Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Phenomenology is best understood as an internally contested tradition or movement within twentieth-century philosophy that is distinguished by its radical openness and commitment to describing phenomena as they appear, without distortion by theoretical commitments or presuppositions. Phenomenology has been important in the human sciences both as a negative means for criticizing predominant forms of behaviorism, positivism, and naturalism and also as an alternative positive approach to the human sciences, also known as social sciences. Phenomenology has had less influence within the discipline of political science than in the other human sciences. Increasingly, however, phenomenological approaches are being used in combination with interpretive approaches to challenge the predominant positivistic forms of political science. Likewise, though the historical relation between phenomenology and political theory is minimal, there is an increasing number of contemporary political theorists explicitly drawing on the phenomenological tradition. Though there is no single phenomenological approach to political theory, Phenomenology ...