Volume 5, Issue 1, Spring 2008
A Renewal of Husserl’s Critique of Naturalism
Towards the Via Media of Ecological Phenomenology
This essay argues that phenomenology is uniquely suited to critique naturalism without lapsing into a romantic, anti-scientific, or dystopian view of modern science. This argument situates Husserl’s retrieval of the environmental relation in the Vienna Lecture between two alternative tendencies in contemporary ecological phenomenology: 1) the rejection of or indifference to the positive sciences, and 2) the adoption of naturalism in phenomenological methodology. On the one hand, the claim is that the phenomenological return to the environment should not imply a rejection of methodological naturalism. On the other hand, while an ecological phenomenology is consistent with naturalistic investigation, there is nevertheless a heterogeneity between the two. In short, phenomenology need not become naturalized in order for it to be ecological.