Studia Phaenomenologica, Volume 24/ 2024: Phenomenology and the Sciences

ALTOBRANDO, Andrea & AURORA, Simone (Eds)


Studia Phaenomenologica, Volume 24/ 2024: Phenomenology and the Sciences


Andrea Altobrando, Simone Aurora, Editors’ Introduction. Phenomenology and the Sciences: Foundations, Clarifications, and Material Contributions

Emiliano Trizio, Outline of a Phenomenological Metacritique of Philosophy of Science
Abstract: This article is a reflection on the present state of philosophy in light of Husserl’s crisis‑concept. First, I will introduce a tentative classification of philosophical research areas, and stress the significance of philosophy of science for the present state of philosophy. Subsequently, I will use the phenomenological theory of science as a foil to illuminate some distinctive features of philosophy of science, and to argue that these features can be understood as a consequence of the fragmentation of philosophy. Finally, I will show that, drawing on transcendental phenomenology, it is possible to bring to the fore some fundamental shortcomings of philosophy of science. These shortcomings stem from its inability to address in a rigorous way the philosophical question of the being of the world, which is, nevertheless, inescapable for any radical investigation concerning its own object.

Harald A. Wiltsche, Transcendental Approaches to Quantum Mechanics. Lessons from Bohr
Abstract: The objective of this paper is to offer an analysis of several key elements within Niels Bohr’s transcendental interpretation of quantum mechanics. After some stage setting, I will demonstrate that a transcendental perspective on Bohr offers several advantages over alternative interpretations. Specifically, I will argue that some of his most contentious claims become more plausible when viewed through a transcendental lens. However, despite these strengths, Bohr’s approach faces challenges. Following an evaluation of what I consider to be the primary weakness in his framework, the final section of the paper will explore potential avenues for enhancing the viability of the Bohrian project, with a specific focus on the role of phenomenology as a potential solution.

Bruno Frère, Sébastien Laoureux, Founding Phenomenological Sociology with Alfred Schütz and Max Scheler
Abstract: In this paper we want to re‑examine the traditional belief that phenomenological sociology owes its pedigree primarily to Alfred Schütz. More specifically, we will try to show that Max Scheler is equally worthy of the title of founder of phenomenological sociology. Our argument has three interlocking themes. First of all, we will recognize, like many others before us, the undoubtedly essential contribution made by Schütz, who is generally viewed as the father of phenomenological sociology. Our second step, however, will be to return to the foundations of this approach and to show that it throws up certain difficulties. As is widely known, Schütz’s project is nothing less than to apply the Husserlian transcendental to the empirical. But, we will show that because Schütz remains caught in a king of egologic sociology, reducing intersubjectivity—and the social—to a face‑to‑face relationship, he fails to give to phenomenology a real sociological dimension. Nevertheless this does not mean that phenomenology does not have a powerful sociological dimension. By exploring concepts insufficiently explored by Schütz in a third step, such as Husserl’s notion of intentionality and its equivalent in Max Scheler’s thought (the frame of mind), we will explore the empirical potential of phenomenology. Scheler, considering a social environment independent (and even constitutive) of the subject, gives the final form to a phenomenological sociology, a sociology which gives us even the mean to think a sympathetic relationship with the natural world, critical of capitalism and prefiguring ecology.

Jesse Lopes, Cognitive Science, Phenomenology, and the Unity of Science: Can Phenomenology Be the Foundation of Science?
Abstract: Hume once argued the basic science to be not physics but “the science of man” and the foundation of this science to be the empiricist mechanism of association governed by the law of similarity in appearance—now more popular than ever in the form of artificial neural networks. I update Hume’s picture by showing phenomenology to be centrally concerned with providing a unifying basis for all the sciences (including physics) by going beyond the psychology of associationism (passive synthesis) to reveal phenomena that are irreducibly syntactic (not associative) in structure. I therefore argue that the language of thought (LOT) is the necessary mechanism at the basis of these descriptive phenomena. I conclude by sketching a new picture of all the sciences unified by LOT based on Husserl’s opposition to Galilean “physicomathematical” science vis‑à‑vis the life‑world (Lebenswelt).

Stanford Howdyshell, The Relationship between Truth, Inference, and the Sciences in Hermeneutic Phenomenology
Abstract: This paper seeks to bring together two trends in contemporary phenomenological research: an investigation of the sciences and a re‑examination of Martin Heidegger’s understanding of logic and inference. I will do so by examining the foundations of the “just‑as” truth found in the sciences, finding that scientific truth claims rest on apophantic speech, the contextual nature of disclosure, and, ultimately, the as‑structure of Dasein. This leads to the implication that the laws of inference for the sciences are based on how beings show themselves within a science rather than preceding the sciences. I will finish by showing that this implies logical and scientific pluralism and the rejection of philosophical naturalism.

Prisca Amoroso, Space, Movement, and the Mirror Neuron Theory. From Phenomenology to Neuroscience and Back
Abstract: In its first part, this paper is devoted to presenting Maurice Merleau‑Ponty’s phenomenology of space through some of his texts. Between 1942’s The Structure of Behavior and the 1953 courses, Merleau‑Ponty is refining a philosophy of movement, the most important concept of which is that of motor intentionality, which articulates the phenomenological theme of intentionality in relation to the problem of a subject’s understanding of observed movement. Movement is thus related to intersubjectivity and Einfühlung. Next, we present the general aspects of and some problems with mirror neuron theory, which were already addressed elsewhere in Merleau‑Ponty’s phenomenology: the brain‑body relation, the definition of the capability of mirroring in the other individual, the role of the environment in intersubjectivity, and the idea of meaning as “direction” toward goals. We suggest that a transdisciplinary approach can help solve some of the problems wrongly attributed to mirror neuron theorists.

Martina Properzi, Body, Constitution, and Natural Computing. A Phenomenological Exploration
Abstract: Digital technologies are significantly changing the way our bodies constitute, or make sense of, the world around us. This article explores the impact of a largely unexplored generation of nature‑inspired digital technologies on bodily constitution. After explaining the scientific background, namely the unconventional field of computer science known as natural computing, the article analyzes a case study of related digital innovation. The selected case concerns biomimetic artificial organs that restore and often enhance the visual experience of non‑congenital blind people. Genetic phenomenology provides the conceptual framework for the analysis of the case study. The genetic phenomenological approach taken in this article is presented in the context of current phenomenological and postphenomenological research on human‑robot interaction and human‑machine hybrid intentionality.

Renxiang Liu, Prescience and Patience: A Reassessment of Technoscience in Light of Heidegger
Abstract: In this paper, I respond to contemporary debates on technoscience by asking about how science and technology are fusible. This directs me to Heidegger’s critique of calculative thinking in modern technology and science: it turns things into objects of representation so that they may be ordered and manipulated. The unilateral availability of objects for the subject is achieved by attending to what Heidegger called the “mathematical” in things, i.e., conceptual schemes pre‑delineated before encountering things. To imagine an alternative, I transform the phenomenological account of temporality into a thing‑centric account of the unfolding of things at their own rhythms. What matters is to be patient for such rhythms, to enter a relation of mutual availability. This is in effect becoming the paradigm in contemporary practices of technoscience. The inquiry shows what is problematic (prescience) and what is promising (patience) in the technoscience that is still taking shape in our age.

Benjamin Stuck, Zur Neufassung der Differenz von Lebenswelt, Alltagswelt und alltäglichem Leben in der Wissenschaft: Eine phänomenologische Weiterentwicklung des Lebensweltbegriffes im Anschluss an Richard Grathoff
Abstract: To establish phenomenologically whether there is an everyday dimension within the “sub‑world” of science, this paper builds on Richard Grathoff’s conceptual differentiation between “lifeworld” (Lebenswelt), “everyday world” (Alltagswelt), and “daily life” (Alltägliches Leben). Such a clarification is necessary because the notion of “lifeworld” in Husserl’s or Schutz’ oeuvre is ambiguous. It means both a universal ground and an everyday world. According to Grathoff, the lifeworld is a set of general and structural dimensions of sense that relate subjectivity and world‑structure and thereby make possible the constitution of specific “worlds,” including the everyday world. The latter, in contrast, exists due to its own cognitive style according to which lifeworldly dimensions become senseful. Still different from the everyday world is daily life, the routinized process through which certain qualities of the various cognitive styles are socially constructed. Grathoff’s distinction helps to identify an internal quality within science, which includes, on the one hand, the scientific “daily life” of routine and familiarity, such as basic methods and epistemes, and, on the other hand, needs to be understood in terms of “contextualization” (Strassheim), as a realm of the new and “extraordinary,” as in far‑reaching theorizing efforts.

Jassen Andreev, Notes on the Dialogue between Phenomenology and Mathematics: Husserl and Becker
Abstract: The problems of clarifying the fundamental logical and mathematical concepts, and hence of accomplishing a truly radical grounding of logic and mathematics, were precisely what motivated the very beginnings of Husserl’s phenomenology. This paper is divided into two main parts. The first part focuses on the meaning and structure of Husserl’s explanation of the “logical and psychological” nature of fundamental arithmetical concepts. Particular emphasis is placed on the strategy of Philosophy of Arithmetics (1891) of analysing cardinal numbers in concepts (pivotal yet just as much harmful to philosophy) such as Vorstellungen, mental phenomena and representations. Together with Arend Heyting and Hermann Weyl, it was the phenomenologist‑mathematician Oskar Becker who was the main actor in the second round in the complex dialogue between meta‑mathematics and phenomenological philosophy. The second part of this paper aims to clarify Becker’s attempt to apply the theory of actualization of intentionality to the problem of the mode of being of the mathematical and the criterion of mathematical existence.


Honghe Wang, Die noetischen Horizontarten des Wahrnehmens nach Husserl unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des praktischen und szenisch-phantasmatischen Horizonts
Abstract: Following Husserl, horizonality is a fundamental aspect of intentional acts, making the horizon a crucial element in consciousness across all subjective experiences. This article aims to provide a comprehensive exploration of various forms of the noetic horizon in perceiving. It not only considers the well‑known inner and outer horizons, as well as the horizon of the kinesthetic “I‑can,” but also explores the practical horizon, which has been somewhat overlooked in Husserl’s phenomenology. Furthermore, the original contribution of this study lies in the introduction of scenic‑phantasmatic representing as a peculiar type of horizon in perceiving. These latter two types of horizons have significant implications in our everyday lives. Finally, the essay examines the interaction between different types of noetic horizons.

François Jaran, What’s Hermeneutical about Heidegger’s Understanding-of-Being?
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze the hermeneutical nature of the concept of the understanding‑of‑being that grounds Heidegger’s fundamental ontology. I first consider the merging between ontology and hermeneutics that takes place in Being and Time and then interpret the hermeneutical sections of Being and Time (§§ 31–32) in order to clarify the ontological scope of understanding, interpretation, and meaning. This allows me to examine the three dimensions of the “understanding‑of‑being principle” (according to which our encounter with entities is made possible by an understanding‑of‑being): the semantic, the ontological, and the transcendental. Finally, I try to make sense of the problematic use Heidegger makes of the concept of understanding for both the ontic encounter with entities and the ontological access to being.

Johannes Vorlaufer, Hoffen und Warten. Über das Warten als Temporalität der Tugend menschlicher Hoffnung im Denken Martin Heideggers
Abstract: The article discusses the extent to which Heidegger’s thinking touches on the question of human hope and pursues the thesis: Even though the concept of hope is used only marginally in Heidegger’s work, the question of it already accompanies his early thinking and deepens in the later thinking of Being. Although Heidegger takes a critical view of the metaphysical concept of hope because of its intentional character and its immanent understanding of time, he at the same time asks for an “original” hope, i.e., for the original experience of hope and for the origin of “calculating” hope. If the temporality of care is already implicitly a temporality of hopeful existence, then waiting, as conceived by the “Feldweggespräche”, is a being awake, i.e., a being open and present in serenity. Pure waiting points into a letting that lets us hope. Waiting, i.e., letting go of all hope, we open ourselves to an affirmation that promises itself to us as gift and moment in the temporal experience of being‑given. Heidegger’s question could therefore be formulated as: What makes us hope?


Elena Billwiller
Christian Ferencz-Flatz, Critical Theory and Phenomenology. Polemics, Appropriations, Perspectives (Springer, 2023)


ISSN: 1582-5647 (print)
ISSN: 2069-0061 (online)

Weight 0.700 kg
Dimensions 24 × 16 × 2 cm
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