Category: The Teaching of Phenomenology - September 2012
 
 

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pdf.png Special Edition on the Teaching of Phenomenology - Editorial (By Editor-in-Chief)  

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While phenomenology has a rich and diverse history, largely embedded in the on-going debates amongst philosophers and social scientists, the one area that perhaps has not been focused on sufficiently is the teaching of phenomenology itself. Whilst it might be true that the very nature of engaging in debates is itself a form of teaching - and learning – the phenomenological endeavour could likely come to nought unless taught in a systematic, formalized and sustainable fashion.  ...


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pdf.png Special Edition on the Teaching of Phenomenology - Guest Editorial (By Rex van Vuuren)  

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Now, after more than a century, the development of phenomenology, from the time of Brentano and Husserl, is in its fourth to fifth generation of scholarship. A large body of texts, libraries full, on philosophical phenomenology and its influence, concepts and application within a range of discourses, reaching across many disciplines through many languages, is available. Many fine scholars have passed the baton of phenomenology to the next generation. However, seldom, if ever, will one find a concerted attempt to ask how one can improve the depth and reach of scholarship and research from within this perspective. Would an answer to such a question require us to attend not only to the question of what readings could or should be recommended to a relative neophyte, perhaps an advanced under-graduate or postgraduate student, but also to the question of how phenomenology is taught in different disciplines and at different levels? ...


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pdf.png Conscience of a Conservative Psychologist: Return of the Mysteriously Illusive Psyche - By George Kunz  

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Weary of the mainstream's claim that only it is scientific, and its dismissal of phenomenology as "conjecture", this paper is an effort to return to the origins of the study of the fascinating and frustrating old psyche. To conserve (a) its most fundamental approach, (b) most empirical method, and (c) most lived psychological content, the author urges students to ask first the persistent – since the Greeks – and necessary philosophical questions (ontological, epistemological, ethical, and so forth). He proceeds from there to show that phenomenology can (a) resurrect the psyche and its neglected meanings both experienced and expressed in action, (b) rescue behaviour from the Procrustean bed of "the scientific method" and resuscitate it as lived, (c) expose the myth of objective consciousness, and (d) reaffirm that freedom makes the psyche not less but more available to science by letting human reality show itself. Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Emmanuel Levinas have inspired over forty years of classroom rebellion and conservation of a psychology of incarnate humankind. These philosophers have provoked an alternative understanding of the characteristics of science (empirical, objective, reductive, and so forth). Finally, this paper reasserts a moral science with attention to the "psychology for the Other" over a "psychology for the self" with the paradoxical content: we can sabotage ourselves with self-interested power and discover ourselves in the service of the weakness of others. The call to responsibility is the most fundamental characteristic of the psyche.


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pdf.png Teaching Phenomenology to Qualitative Researchers, Cognitive Scientists, and Phenomenologists - By Shaun Gallagher and Denis Francesconi  

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The authors examine several issues in teaching phenomenology (1) to advanced researchers who are doing qualitative research using phenomenological interview methods in disciplines such as psychology, nursing, or education, and (2) to advanced researchers in the cognitive neurosciences. In these contexts, the term "teaching" needs to be taken in a general and non-didactic way. In the case of the first group, it involves guiding doctoral students in their conception and design of a qualitative methodology that is properly phenomenological. In the case of the second, it is more concerned with explaining the relevance of phenomenology to an audience of experimental scientists via conference presentations or published papers. In both cases, however, the challenge is to make clear to the relevant audience what phenomenology is and how it can relate to what they are doing.


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pdf.png Teaching Phenomenology through Highlighting Experience - By Steen Halling  

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Based on the assumption that phenomenology is a style not just of thinking, but also of perceiving and acting, this paper shows how, through specific assignments and practices, phenomenological research can become personally as well as professionally meaningful for students. Disciplined practice helps students to attend to experience even though culturally and educationally ingrained habits devalue its importance. By working together in groups, the phenomenon under study is more likely to come alive for the student researchers, and articulating the core of an experience no longer to seem so daunting. The practice of phenomenology also helps students to recognize that slowing down and giving their full attention to experience is restorative, productive, and deeply satisfying.


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pdf.png Teaching Phenomenology by Way of “Second-Person Perspectivity” (From My Thirty Years at the University of Dallas) - By Scott D. Churchill  

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Phenomenology has remained a sheltering place for those who would seek to understand not only their own "first person" experiences but also the first person experiences of others. Recent publications by renowned scholars within the field have clarified and extended our possibilities of access to "first person" experience by means of perception (Lingis, 2007) and reflection (Zahavi, 2005). Teaching phenomenology remains a challenge, however, because one must find ways of communicating to the student how to embody it as a process rather than simply to learn about it as a content area. Another challenge issues from the fact that most writings on applied phenomenology emphasize individual subjectivity as the central focus, while offering only indirect access to the subjectivity of others (for example, by way of analyzing written descriptions provided by the individual under study). While one finds in the literature of psychotherapy plentiful elucidations of the "we-experience" within which therapists form impressions of their clients' experience, there is still need for a more thoughtful clarification of our rather special personal modes of access to the experience of others in everyday life. This paper will present "second person perspectivity" as a mode of resonating with the expressions of others and will describe class activities that can bring students closer to a lived understanding of what it means to be doing phenomenology in the face of the other.


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