"Ecological Phenomenology: bodiliness and the study of experience in Classical Indian texts"
Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad (Lancaster University)

December 7, 2021, 9:00am - 10:00am
University of Tübingen



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-7 Dezember, 2021, 7pm

Prof. Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, Lancaster University : "Ecological Phenomenology: bodiliness and the study of experience in Classical Indian texts"

I will introduce and outline the concept of ‘ecological phenomenology’ that Maria Heim and I developed in the study of classical Indian texts: On the one side, it is a method of analytically describing experience, in which the context always matters and determines the way we can absorb a text’s particular set of descriptions. ‘Context’ in this methodological sense includes: the genre with its literary conventions and lexical registers, the stated purposes of the text, and the narrative or other locating devices by which the significance of the textual passages in question is foregrounded. Ecology here is hermeneutic, and permits shifts of scope and constitution. On the other, it is  a philosophy of the nature of experience  intrinsically bodily in nature. Here, ecological phenomenology argues that the analysis of the bodily manifestation of subjectivity is always dependent on context. ‘Context’ in this philosophical sense includes: material constituents of the objective body whose boundaries and features vary, ambient features of the sensory range, affective artefacts in the environment, norms of conduct, and the dynamics of social identity. Making some intercultural comparisons with certain strands in the Western Phenomenological traditions, I will suggest that ecological phenomenology allows for the emergence of a conception of bodily being that could engage fruitfully with post-Cartesian ideas about the body in Phenomenology.

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