Lived Experience: An Introduction to Phenomenology

at Brooklyn Institute for Social Research - Financial District

Course Details
$315 2 seats left
Start Date:

Wed, Jan 29, 6:45pm - Feb 19, 9:45pm (4 sessions)

Financial District, Manhattan
75 Broad St
Btwn Beaver & S William Streets
New York, New York 10004
Purchase Options
Class Level: Beginner
Age Requirements: 21 and older
Average Class Size: 14

What you'll learn in this lecture class:

What is phenomenology? Drawing on lived, first-person experience, phenomenology is the attempt to analyze and understand the very structures of human experience and consciousness. What are the elements of perception, and why do different people, different subjects, perceive things differently? What’s universal about consciousness? In what ways do individual identity, circumstance, history, language, and memory condition lived experience—and thus perception and our ability to express it? Phenomenology and phenomenological ways of understanding the world stand at the center of many contemporary scholarly inquiries, from philosophy to anthropology and far beyond. What can we learn through studying the foundations of phenomenological thought concerning objectivity, subjectivity, meaning, mind, and truth?

In this course, students will study phenomenology as a philosophical movement from its origins to the present day. We will aim for a critical understanding of the distinctive methodology, fundamental claims, problems and prospects of phenomenology by working through some key texts of its most influential proponents. After considering Franz Bretano’s and Edmund Husserl’s attack on “psychologism” (or, the reduction of consciousness and rationality to mere psychology), we’ll examine Husserl’s classic Logical Investigations, which gives definitive treatment to the phenomenological theory of “intentionality.” Next we’ll turn to Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s attempt to incorporate “embodiment” into the phenomenological tradition. Lastly, we’ll consider phenomenology’s influence on contemporary discussions in cognitive science on “motor intentionality,” and skilled behavior. Is the study of the experience of phenomena a philosophical or ultimately a scientific question? Indeed, what can a study of phenomenology tell us about the natures of philosophy and science and the boundary that divides them? How do we learn from lived experience?

There *is* no physical Brooklyn Institute. We hold our classes all over (thus far) Brooklyn and Manhattan, in alternative spaces ranging from the back rooms of bars to bookstores to spaces in cultural centers, including the Center for Jewish History, the Goethe-Institut, and the Barnard Center for Research on Women. We can (and do) turn any space into a classroom. You will be notified of the exact location when you register for a class.

Instructors will contact students approximately one week prior to the first class with reading assignments and details about the course location. 

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Refund Policy
Upon request, we will refund the entire cost of a class up until 1 week before its start date. Students who withdraw after that point but before the first class are entitled to a 75% refund. After the first class: 50%. After the second: 25%. No refunds will be given after the third class.


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Start Dates (1)
Start Date Time Teacher # Sessions Price
6:45pm - 9:45pm Michael Stevenson 4 $315
This course consists of multiple sessions, view schedule for sessions.
Wed, Feb 05 6:45pm - 9:45pm Michael Stevenson
Wed, Feb 12 6:45pm - 9:45pm Michael Stevenson
Wed, Feb 19 6:45pm - 9:45pm Michael Stevenson

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School: Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research was established in 2011 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Its mission is to extend liberal arts education and research far beyond the borders of the traditional university, supporting community education needs and opening up new possibilities for scholarship in the...

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