Phenomenological and systems perspectives

Above: Phenomenological and systems perspectives. A suitable combination, as suggested by Fuchs & De Jaegher (2009), of the languages of Phenomenology and Systems Theory greatly helps our discussion as such languages move between the subjective and objective in a way that facilitates the thorough exploration of the first person (client perspective), second person (therapist perspective) and third person (system-level perspective).

“This process may be described (1) from a dynamical agentive systems point of view as an interaction and coordination of two embodied agents; (2) from a phenomenological approach as a mutual incorporation, i.e. a process in which the lived bodies of both participants extend and form a common intercorporality.” (Fuchs & De Jaegher, 2009)

A nice example of this switch between phenomenological and system-level perspectives can be seen in a transitionary device used in a variety of media and specifically computer games, such as Rockstar Game’s open world sandbox game Grand Theft Auto V, where the player is facilitated in moving between different characters whom they may embody (GameTrailers, 2014). This is achieved by zooming out of the characters (phenomenological) perspective to an aerial view (system-level) and then down again into the next embodied character. That such transitions are possible also serves to demonstrate the universality of sense-making: we can take on the roles of different characters in games, we can walk or drive different vehicles in every day life; we can be versatile but it must make sense and that is the constant [‘Grand Theft Auto V’ (2013) Rockstar Games].