Husserl’s Crisis as a crisis of psychology

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (2):493-503 (2012)
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Abstract

This paper places Husserl’s mature work, The Crisis of the European Sciences, in the context of his engagement with – and critique of – experimental psychology at the time. I begin by showing (a) that Husserl accorded psychology a crucial role in his philosophy, i.e., that of providing a scientific analysis of subjectivity, and (b) that he viewed contemporary psychology – due to its naturalism – as having failed to pursue this goal in the appropriate manner. I then provide an analysis of Husserl’s views about naturalism and scientific philosophy. Some central themes of the Crisis are traced back to Husserl’s earlier work and to his relationship with his teacher, Franz Brentano, with whom he disagreed about the status of “inner perception” as the proper scientific method for a phenomenological analysis. The paper then shows that Husserl was well aware of at least one publication about the crisis of psychology (Bühler’s 1927 book), and it teases out some aspects of the complicated relationship between Husserl and members of the Würzburg School of thought psychology: The latter had drawn on Husserl’s writings, but Husserl felt that they had misunderstood his central thesis. I conclude by placing Husserl’s work in the wider context of scientific, cultural, and political crisis-discourses at the time.

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Uljana Feest
Universität Hannover

Citations of this work

Cassirer and Goldstein on Abstraction and the Autonomy of Biology.M. Chirimuuta - 2020 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 10 (2):471-503.

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