Closure of Phenomenal World
Posted by Tanas Gjorgoski on August 11, 2006
The moment I want to philosophically understand the world, I find myself as a subject existing in the phenomenal world. Everything which has appeared to me appeared as a part of the phenomenal world, including me and my intentional acts… Other people appear to me as part of that world too. There is nothing that can be thought of, which would fall outside of it, as my thoughts themselves are based on my living in phenomenal world, and appear as part of my being in the phenomenal world.
Thus as long I’m interested in fully comprehending things, I have to understand them in what they are in the phenomenal world – there is no “outside of the phenomenal world” view for me, nor “outside of the phenomenal world” concepts. Every word that we use is historically based on communication practices within the phenomenal world.
Phenomenal world is not in the mind… “mind” is yet another concept I learned in the phenomenal world. And as long the words are learned through the practice in the phenomenal world, I need to comprehend the practices, how they are practiced and how my skills of those practices are developed in the phenomenal world. I can only think of what I can think, and the comprehension is limited to the things that can be thought of. Same situation is with the notion of “outside objective world” (which would stand vs. the phenomenal
world) – the notions of “outside”, “objective” and “world” are
concepts I learned within the phenomenal world, and to comprehend what they mean, I need to comprehend how I learned them. Their meaning is again connected to the practices in the phenomenal world, to my being as subject with a will within the phenomenal world.
But neither the language or practices in general, nor the content of my thoughts, as long as my comprehension is concerned can be considered in some otherness. They are learned and based in my living in the phenomenal world. And as long philosophy is possible it can be possible only through this kind of comprehension.
Specifically my comprehending can’t be based on the society and its practice, as it affects me only as much as it appears in the phenomenal world. And it can’t be based on the scientific theories of physics, biology and neuroscience, as they are based as theories on the phenomenal world.
I must recognize the theories as theories, the paradigms as paradigms, and comprehend the abstractions (concepts) as abstractions, and what they are based in. I must return to the basis of me being willful subject in the phenomenal world, and as long I want to comprehend abstractions to see how they are grounded in my being in the phenomenal world, and to recognize their relations.
It is not theories, paradigms and metaphors all the way down, when I remove the paradigms, I find myself in the world surrounded with things, with changing things, of whose change and movement I’m aware. They are things on whose shape, color, movement and so on, I can put my attention, I can put my attention to events going on including multitude of things. I find myself as remembering agent, who can remember things, but not as in my head, but as something in the phenomenal world that was. I’m also aware of the possibilities open to the willful acts, and see the others use those possibilities.
If we imagine the learning as an inverted cone, with our current state being the widest part of the cone, the critical stance of phenomenology needs to explore the whole cone, in order to comprehend not just the words it uses, but also in this being as a subject in the phenomenal world to find possibility of transcendental intra and inter-subjectivity and possibility for a priori judgments (comprehension of relations between concepts) – to find the possibility of philosophy.