Introduction to Phenomenology
The question of what phenomenology is and what it does seems to be a relatively straight-forward question with a rather complex answer. In his Introduction to Phenomenology, Robert Sokolowski states that "phenomenology offers the pleasure of philosophy for those who wish to enjoy it" (15). This is a very fundamental and basic sentence, but nonetheless extremely important in the philosophy of phenomenology. In order to truly understand the importance of this simple sentence however, one must first understand the difference between our two most fundamental and essential attitudes/perspectives that we take on in our lives. These two attitudes are that of the natural attitude and that of the phenomenological attitude. While a distinction
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These three structures are the basis for our reflection upon the natural attitude while in the phenomenological attitude. They give us the ability to understand differences, identities, and forms as they are intended in the natural world. Because perception is infinite, we must use the phenomenological attitude to understand the differences between the parts of an object and the object as a whole, the manifold of identities that may be found in one particular object, and the ability to intend things that are present at any given moment or absent to us our entire lives. Through the distinction between these two attitudes, phenomenology basically allows one to enter into a philosophical realm of thinking without having to clutter the mind with questions of what is real and what is simply false perception. Phenomenology is fundamentally the act of moving into the phenomenological attitude in which one can reflect on the formal structures found in every object in the world. While most modern philosophies clutter the ability to think philosophically by negating the very existence of certain objects, phenomenology cuts right to the chase. Phenomenology is simply the act of thinking philosophically about the intentionalities of the world. That is why the Ur-doxa and doxa are so important to the natural attitude and, as a result, to the phenomenological attitude as well.