TABLE 1 The Ethological Attitude is characterized by:
- THE ORGANISM FIRST: the animal we interact with is the center of our concern and a sense of the whole should precede any analysis of its parts
- DIRECT AWARENESS of the level of the organization of primary observations: to be aware that the phenomenon of interest is not being inferred from extrapolation or interpolation based on expectations from other levels.
- Behavior involves all that is present to the senses.
- Phenomena of interest range from chemical messengers, their origins, paths and interactions, including the genome and proteome, to cell types and their regional distribution and interactions; tissues, organs, organismic morphology, and eventually endo- and ecto-biotic and abiotic environment. Facilitated by “DEEP ethology.”
- Appreciate that some phenomena are barely or only subliminally presented/perceived
- Appreciate that there is wide variation in individual competence in specific senses, requiring corroboration techniques such as inter-observer reliability to enhance confidence.
- INDIRECT AWARENESS of behavior relies on technological prostheses to extend senses and must be approached with care and provided with independent corroboration utilizing alternate techniques.
- AWARENESS of CONGENITAL BIAS
- Consider the respective umwelten of ourselves and of others (e.g., Allen 2015)[i] This will emerge out of the attention to all four perspectives of DEEP ethology.
- ESCHEWAL of ACQUIRED BIAS
- Epoché is the process, at the core of the Phenomenological Method that allows for the bracketing—setting aside but not denying the possible influence of preconceptions and assumptions
- THE NECESSITY OF BALANCING GENERALITIES AND SPECIFICS
- Concern for external and internal validity of findings
The “ethological attitude” is informed by a “phenomenological attitude,” close to heart of the qualitative data gathering and interpretation procedures of generations of philosophers, theoreticians, and practitioners of the phenomenological method.