Is Bracketing Used in Phenomenology?


Martha Robinson

Phenomenology is a philosophical approach to understanding the nature of subjective experience. It was first introduced by Edmund Husserl in the early 20th century and has since been developed by a number of other philosophers.

One question that often arises in discussions about phenomenology is whether or not bracketing is used. In this article, we will explore this question in more detail.

What is Bracketing?

Bracketing, also known as epoch√©, is a key concept in phenomenology. It involves suspending one’s own beliefs and assumptions about the world in order to focus on the pure experience of consciousness. This means that any preconceived notions about the world are temporarily put aside so that the experience can be examined in its own right.

Is Bracketing Used in Phenomenology?

The short answer to this question is yes, bracketing is used extensively in phenomenology. In fact, it is considered to be one of the foundational principles of the approach.

Why Is Bracketing Important?

Bracketing allows us to examine our experiences without any bias or preconceived notions. By setting aside our beliefs and assumptions, we can focus solely on the subjective experience itself. This enables us to gain insights into the nature of consciousness and perception that might otherwise be obscured by our own biases and prejudices.

How Is Bracketing Achieved?

There are several methods for achieving bracketing, but they all involve some form of intentional suspension of belief or judgment. For example, one might simply take a deep breath and consciously set aside any thoughts or beliefs about what they are experiencing.

Another method involves using language to distance oneself from their own experiences. For example, instead of saying “I see a red apple,” one might say “there appears to be a red object.” By removing oneself from the description of the experience, one can more easily examine it objectively.


In conclusion, bracketing is a fundamental concept in phenomenology that allows us to gain insights into the nature of consciousness and perception. By setting aside our own beliefs and assumptions, we can focus on the pure experience of consciousness and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.