Monday, October 23, 2006

Existential Phenomenology

Methodologically phenomenology sets aside the reality of what exists in order to examine how things actually appear in experience. This approach leaves ontology and metaphysics as secondary concerns at best. However, phenomenology accepts as apodictic that the subject of experience has a more or less Cartesian claim to existence. The exploration of the personal structure of experience discovered by Descartes is the beginning point for existential phenomenology. The real danger for existential phenomenology is not that it will devolve into metaphysical gobbledygook–few people truly seem to mind much when it does–but rather that it will slide into the inanity of solipsism, or its weaker cousin, monadology.

posted by Fido the Yak at 1:28 PM.


Blogger Chris said...

Interestingly, existential phenomenology (in Sartre, but particularly in Merleau-Ponty and his successors) has actually moved in the opposite direction of solipsism, with its increasing focus on the intrapersonal, and the social consequences of phenomenology (e.g., in M-P's late, mostly unfinished political works).

October 23, 2006 3:42 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

I agree with you. I chalk it up as a reaction against the inherent danger in doing existential phenomenology. But I am painting with way broad strokes here. Maybe my point was to take a swipe at monadology, because that's a topic that really interests me. I'll have to hone that a bit. Cheers.

October 23, 2006 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes! without someway of showing how the intrapersonal is actually poss.
john deely's 'new beginnings' is helpful - as the remarkable 'the primacy of semiosis: and ontology of relations'(smile)

October 23, 2006 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

forgot :Luce Irigaray: 'to be two'

October 23, 2006 10:44 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

Dr. B, "To Be Two" still resonates with me as a profound critique of all previous ontology. But the example of Irigaray is difficult in this instance because many of her critics do in fact have trouble with the metaphysical gobbledygook. (Not in "To be Two" so much but in other works.) Oh well. Maybe that'll learn me not to do philosophy by blurbs. Maybe it won't.

Now if I'm going to be well read in the field of semiotics, I'm going to have to look into John Deely, but I'll be reading your book first--just a couple of weeks more.

October 28, 2006 6:29 PM  

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