Meaning, lived experience, empathy and boredom: Max van Manen on phenomenology and Heidegger

Nursing Philosophy 19 (3):e12211 (2018)
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Phenomenology as Qualitative Research: A Critical Analysis of Meaning Attribution has attracted the attention of Max van Manen, who has published a highly critical review article. Anyone reading this article, but unfamiliar with the book, will get a distorted view of what it is about, whom it is addressed to, what it tries to achieve, and how it goes about presenting its arguments. Not mildly distorted, in need of the odd correction here and there, but systematically misrepresented. One problem is that van Manen appears to have an idée fixe which prevents him from recognizing that the book is not about a certain philosophical tradition (known as “phenomenology”), but about a particular type of qualitative research (also known, unfortunately and confusingly, as “phenomenology”). A second idée fixe disposes him to misread an earlier article of mine and (much more seriously) three works by Heidegger. My aim in this article is to describe these two idées fixes, and exhibit their consequences. In doing so, I will examine what van Manen has to say on four crucial topics: meaning, lived experience, empathy, and Heidegger's analysis of boredom in The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics.



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References found in this work

Contributions to Philosophy.Martin Heidegger, Parvis Emad & Kenneth Maly - 1999 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 63 (1):179-180.
A Heidegger Dictionary.Michaël Inwood - 2003 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 193 (3):373-374.
Husserl and Heidegger on Human Experience.Pierre Keller - 1999 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 62 (3):601-602.
A Response to the Attempted Critique of the Scientific Phenomenological Method.Amedeo Giorgi - 2017 - Journal of Phenomenological Psychology 48 (1):83-144.
Phenomenology and Meaning Attribution.Max van Manen - 2017 - Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology 17 (1):1-12.

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