Art & Neurophenomenology: Putting the experience before the words

Hawes, Robin (2013) Art & Neurophenomenology: Putting the experience before the words. Constructivist Foundations Special: Neurophenomenology, 8 (3). pp. 332-338. ISSN 1782-348X

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Abstract / Summary

This paper, originally given at The Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society Annual Conference at the University of Bristol in September 2012, has subsequently been peer-reviewed and published in the July 2013 edition of the academic journal Constructivist Foundations. Standard approaches to understanding consciousness are interrupted by the purported explanatory gap between the qualitative nature of experience and the quantitative methods of science. The conference invited papers to discuss, through phenomenological studies, the insurmountable difficulties of bridging third-person scientific methods and the first-person nature of experience. The conference sought to examine the aims and practices of neurophenomenology and attempted to gauge its success in eradicating the explanatory gap. Neurophenomenology investigates the structural parallels between experience, as investigated by the phenomenological method, and the activity of biological systems, as investigated empirically by neuroscience., In this paper I first discuss the terms by which neuroscience appropriates art to describe the neural basis of visual consciousness and how alternative appropriations by theorists of phenomenology relate to my visual arts practice. The rationale of a theory-led/practice-based research method is then set out and the importance of works of art that involve the perception of particular visual phenomena is analysed. The paper concludes by demonstrating how such examples support the alternative phenomenologically based ‘sensorimotor’ account for vision (proposed by the philosopher Alva Noë) by enabling aspects of these artworks to become ‘perceptually present.’, The paper contends that contemporary visual art has a key role in this interdisciplinary terrain and, more specifically, demonstrates how the ‘experiential’ art identified by Alva Noë provides a fertile ground for important aspects of contemporary consciousness studies.

Item Type: Article
ISSN: 1782-348X
Depositing User: Robin Hawes
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2013 14:20
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2014 15:44
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/261

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