Bruce Mangan, PhD: Cognition, Fringe Consciousness + Convergent Phenomenology
Bruce Mangan, PhD received an interdisciplinary PhD in Cognitive Science and Aesthetics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1991. He has taught there since in various capacities, inaugurating the Scientific Approaches to Consciousness course offered jointly by the Psychology and Cognitive Science departments.
His research investigates the interface mechanisms that weld conscious and non-conscious processes into a single cognitive system. To this end he has developed a phenomenological method (Convergent Phenomenology) expressly designed to integrate first and third person evidence. William James practiced a nascent version of this approach.
Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (9):75-82.
Works by Bruce | philpapers
- Bruce Mangan (2007). Cognition, Fringe Consciousness, and the Legacy of William James. In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell.
- Bruce Mangan (2003). Volition and Property Dualism. Journal of Consciousness Studies10 (12):29-34.
- Bruce Mangan (2001). Sensation’s Ghost: The Nonsensory Fringe of Consciousness. Psyche7 (18).
Non-sensory experiences represent almost all context information in consciousness. They condition most aspects of conscious cognition including voluntary retrieval, perception, monitoring, problem solving, emotion, evaluation, meaning recognition. Many peculiar aspects of non-sensory qualia (e.g., they resist being ‘grasped’ by an act of attention) are explained as adaptations shaped by the cognitive functions they serve. The most important nonsensory experience is coherence or “rightness.” Rightness represents degrees of context fit among contents in consciousness, and between conscious and non-conscious processes. Rightness (not (…)
- Bruce Mangan (2000). What Feeling Is the “Feeling of Knowing?”. Consciousness and Cognition9 (4):538-544.
- Bruce Mangan (1999). What’s New Here? Behavioral and Brain Sciences22 (1):160-161.
O’Brien & Opie’s (O&O’s) theory demands a view of unconscious processing that is incompatible with virtually all current PDP models of neural activity. Relative to the alternatives, the theory is closer to an AI than a parallel distributed processing (PDP) perspective, and its treatment of phenomenology is ad hoc. It raises at least one important question: Could features of network relaxation be the “switch” that turns an unconscious into a conscious network?