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Consciousness and embodied presence as themes for an ontology

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Consciousness and embodied presence as themes for an ontology

Donohue, Robert (1997) Consciousness and embodied presence as themes for an ontology. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis supports Merleau-Ponty's view that only a revisioning of our ontology can get us beyond those conceptual dichotomies that prevent us from accounting for the presence of phenomenal experience in the world. It takes a phenomenological approach to questions concerning the localization, phenomenality, content and efficacy of consciousness when considered in its primary perceptual relation to the world. In examining the reductive functionalism of Dennett and the naturalistic dualism of Chalmers it argues that the eliminative or epiphenomenalist consequences of their approaches can be avoided when phenomenal experience, rather than being reduced or tied to the functional specificity of neural events, is understood as coinciding with the motile contours of our embodiment. Embodied phenomenality is understood to be constituted not only by conscious perceptual presence but by its merging with the presence of a past in somatic phenomenality. This merging marks to a greater degree the individuality of lived experience. A central supporting theme throughout is the self-reflexive quality of embodiment. This reflexivity is taken in its functional lineaments as the body's sensitivity to its own movements and then in the ontologically more fundamental sense in which Merleau-Ponty explores the inflection through which we experience embodiment in its active and passive modes. This reflexivity supports a view that perceptual experience brings us into contact with the things themselves and that a phenomenal presence to the world has causal efficacy.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Philosophy
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Donohue, Robert
Pagination:iii, 143 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Philosophy
Date:1997
Thesis Supervisor(s):Laskey, Dallas
ID Code:772
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:14
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:16
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