Introduction to Phenomenology

Posted by James Bowery on Thursday, 13 December 2012 13:49.

The foremost living phenomenologist, Robert Sokolowski, starts the introduction to his book “Introduction to Phenomenology” published in 2000 thus:

Introduction

ORIGIN AND PURPOSE OF THE BOOK

The project of writing this book began in a conversation I had with Gian-Carlo Rota in the spring of 1996.  He was then lecturing as visiting professor of mathematics and philosophy at The Catholic University of America.

Rota had often drawn attention to a difference between mathematicians and philosophers.  Mathematicians, he said, tend to absorb the writings of their predecessors directly into their own work.  They do not comment on the writings of earlier mathematicians, even if they have been very much influenced by them.  They simply make use (emphasis JAB) of the material that they find in the authors they read.  When advances are made in mathematics, later thinkers condense the findings and move on.  Few mathematicians study works from past centuries; compared with contemporary mathematics, such older writings seem to them almost like the work of children.

In philosophy, by contrast, classical works often become enshrined as objects of exegesis rather than resources to be exploited.  Philosophers, Rota observed, tend not to ask, “Where do we go from here?”  Instead, they inform us about the doctrines of major thinkers.  They are prone to comment on earlier works rather than paraphrase them.  Rota acknowledged the value of commentaries but thought that philosophers ought to do more.  Besides offering exposition, they should abridge earlier writings and directly address issues, speaking in their own voice and incorporating into their own work what their predecessors have done.  They should extract as well as annotate.

It was against this background that Rota said to me, after one of my classes, as we were having coffee in the cafeteria of the university’s Columbus School of Law, “You should write an introduction to phenomenology.  Just write it.  Don’t say what Husserl or Heidegger thought, just tell people what phenomenology is.  No fancy title, call it an introduction to phenomenology.

This struck me as very good advice…

Although there are references to philosophers scattered throughout his book, Sokolowski rarely, if ever, resorts to arcane argot such as Husserl’s “Fundierung” preferring, instead, plain English words like “founding” and “founded” with appropriate context to refine meaning. 

This sort of “populist” approach to philosophy is, of course, a grave insult to those who have poured over the texts of the ages and we should expect them to respond with commensurate scorn.  Meanwhile, there is work to be done…

My copy..



Comments:


1

Posted by Dan on Thu, 13 Dec 2012 18:00 | #

Mathematics is about producing new theorems via deduction. As a result it’s forward directed by its very nature. And there’s an agreed upon method for checking or determining whether progress has been made. Philosophy on the other hand is open-ended and there’s no specific method for evaluating whether progress has been made.


2

Posted by James Bowery on Fri, 14 Dec 2012 00:23 | #

Ah, yes, the “continual shipwreck of philosophy”. 

However the metaphor breaks down when things such as the scientific method, mathematical logic (leading to computers), etc. are ensconced in the culture—things whose value is checked not by logic but by utility—that is unless you want to treat them as debris washed ashore and scavenged by beachcombers.

It is also the case that “ships” are continually being built anew and set sail for the rocks.  It is at such times that familiarity with the history of philosophy prevents vain repetition.  The “ontology project” here at MR is not such a rebuilding but more akin to checking value by utility.  Phenomenology will turn out to be another shipwreck and will offer another limited value of its own only to those willing to take it seriously.


3

Posted by John on Fri, 14 Dec 2012 04:26 | #

Ersatz has a unique figurative meaning that “spare” doesn’t carry and Zeitgeist takes at least three words to render in English. Fundierung, OTOH, is semantically identical to and cognate with a borrowed English word and is thus (in an English language text, anyway) pretentious-elitist whereas Zeitgeist, ersatz and etc. are not or nearly not so much anyway.


4

Posted by Melba Peachtoast on Fri, 14 Dec 2012 12:24 | #

Ersatz zeitgeist FTW! ROFLOL!


5

Posted by James Bowery on Fri, 14 Dec 2012 13:04 | #

I should probably add that the word “use” (hence “utility”) may have very different meaning in reference to phenomenology’s cultural “products” due to the connotation of causality:  You use things to cause certain responses in other things.  This time around it appears that, like existence, causality itself may undergo a transformation that becomes ensconced in the culture.  The harbingers are (among other places) in quantum mechanics but are inadequate to the human condition.


6

Posted by DanielS on Fri, 14 Dec 2012 14:05 | #

I imagine that the utility of aesthetic beauty is semiotic, viz. of health and enjoyment of life - in all likelihood, of particular ways of life.

The radical breaching and devaluation (e.g., as wholly “superficial”) of aesthetics signs would transform the sign system, creating ones either obfuscating the means of systemic health or directly pointing toward, and warning of its destruction.

I wanted to consider aesthetics against the criteria of utility. Since Jim apparently sees the individual adept at innovating technology as the one exemplary of Euro men and particularly worthy of survival, what value and place the artist and beauty has in light of such a world view.


7

Posted by James Bowery on Fri, 14 Dec 2012 15:38 | #

From Martin Buber’s “I and Thou”:

The attitude of man is twofold, in accord with the twofold nature of the primary words which he speaks.

The primary words are not isolated words, but combined words.

The one primary word is the combination I-Thou.

The other primary word is I-it.

Others have said:  “This, thou art.”

What might be called a “conversation with matter” is IMHO central to reforming the view and reality of Man’s relationship with matter, one manifestation of which is technology.


8

Posted by John on Fri, 14 Dec 2012 15:39 | #

“Ersatz zeitgeist FTW! ROFLOL!”

I was merely contrasting borrowed German words/concepts that look useful to me as expressing something unique and not pompous like I see words like “Fundierung”, which seem to be used only to make the author and his work seem more erudite. But I guess my accidental phrase, ersatz Zeitgeist is kind of funny.


9

Posted by DanielS on Fri, 14 Dec 2012 17:26 | #

Yes, first to second person relationship and interaction is an important unit of analysis, particularly in correction of the overuse of the first-to-third person relationship typical of science.


10

Posted by James Bowery on Sun, 23 Dec 2012 10:16 | #

I have a few suggestions to further Sokolowski’s attempt to demystify phenomenology.  One is the use of “attention” rather than “intention”.  Its fine to introduce the historic use of “intention” in order to dispense with it, but then it should be dispensed with.  Another is to consistently apply “pieces” and “moments” to the category of “parts” (in relation to “wholes”)..  Although the word “moment” may be a bit confusing as it has a temporal connotation, I can’t think of a less confusing word just now.  The point is that the distinction between pieces and moments is important enough that those words should appear throughout the demystified text rather than allowing synonymous words and phrases into the introduction to phenomenology (except, in the initial introduction of the concepts).  Still another is a modification to what he introduces somewhat tongue-in-cheek as the distinction between “transcendentalese” vs “mundanese”.  It seems of you’re going to introduce neologisms to cover the transcendental attitude, it might be best to simply use the prefix “trans” with the mundane words.

So, you have a language that looks like attend, attending, attended, attention, attentionality, in place of the corresponding “intent”-derived words.

Also, you have, in transcendentalese “transattending” rather than “noema” and “transattended” rather than “noesis”—perhaps shortening to transtending and transtended.

Another approach would be to make the prefix be “transcen” and the derived neologisms perhaps “transcentended” and “transcentending”.



Post a comment:


Name: (required)

Email: (required but not displayed)

URL: (optional)

Note: You should copy your comment to the clipboard or paste it somewhere before submitting it, so that it will not be lost if the session times out.

Remember me


Next entry: WHITE WOMEN FOR SALE!
Previous entry: The Folie of Existence:  Hilbert, Husserl, Heidegger, Syntax and Semantics

image of the day

Existential Issues

DNA Nations

Establishment Problem

Categories

Links

Endorsement not implied.

Immigration

Islamist Threat

Anti-white Media Networks

Audio/Video

Crime

Economics

Education

General

Historical Re-Evaluation

Controlled Opposition

Nationalist Political Parties

Science

Europeans in Africa

Of Note

Comments

Henry commented in entry 'TRS founder Michael ‘Enoch’ Peinovich was exposed as being a Russian Jew.' on Mon, 16 Jan 2017 13:31. (View)

(((Weev))) commented in entry 'TRS founder Michael ‘Enoch’ Peinovich was exposed as being a Russian Jew.' on Mon, 16 Jan 2017 07:47. (View)

(((MikeEnoch Peinovich))) commented in entry 'TRS founder Michael ‘Enoch’ Peinovich was exposed as being a Russian Jew.' on Mon, 16 Jan 2017 07:41. (View)

fuller list: Trump's (((cabal))) courtesy (((JP))) commented in entry 'Trump's Jewish Cabal' on Sun, 15 Jan 2017 08:40. (View)

Trump's stance on Russia & China commented in entry 'The CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in 2016 election to help Trump win the White House' on Sun, 15 Jan 2017 03:00. (View)

Some churches aligned 2return 2natural religion commented in entry 'Solstice in the Deep of European Rebirth' on Sun, 15 Jan 2017 00:08. (View)

Fund the destruction of my family line commented in entry 'WHITE WOMEN FOR SALE!' on Sat, 14 Jan 2017 15:24. (View)

James Bowery commented in entry 'Being in kind – part 1' on Sat, 14 Jan 2017 15:24. (View)

Completion of the Post commented in entry 'Being-Of: Group Identity’s Ontology' on Sat, 14 Jan 2017 10:56. (View)

Ruby advised to keep quiet commented in entry 'We Told You So: Prediction Of Trump's Victory Comes True - By A Hair-Line' on Sat, 14 Jan 2017 04:24. (View)

DanielS commented in entry 'We can no longer allow liberals and brackets to co-opt issues of environment and species diversity' on Sat, 14 Jan 2017 02:32. (View)

Meimou commented in entry 'We can no longer allow liberals and brackets to co-opt issues of environment and species diversity' on Fri, 13 Jan 2017 17:27. (View)

Trump: global warming concept created by Chinese commented in entry 'We can no longer allow liberals and brackets to co-opt issues of environment and species diversity' on Fri, 13 Jan 2017 10:36. (View)

James Bowery commented in entry 'Being in kind – part 1' on Fri, 13 Jan 2017 09:33. (View)

Mair inflamed by his mother's miscegenation commented in entry 'Hate-Crimes: affirmative action for Whites to compensate for over-representation of black crime' on Fri, 13 Jan 2017 05:12. (View)

China Sold High-Speed Trains to Czech commented in entry 'Intermarium Update: 16+1 Summit - China is betting on Central Europe' on Fri, 13 Jan 2017 04:46. (View)

Orban targeting foreign backed NGO's commented in entry 'NGOs are smuggling immigrants into Europe on an industrial scale' on Fri, 13 Jan 2017 04:31. (View)

Captainchaos commented in entry 'Being in kind – part 1' on Fri, 13 Jan 2017 01:54. (View)

James Bowery commented in entry 'Being in kind – part 1' on Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:51. (View)

Trump's tautologies commented in entry 'Donald Trump wastes 77 minutes of everyone's time.' on Thu, 12 Jan 2017 08:53. (View)

(((Jared Kushner))) Senior Adviser to President commented in entry 'Trump's Cabinet Appointments - The List Updated Until Complete' on Wed, 11 Jan 2017 23:29. (View)

(((David Shulkin))), Secretary of Veterans Affairs commented in entry 'Trump's Cabinet Appointments - The List Updated Until Complete' on Wed, 11 Jan 2017 23:05. (View)

6/12/70 Dock Ellis pitches no-hitter on L.S.D. commented in entry 'It Ain't So, Joe, And Sports Statistics Didn't Stay Objective Despite Your Unjust Banishment' on Wed, 11 Jan 2017 11:50. (View)

Clock Boy Loses in Court commented in entry 'Now Introducing: The Islamic Clock Boy' on Tue, 10 Jan 2017 22:25. (View)

Dylan Roof sentenced to death commented in entry 'Hate-Crimes: affirmative action for Whites to compensate for over-representation of black crime' on Tue, 10 Jan 2017 21:44. (View)

2016 Invasion as Big as 2015 commented in entry 'German Council of Economic Experts: The 5 "wise men" of mass migrant integration' on Tue, 10 Jan 2017 21:13. (View)

(((Ike Perlmutter))) commented in entry 'Trump's Cabinet Appointments - The List Updated Until Complete' on Tue, 10 Jan 2017 09:41. (View)

Guessedworker commented in entry 'Millennial Woes Doxed' on Tue, 10 Jan 2017 05:07. (View)

K commented in entry 'The Indian/Chinese IQ puzzle continued for comments after 1000' on Tue, 10 Jan 2017 03:05. (View)

Millennial Woes doxed commented in entry 'Solstice in the Deep of European Rebirth' on Tue, 10 Jan 2017 01:32. (View)

John Ziegler commented in entry 'Hate-Crimes: affirmative action for Whites to compensate for over-representation of black crime' on Mon, 09 Jan 2017 16:45. (View)

Small Faces coming from the East End commented in entry 'Pursuit of Authentic "Soul" Takes Wrong Turn From White Soul: Eat It - Humble Pie & Black Coffee' on Mon, 09 Jan 2017 11:17. (View)

Captainchaos commented in entry 'Being in kind – part 1' on Sun, 08 Jan 2017 13:33. (View)

DanielS commented in entry 'Being in kind – part 1' on Sun, 08 Jan 2017 12:40. (View)

James Bowery commented in entry 'Being in kind – part 1' on Sun, 08 Jan 2017 11:29. (View)

affection-tone