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Ambiguity of Phenomenological Method (Burch)

Ambiguity of Phenomenological Method (Burch)

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Published by phenomenologia
Ambiguity of Phenomenological Method (Burch)
Ambiguity of Phenomenological Method (Burch)

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Published by: phenomenologia on Apr 01, 2013
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08/09/2013

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Ambiguity
of
PhenomenologicalMethod?‘V
AReplytoJohnOsborne
Robert
Burch
University
ofAlberta
What
follows
mayproveto
be
a
discussion
at
cross-purposesand
so
in
the
endmoreofa
monologue
than
agenuine
contribution
to
communal
self-understanding.
Osborneinvites
usto
share
in
a
dialogue
on
“the
relation
between
research
practiceand
phenomenological
metatheory
(in
press,
p.
2),’
and
having
been
concernedwith
aspects
of
this
issue
myself(cf.
Burch,
1989,1990,
in
press),Tamhappy
to
join
in.
Yet
I
come
to
the
topicfrom
the
other
direction
to
Osborne,
that
is,
not
asa
prac
tioner
in
a
specific
domain
of
human
science
research
confrontedwith
therapeutic
exigencies,
fendingoffpositivistcritics,
and
lookingto
phe
nomenolo
for
“metatheoretical”
support
and
methodologicalguidance,
but
as
one
confirmed
in
the
broad
tradition
ofphilosophicaldiscourse
withits
own
inherited
concerns,rules
of
propriety,
and
pretensions
to
totality,
who
approaches
human
science
research
specifically
asa
topicofphilosophy.
Whether
this
difference
in
orientation
precludes
a
genuinecommon
ground
remains
tobe
seen.One
can
only
everproperly
speak
from
the
place
where
one
is
at,and
leave
others
to
do
likewise,
which
at
any
rate
is
a
precondition
of
genuine
dialogue.
“I
speak
according
tomy
bestlightsprincipallybefore
myself,”
Husserl
writes,but
in
that
man
ner
also
before
others
(1970,
p.
18).
Instead
of
addressing
Osborne’s
concernsdirectly
in
the
form
that
he
poses
them,
my
intention
is
to
discusssome
broadissues
regarding
the
place
of
phenomenoloy
in
relation
toempirical
science
and
philosophy
and
toexplore
at
a
general
level
some
essentialdimensions
ofthe
phe
nomenological
understanding
of
essence.
Inthe
process,
I
speak
to
Osbornesconcerns
after
afashion,
but
my
chief
purpose
is
to
provide
a
differentslantthan
he
upon
what
is
truly
at
stake,
situating
his
concernsina
broadercontext
and
so
giving
them
a
different
meaning.
Though
at
one
level
this
mayserve
to
dispelsome
ambiguity,
at
another
itmayreveal
that
ambiguity
is
endemic
to
the
topic.
The
Place
of
theQuestion
As
he
formulates
it,
Osborne’s
overarching
concern
is
“the
relation
be
tween
research
practiceand
phenomenological
metatheory
(p.
2).
Now,
noon e
committed
to
phenomenological
research
is
apt
to
doubt
theimportance
of
this
concern
in
spirit.
Phenomenologists
do
need
to
put
their
metatheoretical
house
in
asmuch
order
as
possible”
(p.2)
and
to
be
ever
vigilant
regarding
theconcrete
connectionbetween
theoretical
Phenomeno1o’
+
Pedago’
Volume
9
1991

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