The Theory of Phenomena


Phenomenology comes from structures that are found within a conscious experience. Phenomena are the structures that exhibit themselves on the assumptions and presuppositions of science. One can consider them the way a thing is immediately experienced and the way it is. Edmund Husserl was the first distinguished phenomenologist. He investigated phenomena without making assumptions about the world.

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Martin Heidegger also wanted to see things without presumptions but he was not convinced by Husserl’s theory of phenomena. He, on the other hand, believed that the source of seeing things this way was being itself. His theory states that humans are caught up in their own ideas, and being has been reduced to a world of “objects” dominated by humans through their own logic. In a nutshell, he felt that humans were basically ignorant of the true nature of being. (Bruder, 2002)

The phenomenologist primarily responsible for the introduction of phenomenology in France is Emmanuel Levinas. The core of his theories centered specifically on the sense of being aware of what and how humans exist in the world. Unlike Heidegger, he was convinced that philosophy began with the experiences of our otherness, and he stated that God exists as an Absolute Otherness that can never be infringed. Levinas disagreed with Husserl’s theory of being because he felt that would make the other a mere object for consciousness.

As you can see, the historical development of Continental philosophy’s existentialism and phenomenology in response to Hegelian idealism can be traced all the way back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. And while the philosophers often disagree, it is relatively evident that the key contributors to the rise in existentialism and phenomenology had extensive disagreements with Hegelian idealism and is quite clear in their writings. History is a sequence of accepting the divine, nature, society, and beauty.

In Hegel’s opinion, the struggle of human beings from the beginning of human history to understand the whole history is lead by the need to understand the divine. To Hegel, man is a self-representation being. It likes to show what it represents, writes, paints, sings, etc. we express our emotions, thoughts, and beliefs, and with this, we leave records of our existence. (Bruder, 2002)

Claiming for working out an introduction in philosophy that would precede it, Hegel’s comments are equivalent to the statement that it is possible to learn swimming, without dipping in the water. Despite that Hegel is convinced, that transition from ordinary consciousness to the philosophical should be carried out indirectly, instead of romantically in a sudden way, and, so, Hegel recognizes the existence of certain introduction in philosophy.

“Phenomenology of Mind” has been conceived and written by Hegel just on purpose to clear empirical consciousness and to “indirectly” ennoble it to absolute knowledge and spirit. For this reason Phenomenology, it was spoken as about a certain sort of “introduction in philosophy”. It is necessary to specify at once, that it is a question not of propaedeutics or introduction which precedes a science, but about propaedeutics which is a science already in itself. Dedication in philosophy is already philosophy. Moreover, to understand Phenomenology the composition, it is impossible to forget for a minute about the main installations of Hegel’s system.

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According to Hegel, philosophy is knowledge of the Absolute in two senses: the Absolute as object and the Absolute as the subject. After all the philosophy is Absolute learning (self-knowledge through philosophy). If it so, the Absolute not only the purpose to which the phenomenology aspires but, according to many scientists, as well the force ennobling consciousness.

It is possible to assert, that Phenomenology dedicates to the man, not a less significant role than to the Absolute.

If speaking about Existentialism that specifies such terms as an existence which is the possibility, i.e. «possibility to be». The existence this is not essence, not something given by nature, predetermined and invariable. Unlike plants and animals, the person is what he has decided to be. Its existence in sense of self-construction is given us an opportunity and reaching beyond the limits is an uncertain difficulty, risk, determination, and a forward rush. Depending on where the throw is directed -to God, to the world, to themselves, freedom, anything distinguish the conceptual lines of existentialism as a movement.

­ Existentialism’s sources ­ as the special direction of thoughts are contained in Kierkegaard’s doctrine. It was he who formulated for the first time an antithesis of existence and the system, understanding under last Hegel’s system.

As subject life expresses itself not original existence of the man, finding existence assumes solving choice utilizing which the person passes from a contemplate-sensual way of the life determined by external factors of environment, to oneself the one and unique. This way Kierkegaard, contrary to Hegel’s speculative dialectics, named existential dialectics.

The essential component of this ideology was the educational belief in the victory of the progressive movement of mankind in process of successes of science and civilization. The first and especially the Second World War with the genocide organized by fascists have found out the obvious deficiency of humanity in the base of a scientific and technical civilization – in relations between people. Then was the time of Existentialism which becomes the most popular movement in Western Europe in the ’40-the ’60s of the last century.

The manifesto of this direction became the book and articles by Jaspers, Marcel, and Heidegger. These books and articles were written in the twenties and the thirties of the last century but become a public phenomenon in the first decades after the victory over fascism. The new push to the development was given by Sartre’s and Camus’ activity which have comprehended the experience of struggle against fascism and politicized Existentialism, having it connected with sociopolitical problems of the post-war time.

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Works Cited

Bruder, K., & Moore, B. N. (2002): Philosophy: The power of ideas (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill HigherEducation.

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