Phenomenology and the Problem of Reality-Appearance in 20th Century Philosophy

Phenomenology and the Problem of Reality-Appearance in 20th Century Philosophy

June 28, 2021 Off By Felso

18-19. The approach of philosophies to natural sciences in the 19th century and later caused the loss of the search for truth and value creation in philosophy.

The natural sciences claim to reveal the knowledge of the objects of the physical world. However, man lives his own experiences, not the knowledge of natural sciences. One’s experiences are provided by consciousness oriented towards objects. This consciousness realizes knowing the essence of objects, that is, finding meanings, with the phenomenological method. Finding or constructing meanings is human subjectivation. Being a subject also requires returning to consciousness. Husserl, “Consciousness is always consciousness of something.” It aims to reach the contents of consciousness, that is, the knowledge of the essence of phenomena.

Phenomenology is the study of the phenomenon, including the exact meaning of the word. The phenomenon is treated as the subject of the senses and as objects of the sensory field. Phenomena are not the object itself, but the shape of the object that is the subject of the human mind. Man experiences objects in his own perception through the senses of his mind.

Husserl creates a philosophical method with phenomenology. This method will enable to reach the knowledge of the essence of the phenomena and therefore to analyze the consciousness. Since the essence of consciousness is orientation, research into consciousness; consciousness has to be directed not towards itself, but to what it contains, to what it is directed towards, namely to the phenomena. The phenomenological method is to move away from previously acquired knowledge, prejudices, and random features in order to reach the essence of the phenomena and put this information in brackets. Husserl considers bracketing necessary for three cases:

1. Bracketing about history: Getting away from the views and prejudices created by social life

2. Existential bracketing: Avoid doubting whether the objects examined really exist or not

3. Bracketing about “ideas”: Ensuring that objects are purified from features such as color and shape

The essence of the phenomena will be reached by the bracketing method. For example, a person’s knowledge of the essence of the table is obtained by the phenomenological method of the table in front of him. All the preliminary information about the table and the information formed in the person by bracketing the color and shape of the table is the information about the essence of the table. This knowledge is the “intuition about the essence”.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook