Beyond the Fringe: James, Gurwitsch, and the Conscious Horizon

Brown, Steven Ravett (1999) Beyond the Fringe: James, Gurwitsch, and the Conscious Horizon. [Journal (Paginated)]

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All our conscious experiences, linguistic and nonlinguistic, are bound up with and dependent on a background that is vague, unexpressed, and sometimes unconscious. The combination of William JamesÕs concept of "fringes" coupled with Aaron GurwitschÕs analysis of the field of consciousness provides a general structure in which to embed phenomenal descriptions, enabling fringe phenomena to be understood, in part, relative to other experiences. I will argue, drawing on examples from Drew LederÕs book, The Absent Body, that specific and detailed phenomena can and should be interrelated through JamesÕs and GurwitschÕs analyses. I am proposing first that phenomenological descriptions in general could benefit from explicit consideration of the context of the phenomena within the totality of the field of consciousness, and second, that establishing that context requires a general structural model of that field, similar to that provided by Gurwitsch.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:James, fringe, consciousness, phenomenology
Subjects:Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
ID Code:1000
Deposited By: Brown, Dr. Steven Ravett
Deposited On:11 Oct 2000
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54

References in Article

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Baars, B.J. (1988). A cognitive theory of consciousness. Cambridge University Press.

Damasio, A.R. (1994). DescartesÕ error: emotion, reason, and the human brain. New York: Avon Books.

Galin, D. (1994). The structure of awareness: contemporary applications of William JamesÕs forgotten concept of "The Fringe." Journal of Mind and Behavior, 15, 375-402.

Gurwitsch, A. (1964). The field of consciousness. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.

Johnson, M. (1987). The body in the mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Kshler, W. (1962). Gestalt psychology. New York: Mentor.

Koffka, K. (1963). Principles of gestalt psychology. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.

Leder, D. (1990). The absent body. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

James, W. (1950). The principles of psychology (Volume 1). New York: Dover Publications. (Original work published 1890)

Merleau-Ponty, M. (1970). Phenomenology of perception. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Polanyi, M. (1966). The tacit dimension. New York: Doubleday.


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