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PHENOMENOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

Phenomenological anthropology refers to a ethnography an! ethnology conscio#sness$

ay of !oing

hich emphasi"es the st#!y of

The term %phenomenology% nee!s some

clarification &eca#se it is &antere! a&o#t a goo! !eal these !ays an! is fre'#ently #se! in the most general sort of e(perientially)&ase! metho!ology$ estern philosophical tra!ition the E*en ay to mean any ithin the

or! la&els a *ery &roa! +pea,ing

mo*ement an! not a precise school or #nitary metho!$

generally- a phenomenological st#!y is one that is gro#n!e! in the !irect e(perience of aspects of ones o n conscio#sness$ .#t in the more strict philosophical sense- phenomenology refers to any metho! for the st#!y of conscio#sness that /01 gro#n!s ,no le!ge a&o#t conscio#sness in int#ition as the prime so#rce of insight an! as the final ar&iter of tr#th a&o#t conscio#sness- an! /21 recogni"es the possi&ility of- an! see,s ,no le!ge a&o#t the essential str#ct#res of conscio#sness /+piegel&erg- 03425 6)71$ Most phenomenologists to!ay o#l! or,s of

trac, at least some of their i!eas an! metho!s to the

the greatest of all phenomenologists- E!m#n! H#sserl /0463) 03841ho rote s#ch &oo,s as Cartesian Me!itations- I!eas5

General Intro!#ction to P#re Phenomenology an! The Crisis of E#ropean +ciences an! Transcen!ental Phenomenology$ In these

or,s- H#sserl espo#se! a metho! for e(ploring an! int#iti*ely reali"ing the #ni*ersal str#ct#res of e(perience that re'#ire!

is that of Pa#l Ricoe#r /see Rasm#ssen03<0.!ropping ones c#lt#rally con!itione! *ie s of self an! conscio#sness /see +piegel&erg.03<01.03425 73)0761$ Phenomenological Anthropology In . has ith retrie*ing the meaning of religio#s te(ts$ Ricoe#r has effecti*ely arg#e! against the str#ct#ralist metho!s of Cla#!e Le*i)+tra#ss$ Le*i)+tra#ss claime! that te(ts can &e interprete! in!epen!ently from the act#al e(periences of the people ho tell the myths$ Ricoe#r co#ntere! &y saying that an acc#rate interpretation of a nati*e te(t re'#ires accessing the .oth estern phenomenology an! .no le!ge a&o#t conscio#sness.phenomenological anthropology recogni"es the fact that other non)E#roamerican c#lt#res ha*e pro!#ce! their o n phenomenologies an! techni'#es$ .Ih!e.a .#!!hist +atipatthana /%.o#n!ations of Min!f#lness%1 practice may &e consi!ere! a phenomenology #n!er the a&o*e !efinition$ .rench st#!ent of E!m#n! H#sserl9s metho!s$ Altho#gh not traine! as an anthropologist.the .Ricoe#r9s &een concerne! or. to %get into the nati*e9s hea!% an! #n!erstan! the nati*e is e(periencing$ In a!!ition.#!!hist me!itation systems a!*ocate !irect int#ition as the &est access to .phenomenological ith metho!s that may &e #tili"e! in hat anthropology is concerne! fiel! or.or e(ample.an! &oth recogni"e the e(istence of str#ct#res that are interprete! as essential to conscio#sness an! #ni*ersal to h#manity$ Hermene#tical Phenomenology One of the most infl#ential phenomenologies for ethnographic fiel! or.eeping ith H#sserl9s pro:ect.

the analysis m#st relate to !irect h#man e(perience in or!er to reconstr#ct the real meaning of te(ts as they e(ist an! operate in their nati*e c#lt#ral conte(ts$ Transpersonal Phenomenology A n#m&er of anthropologists ha*e &eg#n to reali"e that the e(periences associate! ith some religio#s te(ts an! rit#al practices are of an e(ceptional nat#re an! not easily &e accesse! &y ro#tine ethnographic fiel! metho!s /see La#ghlin03441$ %Transpersonalism% is a mo*ement in science to ar! the recognition of e(traor!inary e(periences as legitimate an! #sef#l !ata$ =hat ma.tr#e hermene#tics in*ol*es a !ialog#e &et een a te(t /e$g$.e(periences of li*ing people other ho are infl#ence! &y the te(t$ In or!s.e! in people participating in the te(t$ The meaning of the te(t is !e*elope! ithin the conscio#sness of li*ing people.fairy story.y implication.so that there is a mo*ement from an initial hearing of the te(t hich then may lea! Then to e(periences that ill#minate the meaning of the te(t$ later people may reflect concept#ally #pon &oth the te(t an! the memory of e(periences relate! to the te(t$ .es these e(periences e(traor!inary is that they in some sense go &eyon! the &o#n!aries of or!inary ego) conscio#sness$ Transpersonal e(periences incl#!e s#ch phenomena .the ethnographer m#st approach religio#s te(ts from an e(periential stan! point$ Ethnographers cannot merely apply form#laic.myth.%e(egetical% metho!s to a myth.!rama.oral history.etc$1 an! the e(periences e*o.an! hope to #n!erstan! it in the same rich !oes$ ay the nati*e Rather.!ream report.or other te(t.

Carol Le!erman /034454>6)4>71 has reporte! that !#ring her fiel! or.s of =illiam ?ames ?ames.ecstatic.no o#l! ha*e to e(perience angin herself in or!er =hen she finally #n!ertoo.insisting instea! that she to .*isions.e a h#rricane% insi!e her chest$ Thereafter.Le!erman ran across the concept of angin /%Inner =in!s%1.Le!erman as a&le to e*al#ate the Angin meaning of the % in!% metaphor from !irect e(perience$ cease! to &e merely a &elief an! as appreciate! as a metaphorical !escription of a real an! profo#n! e(perience$ =illiam ?ames9 Ra!ical Empiricism As anthropologists &ecome more intereste! in the f#ll range of h#man e(perience.an! me!itati*e.as o#t of &o!y e(periences.an! mystical e(periences$ To gi*e one e(ample of the application of transpersonal phenomenology to ethnographic fiel! or.possession states.no n for his *ie s on pragmatism$ ?ames also !e*elope! a *ery &roa! approach to the st#!y of e(periential reality.near !eath e(periences. the healing hat it means$ rit#al herself.is &est .the rele*ance of the &ecome increasingly important$ or.an empiricism m#st neither a!mit into its constr#ctions any element that is not !irectly e(perience!- .she e(perience! the angin %li..an approach ?ames /03<7522 @0302AB see also Taylor 033C1 calle! a %ra!ical empiricism5% To &e ra!ical. among Malay healers.#niti*e.a nati*e concept hich la&els an e(perience that +he mentions that her sometimes occ#rs !#ring healing rit#als$ informants !ecline! to !efine the concept for her.#t psychologist.a famo#s 03th cent#ry .

ing a&o#t the social !imensions of e(perience /see .in! of relation e(perience! m#st &e acco#nte! as %real% as anything else in the system$ ?ames as in effect riting a manifesto for phenomenological an! transpersonal anthropologists.social e(perience$ This nat#ral social attit#!e ith the Other in !irect !epen!s #pon my face)to)face enco#nter e(perience$ This face)to)face enco#nter re'#ires that the Other .an! re'#ires its o n !istinct approach in or!er to int#it the essential '#alities of the social relationship$ In or!er to phenomenologically st#!y this inters#&:ecti*e relationship ith the Other.nor e(cl#!e from them any element that is !irectly e(perience!$ .I m#st first s#spen! my #ncritical &elief in the %ta.en)for)grante!% aspects of the c#lt#rally con!itione!.for there is no scientific !iscipline &etter positione! to ascertain the f#ll range of h#man e(periences enco#ntere! among the +ocial Phenomenology The social phenomenology of Alfre! +ch#t" sho#l! also &e mentione!.or s#ch a philosophy.03771$ +ch#t" a!*ocate! orl!9s c#lt#res$ the st#!y of society from a special stance that he calle! the %phenomenology of inters#&:ecti*ity$% The o&:ect of scr#tiny is ones relationship to another person.erger an! L#c.rather than some non)h#man o&:ect in the orl!$ The other person /.for it has ha! in increasing infl#ence #pon anthropological thin.mann.no n as the capital)O %Other%1 is a *ery special o&:ect.the relations that connect e(periences m#st themsel*es &e e(perience! relations.an! any .

an! then e(plore the #ni*ersal str#ct#res of e(perience *ia an amalgamation of phenomenology an! the ne#rosciencesB that is*ia the application of a ne#rophenomenology$ More specifically- anthropology gi*es #s a sense of the f#ll range of h#man e(perienceshile at the same time it s#ggests some of the Phenomenological #ni*ersal similarities in those e(periences$ anthropology pro*i!es a .from the An! the ne#rosciences allo s #s an in!epen!ent so#rce of o&ser*ations a&o#t the str#ct#res of e(perience &y loo.incl#!ing the Other &eing conscio#s an! sym&olically e(pressing that conscio#sness to me$ These '#alities are a#tomatically present in any act#al social e(perience$ Ne#rophenomenology As e arg#e! in o#r &oo. at .as it insi!e$ ere.+ym&ol an! E(perience /La#ghlin..the h#man &rain$ Concl#sions Phenomenology has a history in philosophy !ating &ac.rain.ing !irectly at the architect#re of the organ of e(perience.the &est an! most !irect ro#te to #nco*ering the essential str#ct#res of conscio#sness a*aila&le to #s to!ay is to steep o#rsel*es in the cross) c#lt#ral e*i!ence pertaining to h#man e(perience.&e in the same space an! time as I am )) that o#r respecti*e streams of conscio#sness &e flo ing in synchrony$ It also re'#ires my recognition of the Other as the same as me in all essential respects.033>1.McMan#s an! !9A'#ili..in! of cross)c#lt#ral la&oratory for e(ploring these #ni*ersal str#ct#res.

or #nco*ering the #ni*ersal ne#ropsychological str#ct#res pro!#cing e(perience.an! has left a rich legacy of ritings.Cana!a =or! Co#nt F 06>> .Ph$D$ Professor of Anthropology Carleton Eni*ersity.#t the infl#ence of phenomenology on =hether it anthropology has &een felt only '#ite recently$ applies to reco*ering the meaning of te(ts.long e(cl#!e! from m#ch of scientific !isco#rsehas &een re)intro!#ce! into the !omains of ethnographic fiel! or.Otta a.ascertaining the effects of rit#al practices in pro!#cing altere! states of conscio#sness.especially those of E!m#n! H#sserl !#ring the early 2>th cent#ry$ . an! ethnological theory$ =e may fairly e(pect in the f#t#re for the role of phenomenological metho!s to !e*elop to the e(tent that anthropology &ecomes more foc#se! #pon meaning an! e(perience in any transpersonal or social enco#nter$ Charles D$ La#ghlin.!isco*ering the #ni*ersal str#ct#res #n!erlying social interactions.least to the %phenomenology of min!% of Georg Hegel /0<<>)04801 in the early 03th cent#ry.the impact of phenomenology on anthropology is as telling as it is increasing$ Pro&a&ly the most important reason for the c#rrent attracti*eness of phenomenology is that the iss#e of conscio#sness.

5 Col#m&ia Eni*ersity Press.03<0$ ?ames.Essays in Ra!ical Empiricism$ Cam&ri!ge..The Phenomenological Mo*ement5 A Historical .Da*i! M$ Mythic)+ym&olic Lang#age an! Philosophical Anthropology$ The Hag#e5 Martin#s Ni:hoff.03<0$ +piegel&erg.NY5 Do#&le!ay.rain+ym&ol an! E(perience5 To ar! a Ne#rophenomenology of H#man Conscio#sness$ Ne Yor.Don.MA5 Har*ar! Eni*ersity Press.an! Theory of Personality in the Conte(t of +hamanism$% +ocial +cience an! Me!icine 2</41 /034415<33)40>$ Rasm#ssen.Carol.Charles D$.0377$ Ih!e.%Transpersonal Anthropology5 +ome Metho!ological Iss#es$% =estern Cana!ian Anthropology 6 /034415 23)7>$ La#ghlin.erger.?ohn McMan#s an! E#gene G$ !9A'#ili.Hermene#tical Phenomenology5 The Philosophy of Pa#l Ricoe#r$ E*anston.%=ay ar! =in!s5 Malay Archetypes.Her&ert.i&liography .Charles D$.IL5 North estern Eni*ersity Press.033>$ Le!erman.mann.The +ocial Constr#ction of Reality$ Gar!en City..Peter L$ an! Thomas L#c.03<7 @0302A$ La#ghlin.=illiam.

Intro!#ction /8r! e!iton1$ The Hag#e5 Martin#s Ni:hoff0342$ Taylor.o#n!ations of Mo!ern +cience5 A Reassessment$ +a#salito.e!$.The Metaphysical .%Ra!ical Empiricism an! the Con!#ct of Research$% In =illis Harman.E#gene.CA5 Instit#te of Noetic +ciences.033C .