Publication details for Prof Matthew RatcliffeRatcliffe, M. (2013). Phenomenology, Naturalism and the Sense of Reality. Royal Institute of Philosophy, Supplement 72: 67-88.
- Publication type: Journal papers: academic
Author(s) from Durham
Phenomenologists such as Husserl, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty reject the kind of scientific naturalism or ‘scientism’ that takes empirical science to be epistemologically and metaphysically privileged over all other forms of enquiry. In this paper, I will consider one of their principal complaints against naturalism, that scientific accounts of things are oblivious to a ‘world’ that is presupposed by the intelligibility of science. Focusing principally upon Husserl’s work, I attempt to clarify the nature of this complaint and state it in the form of an argument. I conclude that the argument is effective in exposing naturalism’s reliance upon impoverished conceptions of human experience, and that it also weakens the more general case for naturalism.