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Phenomenology

Richard Leo Lanigan, Jr.


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Phenomenology is a movement in philosophy associated with the human sciences as a qualitative approach to the study of human conscious experience. Research →  validity and →  reliability are assessed as functions of logic, not mathematics or statistics (→  Qualitative Methodology ; Research Methods ). Consciousness refers to the unique human ability (1) to have an awareness of self, others, and the world, i.e., iconic codes of awareness, (2) to be aware of that awareness, i.e., indexical codes of signification, and (3) to displace that awareness of awareness in space and time, i.e., symbolic codes of meaning. The conjunction of these codes in expression and perception is the function of discourse. Following Merleau-Ponty, these three semiotic phenomenological stages of defining human communication (→  semiotics ) are known as the phenomenological method of (1) description, entailing the iconic principle of reversibility , where expression and perception are interchangeable; (2) reduction, entailing the indexical principle of reflexivity , where expression structures perception; and (3) interpretation, entailing the symbolic principle of reflection , in which expression and perception represent one another. As a contemporary human science, phenomenology is the name for, and method of, the study of discourse as a logic of discovery. There is both a European and a US tradition ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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