Alex Peek blog

List of posts    Blog archive    About


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

What is phenomenology?


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Leonardo da Vinci


What is phenomenology? Here is my definition:


Phenomenology is the study of immediate perception


I believe that phenomenology is one of the most interesting topics to study. This occurs whenever you take one of your senses and examine the sense itself. You can do this for any sense: feel, taste, sight, thought, smell, hearing, etc. All you have to do is observe the intricacies of the sense, especially the small details you never notice.


I believe Leonardo da Vinci was a phenomenologist, in the way that he studied vision. This enabled him to create paintings that imitated actual vision. For example, Leonardo was able to paint light in a way that resembles how we actually see light. This talent required a great deal of studying vision itself.


When I was younger, I used to eat doughnuts with the sole purpose of figuring out why exactly I liked the taste. I would sit down at a table, take a bite and concentrate on the taste, but I could never pinpoint the exact reason for my satisfaction. Was it the fluffy texture? Was is the sweetness? Was it the way the doughnut disintegrated into pieces in my mouth?


Even if I decided that sweetness was my favorite part, the question would still remain: why do I like sweetness? What is the nature of sweetness? What part of sweetness makes me so attracted to it? Ultimately, I felt like I was staring in oblivion trying to grasp an elusive answer. I believe this doughnut eating experiment was one of my earliest examples of phenomenology.



License: CC BY-SA 4.0