Towards a Post-Hermeneutic Phenomenology

Friday, July 18, 2014: 10:30 AM
Room: Booth 66
Oral Presentation
Lina HAUGE KATAN , University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Charlotte BAARTS , University of Copenhagen, Denmark
The kinds of attention that have less to do with intellectual analysis than with our senses, emotions and bodily responses to our immidiate experiences are generally recognized as important among field-researchers. Still when it comes to reporting there is an urge to turn the indistinctness of sensory and emotive experiences into identified and accountable registrations. Bodily and affective reactions to the surroundings are most often perceived as something to be interpretated in order to lay bare an underlaying and absolute meaning. Thus we tend to subject the multitudinousness of lived experiences to different kinds of selection and reduction implied by that production of knowledge aiming to render the world in clarity.

Nevertheless, the blurriness of emotive and physical reactions to the world can be said to be due not to their impreciseness but rather to their richness in nuance and complexity. Hence, they may be much precise vehicles of meaning not in spite of but on account of their indistinctness.

In this paper we ask what epistemological potentials might be revealed if we explore our lived experiences in their own right rather than try to explicate them and make them conclusive. Based on empirical research of our own, we turn our interest towards the possiblilities of understanding bodily reactions during the process of research as being informative in themselves and discuss possibilities for transposing them into scientific writings that likewise invites a reading not only with the intellect but also with the senses. We propose an approach to both the making and communication of knowledge, which could be called post-hermeneutic –a phenomenology not aiming at fixation of identified significance, but at a knowing that includes and even takes advantage of the fluctuating and manifold ways we experience the world when we move in it instead of stopping to make analysis.