The Essentials of the Phenomenological Method
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The preceding account of the Phenomenological Movement could easily have given the impression that all there is to phenomenology is its history as expressed in the multifarious and fluid ideas of sundry phenomenologists. Such an impression even contains a considerable amount of truth. Phenomenology not only shows vast differences in its manifestations, but it has served as a tool for extremely divergent enterprises. Besides, this impression may be highly salutary in counteracting the widespread tendency to treat phenomenology as a close-knit school and to judge it by the deeds, or more frequently misdeeds, of some one of its more peripheral figures. But this situation offers no excuse for dodging the persistent question of the more systematically-minded reader: What, after all this, is phenomenology? While our long story contains plenty of reasons why a meaningful answer cannot be given in one brief sentence, it calls all the more for a determined effort to satisfy a legitimate and even welcome demand for enlightenment and clarification. Even if there were as many phenomenologies as phenomenologists, there should be at least a common core in all of them to justify the use of the common label.
KeywordsGeneral Essence Phenomenological Analysis Phenomenological Method Phenomenological Reduction Hermeneutic Phenomenology
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