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The 'Failing' of Meaning: A Few Steps into a 'First-Person' Phenomenological Practice

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Abstract:

The experience I am going to go into refers to a process of emergence of meaning in consciousness. More particularly, what was given to me in terms of 'meaning' was the very lack of meaning of what was happening to me in the very moment. There is a crucial hypothesis here: this is the discovery of one's own experience and the production of a personal description of it within the framework of a disciplined practice. It is the only way to check the effectiveness of my first-person access to my unique and irreducible experience. After having written a lot 'about' the necessity of such a putting into practice, after having 'claimed' it as an absolute requirement, after having checked it recently in the light of a step-by-step reading of a book of Husserl and having contended that as the genuine approach of Husserlian phenomenology, here I am one who ends up revealing a bit of herself while risking such a putting into practice. It is one thing indeed to 'account' for the first-person experience by relying upon the utterances of the phenomenologists who write about it, as is often done today in the context of crossings between phenomenology and the cognitive sciences; it is quite another thing, which is epistemologically quite different, to practise such a first-person experience while accounting via a self-elicitation for a unique example, which is hic et nunc situated, i. e., while using a descriptive tool which is faithful to it and thus closely attests to the practice in question by working with it.

Keywords: First-person experience; creation of meaning; description; example; first-person method; meditation; phenomenology; practice; self-elicitation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: natalie.depraz@univ-rouen.fr

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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