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C O U R S E 
Phenomenology and the Conscious Mind
Dan Lloyd, Trinity College
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Principles of Phenomenology
Notes taken on February 11, 2016 by Edward Tanguay
some people think that the study of consciousness must be some kind of intellectual selfie
based on some kind of inner self-examination or introspection
but actually the starting point of phenomenology is to turn away from the selfie an towards the world
its in the structure of the world that we actually discover the structure of consciousness
phenomenology is not in your head
it's in the world we inhabit, the lived world
our first focus will be vision
the experience of seeing
the mask picture
does it include a pearl?
does it include a face?
are there two people in the picture?
observe carefully, see more
the is the first rule of phenomenology
phenomenology is a form of mindfulness
paying more attention to yourself and your world
the mask picture
looks like a face
yet it is actually a picture of two people kissing
it's possible to see both interpretations
ambiguous images are well-known
the duck-rabbit
the Necker cube
textbook perception
you may have thought as perception as the passive reception of a stable scene of unambiguous objects
the eye, like a camera, simply responds to the light reflecting from the objects before it and transmits its responses to the brain
the perceiving mind works like a video camera, entirely responsive to the stable, objective world, it's perception as reception, an essentially passive process
perception as reception leads to some expectations about the experience of seeing, suggesting that what we see is whatever emits or reflects light in the field of vision
we see just what is there to be seen
accordingly psychologists often describe the mind's cube reversals while looking at a Necker cube as spontaneous
the visual system fatigues after the viewing of one interpretation and spontaneously flips to the other
the first principle in phenomenology is the recognition that you can make the image reverse at will
in this case we play an active role in forming our own perceptions
consciousness is a form of action
perception is not simply something that happens to us
instead, it is something we do
we can talk about acts of perception on a par with walking, speaking, and so forth
seeing, and all the other senses, are part of an intentional act of constructing our worlds
the second recognition in phenomenology is
the duck-rabbit
the bunniness or the duckihood of the picture depends on how we choose to see it
active construction of perceived reality
"through our act of perception, we constitute the objects we perceive, our perceptual activity make the objects of perception what they are for us
the deliberate exploration of acts of perception and the constitution of the perceived world