Ken- you go on about the scientific method, but then assert that someone found that the consciousness is bound by different rules than the material world, which sounds like a supernatural claim to me.
"after Franz Brentano, ca. 1890, found that the ruling principles of the material world and the world of consciousness are quite distinct from one another."
This is a pretty extraordinary claim, please explain how this guy found this. What evidence does he have? How can his theory be tested? As someone with an interest in, as well as education in psychology and neuroscience, I am very interested if this evidence exists.
"Perhaps the most grievous error psychologists (and others) make is to assume that consciousness is an extension of the material world ("res extensa") "
The reason why consciousness is thought to be dependent upon the material brain is because all the evidence points in that direction. It's not a mere
assumption. If strong contrary evidence comes about, then scientists will change that theory. (as you suggested in your comments on the scientific process.)
"it's quite easy to get a degree in psychology without ever hearing of Brentano or his findings"
I have a feeling I know why I was never taught about this guy in psych- showing that there are rules that govern things that are not part of the material world doesn't sound like science to me. How would you test that?
Is the mystery of consciousness one of the top ten biggest scientific mysteries, sure. But we go on what we know so far.
"most psychologists, though armed with credible data, mischaracterize that data's significance and formulate hypotheses and theories which, not surprisingly, suffer the same myopia as do their initial assumptions. "
The scientific skeptic in me sees this as similar to other claims I read that depend on bashing the field for
not accepting the particular wild claim as being short sighted or narrow-minded.
As human beings, living in this so-called free and secular nation, we have the ability and the right to question, examine and dissect all things religious, all things political, all things philosophical, all things cultural, even all things scientific.
Any attempts to silence freethought will only make us think louder!