Descriptive phenomenology thesis

More important to one’s grammar and rhetoric than identifying descriptions and prescriptions in others’ speech, more important even than being careful to make a clear delineation in one’s grammar, I have discovered, is explicitly addressing statements as such. Of course, one can’t go around and preface every statement with “This is a descriptive/prescriptive statement:” Sometimes, such pedantics are appropriate, though. I am still experimenting with this variable to see what gets the best results in the art of rhetoric.

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 (., 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 ).

Eidetic intuition is, in short, an a priori method of gaining knowledge of necessities. However, the result of the eidetic reduction is not just that we come to knowledge of essences, but that we come to intuitive knowledge of essences. Essences show themselves to us (Wesensschau ) , although not to sensory intuition, but to categorial or eidetic intuition (Husserl 2001, 292-4). It might be argued that Husserl's methods here are not so different from the standard methods of conceptual analysis: imaginative thought experiments (Zahavi 2003, 38-39).

This last insight, namely that the phenomenological method provides access to the necessary, and human species universal, a priori conditions for the possibility of experience, helps to contextualize Max Scheler’s (1874-1928) characterization of the “phenomenological attitude.” According to Scheler, phenomenology “is the name of an attitude of spiritual seeing in which one can see or experience something which otherwise remains hidden” (Scheler, 1973, p. 137). Then, understanding phenomenology as either a movement or method, it may also be understood as an “attitude.” Since a “method is a goal-directed procedure of thinking about facts, for example, induction or deduction” or “a particular procedure of observation and investigation, with or without experiment and with or without instrumental support for our senses, in the form of microscopes, telescopes, etc.” Scheler argues “Phenomenology, however, has a fundamentally different attitude. That which is seen and experienced is given only in the seeing and experiencing act itself … It does not simply stand there and let itself be observed” (Scheler, 1973, pp. 137-138). Hence, “attitude” refers to the relation to a phenomenon which allows it to show itself as itself (compare Heidegger, 1962, p. 51), when to a different attitude it would have shown itself differently. That the phenomenological attitude has the character of a science is ensured by the universality and necessity of what shows itself to observers who have gained such a relation to phenomena.

Descriptive phenomenology thesis

descriptive phenomenology thesis

This last insight, namely that the phenomenological method provides access to the necessary, and human species universal, a priori conditions for the possibility of experience, helps to contextualize Max Scheler’s (1874-1928) characterization of the “phenomenological attitude.” According to Scheler, phenomenology “is the name of an attitude of spiritual seeing in which one can see or experience something which otherwise remains hidden” (Scheler, 1973, p. 137). Then, understanding phenomenology as either a movement or method, it may also be understood as an “attitude.” Since a “method is a goal-directed procedure of thinking about facts, for example, induction or deduction” or “a particular procedure of observation and investigation, with or without experiment and with or without instrumental support for our senses, in the form of microscopes, telescopes, etc.” Scheler argues “Phenomenology, however, has a fundamentally different attitude. That which is seen and experienced is given only in the seeing and experiencing act itself … It does not simply stand there and let itself be observed” (Scheler, 1973, pp. 137-138). Hence, “attitude” refers to the relation to a phenomenon which allows it to show itself as itself (compare Heidegger, 1962, p. 51), when to a different attitude it would have shown itself differently. That the phenomenological attitude has the character of a science is ensured by the universality and necessity of what shows itself to observers who have gained such a relation to phenomena.

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