Kris Notaro has an interesting post up at IEET, “Transhumansim and Phenomenological Reduction,” that is something of a meditation on a Singularity scale intelligence observing itself observing itself. For those not elbows-deep in phenomenology (Notaro cites Husserl, I prefer his successor, Merleau-Ponty), the definition of epoché is quite useful:
Those who study Existentialism or Phenomenology should be familiar with the idea of epoche which is the action of doing phenomenological reduction by “bracketing” out everything you know about the world to reach pure consciousness and then understand the nature of being conscious of the things around you. Wikipedia explains it clearly as “the act of suspending judgment about the natural world that precedes phenomenological analysis.The concept can be most easily understood as “unpacking” phenomena, or, in other words, systematically peeling away their symbolic meanings like layers of an onion until only the thing-in-itself remains. Thus, one’s subjective perception of the bracketed phenomenon is the truest form of experience one can have in perceiving it.” The action of phenomenological reduction also allows your brain/mind to experience experiencing, to be aware of awareness, to be conscious of being conscious.
Good stuff. I might enjoy phenomenology more than I should because every time I hear the word “phenomenon” I think of the Muppets’ song, “Mana Mana.” For your enjoyment:
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