Husserl, Schutz, “paul” and me: Reflections on writing phenomenology [Book Review]

Human Studies 18 (1):41 - 62 (1995)
Abstract
This paper is a reflection on the boundaries of academic discourse as I came to be acutely aware of them while attempting to teach a graduate seminar in qualitative research methods. The purpose of the readings in Husserl and Schutz and the writing exercises was to assist students trained in quantitative methods and steeped in positivistic assumptions about research to write phenomenological descriptions of lived experience. Paul could not write the assigned papers due to a diagnosed writing disability but he did submit fictional stories and sketches which beautifully illustrated the concepts of Husserl and Schutz. Paul's disability presented a natural bracketing experiment which brought the positivistic assumptions surrounding academic research and writing to the forefront. I engaged in verbal dialogues with Paul, in which he discussed the philosophical ideas. My work with Paul highlighted the extent to which the academic lifeworld marginalizes those who seek to write from the heart, disguising even the work of those philosophers who wish to uncover direct experiences.The crisis of the sciences is the loss of meaning for life. (Husserl, 1970: 5)
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