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Methodological Reductionism in Realistic Phenomenology

The Completion of the Reduction in Philosophical Anthropology: Reconciling Scientific, Phenomenological/Apollonian, Dionysian and Cathartic Reduction

Zurück zum Heft: Phänomenologische Forschungen 2023-1
DOI: 10.28937/9783787345175_5
EUR 16,90

What is the status of the reduction in realistic phenomenology? Approaching this question presupposes understanding what realistic phenomenology is. Five ways of defining realistic phenomenology are delineated: 1) lineage definitions, 2) locality definitions, 3) thematic definitions, 4) definitions from the essence of philosophy, and 5) methodological definitions. The question of reduction’s status concerns mostly a combination of 4) and 5) but also draws on historical considerations. An overview of the realists’ critiques of the phenomenological reduction reveals that this method was not unilaterally rejected and, thus, demonstrates that there is not only methodological epochism but indeed also methodological reductionism within realistic phenomenology. The common denominator of these critiques is that the reductive method in transcendental phenomenology depends on a phenomenological theory of reality. An indepth discussion of Scheler’s philosophical anthropology shows that it hinges on a principled revision and systematic completion of the reduction. Reduction is no longer viewed as a scientific method but as a technique of inner acting. From the vantage point of his voluntative realism, Scheler’s technological reductionism is spelled out in terms of a stratified scheme relating reality experiences as resistance to the levels of the vital-psychic sphere: 1) primary resistance, 2) ecologically bound resistance, 3) internalized resistance, 4) ego-dystonic resistance and 5) (dis-)inhibition and objectification of drive impulses. Drawing on Celms’s distinction between 1) reducendum, 2) reductive base, 3) reduction as an epistemic act, and 4) result of the reduction, a new and systematic interpretation of Schelerian reductions is developed for the scientific, phenomenological/Apollonian, Dionysian, and cathartic reductions. Each reductive technique cultivates man’s facultative dispositions (intellect, will, feeling). Only their concerted cooperation unlocks man’s full cognitive and ethical potential.