Studying the Intentionality of Human Being: Through the Elementary Meaning of Lived Experience

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Based upon a brief outline of existential-phenomenological ontology we present a theoretical and practical understanding of human being, which is suited for a methodologically reflected approach to qualitative research. We present the phenomenological distinction between three dimensions of corporeal intentionality (structural, generative and dialectic intentionality) that form elementary events and structures of meaning. Various aspects of human being are better scrutinized with these concepts of intentionality, such as the association of individual being or collective being (e.g. groups) with the less differentiated anonymity of human being. The aim of our framework is to support the qualitative researcher in grasping the experience of the human life in closer accord with how this being actually unfolds and is lived. Application of the presented framework is illuminated with empirical examples from educational, health and psychological contexts. Finally, we discuss the methodological implications that our approach has for qualitative investigations of human being.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Phenomenological Psychology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)214-246
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2018


  • qualitative methodology
  • existential phenomenology
  • ontology of human being
  • corporeal intentionality
  • elementary meaning
  • lived experience


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