Knowledge and Phenomonology

Although knowledge is something abstract and objective, it is also something personal:  knowledge is something which must be owned by people. 

So all knowledge will have a subjective as well as an objective pole.  So no matter how hard philosophers and scientists try, they cannot completely step outside of their human nature.

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2 Comments on “Knowledge and Phenomonology”

  1. Robert Says:

    Such a conclusion is usually used against classical philosophy. Some people will claim that the unavoidable subjective aspect of knowledge necessarily precludes the possibility of truly objective knowledge. Now, I of course think that’s silly. Perhaps the problem is rooted in the (suspect) modern assumption that a philosophy must be grounded first in an epistemological metaphysics.

    By the way, what exactly do you think of the above mentioned “phenomenology?” I had my first encounter with it last semester, and I can’t say I liked it too much. Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

    -Rob

  2. phamilton Says:

    Robert, thanks for the thoughtful reply. Yes, one of the more interesting books that I’ve read is Alisdair MacIntyre’s “First Principles, Final Ends, and Contemporary Philosophical Issues” in which he explains Aristotle’s and Thomas’s model of science. Before that, I was so caught up in the modern Cartesian epistemic bubble that I didn’t see any other alternative. Although MacIntyre’s account doesn’t answer all my questions or allay all my doubts, it was still very rewarding. Come to think of it, I may read it again soon just for kicks n’ giggles.

    Phenomenology. I am learning the subject from Fr. Sokolowski, who has a very Aristotelian interpretation of Husserl. However, from what I gather Sokolowski’s is a minority interpretation, and a lot of other phenomenologists think Husserl was an idealist. I guess your opinion of the discipline has a lot to do with how it’s being taught. Like philosophy, “phenomenology” is difficult to define.

    Because the phenomenology that I am learning is so Aristotelian, I like it very much. Sokolowski is one of those highly insightful and productive thinkers that deserves to be read centuries from now. He is of the opinion that phenomenology and philosophy are synonyms if both are conceived of correctly. I have no idea if that is correct or not, especially considering that it is very difficult to define either of them. Also, I think I have a little more sympathy for analytic philosophy than Sokolowski does, so I’m not quite as willing to equate the two. Nevertheless, the man is too insightful into all things philosophical for me to take his equation of the two too lightly.

    My opinion of phenomenology is, I guess, that I like phenomenology insofar as it is what Fr. Sokolowski does. 🙂


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