oa Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology - Intentionality and narrativity in phenomenological psychological research : reflections on Husserl and Ricoeur



According to Husserlian scholars such as Mohanty (1989), description and interpretation coexist within Husserl's work and are envisioned as complementary rather than mutually exclusive approaches to inquiry. This paper argues that exploring the implications of this philosophical complementarity for psychological research would require distinguishing between both the multiple meanings of "interpretation" and the differing modes of interpretation within qualitative data. Husserl's model of passive and active intentionality and Ricoeur's theory of narrativity are examined in order to explore their relevance for research. It is argued that interview data can demonstrate both actively and passively intended dimensions, and that the psychological meaningfulness of this complexity points to the relevance of not only Husserl's static analysis but also his genetic analysis. Likewise, it is argued that Ricoeur's work on narrativity and narrative identity is invaluable in grasping ways in which narrative data is intrinsically self-interpretive, expresses self-identity, and is both situated within and responsive to the larger social horizon of the ineluctably relational interview context within which it is given.


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