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Phenomenology is the name for the major philosophical orientation in continental Europe in the 20th and 21st centuries. Phenomenology is not a substantive discipline, such as psychology, biology, or sociology; rather, it is the study or inquiry into how things appear, are given, or present themselves to us in prereflective or lived experience. In this sense, phenomenology is primarily a method. It is often called a hermeneutic phenomenological method of reflecting on experience while abstaining from theoretical, polemical, suppositional, and emotional intoxications. Hermeneutic means that reflecting on experience must aim for interpretive language and sensitive linguistic devices that make the phenomenological analysis, explication, and description of lived meaning possible. This entry begins with a brief overview of the questions and challenges at the core of ...

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