Husserl’s Crisis and the Problem of History

  • David Carr
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 106)


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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    E. Husserl, Erste Philosophie, Erster Teil, Vol. VII of Husserliana, ed. by R. Boehm ( The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1956 ), p. 3.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    E. Husserl, The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology, trans, by David Carr (Evanston: Northwestern University Frees. 1970), p. 17 (hereafter abbreviated as ‘Cr.’).Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    E. Husserl, Die Krisis der europäischen Wissenschaften und die transzendentale Phänomenologie, Vol. VI of Husserliana, ed. by W. Biemel (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1954), p. 435 ff. (This section was not included in its entirety in the English translation, but cf Cr., p. 102 for an except).Google Scholar
  4. 11.
    E. Husserl, Philosophie als strenge Wissenschaft ( Frankfurt: Vittorio Klostermann, 1965 ), p. 71.Google Scholar
  5. 12.
    E. Husserl, Ideen zu einer Phänomenologie und phänomenologische Philosophie, Vol. III of Husserliana, ed. by W. Biemel (The Hague: M. Nijhoff. 1952), p. 40 f.Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    E. Husserl, Cartesian Meditations, trans, by Dorion Cairns (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1960 ), p. 26.Google Scholar
  7. 14.
    E. Husserl, Formal and Transcendental Logic, trans, by Dorion Cairns (The Hague: M. Nijhoff. 1969 ), p. 319.Google Scholar
  8. 43.
    E. Husserl, Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologische Philosophie, Zweites Buch, Vol. IV of Husserliana, ed. by M. Biemel ( The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1952 ), p. 375.Google Scholar
  9. 46.
    A. Gurwitsch, ‘Problems of the Life-World’, in Phenomenology and Social Reality, ed. by M. Natanson (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1970), p. 48 (my emphasis).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Carr
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of OttawaCanada

Personalised recommendations