The practice of phenomenology: The case of Max van Manen

Nursing Philosophy 21 (2):e12276 (2020)
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Since its inception, phenomenological philosophy has exerted an influence on empirical science. But what is the best way to practice, use and apply phenomenology in a non‐philosophical context? How deeply rooted in phenomenological philosophy must qualitative research be in order to qualify as phenomenological? How many of the core commitments of phenomenology must it accept? In the following contribution, I will take a closer look at Max van Manen's work. I will argue that van Manen's understanding of and presentation of phenomenology is quite problematic and that his book Phenomenology of Practice rather than amounting to a clear and accessible presentation of the phenomenological method that would make it do‐able to researchers who are not themselves professional philosophers is in fact both abstruse and excessively complicated. I will then turn to nursing, and by taking that as my example, outline a better way to apply and practice phenomenology.



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Dan Zahavi
University of Copenhagen

References found in this work

Applied phenomenology: why it is safe to ignore the epoché.Dan Zahavi - 2019 - Continental Philosophy Review (2):1-15.
Neurophenomenology: A methodological remedy for the hard problem.F. J. Varela - 1996 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (4):330-49.
Applied phenomenology: why it is safe to ignore the epoché.Dan Zahavi - 2019 - Continental Philosophy Review 54 (2):259-273.
Phenomenology of Perception.Mary Warnock - 1964 - Philosophical Quarterly 14 (57):372-375.
Schizophrenia, consciousness, and the self.Louis A. Sass & Josef Parnas - 2003 - Schizophrenia Bulletin 29 (3):427-444.

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