Advancing Phenomenology as a Practical Endeavor
Within the phenomenological tradition, there has long been a clear awareness that science and philosophy are not merely aggregations or even systematic and internally consistent sets of propositions, but also practices that are undertaken by human beings with certain aims and interests. One recalls, for instance, Martin Heidegger’s important insight articulated at the very beginning of Being and Time, that science is something human beings do – or as he puts it, a Verhalten des Daseins.Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit (Tübingen: Niemeyer 1956), pp. 11–13; translated by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson as Being and Time (New York: Harper & Row, 1962), pp. 32–33. Moreover, even before Heidegger, Edmund Husserl, who in the Logical Investigations introduced science as a set of logically interrelated truths and is often presented as a modern day Descartes operating within the pure egological bubble of his own solitary reflections, was the same figure who devoted much of his final work to the question of how the modern ways of practicing science emerged, who made clear that all of this takes place against a common set of shared cultural assumptions, and who was well aware that even his own phenomenological work is merely part of a shared research project that he hoped would be taken up and continued by other researchers throughout subsequent generations.