Synthese 194 (9):3543-3562 (2017)

Authors
Anthony Vincent Fernandez
Kent State University
Abstract
In this essay I address the question, “What is the subject matter of phenomenological research?” I argue that in spite of the increasing popularity of phenomenology, the answers to this question have been brief and cursory. As a result, contemporary phenomenologists lack a clear framework within which to articulate the aims and results of their research, and cannot easily engage each other in constructive and critical discourse. Examining the literature on phenomenology’s identity, I show how the question of phenomenology’s subject matter has been systematically neglected. It has been overshadowed by an unending concern with phenomenology’s methodological identity. However, an examination of recent contributions to this literature reveals that a concern with articulating phenomenology’s subject matter has gradually increased, although such articulations remain preliminary. In light of this, I delineate, define, and illustrate three layers of phenomenological research, which I term “existentials,” “modes,” and “prejudices.” While the delineation of these layers is drawn primarily from classical phenomenological texts, they are defined and illustrated through the use of more contemporary literature. Following the articulation of this subject matter, I briefly consider some of the debates—both foundational and applied—that can be facilitated by the adoption of this framework
Keywords Phenomenology  Phenomenological research  Subject matter  Existentials  Modes  Prejudices
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-016-1106-0
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References found in this work BETA

Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1962 - Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press.
Truth and Other Enigmas.Michael A. E. Dummett - 1978 - Harvard University Press.
Phenomenology of Perception.Aron Gurwitsch, M. Merleau-Ponty & Colin Smith - 1964 - Philosophical Review 73 (3):417.

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Citations of this work BETA

Phenomenological Psychopathology and Psychiatric Classification.Anthony Vincent Fernandez - 2019 - In Giovanni Stanghellini, Matthew Broome, Anthony Vincent Fernandez, Paolo Fusar-Poli, Andrea Raballo & René Rosfort (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Phenomenological Psychopathology. Oxford, UK: pp. 1016-1030.
Constitution Embodiment.Alexander Albert Jeuk - 2017 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 8 (1):131-158.

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