Discovery of the Phenomenological MethodJune 26, 2021
The publication of Logical Studies in 1901 made Husserl an associate professor at the University of Göttingen. Göttingen was a center for the study of mathematics in those years. In Göttingen, however, Husserl became more interested in issues of subjectivity than in mathematics and logic, and began to explore what phenomenology might be a method.
The greatest discovery of this method research process is “phenomenological reduction”. Phenomenological reduction means overcoming the natural attitude we are in in our daily life and switching to a reflexive attitude. Phenomenological reduction sets some epistemological norms. For example, it has been insistently emphasized that “natural” knowledge of a particular science or common sense should not enter into phenomenological analyses. In other words, Husserl says that we cannot do phenomenology without a method that suspends and disables these types of knowledge. He calls this method “phenomenological reduction” or epoche. Epokhe teaches us not to use certain types of knowledge when doing a certain type of research. The prohibition of explanations that are accepted as true or agreed upon, even though they are not sufficiently grounded, opens the way to see with our own eyes and express what we see. After Husserl disables these convictions, he returns to the conscious experiences and focuses on the appearance of what appears in the conscious in these experiences. It is given as what appears in this manifestation.
Epokhe, as it is known, means avoiding any kind of judgment in skepticism. In Husserl’s sense, epoche does not mean avoiding all judgment. Epoche allows us to avoid the prior assumptions that will distort our understanding while turning to the object, and to get out of the natural attitude.
So, isn’t it possible that something material and physical that appears in my consciousness through perception, for example, that lake, is a mirage? Of course there is. Perception is the unity of a series of manifestations. These manifestations continue to multiply as long as I perceive them. In fact, although I cannot consume them, I can establish their unity through a synthesis of identification, but this synthesis will not be appropriate (inadequate) precisely because the appearance is inexhaustible. There is a possibility that a subsequent appearance would contradict the object produced by this synthesis. Therefore, according to Husserl, perception can always be doubted. However, I cannot doubt the existence of experiences in my consciousness. I cannot doubt that I have a fear, because that fear has been given to me with immediate certainty. The truths given to my consciousness through a priori intuition are also given with apodictic precision. In other words, they are objectively valid and necessarily true.
The phenomenological analysis of Husserl is essentially the analysis of intentionality. Whatever is aimed at this analysis, it aims to reveal how it is established and what its essence is. “Constitution”, one of the basic concepts of phenomenology, is the name of the process that realizes the manifestation of things to consciousness. The constitution of the object ultimately returns to the problematic of the constitution of time.
Husserl’s Lectures on the Inner Consciousness of Time was published by his assistant Martin Heidegger in 1905. In this work, Husserl suspends and disables the thesis that there is an objective time independent of consciousness. This means that objective time will not be used in further analysis. Thus, Husserl attempts to examine how time appears in consciousness, that is, he returns to time that is immanent to the flow of consciousness. Every experience (cogitatio) has a time of its essence; This is not objective time that has been disabled, but the time of experience itself. The phenomenological data that Husserl sets out are the time experiences, their moments, and their specific contents, in which objective time also emerges. The lived present, taken in itself, is not a point in objective time. In order to realize objective time, the objects experienced must follow each other. For example, we see that the hour and minute hands are constantly taking different positions on the clock, or the numbers are replaced by other numbers on the digital clock, or I watch the sun slowly set after rising to the top in the sky. The condition for objective time to exist for us is that things first appear to us, in other words, that they are constructed from lived contents.
The possibility of anything appearing in consciousness is not only that consciousness makes a synthesis that unites that thing, but that consciousness also has a unity. How is the unity of consciousness established? Husserl’s final answer to this question is that the unity of consciousness is established by temporalization. Consciousness, then, is a temporalization movement in its deepest layer.
Internal time is established by intentionality. Orientation is not simply the orientation of consciousness to what is given to it in the present, if it were, we would only be living in the present, the knowledge that we would neither have a past nor have a future. There are two other intentionality that establishes time: backward orientation (retention) and forward orientation (protection). Remembering backward orientation