Dark Star (1974): Phenomenology and Thermosteller Nuclear Bomb #20. Heidegger begins his examination into the question of Being using a method that Husserl founded called “phenomenology.” Heidegger was a student of Husserl and took certain concepts of phenomenology and applied them to his interest in the concept of “to be.” Heidegger utilizes the phenomenological descriptive method which describes and uncovers the essential structure of any examined phenomena. The phenomenological method seeks to dispense with pre-constituted meanings, we can include logoi (plural of logos) and reveal the genesis of all meaning structures. The phenomenological conceptual tools provided by Husserl are the Epoché (ἐποχή, epokhē ), and is understood as “the act of suspending judgment about the natural world that precedes phenomenological analysis.” Husserl used the word “intuition” to mean what is immediately present, comprehensible to sense perception, our memories, and our imaginations. Whenever we perceive the world, our first experience is our own ideas. Husserlian phenomenology sought to systematize essences, logical forms, and explicate the intersubjective totality of meanings that members of a culture share. The other tool of analysis Husserl provides is the method of Eidetic reduction to vary the possibilities of appearance of any kind to derive essences and therefore their clear meanings. Eidetic is from Greek, εἶδος, (eidos) that which is seen, form, shape, figure. A particular form of Being is “ontic” and these are the everyday objects of experience and scientific investigation. However, any object can be questioned as to its meaning as a form of Being. This aspect of beings is “ontological.” Dasein [for our purpose human-beingness] has the ontic characteristic to be ontological—this means, it is a historical fact of Human beings that they are able to question the meaning of their own existence. An inquiry into entities is “ontic,” but an investigation of Being is “ontological.” Phenomenology is the science of φαινόμενον, phenomenon, meaning, (photon), bring to light, make to appear, to show. Anything that shows or shines is a phenomenon. Heidegger makes the phenomenological distinction between mere appearing and appearance. Schein, means, semblence, “outward or surface appearance,” or misleading appearance--as it is not. On the other hand, Erscheinung means the way in which the thing appears, but is also a mark, or sign of what a thing is. The example used is a “symptom.” Red spots appear on the skin, but they signify something else, a fever. So the spots are Erscheinung of the fever. It is the thing that appears, but not what is meant. Phenomenon is what shows itself as itself. Neither semblence nor sign are possible without something appearing so phenomenon underlies all appearances. But it is precisely the investigation of appearance that Heidegger breaks from Husserl. If phenomenon shows itself as itself then why is a phenomenological method needed in the first place? Heidegger makes a change in the definition of phenomenon: it is that which can show itself. This is a major shift away from Husserl in the use of phenomenology as a method and not “an a priori science of mind as the foundation for scientific philosophy” that Husserl was trying to establish. Check out all the embedded links and think about all this and I will return here in a few weeks.