Judgment, Responsibility, and the Life-World: The Phenomenological Critique of Formalism

Australian Research Council

This international collaborative project investigates the role of responsibility and judgment in knowledge formation. Building on the work of the phenomenologists Edmund Husserl and Jan Patočka, the project will investigate the limits of formalist approaches to knowledge, arguing that such formalism depends on a problematic separation of knowledge-production from the life-world in which it is necessarily placed. The project will provide new insight into the work of Husserl and Patočka, while also bringing their concepts to bear on a range of contemporary questions concerning knowledge and its wider cultural and socio-political context.

This project will contribute to building Australia’s capacity in the area of phenomenology & connecting Australian researchers into the international network of phenomenology research. More generally the project will contribute to the broader community debate that is currently emerging around issues of the role & limits of knowledge, especially scientific knowledge, but also knowledge as it arises and is applied in organisational and social contexts, & the importance of responsibility and judgment even in areas of technical problem-solving & decision-making. In this latter respect, the project is likely to have an impact in more directly applied areas such as policy formation & decision-making across many different areas.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Lubica Učnik, Murdoch University Perth, Australia
Associate Investigator: Ing. Ivan Chvatík, Center for Theoretical Study, Czech Republic, Researcher: Jitka Pelikánová
Associate Investigator: Prof. Dermot Moran, University College Dublin, Ireland