Husserlian Phenomenological Description and the Problem of Describing Intersubjectivity

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Although recent cognitive science and traditional phenomenology has placed great importance on first-person descriptions, exactly what this entails goes undefined. I will seek to answer what’s involved in phenomenological description, with reference to Husserl. I define phenomenological description according to its genus and differentia. I compare description in the natural sciences with description in phenomenology. I discuss how the basic particulars for Husserlian phenomenological description stem from the intentional relation — particularly the distinction between noesis and noema. I discuss the pivotal role of reflection in phenomenological description. I further argue that a phenomenological description is more than a statement which utilizes the ‘I-[verb]’ template. The final section analyses the difficulties inherent in describing intersubjectivity and argues these difficulties may have influenced Husserl’s early, descriptive account of this topic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-277
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Consciousness Studies
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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