Structural phenomenology: A top-down analytic methodology

Gurwitsch, following Husserl, described two structural parameters applicable to all phenomena: the intensity of our experiences, and their salience, i.e., their experienced relevance to other entities in consciousness. These dimensions subsume experiences within structures indicating the degree of attention consciously paid to phenomena, and their significance to other phenomena experienced simultaneously. For example, the recession to or from unconsciousness of mental contents may be described by the variation of their saliences and intensities. The focal organization implied by these dimensions gives rise to the "searchlight" configuration underlying many models. Consciousness can be structurally analyzed more deeply than this, however. Through incorporation of two other parameters: an internalization of intentionality which I term “microdirectionality,” and a description of the recursive microstructure of the phenomenal field (“layered recursion”), strata of interrelated structures may be employed to explicate experiences in great depth. I will introduce these structural parameters and describe how this more inclusive perspective enables some aspects of both static interrelationships and the dynamics of the creation and dissolution of a variety of sensory, conceptual and linguistic phenomena to be explicated. I will utilize the tip-of-tongue phenomenon as an illustrative example.
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