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Science and the Lebenswelt on Husserl’s Philosophy of Science


I present and discuss in this paper Husserl’s investigation of the genesis of the modem conception of empirical reality as carried out in his last work The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. The goal of Husserl’s genetic investigation was to uncover the rnany layers of constitution that frorn the life-world (the Lebenswelt) the modem scientific conception of Nature was originated and to point out the need to ground the scientific project of rnodemity 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 airn 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 irnportant insights that I incorporate in what I believe to be a more satisfactory treatment of the problern concerning the role of mathematics in the ernpirical science.