Citation Wheeler M (2013) Science Friction: Phenomenology, Naturalism and Cognitive Science. In: Carel H, Meacham D (ed.). Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, Vol.72: Phenomenology and Naturalism. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, vol. 72, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 135-167.
Abstract Recent years have seen growing evidence of a fruitful engagement between phenomenology and cognitive science. This paper confronts an in-principle problem that stands in the way of this (perhaps unlikely) intellectual coalition, namely the fact that a tension exists between the transcendentalism that characterizes phenomenology and the naturalism that accompanies cognitive science. After articulating the general shape of this tension, I respond as follows. First, I argue that, if we view things through a kind of neo-McDowellian lens, we can open up a conceptual space in which phenomenology and cognitive science may exert productive constraints on each other. Second, I describe some examples of phenomenological cognitive science that illustrate such constraints in action. Third, I use the mutually constraining relationship at work here as the platform from which to bring to light a domesticated version of the transcendental and a minimal form of naturalism that are compatible with each other.