Husserl’s Hermeneutical Phenomenology of the Life-World as Culture Reconsidered

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this essay, I argue against Sebastian LuftLuft, Sebastian ’s recent interpretation of the ‘final and ultimate shape’ of HusserlHusserl, Edmund ’s thinking as a phenomenological philosophy of culture. I argue that this image of HusserlHusserl, Edmund is narrow and untenable on the basis of HusserlHusserl, Edmund ’s own thinking. I further suggest that this image of transcendental idealism is equally foreign to KantKant, Immanuel, for whom transcendental philosophy (in all three critiques) does not centre on or ‘envision’ a critique of culture. Given the extent and degree of my reservations, I also attempt to track within the development of LuftLuft, Sebastian ’s argument the sources for his misrepresentations and give special attention in this regard to his discussion of GadamerGadamer, Hans-Georg. My overarching claim is that LuftLuft, Sebastian ’s ‘final and ultimate’ HusserlHusserl, Edmund reflects a post-Hegelian and specifically Neo-Kantian conception of enlightened philosophy. LuftLuft, Sebastian effectively proposes to recover a hidden Neo-Kantian axis in HusserlHusserl, Edmund ’s thinking or, in other words, another form of Neo-KantianismNeo-Kantianism in Husserlian phenomenology. I do not suggest that LuftLuft, Sebastian considers HusserlHusserl, Edmund as belonging to an established school of Neo-Kantian thought; but that in a more complex fashion, Husserlian phenomenology represents, for LuftLuft, Sebastian, a departure from the grand narrative of Neo-Kantianism that at the same time stakes out an original position within the horizonHorizon of Neo-Kantianism in fulfilling one of its driving ambitions (and, to be sure, not shared by all forms of Neo-Kantianism): a philosophical critique of culture. Husserlian phenomenology would thus represent a kind of ‘subculture’ within Neo-Kantianism; and as with every subculture, it lives both from and against a dominant culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationContributions To Phenomenology
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameContributions To Phenomenology
ISSN (Print)0923-9545
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1915

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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