Husserl’s Crisis and the Problem of History
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It has long been claimed that The Crisis of European Sciences, Husserl’s last work, represents a significant new development in his thought. I believe this is true, but I think this claim has consistently been made for the wrong reasons. Not the concept of the life-world, which is usually taken as the new departure, but the emergence of the problem of history, is what is radically new in the Crisis, To be sure, the two notions are closely related. But there is a way of considering the life-world which, although it greatly expands the scope of Husserl’s earlier phenomenology, is entirely consistent with its program. It is otherwise with the problem of history, as I shall try to show. For what this problem introduces into phenomenology is neither a new theme for investigation nor even, as in the case of the life-world, a new conception of the whole domain of investigation. Rather, it calls forth a new conception of the procedure of investigation itself, a new conception of phenomenological method.
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