Phenomenological Method: 2. Investigating General Essences (Eidetic Intuiting)


“While no explicit and generally agreed formula can be offered, the following may be considered as implied in the eidetic method especially as practiced by Husserl himself, who insisted on the need of carrying the “small change” (Kleingeld) of specific examples. There is no adequate intuiting of essences without the antecedent or simultaneous intuiting of exemplifying particulars. Such particulars may be given either in perception or in imagination or in a combination of both. But while this is the necessary condition of genuine intuiting, it is certainly not its entire content. In order to apprehend a general essence we have to look at the particulars as examples, i.e., as instances which stand for the general essence. Thus, using the particular red of an individual rose as a point of departure we can see it as an instance of a certain shade of red in general. But we also see it as exemplifying redness and, finally, color as such. Thus the intuiting of particulars provides stepping stones, as it where, for the apprehension of the general essences”. 

the phenomenological movement. a historical introduction by herbert spiegelberg, essentials of the method, page 697. martinus nijhoff publishers 1984, the hague/boston/lancaster.

 

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