Subject and individual being in the 19th century debate on scientific psychology

Pietro Gori

(2010-present)

Postdoctoral Project sponsered by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) - SFRH/BPD/69402/2010

This research is devoted to several aims:

I. The first stage of work is concerned with Nietzsche’s philosophy, with regard to his view of the self/I. The research is particularly aimed at contextualizing Nietzsche’s rejection of the absolute value of the ego within the studies in physiology and psychology of the 19th century. This investigation contributes to the wider research field devoted to the scientific sources of Nietzsche’s thought, that in the last decades showed that, with regard to several fundamental problems, Nietzsche’s philosophical view is strictly connected with previous scientific views of his time. This is the case of his view of the self, whose ground can be found in the debate on scientific psychology, and in works of scientist and thinkers such as F. Lange and E. Mach, whose books Nietzsche read and sometimes quoted.

II. The second stage of the research is devoted to the ground of Nietzsche’s view of the self, i.e. the 19th century debate in psychology. The investigation is first concerned with the authors who stressed the importance of physiology for psychology (H. Helmholtz, J. Müller, and G. Fechner), and then with those who, by making reference to these authors, led the studies in psychology to a new stage (F. Brentano, F. Lange and E. Mach). The development of psychology from Helmholtz to Mach represents the shift from a metaphysical view of the soul to a scientific one. I.e., after Brentano, Lange and particularly Mach, we can talk about a “psychology without a soul”, and look at the “psychical unity” – the I – as a mere fictional concept, which cannot be found as a material entity in the brain. This outcome clearly involves some important remarks on the mind-body problem, that has been taken into account and developed by several 20th century philosophers and scientists, and nowadays is still a topic of heated debate.

III. The final stage of the project concerns another author who dealt with some fundamental questions of 19th century psychology, and developed them on both the scientific and the philosophical plane: William James. I will particularly focus on the last stage of James’ thought, i.e. his radical empiricism and his view on consciousness and the self (“Does “Consciousness” exist?”, 1912). James’ radical empiricism is in fact grounded on Mach’s empirio-criticism and on what Bertrand Russell called his “neutral monism” (“The analysis of Mind”, 1921), i.e. the view of a parallelism between the physical and the psychical (Mach, “The analysis of Sensations”, 1886). According to this view, we cannot talk about a mind-body problem from a dualistic perspective, since “mind” and “body” are only an interpretation in psychical and physical terms of a “neutral” reality. Our investigation on the self, I, consciousness etc. must therefore be carried out with no reference to substance concepts.

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Events

All Events

Political Identity on the Threshold

EPLAB International Conference in Political Theory

September 10, 2018

Ciclo temático "Leituras críticas sobre a experiência da cidade" | Sessão IX: Susana Duarte e Maria Filomena Molder

CultureLab | Arte, Crítica e Experiência Estética

July 05, 2018

Book Launch: Schizophrenia and Common Sense: explaining the relation between madness and social values with Thomas Fuchs

Schizophrenia and Common Sense: explaining the relation between madness and…

June 25, 2018

O Euro e a soberania económica

Conferência internacional

June 22, 2018

Workshop: Misunderstanding, disagreement, manipulation

The idea of the workshop is to explore the blurred…

June 22, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Giovanni Damele, "Another Italian thought: elite theory and political realism"

June 21, 2018

Art of Living / Art of Dying: Philosophical and Literary Perspectives

International Conference

June 21, 2018

Katharina Stevens, 18 June 2018, 14h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Argument-Design through Role-Taking"

June 18, 2018

Seminário “Figuras da Subjectividade na Filosofia e na Literatura” | 9ª Sessão: Ana Falcato

CultureLab | Questões de Subjectividade: Filosofia e Literatura

June 06, 2018

Ciclo temático "Leituras críticas sobre a experiência da cidade" | Sessão Especial "Double Bill: Apropos London"

CultureLab | Arte, Crítica e Experiência Estética

June 04, 2018

Workshop: Communication and metaphors for health. An educational challenge

The workshop discusses the importance of communication and metaphors in…

June 01, 2018

Inês Hipólito, 30th May 11:00 - 12:00

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar |"Perception as Cognition: Beyond…

May 30, 2018

International Symposium Cinema and Philosophy: Critical May 68

CineLab | IFILNOVA - FCSH / PhD Research Project of…

May 29, 2018

Ciclo temático "Leituras críticas sobre a experiência da cidade" | Sessão VIII: Ana Mira e Susana Ventura

CultureLab | Arte, Crítica e Experiência Estética

May 29, 2018

Dima Mohammed, 28 May 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Proposals for the examination of networked…

May 28, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Erich Rast, "Value Disagreement and Two Aspects of Meaning"

May 24, 2018

Seminário Nietzsche | Anthony Jensen

CultureLab | Lisbon Nietzsche Group

May 23, 2018

Seminário “Figuras da Subjectividade na Filosofia e na Literatura” | 8ª Sessão: Antonio Moretti

CultureLab | Questões de Subjectividade: Filosofia e Literatura

May 16, 2018

Jakob Krebs, 16 May, 15h to 16h

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar |"Pictorial Models, Imagination, and…

May 16, 2018

Rules, normativity and values: revisiting the Kantian perspective and its critics

EpLab Conference

May 14, 2018

Mehmet Ali Üzelgün, 14 May 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "Level, focus, and force of argumentative…

May 14, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

John Gibbons, "Things That Make Things Reasonable"

May 10, 2018

"The Phantasy-Subject: Phenomenology of Image and Aesthetic Experience"

International Workshop

May 09, 2018

EPLAB Masterclass Series

Santoni de Sio

May 04, 2018

Ciclo temático "Leituras críticas sobre a experiência da cidade" | Sessão VII: Paulo Catrica e Nélio Conceição

CultureLab | Arte, Crítica e Experiência Estética

April 24, 2018

Virtualism and the Mind: Rethinking Presence, Representation and the Self

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning Workshop "Virtualism and the Mind"

April 23, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Gilbert Harman, "Moral Realism is Moral Relativism"

April 19, 2018

The Derivative Machine: Life Cut, Bundled and Sold

held by Jonathan Beller (Pratt Institute) | CineLAB Seminar

April 19, 2018

João Leite, 16 April 2018, 16h

ArgLab Research Colloquium | "An Online Social Debating System"

April 16, 2018

Ethics and Political Theory Reading Group

Berit Brogaard, "Moral Contextualism and Moral Relativism"

April 05, 2018

CultureLab | General Seminar

Seminário mensal do culturelab, Humberto Brito

April 03, 2018

Workshop: "Cuidado de Si: Perspectivas Antigas e Contemporâneas"

CultureLab | Questões de Subjectividade: Filosofia e Literatura

March 23, 2018

Ciclo temático "Leituras críticas sobre a experiência da cidade" | Sessão VI: Bruno Duarte & Alexandra Fortes

CultureLab | Arte, Crítica e Experiência Estética

March 22, 2018

Erich Rast, 16.3., Sala 1.05 ID, 16h

Value Seminar Session with Erich Rast, Sala 1.05 ID 16h

March 16, 2018

Seminário “Figuras da Subjectividade na Filosofia e na Literatura” | 4ª Sessão: Ana Kiffer

CultureLab | Questões de Subjectividade: Filosofia e Literatura

January 31, 2018

Seminário livre: “Figuras da Subjectividade na Filosofia e na Literatura”

CultureLab | Questions of Subjectivity: Philosophy & Literature

October 18, 2017

Institutions

FCT
FCSH