CRISIS OF SCIENCES AND PHENOMENOLOGY: OVERCOMING OR RADICALIZATION?
Authors: MIKHAIL BELOUSOV
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In his late works Husserl interprets the crisis of European sciences as the loss of their meaning for life. The diagnosis seems to suggest therapeutic strategy: to overcome the crisis, phenomenology must return to the evidences of the life-world. The article argues that the husserlian strategy of overcoming the crisis consists not in the elimination of the break with the prescientific evidences of the natural attitude, but, on the contrary, in the radicalization of the breach. Thus, I want to show that Husserl seeks to overcome the crisis of sciences by means of more radical crisis of phenomenology. In Husserl’s view, phenomenology must become the only science, which does not presuppose the life-world, since it problematizes it. I am going to argue also, that the counterintuitive strategy is not just of the historico-philosophical interest, but is meaningful for the actual philosophical understanding of the life-world. To justify those claims, I will proceed in three stages. In the first section of the article, I analyze the difference between the objective world and the life-world, which is the point of departure of husserlian interpretation of the crisis of sciences in Crisis. Bringing into correlation the difference between the objective world and the life-world in Crisis with the distinction of the ideal world and the real one in Ideas I, I disclose the ambiguity of husserlian interpretation of the crisis of European sciences. According to Husserl, the crisis arises, when science transcends the life-world through the idealizations, and, at the same time, presupposes the immediate prescientific evidences as something that is taken for granted. In the second section, I argue that the strategy of overcoming the crisis in Crisis is based on the phenomenological epoche, which allows for the porblematization of the life-world without presupposing it, Within this context I demonstrate the motivational unity of two reductions, performed by Husserl in Crisis—the reduction to the life-world, stripping the reality of the garb of ideas mistakingly taken to be the reality itself, and the reduction of the life-world, turning it into horizon and depriving phenomenologist of a right of relying on the life-worldly evidences, which is taken for granted in the natural science and renders it possible. The unity of the reductions indicates that phenomenological descent back down to the life-world is treated by Husserl as the radical break with the evidences of the natural life. The third section discusses the question, whether the problematical character of the life-world can be revealed only from the point of view of disinterested spectator, or it can be discovered, in a way, from within, in pretheoretical experience, which capacitates the life to problematizing itself and motivates phenomenological epoche. I argue that, although the question is not answered in a suitable way within husserlian analyses of the motivation for the epoche, the key to the solution of the problem is provided by the genetic phenomenology, since it thematizes the historicity of the life-world. I interpret the historicity as the ambivalent pretheoretical experience, constituting both the self-evidence and the problematical character of the life-world.