Skip to main content
To KTH's start page To KTH's start page

Exploring the hidden side of lived experience through Micro-phenomenology

For our next FFF Friday seminar at MID KTH, Claire Petitmengin will present her work on Micro-phenomenology

Time: Fri 2021-03-19 13.00

Location: Online

Export to calendar

What's happening when an idea comes to us? When we listen to a course, read an article, or write an e-mail? When we discover an artwork, enter a forest, listen to a piece of music, or breathe a perfume? A large part of these phenomena, which constitute the very texture of our existence, escape awareness and verbal description, and have thus so far been excluded from scientific investigation. However, these difficulties do not mean that our experience is out of reach. They mean that accessing it requires a particular expertise, which consists in carrying out specific acts. Micro-phenomenology is a new scientific discipline aiming at triggering such acts. It enables us to discover ordinary inaccessible dimensions of our lived experience and describe them very accurately and reliably. The development of this "psychological microscope" opens vast fields of investigation in the educational, technological, clinical and therapeutic, as well as artistic and contemplative domains. Notably, it enables us to explore a deeply pre-reflective, transmodal and gestural dimension of our experience that seems to play an essential role in the process of emergence of any meaning and understanding.

Claire Petitmengin is currently Professor Emerita in Philosophy at the Institut Mines-Télécom and member of the Archives Husserl, Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. Her research focuses on the usually unrecognized dynamics of lived experience and “micro-phenomenological” methods enabling us to become aware of it and highlight its essential structures. She studies the epistemological conditions of these methods, as well as their educational, therapeutic, artistic and contemplative applications. She currently devotes herself to exploring the links between the ecological crisis and our blindness to our lived experience.