The “consciousness wars” mimic crisis in psychology

by | Feb 12, 2024 | Story Ideas | 0 comments

February 2024

The ongoing “consciousness wars” (see this and this post) are akin to the historical “crisis in psychology”, writes professor of psychology Gregg Henriques in an article in Psychology Today.

At the core of the intellectual battle that has flared up in the research field of consciousness is the fact that consciousness means different things to different people.

A similar conceptual divide in psychology can be traced more than a century ago. Wilhelm Wundt, Edward Titchener, William James and other pioneers in the field all had different ideas about what aspect of the inner human experience psychology ought to investigate.

To solve the problem, we need to close the “Enlightenment Gap”, which is still with us, according to Henriques:

“The Enlightenment Gap refers to the profound hole in our knowledge that emerged in the wake of the modern scientific Enlightenment. That hole refers to the process by which we conceptually place the mind in relationship to matter, and effectively relate scientific knowledge to subjective and social knowledge. We have no good philosophical system that coherently resolves these problems.”

Henriques also elaborates on these thoughts in a 2022 book.

For more background on the topic, see our brief on Covering Consciousness.

Anders Bolling

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