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Genetic Phenomenology and Empirical Naturalism

Andrea Pace Giannotta


Vincitore del «Premio Sainati» 2017-2018

Husserl’s phenomenology is developed in explicit contrast to naturalism. At the same time, various scholars have attempted to overcome this opposition by naturalizing consciousness and phenomenology. In this paper, I argue that, in order to confront the issue of the relationship between phenomenology and naturalism, we must distinguish between different forms of naturalism. In fact, Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology is developed in contrast to a metaphysical form of naturalism, which conceives of nature as a mind-independent ontological domain that can be known as it is “in itself”, independently of the cognitive relationship. At the same time, I argue that the genetic development of phenomenology, through the investigation of the temporal structure of experiences, leads to an empirical form of naturalism, which conceives of nature as the objective pole in a process of co-constitution of the subject and the object of experience.


naturalized phenomenology; naturalization of consciousness; qualia; hard problem of consciousness; embodied mind

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