The Later Husserl
Sku: 11500A0E050
Archival Number: CD/mp3 115
Author: Lonergan, B.
Language(s): English
Decade: 1950

CD/mp3 115, part 1 of lecture 2 on existentialism. Corresponds to CWL 18, pp. 247-65. Sponsored by Thomas J. Farrell. One way into the technical aspects of the issues is through a discussion of Husserl's posthumously published work on the crisis of European sciences and transcendental phenomenology. The original intentions of science had two principal manifestations: in fourth-century Athens and in the Renaissance. The Greeks effected a shift in meaning of popular notions such as wisdom, truth, and science, from the meaning in ordinary common living to a more technical meaning. But the Renaissance found this Greek ideal of knowledge and truth to be opposed also to merely traditional opinion, and sought in that ideal a principle for the transformation of society opposed to merely traditional power. The issue for Husserl is whether that ideal and principle are valid, in which case Western humanity is not just an anthropological classification but somehow normative. Does modern science enable us to set up human society on a basis of reason and truth? But in light of this criterion Husserl offers five criticisms of modern science: its tendency to splinter, the tendency of the splinters to an autonomy, a drift to a criterion of technical competence, the crisis of the human sciences, and the impossibility of reorientation on the present basis. The problem is that modern science's real basis has not been explored, examined, and evaluated. Lonergan examines Husserl's diagnosis and his remedy in the priority of the subject, the return to the Cartesian Cogito, and the establishment of transcendental phenomenology, transcendental psychology, and transcendental philosophy, and then offers a set of respectful, gentle critiques, while admitting Husserl's greatness.


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Audio restoration by Greg Lauzon



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