Killing the straw man

Dennett and phenomenology

Dan Zahavi

pp. 21-43

Can phenomenology contribute to the burgeoning science of consciousness? Dennett’s reply would probably be that it very much depends upon the type of phenomenology in question. In my paper I discuss the relation between Dennett’s heterophenomenology and the type of classical philosophical phenomenology that one can find in Husserl, Scheler and Merleau-Ponty. I will in particular be looking at Dennett’s criticism of classical phenomenology. How vulnerable is it to Dennett’s criticism, and how much of a challenge does his own alternative constitute? I will argue that there are some rather marked differences between these two approaches to consciousness, but as I also hope to make clear, Dennett’s own account of where the differences are located is off target and ultimately based on a somewhat flawed conception of what classical phenomenology amounts to.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s11097-006-9038-7

Full citation [Harvard style]:

Zahavi, D. (2007). Killing the straw man: Dennett and phenomenology. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (1-2), pp. 21-43.

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