What Type of Theory Is Phenomenology?


Diego Sanchez

Phenomenology is a philosophical movement that originated in the early 20th century. It is concerned with the study of human experience and consciousness, and it aims to describe and understand these phenomena in their own terms. Phenomenology is often described as a descriptive, non-reductive, and non-metaphysical approach to philosophy.

What is Phenomenology?

Phenomenology was founded by Edmund Husserl, a German philosopher who sought to provide a rigorous and systematic account of subjective experience. According to Husserl, our experiences are not just passive impressions of the world but rather active engagements with it. Phenomenology seeks to elucidate this active engagement by describing the structure of experience itself.

The Method of Phenomenology

Phenomenology employs a unique method that involves bracketing or setting aside our preconceptions about the world. This process allows us to focus on the phenomena themselves without being distracted by our assumptions or biases. By doing so, phenomenologists seek to gain insight into the essence of these phenomena.

Types of Phenomenology

There are several different types of phenomenology, each with its own focus and approach. One type is transcendental phenomenology, which seeks to uncover the fundamental structures of consciousness that make possible our experiences of the world.

Another type is hermeneutic phenomenology, which focuses on interpreting cultural practices and texts in light of their underlying meanings and structures.

Yet another type is existential phenomenology, which explores the subjective experience of existence and aims to understand how individuals make meaning out of their lives.


In conclusion, phenomenology is a philosophical movement that seeks to describe and understand human experience in its own terms. It employs a unique method that involves bracketing our preconceptions about the world, and it has several different types that focus on different aspects of experience. Whether you are a philosopher, psychologist, or just someone interested in understanding the nature of consciousness, phenomenology offers a rich and nuanced approach that is sure to deepen your understanding of the world around you.