August 17, 2012 3 Comments
Phenomenology is the study of experiences: generally the experiences of a subjects (an organism, a group, or a single conciousness) interaction with “other” (eg. the environment, field, “world”, other happenings or other people in contact with the subject) and from the subject’s point of view.
This includes all integral structures and components:
- mood, excitement, aggression, apprehension and expectations in circumstances.
- Bias, “world view”, outlooks and introjection
- intentionality (or towardeness) and mindfulness.
- sensing, near and far (touch and taste are near, sight and hearing far)
- sensing time and observing change
- imagining, feeling, problem solving, abstracting,
- desiring, empathizing,expressing,
- affecting and being affected
- experiential learning -learning by experience and activity
- the limitations of experiencing
- The communication of experiencing, i.e language, language modes
- context and meanings
- patterns (similarities of different experiences and applications)
Some benefits of phenomenological investigation is:
- One may improve his understanding of his ways of cognating and acting.
- find deeper meaning in events by holistically experiencing them rather than reading about them.
- understand and find meaning in other peoples shared experiences, paradigms, by cultivating perspective-taking skills.
- improve problem solving with experiential learning, and patterning.
- feeling “tuned in” to the world.
- abstracting, imagining and being affected by other’s experiences (development of empathy and language).
Phenomenology is not just a subjective and intersubjective discourse in philosophy. It is important to Science (where objectivity is preferred) as well. For example: the activity, including observations, of the tester must be considered in any scientific test. A scientist is always trying to remove error and accidental tampering in his/her measurements and remaining as objective as possible.
Now consider the science of Quantum mechanics.
The tester or observer is so grand compared to tiny particles in field, that even his idle observing can effect his measurement of particles. This means that a quantum physicist must account for his own “consciousness” or cognations in measuring and observing particles, including his expectations, attitudes and limitations that could effect his data! At this extreme level of scientific observation, the scientist’s experience of measuring objects and events in a field is a component of the field.
Phenomenology is a much discussed topic in the quantum mechanics and physics, as well as psychology and both Eastern and Western Philosophies. It’s an important topic within any Empiricism . If I had a complaint about phenomenology its that’s an awfully long word and I can never remember how to spell it. :) …. and just try to fit the phrase “existential-phenomenology” (the phenomenology that focus on whole action and not just “consciousness“) into the 140 character limit of a twitter post. Phenomenology is one more ugly word that is very useful.