The Phenomenological Fallacy and the Illusion of Immanence: Analytic Philosophy of Mind and Phenomenology Against Mental Reification

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Simon Gusman


Throughout the history of analytic philosophy the notion of the ‘phenomenological fallacy’ originally formulated by Place, has been used to criticize reification of the mental. Although this fallacy was originally not used to criticize the phenomenological tradition, it has popped up recently in debates between analytic philosophers and phenomenologists. However, a study of the history of both traditions reveals that a polemical notion similar, if not identical, to the phenomenological fallacy can be found within the phenomenological tradition, namely Sartre’s ‘illusion of immanence’. In this article, I will explicate these two polemical notions and place them in the context of their respective traditions. This will reveal that both notions must be understood as a criticism of a certain form of representationalism I will call ‘dual-world representationalism’. This deep-rooted similarity between the analytic philosophy of mind and phenomenology, in turn, sheds a new light on current discussions between the two traditions.
Author Biography

Simon Gusman, Radboud Universiteit

Simon Gusman
Radboud Universiteit
Comeniuslaan 4
6525 HP Nijmegen
(024) 361 61 61
The Netherlands

Simon Gusman is a PhD candidate at the chair of Fundamental Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen.


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GUSMAN, S. The Phenomenological Fallacy and the Illusion of Immanence: Analytic Philosophy of Mind and Phenomenology Against Mental Reification. Diametros, n. 48, p. 18-37, 29 jun. 2016.