Science, everyday life and the concept of life-world

Published: 2010

In: B. Velický, K. Trlifajová & P. Kouba (eds.): Spor o přirozený svět [A controversy over the life-world]. Praha: Filosofia. Pp. 173-196

In this paper I discuss the concept of life-world from two specific sociological perspectives: from the perspective of contemporary science and technology studies (STS) and from the viewpoint of classical social constructivism. It is explained, first, why STS have only a weak links to and do not develop the Husserlian critique of science (from the perspective of life-world). Second, I try to elucidate why the phenomenologically inspired idea of social construction of reality is, in fact, transcending and abandoning the original notion of the life-world. It is argued that the concept of life-world does not refer to a livable reality, but rather to a highly abstract idea that is not of much help when answering the basic questions of the two sociological fields, i.e., what is the specific nature of scientific work and how scientific facts are produced; and how everyday reality is constructed. [E]