Category: Edition 1 - May 2009
 
 

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pdf.png Editorial for Volume 9, Edition 1 (May 2009) - By Editor-in-Chief  

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Since the announcement two editorials ago that, as from 2010, the IPJP would be introducing an author fee for submissions accepted for publication, there have been several enquiries regarding the reasons for this as well as the process involved. ...


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pdf.png Ambiguous Encounters: A Relational Approach to Phenomenological Research - By Linda Finlay  

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This paper offers an account of how to engage one phenomenologically orientated version of relational research based on ideas from existential phenomenological philosophy as well as Gestalt theory, relational psychoanalysis, intersubjectivity theory and feminist methodology. Relational dynamics (both conscious and unconscious) between researcher and co-researcher are explored reflexively using illustrations from various phenomenological projects in which the author has been involved.
The relational approach to phenomenology described involves attending to four interlinked dimensions: open presence, embodied intersubjectivity, dialogic co-creation and entangled selves. The paper aims to show the importance of retaining an open, empathic, embodied presence to another's personhood while acknowledging the power of dialogue to bring to life new realities. Data is seen to emerge out of the researcher/co-researcher relationship and is mutually co-created in this encounter as each touches and impacts on the other. What we can learn and know about another arises within the intersubjective space between. In this zone of ambiguity and uncertainty, the unforeseen hovers and layered meanings invite discovery.


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pdf.png Knowledge as a ‘Body Run’: Learning of Writing as Embodied Experience in accordance with Merleau-Ponty’s Theory of the Lived Body - By Eva Alerby  

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What significance does the body have in the process of teaching and learning? In what way can the thoughts of a contemporary junior-level teacher in this regard be connected to the theory of the lived body formulated by the French phenomenologist philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961), and vice versa? The aim of this paper is to illuminate, enable understanding and discuss the meaning of the body in the learning process, with specific focus on the learning of writing as embodied experience. In the process, the boundaries of learning are also explored. While understanding the significance both of learning as embodied experience and of the boundaries of learning is essential within the educational field, in this paper the discussion is limited to exploring how learning as embodied experience and the boundaries of learning can be viewed by taking Merleau-Ponty's notions as theoretical starting points. In an attempt to answer the aim and connect the paper's theoretical point of departure with a voice from a teacher, an interview with a junior-level teacher was conducted. The paper thus offers a theoretical contribution to the field of educational research, but one in which the theory is exemplified by, and connected to, a teacher's voice. Accordingly, the paper concludes by summarising the common understandings of learning held theoretically by Merleau-Ponty and made real in the activities of the contemporary junior-level teacher.


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pdf.png Shunning the Light - By Christopher Pulte  

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This paper speaks of morality in the broadest of terms, but in generalities derived from one of the most fundamental of phenomenological doctrines. It is proposed that a polarization exists which corresponds to the epistemological divide that can be found between idealism and empiricism. Our morality harks back to Platonism, the arrival of which immediately provoked a response which resulted in a competing paradigm, its polar opposite: the embryonic Aristotelian doctrine of what Merleau-Ponty termed "induction". Interpretations to this day waver between adherence to the material world and the ideal. What is maintained in this paper is that idealism and empiricism are both epistemologically inadequate. Given, however, that our morality is one of moral universals, the reader is asked to reflect on what induction must mean for it, and to consider the shadow that induction, being far from benign, must cast in a society which rests on a belief in moral absolutes.
While acknowledging that this may raise eyebrows, given Nietzsche's reputation, the author contends that Nietzsche (1886, 1887) was the first to break with this duality and to speak from a place which was on neither side of this metaphysical divide. While scholars often ignore that part of Nietzsche's philosophy which is affirmative, focusing instead on his "nihilism", it is argued that the evils which his philosophy is said to foster mostly exist in a style of thought which he explicitly rejects. Although Nietzsche was hostile to modern ideas, perceiving in them a threat to our spiritual health, and hoped to "translate man back into nature" (Nietzsche, 1886/1989, p. 161) - which those sympathetic towards liberal values will take issue with - it cannot but be agreed with Nietzsche that in modernity the moral landscape has changed. Morality has been rationalized in a way that the ancients never knew; mind has been introduced into what primordially was the domain of instinct (Nietzsche, 1888/1990, p. 43). While for Nietzsche himself, however, rationality was more a symptom, the contention of this paper is that it is the source of the change in the moral landscape of modernity.


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pdf.png Husserl’s Evidence Problem - By Ulker Oktem  

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This paper examines the concept of evidence, with specific focus on the problem of evidence in Husserl's phenomenology. How this problem was dealt with and resolved by philosophers such as Plato, Descartes and Kant is compared and contrasted with Husserl's approach, and the implications of the solution offered by Husserl discussed. Finally, in light of the issues outlined, it is assessed whether or not Husserl can be said possibly to have been philosophically inclined towards notions such as idealism, empiricism, solipsism and scepticism.


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pdf.png Phenomenology of Consciousness in Ādi Śamkara and Edmund Husserl - By Surya Kanta Maharana  

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The philosophical investigation of consciousness has a long-standing history in both Indian and Western thought. The conceptual models and analyses that have emerged in one cultural framework may be profitably reviewed in the light of another. In this context, a study of the notion of consciousness in the transcendental phenomenology of Edmund Husserl is not only important as a focus on a remarkable achievement in the context of Western thought, but is also useful for an appreciation of the concern with this question in the Indian philosophical tradition, and especially in the tradition of Advaita Vedānta of Ādi Śamkara. The starting point for this paper is the belief that phenomenology has a recognizably common face for both these traditions.
This paper investigates the possibility of a parallel notion of consciousness in the transcendental phenomenology of Husserl and the Advaita Vedānta of Śamkara, with particular emphasis on Husserl’s ‘Transcendental I’ and Śamkara’s ‘Witness Consciousness’ (Sākshi Caitanya). In the process, it explores the phenomenological relevance of the concept of consciousness in Indian philosophy, with special reference to the concept of pure consciousness as one of the essential criteria for any sound theory of knowledge. It more importantly highlights the Advaitic understanding of pure consciousness as one of the major contributions to the field of comparative philosophy that forms a vantage point for cross-cultural comparison. While pointing to significant differences in their respective approaches to understanding the nature of consciousness, the exploration finally unveils the common thesis for both Śamkara and Husserl that ‘pure consciousness’ is essentially foundational, evidencing and absolute for any epistemic act.

 



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pdf.png Mothers’ Life-Worlds in a Developing Context when a Child has Special Needs - By Eve Hemming and Jacqui Akhurst  

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This South African study investigates the lived experiences of a group of isiZulu mothers of children diagnosed with multiple disabilities. Data collection from regular focus group discussions proceeded with the assistance of a translator skilled in working in isiZulu and English. The phenomenological approach employed revealed the mothers' philosophical acceptance of their child's disability. Issues of concern to the women that emerged include the effects of the child's disability on their lives, the treatment options for their children, and their perceptions of the causes of the disability. The women reflect on both traditional and Western treatment options and articulate the constraints they experience as caregivers, with limited child-care facilities preventing them from finding employment, difficulties in accessing social service grants exacerbating their position, and various levels of family and community support experienced. The study underlines the need for more adequate service provision for children with special needs and their families, and for intervention programmes to be informed by an understanding of the contexts and ways of making meaning of those whose needs they are intended to serve.


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pdf.png BOOK REVIEW (by Larise du Plessis, with reply by Author) - Who are We?  

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Ron Dultz (2007). Who Are We? Reseda, CA: Ron Dultz Publishing
Soft Cover (174 pages)
ISBN 10: 0-615-16088-7 & ISBN 13: 978-0-615-16088-7


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pdf.png BOOK REVIEW (by Prevan Moodley) - Reflective Lifeworld Research  

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Dahlberg, K., Dahlberg, H., & Nyström, M. (2008). Reflective Lifeworld Research (2nd ed.). Lund, Sweden: Studentlitteratur.
Soft Cover (370 pages)
ISBN: 978-91-44-04925-0


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