I have been diving into phenomenology for my research and it seems very interesting. But coming back to the "practical" world I still don't can't really describe its stance on various phenomenon. I understand that knowledge is positional and related to experience and the meanings which is derived from it. But would this mean that technological progress/development is only a progress/development since we prescribe meaning to technology from our experience of it?

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    Phenomenology is not a unified movement; rather, different authors share a common family resemblance but also with many significant differences. A phenomenologist is emphasizing one's subjective perception and conception. If you regard driving car is better than walking technologically, then this is justified as a firm support and evidence to your stance regarding such comparison. It tries to avoid metaphysical discourse to ontology to further investigate the interaction details of human with driving a car or walking, like mind-body like Cartesian interaction discourse. Apr 5, 2021 at 3:49

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Phenomenology evolved through protest of the 19th century positivist paradigm which asserted that reality was totally logical, causal, and Cartesian (objectivity produces knowledge and is independent of human observation). Conversely, phenomenologists (such as Husserl, Heidegger) believed that knowledge was achieved through interactions between researchers and participants as summarized by Heidegger's Dasein (Being in the world vs knowing in the world) which opposes the Cartesian "abstract agent" in favor of practical engagement with one's environment. So phenomenology was considered subjective, and mainly used outside of traditional science realms, such as psychology and nursing.

Under this context, we can say phenomenology rejects ontological independent quantitative causality like physical laws, while strives to describe phenomena without subjective bias or predispositions, especially in the Husserl's school of thought with his famous "biases bracketing or epoche", and finally tries to identify the structure of consciousness (noesis and noema) and intentionality purely through the intersubjective lifeworld. It's like study of what's within all the available sense data between researchers and participants, not what's behind all the available sense data.

As to the meaning of any phenomenon under phenomenology, Husserl's descriptive philosophy can only give us clear impartial intended themes about the participant's phenomenal experience since participant's self-judgments have all been suspended with this approach. While Heidegger's hermeneutic interpretive phenomenology may give further "interpreted understanding" of participant's meaning by joining researcher's subjective landscape via a priori categories setup and matching with each entry of participants' described experience. So with this interpretive philosophy, meaning can be identified through shared knowledge and shared experiences between researchers and participants, though inherently it's biased but shared with all the people involved. For example, if both researcher and participant subjectively agree and value driving is a moral and attentive artistic activity than simply wanting to do something else while driving as an onerous task so as not to waste one's time, then the new technology of autonomous driving car may not be a progress in this hypothetical case...

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