Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology]]> vol. 9 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Editorial</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Empirical phenomenology: A qualitative research approach (The Cologne Seminars)</b>]]> This paper introduces the philosophical foundation and practical application of empirical phenomenology in social research. The approach of empirical phenomenology builds upon the phenomenology of the philosophers Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger and the sociologist Alfred Schütz, but considers how their more philosophical and theoretical insights can be used in empirical research. It aims at being practically useful for anyone doing qualitative studies and concerned about safeguarding the perspective of those studied. The main idea of empirical phenomenology is that scientific explanation must be grounded in the first-order construction of the actors; that is, in their own meanings. These constructions are then related to the second-order constructions of the scientist. In this paper, empirical phenomenology is considered in the light of phenomenological philosophy. The paper includes an explication of the approach, which is summarized in seven steps through which the researcher is guided, and considers its implications for qualitative methods such as interviewing and participant observation. <![CDATA[<b>Cloaked in the light: Language, consciousness, and the problem of description</b>]]> This paper deals with the implications of the limitations of language for phenomenological description. For corroboration, it relies on a section in Nietzsche's The Gay Science in which he gives his most prolonged explanation of what he calls "the essence " of his understanding of "phenomenalism and perspectivism" (Nietzsche, 1882/1974, p. 299). The author contends that Nietzsche saw better into this problem than any other major theorist before or since, and that his understanding goes to the heart of things phenomenological. In support of this claim, examples are offered from two philosophers the author regards as most representative of phenomenology, Merleau-Ponty and Heidegger, of what seems to be evidence that neither saw into the problem as well as Nietzsche - Merleau-Ponty, in fact, seeming to have missed it almost altogether, and Heidegger seeing in it a spectre he was anxious to put to rest! Given that language provides us with a special kind of sightedness, and given that this seeing through language is fundamentally different from perception, how can one avoid the conclusion that, in language, phenomena are transformed? This is the central question confronted in this paper. It is argued that description is an act of creation and that, as such, its products should never be mistaken for that from out of which they are created. The mind's eye and the eye itself are separate organs, and to imagine that we see the same way in language as we do in sensory perception is to repeat the errors of rationalism. The world spoken is a projection, a facade obscuring the true reality of the phenomena projected. Thus, even though directing the light of description on things is undeniably a way of revealing them, it also has a way of concealing them. <![CDATA[<b>A hermeneutic phenomenological approach to understanding stress-coping as an existential phenomenon lived by healthy adolescents</b>]]> Based mainly on research conducted as part of a doctoral thesis (Guimond-Plourde, 2004), this paper introduces an epistemological and methodological framework based on the foundations and characteristics of a qualitative/interpretative approach rooted in hermeneutic phenomenology as conducive to disclosing the meaning that healthy adolescents, aged 15 to 17, attribute to the stress they experience in school and to their coping behaviour. Moving from the empirical to the phenomenal makes it possible to evoke a return to dimensions of meaning which have been set aside or forgotten in the lived experience of stress-coping. By thus bringing stress-coping into focus in a new way, it enables us to glimpse the phenomenon anew, with the prospect of revealing what we haven't yet appreciated. A dual philosophical approach is outlined: a phenomenological perspective apprehends stress-coping as an existential phenomenon, while the hermeneutic focus is on interpreting the links between lived experience and meaning. The kind of knowledge generated by means of this approach offers a new way of understanding that focuses on the unique and personal nature of healthy adolescents' daily life at school and, as such, provides educators with a sensitive account of adolescents' experiences of stress in the school context. <![CDATA[<b>Phenomenologically researching the lecturer-student teacher relationship: Some challenges encountered</b>]]> The teacher-student relationship has long been of primary concern to educators and the focus of much educational research. While various theoretical understandings of this relationship exist, ontological understandings of the lived experiences of this relationship are not so prevalent, and there is thus a call for phenomenological studies aimed at uncovering the essential and ontological meanings of this taken for granted phenomenon. This paper reports on such a project and, in particular, some of the challenges encountered in the process of phenomenologically researching the relationship which arises in the context of teacher education between the lecturer and the student teacher. The challenges of phenomenological research are both numerous and complex. These challenges relate to the intensity of the lived experience of the research itself, the meditative attunement of the researcher to the focal phenomenon, and the process of walking in a research process that is mindful of one's own historicity (Gadamer, 1960/1995). While the primary focus of this paper is on the challenges of researching the lecturer-student teacher relationship in a phenomenological way, it nevertheless reflects the unique capacity of a phenomenological approach to respect the centrality and humanity of relationship and to open understanding that affirms this. <![CDATA[<b>Differentials of light of consciousness: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the experience of Vihangam Yogis</b>]]> The Yogic literatures are replete with examples of several unique mystical experiences in deeper states of meditation. These experiences have nevertheless remained largely untouched by the scientific community, possibly because of the extreme inexplicability of such states and the lack of sophistication in evaluating them. More amenable to scientific research, however, would seem to be the simpler states of awareness in meditation such as that of inner light perception. While a few studies have attempted to explore this state by objective means, the subjective experience of this state remains largely unexplored. The present study originates from an interesting sub-theme identified in an earlier study focused on interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) of the experience of inner light perception among Vihangam Yogis. The original study found that the Yogis were very confident in differentiating their experience of inner light perception from other similar experiences. It was thus decided to use IPA to explore the clarity of the differences perceived by the Vihangam Yogis between these experiences. The present study reveals that the meditators could clearly differentiate the state colloquially termed "inner light perception" from (a) external light perception, (b) imagination and (c) dreams. The meditators gave detailed descriptions of their perception of the differences between these experiences, which suggests that the subjective state of inner light perception could be quite different from that of those experiences which the authors have termed differentials of inner light perception. The conclusion reached is that, in addition to further empirical study by means of the traditional modalities and measures, vigorous qualitative study of the subjective dimensions of the state of inner light perception is warranted, with this study indicating that IPA is especially effective in the latter regard. <![CDATA[<b>Ten tips for a great marriage according to Friedrich Nietzsche</b>]]> Friendship is the highest form of love, according to the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, because great friends inspire each other and can even push each other towards the ideal of the Übermensch. While he was sceptical that many people would be strong enough for this kind of higher relationship, Nietzsche saw friendship as essential to a good marriage. Sex, in contrast, creates complications, because a relationship based on romantic feelings is unlikely to endure a lifetime. Furthermore, the ontological differences between men and women tend to turn love into a war. In order to overcome the power games in the arena of love, Nietzsche thus challenges lovers to be great friends. Drawing on Nietzsche's plethora of aphorisms on friendship, marriage, sex and power relationships, this paper outlines how Nietzsche thought the institution of and approach to marriage could be reinvigorated in ways conducive to more successful relationships and greater human achievements. While some of Nietzsche's ideas about marriage at first appear to be outrageous, much of what Nietzsche recommends is as relevant and challenging today as it was in his own time. Indeed, Nietzsche himself prophesied that the world would not be ready for his ideas until "sometime around the year 2000" (Fuss & Shapiro, 1971, p. 91). <![CDATA[<b>Experiencing the marital bed</b>]]> This paper examines the marital bed through existential themes of spatial, temporal, corporeal and relational experience. It is a collaborative effort in that it relates anecdotes contributed by twelve people who each described - in writing, in interviews and in conversation - very personal moments of life in the "marital bed". Through other eyes, one sees that what seemed unique has echoes of a shared experience. The everyday noises and movements, the negotiations, even the sorrows of that particular place, are so familiar that, in recognising them as true to one's own experience, one wonders, "Is it like this for others too?" What is presented here is the culmination of researching a phenomenon by trying to capture it in writing and rewriting, in order to give form to the truth in an experience, while knowing that, by writing it, the real truth becomes limited. Phenomenological writing becomes a conversation which is at once both intimate and universal. The marital tales speak to a specific journey, but, as when one recounts details of any special trip - say Paris, for example - the listeners are drawn inward to their own experience. Personal remembrance enmeshes with public exposure so that the collective sighs, "Ah yes, Paris. " And therefore we know some small fragment of an abandoned bed as truly as we know the family bed. <![CDATA[<b>Thinking, relating and choosing: Resolving the issue of faith, ethics and the existential responsibility of the individual</b>]]> Which is worse: Doing evil or being evil? If we are free to define ourselves through our choices, as existentialism posits, then the latter is worse. This paper attempts to resolve the issue of the difference between religious (group) ethics and the ethics of a person of faith that embraces individuals with an existential understanding. In the existential view, the individual (whether the self or the other) is the primary concern, and so the issue of personal relational morality supersedes religious narratives, social morality and popular ethics (White, 2002). If we think and choose, there is the possibility that we may occasionally make a mistake and do evil. However, if we do not think about our choices, and if the conventions we hold happen to be flawed in some way, then we become defined by a continual cycle of mistakes. Existentialism teaches that we become who we are in the process of making choices; therefore the difference between doing evil and being evil can be found in the small but important flow of thinking, relating and choosing. <![CDATA[<b>On being a juror: A phenomenological self-study</b>]]> Phenomenological inquiry offers a vehicle for transcending conventional disciplinary boundaries and investigative settings. Van Manen's protocol writing offers a hermeneutic tool for human scientific phenomenological research that is ideal for the empirical realm of everyday lived experience. Underlying this approach is the tenet that interpretative phenomenological research and theorizing cannot be separated from the textual practice of writing. The entirety of this paper is a protocol, in the form of a phenomenological self-study. It describes one experience in an unfamiliar environment as a criminal trial juror. It represents data capture that can stand alone for purposes of independent interpretation. Since qualitative research in the venue described is limited by protective judicial restrictions, this phenomenological protocol captures unique data in an otherwise inaccessible setting. It suggests that protocol writing offers potential as a research tool in a myriad situations where conventional data collection techniques are impractical or unavailable.