The Science of Culture and the Phenomenology of Styles

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He contributed to the creation of the Gruppo 63, an avant-garde literary movement. He has curated a great number of exhibitions and promoted a group of Italian artists whom he called Nuovi-nuovi. He was among the first to deal with the use of computers and new media in the arts. Joseph Street, Toronto. In collaboration with : In collaborazione con terza lingua. Entrance : With fee.

This site uses cookies to provide a better experience. Continuing navigation accept the use of cookies by us OK. Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto. Follow us. Search content. Hence, it is as if these three general identifications relate to one another circularly, since failure to accomplish the transcendental-phenomenological viewpoint of the third may place the psychologist, studying merely subjective phenomena, back at the first.

From the properly phenomenological perspective of the third general identification, then, the following comments by Kant and Husserl are understood more easily. Kant famously argued in the Preface to his Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science that empirical psychology can never be a proper natural science Kant, , p. For Kant, the naturalization of psychology suggests a denial of free will in humans, a position his philosophy fundamentally rejects. Yet, as indicated with the primary division of psychology into natural and human science, psychology tends to take a psychophysical understanding of human being as a point of departure for further research compare [..

In fact, psychologists may be classified by a taxonomy of relations between the psychological and the physical. Next, there are those who seek a reduction of either one of the psychological, or the physical, to the other. Though, again, it seems more popular and plausible today to find the reduction of the psychological to the physical advocated.

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Lastly, there are those who seek to characterize the relation in terms of supervenience. The perhaps most popular articulation suggests that psychological states cannot be eliminated in favor of, or reduced to, physical states; however, there can be no changes to psychological states without there being accompanying changes to physical states compare Kim, ; compare Kim, According to Husserl,. What one has here, from the point of view of natural science, is a number of individual human beings each with a particular consciousness, a particular psyche … belonging to each.

In the psycho-physical interrelated context that is made possible by the material interrelations of the animate organisms, there arise in the individual psyches acts that are intentionally directed at something psychically external. But what appears here is always only new states of the individual psyches Husserl, , p.


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As we know, there come continually into consideration in the phenomenological exploration of the acts both consciousness itself and the correlate of consciousness, noesis and noema. Wherever we go, we bring the necessary and universal conditions for the possibility of experience to our experiences.

Both the naturalization project and the merely subjective point of view project are misidentified with phenomenological psychology, considering phenomenology proper; moreover, both of these projects may fail at avoiding psychologism compare Husserl, b, p. However, as the above discussion of the progressive movement to transcendental phenomenology shows, there is a continuity to be discerned across the introductions compare McKenna, According to Carr, Husserl attempts an introduction to phenomenology in all of the following books: Logical Investigations ; Ideas ; Formal and Transcendental Logic ; Cartesian Meditations ; The Crisis of the European Sciences Since each of the ways explained by Kern are ways into the transcendental phenomenological attitude, only their differences will be briefly characterized here.

The characterization of their differences is helpful toward clarifying what is meant by phenomenological psychology. This is because across the differing introductions, it is not difficult to lose sight of the many different unifying themes with which to coherently understand the relation between phenomenology and psychology.

The Cartesian way seeks an absolute starting point from which philosophy may be understood as a science. This starting point demands absolute evidence, and this means simply clear and distinct evidence that cannot be doubted. Belief in the mind-external world is then to be doubted, since there is supposed to be no absolute evidence for belief in the mind-external world.

Though an exhaustive list of phenomenologists is outside the scope of this article, what follows is a brief list of major figures in phenomenology. The purpose of this list is to suggest that, despite the heterogeneity of approaches across the figures peopling the list, as far as these individuals were engaged in phenomenology, they participated in a method grounded in the transcendental attitude.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty

As should be clear, phenomenological psychology, as a science, concerns itself with what is necessary and universal in human experience. This is opposed to the approach to human experience that seeks to record subjective experience as subjective. With this distinction in mind, there are a number of research methods classified as within phenomenological psychology to consider.

Hence, the controversy and challenges remain for phenomenological psychology. That is to say, the psychological sciences that self-identify as phenomenological may be interrogated regarding whether they avoid psychologism and whether they might be better classified as phenomenographic. As exemplified by work found in the Zollikon Seminars , Martin Heidegger has provided a number of valuable insights into how phenomenology may relate to psychology. From this discussion, Heidegger provides his understanding of the distinction between psychology and philosophy, and this distinction applies to phenomenology in essentially the same way it was reflected on above in Husserl.

That is to say, Heidegger suggests phenomenological psychology is intermediate to phenomenological transcendental philosophy. What this means for Heidegger is that when phenomenology is used as a method to understand being, then phenomenology is used philosophically, and when phenomenology is used as a method to understand being as human being, then it is used psychologically or anthropologically. Since being is a condition for the possibility of being-in-the-world, an analysis of being will yield ontological insights.

To be clear, beings may be described in terms of cultural and historical facts. However, such descriptions fall short of understanding being as the condition for the possibility of beings. Frederick Wilhelmsen famously described this difference in terms of beings as nouns and be-ing as a participle.

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What this means for phenomenological psychology is that insofar as it merely views the ontic fact domain of human being, then, according to Heidegger like Kant and Husserl before him , it falls short of the transcendental attitude. That is to say, on the one hand, psychology is clearly delimited from ontology. On the other hand, psychology is grounded in ontology.

There can be no human being, if there is no be-ing. So, what is the value of phenomenology for psychology?

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As disclosing the existentials existentialia , then, phenomenology may be used as a method toward an awareness, which is psychologically therapeutic, in its affirmation of human freedom. Just as existentialism and freedom belong together, so too awareness of the conditions making human experiences possible, when considered from the first-person perspective regarding lived experience, may be therapeutic. In essence this is the training of a client seeking psychotherapy to perform a phenomenological reduction to accomplish a transcendental attitude to their own lived experience.

This is Da-sein analysis. Ultimately this is ontology, through psychology, not psychology; however, it is still related to psychology as being psychotherapeutic. Further, such an understanding of phenomenology elucidates the consistent thread running through the heterogeneous styles of the major figures standardly considered phenomenologists. In order to clarify further the meaning of phenomenological psychology as a science, phenomenology was contrasted with phenomenography.

Phenomenography refers to the study of the merely subjective aspects of experience. This is an important insight involving an important distinction, and perhaps with further dissemination the controversy surrounding phenomenology will be resolved. The therapeutic value involved then, points further to the efficacious presence of philosophy in psychology and phenomenological psychology.

Phenomenological Psychology Phenomenological psychology is the use of the phenomenological method to gain insights regarding topics related to psychology. Table of Contents What is Phenomenology? Method vs. Natural Science vs. Human Science Naturalistic vs. Personalistic Standpoint Elimination vs. Reduction vs. Supervenience Which Husserl? Whose Phenomenology? What is Phenomenology? Movement Phenomenology may be understood as a method for investigating the cognitional structure of experience or as a movement in the history of philosophy.

According to Kant, The most universal laws of sensibility play an unjustifiably large role in metaphysics, where, after all, it is merely concepts and principles of pure reason that are at issue. However, Rockmore goes further to explain, Husserl depends on Kant in a number of ways: for example, his concern for philosophy as a rigorous science, his conception of phenomenology as transcendental idealism, the relation of transcendental phenomenology to the life-world, and, above all, the problem of psychologism.

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Naturalistic vs. Elimination vs. Supervenience From the properly phenomenological perspective of the third general identification, then, the following comments by Kant and Husserl are understood more easily. According to Husserl, What one has here, from the point of view of natural science, is a number of individual human beings each with a particular consciousness, a particular psyche … belonging to each. Later in the same book, Husserl clarifies, As we know, there come continually into consideration in the phenomenological exploration of the acts both consciousness itself and the correlate of consciousness, noesis and noema.

Which Husserl? Phenomenological Psychology as a Science a. Phenomenology vs. Phenomenography As should be clear, phenomenological psychology, as a science, concerns itself with what is necessary and universal in human experience. Phenomenological Psychology as the Analytic of Ontic Dasein a. Heidegger and Science As exemplified by work found in the Zollikon Seminars , Martin Heidegger has provided a number of valuable insights into how phenomenology may relate to psychology.

Heidegger and Psychology What this means for Heidegger is that when phenomenology is used as a method to understand being, then phenomenology is used philosophically, and when phenomenology is used as a method to understand being as human being, then it is used psychologically or anthropologically. Allison, Henry. Ihde ad R. Zaner, Eds. Dialogues in Phenomenology.

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