(2016) Husserl Studies 32 (3).

What is the crisis of western sciences?

Emiliano Trizio

pp. 191-211

This article is an attempt to formulate a clear definition of the concept of crisis of Western sciences introduced by Husserl in his last work. The attempt will be based on a reading of the Krisis, which will stress its underlying continuity with Husserl's life-long concerns about the theoretical insufficiency of positive sciences, and downplay the novelty of the idea of crisis itself within Husserl's work. After insisting on the fact that, according to Husserl, only an account of the shortcomings of the scientificity of Western sciences can justify the claim that they are undergoing a crisis, it will be argued that the common definition of the crisis of the sciences as the loss of their significance for life rests on a misunderstanding. The crisis of Western sciences will be characterized, instead, as the repercussion of the crisis of the scientificity of philosophy (and, specifically, of metaphysics) on the scientificity of positive sciences. The loss of significance of scientific knowledge for our existence will in turn appear as a further, inevitable consequence of the uprooting of the sciences from the soil of a universal philosophy culminating in metaphysics, and thus, as a phenomenon deeply intertwined with the crisis of Western sciences, but not identical to it.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s10743-016-9194-8

Full citation:

Trizio, E. (2016). What is the crisis of western sciences?. Husserl Studies 32 (3), pp. 191-211.

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