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Bridging the Objective/Subjective Divide Towards a Meta-Perspective of Science and Experience

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In this paper I use the thesis that perspective shifting can fundamentally alter how we evaluate evidence as the backdrop for exploring the perennial challenge of bridging the divide between the subjective first-person perspective of experi-ence, and the objective third-person perspective of science. I begin by suggesting that reversible images provide a metaphor for conceptualizing how the very same situation can be understood from two very different perspectives that appear to produce seemingly irreconcilable accounts of their contents. However, when one recognizes that both views are different vantages on some deeper structure, a meta-perspective can emerge that potentially offers a vantage by which the op-posing perspectives can be reconciled. Building on this notion of a meta-perspect-ive, I outline a framework for conceptualizing how science can draw on individuals' first-person experience in order to explicate those experiences within the neces-sarily third-person perspective of science. I then show how this approach can illu -minate one of the most private yet ubiquitous aspects of mental life: mind-wan-dering. Finally and most speculatively, I attempt to tackle the enduring ontolo -gical tensions that emerge from the disparities between the first-versus third-per-son perspectives. Specifically, I suggest that the present prevailing third-person perspective of material reductionism fails to adequately account for the first-per-son experience of subjectivity, the flow of time, and the present. While I argue that these differences are an intrinsic property of each perspective, and thus irre-concilable from the vantage of either, I raise the possibility of a meta-perspective in which these clashes might be better accommodated. Toward this end, I specu-latively suggest that experience, the flow of time, and the unique quality of " now " might be accommodated by the postulation of a subjective dimension or dimen-sions of time. Keywords Consciousness | Heterophenomenology | Meta-awareness | Meta-perspective | Mind wandering | Mind/body problem | Neurophenomenology | Neutral monism | Panpsychism | Phenomenology | Time
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