Husserl Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 25–47 | Cite as

The Cultural Community: An Husserlian Approach and Reproach



What types of unity and disunity belong to a group of people sharing a culture? Husserl illuminates these communities by helping us trace their origin to two types of interpersonal act—cooperation and influence—though cultural communities are distinguished from both cooperative groups and mere communities of related influences. This analysis has consequences for contemporary concerns about multi- or mono-culturalism and the relationship between culture and politics. It also leads us to critique Husserl’s desire for a new humanity, one that is rational, cooperatively united, and animated by a universal philosophical culture. Reflecting on culture, a spiritually shaped and shared domain of the world, draws us to reflect also on ourselves as social and rational animals, and to ask, what should we reasonably hope for—and aim for—in a human culture that expresses and supports our shared lives of reason? Aristotle is used for occasional comparisons and contrasts.


  1. Aristotle. (1984). Politics. C. Lord (Trans.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Aristotle. (2002). Nicomachean ethics. J. Sachs (Trans.). Newburyport: Focus Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. Brainard, M. (2001). As fate would have it: Husserl on the vocation of philosophy. The New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy, I, 111–160.Google Scholar
  4. Brainard, M. (2007). “For a new world”: On the practical impulse of Husserlian theory. Husserl Studies, 23(1), 17–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Buckley, R. P. (1992). Husserl’s notion of authentic community. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 66, 213–227.Google Scholar
  6. Buckley, R. P. (1994). Political aspects of Husserl’s call for renewal. In A. Dallery & S. Watson (Eds.), Transitions in continental philosophy (pp. 3–20). Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  7. Buckley, R. P. (1996). Husserl’s rational “Liebesgemeinschaft”. Research in Phenomenology, 26, 116–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Buckley, R. P. (1998). Husserl Göttingen years and the genesis of a theory of community. In L. Langsdorf & S. Watson (Eds.), Reinterpreting the political: Continental philosophy and political theory (pp. 39–49). Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  9. Congar, Y. (2004). The meaning of tradition. San Francisco: Ignatius Press.Google Scholar
  10. Depraz, N. (1995). Phenomenological reduction and the political. Husserl Studies, 12(1), 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Donohoe, J. (2004). Husserl on ethics and intersubjectivity: From static to genetic phenomenology. New York: Humanity Books.Google Scholar
  12. Drummond, J. (1995). Moral objectivity: Husserl’s sentiments of the understanding. Husserl Studies, 12(2), 165–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Drummond, J. (1996). The spiritual world: The personal, the social, and the communal. In T. Nenon & L. Embree (Eds.), Issues in Husserl’s Ideas II (pp. 237–254). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  14. Drummond, J. (2000). Political community. In K. Thompson & L. Embree (Eds.), Phenomenology of the political (pp. 29–53). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  15. Drummond, J. (2002). Forms of social unity: Partnership, membership, and citizenship. Husserl Studies, 18(2), 141–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Flynn, M. B. (2009). The living body as the origin of culture: What the shift in Husserl’s notion of “expression” tells us about cultural objects. Husserl Studies, 25(1), 57–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hart, J. G. (1992a). The entelechy and authenticity of objective spirit: Reflections on Husserliana XXVII. Husserl Studies, 9(2), 91–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hart, J. G. (1992b). The person and the common life: Studies in a Husserlian social ethics. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  19. Hart, J. G. (2006). Edmund Husserl, Einleitung in die Ethik. Husserl Studies, 22(2), 167–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hua IV. Husserl, E. Ideen zur einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie. Zweites Buch: Phänomenologische Untersuchungen zur Konstitution. M. Biemel (Ed.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1952; Ideas pertaining to a pure phenomenology and a phenomenological philosophy, Book II: studies in the phenomenology of constitution. R. Rojcewicz and A. Schuwer (Trans.). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1989.Google Scholar
  21. Hua VI. Husserl, E. Die Krisis der europäischen Wissenschaften und die transzendentale Phänomenologie. Eine Einleitung in die phänomenologische Philosophie. 2d edition. W. Biemel (Ed.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1962; The crisis of european sciences and transcendental phenomenology. D. Carr (Trans.). Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  22. Hua IX. Husserl, E. Phänomenologische Psychologie. Vorlesungen Sommersemester 1925. W. Biemel (Ed.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1968; Phenomenological psychology. J. Scanlon (Trans.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1977.Google Scholar
  23. Hua XIV. Husserl, E. Zur Phänomenologie der Intersubjektivität. Texte aus dem Nachlass. Zweiter Teil: 1921-28. I. Kern (Ed.). The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973.Google Scholar
  24. Hua XXVII. Husserl, E. Aufsätze und Vorträge (1922-1937). T. Nenon & H. R. Sepp (Eds.). The Hague: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1989.Google Scholar
  25. Hua XXXVII. Husserl, E. Einleitung in die Ethik. Vorlesungen Sommersemester 1920/1924. H. Peucker (Ed.). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004.Google Scholar
  26. Husserl, E. (2003). The idea of a philosophical culture: Its first germination in Greek philosophy. M. Brainard (Trans.). The New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy, III, 285–293.Google Scholar
  27. Husserl, G. (1939). The political community versus the nation. Ethics, 49(2), 127–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jaegerschmid, A. (2001). Conversations with Edmund Husserl, 1931–1938. The New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy, I, 331–350.Google Scholar
  29. Krasnodębski, Z. (1993). Longing for community: Phenomenological philosophy of politics and the dilemmas of European culture. International Sociology, 8(3), 339–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Melle, U. (1996). Nature and spirit. In T. Nenon & L. Embree (Eds.), Issues in Husserl’s Ideas II (pp. 15–35). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  31. Melle, U. (2002). Edmund Husserl: From reason to love. In J. J. Drummond & L. E. Embree (Eds.), Phenomenological approaches to moral philosophy: A handbook (pp. 229–248). Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  32. Pieper, J. (2008). Tradition: Concept and claim. E. C. Kopff (Trans.). Wilmington: Intercollegiate Studies Institute.Google Scholar
  33. Schuhmann, K. (1988). Husserls Staatsphilosophie. Freiburg: K. Alber.Google Scholar
  34. Steeves, H. P. (1998). Founding community: A phenomenological-ethical inquiry. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  35. Steinbock, A. (1994). The project of ethical renewal and critique: Edmund Husserl’s early phenomenology of culture. The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 32(4), 449–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Steinbock, A. (1995). Home and beyond: Generative phenomenology after Husserl. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Velkley, R. L. (1987). Edmund Husserl. In L. Strauss & J. Cropsey (Eds.), History of political philosophy (3rd ed., pp. 870–887). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Assumption CollegeWorcesterUSA

Personalised recommendations