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Jun 1, 2006

What is Phenomenology?
"As good a place to begin as any is the meaning of the term phenomenology itself. It is derived from the two Greek words: phainomenon (an "appearance") and logos ("reason" or "word," hence a "reasoned inquiry"). Phenomenology is indeed a reasoned inquiry which discovers the inherent essences of appearances. But what is an appearance? The answer to this question leads to one of the major themes of phenomenology: an appearance is anything of which one is conscious. Anything at all which appears to consciousness is a legitimate area of philosophical investigation. Moreover, an appearance is a manifestation of the essence of that of which it is the appearance. Surprising as it may sound, other philosophic points of view have refused to make this move." --David Stewart & Algis Mickunas, Exploring Phenomenology, p. 3
"...one can characterize phenomenological philosophy as centering on the following basic themes: a return to the traditional tasks of philosophy, the search for a philosophy without presuppositions, the intentionality of consciousness, and the refusal of the subject-object dichotomy." --David Stewart & Algis Mickunas, Exploring Phenomenology, p. 5
"For Husserl, phenomenology was a discipline that attempts to describe what is given to us in experience without obscuring preconceptions or hypothetical speculations; his motto was 'to the things themselves'--rather than to the prefabricated conceptions we put in their place. As Husserl saw it, this attempt offered the only way out of the impasse into which philosophy had run at the end of the nineteenth century when the realists, who affirmed the independent existence of the object, and the idealists, who affirmed the priority of the subject, had settled down into a stalemated war. Instead of making intellectual speculations about the whole of reality, philosophy must turn, Husserl declared, to a pure description of what is. In taking this position Husserl became the most influential force not only upon Heidegger but upon the whole generation of German philosophers who came to maturity about the time of the First World War." --William Barrett, Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy, pp. 190-191
"...Husserl's logic is one bound to the immediacy of all experience itself insofar as phenomena are understood as givens in their immediate and irreducible presentative force. Most simply, Husserl is after the formal qualities of the concrete reality which human beings recognize as their experience, but from here means the essential immanent in the particular: the truth of the given. The history of Husserl's development as a philosopher supports the thesis that throughout his life he was, at various levels, searching for an architectonic of thought . . . which would express and uncover the specificity of the world. If the term 'logic' be understood in its philosophic sense as a grounding discipline for all reflection, then phenomenology as a logic treats the genesis and development of phenomena from their most primordial roots in prereflective consciousness to their most reflectively sophisticated exemplification in science." --Maurice Natanson, "Phenomenology and the Social Sciences," In M. Natanson (Ed.), Phenomenology and the Social Sciences, Volume 1, pp. 4-5
"Phenomenology is a science of 'beginnings.' The genuine beginner is an adept, not a novice. To begin, in this sense, is to start from the primordial grounds of evidence, from onself as the center (not the sum) of philosophical experience. Such self-centeredness is the opposite of philosophic hubris; it is a confession of humility: the admission that, unless the inquirer has turned to himself in full awareness of his life, he cannot claim to have sought, let alone found, the truth. . .
The genuine beginner is, then, the most sophisticated of all thinkers, for, beyond honoring the Socratic injunction, he is unwilling to admit as taken for granted that which impinges most heavily on his outlook as a man in the world: the root assumption that, though we may be ignorant of philosophic truth, we are, after all, beings in a real world in which philosophic doubt emerges as something worth bothering about." --Maurice Natanson, "Phenomenology and the Social Sciences," In M. Natanson (Ed.), Phenomenology and the Social Sciences, Volume 1, p. 6-8
". . .one learned what phenomenology is step by step, through reading, discussion, and reflection ... What is needed is rather simple: to learn what is mean by the natural attitude, to practice epoche, to attempt descriptions of presentations without prejudicing the results by taking for granted the history, causality, intersubjectivity, and value we ordinarily associate with our experience, and to examine with absolute care the fabric of the world of daily life so that we may grasp its source and its direction . . .
There is a legitimate sense in which it is necesary to say that one must become a phenomenologist in order to comprehend phenomenology." --Maurice Natanson, "Phenomenology and the Social Sciences," In M. Natanson (Ed.), Phenomenology and the Social Sciences, Volume 1, pp. p. 8
". . . at the end of his career, Husserl admitted that the first result of reflection is to bring us back into the presence of the world as wel lived it before our reflection began (Lebenswelt)." --Maurice Merleau-Ponty, "Phenomenology and the Sciences of Man," In M. Natanson (Ed.), Phenomenology and the Social Sciences, Volume 1, p. 54
"During the whole career of Husserl . . . the struggle is on two fronts. On the one hand it is a struggle against psychologism and historicism, in so far as they reduce the life of man to a mere result of external conditions acting on him and see the philosophizing person as entirely determined from the outside, lacking any contact with his own thought and therefore destined to skepticism. But on the other hand, it is also a struggle against logicism, in so far as this is attempting to arrange for us an access to the truth lacking any contact with contingent experience. Husserl is seeking to reaffirm rationality at the level of experience, without sacrificing the vast variety that it includes and accepting all the processes of conditioning which psychology, sociology, and history reveal. It is a question of finding a method which will enable us to think at the same time of the externality which is the principle of the sciences of man and of the internality which is the condition of philosophy, of the contingencies without which there is no situation as well as of the rational certainty without which there is no knowledge." --Maurice Merleau-Ponty, "Phenomenology and the Sciences of Man," In M. Natanson (Ed.), Phenomenology and the Social Sciences, Volume 1, p. 57
"The first step in phenomenological philosophy is reflection on the meaning or essence of the experience of consciousness. 'Phenomenological positivism' beings with the facts of experience and is followed by reflection, intuition, and description of the phenomena of consciousness. Husserl sought by the study of the phenomena of consciousness to find the roots of reason in our human experience. So understood, phenomenology as a philosophy is the science of the sciences, providing the principles which validate, a priori, all the sciences.
The concept of the 'intentionality of consciousness' is the foundation of phenomenological philosophy . . . Husserl adopted Brentano's notion of intentionality and refined it.
Husserl distinguished between the act of knowing (noesis) from the object (noema), whether existent or imaginary. To be conscious is to experience an act of knowing in which the subject is aware of an object. A conscious act is an act of awareness in which the subject is presented with an object.
Husserl distinguishes further between perception and intuition. One may perceive and be conscious of the fact that one perceives an object without understanding its essence, what it is, its principle of being and identity. Intuition of the essence of an object is the source of meaning and intelligibility of the particular phenomena. Eidetic intuition (Wessenschau) is insight into essences through the experiencing of exemplifying particulars. Such particulars may be given in either perception or imagination." --David Bidney, "Phenomenological Method and the Anthropological Science of the Cultural Life-World," In M. Natanson (Ed.), Phenomenology and the Social Sciences, Volume 1, p. 57
"There are two fundamental moments in Husserl's phenomenological epoche which, although they are correlated, can be distinguished: 1) the reduction to the sphere of immanence, and 2) the movement from fact to essence. The first of these . . . requires suspension of the natural attitude and placing in abeyance all belief in the existence of the transcendent world. The second, sometimes call the eidetic reduction, requires a shift to consider things not as realities but as instances of idealities, as pure possibilities rather than actualities. For Husserl, this second reduction is necessary to fuflill the conditions for genuinely rigorous science. Thoser conditions, already announced by Descartes under the heaing of clarity and distinctness, already are apodicticity (that is, the certainty that requires absolute transparency) and univocity (that is, absence of ambiguity). When science is conceived this way, its objects are no longer worldly things, but rather essences: meanings, categories, ideal types, and laws. For Husserl, rigorous science operates exclusively within the sphere of ideality--and must do so in order to meet the standards of atemporality embodied in what he conceives as the very idea of science. Although it is not identified as such by Husserl, this is an ancient idea which is generally attributed to Parmenides: only that can be known which is, and that which genuinely is excludes coming into being and passing away. The objects of rigorous science must be atemporal essences whose atemporality is ensured by their ideality.
This Eleatic strain in Husserl's thought culminates in the standpoint that meaning (Sinn) in general is timeless and ideal. The ancient question of how atemporal meanings become instantiated in the flux of everyday actuality can be addressed by calling upon a central distinction in Husserl's theory of intentionality: the distinction between the act of intending (noesis) and the meaning-content (noema) of the object intended. The noetic act is real in the sense that it is a temporal even in which hyletic data (or "sensory contents") are synthesized and apprehended by consciousness as an intentional object. The noema, on the other hand, is ideal: it conveys the atemporal meaning which provides the form (morphe) according to which consciousness synthesizes its mattery or sensory data (hyle). Thus, every intentional act (noesis) is an actualization or realization of a timeless meaning." --M. C. Dillon, Merleau-Ponty's Ontology, p. 71
Summary:
Phenomenology, beginning with Edmund Husserl, urges that the world of immediate or "lived" experience takes precendence over the objectified and abstract world of the "natural attitude" of natural science. Science as such, thus, is secondary to the world of concrete, lived experience. Phenomenology, therefore, engages in a process known as "bracketing" in which the "natural attitude" is placed aside such that the researcher may begin with "the things themselves," as Husserl said — or, in other words, in the phenomena as they show themselves in experience. In Heidegger's terminology, phenomenology involves letting things "show themselves from themselves in the very way in which they show themselves from themselves." By definition, phenomenology never begins with a theory, but, instead, always begins anew with the phenomena under consideration. Maurice Merleau-Ponty's famous description of phenomenology is quite instructive; as he writes, the phenomenologist returns "to the world which precedes (scientific description), (the world) of which science always speaks, and in relation to which every scientific characterization is an abstract and derivative sign language, as is geography in relation to the countryside."
In Husserlian phenomenology, consciousness is understood as fundamentally intentional. In this sense, Husserl is, in part, indebted to Franz Brentano's "Act psychology," which held that all mental acts are characterized by "intentionality." Consciousness as an act, that is, is always positing a world; in other words, it is always "of" or "about" something. Following Brentano, Husserl holds that consciousness is never directed toward itself, but, rather, is always directed toward phenomena in the world. It follows, therefore, that any abstraction is ultimately based on phenomena in the world, and, thus, are secondary to the primary lived experience of phenomena as they "show themselves."
Husserl brings to this understanding something unique, his phenomenological method, which is characterized by Husserl's "epoche." As mentioned previously, "epoche" is a "bracketing" of the "natural attitude" so that one can attend to a phenomenon as it shows itself. Once the "natural attitude" is "bracketed," one can then attend to what, according to Husserl, are the two poles of experience, noema and noesis. Noesis is the act of perceiving, while noema is that which is perceived. Through this method, for Husserl, one can perform an "eidetic reduction." Noema can be reduced to their essential form or "essence." Husserl's phenomenology, in this sense, is a form of idealism, since it aims toward discovering the ideal form of phenomena, the essence or Eideia (such as with Plato and Hegel). Further, Husserl shares with the idealist a tendency to stress a priori conditions of knowledge (such as with Plato and Kant).
Glossary taken from :http://www.phenomenologyonline.com/glossary/glossary.html

Aletheia :Aletheia is the early Greek term for truth. In the human sciences truth is better seen as something that must be uncovered or as something that reveals itself into unconcealment. "Nature loves to hide," said the pre-socratic philosopher Herakleitos (Herakleitos and Diogenes, 1979, p. 14). This notion of truth contrasts with the more positivistic concepts of truth as a proposition corresponding to some state of affairs in the real world.

Being :Being is the most universal concept of Heidegger's hermeneutic phenomenology (1962). Being does not describe an entity or ultimate ground but rather it may be seen as Heidegger's fundamental term for his ontological analytic. "Being is always the Being of an entity" (p. 29), and so to ask for the Being of something is to inquire into the nature or meaning of that phenomenon.

bracketing :Bracketing (see the term "reduction") describes the act of suspending one's various beliefs in the reality of the natural world in order to study the essential structures of the world. The term "bracketing" was borrowed from mathematics by Husserl (1911/80), the father of phenomenology, who himself was a mathematician.

Commensurability: A frequently raised issue concerning (in)commensurability has to do with the relation between culture studies and phenomenology. Of course, it goes without saying that experience is personal and influenced by factors such as gender, culture, etc. For example, is the phenomenological attitude compatible with the feminist one? The best answer is probably both yes and noَsince there is not one kind of feminism and not a singular phenomenological method. Some feminists have pointed out that certain themesَsuch as the idea of essence in philosophy, the epoché in the early Husserl, the objectifying look of Sartre, or the notion of embodiment in Merleau-Pontyَhave been rather insensitive to contextual factors of culture, gender, and language in the constitution of meaning. But on balance one could probably argue that there are many important epistemological and ontological themes that phenomenology and gender studies have in common: (a) there is Husserlيs critique of naturalism in the positive sciences which is reminiscent of the critique of the hegemony of scientific truth, objectivity and neutrality; (b) the phenomenological program of reclaiming lived experience is important for women who want to ask how the experiences of women or young girls may differ from those of men or boys; (c) the phenomenological method of radically questioning oneيs assumptions is compatible with the reflective unravelling of male prejudice in language and in the institutions and practices of everyday life; (d) the phenomenological emphasis on suspending theoretic biases also may serve to make us aware of the patriarchal roots of many theoretic concepts, linguistic structures, and methods in sciences such as medicine, psychoanalysis, and education; (e) both phenomenology and gender studies entail turning to experience as we live it rather than as we represent it in abstract theory and in binary oppositions like thinking and feeling, cognition and emotion, action and reflection; (f) both attempt to find modes of discourse, voice, and expression that can reveal felt meaning that goes beyond the prevailing paradigm of logic, cognition, prediction, and control. In this sense hermeneutic phenomenology seems to be quite amenable to feminine forms of knowing, inquiring, and writing.

corporeality :The term "corporeality" refers to the notion of the lived body or embodiment.

critical theory :Critical theory is now usually identified with the past work of representatives of the Institut fur Socialforschung at Frankfurt (often called the Frankfurt School), and especially with the work of Jurgen Habermas (Arato and Gebhardt, 1978). Critical theory has identified itself with the Marxist legacy of attempting to forge a dialectical synthesis of philosophy and a scientific understanding of society. Some features of this synthesis are:
an appeal to a widened notion of rationality,
a resistance to all forms of domination,
an orientation to praxis, and
the centrality of the concept of emancipation.
In his book Knowledge and Human Interests, Habermas (1971) has distinguished among three forms of knowledge and associated cognitive interests: the technical, the practical, and the emancipatory. Each of these knowledge interests are seen to be rooted in primordial human activities: work, symbolic interaction, and power.
It is the empirical-analytic sciences which Habermas identifies as expressing the technical interest; the practical interest is seen to be incorporated in hermeneutics or the human sciences; and the emancipatory interest is served by the critically oriented sciences. Habermas thus places modern empirical-analytic social science in a more limited position of influence. And his critique of modern society becomes a critique of instrumental reason which is seen to govern dominant social science through which society understands itself and by way of which it legitimates its oppressive economic, political and social practices.

In education, research which has a critical theory thrust aims at promoting critical consciousness, and struggles to break down the institutional structures and arrangements which reproduce oppressive ideologies and the social inequalities that are sustained and produced by these social structures and ideologies.

epochéa :"bracketing" of the "natural attitude" so that one can attend to a phenomenon as it shows itself.

Erfahrung: Erfahrung is the German word for "life experience." This is the more general term. For example, we may say that a person has had many experiences (Erfahrungen) in life. Life experiences (Lebenserfahrungen) are more inclusive than lived experiences (Erlebnisse). Life experiences are the accumulation of lived experiences and the understandings and sense we may have made of these experiences. Gadamer showed that certain Erfahrungen, for example in the case of aesthetic truth experiences, can have a transformative effect on our being. And thus we can speak of an "experienced" person when referring to his or her mature wisdom, as a result of life's accumulated experiences, Erfahrungen.

Erlebnis: Erlebnis is the German word for lived experience--experience as we live through it and recognize it as a particular type of experience. Dilthey (1985) used this term to show that there is a pattern of meaning and a certain unity to experience. Our language can be seen as an immense linguistic map that names the possibilities of human lived experiences.

Essence:The term "essence" derives from the Greek ousia, which means the inner essental nature of a thing, the true being of a thing. The Latin essentia, from esse means "to be." Essence is that what makes a thing what it is (and without which it would not be what it is); that what makes a thing what it is rather than its being or becoming something else. In Plato's thought essence is the grasp of the very nature of something, of which any particular instance is only an imperfect example or imitation. Eidos is Plato's alternative term for Idea or Form which Husserl utilized to designate universal essences. With Aristotle the notion of essence is that something which some thing is to be in its final completed state; the essential nature (internal principle) of a thing. In Husserl's writings "essence" often refers to the whatness of things, as opposed to their thatness (i.e., their existence). Some phenomenologists make a distinction between Grundwesen (basic or fundamental essence) and empirisches Wesen (empirical essence). In this Husserlian distinction basic or ideal essence is accessible to phenomenological intuiting. However, these simplistic definitions easily mislead us into positivistic and foundationalist judgements. First, we may ask: Do things have essences? Can we speak of the specific whatness of something? For example, is it correct to speak of the essence of humanness, the essence of language, the essence of thinking, the essence of music, the essence of a flower? the essence of poetry? Is it not simplistic to think that things have essences? This is an important question because "essence" and "essentialism" have become the ugly words of qualitative research, especially amongst poststructuralists. But why? What is so bad about the notion of essence? It would seem that the danger of the concept essence lies primarily in the moral significance that is attached to it.
When we speak about the essence of poetry, for example, all we mean to say is that in some respects poetry has certain qualities or properties that make it distinguishable from other literary forms such as novels, plays, or essays. In other words, without these qualities or properties poetry would no longer be experienced as poetry. And this is true for almost anything. And so we can ask what properties belong to flowers such that a flower would no longer be a flower if one would take these properties away.
On the one hand, someone who argues that there are no essences seems to be taking an extremist position. A poem differs from a short story, a flower differs from a tree, pain differs from comfort, trust differs from distrust. There is little controversy about this way of speaking about essences. This is not to deny that the line between poetry and prose sometimes is difficult to draw; or that a poetic text sometimes is indistinguishable from prose text. The essence of things depends precisely on the play between difference and sameness, and Wittgenstein has shown that these shifts of meaning are reflective of our forms of life and family resemblances of meaning. As Eagleton points out, "For something to display certain essential properties does not necessarily mean that we always know for sure where it ends and another object begins. A field with uncertain boundaries can still be a field."
On the other hand, phenomenologists know that the notion of essence is highly complex and that the early Husserlian view tended toward simplying the search for essences in some of his followers. Essence is not a single, fixed property by which we know something; rather, it is meaning constituted by a complex array of aspects, properties and qualities—some of which are incidental and some of which are more critical to the being of things. The term essence derives from the verb to be—by definition a profoundly existential notion. It asks what something "is" for the one who asks the question. For the being of something. Essence asks for what something is, and without which it would no longer be what it is. And it asks this question while being aware of context, (inter)subjectivity, language, and so forth. It is for this reason that human science is such a fascinating project: every interpretation can be called into question; every inquiry we can begin anew; every hermeneutic phenomenological conversation is unending.
Anti-essentialists have provided an important service. By arguing that essences are illusory, they have drawn attention to the danger of confusing culture with nature, and of reification in the humanities and the social and human sciences. Anti-essentialists have criticized philosophical and cultural outlooks that define, for example, the nature of womanhood, childhood, or ethnicity, and that subsequently draw moral conclusions from these definitions: for instance, the notion that women are inherently weak and therefore ill-suited for leadership, or that children are by nature sinful and therefore must be rid of their inborn inclination towards evil, or that certain ethnic groups possess innate properties from which cultures or nations must be cleansed. Anti-essentialists have shown that there are essentialist perspectives that reduce social phenomena to immutable categories and social groups to fixed types. Essentialism of this categorial variety shares with positivism that it reifies experiential phenomena into external objects. Categorial essentialism is dangerous in that it tends to see things in absolute terms and from these fixed properties one derives moral convictions. Finally, all the above distinctions are actually somewhat misleading since they still assume that it is appropriate to speak of "the essence of something" and of things possessing meaning and boundaries. However, essence never refers simply to the "whatness" of a phenomenon, as if we were describing its properties.
Phenomenologically speaking essence is a complex notion that alludes to the ever questionable ways of the being of being, to the ways that a phenomenon reveals itself in thinking, to the ways that we encounter something, and to the ways that we ourselves are constantly put into question by the being of the things of our world. The term essence does not describe the whatness of a phenomenon but it describes the meaning relations that we maintain with the world. Essence is a relational term that refers to the intentionalities of our world, to possible ways of encountering and relating to the things of our world before ànd while we understand or think them in language and poetic and conceptual thought.

ethnography:Ethnography studies the culturally shared, common sense perceptions of everyday experiences. Ethnography is the task of describing a particular culture, for example the form of life of an urban junior high-school class, the culture of school administrators in a certain school system, a particular day-care environment, or a certain ward in a hospital, and so forth. Ethnographers use an informant or participant-observation approach to study cultural "scenes" or cultural settings. They ask, "What do people do here? What kind of people are here?" Social situations are seen as places where human beings recurrently interact in particular ways (staff room, locker room, library desk, principal's office, etc.) and where people hold certain kinds of knowledge, ways of doing things, and perceptions that belong to those places. So the ethnographer wants to understand what one has to know, as a member of a particular group, to behave competently as a member of that group. A "good" ethnography describes a cultural reality in such a way that a non-member of the culture could "pass as an insider" if he or she had internalized the cultural features of the particular setting. To a certain extent ethnographers are interested in taxonomizing or categorizing the cultural perceptions in the ethnographic account. Thus, the lived-through or existential quality of personal experiences are sacrificed for the cultural, social, or scenic focus. Thick Description may be seen as a methodological variation of ethnographic research. The term "thick description" borrows from the work of the anthropologist Malinowski and has been made popular by Geertz. Ethnographic studies that aim for thick description tend to provide accounts not only that present and organize the "stories" as the informant(s) related them, but also that explore deeper meaning structures which the members of the social group may not be able to confirm or validate. In other words, thick description is more interpretive and analytic than mainstream ethnographic work.

ethnomethodology:Ethnomethodology studies the "methods" that people employ to accomplish or constitute a sense of objective or social reality. The purpose is to elucidate how taken-for-granted or seen-but-unnoticed "rules" lie at the basis of everyday communications and interactions among social actors. Garfinkel who coined the notion of ethnomethodology took certain ideas from the phenomenological sociology of Schutz and tied them in with certain structuralist interests and linguistic (semiotic) approaches. Ethnomethodologists show how people produce the facticity of the common sense reality of the social world and then experience it as independent of their own production. For example, Mehan has shown how interpretive skills on the part of children are crucial but unrecognized requirements for the normal conduct of classroom lessons. Ethnomethodologists are able to show how teachers "unknowingly" make certain normative demands on their students, implicitly assuming that certain communicative competencies on the part of the pupils are being employed in standard classroom procedures such as questioning, lecturing, testing, reading and achievement evaluation. For example, sometimes the level of sophistication students need and are able to show when they are required to handle a formal test situation is greater than the difficulty of the test material on which they may be "failing." The central topic for ethnomethodology is the rational accountability of practical actions as ongoing, practical accomplishments. It focuses on the structuring activities of people in social situations and on the background expectancies and "rule use" or "members' methods" for making these social and structuring activities "visibly rational and reportable for all practical purposes."
Analytic Theory, as formulated by Blum and McHugh, is not interested in describing (reporting), such as ethnography and ethnomethodology, but in analyzing (displaying). Analytic theory is a radical, less positivistic variation of ethnomethodology. The analytic theorist feels that there is no pressing need to do empirical data gathering or observational description (e.g., in using video-tape or audio-tape recording for analysis). They argue that life-topics for analysis are ready at hand in our own speech. Analytic theorists use a method of collaborative analysis in order to remind the conversational partner of that which he or she has to forget in order to speak (or write). To do research on a topic of concern (such as children's toys, special education, fatherhood, and so forth) the theorist formulates his or her interest as a problem and then develops a Socratic dialogue with this problem (and directly or indirectly with those who already have developed an approach to the problem). There are early Greek (neo-Platonic) and Heideggerian elements in the analytic approach. The theorist is interested in the reflexive character of his or her own inquiry. To theorize means that one orients oneself to that what makes it possible to be so oriented in the first place. Thus, theorizing is a kind of moral education: the theorist must show how any theorizing is an example of its own orientation to the Good, the good of theorizing.

experience and language:The theme of language. The person who begins a hermeneutic phenomenological study soon discovers that this form of inquiry is not a closed system. There are many paradoxes that mark the routes of a human science journey. As one develops a focus on the phenomena of lived experience, it soon appears that these phenomena are highly elusive and problematic. If I focus on an experience that strikes me as particularly interesting but that is not easily captured in language, then I may wonder: what word(s) do I use to describe this experience? Sometimes a story may help: "Has something like this … ever happened to you?" Sometimes a scene from a movie or a few lines from a poem may help to communicate the topic of our inquiry. And yet, experience is always more immediate, more enigmatic, more complex, more ambiguous than any description can do justice to. The human science researcher is a scholar-author who must be able to maintain an almost unreasonable faith in the power of language to make intelligible and understandable what always seems to lie beyond language. I am moved by an evocative musical passage. I feel strengthened by an encouraging hand on my shoulder. I recall a frightful childhood experience. I am struck by the loveliness of someone I meet. I wistfully reminisce on a holiday adventure. I exchange a meaningful glance with someone. How do we capture and interpret the possible meanings of such experiences? The things we are trying to describe or interpret are not really things at all—our actual experiences are literally "nothing." And yet, we seem to create some-thing when we use language in human science inquiry. What then is the relation between language and experience? It seems that with words we create some-thing (concepts, insights, feelings) out of no-thing (lived experience), yet these words forever will fall short of our aims. Perhaps this is because language tends to intellectualize our awareness—language is a cognitive apparatus. What we try to do in phenomenological research is to evoke understandings through language that in a curious way seem to be non-cognitive. This matter is important because many professions (such as pedagogy, nursing, healing, counselling) seem to require not only trainable skills and specialized bodies of knowledge but also abilities that have to do with discretionary, intuitive, pathic, and tactful capacities. It seems that in these directions lie the relevant contributions of hermeneutic phenomenology for the epistemology of professional practice. Here, I have only been able to address a couple of issues and these thoughts are necessarily abbreviated to fit this limited space.

hermeneutic phenomenology: Hermeneutic phenomenology tries to be attentive to both terms of its methodology: it is a descriptive (phenomenological) methodology because it wants to be attentive to how things appear, it wants to let things speak for themselves; it is an interpretive (hermeneutic) methodology because it claims that there are no such things us uninterpreted phenomena. The implied contradiction may be resolved if one acknowledges that the (phenomenological) "facts" of lived experience are always already meaningfully (hermeneutically) experienced. Moreover, even the "facts" of lived experience need to be captured in language (the human science text) and this is inevitably an interpretive process.

hermeneutics:Hermeneutics is the theory and practice of interpretation. The word derives from the Greek god, Hermes, whose task it was to communicate messages from the gods to the ordinary mortals. Hermeneutics is necessary when there is possibility for misunderstanding, said Schleiermacher. He opened up the idea of hermeneutics as a theory or "technology" of interpretation, especially with respect to the study of sacred (biblical) and classical texts. Schleiermacher's program was critical (as the struggle against misunderstanding) and romantic (in the desire to recover the particularity, or the animating genius or notion of an author's thoughts). His aim was to understand an author as well or even better than he or she understands himself or herself.
The emphasis for Dilthey was not the fundamental thought of the other person but the world itself, the "lived experience," which is expressed by the author's text. Dilthey's hermeneutic formula was lived experience: the starting point and focus of human science; expression: the text or artifact as objectification of lived experience; and understanding: not a cognitive act but the moment when "life understands itself." Heidegger, in turn, more radically de-psychologized the notion of understanding. The notion of hermeneutic understanding for Heidegger was not aimed at re-experiencing another's experience but rather the power to grasp one's own possibilities for being in the world in certain ways. To interpret a text is to come to understand the possibilities of being revealed by the text. Heidegger's hermeneutics has been described as an interpretive phenomenology. Gadamer adds that in interpreting a text we cannot separate ourselves from the meaning of a text. The reader belongs to the text that she or he is reading. Understanding is always an interpretation, and an interpretation is always specific, an application. For Gadamer the problem of understanding involves interpretive dialogue which includes taking up the tradition in which one finds oneself. Texts that come to us from different traditions or conversational relations may be read as possible answers to questions. To conduct a conversation, says Gadamer, means to allow oneself to be animated by the question or notion to which the partners in the conversational relation are directed. Hirsch provides a more positivistic (and Diltheyan) explanation of hermeneutics. For him text interpretation aims at reconstructing the author's intended meanings. Understanding is a dialectical process between the reader and writer. And Hirsch argues that the validity of any particular textual interpretation is increased by knowing something about the person who wrote it. Ricoeur broadened the notion of textuality to any human action or situation. To interpret a social situation is to treat the situation as text and then to look for the metaphor that may be seen to govern the text. Ricoeur, in response to Heidegger and Gadamer, returns hermeneutics from ontology (understanding as a mode of being) to the question of epistemology (understanding as human science method). For example, Ricoeur tries to articulate a methodological relationship between explanation and understanding in terms of the problem of distanciation and participation.

human science: "Human science" is a name that collects a variety of approaches and orientations to research. The term "human science" derives from Wilhelm Dilthey's notion of Geisteswissenschaften. Dilthey argued that human (mental, social, historical) phenomena differ from natural (physical, chemical, behavioral) phenomena in that human phenomena require interpretation and understanding whereas natural science involves for the most part external observation and explanation. "We explain nature, humans we must understand," said Dilthey. Dilthey sought to develop in hermeneutics a methodological basis for the human sciences. According to Dilthey we can grasp the fullness of lived experience by reconstructing or reproducing the meanings of life's expressions found in the products of human effort, work and creativity.
Hermeneutics and phenomenology are seen to be involved in all the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences that interpret meaningful expressions of the active inner, cognitive, or spiritual life of human beings in social, historical or political contexts. To say it differently, human science is the study of meaning: descriptive-interpretive studies of patterns, structures and levels of experiential and/or textual meanings. Human science research is the activity of explicating meaning. In this respect the fundamental research orientation of all human science is more closely aligned with the critical-hermeneutic rationality of the humanities and philosophy than with the more positivist rationality of empirical-analytic or behavioral cognitive science. This explains the interest of human scientists in the philosophic thoughts of Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche, for example. And of special interest for human science are the works of the more explicitly oriented phenomenological philosophers such as Husserl, Scheler, Marcel, Levinas, Ricoeur, Edie, Gusdorf, Strasser, Ihde, and so forth.
In education various human science approaches are practised in fields of study which include curriculum, teaching, administration, psychology, policy studies, sociology and philosophy of education, counselling, therapy, teacher education, nursing education, etc.
intentionalityThe term "intentionality" indicates the inseparable connectedness of the human being to the world. Brentano, and later Husserl, argued that the fundamental structure of consciousness is intentional (Spiegelberg, 1982). And every conscious experience is bi-polar: there is an object that presents itself to a subject or ego. This means that all thinking (imagining, perceiving, remembering, etc.) is always thinking about something. The same is true for actions: grasping is grasping for something, hearing is hearing something, pointing is pointing at something. All human activity is always oriented activity, directed by that which orients it. In this way we discover a person's world or landscape. We are not reflexively conscious of our intentional relation to the world. Intentionality is only retrospectively available to consciousness. Or as Merleau-Ponty said, the world is revealed to us as ready-made and already "there".

lifeworld: The idea of the lifeworld (Lebenswelt), as the world of lived experience, derives from Husserl's last and largely posthumously published text The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology .He described the lifeworld as the "world of immediate experience," the world as "already there," "pregiven," the world as experienced in the "natural, primordial attitude," that of "original natural life." Husserl makes a critical historical and phenomenological distinction between (1) our theoretical attitude to life, borrowed from the Greeks, and (2) our natural pre-theoretical attitude to life on which all theorizing is based and from which all theorizing is ultimately derived. Husserl uses the term "natural" for what is original and naive, prior to critical or theoretical reflection.
The theoretical attitude that western intellectual and scientific culture borrowed from the Greeks must be recognized as a new (historically speaking) and distinct style of life. In contrast, the natural attitude of the lifeworld is always "pragmatic," always directed at the world "toward this or that, being directed toward it as an end or as a means, as relevant or irrelevant, toward the private or public, toward what is daily required or obtrusively new." Plato and Aristotle attributed the origin of the desire to know (philosophy) to simple wonder at things being the way they are. But while wonder is a natural occurrence in everyday life, the modern theoretical attitude tends to turn us into non-participating spectators, surveyors of the world. And even more importantly (or ironically) the theoretical attitude in its modern scientific sense often silences or kills our sense of wonder--a wonder which Merleau-Ponty described as the demand for a certain awareness, a certain kind of attentiveness and will to seize the meaning of the world.
According to Husserl each lifeworld shows certain pervading structures or styles which need to be studied. Schutz and Luckmann elaborated this notion in a sociological direction in their book Structures of the Life-world. And Heidegger gave the idea of lifeworld structures a more worldly, existential thrust by speaking of phenomenology as the study of Being, the study of our modes-of-being or ways-of-being-in-the-world. Wittgenstein's notion of "form of life" and "language games" can be understood as a more linguistic approach to the idea of lifeworld. And more recent formulations associated with the project of phenomenology also seem to have turned toward more semiotic directions.

lived meaning: Lived meaning refers to the way that a person experiences and understands his or her world as real and meaningful. Lived meanings describe those aspects of a situation as experienced by the person in it. For example, a teacher wants to understand how a child meaningfully experiences or lives a certain situation even though the child is not explicitly aware of these lived meanings.

noema: Noema (noematic) denotes that to which we orient ourselves; it is the object referent of noesis, the noetic act.

noesis: Noesis is the interpretive act directed to an intentional object, the noema (or the noematic object).

ontic: Ontic inquiry is concerned with the things or entities of the world.

ontological: Ontological inquiry is concerned with what it means to be, with the Being of things or entities. Heidegger (1962) calls ontology the phenomenology of being.

phenomenology: Phenomenology is the study of phenomena, the way things appear to us in experience or consciousness. Kant already used the term to distinguish between the study of objects and events (phenomena) as they appear in our experience and objects and events as they are in themselves (noumena). Hegel used the term "phenomenology" to desribe the science in which we come to know mind as it is in itself through the study of the ways in which it appears to us. However, only with Husserl phenomenology became a fullfledged descriptive method as well as a human science movement based on modes of reflection at the heart of philosophic and human science thought.
For Husserl phenomenology is a discipline that endeavors to describe how the world is constituted and experienced through conscious acts. His phrase Zu den Sachen means both "to the things themselves" and "let's get down to what matters!" Phenomenology must describe what is given to us in immediate experience without being obstructed (mediated) by pre-conceptions and theoretical notions. Husserl developed a transcendental or constitutive phenomenology. But in his last major work The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology, he formulated the notion of the Lebenswelt, the lifeworld, the everyday world in which we live in the natural, taken-for-granted attitude. This notion of the lifeworld has become programmatic in the development of a more existentially oriented phenomenology. Existential phenomenology (not to be confused with the life philosophy of existentialism) aims at describing how phenomena present themselves in lived experience, in human existence. Thus, for Heidegger phenomenology is ontology--a study of the modes of "being in the world" of human being. Heidegger's professed aim is to let the things of the world speak for themselves. He asks: What is the nature (Being) of this being? What lets this being be what it is?
Phenomenology differs from the various human science approaches such as ethnography, symbolic interactionism, and ethnomethodology in that phenomenology makes a distinction between appearance and essence. "Phenomenology is the study of essences," says Merleau-Ponty. This means that phenomenology always asks the question of what is the nature or meaning of something. In the "Preface" to his Phenomenology of Perception Merleau-Ponty points out that the work of phenomenology is as painstaking as the work of artists such as Balzac, Proust, Valery, or Cezanne. Phenomenology demands of us re-learning to look at the world as we meet it in immediate experience. And it requires of us "the same demand for awareness and the same will to seize the meaning of the world as that meaning comes into being." In other words, phenomenology does not produce empirical or theoretical observations or accounts. Instead, it offers accounts of experienced space, time, body, and human relation as we live them. In the various disciplines phenomenology has been mobilized to produce a phenomenological sociology (Schutz), phenomenological psycho-therapy or psychiatry (Van den Berg), phenomenological psychology (Merleau-Ponty), etc. In education, phenomenology has been especially productive in the phenomenological pedagogy of Langeveld, Beets, Beekman in the Netherlands, and in the more philosophy of education oriented writings of Greene and Vandenberg in North America.

reduction: It is impossible to practice phenomenological method without understanding the meaning and significance of the reduction. "Reduction" is the technical term that describes the phenomenological device which permits us to discover what Merleau-Ponty calls "the spontaneous surge of the lifeworld." The aim of the reduction is to reachieve a direct and primitive contact with the world as we experience it rather than as we conceptualize it. (The term reduction derives from re-ducere, to lead back.) But the discovery of the prereflective lifeworld by means of the reduction always transcends the lifeworld. The "direct and primitive contact" of which Merleau-Ponty speaks, is experienced as a moment of lived meaning, meaningfulness. So the method of the reduction is meant to bring the aspects of meaning that belong to the phenomena of our lifeworld into nearness. In particular it aims to bring into focus the uniqueness of the particular phenomenon to which we are oriented. It would be a mistake to see the reduction as a certain kind of procedure that we should apply to the phenomenon that is being researched. The practise of human science is never simply a matter of procedure. Rather the reduction refers to a certain attentiveness. To come to an understanding of the unique meaning and significance of something we need to reflect on it by practising a thoughtful attentiveness. The term "reduction" can be misleading since reduction—the ambition to make reflection emulate the unreflective life of consciousness—is ironically a protest against reductionism if it is understood as abbreviating, shortening, abstracting. So how then is reflection supposed to emulate lived experience? Of course, the emulator is language, and the process of emulating is performed through writing. The intent of writing is to produce textual portrayals that resonate the kinds of meanings that we seem to recognize in prereflective experience. Complete reduction is impossible because the meaning structures of reflective experience can never fully imitate lived experience from which they were reduced. Nevertheless, the techniques of phenomenological reflection aim to bring about a state or condition of phenomenological "seeing" or understanding that is as much an experience of meaningfulness or sense as it is a form of knowledge. So the reduction is a certain reflective attentiveness that must be practised for phenomenological insight to occur. Therefore, the reduction is not only a research method, it is also the phenomenological attitude that must be adopted by anyone who wishes to participate in the questions that a certain project pursues. In other words, phenomenological meaning and understanding has to be produced constantly anew by the writers and the readers of phenomenological texts. The literature contains many philosophical investigations and explications that can make the precise meanings of the epoché and reduction complex and confusing. And that is not surprising in view of the fact that the project of phenomenology can be understood in a variety of ways. For the purpose of simplification some common distinctions may be made. Five levels of the epoché (bracketing or suspension of belief) and the reduction (reflection) can be distinguished for their eclectic value and methodological usefulness: wonder (heuristic reduction), openness (hermeneutic reduction), concreteness (phenomenological reduction), universality in contingency (eidetic reduction), and flexible rationality (methodological reduction). In the process of inquiry these methods are practised as if in concert. But we can also deal with them seperately while keeping the integrity of the larger phenomenological project in view.

relationality: Relationality refers to our lived relation to other human beings.

semiotics: Semiotics as the science of signs ("semiotics" in North America and "semiology" in France, Europe) is the application of structuralism to literary studies, semantic anthropology, etc. In The New Science, Vico (1725) suggested that humans create themselves and their world (mythically, poetically, symbolically) by structuring the world, society, institutions, etc., in accordance with the mental languages of the structures of mind. The true nature of things is seen to lie not in the things themselves but in the relationships which we construct and then perceive among them. The Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure advanced the notion that the meaning of a word (sign) does not depend upon some substantive correlate but rather that meaning, the signified, is an arbitrary relational quality of differences between signifiers (Ray, 1984).

Texts or signs and their structural relationships are the subject of study for semiotics. According to semiotics, there is no innocent, pure or pristine experience of a real external world. We "encode" our experience of the world in order that we may experience it; there is no neutral text. This encoding produces certain styles. Thus, Barthes has concluded that writing is all style, a highly conventionalized activity (Sontag, 1982). Barthes' critical readings and writings may be interpreted as deconstructive moves to expose, for example, how modern society codifies reality in its own image. And once this reality is thus produced one proceeds to believe that it is the only reality possible.

From a semiotic point of view any social behavior or practice signifies and may be read as a text, as a language. For example, nobody merely talks. Every speech-act displays a complex of messages through the "language" of gesture, accent, clothing, posture, perfume, hair-style, facial manner, social context, etc., above, behind, beneath, beside and even at odds with what words actually say. Similarly, everything around us systematically communicates something meaningful to us, and one can thus speak of "the world as a text." Derrida has provided an influential approach to the semiotics of writing. In his grammatology (science of writing) he argues that our logocentrism and our tendency to treat oral language as primary over written language commits us to a falsifying "metaphysics of presence" (1976). It is based on an illusion that we are able ultimately to come "face to face" with each other and with things. According to Derrida this belief in "presence" expresses a yearning hope that in spite of our always fragmentary and incomplete experience there is reason to insist on the existence of a redeeming and justifying wholeness, an ultimate notion of one-ness, essence, ground, or a faith in objective reality. As reader-interpreter Derrida practises a deconstructive analysis of the text: a double reading which has the effect of showing the ways in which, for example, the argument of a text calls its own premises into question.

spatiality: The term "spatiality" refers to lived space.

temporality:The term "temporality" refers to lived time.

Aug 22, 2005

Koranic phenomenological investigations
I chosed this title as starting point from which the thesis of Koranic phenomenology will travil.
Husserl started his phenomenological journey by writing his masterpiece : logical investigation(1900), so phenomenology was discovered after hard searching & investigations rather than just armchair speculations & opinions.
Phenomenology was present before Husserl being born,but it was in the form of practice (praxis)rather than theoritical/formal construction .The practical ,pragmatic nature of phenomenology-like that of language- is responsible for its being so unnoticed as subjectt of thinking/ theoretical reasoning,we use our self/consciousness rather studying her .Phenomenology is just description of what happened when our concsiousness are in relation to anything, so it try to show us the way of thinking/grammer of our thinking& the intuition of meaning .It enable us to see the original meanings of things(manner of giveness),it make them revealed in ourselves directly/authentically. this coincided with the aim of Koran which is also directed toward revealing the original manner of givenness of things & peoples to God/Allah. Koran provide us with horizon in which things must be meant originally.If we combine phenomenologicl method in reaching the essence of things with the koran horizons of the reality we can travil to the things themselves safely.
we can start our thesis by the first verse of Koran which contain the full intention of religions:
By the name of Allah, Most compassionate, Most Merciful.1:1
What message does this verse try to make us see ?
this question must be asked to any verse, because if we approach anything without being in question state/dialogue attitude there will be nothing to be disclosed .
This verse is so important in our Islamic life to the degree of being mentioned in evry occasion.This verse as whole has two interdependent parts ,the first one is epistemological ,in which we perform reduction of our consumed names(our concepts) which imply that we must know them first before reducing them & this is what make epistemology proceed ontology.The aim of this reduction is to suspend any absolute standpoint ,it is atype of postponing the jugdement of any naturally giving objector belief,in other words bracketing the existence of our natural,social ,cultural,psychological names,only the the name of God WHO is represnting the absolute,transcendental realty (the Truth).
So this verse order us to perform reduction in every situation whether religious or not ,in the aim of reaching the meaning of the situation, as it is seen by God, So this meaning must be absolute ,transcendental one.
This REDUCTION LEAD US TO THE REALM OF PURE EGO,because reduction is a kind of purification,in which we put everythings between bracket,suspending the judgement, intending to reach the essences.
What is the ontological effect of this epistemological shift?.The ontological outcome is mentioned in verse which is the compassion & mercifulness.Which is called by Husserl the transcendental ego /intersubjectve,also called empathetic ego which is compassonate & merciful due to reaching to the transcendental realm in which the intersubjectve ego disclosed.
So this verse has apivotal role in my thesis , it give us the way/path /approach to things themselves ,rather than just words uttered for purpose of rewards. for this reason we must start any thing by mentioning it. It is the heart of the koran which any verse must be reduced to it.It learn us how we see things & in which manners things must be given to us,so it is responsible for creating our phenomenal world.So both koran & phenomenology put acondition to reach the truth ,things themselves,which is egological transformation from the natural/emprical/everyday/pragmatic attitude to the phenomenological/reflective/transcendental one.
In short We must be transcendental to be immament ,
We must be outside ourselves to see ourselves.Simply speaking in same manner in which we see our faces, we either use a mirror or trust the other description. Koran is the clearest mirror which can reflect our image without distortion.
Phenomenology enable us to use the mirror correctly&enable us to verbalize our experience of our experiences & describe our self & others experiece.This mirror is the pure consciuosness.Which is metaphorically speaking The light which is appaant in itself &make other things appear.
And He taught Adam the nature of all things; then He placed them before the angels, and said: "Tell me the nature of these if ye are right." 2:31
This koranic verse shows us the superiority of human being over all creatures , at the same time why he is highly responsible.Knowledge is the reason behind being so responsible,this knowledge had been given to Adam who represent the human being as such (including male &female).
Adam here was not representing the only male side(perspective) of human being.
How does phenomenlogy relate to Koran?
Phenomenology is a method which guide us to retrieve the original meaning (the nature of the things/the essences) which were given to Adam. phenomenolgy make it possible to reach to these natures(called Names by Koran).
How does Koran relate to phenomenology
Koran is application of this goal,return to the essences, applied in the domain of religion .Koran identified the essenc of religion as absolute submission to God only & the path to this target is Islam. there is many verses which prove this claim,You can find them by yourselves.
Second property which make koran related to phenomenology is the issue of heart,which is source of intentionalty,which make our action & words meaningful.Koran put great emphasis on heart ,regard it the reason behind distortion of reading ,understanding &interpretation:
Allah hath sealed their hearing and their HEARTs, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom.2.7
In their HEARTs is a disease, and Allah increaseth their disease. A painful doom theirs because they lie.2.10
Then, even after that, your HEARTs were hardened and became as rocks, or worse than rocks, for hardness. For indeed there are rocks from out which rivers gush, and indeed there are rocks which split asunder so that water Soweth from them. And indeed there are rocks which fall down for the fear of Allah. Allah is not unaware of what ye do.2.74
And they say: Our HEARTs are hardened. Nay, but Allah hath cursed them for their unbelief. Little is that which they believe.2.88
And those who have no knowledge say: Why doth not Allah speak unto us, or some sign come unto us? Even thus, as they now speak, spake those (who were) before them. Their HEARTs are all alike. We have made clear the revelations for people who are sure.2.118
And of mankind there is he whose conversation on the life of this world pleaseth thee (Muhammad), and he calleth Allah to witness as to that which is in his HEART; yet he is the most rigid of opponents.2.204
Allah will not take you to task for that which unintentional in your oaths. But He will take you to task for that which your HEARTs have garnered. Allah is Forgiving, Clement.2.225
And when Abraham said (unto his Lord): My lord! Show me how Thou givest life to the dead, He said: Dost thou not believe? Abraham said: Yea, but (I ask) in order that my HEART may be at ease. (His Lord) said: Take four of the birds and cause them to incline unto thee, then place a part of them on each hill, then call them, they will come to thee in haste. And know that Allah is Mighty, Wise.2.260
He it is Who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations. They are the substance of the Book. and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose HEARTs is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it. None knoweth its explanation save Allah. And those who are of sound instruction say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed.3.7
Our Lord! Cause not our HEARTs to stray after Thou hast guided us, and bestow upon us mercy from Thy Presence. Lo! Thou, only Thou art the Bestower.3.8
Allah ordained this only as a message of good cheer for you, and that thereby your HEARTs might be at rest. Victory cometh only from Allah, the Mighty, the Wise.3.126
And that He might know the hypocrites, unto whom it was said: Come, fight in the way of Allah, or defend yourselves. They answered: If we knew aught of fighting we would follow you. On that day they were nearer disbelief than faith. They utter with their mouths a thing which is not in their HEARTs. Allah is best aware of what they hide.3.167
Those are they, the secrets of whose HEARTs Allah knoweth. So oppose them and admonish them, and address them in plain terms about their souls.4.63
Except those who seek refuge with a people between whom and you there is a covenant, or (those who) come unto you because their HEARTs forbid them to make war on you or make war on their own folk. Had Allah willed He could have given them power over you so that assuredly they would have fought you. So, if they hold aloof from you and wage not war against you and offer you peace, Allah alloweth you no way against them.4.90
(They said:) We wish to eat thereof, that we may satisfy our HEARTs and know that thou hast spoken truth to us, and that thereof we may be witnesses.5.113
Of them are some who listen unto thee, but We have placed upon their HEARTs veils, lest they should understand, and in their ears a deafness. If they saw every token they would not believe therein; to the point that, when they come unto thee to argue with thee, the disbelievers say: This is naught else than fables of the men of old.6.25
If only, when our disaster came on them, they had been humble! But their HEARTs were hardened and the devil made all that they used to do seem fair unto them!6.43
Say: Have ye imagined, if Allah should take away your hearing and your sight and seal your HEARTs, who is the God who could restore it to you save Allah? See how We display the revelations unto them? Yet still they turn away.6.46
We confound their HEARTs and their eyes. As they believed not therein at the first, We let them wander blindly on in their contumacy.6.110
That the HEARTs of those who believe not in the Hereafter may incline thereto, and that they may take pleasure therein, and that they may earn what they are earning.6.113
Such were the townships. We relate some tidings of them unto thee (Muhammad). Their messengers verily came unto them with clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty), but they could not believe because they had before denied. Thus doth Allah print upon the HEARTs of disbelievers (that they hear not).7.101
Already have We urged unto hell many of the jinn and humankind, having HEARTs wherewith they understand not, and having eyes wherewith they see not, and having ears wherewith they hear not. These are as the cattle nay, but they are worse! These are the neglectful.7.179
O ye who believe; Obey Allah, and the messenger when He calleth you to that which quickeneth you, and know that Allah cometh in between the man and his own HEART, and that He it is unto Whom ye will be gathered.8.24
When the hypocrites and those in whose HEARTs is a disease said: Their religion hath deluded these. Whoso putteth his trust in Allah (will find that) lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise.8.49
That is because Allah never changeth the grace He hath bestowed on any people until they first change that which is in their HEARTs, and (that is) because Allah is Hearer, Knower.8.53
And (as for the believers) hath attuned their HEARTs. If thou hadst spent all that is in the earth thou couldst not have attuned their HEARTs, but Allah hath attuned them. Lo! He is Mighty, Wise.8.63
O Prophet, Say unto those captives who are in your hands: If Allah knoweth any good in your HEARTs He will give you better than that which hath been taken from you, and will forgive you. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.8.70
The hypocrites fear lest a surah should be revealed concerning them, proclaiming what is in their HEARTs. Say: Scoff (your fill)! Lo! Allah is disclosing what ye fear.9.64
They are content that they should be with the useless and their HEARTs are sealed, so that they apprehend not.9.67
The road (of blame) is only against those who ask for leave of thee (to stay at home) when they are rich. They are content to be with the useless. Allah hath sealed their HEARTs so that they know not.9.93
The building which they built will never cease to be a misgiving in their HEARTs unless their HEARTs be torn to pieces. Allah is Knower, Wise.9.110
And whenever a surah is revealed, they look one at another (as who should say) : Doth anybody see you? Then they turn away. Allah turneth away their HEARTs because they are a folk who understand not.9.127
Then, after him, We sent messengers unto their folk, and they brought them clear proofs. But they were not ready to believe in that which they before denied. Thus print We on the HEARTs of the transgressors.10.74
And all that We relate unto thee of the story of the messengers is in order that thereby We may make firm thy HEART. And herein hath come unto thee the Truth and an exhortation and a reminder for believers.11.120
For him are angels ranged before him and behind him who guard him by Allah's command. Lo! Allah changeth not the condition of a folk until they (first) change that which is in their HEARTs; and if Allah willeth misfortune for a folk there is none that can repel it, nor have they a defender beside Him.13.11
Who have believed and whose HEARTs have rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily in the remembrance of Allah do HEARTs find rest!13.28

Aug 13, 2005

We can make judgement only if we have experience.Existence proceed essence.Koran & phenomenology agree on this principle,which has major impact on our life in this world.
Koran show us this fact clearly in this verse:
(And follow not that of which thou(you) hast(have) no knowledge;Surely the hearing and sight and the heart,all of these will be asked about it.17:36).
This verse regard the perception(sensory+mental) as an act which must be based on knowledge(consciousness/awareness).Th sensory & mental are not separated in koran ,they are two moments of one act which named the categorial intution by Husserl .
Judgement become description of the lived experience & not consumed from others,prejudices. This is the core of Taqua(piety) in Koran. In phenomenology Taqua appeared as Epoche ,putting between brackets any prejudice ,presuppostion,which are responsible for the biases of our judgement.
The phenomenlogical experience is koranic & the koranic experience is phenomenological. Both of them put a premise to see the truth, which is the transformation of the ego(self) from emprical perspective(everyday attitude) to transcendental(reflective one.In the koran there is verse which describe this principle:
(For each (such person) there are (angels) in succession, before and behind him: They guard him by command of Allah. Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls). But when (once) Allah willeth a people's punishment, there can be no turning it back, nor will they find, besides Him, any to protect)11-thunder .
The difference is in the way achieving this transformation.Koran seek practical,behaviouristic approach to change the self,through worshipping only one God,praying to only one God, fasting,haj,charity.All these strategeis are intended to purify the self from mundane ,worldly concerns.So the path of koran is reductive.Reduction of this cultural,social & psychological ego to the pure nature of the human being which is called in arabic called phutra(الفطره).These verses put emphasis on the inherent abilty of human to change their world, to confrount any suffering with peaceful mind.
The marriage between eastern & western worlds had happened since the discovery of Phenomenology by the sealer of philosophers,Edmund Husserl(1859-1938).
Husserllian phenomenology fufilled the intentin s of Koran in the western world ,it made them contemplate on all their presupposition,concepts,prejudices which had become a thick layer between the mind & the things themselves.So phenomenolgy fufilled God intention in acheiving the essences, through perfoming reflection on our self ,first, to purify it from any pre-concepts, (names )which is not given to us in genuine experience.Koran from the first to the last verse asking us to reflect,contemplate ,looking in ourselves,reducing every name to the name of God.
For the experience to be phenomenolgical we need to be outside the experience & at the same time living in it. This double mode of being is essential step in emergence of the transcendental consciousness.
Rgarding God ,He is not in need to perfom this reduction,He is the omnipresence,this presence in every where ,every time, oblige us to be ready to take His view as a base &reference.
Phenomenolgy made us recognize the importance of being present to our object of knowledge(orginally given in intuition),which is regarded the principle of all principles.
What I want here to make you see is, that the Koran has phenomenolgical aspect which is clear to those who know the essence of phenomenology. This will be exposed in later post,in sha Allah.