Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) is regarded as the founder of (philosophical) phenomenology, an extremely influential development of modern philosophy which tries to capture the nature of the Subject through a combination of close description and transcendental theorizing. Subtitled "An Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy," Krisis begins with a picture of the history of philosophy in which, for the Greeks, philosophy was a unity that contained all subfields of knowledge, a unity that was regained during the Renaissance's attempt to resurrect antique thought and was still maintained through the 18th century's Enlightenment. Indeed, the prospect, the ideal of a universal philosophy that could provide mankind with all the answers began to crumble, and though this did not directly affect the practical and theoretical successes of the hard sciences, it threatened their deeper, original purposes. Husserl claims, in fact, that since the Renaissance "European mankind," after discarding the message of value, sense and purpose provided in the Middle Ages by Christianity, was obliged to seek the same in this universal philosophy. In an attempt to return to a totalizing, universal philosophy that includes all branches of knowledge as subfields and that again privileges reason, Husserl spends almost all of the text reviewing the development of philosophy and the sciences since the Renaissance while emphasizing his view that the sciences, in their specialized and undeniable successes, had become a technical art alienated from its roots and had, in effect, thrown the baby out with the bath water in their emphasis on objectivity, on eliminating the Subjective from their domains.
on the other, i do like to read philosophy texts- mostly 'continental', mostly 'phenomenology', so far often on rather than by the big names, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty... i think i can follow and understand critique resonant in this text, can find here and there what i had previously read in books on hs- but would hesitate to first here find these thematic areas myself, to decide he is saying this or that idea, to decide he means specific lines of thought, to decide i could create one of those books on hs. having read several books previous to this, rather quickly as a piece of literature, my 'philosophical/logical' impression is probably lacking, but this reflects why i read this or any philosophy... then i read and continued the continental european philosophers series by mcgill-queens. this work by husserl surprises me- i had read a little by him that was very dense and possibly inaccessible to 'cold' readers, i had heard hs was particularly difficult to read of all phenomenologists, i had the idea hs was better as inspiration than reading. perhaps it is having read so much phenomenology, so much of the 'epoche', so much on his ideas, so much that i read this in a 'literary' manner and not directly as a 'logical' text, and maybe this last great work by the man is actually most accessible of all his work... had the idea 'phenomenology' is supposed to be independent of time and place, well this might have been originally so, here hs gives the history of philosophy, his sense of how it is greek and 'european', his certainty there is a crisis particular to its history, his certainty of logical, rational validity over purely existential, irrational, thinking ascendent in his times (mid 1930s Germany)... as mentioned i have read on if not by a lot of philosophers. it is not surprising 'phenomenology' became such a major 'style' of thought in continental philosophy of the 20th century...
Historically speaking, it is also profound that while many may have taken Husserl's advice and built on methods of phenomenology, the sciences themselves have become more abstracted in their searches for meaning and interpretation.
For Husserl, philosophy began to lose its way during the Renaissance with the Galilean mathematical idealization of natural phenomenon. From Descartes to Hume and later Kant, Husserl believed that philosophy continued to meander further from the unclaimed truth of the transcendental subjective experience and towards a scientific empiricism and a rationalist proto-scientific experience of the world.
Husserl stands in an interesting relation to this strand of counter-Enlightenment thinking.
Husserl's use of this world is meant to open a realm of original phenomenological analyses that would ground all of the positive sciences, as well as philosophy, to understand them in their most basic structures.
hab., University of Halle-Wittenberg, 1887; Ph.D., Mathematics, University of Vienna, 1883) was a philosopher who is deemed the founder of phenomenology.