Phenomenology is a philosophical style developed to challenge scepticism about both cognitive and ethical reliability of (ordinary) consciousness or experience, as an indispensable foundation to a human person’s exercise of reason, both cognitive and practical.
Accordingly, its core is the study of objects and structures of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view, providing method and rigor to any student willing to live “an examined life”, according to a Socratic standard of clarity, accountability and evidence for one’s beliefs and commitments. As a method of research, it branches into eidetic, axiologic, and experimental phenomenology.
Scepticism about ordinary experience as a basic source of evidence and justification of beliefs (albeit critically examinable and subject to constant and indefinite enrichment) has got to shape contemporary mind, according to two largely widespread and often complementary attitudes: Hermeneutic Relativism and Reductive Materialism. According to the former, there are no modes of immediate experience such as intuition, perception or feeling that are true to reality, the world being bound in language, culture and interpretation. According to the latter, phenomena are nothing but epiphenomena, appearances are nothing but illusions, shadows or dreams.
In view of this exciting and double challenge our Centre has developed its main Areas of research and seminal teaching.