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Introduction: I Have a Hunch

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Chapter Summary

Seeing key terms "public", "universal", and virtually "timeless", and assumptions used again and again as the starting point for scholarly analysis encourages the author to make a disclosure in print: "I have hunches". It was this hunch about the universality of the hunch that first made him feel that hunches were cross-cultural; a feeling that led to the author's belief that a rigorous, scientific study of the meaning and the rich variety of hunches was worth pursuing. The author distinguishes hunches not just from idle guesses, but also from more systematic hypotheses or predictions. Studying the hunch in its fullest, authentic, and concrete sense, both its meaning to the participant and the varied forms taken by the hunch in different times and places, can be achieved by an institutionally autonomous comparative science of hunches.

Keywords: cross-cultural phenomenology; hunches; universality

10.1163/9789004281417_004
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