Transmission in Motion


22 November 2023
15:00 - 17:00
Muntstraat 2A, 3512EV Utrecht (Grote Zaal)

[Event Postponed] “Interdisciplinarity and the Crisis of Meaning: A Case for an Existentialist Approach” – Simon Gusman (UU)


This seminar session has been canceled and is being rescheduled.



Science and ordinary life have increasingly grown apart in recent times. While science was once a way to understand the world around us, related to everyday life and values, a lot of if not all of the sciences became so specialized that they lost touch with the world around them. Ironically, the more scientific thinking became part of our worldview, the more detached it became from everyday life.

The detachment of science from everyday life has been described by philosopher Edmund Husserl in his work The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. Here he relates it to both the increasing departmentalization of sciences in separate disciplines, as well as a societal crisis of meaning. Predating postmodern discourse by half a century, Husserl already foresaw a state of the world where narratives concerning meaning are no longer self-evident.

Husserl himself ultimately adhere to a very modernist view of science. In this presentation, Gusman explores how his ideas concerning the crisis of science and its relation towards everyday life can be used to think about the relationship of interdisciplinary scientific practice to everyday life. In doing so, he argues that an existentialist view on what generates meaning can be used to rethink the relationship of science and everyday life. Existentialist philosophy has been inspired by Husserl’s thought and is, as the name suggests, primarily concerned with themes concerning human existence and has seldom been considered as a philosophy of science.


Dr. Simon Gusman is assistant professor Liberal Arts & Sciences at Utrecht University. His background is primarily in contemporary European philosophy and culture studies. His research focus on the intersection between existential and socio-cultural themes. He has written two books about the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre and co-wrote one about the desire for adventure in contemporary culture, entitled Avonturen bestaan niet.



This session is part of the Transmission in Motion seminar (2023-2024): “Matters of Concern”. To stay updated with more seminar sessions, please subscribe to our newsletter.