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Phenomenology and the sociology of knowledge Essay

Phenomenology can both be understood to be a discipline and a movement in the history of philosophy. As a discipline, Phenomology can be defined to be the study of structures of experience and consciousness. Ontology, epistemology, logic and ethics are other disciplines which are related to Phenomology though they are distinct (Schulz, Wagner, 1997). In a different perspective, Phenomology can be defined as a historical movement which was launched by great thinkers such as Edmund Husserl among others in the 20th century. Phenomenology and social science

Common theories present in social science are based in the real world. This leads to my conviction that phenomenological research can be used in the future studies of some methods which are in use in social science. Phenomenology can further be used in social science to facilitate the understanding of some phenomenon’s which are often taken for granted. For instance, man is assumed to be social being and language and communication systems do exist. Methods in social science fail to address why there is mutual understanding and communication and why men are motivated by certain experiences.

Moreover, the social science methods fail to describe the underlying assumption and their implications in the interpretation of social interrelationship (Collins, 1998). All these can only be addressed through philosophical analysis which Husserl referred to as phenomenological philosophy. Phenomenology can also be used to bring meaning and insights to the study of grief, anxiety and pain which are some social issues which affect the very existence of man. Through phenomenology, social scientists can account and analytically describe the acts of intentional consciousness.

Finally, phenomenology creates a bridge for the phenomenological sociology which provides an understand ding of the formal structures common in everyday day life. Sociology of knowledge Sociology of knowledge refers to the study of the social sources of knowledge and its impact on the society. In the study, knowledge is assumed to be a cultural product which can only be understood in the social context of its origin. The study is important to Collins in that it provides an explanation to most of the philosophical ideas which exist.

In his book, he asserts that great and philosophical ideas are only produced through interaction between humans whose construction relies on the social structure of the intellectual world. Through the sociology of knowledge, Collins is able to explain that the rationalization process of Western, Indian and Asian philosophies has only been achieved through conceptual framework and social knowledge. He uses the sociology of knowledge to explain that social processes have an explanation as to why what is said to whom which he calls the sociology of thinking (Geoffrey, 2003).

He also asserts that through the sociology of knowledge one is in a capacity to predict the conversation between two individuals if only their characteristics and the emotional synergies are known. He further uses the sociology of knowledge to explain how it is possible to predict the thinking process of an individual. Though thinking is an internalized conversation, Collins asserts that what we think is often a reflection of what we write on paper or we talk with other people. Collins believes that emotional energy and what we anticipate for the future determines our thinking process (Collins, 1998).

Finally, the sociology of knowledge has enable Collins to describe the philosophical transformations which have been achieved in modern Europe, Japan and china. References Collins, R. (1998). The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory Of Intellectual Change Harvard University press, USA ISBN 0-674-00187-7 Geoffrey, L. (2003). Modern Philosophy. London: Routledge Schulz, A. & Wagner, H. (1997). On Phenomenology and Social Relations: Selected Writings. University of Chicago press. London ISBN 0-226-74153-2


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