Hi, there. =D If anybody bothers to read this, apologies for the length. God knows I won’t usually have the time to be so self indulgent. =D
How would the thing describe itself if it had the ability to speak?
I really love this, since I do not understand “language” as the representation of experienced phenomenon in signifying words or images or in sounds or symbols, but rather, I experience the phenomena as such as signifiers, with the only true “signified” being the potential significances of which all signifiers are themselves an expression.
Accurate description is not a phenomenological end, however, but a means by which the phenomenologist locates the phenomenon’s deeper, more generalizable patterns, structures, and meanings.” (Emphasis mine.)
Meaning here is especially meaningful for me, =) as I feel that reductionistic science, in taking its own verbal concepts literally, its own theoretical models and representations of reality as reality, has no ability to truly understand natural phenomena and processes as language(ing). If it does presume to understand this language (as in referrals to “genetic texts” and “cellular communications”), it is only as an autonomous sign system devoid of any semantic dimension, which is to say absent of any Meaning (and I believe there are ways of understanding meaning that are not reducible to mere “artifacts” of the cognitive occasion/subject).
Delicate empiricism, the effort to understand a thing’s meaning through prolonged empathetic looking and seeing grounded in direct experience.
“Empathetic looking.” How different this is from the dissociated, objectifying, monological examination with which we are wont to approach nearly everything and everyone. (I say “examination” because I dare not use so intimate a word as “gaze” in association with the ontologically alienated and alienating approach of reductionistic science).
Natural objects…should be sought and investigated as they are and not to suit observors, but respectfully as if they were divine beings.
At the time of this posting, the above quote is my favorite passage thus far, since it speaks with such poetic accuracy to the I-Thou relationality that reveals the wholly other (that which we take as a mere object) as the presencing of the Holy Other.
One instance is often worth a thousand, bearing all within itself.” Goethe
How difficult it is . . . to refrain from replacing the thing with its sign, to keep the object alive before us instead of killing it with the word.
As one learns to see more clearly, he or she also learns to see more deeply . One becomes more “at home” with the phenomenon, understanding it with greater empathy, concern, and respect.
There may be a difference…between seeing and seeing… The eyes of the spirit have to work in perpetual living connexion with those of the body, for one otherwise risks seeing yet seeing past a thing.
Goethe believed that the powers of human perception and understanding cannot penetrate beyond the ur-phenomenon. It is “an ultimate which can not itself be explained, which is in fact not in need of explanation, but from which all that we observe can be made intelligible.
The highest is to understand that all fact is really theory. The blue of the sky reveals to us the basic law of color. Search nothing beyond the phenomena, they themselves are the theory.
Person and worldall point toward an instantaneous, living dialectic that joins the parts in a dynamic, interpenetrating whole. This relationship…is a “a creative conservation between within and without…for what is within and what is without are…merely poles ["regionings"] of one and the same *thing*.
‘To understand,’ suggests Bortoft, ‘is to see the way things belong together and to see why they are together as they are.’
What can I say? Bortoft is a sexy beast for saying (elsewhere, though I imagine this quote will show up later in the reading), “A part is a place for the presencing of the whole.”
Goethe’s method teaches a mode of interaction between people and the environment that involves, reciprocity, wonderment and gratitude.
More I-Thou awesomesauce! Woot!
I esteem the universe all the more since I have known it is like a watch. It is surprising that nature, admirable as it is, is based on such simple things.
By this I can only conclude that our hapless Countess was smitten with de Fontenelle and was hoping to get herself laid.
Yet it would be a great error to imagine that the Romantics, particularly Goethe, opposed Science. The problem was not with science as such but with the specific type of science then [and largely now, especially as relates to medicine] practiced. The task therefore, was one of transformation [or what my religious-hearted self might rather experience as "redemption"], not rejection.
I see “science” (that is, reductionistic science, or scientism), as bearing within it a profound integrity against which it has been artificially and tragically turned as a sort of intimate alienation. As such, my Christian sensibility behooves me to regard it as a “lost sheep” which must be reclaimed and redeemed (self-transparently re-turned) to the (en/un)Fold(ing), or to the wholeness to which it belongs and from which it cannot ultimately depart. To this end, I propose phenomenological science not simply as an alternative method of qualitative scientific research of particular or exclusive relevance to the human sciences, but as the basis of any truly fundamental science.
Be still, my heart! =D