The Phenomenological Critique of Mathematisation and the Question of Responsibility

Formalisation and the Life-World

  • Ľubica Učník
  • Ivan Chvatík
  • Anita Williams

Part of the Contributions To Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 76)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. L’ubica Učník, Anita Williams, Ivan Chvatík
    Pages 1-14
  3. Patočka’s “Review of the Crisis”

  4. Patočka’s Phenomenological Philosophy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 29-29
    2. L’ubica Učník, Ivan Chvatík
      Pages 43-55
    3. Pavel Kouba
      Pages 79-88
  5. Husserl’s Phenomenology

  6. The Continued Relevance of the Phenomenological Critique

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 185-185
    2. James Mensch
      Pages 187-196
    3. Ivan Chvatík
      Pages 211-219
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 221-223

About this book


This edited collection discusses phenomenological critiques of formalism and their relevance to the problem of responsibility and the life-world. The authors deal with themes of formalisation of knowledge in connection to the life-world, the natural world, the history of science and our responsibility for both our epistemic claims and the world in which we live. Readers will discover critiques of formalisation, the life-world and responsibility, and a collation and comparison of Patočka’s and Husserl’s work on these themes. 

Considerable literature on Husserl is presented here and the two themes of epistemic responsibility and the life-world are discussed together. This work specifically emphasises the interrelatedness of these existential aspects of his work – self-responsibility and the crisis – as not only epistemological, but also related to human life.

This volume also introduces Jan Patočka to English-speaking readers as a phenomenologist in his own right. Patočka shows us, in particular, the significance of the modern abyss between our thinking and the world. Readers will discover that this abyss is of concern for our everyday experience because it leads to a rupture in our understanding of the world: between the world of our living and its scientific construct.

We see that Patočka continually emphasised the relevance of Husserl’s work to existential questions relating to human responsibility and the life-world, which he admits is left largely implicit in Husserl’s work. This edited collection will spark discussion on the question of responsibility against the backdrop of formalised knowledge which is increasingly inaccessible to human understanding.

Despite the complexity of some of the analysed ideas, the authors discuss these themes in a clear and readable way. This work is scholarly, exact in its discussion and authoritative in its reading, but at the same time accessible to anyone motivated to understand these debates.


Act of Perception Critiques of Formalization Epistemic Claims Epistemic Responsibility Ethics of Responsibility Evidence to the Natural World Formalisation and Responsibility Formalization of Knowledge Heidegger and Jan Patočka Husserl and Jan Patočka Mathematisation Phenomenology of the Life-World Responsibility and Life-World Scientific reasoning Self-critical reason Self-responsibility

Editors and affiliations

  • Ľubica Učník
    • 1
  • Ivan Chvatík
    • 2
  • Anita Williams
    • 3
  1. 1.Philosophy, School of ArtsMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.The Center for Theoretical StudyThe Jan Patočka Archive, The Institute of Philosophy at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPragueCzech Republic
  3. 3.Philosophy, School of ArtsMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia

Bibliographic information