Aleš OblakORCID logo

University Psychiatric Clinic Ljubljana, Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychopathology
Ljubljana, Slovenia

INDECS 19(4), 470-492, 2021
DOI 10.7906/indecs.19.4.2
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Received: 7th January 2020.
Accepted: 23rd December 2021.
Regular article


We propose a method of consensually validating phenomenal data. We believe such a method is necessary due to underreporting of explicit validation procedures in empirical phenomenological literature. We argue that descriptive science, exemplified by phenomenology and natural history, rely on nominalization for construction of intersubjectively accessible knowledge. We compare the epistemologies of phenomenology and natural history, pointing out that they differ in their attitudes towards the interpretation of texts and visual epistemology, however, they both rely on eidetic intuition of experts for knowledge construction. In developing our method, we started out with the prismatic approach, a method of researching embodied social dynamics. We then used debriefings on the experience of consensual validation to further refine the method. Importantly, we suggest that for a nominalization of experiential world to be intersubjectively accessible, a group of co-researchers has to independently construct said vocabulary. We therefore propose that during consensual validation, co-researchers be presented with composite descriptions of experiential categories, compare them with their experience, attempt to falsify them, and finally jointly name them. Our approach does not yield a single vocabulary for description of experience, but a number of commensurable vocabularies, contingent on a specific research setting

consensual validation, phenomenal data, participatory sense-making, empirical phenomenology, intersubjective accessibility

APA:2260, 2630

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