No. 15 (2018): Methods of Philosophy
Section 3. Phenomenology

What is the Phenomenological Approach? Revisiting Intentional Explication

Dermot Moran
Boston College & University College Dublin

Published 2019-03-13


  • phenomenology,
  • description,
  • intuition,
  • intentionality,
  • life-world

How to Cite

Moran, D. (2019). What is the Phenomenological Approach? Revisiting Intentional Explication. Phenomenology and Mind, (15), 72–90.


In this paper I outline the main features of the phenomenological approach, focusing on the central themes of intentionality, embodiment, empathy, intersubjectivity, sociality and the life-world. I argue that phenomenology is primarily a philosophy of intentional explication that identifies the a priori, structural correlations between subjectivity and all forms of constituted objectivities apprehended in their horizonal contexts. Intentional description reveals the structurally necessary, meaning-informing interactions between embodied subjectivity (already caught in the nexus of intersubjectivity) in the context of embeddedness in the temporal, historical, and cultural life-world. I shall defend phenomenology as a holistic approach that rightfully defends the role of subjectivity in the constitution of objectivity and recognizes the inherent limitations of all forms of naturalism, objectivism and scientism.


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