Thursday, February 19, 2009

Philosophy 118: 06 February, 2009

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 last 06 February

.:In Depth: The Lebensweldt:.

Consciousness is not solipsistic. It is in connection with other consciousnesses, and as such, these various consciousnesses inevitably impact each other. They are in a common world, and are co-constitutive of common meanings.

Sometimes, we see ourselves in our own world, watching the world as the hustle and bustle of banality around us. We find ourselves completely unaware of the fact that these other consciousnesses are just as perceptive as we see ourselves to be. That in the end, we are just another part of this hoi poloi that we see from seemingly detached eyes.

This network of consciousnesses includes an indefinite community of mankind. Though you may not see the face of each and every man, this network exists and encompasses all. You become one of many, and no longer a solitary being perceiving everything else. Thus, the mode of communication is no longer introspection, but dialogue. None of the insights we come to came from solitary introspection, but in dialogue. As such, these ideas we arrive at are not derived from a vacuum, but in reality, a co-constitutive effort by the lifeworld.

As such, we have a dialogical and hermeneutical kind of consciousness. Husserl calls the initial individual consciousness as the result of an eidetic (essential) reduction. Compare this to the way meaning is generated and regenerated by the network of consciousness. These are the fruits of a cultural community. As such, the meanings are already in place before we even begin to employ phenomenology. This means that you are in contact with primordial meanings: meanings that did not originate from you.

Even though meanings may be formed by co-constitution, phenomenology's role might be in explaining the gaps that may exist in a commonly held meaning, not in an eternal, immutable form, but more likely in an experiential, and still dialogical manner.

.:Quotable Quotes:..:Part Of That World:.

In the Disney film, “The Little Mermaid”, we discover precisely what it means to be a “fish out of water” for someone like Ariel. She was part of a particular world-view, and was very much as capable of being as solipsistic as can be the minute she had legs and could walk.

Despite that, isn't it a wonder how she, in time, manages to be a part of the world of meanings that is formed by the world that she initially is not a part of? Is this underscored integration of Ariel not the very essence of what it means to be a part of a particular lifeworld?

When we look at how she wanted to be a “part of that world”, the kind of awestruck wonder she saw in things we surface-dwellers take for granted and banal, isn't this a fresh look at the routines that we often no longer give meaning to?

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