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Monday, January 5, 2015

Phenomenology Kitten—Dynamic, Not Static

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On this date on Round and Square's History 
8 November 2012—Structure, History, and Culture: The Electoral College (d)
8 November 2011—Editorials: Ethnic Studies
[a] Appearing to consciousness RF
Our attainment of enlightenment is something like the reflection of the
moon in water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water cleft apart...
The whole moon and the whole sky find room enough in a single dewdrop...
                             —Dōgen, Conversations

So now that we have thought about the philosophical implications of presence and absence, let's realize that all human experience is dynamic. It moves. It changes. Even looking at a cube (or my food dish) is never a static operation. Let's continue with Professor Robert Sokolowski's explanation of that (seemingly) simple cube.

Let us return to the experience of the cube. At a given moment, only certain sides of the cube are presented to me, and the others are absent. 

[b] Dynamic RF
But I know that I can either walk around the cube or turn the cube around and the absent sides will come into view, while the present sides go out of view. My perception is dynamic, not static; even if I just look at one side of the cube, the saccadic motion of my eyes introduces a kind of searching mobility that I am not even aware of. 

As I turn the cube or walk around it, the potentially perceived becomes the actually perceived, and the actually perceived slips into absence; it becomes that which has been seen, that which is again only potentially seen...the empty intentions become filled and the filled become empty. [1]

Whoa! Hold it right there, perfesser. You mean to say that my experience is moving, turning, twisting, and becoming? [This is a Phenomenology Kitten Rhetorical Question, hereafter PKRQ]. Well, yup, it is, and in several ways. We see the world, and then think about that seen world...even when we can't see it.

The implications for history, anthropology, sociology, economics, and everything else are, well, utterly phenomenal. 

And that is why they call me "Phenomenology Kitten" (all is wonder)...

[c] Perception RF
[1] Robert Sokolowski, Introduction to Phenomenology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 18. Italics mine.

Sokolowski, Robert. Introduction to Phenomenology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

[Originally posted on January 5, 2015]

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