By Russell Hurlburt, Eric Schwitzgebel
Can unsleeping adventure be defined competently? will we supply trustworthy money owed of our sensory reports and pains, our internal speech and imagery, our felt feelings? The query is valuable not just to our humanistic figuring out of who we're but additionally to the burgeoning medical box of recognition experiences. The authors of Describing internal Experience disagree at the resolution: Russell Hurlburt, a psychologist, argues that superior equipment of introspective reporting make exact money owed of internal event attainable; Eric Schwitzgebel, a thinker, believes that any introspective reporting is necessarily liable to errors. during this booklet the 2 talk about to what quantity it truly is attainable to describe our internal adventure adequately.
Hurlburt and Schwitzgebel recruited a topic, "Melanie," to file on her awake event utilizing Hurlburt's Descriptive adventure Sampling process (in which the topic is cued via random beeps to explain her unsleeping experience). the guts of the booklet is Melanie's money owed, Hurlburt and Schwitzgebel's interviews together with her, and their next discussions whereas learning the transcripts of the interviews. during this manner the authors' dispute concerning the common reliability of introspective reporting is progressively tempered through particular debates in regards to the quantity to which Melanie's specific reviews are plausible. Transcripts and audio records of the interviews may be to be had at the MIT Press site.
Describing internal Experience? isn't really quite a bit a debate because it is a collaboration, with each one writer trying to refine his place and to interchange partisanship with balanced severe judgment. the result's an illumination of significant matters within the learn of realization -- from aspects at once.
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Additional info for Describing inner experience? : proponent meets skeptic
It is the patient’s job to provide the introspective reports, and the neurologist’s job to provide the interpretation. Guideline 13: Don’t require too much. The Würzburgers thought they had discovered a new “imageless” element of thinking, whereas Titchener thought that images were present but very faint. Many observers see this lack of agreement as a primary cause of the fall of classical introspection a century ago (Misiak and Sexton 1966; but see Danziger 1980). However, Monson and Hurlburt (1993; see also Hurlburt and Heavey 2001) reviewed the introspectionist reports and found that Titchener and the Würzburgers substantially agreed about the phenomena in question, even though they disagreed about the interpretation of those observations.
Such complexity cannot possibly be reported by any method other A Satisfactory Introspective Method? 33 than sampling. For example, had Fran used a think-aloud technique, the most detailed non-sampling method, she simply could not have had time to report adequately one image, to say nothing of five or ten simultaneous images. Second, Hurlburt (1993) reported that some of Fran’s visual images (usually those with extremely negative content) often lasted for hours or days, nonstop, uninterrupted. ” In this image, Fran was seated at the dining room table.
Furthermore, after the improvement in her borderline symptoms, she reported that, regrettably, she had lost this simultaneous-TV-watching ability. This case compels me to believe that my DES characterizations of Fran’s inner experience correspond in some important way to her actual inner experience. Sampling had putatively “discovered” a highly unusual phenomenon of Fran’s inner experience (no figure-ground phenomenon in image and external perception). This was “corroborated” by three highly unusual external characteristics: no alternation of ambiguous figures, the ability to count and hold a conversation (the ability was actually stronger than that—Fran could count, participate in one conversation, and simultaneously listen without difficulty to one or more other simultaneous conversations), and the presence of three TV’s in her living room and the ability to watch all of them at the same time.