Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology
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It is somewhat ironic that Phenomenology, as a term or as a philosophical school, has yet to really reach the popular consciousness, given that phenomenology is in many respects a study of consciousness and how reality impacts consciousness. Phenomenology in the most formal sense of being a school of philosophy is largely traced to Franz Brentano (1838-1917) andEdmund Husserl (1859-1938). Husserl's great work at the turn of the last century, Logical Investigations, set the stage for the development of phenomenology as a way of seeing, a descriptive study with roots in empiricism going back to inspiration from Aristotelian ideas. This is a key word - description. Rather than being a set of constructs and principles typical of previous philosophical systems, Phenomenology attempts to describe reality fully as reality is presented to our senses.
Written at the end of his career and on the eve of the Holocaust, the Crisis stands, I believe, as one of the greatest one volume educations in print today. Unlike his more "technical" works which rigorously deal with phenomenology in itself,the Crisis is more of a look at the need for phenomenology and phenomenological psychology in modern humanity's life. Looking at the history of science and philosophy, Husserl traces the development and "success" of scientism and materialism. In doing so phenomenologically, Husserl makes a very strong case for the need of phenomenology in order to overcome the lifelessness of materialism and inaugurate a "heroism of reason" and humanism. Anyone interested in philosophy, science, sociology, civil rights, etc. I urge to read this book actively and critically. For non-specialists and people who aren't "scholars" of any kind or degree may find the language a bit dense or heavy at times, but ! . . . it's good for you. The volume also features appendices which include the classic Vienna Lecture as well as other essays and lectures. The Crisis is a classic and brilliant look into science, philosophy and society which, unlike a lot of theory today, offers a cohesive system grounded in humanism, to wit, Husserlian phenomenology. Please read this book.
Husserl, Globalization, Science & Crisis
August 20, 2006