This theory, however, is highly relevant in the social sciences, as phenomenological investigation constitutes a major form of qualitative analysis. While the philosophy of phenomenology constitutes one branch…
Philosopher Edmund Husserl proposed a vision of phenomenology that would increasingly allow philosophers and psychologists a means of investigating the vagaries of human conscious experience. While Husserl was the first philosopher to heighten phenomenology to an entire philosophical school of thought, subsequent thinkers would expand and change Husserl’s concepts. Throughout the 20th century two major forms of phenomenology emerged – Husserl’s theory of phenomenology and the existential theory of phenomenology. This essay compares and contrasts these divergent perspectives.
There are a variety of differing features of Husserl’s theory of phenomenology and the existential version. In both instances, however, there is the similar recognition that phenomenological investigation considers internal aspects of human consciousness (Sokolowski, p. 159). Both perspectives on phenomenology worked to investigate aspects of human consciousness through bracketing techniques (Sokolowski, p. 159). In this way, the human senses’ perceived the external world was a major investigative trope. Both schools of thought recognized that the human senses only constituted a partial reflection of actual reality. Subsequently, phenomenology implemented the ‘epoche’ method of investigation where a particular aspect of sensory experience was bracketed and investigated.
While the overarching mode of analysis is similar among both Husserl’s perspective the existential perspective on phenomenology, differences emerge in terms of the specifics. One of the primary differences between these perspectives is the objects they believe can be the object of phenomenological analysis. Existential phenomenology believed that phenomenology could only investigate actual objects from the external world. This perspective is contrasted with Husserl’s phenomenology that argues analysis also involved concepts such as freedom or justice. Ziemba indicates, “Husserl ...
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