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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: November 2012

Chapter 8 - The ongoing influence of Husserl’s Crisis


The Internal and External Influence of the Crisis

In this chapter I shall summarize the range and nature of the influence of Husserl’s Crisis on twentieth-century philosophy and, at the end of the chapter, suggest briefly the ongoing relevance of the Crisis for the twenty-first century.

The Crisis was generally welcomed as representing a considerable advance over Husserl’s previous publications in terms of the depth, range and clarity of the analysis. The publication of Biemel’s expanded Crisis text in 1954 (following the publication of Ideas ii in 1952) offered a new vision of Husserl as the phenomenologist of the experience of otherness or ‘alterity’, intersubjectivity, personhood, social experience and the kind of ‘worldly’ or ‘mundane’ living in the life-world. This assessment of the ‘new’ Husserl is ongoing and continues to be augmented and revised in the light of the publication of his research manuscripts.

In particular, the Crisis was decisive in permanently changing the pervasive interpretations of Husserl’s phenomenology (promulgated, as we have seen, even by Martin Heidegger) as a narrow, more or less solipsistic and definitely outmoded Cartesian philosophy of consciousness. Ludwig Landgrebe, Husserl’s assistant in the 1920s, writing in 1961, presents the late Husserl as departing from Cartesianism.

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