Phenomenology, Memories & Friendship

Alright, I ask for your pardons as I am not the greatest at actually creating a meaningful form of feedback.

In reading Chapter four of Sears and Carins, I was rather fascinated by Phenomenology. For anyone who is reading this blog, and therefore this blog post, who is not in our Theory class, “Phenomenology… focuses on the examination of consciousness,” (Sears & Carins, 87). That is to say that our brains work in a miraculous way to sort out everything we see, everything we experience everyday of our lives. As we live and breathe in every conscious moment, our brains work very similarly to a computer, filing what we see, what we hear, what we smell, what we taste, etc., into not only meaningful sets of information but into what we know to be memories. Without consciousness, our daily lives would be filled with sets upon sets of data that, without meaningful coding, are just that, strings of data. Phenomenology is a bit like reading binary and being able to apply meaning to all of the various sets of numbers.

Now, to explain the photo above. While I am not the greatest with traditional media, (for those non art-savvy people, that means things like painting and drawing with your own hand) I have a bit of a niche for photography. The photo above was from a visit to Chicago’s infamous Millennium Park. Millennium Park is a place that makes me realize just how influential phenomenology is on our daily lives. As a repeat offender of sight-seeing, exploring and drinking in the culture of Chicago, my first visit to Millennium Park occurred merely a few years ago. The first time you walk through this art extravaganza, you’re bombarded with dozens of different shapes, colors, and sizes of the different pieces. All around you are the sounds of busy tourists, young children, traffic, blaring sirens, smells of flowers and food. But yet, consciousness allows us to put certain sounds, sights, and scents into different levels of foreground (important) and background (less important).

During my visit to Millennium Park, I was with a group of friends, whom I could only claim to be my friends through the concept of intersubjectivity. Intersubjectivity is the concept that we assume that others see the world in essentially the same way that we do, (Sears & Carins, 90). By assuming that others see the world in essentially the same way that we do, we are able to interact with them and seemingly understand them. In my experience with others, the more we seem to understand one another the stronger the bond formed between them, thusly the lead to what we commonly know as friendship.

Tying this all together, Phenomenology is the study of consciousness. Why is this important in Anthropological Theory? Simply because consciousness is social. Consciousness allows us to categorize, file, and store sets of informative data all around us, including our interactions with other people. However, we only interact and relate to other people on the assumed basis that we have a similar understanding to the world that we live in, this is intersubjectivity. That’s all I’ve got for you folks. I hope I didn’t bore you to tears. :3


Phenomenology, Memories & Friendship


4 thoughts on “Phenomenology, Memories & Friendship

  1. Tom Montemurro says:

    i have to agree putting the definitions in the context and relating it with an easy understanding really did help me understand it better. Also, very cool photo.

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