Phenomenology is the study of conscious experience. It is a philosophy based on the belief that reality consists in how humans perceive and understand objects and events. With phenomenology, there is no reality that exists beyond conscious human experience. Phenomenology, thus, focuses on things as objects of perception, not as things that exist independently.
Phenomenology is often viewed as one of the most important philosophical movements of the twentieth century. It began with the teachings of Edmund Husserl (1859–1938) who first used the term “phenomenology” in his work, Ideas: A General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology.
According to Husserl, the mind can contemplate nonexistent things as well as real objects. Thus, phenomenology does not presuppose that anything exists. Instead, there needs to be a “bracketing” of existence in which we set aside the issue of the real existence of objects. With bracketing, we should not discuss things like trees and rocks as objects external to our experience. Instead, we should discuss objects like these as perceptions of experience. Our focus should be on our experience and not on objects as they are in themselves.