Beyond Foundationalism and Functionalism: Phenomenology in Exchange with the Human and Social Sciences

  • Bernhard Waldenfels
Part of the Contributions to Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 25)


Phenomenologists in the footsteps of Husserl belong neither to those who despise science nor to those who adore it. Nevertheless, there has always been a certain tension between the claims of phenomenological foundation and empirical research. In the following, I want to emphasize that today the philosophical claim of phenomenology is not so much threatened by a scientistic theory which tries to find the foundation of sense in mundane reality, “taking for true being what is only method,” but by a scientistic practice which renounces foundation in favor of pure functions which are reduced to a mere ‘game signification’. Discussing the relationship between philosophy and science, I shall argue that the shift from global or foundational order to variable, contingent orders no longer allows the philosophical foundation of science in its strict sense. But the alternative should not be mere functionalism, but rather an exchange between philosophy and science which excludes domination and subordination.


Sufficient Reason Game Signification Ontological Difference Pure Possibility Philosophical Claim 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernhard Waldenfels
    • 1
  1. 1.Ruhr-Universität BochumGermany

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