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180098 PS Cognitive Phenomenology and the Unity of Experience (2017W)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 45 participants
Language: German, English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

ACHTUNG!! Am 07.11.2017 entfällt die Lehrveranstaltung wegen Krankheit!!

Tuesday 10.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 2i NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 17.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 2i NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 24.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 2i NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 31.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 2i NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 14.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 2i NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 21.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 2i NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 28.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 2i NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 05.12. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 2i NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 12.12. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 2i NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 09.01. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 2i NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 16.01. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 2i NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 23.01. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 2i NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 30.01. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 2i NIG 2.Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course


The seminar is an introduction to the current ‘cognitive phenomenology’ debate in analytic philosophy of mind and focusses on the question of the phenomenal quality of conscious experiences.

To see a chair, to feel a stone, to enjoy a paella, to miss one’s friends, to be happy about a gift, to be angry about a message, to wish something to somebody, to remember a dead cousin, to look forward to next Friday, to have insight into the correctness of a mathematical equation, to sense one’s neighbor’s sadness, to understand the coach’s behavior…

The number of single tokens of ‘experiences’ is infinite and the different types of “experiences” seem manifold. However, in the context of naturalistic and representationalist theories of consciousness, despite the diversity of types of experiences, the view that there is only one single quality of consciousness has been established: sensory quality or “sensory phenomenology”. In the last ten years, voices have been raised emphasizing that “thinking” presents a phenomenal quality sui generis. According to this position, for instance, the experience of understanding a certain issue or state of affairs cannot be reduced to phenomena of sensory modalities. Moreover, in the last years, proponents of “cognitive phenomenology” have also brought up further types of phenomenal qualities for discussion: e.g. „conative phenomenology“, „the phenomenology of entertaining“, „emotional phenomenology“, and „moral phenomenology“ (Kriegel 2015). This also raises the question of the nature of the unity of consciousness.


In the seminar central texts will be read as introductions to the debate and students will prepare the texts by writing short essays (half page) before every unit. At the end of semester, students will write a seminar paper in which they reflect upon the arguments discussed during the semester and develop their own position.

The seminar will be generally held in German. However, it is assumed that students are willing to switch to English when non-German speaking students are present. Texts will be in English.


The aim of the seminar is to familiarize students with the main arguments for and against the assumption of “cognitive phenomenology”. Moreover, students will learn to evaluate arguments in regard of their discourse specificity, their form, underlying assumptions and their validity.

Assessment and permitted materials

- Participation in discussions (25 %)
- Submission of short essays (600-800 words) prior to the meetings (25 %)
- Seminar paper (around 6000 words) (50 %)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

- Presence at meetings (max. number of absence at meetings: 3)
- Submission of at least 60% of the short essays
- Submission of seminar paper

Examination topics

Reading list

will be announced in the seminar

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:36