The phenomenon (Greek φαινόμενον, from φαίνεσθαι – to be, to be seen, also – to seem) is a phenomenon, an object given in sensory contemplation.

In ancient philosophy, the term occurs in different authors to denote the subject of experimental knowledge. In schools that recognized the criterion of the truth of the senses, the phenomenon was considered as the true object of knowledge. The motto of empirical knowledge was the phrase “follow the phenomena”, and the phrase “save phenomena” – a popular description of the discrepancy between theory and empirical observation (for example, in astronomy). For Plato and Platonists, the phenomenal (visible) world of becoming is only a reflection of the noumenal (conceivable) world of ideas or being, which entails a negative interpretation of the value of the phenomenon. At the same time, the phenomenon is precisely an idea, hence the meaning of not only “appearance“, but also a positive “manifestation”, the openness of being.

In the philosophy of modern times (especially in Berkeley and Hume), as well as in German classical philosophy, the phenomenon ceases to be a reliable reflection of the idea (being, absolute). Reflection on the problems of cognition leads to the appearance along with the “phenomenon” of other related terms expressing a different degree of certainty, the manifestation of being: “appearance” or “appearance” (“Schein”) – as an intermediate between “illusion” and “truth” (for the first time in the “New Organon” of Lambert, 1764), the phenomenon (Erscheinung), “probability” (Wahrscheinlichkeit). In Kant, the phenomenon is any object constituted by the transcendental Self (Critique of Pure Reason, A 240).

The concept of the phenomenon plays an important role in Brentano: the knowledge of man (the task of psychology) must be obtained from the observation of the psychic life, and what becomes available as a result of such observation is a “phenomenon” – in a broad sense, according to Brentano, that can be the object of scientific consideration. In this sense, it becomes possible to talk about “internal”, mental, and “external”, physical, phenomena. The specificity of psychic phenomena is determined by the fact that they have an “inner intentional existence“.

The concept of the phenomenon becomes the key in Husserl’s phenomenology. Turning to the ancient tradition, Husserl identifies the natural-scientific interpretation of the phenomenon, entrenched in the philosophy of modern times (Galileo, F. Bacon) – a thing taken as it directly appears in the sensory experience, along with its qualities, relationships and relationships, and the manifestation things in sensory contemplation are contrasted with how they are “in themselves”: sensible things are “only phenomena” (blosse Erscheinungen) – in the sense that with their help it makes itself felt, “real” nature “announces” itself . Calling his philosophy “phenomenology”, “the science of pure phenomena,” Husserl extends the traditional notion of the phenomenon, which now denotes not only certain aspects of the thing that are given to us in perception, but also characterizes “the unity permeating the change of contemplation,” that is, “pure” content, “unity” of consciousness, which can be studied beyond their possible connection with the real physical world.

However, the methodical procedure that Husserl was supposed to make available to this phenomena-phenomenological reduction-repeatedly challenged Husserl’s colleagues in the phenomenological movement (G.X. Lipps, A.Pfender). There were suggestions of the possibility of addressing phenomena as specific “realities” (philosophical, religious, ethical, aesthetic). If for Husserl the phenomenon is that “shows itself” in an obvious and authentic way, then Heidegger, referring in particular to the Aristotelian interpretation of this concept, tries to show that the phenomenon does not mean anything “substantial”, but refers only to the “method” , how something becomes available to us (hence the thesis that phenomenology should not necessarily be connected with the transcendental consciousness). Heidegger also argues that the “way of being” of a phenomenon must be inherent in both “showing oneself on oneself” and “hiding oneself”.

Rate your experience with this philosophy study!

Discuss this Study