‘Life-World’ and ‘A Priori’ In Husserl’s Later Thought

  • J. N. Mohanty
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 3)


It is generally agreed upon that about the year 1925,1 more definitely about 1929, there came about a remarkable and profound change in Husserl’s thought — a change which may be indicated, though not adequately characterized, by the fact that he began to make more and more use of the term life-world. Two such changes, each one of which may be maintained as having been equally radical, had characterized the development of his thought in its earlier stages: one was the turn from the psychologism of Philosophy of Arithmetic (1891) to the essentialism of Prolegomena to Pure Logic (1900), and the other, slowly making its appearance in the second volume of Logical Investigations (1901) established itself definitively in Ideas I (1913) as a turn from essentialism to transcendental idealism centering on the key concept of a constituting transcendental subjectivity. The concept of the life-world now, about the late twenties, seems to lay claim to replace or at least profoundly modify the concept of transcendental subjectivity as the key to Husserl’s later thought. We thus may regard the three concepts: essence, transcendental subjectivity (TS) and life-world (LW) as being the key concepts of the three major phases of Husserl’s thought. I do not believe that any of the three terms mentioned above was ever a total departure from its preceding phase.


Logical Investigation Geometrical Form Perceptual Objectivity Empirical Type Existential Presupposition 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1974

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  • J. N. Mohanty

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