There is paradox that lies at the heart of every investigation of normality, namely, its dependence on its other (e.g., deviation, break, difference). In this paper, I want to show that this paradox is the reason for the dynamism as well as fragility of normality. In this regard, I will not only argue that every normality is fragile, but also that normality can only be established because it is fragile. In the first part of this paper, I will present and re-visit Husserl’s account of normality as concordant and optimal with regard to its dynamic or fragile aspects. In the second part of this paper, I will apply this account to recent findings in phenomenological pathology regarding schizophrenia and depression to show how Husserl’s account could be helpful for differentiating between different aspects (such as concordance and optimality) as well as genetic levels of (disturbances of) normality.

Husserl, phenomenology, normality, pathology, schizophrenia
Phainomenon: Journal of Phenomenological Philosophy

Wehrle, M. (2019). ‘There is a Crack in Everything’. Fragile Normality: Husserl’s Account of Normality Re-visited. Phainomenon: Journal of Phenomenological Philosophy, 28 (2018), 49–76. Retrieved from