Science and the Lebenswelt on Husserl’s Philosophy of Science

  • Jairo José Da Silva Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de Lisboa

Abstract

I present and discuss in this paper Husserl's investigation of the genesis of the modern conception of empirical reality as carried out in his last work The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. The goal ofHusserl's genetic investigation was to uncover the many layers of constitution that from the life-world (the Lebenswelt) the modern scientific conception of Nature was originated and to point out the need to ground the scientific project of modernity in the life-world so as to overcome the "alienation" that, for him, characterized the "crisis" of European science. I, however, approach his analyses from a different perspective. The problem that interests me here is the applicability of mathematics in the empirical science. My aim is to assess Husserl's treatment of this question in order to see whether it can be sustained from a strictly scientific perspective. My conclusion is that it cannot. What Husserl takes for the "crisis" of science is inherent to the best scientific methodology. Nonetheless, Husserl's analyses offer important insights that I incorporate in what I believe to be a more satisfactory treatment of the problem concerning the role of mathematics in the empirical science.

References

BLOCH, F. (1976). Heisenberg and the Early Days of Quantum Mechanics. In: Physics Today 29(12): 23-27.
DA SILVA, J. J. (2013). Husserl and the Principle of Bivalence. In: Hill and da Silva, 285-298.
— (Forthcoming). Husserl and Weyl. The Elusiveness of Influence
HILL, C. O. & DA SILVA, J. J. (2013). The Road Not Taken. On Husserl’s Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics. London: College Publications.
HOPKINS, B. (2011). The Origins of the Logic of Symbolic Mathematics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
HUSSERL, E. (1891). Philosophie der Arithmetik. Halle: Pfeffer. Also published in: Husserliana, Bd. XII. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1970. English translation: Philosophy of Arithmetic, Psychological and Logical Investigations with Supplementary Texts from 1887-1901. Trans. D. Willard. Dordrecht: Springer, 2003.
— (1954). Die Krisis der europäischen Wissenschaften und die transzendentale
Phänomenologie. Eine Einleitung in die phänomenologische Philosophie. Husserliana VI. Ed. W. Biemel. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. English translation: The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. Trans. David Carr. Evanston, Northwestern University Press, 1970.
KLEIN, J. (1969). Greek Mathematical Thought and the Origin of Algebra. Trans. by Eva Brann. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; reprint: New York, 1992. Orig. title: Die griechische Logistik und die Entstehung der Algebra. In: Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Mathematik, Astronomie und Physik, Abteilung B, 3(1)/1934, 18-105 (Part I), and 3(2)/1936, 122-235 (Part II).
KOYRÉ, A. (1956). Les origines de la science moderne. In: Diogène 16: 14-42; reprinted in: Études d'histoire de la pensée scientifique. Paris (1973): 61-86.
Published
2012-10-01
How to Cite
DA SILVA, Jairo José. Science and the Lebenswelt on Husserl’s Philosophy of Science. Phainomenon, [S.l.], n. 25, p. 83-107, oct. 2012. ISSN 2183-0142. Available at: <http://phainomenon-journal.pt/index.php/phainomenon/article/view/324>. Date accessed: 18 nov. 2018.
Section
Monographic Section: Mathematizing Nature