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Friday, January 2, 2015

Phenomenology Kitten—Intentionality Cubed

Click here for the "Celebrity Commentary" Resource Center—(all posts available)  
Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Celebrity Commentary" (coming soon) 
This is a "small" (小) post—click here for an explanation of Round and Square post lengths.
***  *** 
On this date on Round and Square's History 
5 November 2012—Structure, History, and Culture: The Electoral College (c)
5 November 2011—Displays of Authenticity: Coffee Names
[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

Well, let's get started in earnest with a simple example. As Robert Sokolowski notes in Introduction to Phenomenology, "the example will give us an idea of the type of explanation that phenomenology provides." 

And straightforward it is—at least as straight and forward as a cube can be. Let's listen to Professor Sokolowski.

          Consider the way in which we perceive a material object, such as a cube. I
          see the cube from one angle, from one perspective. I cannot see the cube
          from all sides at once. It is essential to the experience of a cube that the 
          perception be partial, with only one part of the object being given at any 
          moment. However it is not the case that I only experience the sides that are
          visible from my present viewpoint. As I see those sides, I also intend, I 
          cointend, the sides that are hidden. I see more than what strikes the eye.
          The presently visible sides are surrounded by a halo of potentially visible
          but actually absent sides. These other sides are given, but given precisely
          as absent. They too are part of what I experience.
[b] Experience RF

Now think about that—really think about it. I experience not only the turkey giblets in gravy in my food bowl...but the bottoms and sides, as well. They are all part of what I experience.

You look at your 2002 Honda Civic in your driveway. You "experience" the whole car (or what's left of it), even though you do not see more than a portion of it. Your experience of the car is total, but what you actually perceive is partial.

And that, right there, is the heart of phenomenology. 

Unpacking it will take some time, but I (like you) am patient.

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

[c] Wonder RF
[1] Robert Sokolowski, Introduction to Phenomenology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 17. Italics mine.

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

[Originally posted on January 2, 2015]

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