Phenomenological Method: 5. Exploring the Constitution of Phenomena in Consciousness.



“”Constitution” is one of the key terms in Husserl’s phenomenology, particularly in its developed phase.  But as we have seen, its meaning has remained fluid. It became a basic concept for his transcendental idealism with its idea that the objects of our consciousness were the “achievements” of constituting act. For the present purpose I shall interpret the term in a less demanding sense and confine myself to the reflexive use of the verb according to which objects “constitute themselves” in our consciousness.  Such a conception does not involve an epistemological commitment. Thus constitutional exploration consists for us merely in determining the way in which a phenomenon establishes itself and takes shape in our consciousness. Tracing the stages of such a “crystallization” does not mean, however, a psychological, and especially not a factual, case study of what actually happens to concrete individuals. The purpose of such a study is the determination of the typical structure of a constitution in consciousness by means of an analysis of the essential sequence of its steps”. 

the phenomenological movement. a historical introduction by herbert spiegelberg, essentials of the method, page 706. martinus nijhoff publishers 1984, the hague/boston/lancaster. 

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