Please, write your comments and thoughts during the fellows’ day as a reply to this post.
Notes from Fellows’ Day Phenomenology Group Discussion:
Fellows met in small groups to briefly discuss the first lecture of Merleau-Ponty’s The World of Perception and Iris Marion Young’s “Throwing Like a Girl”.
Group 1 considered whether the body plays a mediating or constitutive role for Merleau-Ponty. They discussed how have access to the world through our bodies and also pondered the generalizability of knowledge gained through bodily experiences.
Group 2 focused primarily on the Young reading, reviewing the positive and negative aspects of the piece. On the positive side they admired the care of her descriptions, but this group also found her lack of counterarguments and limited interpretations drawn from the descriptions to be problematic. They raised issues regarding the personal background of a researcher and how this might relate to study of a given population.
Group 3 focused slightly more on the Young reading and questioned whether or not there is indeed a phenomenon of ‘throwing like a girl,’ and also raised some biomechanical reflections on the complexity of motor control etc involved in different acts like throwing. The group reviewed the influence of Merleau-Ponty and Beauvoir to Young and asked what perspectives her work then opens. They discussed whether or not the I can/I cannot ambiguity or tension is something they experience personally and whether the I can is a universal feature of human potential. Generally they reflected on the relation of body to mind and subjectivity to objectivity.
At least one theme or question that appears (to me) to be common to the groups is the degree to which knowledge and insight gained in phenomenological practice (however defined/understood) can be generalized to wider or perhaps to universal conclusions about human existence in the world.
Please feel free to add to or amend the notes I have collected here.
I am also curious whether Prof. Gallagher’s talk from yesterday evening clarified or called into question anything that came up in your group’s discussions regarding phenomenological method.
Feedback & facilitating collaboration:
Just a quick reminder/request to hand in to Miriam or myself (Elena) any feedback you may have for any fellows’ presentation. Feedback for example may be in regards to the presentation style/format itself or may be a simple expression of interest in finding out more about the project. Feel free to use the templates we gave out or not. We would like to distribute feedback to presenters by the end of the week.
If you have any sticky notes or comments regarding TESIS expectations, Hanne and I welcome them and will write up & follow up on these suggestions.
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