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Mike Ginn - Carmel, California

Mike Ginn - Carmel, California

Mike Ginn's Question to Ken Wilber

I am a first year doctoral student (still feeling my way around!) in a program that encourages phenomenological dissertations. I am currently studying epistemology, the differences between ontological and epistemological approaches to research, and trying to understand the different flavors of “phenomenology” that various faculty practice and teach. I am still somewhat bewildered by it all, and so this reading of and discussion about chapter one (such as that related to figure 1.3 on page 52) is really great and very timely.


A year from now I may have some expertise to contribute in these areas, but for now I’ll simply present two of the approaches to phenomenology that are being “offered.” 


For what it is worth, this is me trying to make sense of a) how a few of the eight major methodologies are (or can be) related in the context of their teaching and practice in a university, b) how a researcher (for example, me!) might expand into the promise of Integral Methodological Pluralism from more partial epistemological habits, and c) the possible impact to phenomenological research given the relatedness of perspectives and perception as discussed in this chapter (and here as well).


Here are two statements, each about an approach to



1) Phenomenography is the study of the variation in the ways people perceive, understand, and make meaning. It attempts to discover the elements that contribute to these variations, and to uncover patterns and relationships among these elements.


2) This seminar on interpretive phenomenology will introduce the domains of phenomenology and hermeneutics through experientially grounded activities that display the foundations and orientation of interpretive ways of knowing. I’ll offer my own experience of doing this type of research while a member of an orchestra – I became interested in my experience of playing with them and as we developed a we-relationship among us. I’ll also describe how the concept of a “lifeworld” provided a framework for me to explicate symphonic life in a richer and more meaningful way.


The questions I have now (appreciating that it will be helpful to have more to go on than the above statements): Are these approaches two flavors of phenomenology, or are they structuralist and hermeneutic approaches that have chosen to study human experience? Or are they paired methodologies, a structuralist-phenomenology and a hermeneutic-phenomenology?


What does one bring to the other, if anything? How does one get from either (or both) to perspectives, to Integral Perspectivism?



I don't have the quote at hand (I am traveling)...

Paul Ricour provided a correction to Husseurl's phenomenology (he was placing to much emphasis on zone 1, a quadrant absolutism -- zone absolutism, actually) saying that you couldn't really have a phenomenology without also having at the same time a hermeneutic.

This position didn't destroy phenomenology, only Husserl's indealistic conception of one. But even this correction allowed that phenomenology was in some way prior to meaning making. But what I see in IMP is that all eight zones are in a very real way all abstractions. Which brings us to a discussion of what is there before our (human?) abstracting begins, and what possibility is provided by a development of consciousness (starting to get into zone 2 here) that is enough to allow for seeing all eight zones as abstractions.



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