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eidetic reduction

in phenomenology, a method by which the philosopher moves from the consciousness of individual and concrete objects to the transempirical realm of pure essences and thus achieves an intuition of the eidos (Greek: "shape") of a thing-i.e., of what it is in its invariable and essential structure, apart from all that is contingent or accidental to it. The eidos is thus the principle or necessary structure of the thing. Being a science of essences, phenomenology finds this reduction important for its methodology.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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