26. 10. 2003

SPEAKING OF RELIGION


Von: John McCreery <mccreery@GOL.COM>
Datum: Son, 26. Okt. 2003 04:50:26 Europe/Zurich
An: ANTHRO-L@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU
Betreff: [ANTHRO-L] Speaking of Religion
Antwort an: John McCreery <mccreery@GOL.COM>

The following is something I just tossed together as part of a discussion on another list--thus the names of people who are not members of Anthro-L. Any and all comments are welcome. I would particularly welcome pointers to new work that suggests other approaches than those described by E-P.

Michael Geary wrote:

Religious belief is peculiar in that it has no
basis whatsoever within human experience.

I reply bluntly: "Nonsense." If there is one thing that anthropologists
have demonstrated repeatedly, it is that religious belief is rooted in
human experience. The problem that continues to plague us is just what
sorts of experience we are talking about.

To explicate this statement, I take up Norman Miller's invitation to say
a bit about British anthropology and how it has treated religion. I do
so with some trepidation, since the British anthropology I know is
mostly what I learned at Cornell three decades ago, and I can make no
claim to have kept up with developments since.

To acknowledge this fact about my own life is to illustrate a larger
point about anthropology, i.e., that it is, like other academic
disciplines, an enterprise with a history embedded in the larger history
of the times in which it was born and developed since. Anthopology
remains, moreover, in what Thomas Kuhn has labeled a preparadigmatic
state, i.e., a situation in which anthropologists continue to debate and
have failed to reach a solid consensus on what we ought to be doing, let
alone a universal theory of religion or anything else. Which is not, I
hasten to add, to deny that a good deal of useful information has been
gathered and, from time to time, useful insights discovered.

What, then, did British anthropologists think about religion back when I
was in graduate school (1966-1969, Ph.D. received, 1973)? I turn to one
of my favorite cribs, Sir E.E. Evans-Prichard's _Theories of Primitive
Religion_. In this book Evans-Prichard observes that British
anthropologists have advocated three different approaches to the study
of religion: approaches which he labels intellectualist, psychological
and sociological respectively.

The ur-fathers of the intellectualist approach viewed religion as a form
of failed explanation. They imagined primitive man trying to make sense
of his world and, in Sir George Frazier's famous model, evolving from
magical to religious to scientific thought.

In this model, magic is depicted a form of crude empiricism, in which
similarities or contiguities between the objects of perception suggest
analogies mistaken for natural laws. The magician acts in accord with
his analogies in an effort to achieve his goals, to succeed in the hunt,
to cure illness, etc., etc., etc.

Magicians begin to notice, however, that however carefully they perform
their magical ceremonies, they do not achieve their aims. To explain
their failures they begin to invoke the presence of other, invisible
magicians more powerful than themselves, in other words, gods. As
magicians become priests, magical compulsion yields to religious
propitiation.

At the end of the day, however, religion conceived as an explanation is
also unsatisfactory. Science, which adds unbiased data collection,
controlled experimentation, and systematic analysis to magic's crude
empiricism turns out to be much more powerful, in a practical, get
things done, Victorian sort of way.

But the problem with this account is, as Evans-Prichard points out, is
that it is itself not scientific. It is only an "if I were a horse"
story; the reference here being to the tale of a man who finds his
corral empty and, in an effort to find his horse, tries to imagine the
horse's state of mind.

Plus, as later critics will mention, it is all too obviously an
extension of Reformation and then Enlightenment thought, which rejected
first Papistry and then any form of explanation that left homo
economicus in anything less than total control of his own fate and
personally responsible for his own moral and other failings.

The ur-father of the psychological approach was Bronislaw Malinowski,
who observes that all human beings begin their lives as helpless infants
an first secure the food and succor they need to survive through
inarticulate cries directed at parents who respond in what are, from the
infant's point of view, more or less capricious ways. As language
develops, children learn how to describe, explain, argue and persuade.
They become articulate but even as adults will encounter trials and
tribulations, or other situations beyond their control. In these
situations they cry out to powers, conceived as invisible parents,
commanding or pleading with them for solutions to their problems.

This approach, observes E-P, offers some insight into the emotions that
support religion and magic. It is plainly superior in this regard to the
overintellectualized "if I were a horse" stories that the
intellectualist approach suggests. Where it fails is in failing to
account for variations in the details of religious belief and practice,
the kinds of things I sketched in my previous message.

This brings us, then, to the sociological approach, rooted in the work
of Emile Durkheim and brought into British anthropology by A. R.
Radcliffe-Brown.

In _Les Formes Elementaire de la Vie Religeuse_, Durkheim begins by
considering a classic philosophical argument, Kant's response to Hume.
Hume had, Kant agreed, demonstrated conclusively that sense data alone
provide no more than contingent associations (the similarities and
contiguities that informed Frazier's account of magic). Where, then, can
we find the categories, space, time, causality, self, without which
experience would be chaotic. Kant argued that such categories are given
in the nature of the human mind, which imposes them on sense data to
make sense of experience. Durkheim observes, however, that while notions
of space, time, causality, self, etc., are necessary conditions for
organizing experience, we know that their concrete forms vary widely;
the Euclidean/Newtonian versions that Kant took to be universal are, in
fact, only particular examples of a far wider range of possibilities.
Where, for example, Euclid and Newton assume that space and time are
uniform, religions around the world assert that both space and time are
divided into distinct and qualitatively different units, sacred and
profane. Selves may be seen as unitary and undivided monads or as
clusters of multiple souls serving different functions. How, then, are
we going to explain all these variations.

Durkheim's thesis was, in brief, that religious practice precedes
religious belief and that forms of social organization embodied in
religious rites are the models for the categories in which experience is
organized. Following Durkheim's lead, social anthropologists would begin
with the study of ritual, noting how groups and individuals would divide
and organize themselves as the ritual process unfolds. These social
structures would then be the frameworks on which descriptions of belief
would be hung.

At the end of the day, however, none of these three approaches became
THE APPROACH. Some anthropologists, then, spend more time listening to
what people say and analyzing the ideas that inform what they are
saying. Some attend to child-rearing patterns and the shaping of the
emotions that enfuse religious practice. Some start with the sociology
and refer to social structures to explain beliefs or sentiments.
The textbook that Mirembe cites is a typical bit of hodge-podge that
takes note of all of these possibilities without coming down firmly on
the side of one or another.

What, then, of Ed Farrell's concern that anthropology is necessarily
atheistic or, minimally, agnostic? I note that when I was in graduate
school, the leading figures whose works I was made to read included Max
Gluckman, an orthodox Jew, and Victor Turner and Mary Douglas, both
practicing Catholics. They had added Marx and Freud to Durkheim, in an
effort to conceptualize the contradictions and ambiguities that do, in
fact, appear in every form of religion and magic found in the historical
and ethnographic record, but in their personal lives they were what Max
Weber calls "religiously musical" people, for whom their own religious
beliefs and practice were central to their lives. That accounted, in
part, for why their analyses of religion seemed to me, brought up in a
pious Lutheran home, far more compelling than the arid and dismissive
models other anthropologists offered. They showed with tremendous force
how religious belief and practice are not only grounded in human
experience but an integral part of it.

==========

Cheers,
 

John L. McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd.
55-13-202 Miyagaya, Nishi-ku
Yokohama, Japan 220-0006

Tel 81-45-314-9324
Email mccreery@gol.com

"Making Symbols is Our Business"
 

_________________________________________________
Von: Nold Egenter <negenter@WORLDCOM.CH>
Datum: Mon, 27. Okt. 2003 17:14:06 Europe/Zurich
An: ANTHRO-L@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU
Betreff: Re: [ANTHRO-L] Speaking of Religion
Antwort an: Nold Egenter <negenter@WORLDCOM.CH>

Am Sonntag den, 26. Oktober 2003, um 04:50, schrieb John McCreery:

Religious belief is peculiar in that it has no
basis whatsoever within human experience.

I reply bluntly: "Nonsense." If there is one thing that anthropologists
have demonstrated repeatedly, it is that religious belief is rooted in
human experience. The problem that continues to plague us is just what
sorts of experience we are talking about.
 

In the following some points with the approach based on Bollnow‘s spatial anthropology.

• Religion is basically not an anthropological problem. The way we understand it today as absolute spirituality was conceived in European scholasticism basically as an ecclesiastic consitution of the Roman clerus against the Franconian and Ottonian kings (Neoplatonism, Universalities struggle, identity disputes, investiture struggle). http://home.worldcom.ch/~negenter/22300_Thronbu_TT.html

• Ethnology and anthropology imported this theological concept based on diachronic sources (ancient texts, myths, gods etc.) and consequently belief. Cult in this concept follows belief and is of secondary importance.

• In the domain of anthropology/ethnology this disposition led to discussions of the type outlined by John McCreery (Durkheim as exception to some extent).

• However, if the anthropologist / ethnologist frees himself from the theological prejudice and works ethnographically as a phenomenological observer focussed on environment and behaviour in space within traditional habitats things will look quite different. See:
http://home.worldcom.ch/~negenter/008NUM_Werblowsky_EgZZ.html

• He will discover a cyclic system of rites devoted to renewing fibroconstructive demarcations structuring this habitat socially, spatially and temporally in a way that the rise of high ontological values can be explained.

• Based on universal sources like 'fetish', 'lifetree', 'Ishtar sign', 'Djed pillar' etc. we can assume the universal existence of such cults from at least neolithic times (tectiformes etc.) and that they made the formation of permanent dwellings and agriculture possible, we can, in many areas, reconstruct the transition from such cults to prototypes of "religion".

• The most illustrative is the Ancient Testament with its transitional set of phenomena like: tribal condition -> state formation; prehistoric cattle breeder deity Elohim -> historical state god Jahwe; Jethro's thorn bush sanctuary -> Jahwe's tent and later temple.

• The same transitional aspects can be seen in Japan. Fibroconstructive demarcations as we find them in most traditional villages, are found as the most sacred Axis Mundi of the Japanese world ('shin no mi hashira') under the imperial Shrines in Ise. The fibrous materials indicate high temporal depth! See:
http://home.worldcom.ch/~negenter/4700Doitsuni_Intro_1.html

• Working with this approach could have an important consequence: Descartes' dualism could be put ad acta, Dilthey could be revised: a systematically reorganised anthroplogy could replace the dichotomy of physical and cultural anthropology. See: http://home.worldcom.ch/~negenter/000_Neucha_D01Einl.html
(English version at the end of October)

Regards,

Nold Egenter

_________________________________________________
Von: Dorothy/Carter Pate <cpate2@MINDSPRING.COM>
Datum: Die, 28. Okt. 2003 19:24:15 Europe/Zurich
An: ANTHRO-L@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU
Betreff: Re: [ANTHRO-L] Speaking of Religion
Antwort an: Dorothy/Carter Pate <cpate2@MINDSPRING.COM>

It would take me more time than I have now to explore all of this. Many
terms are new to me, possibly reflecting a difference of social context or
origin. But, picking on a particular item:

on 10/27/03 8:14 AM, Nold Egenter at negenter@WORLDCOM.CH wrote:

• However, if the anthropologist / ethnologist frees himself from the
theological prejudice and works ethnographically as a phenomenological
observer focussed on environment and behaviour in space within
traditional habitats things will look quite different. . . .

Would "phenomenological" apply to the following definition of religion (in
its cultural manifestations)? That is:

"Religion consists of those shared patterns of behavior which are focused on
experiences which involve ambiguity, uncertainty and usually relatively high
emotion." (Behavior includes thought processes such as cognition, cathexis
and conation, as well as physical actions.) This would include "magic", if
we follow the direction of Malinowski's thought. Are not magic and religion
clumped together in a single chapter in many texts?

That seems inclusive enough to me. Emphasizing beliefs in the supernatural,
although these are near-universal, seems to narrow the field unnecessarily.
So do definitions (Freud, for example) focusing on traumatic emotions such
as fear, grief and anxiety (What about awe, love, inspiration, and
responses to beauty?)

Can we suspect, not necessarily assert, that such experiences involving
ambiguity, uncertainty and high emotion are universal--found in all
cultures? But we need not, for specific beliefs or practices, assume that a
particular belief ("animism" for Tylor) is universal, and hence the origin
or basis of religion.

Because our records of prehistoric religion are very incomplete, should we
not particularly avoid any assumptions that specific rites or beliefs were
universal, merely because we find abundant evidence of some of these in
widely varying parts of the world?
cp
 

_________________________________________________
Von: Nold Egenter <negenter@worldcom.ch>
Datum: Mit, 29. Okt. 2003 22:47:26 Europe/Zurich
An: Dorothy/Carter Pate <cpate2@MINDSPRING.COM>
Kopie: ANTHRO-L@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU
Betreff: Re: [ANTHRO-L] Speaking of Religion
 

Am Dienstag den, 28. Oktober 2003, um 19:24, schrieb Dorothy/Carter Pate:

It would take me more time than I have now to explore all of this. Many
terms are new to me, possibly reflecting a difference of social context or
origin. But, picking on a particular item:

on 10/27/03 8:14 AM, Nold Egenter at negenter@WORLDCOM.CH wrote:

• However, if the anthropologist / ethnologist frees himself from the
theological prejudice and works ethnographically as a phenomenological
observer focussed on environment and behaviour in space within
traditional habitats things will look quite different. . . .
 
 

Because our records of prehistoric religion are very incomplete, should we
not particularly avoid any assumptions that specific rites or beliefs were
universal, merely because we find abundant evidence of some of these in
widely varying parts of the world?

I agree if we remain in the conventional system of the humanities with its
apriori fragmentation into disciplines, which to a great extent are an expression of the
history of reaction against medieval historisms. We are still in this cartesian system without questioning this disciplinary grid and its impacts on our worldview.

For example, the ways we see time. Written history is still dominant. Archaeology has developed as its 'extended arm'. We call their finds prehistory in spite of great problems (e.g. extremely fragmentary character of finds). And anthropology, ethnology and folklore, focussed on materials apriori primitivised by our urban "high-culture" outlooks (value system, not science!) take the Lazarian remnants of the urban table. No chance to make meaningful theories of man with this cake devastated apriori by all kinds of political interests.

If in this distorted framework of history, prehistory and ethnology (including folklore traditions) and anthropology cultural and physical, we question the term 'material culture' the materials fall into entirely different methodological boxes, including primatology and palaeanthropology. However, if we become aware that the (proto-)cultural artefact history could have a depth of about 22 million years ("constructivity" acc. to Yerkes 1929), then it becomes absurd to methodologically distinguish ethnological traditions from archaeological finds (only 5000 years!). If in this framework we define material culture systematically and anthropologically, we become aware that fibroconstructive demarcation cults were of fundamental importance and produced what we are basically searching for: the high ontological values characteristic for the human evolution.

Would "phenomenological" apply to the following definition of religion (in
its cultural manifestations)?

No. Phenomenology is understood as a basic aprioric philosophical discipline (Wesenswissenschaft, acc. to Husserl). It suggests a method to exactly describe the pure or elementary essence of all kinds of objects, data, value systems etc. in order to understand their meaning and their relations beyond conventional classifications. Its use
differs from what you suggest (see below) in so far as it attempts to phenomenologically describe empirical prerequisites of early local, regional and imperial constitutions which are later interpreted as religion. The precondition of this transformation is given by the abstraction processes produced by verbalisation of pre- and protohistoric cults (and later their fixaton with script). The toposemantic function of a physical deity in the primary cult system is dissolved. It can be imagined anywhere. Script might have been our great trickster!
 

"Religion consists of those shared patterns of behavior which are focused on
experiences which involve ambiguity, uncertainty and usually relatively high
emotion." (Behavior includes thought processes such as cognition, cathexis
and conation, as well as physical actions.) This would include "magic", if
we follow the direction of Malinowski's thought. Are not magic and religion
clumped together in a single chapter in many texts?

That seems inclusive enough to me. Emphasizing beliefs in the supernatural,
although these are near-universal, seems to narrow the field unnecessarily.
So do definitions (Freud, for example) focusing on traumatic emotions such
as fear, grief and anxiety (What about awe, love, inspiration, and
responses to beauty?)

Can we suspect, not necessarily assert, that such experiences involving
ambiguity, uncertainty and high emotion are universal--found in all
cultures? But we need not, for specific beliefs or practices, assume that a
particular belief ("animism" for Tylor) is universal, and hence the origin
or basis of religion.

All what you write in these three sections corresponds to the theological line mentioned in the former letter. With this type of psychological reasonings we can never solve the genetic questions and the structural and formal conditions of religion. On the other hand, if we understand the stuctural models found in 'pre-historical' cults and what they provide for neolithic, or in general, for societies living in village cultures, we can understand that they tremendously enriched environmental perception with aesthetic qualities (pro-portion), spatial organisation ('meta-physics') and harmonious ontological principles (polarity). Further, time becomes important (settlement foundation) and social hierarchy (village founder house) is produced. It is then not difficult to understand also that psychological, imaginary and particularly emotional qualities were involved.

Regards,

Nold Egenter
 

_________________________________________________
Von: Dorothy/Carter Pate <cpate2@MINDSPRING.COM>
Datum: Don, 30. Okt. 2003 05:42:15 Europe/Zurich
An: ANTHRO-L@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU
Betreff: Re: [ANTHRO-L] Speaking of Religion
Antwort an: Dorothy/Carter Pate <cpate2@MINDSPRING.COM>

on 10/29/03 1:47 PM, Nold Egenter at negenter@worldcom.ch wrote:

. . .

Would "phenomenological" apply to the following definition of religion
(in
its cultural manifestations)?

No. Phenomenology is understood as a basic aprioric philosophical
discipline (Wesenswissenschaft, acc. to Husserl). It suggests a method
to exactly describe the pure or elementary essence of all kinds of
objects, data, value systems etc. in order to understand their meaning
and their relations beyond conventional classifications. Its use
differs from what you suggest . . .
 

It certainly does differ!. My definition of "phenomenology" derives from
graduate courses in social psychology, where phenomenology referred more to
taking seriously the aspects of an event or object as "experienced" by an ob
server or participant. My notes are not available and this was not a major
theoretical school, but as I remember, this "phenomenological approach" was
stressed by a psychologist named MacLeod or McClure.

Jesse, do your dictionaries show multiple definitions?
cp
 
 

_________________________________________________
Von: jesse_cook@juno.com
Datum: Don, 30. Okt. 2003 15:23:35 Europe/Zurich
An: negenter@WORLDCOM.CH
Kopie: ANTHRO-L@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU
Betreff: Re: [ANTHRO-L] Speaking of Religion

On Wed, 29 Oct 2003 22:47:26 +0100 Nold Egenter <negenter@WORLDCOM.CH>
writes:

Am Dienstag den, 28. Oktober 2003, um 19:24, schrieb Dorothy/Carter
Pate:

Would "phenomenological" apply to the following definition of
religion (in its cultural manifestations)?

No. Phenomenology is understood as a basic aprioric philosophical
discipline (Wesenswissenschaft, acc. to Husserl). It suggests a
method
to exactly describe the pure or elementary essence of all kinds of
objects, data, value systems etc. in order to understand their
meaning and their relations beyond conventional classifications

To expand on what Nold has written, phenomenology was founded by Edmund
Husserl at the beginning of the 20th century, and it has undergone many
changes, refinements, shifts in emphasis, etc. since then. Originally,
it was primarily a theory of knowledge. Later, it developed into a form
of idealism.

According to *The Oxford Companion to Philosophy*:

"Phenomenology distinguishes sharply between perceptual properties on the
one hand and abstract properties on the other...Phenomenology asserts
that there is, not only a direct perception of instances of [say]
whiteness, but also a sort of direct perception of the universal
whiteness. This [latter] perception is called 'eidetic intuition'. By
means of eidetic intuition, we have knowledge of the essential features
of the world. Phenomenologists call such universals essences.

"An essence can be presented to the mind in its totality in one mental
act of intuition. Perceptual objects, however, can never be so
presented. According to phenomenologists, we can only perceive aspect of
them...

"According to phenomenology, therefore, our knowledge of things divides
into direct and indirect knowledge, that is, into direct knowledge and
knowledge through aspects. Essences (universal properties) are known
directly, but perceptual objects are only known through their aspects.

"However, in addition to perceptual things, there are also mental things
and selves...[A]ll...so-called mental acts are presented to us without
aspects. There is thus a fundamental difference between the objects of
the outside perceptual world and the objects of consciousness: the former
are never given to us wholly and completely in single mental acts of
perception; the latter are fully given to us when we attend to them.

"But the self, the mental individual from which all mental acts issue, is
only presented to us indirectly, like a perceptual object. The realm of
individual things thus divides into an 'immanent' part, [objects of]
consciousness, and two 'transcendent' parts, perceptual objects and the
self."

This is phenomenology as a theory of knowledge, but there also is
phenomenology as a method of doing philosophy. In the latter, eidetic
reflection, reflection on essences and their connections, requires
eidetic reduction in which we shift our attention from a particular
instance of a property to the abstract property (essence) itself and
intuit connections among essences.

Jesse S. Cook III

"The only ethical principle [that] has made science possible is that the
truth shall be told all the time. If we do not penalize false statements
made in error, we open up the way for false statements by intention.
And, a false statements of fact made deliberately is the most serious
crime a scientist can commit." -- Dorothy L. Sayers
 
 
 

_________________________________________________
Von: Dorothy/Carter Pate <cpate2@MINDSPRING.COM>
Datum: Fre, 31. Okt. 2003 17:32:36 Europe/Zurich
An: ANTHRO-L@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU
Betreff: Re: [ANTHRO-L] Speaking of Religion
Antwort an: Dorothy/Carter Pate <cpate2@MINDSPRING.COM>

Thanks, Jesse. This begins to make sense to me. The statement, "Essences
(universal properties) are known directly, but perceptual objects are only
known through their aspects." seems to be the clue between Nold Engenter and
myself. This seems to go farther into metaphysics than I am willing to go.
I would favor a phenomenological approach that focuses on human experience
as the beginning of analysis (which would include measurement as far as
possible but not exclude as unreal what is hard to measure), but hesitate at
the implication of "direct knowledge of essences". The latter appears to be
a short-cut that permits assertion of truth without analysis. The
references to "aspects", without further clarification, seem uncomfortably
abstract and metaphyical.

When I can get to a library, I will research into the psychological
variation of phenomenology, probably in the Handbook of Social Psychology,
current in the mid-1950s.

Thanks, again.
cp

on 10/30/03 6:23 AM, Jesse Cook at jesse_cook@JUNO.COM wrote:

On Wed, 29 Oct 2003 22:47:26 +0100 Nold Egenter <negenter@WORLDCOM.CH>
writes:

Am Dienstag den, 28. Oktober 2003, um 19:24, schrieb Dorothy/Carter
Pate:

Would "phenomenological" apply to the following definition of
religion (in its cultural manifestations)?

No. Phenomenology is understood as a basic aprioric philosophical
discipline (Wesenswissenschaft, acc. to Husserl). It suggests a
method
to exactly describe the pure or elementary essence of all kinds of
objects, data, value systems etc. in order to understand their
meaning and their relations beyond conventional classifications

To expand on what Nold has written, phenomenology was founded by Edmund
Husserl at the beginning of the 20th century, and it has undergone many
changes, refinements, shifts in emphasis, etc. since then. Originally,
it was primarily a theory of knowledge. Later, it developed into a form
of idealism.

According to *The Oxford Companion to Philosophy*:

"Phenomenology distinguishes sharply between perceptual properties on the
one hand and abstract properties on the other...Phenomenology asserts
that there is, not only a direct perception of instances of [say]
whiteness, but also a sort of direct perception of the universal
whiteness. This [latter] perception is called 'eidetic intuition'. By
means of eidetic intuition, we have knowledge of the essential features
of the world. Phenomenologists call such universals essences.

"An essence can be presented to the mind in its totality in one mental
act of intuition. Perceptual objects, however, can never be so
presented. According to phenomenologists, we can only perceive aspect of
them...

"According to phenomenology, therefore, our knowledge of things divides
into direct and indirect knowledge, that is, into direct knowledge and
knowledge through aspects. Essences (universal properties) are known
directly, but perceptual objects are only known through their aspects.

"However, in addition to perceptual things, there are also mental things
and selves...[A]ll...so-called mental acts are presented to us without
aspects. There is thus a fundamental difference between the objects of
the outside perceptual world and the objects of consciousness: the former
are never given to us wholly and completely in single mental acts of
perception; the latter are fully given to us when we attend to them.

"But the self, the mental individual from which all mental acts issue, is
only presented to us indirectly, like a perceptual object. The realm of
individual things thus divides into an 'immanent' part, [objects of]
consciousness, and two 'transcendent' parts, perceptual objects and the
self."

This is phenomenology as a theory of knowledge, but there also is
phenomenology as a method of doing philosophy. In the latter, eidetic
reflection, reflection on essences and their connections, requires
eidetic reduction in which we shift our attention from a particular
instance of a property to the abstract property (essence) itself and
intuit connections among essences.




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