03 phenomenology

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  1. 1. Phenomenology The lived experience
  2. 2. What we will cover Phenomenology as a Philosophy/History Transcendental Hermeneutic Existential Phenomenology as a methodology Descriptive Interpretive What Phenomenologists believe and do Strengths and Weaknesses Disciplines that use phenomonology
  3. 3. Phenomenology is A Philosophy A Methodology AND The renewed interest in phenomenology has seen a return to the much discussed question of what phenomenology is, for which a definitive answer has yet to be found (Rouback, 2004)
  4. 4. Phenomenologists assert that the study of phenomenaphenomena is the correct and most primordial objective of philosophers.
  5. 5. The Form and its Phenomenon Reality versus our experience of reality.
  6. 6. The problem of the (im)possibility of objective experience has been a focus for Metaphysics since the beginning of philosophy and has consequences for nearly all branches of philosophical thought. Phenomenology is an attempt to answer this (seemingly) basic question: How can we have knowledge ofHow can we have knowledge of the world,the world, as it really is?as it really is?
  7. 7. How can we distinguish between the shadow of a rabbit and a rabbit?
  8. 8. Descartes also approached this question. Employing the method of radical doubt he concluded that the only thing that one can know with certainty is that a thing is doing some thinking: Cogito Ergo Sum
  9. 9. This thinking may be described as RationalismRationalism.
  10. 10. In contrast Empiricists approach the problem by rejecting the existence of extra-worldly phenomena like ideas/spirit/soul and seek an explanation from observable phenomena.
  11. 11. This thinking may be described as Empiricism.Empiricism.
  12. 12. Phenomenology as a Philosophy Transcendental Phenomenology Edmund Husserl Father 1920 Hermeneutic (interpretive) Phenomenology Martin Heideggar 1927 Existential Phenomenology Merleau-Ponty and Jean-Paul Sartre conflict Post WWII Positivism
  13. 13. What is Phenomenology? CONTRA Descartes and Locke, Husserl argues that in order to answer the question of how we can have knowledge of the world ; we ought to turn our attention to the study of our experience of it. Phenomenology studies the structure of various types of experience including: Perception Thought Memory Imagination Transcendental Phenomenology Edmund HusserlEdmund Husserl (1859-1938)
  14. 14. Transcendental Phenomenology Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) Sprouted from post WWII positivism. Phenomenology rejects positivism. This can be achieved through reduction (Epoch) transcend the experience to discover meaning. There is natural attitude (our everyday involvement in the world) and phenomenological attitude (the philosophical act of pure reflection (where we suspend the natural attitude). knowing is always and only through a state of pure consciousnessthe mind is directed toward objects of consciousness that can be reflected upon. Lived world
  15. 15. What is Phenomenology? The structure of these forms of experience typically involves what Husserl called "intentionalityintentionality", that is, the directedness of experience toward things in the world, the property of consciousness that it is a consciousness of or about something. According to classical Husserlian phenomenology, our experience is directed toward things only through particular concepts, thoughts, ideas, images, etc. These make up the meaning or content of a given experience, and are distinct from the things they present or mean.
  16. 16. Transcendental (descriptive) Phenomenology Within the range of unique experiences, there is a larger, transcending, essential and unvarying quality of a phenomenonthat can be discovered! Unvarying Quality Of a Phenomenon
  17. 17. BACK TO THE THINGS THEMSELVES!! By going back to the things themselves Husserl meant the entire field of original experience. He came to the point that the ultimate root of Philosoiphy and of all rational assertions was not to be found in a concept, nor in a principle, not in the Cogito in the whole field of our lived experience. Going back to the phenomenon, to that which presents itself to man, seeing things as they really are, independent of any prejudice.
  18. 18. Returning to the Hammer Transcendental (descriptive) Phenomenology
  19. 19. As what do we experience this hammer? It is many things to many people. To a carpenter it is a TOOL. To a retailer it is MERCHANDISE.. To a killer it is a WEAPON. To a lecturer it is a PROP. To my girlfriend it is a NUISANCE. To a communist it is a SYMBOL. Transcendental (descriptive) Phenomenology
  20. 20. Edmund Husserl Describing experiences? Feelings? Emotions? Fantasies? Dreams?
  21. 21. Logical Investigation Objective Facts Psycho-Logical Investigation Subjective Events
  22. 22. Critique of Science Husserl argued that the scientific method was delusional. The impossibility of casual passive observation meant that the notion of 1. Observing the world 2. Discerning Patterns 3. Deriving Laws Was not as simple as scientists would have us believe. Rather, our attention is always directed at the object of our experience and so before the scientist can only prove the accuracy of their original assumption. Put simply, Science was not fundamental in a way that would satisfy Husserl because if refused to concede the presuppositions upon which its enquiries were based. Transcendental (descriptive) Phenomenology
  23. 23. Transcendental (descriptive) Phenomenology Husserl came up with the main insight of phenomenology: THE INTENTIONALITY OF CONSCIOUSNESS. Every conscious act intends something. Consciousness is consciousness of something other than itself. If an act is present, the object is also present. Therefore, the character of the object is co-determined by the character of the act. Consciousness does not just adapt itself to the object passively but rather, its very essence is to form meaning, to give meaning to the objectto give meaning to the object.
  24. 24. noesis The intentional process of consciousness is called noesis. Phenomenology describes the objects of consciousness. noema, The Ideal context of noesis is noema. Phenomenology also describes consciousness itself. In this way it seeks to draw from both scientific and psychological descriptions of the world. The Objective and Subjective are correlative but never reducible to each other. In order to draw the distinction between these two different ways of our experiences of the world Husserl employed two greek terms: Transcendental (descriptive) Phenomenology
  25. 25. For a phenomenologist, then, there is no object without the subject, and no subject without the object. The subject-of-the-objectsubject-of-the-object is the noesis, and the object-for-the-subjectobject-for-the-subject is the noema. Put in other words, there is no world without man, and there is no man without the world. The world is a human world and man is a being-in-the-world.
  26. 26. The Phenomenological Reduction The purpose of this inquiry into the structure of experience is, remember, to provide a basis for knowledge about the world. Husserl argued that all consciousness is consciousness of something. There is always something towards which consciousness is directed. Therefore: If we are to gain knowledge about the object of consciousness we must first examine consciousness. The consequence of this is that consciousness is the pre-condition for knowledge. Let us return to our hammer. Transcendental (descriptive) Phenomenology
  27. 27. The Phenomenological Reduction Let us consider the following: Each of us is currently having an experience of the hammer. We are having a noesisnoesis of this object. However we are unable to get knowledge of noemanoema or the thing in itself because we are unaware of the schematic, psychological and scientific preconceptions upon which our experience (noesisnoesis) rests. Husserl argued through a radical reduction, it is possible to bracket off these schema and gain knowledge of the thing as it is in itself. In what he describes as an epoche the subject [brackets off] the natural attitude. The place to begin this enquiry is from our own experience of the world. From OUR FIRST-PERSON-POINT-OF-VIEW.
  28. 28. The Phenomenological Reduction In the phenomenological reduction one needs to strip away the theoretical or scientific conceptions and thematizations that overlay the phenomenon one wishes to study, and which prevents one from seeing the phenomenon in a non-abstracting manner. The Epoche is the moment in which we break free from our everyday experience of the world. An everyday experience in which we rely upon unquestioningly and unaware of a number of the suppositions of science. This moment is transcendental. If the epoche is the name for whatever method we use to free ourselves from the captivity of the unquestioned acceptance of the everyday world. Then the reduction is the recognition of that acceptance as an acceptance.
  29. 29. Let us return to our hammer; we have already spoken about the different ways we may encounter it, as a tool, a weapon etc. But have we gone far enough? Our questioning is only beginning. What are the assumptions governing your experience of this hammer at this moment? Scientific Assumptions Perceptive Assumptions Sociological Assumptions How do these affect your experience?
  30. 30. Hermeneutic (interpretive) Phenomenology Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) Hans-George Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur Disagrees with Husserls epoche. An effort to get beneath the subjective experience and find the genuine, objective nature of things. Focuses on the relationship between the event and the person, and how meaning is formed in that relationship. Leads to endless po