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Make Applied Phenomenology What it Needs to Be: An Interdisciplinary Research Program

Burch, Matthew (2021) 'Make Applied Phenomenology What it Needs to Be: An Interdisciplinary Research Program.' Continental Philosophy Review, 54 (2). pp. 275-293. ISSN 1387-2842

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Once a marginal affair, applied phenomenology is now a vast and vibrant movement. With great success, however, comes great criticism, and critics have been harsh, accusing applied phenomenology’s practitioners of everything from spewing nonsense to assailing down-to-earth researchers with gratuitous jargon. In this article, I reconstruct the most damning criticisms as a dilemma: Either applied phenomenology merely describes experience, in which case it offers nothing distinctive, or it involves the kind of analysis characteristic of classical phenomenology, in which case it’s only of interest to a small number of philosophers; either way, we should explore the experiential dimension by other means. Notwithstanding the enormous body of research in applied phenomenology, few authors have tried to explain what makes it an independent intellectual enterprise distinct from pure phenomenology, and none has defused this dilemma. Here I try my hand at both. After considering eight major approaches to applied phenomenology that fail to defuse the dilemma, I propose an approach that, I argue, does the job, one that understands applied phenomenology as a research program that brings the phenomenological method and the resources of at least one other discipline to bear on problems beyond the scope of any monodisciplinary approach.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Phenomenology; Applied phenomenology; Phenomenological method; Interdisciplinarity; Qualitative research
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities > Philosophy and Art History, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 20 May 2021 09:57
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:22

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