January 22, 2011


A note on my use of the term 'phenomenology', in the title, and also throughout this blog. What I mean by doing phenomenology is looking at the forms of unreality, describing exemplars, showing their relationships with each other and their connection with the theory underlying this blog (what I sometimes refer to as the substance layer). Thus what I'm doing is in part applicative (applying concepts to instances of unreality), in part corrective (delineating the correct use of such concepts by considering border cases, false applications vs. correct applications and so on), and also in part generative (exploring constellations where concepts have to be formed in the first place).

There's a notable difference here to a much more strict, and differently defined, sense of the term in the 20th century philosophical movement, originating in the work of Husserl, which is itself called Phenomenology. The term has been used before, though, in the broader sense I have in mind here, most prominently in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit; and it's also been used so recently, even if influenced and informed by the ideas of the Phenomenologists. In line with a convention you'll occasionally see in the philosophical literature, I shall use 'phenomenology' in this broad sense, but spell it with a capital 'P' (i.e. 'Phenomenlogy') in the few cases I intend to refer to the movement of the same name, or when I want to employ the strict methodological sense attached to it by that movement.

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