Alas, there are no absolute certainties and there are no definitive resolutions of fundamental ‘crises’.
‘Phenomenology and Sociology’ by Thomas Luckmann in Maurice
Natanson, Phenomenology and the Social Sciences, vol. I1
The means selected become intermediate goals.
Mary F. Rogers, Sociology, Ethnomethodology, and Experience2
Phenomenology and hermeneutics: the modern
passage to epistemology
It always appears very fruitful, scientifically, to consider arguments in relation,
rather than in opposition. Such a
do, no one else is so
capable of it or so ready for it. He could .
It’s a free country. But it will take a change of
consciousness. So phenomenology becomes politics. 15
When reading Cavell – on
anything and also on film – I come away with the strong sense
Epistemology should be the axe that breaks the ice of a traditionalism that covers and obstructs scientific enlightenment. This book explores the arguments between critical theory and epistemology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Focusing on the first and second generations of critical theorists and Luhmann's systems theory, it examines how each approaches epistemology. The book offers a critique of the Kantian base of critical theory's epistemology in conjunction with the latter's endeavour to define political potential through the social function of science. The concept of dialectics is explored as the negation of the irrational and, furthermore, as the open field of epistemological conflict between rationality and irrationality. The book traces the course of arguments that begin with Dilthey's philosophy of a rigorous science, develop with Husserl's phenomenology, Simmel's and Weber's interest in the scientific element within the social concerns of scientific advance. In structuralism, the fear of dialogue prevails. The book discusses the epistemological thought of Pierre Bourdieu and Gilles Deleuze in terms of their persistence in constructing an epistemological understanding of social practice free from the burdens of dialectics, reason and rationality. It also enquires into issues of normativity and modernity within a comparative perspective on modernism, postmodernism and critical theory. Whether in relation to communication deriving from the threefold schema of utterance- information- understanding or in relation to self- reflexivity, systems theory fails to define the bearer or the actor of the previous structural processes. Critical realism attempted to ground dialectics in realism.
This book sketches the history, and outlines the character, of ethnomethodology, a distinctive approach to the study of the social world that emerged in U.S. sociology in the 1950s and 1960s.It examines one of its main sources, the phenomenology of Alfred Schutz, and its similarities to and differences from the work of Goffman. In addition, there is an assessment of its relationship to sociology and other disciplines, and its central principles are interrogated in detail. Attention is also given to its influence on social research methodology.
This book challenges the assumptions that reporters and their audiences alike have about the way the trade operates and how it sees the world. It unpacks the taken-for-granted aspects of the lives of war correspondents, exposing the principles of interaction and valorisation that usually go unacknowledged. Is journalistic authority really only about doing the job well? Do the ethics of war reporting derive simply from the ‘stuff’ of journalism? The book asks why it is that the authoritative reporter increasingly needs to appear authentic, and that success depends not only on getting things right but being the right sort of journalist. It combines the critical sociology of Pierre Bourdieu and interviews with war correspondents and others with an active stake in the field to construct a political phenomenology of war reporting—the power relations and unspoken ‘rules of the game’ underpinning the representation of conflict and suffering by the media.
In two parts, the book examines, first, the attempts of three thinkers of the first half of the twentieth century to reconcile, in different socio-cultural contexts, the legacy of idealist philosophy with the claims of empirical social science, and, secondly, the trajectory of Bourdieu’s career in France from philosophy student to sociological researcher to political activist. It traces a progression from thought to action, but an emphasis on action informed by thought. It poses the question whether Bourdieu’s attempted integration of intellectualism and empiricism correlated with his particular socio-historical situation or whether it offers a global paradigm for advancing inter-cultural understanding. The book is of interest in confronting the question whether socio-political organization is best understood by social scientists or by participants in society, by experts or by the populace. It will stimulate general consideration of the relevance of a sociological perspective in everyday life and how much that perspective should be dependent on inherited concepts. Part I analyses the work of Alfred Schutz, Aron Gurwitsch and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Part II that of Pierre Bourdieu. The book is methodologically meticulous in situating these works socio-historically. It provides an introduction to some ideas in social philosophy and shows how these ideas became instrumental in generating a theory of practice. The book is aimed at post-graduate students and staff in all disciplines in the Humanities, and Human and Social sciences, but, more generally, it should interest all academics concerned about the contemporary social function of intellectuals.
between the subject and its sense of reality of the world
it inhabits in the context of the theory of consciousness and existential
phenomenology. I am speciﬁcally interested here in the role the discussion
of hallucination plays in the development and direction of such theory
as represented by Sartre’s early work on the imagination, especially his
The Psychology of Imagination (published in 1940) and Merleau-Ponty’s
response to that in his Phenomenology of Perception (published in 1945).
I shall look speciﬁcally at how their accounts of hallucination – which I
by the phenomenologist Alfred Schütz. His view erects
non-biological foundations for human existence and, thereby, challenges
the Burtonian biological account. It provides us also with conceptual
tools which can be employed to give the problem-solving workshop a
In order to understand the philosophical context of
phenomenology a short study of its general features is
In search of what we’re thinking when we’re driving
not necessarily for things
entirely new and/or unheard of, but rather the pleasure of experiencing in the
flesh, and with the eyes, things known previously by description and in the imagination. As already observed, such mental preparation may be seen as being against
the spirit of phenomenology which, in its earliest incarnations at least, insisted
upon an ‘unprejudiced’ intuition of that which presents itself to consciousness.15
For other philosophers such as Ernst Bloch, however, all anticipatory consciousness should be embraced for its utopian potential (both
The significance of Sartre
The influence of Being and Nothingness, Anti-Semite and Jew and
Black Orpheus is perceptible in the work of Fanon, and the ethical
dimension of existential phenomenology is fundamental to his anticolonial project. In Existentialism Is a Humanism, Sartre writes: ‘my
intimate discovery of myself is at the same time the revelation of the
other as a freedom that confronts my own and that cannot think or
will without doing so either for or against me. We are thus immediately
thrust into a world that we may call