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Studia Phaenomenologica

Volume 10, 2010

Phenomenology and Psychology

Anita Williams
Pages 235-250
DOI: 10.7761/SP.10.235

The Importance of the Theoretical Attitude to Investigations of the Life-World

Edmund Husserl’s critique of using the natural scientific method to investigate meaningful human experience remains relevant to recent debates in psychology. Discursive Psychology (DP) claims to draw upon phenomenological insights to critique quantitative psychology for studying theoretical concepts rather than the actual practices of the lived social world. In this paper, I will argue that DP overlooks the important distinction that can be made between the theoretical attitude and the natural scientific attitude in Husserlian Phenomenology and hence, once again, loses sight of the meaningfully constituted life-world. In doing so, I will demonstrate the continued relevance of Husserl’s critique of natural science to the discipline of psychology.