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Experimental Phenomenology: An Introduction

Liliana Albertazzi

Subject Psychology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781119954682.2013.00003.x


Save the phenomena . (Plato) The expression “experimental phenomenology” seems to be an oxymoron. Phenomenology, in fact, understood as the science of phenomena, appearances, or subjective experiences, was born in the classical age as a philosophical theory. It is a complex neo-Aristotelian theory which originated in the empirical and descriptive psychology of Brentano ( Brentano, 1874/1995, 1988 ) but is best known in the version developed by Husserl (1913/1977, 1929/1963) . There are two main “classical” versions of phenomenology: the Husserlian one and the experimental version of Stumpf and Michotte. Husserl stated as follows the specificity of phenomenological analysis with respect to the Galilean science of nature and modern psychological science: The modern science of nature arose from a one-sided orientation of interest and method, which under the heading “nature,” did not simply single out of original experience a sphere of directly exhibitable experiential givens [i.e., appearances], but rather had in view what was already an artificial product of method. Thus, it was a nature which it did not have beforehand as experienced, but was an idea which it undertook to realize by theory. A consistent elimination of all “merely subjective” properties belonging to the things of immediate experience, of all features stemming from subjectivity, belonged essentially to its method. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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