London: 129–151. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Depraz N. & Desmidt T. (2015) Cardiophénoménologie. Les Cahiers Philosophiques de Strasbourg 38: 47–83. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Depraz N., Varela F. J. & Vermersch P. (2003) On becoming aware: A pragmatics of experiencing. John Benjamins, Philadelphia. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Dreyfus H. L. & Dreyfus S. E. (1988) Making a mind versus modelling the brain: Artificial intelligence back at a branch-point. Artificial Intelligence 117: 309–33. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Dupuy J. P. (2009) On the origins of cognitive science: The mechanization of mind. MIT Press, Cambridge MA. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Gallagher S. & Zahavi D. (2012) The phenomenological mind. Second edition. Routledge, London. Originally published in 2008. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Harnad S. (1990) The symbol grounding problem. Physica D 42: 335–346. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Held R. & Hein A. (1963) Movement-produced stimulation in the development of visually guided behavior. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 56(5): 872–876. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Kirchhoff M. D. & Hutto D. D. (2016) Never mind the gap: Neurophenomenology, radical enactivism, and the hard problem of consciousness. Constructivist Foundations 11(2): 346–353 http://constructivist.info/11/2/346
Kordeš U. (2016) Going beyond theory: Constructivism and empirical phenomenology. Constructivist Foundations 11(2): 375–385 http://constructivist.info/11/2/375
Le van Quyen M. & Petitmengin C. (2002) Neuronal dynamics and conscious experience: An example of reciprocal causation before epileptic seizures. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1: 169–180. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Levine J. (1983) Materialism and qualia: The explanatory gap. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 64: 354–61. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Lutz A., Lachaux J. P., Martinerie J. & Varela F. J. (2002) Guiding the study of brain dynamics by using first-person data: Synchrony patterns correlate with ongoing conscious states during a simple visual task. PNAS 99(3): 1586–1591 http://cepa.info/2092
Maturana H. R. & Mpodozis J. (2000) The origin of species by means of natural drift. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 73: 261–310 http://cepa.info/680
Maturana H. R. & Varela F. J. (1973) De máquinas y seres vivos: Una teoría sobre la organización biológica. Editorial Universitaria, Santiago. English translation: (1980) Autopoiesis: The organization of the living. In: Autopoiesis and cognition: The realization of the living. Reidel, Boston: 73–134 http://cepa.info/541
Maturana H. R. (1970) Biology of cognition. BCL Report 9.0. University of Illinois, Urbana. Reprinted in: Maturana H. R. & Varela F. J. (1980) Autopoiesis and cognition: The realization of the living. Kluwer, Dordrecht: 5–58 http://cepa.info/535
Maturana H. R. (1974) Cognitive strategies. In: Foerster H. von (ed.) Cybernetics of cybernetics. BCL Report 73–38. University of Illinois, Urbana: 457–469 http://cepa.info/542
Newell A. & Simon H. A. (1976) Computer science as empirical inquiry: Symbols and search. Communications of the ACM 19(3): 113–126. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Peschl M. F. & Riegler A. (1999) Does representation need reality? Rethinking epistemological issues in the light of recent developments and concepts in cognitive science. In: Riegler A., Peschl M. F. & Stein A. von (eds.) Understanding representation in the cognitive sciences. Kluwer Academic /Plenum Press, New York: 9–17. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Petitmengin C. & Lachaux J.-P. (2013) Microcognitive science: Bridging experiential and neuronal microdynamics. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7: 617 http://cepa.info/934
Petitmengin C. (2003) L’expérience intuitive. Editions L’Harmattan, Paris. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Petitmengin C. (2006) Describing one’s subjective experience in the second person: An interview method for the science of consciousness. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 5(3–4): 229–269 http://cepa.info/2376
Petitmengin C., Baulac M. & Navarro V. (2006) Seizure anticipation: Are neurophenomenological approaches able to detect preictal symptoms? Epilepsy & Behavior 9(2): 298–306. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Petitmengin C., Navarro V. & Le Van Quyen M. (2007) Anticipating seizure: Pre-reflective experience at the center of neuro-phenomenology. Consciousness and Cognition 16(3): 746–764. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Petitmengin C., Remillieux A., Cahour C. & Carter-Thomas S. (2013) A gap in Nisbett and Wilson’s findings? A first-person access to our cognitive processes. Consciousness and Cognition 22: 654–669 http://cepa.info/931
Price D. D. & Aydede M. (2005) The experimental use of introspection in the scientific study of pain and its integration with third-person methodologies: The experiential-phenomenological approach. In: Aydede M. (ed.) Pain: New essays on its nature and the methodology of its study. MIT Press, Cambridge MA: 243–273. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Riegler A. (2002) When is a cognitive system embodied? Cognitive Systems Research 3: 339–348. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Szilasi W. (1973) Introducción a la fenomenología de Husserl. Amorrortu editors, Buenos Aires. Originally published in German as: (1959) Einführung in die Phänomenologie Edmund Husserls. Max Niemeyer Verlag, Tübingen. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Varela F. J. & Thompson E. (1990) Color vision: A case study for the foundations of cognitive science. Revue de Synthèse 111(1): 129–138 http://cepa.info/1951
Varela F. J. (1992) Whence the origin of perception? A cartography of current ideas. In: Varela F. J. & Dupuy J. P. (eds.) Understanding origins: Contemporary ideas on the origin of life, mind and society. Kluwer, Boston: 235–263 http://cepa.info/2074
Varela F. J. (1996) Neurophenomenology: A methodological remedy for the hard problem. Journal of Consciousness Studies 3(4): 330–350 http://cepa.info/1893
Varela F., Thompson E., Rosch E. (1991) The embodied mind: Cognitive science and human experience. MIT Press, Cambridge MA. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Vermersch P. (1994) L’entretien d’explicitation. ESF, Paris. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Vörös S. (2014) The uroboros of consciousness: Between the naturalisation of phenomenology and the phenomenologisation of nature. Constructivist Foundations 10(1): 96–104 http://constructivist.info/10/1/096
Vörös S., Froese T. & Riegler A. (2016) Epistemological odyssey: Introduction to special issue on the diversity of enactivism and neurophenomenology. Constructivist Foundations 11(2): 189–204 http://constructivist.info/11/2/189

Comments: 0

To stay informed about comments to this publication and post comments yourself, please log in first.