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Philosophical discipline originated by Edmund Husserl. Husserl developed the phenomenological method to make possible a descriptive account of the essential structures of the directly given. Phenomenology emphasizes the immediacy of experience, the attempt to isolate it and set it off from all assumptions of existence or causal influence and lay bare its essential structure. Phenomenology restricts the philosopher's attention to the pure data of consciousness, uncontaminated by metaphysical theories or scientific assumptions. Husserl's concept of the life-worldas the individual's personal world as directly experiencedexpressed this same idea of immediacy. With the appearance of the Annual for Philosophical and Phenomenological Research (1913–30), under Husserl's editorship, his personal philosophizing flowered into an international movement. Its most notable adherents were Max Scheler and Martin Heidegger.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on phenomenology, visit Britannica.com.