A review of Donald D. Price and James J. Barrell (2012) Inner Experience and Neuroscience: Merging both Perspectives

Velmans, Max. 2013. A review of Donald D. Price and James J. Barrell (2012) Inner Experience and Neuroscience: Merging both Perspectives. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 20(5-6), pp. 208-214. ISSN 1355-8250 [Article]

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This book sets out a well-structured programme for how to integrate conventional psychological science and neuroscience with a more detailed study of human experience. It starts out, as it must, with a definition of terms and a review of basic questions: Is it possible to construct a science of experience? Why do we need it? What went wrong with previous attempts? What methods already exist that we can use? After a brief review of existing methods, including classical introspection, European phenomenology, and the Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES) method developed by Russ Hurlburt and his collaborators, they then go on to focus on the methods that they have used themselves in an extensive programme of experimental work dating back to the mid 1970s—a form of phenomenological analysis that they call the “experiential method”, combined with classical psychophysics and modern neuroscience. No other research programme that I know of has gone as far towards integrating well formed first-person methods with well-formed third-person investigative methods of the kind that are already well understood in psychophysics and neuroscience—thereby forming the basis for a non-reductive, experiential neuroscience—and, potentially, a paradigm shift in psychological research.

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04 Apr 2019 08:36

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04 Apr 2019 08:36

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