Life and the life-world

Husserl Studies 3 (1):57-78 (1986)
Abstract
This paper will deal with the relationship between 'life' (Leben) and the 'life-world' (Lebenswelt) 1 as we find these concepts in the writings of Husserl's last years. The emphasis will be upon elucidating this relation- ship from the transcendental point of view. It is well known that Husserl initially introduced the concept of the life-world into his philosophy in connection with the problem of founding the sciences: accordingly, most studies up to date have dealt with the concept within this context - that is, as part of the program for founding the sciences. However, it is important to remember that the life-world is also, for Husserl, a 'way to the transcendental reduction', and as such, can be ultimately clari- fied only by following this way to its end, and by comprehending it in its relationship to transcendental subjectivity. In his later years, Husserl came to think of the 'way of being' (Seinsweise) of transcendental sub- jectivity as 'world-experiencing-life' (welterfahrendes Leben). Thus it is my view that the problem of the 'life-world' is intimately related to that of 'life', and must necessarily be treated in the context of that rela- tionship.
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