“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Friday, September 23, 2022

I Just Sent this Note to My 101 Students and You Should Read It too

 Hi! Everyone did much better on this quiz than the first one: good progress!

But not enough of you defined phenomenology as "the how is the what." 

Phenomenology began as a philosophical movement that decided to "bracket" our assumptions about things and just look at the data. The Greek for this bracketing is epoche and that's what they called it ("ay-pogh-air"). 


Data is how something is manifesting. Data tells you about what is manifesting. 

The how is the what. 

The phenomenology of the way the discipline of psychology deploys the word "phenomenology" is "subjective experience," because psychology has a strong vein of scientism running through it, unfortunately. It's interesting that the closer science gets to human beings the more scientistic (aka religious) it becomes. Theoretical physicists don't talk like that. 

The phenomenology of the way the record store defines "phenomenology" is "subjective experience." 

There is unfortunately an overlap between psychology and the record store. 

The reason for this is that old creaky tweets such as "subject" and "object" (find me one of those in the universe, please!) are still very powerful. We don't want to give them up. Which is a shame, because if we are ever going to get over the legacy of slavery, we really ought to try. 

Yours, Tim Morton 

Thursday, September 1, 2022