the situation of modern science

At this point, however, it is important for our problem of the crisis to show how it is that the ‘modern age’, that has for centuries been so proud of its successes in theory and practice, has itself finally fallen into a growing dissatisfaction and must even look upon its own situation as distressful. Want has invaded all the sciences, most recently as a want of method. Moreover, the want that grips us Europeans, even though it is not understood, involves very many persons.*

* The play upon the word Not is impossible to render here. The situation of modern science is described as a Notlage, which can be translated as a ‘situation of distress’. By itself Not can mean ‘need’, ‘want’, ‘suffering’, etc. The word is used three times, and there is a shade of difference in meaning each time it is used.

EDMUND HUSSERL: Philosophy and the Crisis of European Man

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