Phenomenology (philosophy)

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Phenomenology (from Greek phainómenon "that which appears" and lógos "study") is the philosophical study of the structures of experience and consciousness. As a philosophical movement it was founded in the early years of the 20th century by Edmund Husserl and was later expanded upon by a circle of his followers at the universities of Göttingen and Munich in Germany. It then spread to France, the United States, and elsewhere, often in contexts far removed from Husserl's early work. [1]

Ancient Greek Version of the Greek language used from roughly the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE

The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BCE by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by medieval Greek.

Philosophy intellectual and/or logical study of general and fundamental problems

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will?

Consciousness state or quality of awareness or of being aware of an external object or something within oneself

Consciousness is the state or quality of awareness or of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. It has been defined variously in terms of sentience, awareness, qualia, subjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood or soul, the fact that there is something "that it is like" to "have" or "be" it, and the executive control system of the mind. Despite the difficulty in definition, many philosophers believe that there is a broadly shared underlying intuition about what consciousness is. As Max Velmans and Susan Schneider wrote in The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness: "Anything that we are aware of at a given moment forms part of our consciousness, making conscious experience at once the most familiar and most mysterious aspect of our lives."

Contents

Phenomenology is not a unitary movement; rather, different authors share a common family resemblance but also with many significant differences. Gabriella Farina states:

A unique and final definition of phenomenology is dangerous and perhaps even paradoxical as it lacks a thematic focus. In fact, it is not a doctrine, nor a philosophical school, but rather a style of thought, a method, an open and ever-renewed experience having different results, and this may disorient anyone wishing to define the meaning of phenomenology. [2]

Phenomenology, in Husserl's conception, is primarily concerned with the systematic reflection on and study of the structures of consciousness and the phenomena that appear in acts of consciousness. Phenomenology can be clearly differentiated from the Cartesian method of analysis which sees the world as objects, sets of objects, and objects acting and reacting upon one another.

An entity is anything that claims independent existence, whether as a subject or as an object, actually or potentially, concretely or abstractly.

Husserl's conception of phenomenology has been criticized and developed not only by himself but also by students such as Edith Stein and Roman Ingarden, by hermeneutic philosophers such as Martin Heidegger, by existentialists such as Nicolai Hartmann, Gabriel Marcel, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, and by other philosophers such as Max Scheler, Paul Ricoeur, Jean-Luc Marion, Michel Henry, Emmanuel Levinas, Jacques Derrida, and sociologists Alfred Schütz and Eric Voegelin.

Edith Stein Jewish-German nun, theologian and philosopher

Edith Stein, was a German Jewish philosopher who converted to Roman Catholicism and became a Discalced Carmelite nun. She is canonized as a martyr and saint of the Catholic Church, and she is one of six co-patron saints of Europe.

Roman Ingarden Polish philosopher

Roman Witold Ingarden was a Polish philosopher who worked in phenomenology, ontology and aesthetics.

Hermeneutics is the theory and methodology of interpretation, especially the interpretation of biblical texts, wisdom literature, and philosophical texts.

Overview

In its most basic form, phenomenology attempts to create conditions for the objective study of topics usually regarded as subjective: consciousness and the content of conscious experiences such as judgements, perceptions, and emotions. Although phenomenology seeks to be scientific, it does not attempt to study consciousness from the perspective of clinical psychology or neurology. Instead, it seeks through systematic reflection to determine the essential properties and structures of experience. [3]

Objectivity is a philosophical concept of being true independently from individual subjectivity caused by perception, emotions, or imagination. A proposition is considered to have objective truth when its truth conditions are met without bias caused by a sentient subject. Scientific objectivity refers to the ability to judge without partiality or external influence, sometimes used synonymously with neutrality.

A subject is a being who has a unique consciousness and/or unique personal experiences, or an entity that has a relationship with another entity that exists outside itself.

There are several assumptions behind phenomenology that help explain its foundations:

  1. Phenomenologists reject the concept of objective research. They prefer grouping assumptions through a process called phenomenological epoché.
  2. They believe that analyzing daily human behavior can provide one with a greater understanding of nature.
  3. They assert that persons should be explored. This is because persons can be understood through the unique ways they reflect the society they live in.
  4. Phenomenologists prefer to gather "capta", or conscious experience, rather than traditional data.
  5. They consider phenomenology to be oriented toward discovery, and therefore they research using methods that are far less restrictive than in other sciences. [4]

Husserl derived many important concepts central to phenomenology from the works and lectures of his teachers, the philosophers and psychologists Franz Brentano and Carl Stumpf. [5] An important element of phenomenology that Husserl borrowed from Brentano is intentionality (often described as "aboutness"), the notion that consciousness is always consciousness of something. The object of consciousness is called the intentional object, and this object is constituted for consciousness in many different ways, through, for instance, perception, memory, retention and protention, signification, etc. Throughout these different intentionalities, though they have different structures and different ways of being "about" the object, an object is still constituted as the identical object; consciousness is directed at the same intentional object in direct perception as it is in the immediately following retention of this object and the eventual remembering of it.

Franz Brentano Austrian philosopher

Franz Clemens Honoratus Hermann Brentano was an influential German philosopher, psychologist, and priest whose work strongly influenced not only students Edmund Husserl, Sigmund Freud, Tomáš Masaryk, Rudolf Steiner, Alexius Meinong, Carl Stumpf, Anton Marty, Kazimierz Twardowski, and Christian von Ehrenfels, but many others whose work would follow and make use of his original ideas and concepts.

Carl Stumpf German philosopher

Carl Stumpf was a German philosopher and psychologist. He studied with Franz Brentano at the University of Würzburg before receiving his doctorate at the University of Göttingen in 1868. He also tutored the modernist literature writer Robert Musil at the University of Berlin, and worked with Hermann Lotze, who is famous for his work in perception, at Göttingen. Stumpf is known for his work on the psychology of tones. He had an important influence on his students Wolfgang Köhler and Kurt Koffka who were instrumental in the founding of Gestalt psychology as well as Kurt Lewin, who was also a part of the Gestalt group and was key in the establishment of experimental social psychology in America. Stumpf is considered one of the pioneers of comparative musicology and ethnomusicology, as documented in his study of the origins of human musical cognition The Origins of Music (1911). He held positions in the philosophy departments at the Universities of Göttingen, Würzburg, Prague, Munich and Halle, before obtaining a professorship at the University of Berlin.

Intentionality is a philosophical concept and is defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as "the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs". The once obsolete term dates from medieval scholastic philosophy, but in more recent times it has been resurrected by Franz Brentano and adopted by Edmund Husserl. The earliest theory of intentionality is associated with St. Anselm's ontological argument for the existence of God, and with his tenets distinguishing between objects that exist in the understanding and objects that exist in reality.

Though many of the phenomenological methods involve various reductions, phenomenology is, in essence, anti-reductionistic; the reductions are mere tools to better understand and describe the workings of consciousness, not to reduce any phenomenon to these descriptions. In other words, when a reference is made to a thing's essence or idea, or when the constitution of an identical coherent thing is specified by describing what one "really" sees as being only these sides and aspects, these surfaces, it does not mean that the thing is only and exclusively what is described here: the ultimate goal of these reductions is to understand how these different aspects are constituted into the actual thing as experienced by the person experiencing it. Phenomenology is a direct reaction to the psychologism and physicalism of Husserl's time. [6]

Although previously employed by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in his Phenomenology of Spirit , it was Husserl's adoption of this term (circa 1900) that propelled it into becoming the designation of a philosophical school. As a philosophical perspective, phenomenology is its method, though the specific meaning of the term varies according to how it is conceived by a given philosopher. As envisioned by Husserl, phenomenology is a method of philosophical inquiry that rejects the rationalist bias that has dominated Western thought since Plato in favor of a method of reflective attentiveness that discloses the individual's "lived experience." [7] Loosely rooted in an epistemological device, with Sceptic roots, called epoché, Husserl's method entails the suspension of judgment while relying on the intuitive grasp of knowledge, free of presuppositions and intellectualizing. Sometimes depicted as the "science of experience," the phenomenological method is rooted in intentionality, i.e. Husserl's theory of consciousness (developed from Brentano). Intentionality represents an alternative to the representational theory of consciousness, which holds that reality cannot be grasped directly because it is available only through perceptions of reality that are representations of it in the mind. Husserl countered that consciousness is not "in" the mind; rather, consciousness is conscious of something other than itself (the intentional object), whether the object is a substance or a figment of imagination (i.e., the real processes associated with and underlying the figment). Hence the phenomenological method relies on the description of phenomena as they are given to consciousness, in their immediacy.

According to Maurice Natanson (1973, p. 63), "The radicality of the phenomenological method is both continuous and discontinuous with philosophy's general effort to subject experience to fundamental, critical scrutiny: to take nothing for granted and to show the warranty for what we claim to know." In practice, it entails an unusual combination of discipline and detachment to bracket theoretical explanations and second-hand information while determining one's "naive" experience of the matter. (To "bracket" in this sense means to provisionally suspend or set aside some idea as a way to facilitate the inquiry by focusing only on its most significant components.) The phenomenological method serves to momentarily erase the world of speculation by returning the subject to his or her primordial experience of the matter, whether the object of inquiry is a feeling, an idea, or a perception. According to Husserl the suspension of belief in what we ordinarily take for granted or infer by conjecture diminishes the power of what we customarily embrace as objective reality. According to Rüdiger Safranski (1998, 72), "[Husserl's and his followers'] great ambition was to disregard anything that had until then been thought or said about consciousness or the world [while] on the lookout for a new way of letting the things [they investigated] approach them, without covering them up with what they already knew."

Martin Heidegger modified Husserl's conception of phenomenology because of what Heidegger perceived as Husserl's subjectivist tendencies. Whereas Husserl conceived humans as having been constituted by states of consciousness, Heidegger countered that consciousness is peripheral to the primacy of one's existence (i.e., the mode of being of Dasein), which cannot be reduced to one's consciousness of it. From this angle, one's state of mind is an "effect" rather than a determinant of existence, including those aspects of existence of which one is not conscious. By shifting the center of gravity from consciousness (psychology) to existence (ontology), Heidegger altered the subsequent direction of phenomenology. As one consequence of Heidegger's modification of Husserl's conception, phenomenology became increasingly relevant to psychoanalysis. Whereas Husserl gave priority to a depiction of consciousness that was fundamentally alien to the psychoanalytic conception of the unconscious, Heidegger offered a way to conceptualize experience that could accommodate those aspects of one's existence that lie on the periphery of sentient awareness. [8] [9]

Historical overview of the use of the term

Phenomenology has at least three main meanings in philosophical history: one in the writings of G. W. F. Hegel, another in the writings of Edmund Husserl in 1920, and thirdly, succeeding Husserl's work, in the writings of his former research assistant Martin Heidegger in 1927.

Although the term "phenomenology" was used occasionally in the history of philosophy before Husserl, modern use ties it more explicitly to his particular method. Following is a list of important thinkers, in rough chronological order, who used the term "phenomenology" in a variety of ways, with brief comments on their contributions: [13]

Later usage is mostly based on or (critically) related to Husserl's introduction and use of the term. This branch of philosophy differs from others in that it tends to be more "descriptive" than "prescriptive".

Varieties of phenomenology

The Encyclopedia of Phenomenology (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997) features separate articles on the following seven types of phenomenology: [16]

  1. Transcendental constitutive phenomenology studies how objects are constituted in transcendental consciousness, setting aside questions of any relation to the natural world.
  2. Naturalistic constitutive phenomenology (see naturalism) studies how consciousness constitutes things in the world of nature, assuming with the natural attitude that consciousness is part of nature.
  3. Existential phenomenology studies concrete human existence, including our experience of free choice and/or action in concrete situations.
  4. Generative historicist phenomenology (see historicism) studies how meaning—as found in our experience—is generated in historical processes of collective experience over time.
  5. Genetic phenomenology studies the emergence/genesis of meanings of things within one's own stream of experience.
  6. Hermeneutical phenomenology (also hermeneutic phenomenology [17] or post-phenomenology/postphenomenology [18] [19] elsewhere; see hermeneutics) studies interpretive structures of experience.
  7. Realistic phenomenology (also realist phenomenology elsewhere) studies the structure of consciousness and intentionality as "it occurs in a real world that is largely external to consciousness and not somehow brought into being by consciousness." [16]

The contrast between "constitutive phenomenology" (German : konstitutive Phänomenologie; also static phenomenology (statische Phänomenologie) or descriptive phenomenology (beschreibende Phänomenologie)) and "genetic phenomenology" (genetische Phänomenologie; also phenomenology of genesis (Phänomenologie der Genesis)) is due to Husserl. [20]

Modern scholarship also recognizes the existence of the following varieties: late Heidegger's transcendental hermeneutic phenomenology [21] (see transcendental philosophy and a priori ), Maurice Merleau-Ponty's embodied phenomenology [22] (see embodied cognition), Michel Henry's material phenomenology (also based on embodied cognition), [23] analytic phenomenology [24] (see analytic philosophy), J. L. Austin's linguistic phenomenology [25] (see ordinary language philosophy), and post-analytic phenomenology [26] (see postanalytic philosophy).

Phenomenological terminology

Intentionality

Intentionality refers to the notion that consciousness is always the consciousness of something. The word itself should not be confused with the "ordinary" use of the word intentional, but should rather be taken as playing on the etymological roots of the word. Originally, intention referred to a "stretching out" ("in tension," from Latin intendere), and in this context it refers to consciousness "stretching out" towards its object. However, one should be careful with this image: there is not some consciousness first that, subsequently, stretches out to its object; rather, consciousness occurs as the simultaneity of a conscious act and its object.

Intentionality is often summed up as "aboutness." Whether this something that consciousness is about is in direct perception or in fantasy is inconsequential to the concept of intentionality itself; whatever consciousness is directed at, that is what consciousness is conscious of. This means that the object of consciousness doesn't have to be a physical object apprehended in perception: it can just as well be a fantasy or a memory. Consequently, these "structures" of consciousness, i.e., perception, memory, fantasy, etc., are called intentionalities.

The term "intentionality" originated with the Scholastics in the medieval period and was resurrected by Brentano who in turn influenced Husserl's conception of phenomenology, who refined the term and made it the cornerstone of his theory of consciousness. The meaning of the term is complex and depends entirely on how it is conceived by a given philosopher. The term should not be confused with "intention" or the psychoanalytic conception of unconscious "motive" or "gain".

Intuition

Intuition in phenomenology refers to cases where the intentional object is directly present to the intentionality at play; if the intention is "filled" by the direct apprehension of the object, you have an intuited object. Having a cup of coffee in front of you, for instance, seeing it, feeling it, or even imagining it – these are all filled intentions, and the object is then intuited. The same goes for the apprehension of mathematical formulae or a number. If you do not have the object as referred to directly, the object is not intuited, but still intended, but then emptily. Examples of empty intentions can be signitive intentions – intentions that only imply or refer to their objects.[ citation needed ]

Evidence

In everyday language, we use the word evidence to signify a special sort of relation between a state of affairs and a proposition: State A is evidence for the proposition "A is true." In phenomenology, however, the concept of evidence is meant to signify the "subjective achievement of truth." [27] This is not an attempt to reduce the objective sort of evidence to subjective "opinion," but rather an attempt to describe the structure of having something present in intuition with the addition of having it present as intelligible: "Evidence is the successful presentation of an intelligible object, the successful presentation of something whose truth becomes manifest in the evidencing itself." [28]

Noesis and noema

In Husserl's phenomenology, which is quite common, this pair of terms, derived from the Greek nous (mind), designate respectively the real content, noesis, and the ideal content, noema, of an intentional act (an act of consciousness). The Noesis is the part of the act that gives it a particular sense or character (as in judging or perceiving something, loving or hating it, accepting or rejecting it, and so on). This is real in the sense that it is actually part of what takes place in the consciousness (or psyche) of the subject of the act. The Noesis is always correlated with a Noema; for Husserl, the full Noema is a complex ideal structure comprising at least a noematic sense and a noematic core. The correct interpretation of what Husserl meant by the Noema has long been controversial, but the noematic sense is generally understood as the ideal meaning of the act [29] and the noematic core as the act's referent or object as it is meant in the act. One element of controversy is whether this noematic object is the same as the actual object of the act (assuming it exists) or is some kind of ideal object. [30]

Empathy and intersubjectivity

In phenomenology, empathy refers to the experience of one's own body as another. While we often identify others with their physical bodies, this type of phenomenology requires that we focus on the subjectivity of the other, as well as our intersubjective engagement with them. In Husserl's original account, this was done by a sort of apperception built on the experiences of your own lived-body. The lived body is your own body as experienced by yourself, as yourself. Your own body manifests itself to you mainly as your possibilities of acting in the world. It is what lets you reach out and grab something, for instance, but it also, and more importantly, allows for the possibility of changing your point of view. This helps you differentiate one thing from another by the experience of moving around it, seeing new aspects of it (often referred to as making the absent present and the present absent), and still retaining the notion that this is the same thing that you saw other aspects of just a moment ago (it is identical). Your body is also experienced as a duality, both as object (you can touch your own hand) and as your own subjectivity (you experience being touched).

The experience of your own body as your own subjectivity is then applied to the experience of another's body, which, through apperception, is constituted as another subjectivity. You can thus recognise the Other's intentions, emotions, etc. This experience of empathy is important in the phenomenological account of intersubjectivity. In phenomenology, intersubjectivity constitutes objectivity (i.e., what you experience as objective is experienced as being intersubjectively available – available to all other subjects. This does not imply that objectivity is reduced to subjectivity nor does it imply a relativist position, cf. for instance intersubjective verifiability).

In the experience of intersubjectivity, one also experiences oneself as being a subject among other subjects, and one experiences oneself as existing objectively for these Others; one experiences oneself as the noema of Others' noeses, or as a subject in another's empathic experience. As such, one experiences oneself as objectively existing subjectivity. Intersubjectivity is also a part in the constitution of one's lifeworld, especially as "homeworld."

Lifeworld

The lifeworld (German: Lebenswelt) is the "world" each one of us lives in. One could call it the "background" or "horizon" of all experience, and it is that on which each object stands out as itself (as different) and with the meaning it can only hold for us. The lifeworld is both personal and intersubjective (it is then called a "homeworld"), and, as such, it does not enclose each one of us in a solus ipse.

Husserl's Logische Untersuchungen (1900/1901)

In the first edition of the Logical Investigations , still under the influence of Brentano, Husserl describes his position as "descriptive psychology." Husserl analyzes the intentional structures of mental acts and how they are directed at both real and ideal objects. The first volume of the Logical Investigations, the Prolegomena to Pure Logic, begins with a devastating critique of psychologism, i.e., the attempt to subsume the a priori validity of the laws of logic under psychology. Husserl establishes a separate field for research in logic, philosophy, and phenomenology, independently from the empirical sciences. [31]

Transcendental phenomenology after the Ideen (1913)

Some years after the publication of the Logical Investigations, Husserl made some key elaborations that led him to the distinction between the act of consciousness (noesis) and the phenomena at which it is directed (the noemata).

What we observe is not the object as it is in itself, but how and inasmuch it is given in the intentional acts. Knowledge of essences would only be possible by "bracketing" all assumptions about the existence of an external world and the inessential (subjective) aspects of how the object is concretely given to us. This procedure Husserl called epoché.

Husserl in a later period concentrated more on the ideal, essential structures of consciousness. As he wanted to exclude any hypothesis on the existence of external objects, he introduced the method of phenomenological reduction to eliminate them. What was left over was the pure transcendental ego, as opposed to the concrete empirical ego. Now Transcendental Phenomenology is the study of the essential structures that are left in pure consciousness: This amounts in practice to the study of the noemata and the relations among them. The philosopher Theodor Adorno criticised Husserl's concept of phenomenological epistemology in his metacritique Against Epistemology, which is anti-foundationalist in its stance.

Transcendental phenomenologists include Oskar Becker, Aron Gurwitsch, and Alfred Schütz.

Realist phenomenology

After Husserl's publication of the Ideen in 1913, many phenomenologists took a critical stance towards his new theories. Especially the members of the Munich group distanced themselves from his new transcendental phenomenology and preferred the earlier realist phenomenology of the first edition of the Logical Investigations.

Realist phenomenologists include Adolf Reinach, Alexander Pfänder, Johannes Daubert  [ de ], Max Scheler, Roman Ingarden, Nicolai Hartmann, Dietrich von Hildebrand.

Existential phenomenology

Existential phenomenology differs from transcendental phenomenology by its rejection of the transcendental ego. Merleau-Ponty objects to the ego's transcendence of the world, which for Husserl leaves the world spread out and completely transparent before the conscious. Heidegger thinks of a conscious being as always already in the world. Transcendence is maintained in existential phenomenology to the extent that the method of phenomenology must take a presuppositionless starting point – transcending claims about the world arising from, for example, natural or scientific attitudes or theories of the ontological nature of the world.

While Husserl thought of philosophy as a scientific discipline that had to be founded on a phenomenology understood as epistemology, Martin Heidegger held a radically different view. Heidegger himself states their differences this way:

For Husserl, the phenomenological reduction is the method of leading phenomenological vision from the natural attitude of the human being whose life is involved in the world of things and persons back to the transcendental life of consciousness and its noetic-noematic experiences, in which objects are constituted as correlates of consciousness. For us, phenomenological reduction means leading phenomenological vision back from the apprehension of a being, whatever may be the character of that apprehension, to the understanding of the Being of this being (projecting upon the way it is unconcealed). [32]

According to Heidegger, philosophy was not at all a scientific discipline, but more fundamental than science itself. According to him science is only one way of knowing the world with no special access to truth. Furthermore, the scientific mindset itself is built on a much more "primordial" foundation of practical, everyday knowledge. Husserl was skeptical of this approach, which he regarded as quasi-mystical, and it contributed to the divergence in their thinking.

Instead of taking phenomenology as prima philosophia or a foundational discipline, Heidegger took it as a metaphysical ontology: "being is the proper and sole theme of philosophy... this means that philosophy is not a science of beings but of being." [32] Yet to confuse phenomenology and ontology is an obvious error. Phenomena are not the foundation or Ground of Being. Neither are they appearances, for, as Heidegger argues in Being and Time , an appearance is "that which shows itself in something else," while a phenomenon is "that which shows itself in itself."

While for Husserl, in the epoché, being appeared only as a correlate of consciousness, for Heidegger being is the starting point. While for Husserl we would have to abstract from all concrete determinations of our empirical ego, to be able to turn to the field of pure consciousness, Heidegger claims that "the possibilities and destinies of philosophy are bound up with man's existence, and thus with temporality and with historicality." [32]

However, ontological being and existential being are different categories, so Heidegger's conflation of these categories is, according to Husserl's view, the root of Heidegger's error. Husserl charged Heidegger with raising the question of ontology but failing to answer it, instead switching the topic to the Dasein, the only being for whom Being is an issue. That is neither ontology nor phenomenology, according to Husserl, but merely abstract anthropology. To clarify, perhaps, by abstract anthropology, as a non-existentialist searching for essences, Husserl rejected the existentialism implicit in Heidegger's distinction between beings qua existents as things in reality and their Being as it unfolds in Dasein's own reflections on its being-in-the-world, wherein being becomes present to us, that is, is unconcealed. [33]

Existential phenomenologists include: Martin Heidegger (1889–1976), Hannah Arendt (1906–1975), Karl Jaspers (1883–1969), Emmanuel Levinas (1906–1995), Gabriel Marcel (1889–1973), Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980), Paul Ricoeur (1913–2005) and Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908–1961).

Eastern thought

Some researchers in phenomenology (in particular in reference to Heidegger's legacy) see possibilities of establishing dialogues with traditions of thought outside of the so-called Western philosophy, particularly with respect to East-Asian thinking, and despite perceived differences between "Eastern" and "Western". [34] Furthermore, it has been claimed that a number of elements within phenomenology (mainly Heidegger's thought) have some resonance with Eastern philosophical ideas, particularly with Zen Buddhism and Taoism. [35] According to Tomonobu Imamichi, the concept of Dasein was inspired – although Heidegger remained silent on this – by Okakura Kakuzo's concept of das-in-der-Welt-sein (being in the world) expressed in The Book of Tea to describe Zhuangzi's philosophy, which Imamichi's teacher had offered to Heidegger in 1919, after having studied with him the year before. [36]

There are also recent signs of the reception of phenomenology (and Heidegger's thought in particular) within scholarly circles focused on studying the impetus of metaphysics in the history of ideas in Islam and Early Islamic philosophy such as in the works of the Lebanese philosopher Nader El-Bizri; [37] perhaps this is tangentially due to the indirect influence of the tradition of the French Orientalist and phenomenologist Henri Corbin, and later accentuated through El-Bizri's dialogues with the Polish phenomenologist Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka. [38]

In addition, the work of Jim Ruddy in the field of comparative philosophy, combined the concept of Transcendental Ego in Husserl's phenomenology with the concept of the primacy of self-consciousness in the work of Sankaracharya. In the course of this work, Ruddy uncovered a wholly new eidetic phenomenological science, which he called "convergent phenomenology." This new phenomenology takes over where Husserl left off, and deals with the constitution of relation-like, rather than merely thing-like, or "intentional" objectivity. [39]

Technoethics

Phenomenological approach to technology

James Moor has argued that computers show up policy vacuums that require new thinking and the establishment of new policies. [40] Others have argued that the resources provided by classical ethical theory such as utilitarianism, consequentialism and deontological ethics is more than enough to deal with all the ethical issues emerging from our design and use of information technology. [41]

For the phenomenologist the 'impact view' of technology as well as the constructivist view of the technology/society relationships is valid but not adequate (Heidegger 1977, Borgmann 1985, Winograd and Flores 1987, Ihde 1990, Dreyfus 1992, 2001). They argue that these accounts of technology, and the technology/society relationship, posit technology and society as if speaking about the one does not immediately and already draw upon the other for its ongoing sense or meaning. For the phenomenologist, society and technology co-constitute each other; they are each other's ongoing condition, or possibility for being what they are. For them technology is not just the artifact. Rather, the artifact already emerges from a prior 'technological' attitude towards the world (Heidegger 1977).

Heidegger's approach (pre-technological age)

For Heidegger the essence of technology is the way of being of modern humans—a way of conducting themselves towards the world—that sees the world as something to be ordered and shaped in line with projects, intentions and desires—a 'will to power' that manifests itself as a 'will to technology'. [42] Heidegger claims that there were other times in human history, a pre-modern time, where humans did not orient themselves towards the world in a technological way—simply as resources for our purposes. [42]

However, according to Heidegger this 'pre-technological' age (or mood) is one where humans' relation with the world and artifacts, their way of being disposed, was poetic and aesthetic rather than technological (enframing). [42] There are many who disagree with Heidegger's account of the modern technological attitude as the 'enframing' of the world. [43] For example, Andrew Feenberg argues that Heidegger's account of modern technology is not borne out in contemporary everyday encounters with technology. [42] Christian Fuchs has written on the anti-Semitism rooted in Heidegger's view of technology. [44]

The Hubert Dreyfus approach (contemporary society)

In critiquing the artificial intelligence (AI) programme, Hubert Dreyfus (1992) argues that the way skill development has become understood in the past has been wrong. He argues, this is the model that the early artificial intelligence community uncritically adopted. In opposition to this view, he argues, with Heidegger, that what we observe when we learn a new skill in everyday practice is in fact the opposite. We most often start with explicit rules or preformulated approaches and then move to a multiplicity of particular cases, as we become an expert. His argument draws directly on Heidegger's account in "Being and Time" of humans as beings that are always already situated in-the-world. As humans 'in-the-world', we are already experts at going about everyday life, at dealing with the subtleties of every particular situation; that is why everyday life seems so obvious. Thus, the intricate expertise of everyday activity is forgotten and taken for granted by AI as an assumed starting point. [42] What Dreyfus highlighted in his critique of AI was the fact that technology (AI algorithms) does not make sense by itself. It is the assumed, and forgotten, horizon of everyday practice that makes technological devices and solutions show up as meaningful. If we are to understand technology we need to 'return' to the horizon of meaning that made it show up as the artifacts we need, want and desire. We need to consider how these technologies reveal (or disclose) us. [42]

See also

Related Research Articles

Edmund Husserl German philosopher, known as the father of phenomenology

Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl was a German philosopher who established the school of phenomenology. In his early work, he elaborated critiques of historicism and of psychologism in logic based on analyses of intentionality. In his mature work, he sought to develop a systematic foundational science based on the so-called phenomenological reduction. Arguing that transcendental consciousness sets the limits of all possible knowledge, Husserl redefined phenomenology as a transcendental-idealist philosophy. Husserl's thought profoundly influenced the landscape of 20th-century philosophy, and he remains a notable figure in contemporary philosophy and beyond.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty French phenomenological philosopher

Maurice Jean Jacques Merleau-Ponty was a French phenomenological philosopher, strongly influenced by Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. The constitution of meaning in human experience was his main interest and he wrote on perception, art, and politics. He was on the editorial board of Les Temps modernes, the leftist magazine established by Jean-Paul Sartre in 1945.

Neurophenomenology refers to a scientific research program aimed to address the hard problem of consciousness in a pragmatic way. It combines neuroscience with phenomenology in order to study experience, mind, and consciousness with an emphasis on the embodied condition of the human mind. The field is very much linked to fields such as neuropsychology, neuroanthropology and behavioral neuroscience and the study of phenomenology in psychology.

Existential phenomenology is Martin Heidegger's brand of phenomenology.

Phenomenology may refer to:

<i>Phenomenology of Perception</i> book by Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Phenomenology of Perception is a 1945 book by the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, in which the author expounds his thesis of "the primacy of perception". The work established Merleau-Ponty as the pre-eminent philosopher of the body, and is considered a major statement of French existentialism. The relationship between Phenomenology of Perception and Merleau-Ponty's late, unfinished work has received much scholarly discussion.

Phenomenology within psychology is the psychological study of subjective experience. It is an approach to psychological subject matter that has its roots in the phenomenological philosophical work of Edmund Husserl. Early phenomenologists such as Husserl, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty conducted philosophical investigations of consciousness in the early 20th century. Their critiques of psychologism and positivism later influenced at least two main fields of contemporary psychology: the phenomenological psychological approach of the Duquesne School, including Amedeo Giorgi and Frederick Wertz; and the experimental approaches associated with Francisco Varela, Shaun Gallagher, Evan Thompson, and others. Other names associated with the movement include Jonathan Smith, Steinar Kvale, and Wolfgang Köhler. But "an even stronger influence on psychopathology came from Heidegger (1963), particularly through Kunz (1931), Blankenburg (1971), Tellenbach (1983), Binswanger (1994), and others." Phenomenological psychologists have also figured prominently in the history of the humanistic psychology movement.

Alexander Pfänder was a German philosopher who was a member of the Munich phenomenological school.

Dan Zahavi Danish philosopher

Dan Zahavi is a Danish philosopher. He is currently Professor of Philosophy at University of Copenhagen and University of Oxford.

Phenomenology (sociology)

Phenomenology within sociology is the study of the formal structures of concrete social existence as made available in and through the analytical description of acts of intentional consciousness. The object of such an analysis is the meaningful lived world of everyday life: the Lebenswelt, or "Life-world". The task of phenomenological sociology, like that of every other phenomenological investigation, is to account for, or describe, the formal structures of this object of investigation in terms of subjectivity, as an object-constituted-in-and-for-consciousness. That which makes such a description different from the "naive" subjective descriptions of the man in the street, or those of the traditional social scientist, both operating in the natural attitude of everyday life, is the utilization of phenomenological methods.

In Being and Time, Martin Heidegger made the distinction between ontical and ontological. Ontical refers to a particular area of Being, whereas ontological ought to refer to Being as such. The history of ontology in Western philosophy is, in Heidegger's terms, properly speaking, ontical, and ontology ought to designate fundamental ontology. He says "Ontological inquiry is indeed more primordial, as over against the ontical inquiry of the positive sciences". It is from this distinction he developed his project of fundamental ontology

John Russon is a Canadian philosopher, working primarily in the tradition of Continental Philosophy. In 2006, he was named Presidential Distinguished Professor at the University of Guelph, and in 2011 he was the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute's Canadian Lecturer to India.

Dermot Moran is an Irish philosopher specialising in phenomenology and in medieval philosophy and also active in the dialogue between analytic and continental philosophy. He is currently the inaugural holder of the Joseph Chair in Catholic Philosophy at Boston College. He was previously Professor of Philosophy at University College Dublin, and he has taught at St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, Queen's University of Belfast, and Yale University. He has served as a visiting professor of philosophy in many universities around the world, including Rice University, Sorbonne, University at Albany, SUNY, Catholic University of Leuven, Trinity College Dublin, Connecticut College, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Northwestern University. He has been an elected member of the Royal Irish Academy since March 2003 and has been involved in the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés de Philosophie, the highest non-governmental world organisation for philosophy, since the 1980s. He is the Founding Editor of International Journal of Philosophical Studies, founded in 1993 and published by Routledge, and co-editor of Contributions To Phenomenology book series, published by Springer. His monograph Introduction to Phenomenology was awarded the Edward Goodwin Ballard Prize in Phenomenology (2001) and was translated into Chinese. A Turkish translation of the book is in preparation. Moran served both as President of the Programme Committee for the 23rd World Congress of Philosophy which took place in Athens from 4–10 August 2013, and as President of the 24th World Congress of Philosophy which took place in Beijing from 13-20 August 2018.

Phenomenological description is a method of phenomenology. A phenomenological description attempts to depict the structure of first person lived experience, rather than theoretically explain it. This method was first conceived of by Edmund Husserl. It was developed through the latter work of Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Immanuel Levinas and Maurice Merleau-Ponty — and others. It has also been developed through recent strands of modern psychology and cognitive science.

Renaud Barbaras is a French contemporary philosopher. An École normale supérieure de Saint-Cloud alumnus, he is Chair of Contemporary Philosophy in the Sorbonne.

<i>The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology</i> book by Edmund Husserl

The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy is an unfinished 1936 book by the German philosopher Edmund Husserl, in which the author attempts to provide a historical and causal account of human consciousness. The work is seen as the culmination of Husserl's thought.

Early phenomenology refers to the early phase of the phenomenological movement, from the 1890s until the Second World War. The figures associated with the early phenomenology are Edmund Husserl and his followers and students, particularly the members of the Göttingen and Munich Circles, as well as a number of other students of Carl Stumpf and Theodor Lipps, and excludes the later existential phenomenology inspired by Martin Heidegger. Early phenomenology can be divided into two theoretical camps: realist phenomenology, and transcendental or constitutive phenomenology.

Burt C. Hopkins is an American philosopher. He is an Associate Member of the University of Lille, UMR-CNRS 8163 STL, Permanent Faculty member of the Summer School of Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy, Ca’Foscari University of Venice, former Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Seattle University (1989-2016) and Permanent Secretary of the Husserl Circle. He has been Visiting Professor at the University of Nanjing, China (2013), Visiting Professor at The School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) and the Koyré Center, Paris, France (2015-17), Senior Fellow at The Sidney M. Edelstein Center for the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2018), and most recently Researcher at The Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Science, Prague, The Capital, Czech Republic (2019).

References

  1. Zahavi, Dan (2003), Husserl's Phenomenology, Stanford: Stanford University Press
  2. Farina, Gabriella (2014) Some reflections on the phenomenological method. Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences, 7(2):50-62.http://www.crossingdialogues.com/Ms-A14-07.htm
  3. Menon, Sangeetha; Anindya Sinha; B.V. Sreekantan (2014). Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Consciousness and the Self. New Youk, Dordrecht, London: Springer. p. 172. ISBN   978-81-322-1586-8 . Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  4. Orbe, Mark P. (2009). Phenomenology. In S. Littlejohn, & K. Foss (Eds.), Encyclopedia of communication theory. (pp. 750-752). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
  5. Rollinger, Robin (1999), Husserl's Position in the School of Brentano, Kluwer
  6. Husserl, Edmund. "The Crisis of European Sciences, Part IIIB § 57. The fateful separation of transcendental philosophy and psychology". Marxists.org. Marxists.org. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  7. Husserl, Edmund. The Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970, pg. 240.
  8. Natanson, M. (1973). Edmund Husserl: Philosopher of Infinite Tasks. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
  9. Safranski, R. (1998). Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  10. Roslyn Wallach Bologh, Dialectical Phenomenology: Marx's Method, Routledge, 2009, p. 16.
  11. Smith, David Woodruff (2007), Husserl, London-New York: Routledge
  12. Bob Sandmeyer, Husserl's Constitutive Phenomenology: Its Problem and Promise, Routledge, 2009, p. 15.
  13. Partially based on Schuhmann, Karl (2004), ""Phänomenologie": Eine Begriffsgeschichtilche Reflexion", in Leijenhorst, Cees; Steenbakkers, Piet, Karl Schuhmann. Selected Papers on Phenomenology, Dordrecht / Boston / London: Kluwer, pp. 1–33
  14. Ernst Benz, Christian Kabbalah: Neglected Child of Theology
  15. Lambert, Johann Heinrich (1772). Anmerkungen und Zusätze zur Entwerfung der Land- und Himmelscharten. Von J. H. Lambert (1772.) Hrsg. von A. Wangerin. Mit 21 Textfiguren. (xml). W. Engelmann, reprint 1894.
  16. 1 2 Phenomenology – Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  17. Cf. interpretative phenomenological analysis in psychological qualitative research.
  18. Katinka Waelbers, Doing Good with Technologies: Taking Responsibility for the Social Role of Emerging Technologies, Springer, 2011, p. 77.
  19. Suzi Adams, "Towards a Post-Phenomenology of Life: Castoriadis' Naturphilosophie", Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol. 4, Nos. 1–2 (2008).
  20. Donn Welton, The New Husserl: A Critical Reader, Indiana University Press, 2003, p. 261.
  21. Wheeler, Michael (12 October 2011). "Martin Heidegger – 3.1 The Turn and the Contributions to Philosophy". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  22. Rasmus Thybo Jensen, Dermot Moran (eds.), The Phenomenology of Embodied Subjectivity, Springer, 2014, p. 292; Douglas Low, Merleau-Ponty in Contemporary Context, Transaction Publishers, 2013, p. 21; Jack Reynolds, Merleau-Ponty and Derrida: Intertwining Embodiment and Alterity, Ohio University Press, 2004, p. 192.
  23. Michel Henry, Material Phenomenology, Fordham University Press, 2008.
  24. J. Kevin O'Regan, Erik Myin, Alva Noë, "Towards an Analytic Phenomenology: The Concepts of 'Bodiliness' and 'Grabbiness'", Seeing, Thinking and Knowing, vol. 38 (2004), pp. 103–114; Wolfgang Huemer, The Constitution of Consciousness: A Study in Analytic Phenomenology, Routledge, 2005.
  25. John Langshaw Austin (1911—1960) – Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  26. Paul Crowther, Phenomenologies of Art and Vision: A Post-Analytic Turn, Bloomsbury, 2013, p. 161.
  27. Robert Sokolowski, Introduction to Phenomenology, Cambridge University Press (2000). Pp. 159–160. This use of the word evidence may seem strange in English, but is more common in German, which is the language Husserl wrote in.
  28. Sokolowski, Introduction, pp. 160–161.
  29. I.e. if A loves B, loving is a real part of A's conscious activity – Noesis – but gets its sense from the general concept of loving, which has an abstract or ideal meaning, as "loving" has a meaning in the English language independently of what an individual means by the word when they use it.
  30. For a full account of the controversy and a review of positions taken, see David Woodruff Smith, Husserl, Routledge, 2007, pp304-311.
  31. On the Logical Investigations, see Zahavi, Dan; Stjernfelt, Frederik, eds. (2002), One Hundred Years of Phenomenology (Husserl's Logical Investigations Revisited), Dordrecht / Boston / London: Kluwer; and Mohanty, Jitendra Nath, ed. (1977), Readings on Edmund Husserl's Logical Investigations, Den Haag: Nijhoff
  32. 1 2 3 Heidegger, Martin (1975), "Introduction", The Basic Problems of Phenomenology, Indiana University Press
  33. I have attempted to respond to the request for clarification of Heidegger's distinction between being and Being. My info source was http://www.uni.edu/boedeker/NNhHeidegger2.doc. It was not copied and pasted but rephrased for copyright reasons.
  34. See for instance references to Heidegger's "A Dialogue on Language between a Japanese and an Inquirer," in On the Way to Language (New York: Harper & Row, 1971). Heidegger himself had contacts with some leading Japanese intellectuals, including members of the Kyoto School, notably Hajime Tanabe, Kuki Shūzō and Kiyoshi Miki.
  35. An account given by Paul Hsao (in Heidegger and Asian Thought) records a remark by Chang Chung-Yuan claiming that "Heidegger is the only Western Philosopher who not only intellectually understands but has intuitively grasped Taoist thought"
  36. Tomonobu Imamichi, In Search of Wisdom. One Philosopher's Journey, Tokyo, International House of Japan, 2004 (quoted by Anne Fagot-Largeau during her lesson Archived 6 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine at the Collège de France on 7 December 2006).
  37. See for instance: Nader El-Bizri, The Phenomenological Quest between Avicenna and Heidegger (Binghamton, N.Y.: Global Publications SUNY, 2000) ISBN   1-58684-005-3; refer also to many of his other studies and commentaries on Heidegger, including one of his latest studies: Nader El-Bizri, 'On Dwelling: Heideggerian Allusions to Architectural Phenomenology', Studia UBB. Philosophia, Vol. 60, No. 1 (2015): 5-30
  38. A book-series under the title: Islamic Philosophy and Occidental Phenomenology in Dialogue has been recently established by Springer (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht) in association with the World Phenomenology Institute. This initiative has been initiated by the Polish phenomenologist Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, editor of Analecta Husserliana, and is co-edited by Nader El-Bizri.
  39. See the thesis, "Convergent Phenomenology," presented to the University of Madras, June 1979.
  40. Moor, J. H. (1985). "What Is Computer Ethics?" In T. W. Bynum (ed.), Computersand Ethics. Blackwell.
  41. Bernard, G. (1999). Common Morality and Computing. Ethics and Information Technology 1(1).
  42. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Introna, L. (2005) Disclosing the Digital Face: The ethics of facial recognition systems, Ethics and Information Technology, 7(2)
  43. Feenberg, A. (1999) 'Technology and Meaning', in Questioning Technology, London and New York: Routledge.
  44. Fuchs, Christian (2015) "Martin Heidegger's Anti-Semitism: Philosophy of Technology and the Media in the Light of the Black Notebooks." Triple-C Vol 13, No 1. Accessed 4 May 2017. <http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/650/690>

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