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Science and the Life-WorldEssays on Husserl's Crisis of European Sciences$
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David Hyder and Hans-Jorg Rheinberger

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804756044

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804756044.001.0001

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Universality and Spatial Form

Universality and Spatial Form

(p.116) § 7 Universality and Spatial Form
Science and the Life-World

Rodolphe Gasché

Stanford University Press

This chapter examines the paradox concerning philosophical and scientific universality. It argues that Husserl's Crisis can be correctly understood as a critique of universality, more particularly of the failure of modern science to deliver on the promise of universal knowledge that was made in ancient Greece. The quintessential product of Greek universal science is geometry, the science of the ideal forms of space, which by determining the spatial forms of all possible worlds also determines the form of the one people all share. For Husserl's Galileo, the privileged role of geometry derives from positing the one property all bodies have in common—shape—as fundamental. Husserl also believes that the “ethicophilosophical error” can only be corrected by acknowledging the essential historicity of geometric and natural scientific knowledge.

Keywords:   scientific universality, philosophical universality, geometry, Greek universal science, Husserl's Galileo

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