Philosopher Edmund Husserl’s book, The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology, raised several concepts and ideas throughout the history of philosophy. The purpose of this essay is to explore and analyze ideas in two of Husserl’s specific themes: The Life-World and the World of Science and The Origin of Geometry. Another purpose is to try to establish, if possible, any connections or compatibilities between the two themes, or ideas within the two themes.
Part One- The Life-World: The life-world, simply put, is the world as experienced in everyday life. This, however, needs more clarification. The word “as” is important because it refers to a structure or horizon. It is the horizon of everything that a living person experiences. The word “horizon” refers to a background meaning; it is the background of everyday human experiences, such as perceiving, thinking, or performing an action. In order have a better understanding on Husserl’s view of the life-world, it would be helpful to examine the theory of intentionality first. Intentionality helps us better understand a mental state of mind; it is what a mental state of mind is about. Here is a basic framework: A person is thinking about a blue car. That person is the subject of consciousness. That person has an image in his head of the blue car, which is an act of consciousness. The thought of the blue car has a content of consciousness and meaning. Meanwhile, that person is alive and exists in this world (under the horizon) and he is thinking about an object (also under the horizon). The actual physical blue car is the object of consciousness. This can be applied to ideal objects also, but that will be discussed later, in the Origin of Geometry. The point here is that the person, used in the example above, is indeed experiencing a feature of the world in everyday life under a world horizon that he lives in.
Husserl begins Appendix VII by explaining that we, as humans, intentionally live in the life world. This is an interesting quote from Husserl regarding consciousness of the world. He says:
“Normally there is no reason for making it explicitly thematic for ourselves universally as world. Conscious of the world as a horizon, we live for our particular ends, whether as momentary and changing ones or as an enduring goal that guides us. [The latter] can be a goal that we have elected for ourselves as a life-vocation, to be the dominant one in our active life, or it can be one that we have somehow drifted into through our upbringing” (Appendix VII Husserl 379).
Here is a possible interpretation: Husserl seems to be claiming that we do not need to understand the life-world on a large universal scale, but only on a smaller scale. By smaller scale, I mean understanding the features of the life-world within our own mental context. “Universally as world” is an extremely broad subject, and one should not, or need not, attempt to universally rationalize the life-world or search...