Phenomenology (from Greek: phainómenon "that which appears"; and lógos "study") is a philosophical movement. It was founded in the early years of the 20th century by Edmund Husserl, expanded together with a circle of his followers at the universities of Göttingen and Munich in Germany, and spread across to France, the United States, and elsewhere, often in contexts far removed from Husserl's early work.
Phenomenology, in Husserl's conception, is primarily concerned with the systematic reflection on and analysis of the structures of consciousness, and the phenomena which appear in acts of consciousness. Such reflection was to take place from a highly modified "first person" viewpoint, studying phenomena not as they appear to "my" consciousness, but to any consciousness whatsoever. Husserl believed that phenomenology could thus provide a firm basis for all human knowledge, including scientific knowledge, and could establish philosophy as a "rigorous science" of measurable perception..
Husserl's conception of phenomenology has been criticised and developed not only by himself, but also by his students Edith Stein and Martin Heidegger, by existentialists, such as Max Scheler, Nicolai Hartmann, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, and by other philosophers, such as Paul Ricoeur, Emmanuel Levinas, and sociologists Alfred Schütz and Eric Voegelin.
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