Broadening Peirce’s Phaneroscopy: Part Two

Phaneroscopy is Peirce’s name for the science we now call phenomenology (see 2012a).  Like every science, phaneroscopy has an object of study (the phaneron, from the Greek for manifest), an aim, and a method.  Whereas part one argues in favor of a broader conception of phaneroscopy’s aim, part two argues in favor of a broader conception of phaneroscopy’s method.

There is a general consensus that phaneroscopy involves observation, description, and analysis of the phaneron.  However, what those amount to is up for debate.  One commentator on Peirce’s views holds that the description and analysis of the phaneron are the same.  Another holds that the observation and description of the phaneron are the same.  I argue that we really ought to regard each of these—observation, description, and analysis—as distinct phaneroscopic endeavors.  We observe or inspect what is manifest.  We make judgments about it.  Then we utilize those judgments to analyze the phaneron and to engage in a debate over the accuracy and adequacy of our analyses.  I illustrate the idea with an analogy to the philosophy of logic and philosophical logic.  (See 2014b for more comments on analysis.)

Perhaps most importantly, I adapt Richard’s paradox (often used to motivate the distinction between mathematics and metamathematics) to show that the analysis of the phaneron must be conducted with all of the semiotic presuppositions we already have.

Also included in this essay are: (a) a note that phaneroscopy is analytic and not synthetic; (b) an account of the views of André De Tienne and T.L. Short; and (c) a proposal that we recognize three sub-disciplines for phaneroscopy in Peirce’s classification of the sciences (see 2006).