Workshop: Should a Science of Cognition use First-Person Methods?
The use of first person methods in cognitive science has followed several cycles of acceptance and rejection. Arguments both for and against their use often refer to methodological considerations: either the role of first-person methods as providing essential scientific evidence, or the inherent problems in collecting and interpreting such data.
The aim of this workshop is to focus directly on the methodological questions surrounding first-person methods, by addressing them from the different viewpoints across cognitive science, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science. In particular, philosophy of science offers a relatively untapped resource for investigating questions about measurement and operationalization, so has much to offer current debates on this subject.
The workshop will focus on the following sorts of questions:
- Are there scientific paradigms or areas of research for which first-person data is essential?
- Does first-person data differ from other scientific data? If so, how? (E.g. is it really private or incorrigible?)
- Are there specific problems associated with collecting first-person data compared with other scientific data? (E.g. response bias, demand characteristics)
- Given these problems, how should first-person data be collected and interpreted? (E.g. methods for reducing response bias, experimental design)
- What, if anything, can be learned from older debates about the use of first-person methods (e.g. against introspection)?
- Do these methodological problems raise further questions about how we should talk about first-person states? (E.g. are there phenomenal facts?)
Dr. Uljana Feest, (Technische Universitat, Berlin)
Dr. Liz Irvine, (CIN, University of Tuebingen)
Dr. Matt Longo (Birkbeck, University of London)
Prof. Tony Marcel (University of Hertfordshire)
Prof. Thomas Metzinger (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)
Prof. Gualtiero Piccinini (University of Missouri, St. Louis)
Prof. Jonathan Schooler (University of California, Santa Barbara)
If you would like to give a commentary, please send a CV, and a brief response to the title of the workshop (max. 200 words), via e-mail, by March 30th. Registration is free, but space is limited, so if you would like to attend the workshop, please also send an e-mail. The conference will be held at the Konferenzzentrum Schnarrenberg, Tuebingen, 72076, Germany.
Organisers: Dr. Liz Irvine, Dr. Hong Yu Wong, Gregor Hochstetter, Eva Engels.
- Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience