Category Archives: Phenomenology

The phenomenological influence of Nolwenn Leroy

There are two epilogues to my model that I will address going forward. One is the influence of Martin Heidegger and the other is the odd and seemingly serendipitous inclusion of the music of Nolwenn Leroy. Nolwenn’s influence led me to the final component which was syntax. Syntax is my addition to the Husserlian and Steinian phenomenological model.

Heidegger I will cover in more depth later. One of his critiques of his master Edmund Husserl was that we do not live our lives constantly “eidetically reducing” everything we do to its core essence. We run around doing things without thinking much of everything we’re doing. So, he developed the concepts of “present-at-hand” (being aware) and “ready-at-hand.” Contemplating the meaning of the wine glass in your hand makes it “present-at-hand.” Just drinking your wine with little to no regard for the glass makes it “ready-at-hand.” More on that later. The second is his notion of “presence.” An object locked inches from me behind a door is less present to me than an object a block away that I can access. The latter is “closer” to me than the former. The third Heideggarian influence is the need for a hermeneutical process in the science of phenomenology.

Nolwenn’s influence begs more explanation, and I will focus on this in more depth later as well. It began when French social media introduced me to her version of Tri Martolod. I then downloaded her Histoire Naturelle live performance to an unmarked CD. For five or so years I listened to this performance on my commutes without remembering who she was. I would just play that “French singer” over and over.

Simultaneously I was writing and developing the model. More and more the flow of the Histoire Naturelle music, the syntax, became part of my “thematic field of noematic meaning.” Of itself, I would say this could easily be explained away through psychologism. But then I discovered that medical tests demonstrated that her music was more efficacious in some respects than even Mozart. And she is a pop singer. How can a French pop singer have an affect that matches or exceeds that of Mozart?

I began to look beyond psychology and toward phenomenology to answer the question. What I found was an “eidetic” principle of syntax. Her music was pointing to something more transcendent than the instantiation of the music itself. That principle was the capstone to my project. When I listen to Nolwenn, I hear more than marvelous music, I hear my project.

We can speak of what is true and not true – phenomenologically

We tend to think of values as being purely subjective, something that we cannot view as “true” for everyone. They are subjective and depend on the individual. We cannot rely on subjective “values.” Only on empirical science. The basis for discussion is only in “science” since it alone is objective and true. This, of course, means we only can be guided by “scientists” and other “specialists.” Your values are not real in the sense that science is real.

Except, maybe, that is not so obvious after all….

“That happiness is intrinsically better than misery, and that unprovoked injury must be rectified and compensated, hold universally and necessarily, and can be readily seen to do so, with genuine insight, in a way that it is not true of empirical truths, such as that water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.” ~ Detmer, David. Phenomenology Explained (Ideas Explained) (p. 174). Open Court. Kindle Edition.

We need to get back to the basics – back to reality – if we are going to relate with each other and break out of this cycle of doom in which we are engulfed. We can speak of “true” and “not true” values at the most basic level. Let’s get back to the basics and start building our communications, our relationships, and our communities back on a foundation of what’s real.