Jaakko Belt / Reflection and Selfhood

My eventful and rewarding stay in Copenhagen came to an end late last year after spending almost four months at the CFS as a visiting PhD researcher. I had time and the perfect environment to concentrate on both areas of my current research: phenomenological methodology and study of selfhood. What is more, I was fortunate to have the generous support and brilliant company of the CFS staff and co-visitors alike.

During my research period, I was working primarily on the methodological issues concerning Husserl’s phenomenological reflection. The strategy was to approach phenomenological methodology indirectly by giving careful consideration to the more empirically oriented and naturalistic criticism it has faced. The first step was to reconstruct the general sceptical arguments against the objectivity and scientific reliability of first-person investigations put forward by Daniel C. Dennett, among others. Then I scrutinized Dennett’s particular claims that phenomenological reflection amounts to a solipsistic and introspectionist technique relying on generalizing from single subject’s particular experience. Finally, I looked at the empirically attuned argumentative strategies maintaining that reflection is prone to bias, construction, and error, allegedly producing high level of variation, uncertain results, and unresolved disagreements.

Read moreJaakko Belt / Reflection and Selfhood