Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology - Volume 9, Issue 1, 2009
Volumes & issues
Volume 9, Issue 1, 2009
Author Prevan MoodleySource: Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 9, pp 1 –3 (2009)More Less
Reflective Lifeworld Research is a suitable title for a text that argues for, and gives convincing philosophical credence to, a qualitative sensibility in the human sciences. The key concept is 'reflective'. This is a rightful scientific attitude, the implications of which become the main theme of an academic publication that finally articulates messages that have been superficially addressed in newer texts in qualitative research. In other introductory human science research texts (such as Murray, 2004; Terre Blanche, Durrheim, & Painter, 2006; Willig, 2008), adopting a reflective attitude or its more political variation, reflexivity, is recommended. However, other introductory texts appear to avoid a philosophically rigorous grappling with the reflective and / or reflexive attitude in research. Reflective Lifeworld Research takes on this challenge and succeeds in a manner that avoids activist or apologetic discourses, instead adhering to an empirical discourse. This becomes the main strength of Reflective Lifeworld Research, a well-grounded and sensible contribution to methodology in the human sciences.
A Book on Human Nature : Does the Author Do Justice to Either the Historical or the Human Dimensions of this Theme?, Ron Dultz : book reviewAuthor Larise Du PlessisSource: Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 9, pp 1 –10 (2009)More Less
Many psychologists, philosophers, anthropologists, evolutionary scientists and theologians have had difficulty providing a clear, complete and exhaustive operational definition for human nature. This is a slippery and ubiquitous term and many have attempted to formulate a coherent description of what this term represents. Many avoid an explicit definition; some feel human nature is a self-evident phenomenon requiring no operational definition. The term, or concept, is contentious and its protean faces a product of different worldviews including the Cartesian mind-body split; free will and determinism; nature and nurture; the objective or subjective self. Colloquially, human nature is a blanket description of the basic range of normal human behaviours actualised in our daily lives. Cognizant of this diversity, any attempt to address the concept of human nature in a scholarly manner is a commendable one. However, such an endeavour comes at a high price - the risk of sacrificing conceptual and theoretical clarity.
Source: Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 9, pp 1 –12 (2009)More Less
This South African study investigates the lived experiences of a group of isiZulu mothers of children diagnosed with multiple disabilities. Data collection from regular focus group discussions proceeded with the assistance of a translator skilled in working in isiZulu and English. The phenomenological approach employed revealed the mothers' philosophical acceptance of their child's disability. Issues of concern to the women that emerged include the effects of the child's disability on their lives, the treatment options for their children, and their perceptions of the causes of the disability. The women reflect on both traditional and Western treatment options and articulate the constraints they experience as caregivers, with limited child-care facilities preventing them from finding employment, difficulties in accessing social service grants exacerbating their position, and various levels of family and community support experienced. The study underlines the need for more adequate service provision for children with special needs and their families, and for intervention programmes to be informed by an understanding of the contexts and ways of making meaning of those whose needs they are intended to serve.
Author Surya Kanta MaharanaSource: Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 9, pp 1 –12 (2009)More Less
The philosophical investigation of consciousness has a long-standing history in both Indian and Western thought. The conceptual models and analyses that have emerged in one cultural framework may be profitably reviewed in the light of another. In this context, a study of the notion of consciousness in the transcendental phenomenology of Edmund Husserl is not only important as a focus on a remarkable achievement in the context of Western thought, but is also useful for an appreciation of the concern with this question in the Indian philosophical tradition, and especially in the tradition of Advaita Ved?nta of Ādi Śamkara. The starting point for this paper is the belief that phenomenology has a recognizably common face for both these traditions.
This paper investigates the possibility of a parallel notion of consciousness in the transcendental phenomenology of Husserl and the Advaita Ved?nta of Śamkara, with particular emphasis on Husserl's 'Transcendental I' and Śamkara's 'Witness Consciousness' (S?kshi Caitanya). In the process, it explores the phenomenological relevance of the concept of consciousness in Indian philosophy, with special reference to the concept of pure consciousness as one of the essential criteria for any sound theory of knowledge. It more importantly highlights the Advaitic understanding of pure consciousness as one of the major contributions to the field of comparative philosophy that forms a vantage point for cross-cultural comparison. While pointing to significant differences in their respective approaches to understanding the nature of consciousness, the exploration finally unveils the common thesis for both Śamkara and Husserl that 'pure consciousness' is essentially foundational, evidencing and absolute for any epistemic act.
Author Ulker OktemSource: Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 9, pp 1 –14 (2009)More Less
This paper examines the concept of evidence, with specific focus on the problem of evidence in Husserl's phenomenology. How this problem was dealt with and resolved by philosophers such as Plato, Descartes and Kant is compared and contrasted with Husserl's approach, and the implications of the solution offered by Husserl discussed. Finally, in light of the issues outlined, it is assessed whether or not Husserl can be said possibly to have been philosophically inclined towards notions such as idealism, empiricism, solipsism and scepticism.
Author Christopher PulteSource: Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 9, pp 1 –11 (2009)More Less
This paper speaks of morality in the broadest of terms, but in generalities derived from one of the most fundamental of phenomenological doctrines. It is proposed that a polarization exists which corresponds to the epistemological divide that can be found between idealism and empiricism. Our morality harks back to Platonism, the arrival of which immediately provoked a response which resulted in a competing paradigm, its polar opposite : the embryonic Aristotelian doctrine of what Merleau-Ponty termed "induction". Interpretations to this day waver between adherence to the material world and the ideal. What is maintained in this paper is that idealism and empiricism are both epistemologically inadequate. Given, however, that our morality is one of moral universals, the reader is asked to reflect on what induction must mean for it, and to consider the shadow that induction, being far from benign, must cast in a society which rests on a belief in moral absolutes.
While acknowledging that this may raise eyebrows, given Nietzsche's reputation, the author contends that Nietzsche (1886, 1887) was the first to break with this duality and to speak from a place which was on neither side of this metaphysical divide. While scholars often ignore that part of Nietzsche's philosophy which is affirmative, focusing instead on his "nihilism", it is argued that the evils which his philosophy is said to foster mostly exist in a style of thought which he explicitly rejects. Although Nietzsche was hostile to modern ideas, perceiving in them a threat to our spiritual health, and hoped to "translate man back into nature" (Nietzsche, 1886/1989, p. 161) - which those sympathetic towards liberal values will take issue with - it cannot but be agreed with Nietzsche that in modernity the moral landscape has changed. Morality has been rationalized in a way that the ancients never knew; mind has been introduced into what primordially was the domain of instinct (Nietzsche, 1888/1990, p. 43). While for Nietzsche himself, however, rationality was more a symptom, the contention of this paper is that it is the source of the change in the moral landscape of modernity.
Knowledge as a 'Body Run' : learning of writing as embodied experience in accordance with Merleau-Ponty's theory of the lived bodyAuthor Eva AlerbySource: Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 9, pp 1 –8 (2009)More Less
What significance does the body have in the process of teaching and learning? In what way can the thoughts of a contemporary junior-level teacher in this regard be connected to the theory of the lived body formulated by the French phenomenologist philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961), and vice versa? The aim of this paper is to illuminate, enable understanding and discuss the meaning of the body in the learning process, with specific focus on the learning of writing as embodied experience. In the process, the boundaries of learning are also explored. While understanding the significance both of learning as embodied experience and of the boundaries of learning is essential within the educational field, in this paper the discussion is limited to exploring how learning as embodied experience and the boundaries of learning can be viewed by taking Merleau-Ponty's notions as theoretical starting points. In an attempt to answer the aim and connect the paper's theoretical point of departure with a voice from a teacher, an interview with a junior-level teacher was conducted. The paper thus offers a theoretical contribution to the field of educational research, but one in which the theory is exemplified by, and connected to, a teacher's voice. Accordingly, the paper concludes by summarising the common understandings of learning held theoretically by Merleau-Ponty and made real in the activities of the contemporary junior-level teacher.
Author Linda FinlaySource: Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 9, pp 1 –17 (2009)More Less
This paper offers an account of how to engage one phenomenologically orientated version of relational research based on ideas from existential phenomenological philosophy as well as Gestalt theory, relational psychoanalysis, intersubjectivity theory and feminist methodology. Relational dynamics (both conscious and unconscious) between researcher and co-researcher are explored reflexively using illustrations from various phenomenological projects in which the author has been involved.
The relational approach to phenomenology described involves attending to four interlinked dimensions : open presence, embodied intersubjectivity, dialogic co-creation and entangled selves. The paper aims to show the importance of retaining an open, empathic, embodied presence to another's personhood while acknowledging the power of dialogue to bring to life new realities. Data is seen to emerge out of the researcher / co-researcher relationship and is mutually co-created in this encounter as each touches and impacts on the other. What we can learn and know about another arises within the intersubjective space between. In this zone of ambiguity and uncertainty, the unforeseen hovers and layered meanings invite discovery.
Author Christopher R. StonesSource: Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 9, pp 1 –3 (2009)More Less
Since the announcement two editorials ago that, as from 2010, the IPJP would be introducing an author fee for submissions accepted for publication, there have been several enquiries regarding the reasons for this as well as the process involved. Although this matter has been dealt with previously, and is now clearly advertised on the journal's website, it nevertheless merits some comment in the current editorial, given the significance of the introduction of an author fee for the IPJP.