Husserl and Heidegger on reduction and the question of the existential foundations of rational life

Against the oft-repeated claim that Heideggerian authenticity calls for a resoluteness that is either indifferent or inimical to normative rationality, Steven Crowell has recently argued that the phenomenon of conscience in _Sein und Zeit_ is specifically intended to ground normative rationality in the existential ontological account of Dasein so that Heidegger puts forward not a rejection of the life of reason but a more fundamental account of its condition of possibility in terms of self-responsibility. In what follows, I wish to take up the issue of an existential grounding of rational life and its implications for the phenomenological reduction in relation to the work of Husserl by showing that he too is concerned with a self-responsible contextualizing of the life of reason even at the level of individual human existence. In this way, Husserl, like Heidegger, can be read as framing the phenomenological reduction in terms of the subject's concern for self-justification. However, this 'framing' cannot be seen as a motivation to reduction but only as an 'after-the-fact' explanation of its import. But I will suggest, in conclusion, that the problem of the motivation to reduction is perhaps as much of a problem for Heidegger as it is for Husserl
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DOI 10.1080/09672550903493551
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