Ancient Greek Psychology and the Modern Mind-Body Debate by E. Ostenfeld

By E. Ostenfeld

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Extra resources for Ancient Greek Psychology and the Modern Mind-Body Debate

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Affects may or may not reach the threshold of conscious awareness. Consider the case of boredom (see Heidegger, 1995). Boredom is more than potentially related to action, in the case where we might try to overcome boredom. More importantly, boredom already modulates one’s viewing or listening behavior, and it shows up in the way one arranges one’s body, perhaps without even noticing, in a bored manner; or, in the way one begins to fidget, widen one’s eyes, give vent to an exasperated breath, etc.

Heidegger, M. (1962). Being and time (J. Macquarrie and E. ). London: SCM. ——(1995). The fundamental concepts of metaphysics: World, finitude, solitude (W. McNeill and N. ). Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Husserl, E. (1913/1989). Ideas pertaining to a pure phenomenology and to a phenomenological philosophy, second book: Studies in the phenomenology of constitution (R. Rojcewicz and A. ). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1989. ——(1997). Thing and space: Lectures of 1907 (R. ). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

But in some important way this kind of negative phenomenology is an initial part of any behavioral study of this sort. If, for example, a scientist were studying for the very first time the simple action of reaching to grasp something, it would be important to know what the agent is conscious of during the action. Is the agent entirely unconscious of everything pertaining to the action; or is the agent entirely conscious of all aspects of her movement? When the agent reports that she is or is not conscious of a particular aspect of the action (if indeed she is asked) she is giving a phenomenological report (and with some training she may be better able to say what she is or is not conscious of).

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