Experience, Coherence, and Culture: The Significance of Dilthey's 'Descriptive Psychology' for the Anthropology of Consciousness



This paper explores Dilthey's "descriptive psychology "and its significance for the anthropology of consciousness. To do justice to the complexities of Dilthey's project a significant portion of the paper is devoted to an exposition of the basic tenets of his"descriptive psychology." Most notably, his views on"experience,""aconsciousness,""introspection,"and"objectified mind"are discussed before turning to examine his concept of the"acquired psychicnexus." After outlining these basic tenets the paper turns to explore how Dilthey's "descriptive psychology"can serve to shed light on current anthropological research on the experience of pain. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion of the contemporary relevance of Dilthey's project as it explores how his ideas may further inform current theoretical perspectives in anthropology about the relationship between consciousness, culture, and experience.