Ontological Foundations of Alfred Schutz's Phenomenology of Intersubjectivity

Authors

  • Peter Iorhom Akunoko, PhD Department of Philosophy, Benue State University, Makurdi

Keywords:

Ontology, Phenomenology, Intersubjectivity, Subuniverses, Life-World

Abstract

One of the greatest phenomenologist, Edmund Husserl, introduced to
phenomenology the idea of transcendental intersubjectivity which
centres on the problem of other minds and the possibility of knowing the
consciousness of the alter ego. Schutz differed from Husserl on the idea of
transcendental constitution of consciousness. For Schutz,
intersubjectivity is not a problem of constitution which can be solved
within the transcendental sphere but a datum of the life-world. Hence, his
phenomenology is that of the natural attitude, the state of consciousness
in which we accept the reality of everyday life as a given.
Schutz'sintersubjectivity is the form of human existence which takes for
granted the existence of other conscious egos within the common world.
His argument is that human existence is defined by human actions in the
world within the framework of time. Commentators on Schutz's
intersubjectivity have largely read him as a social phenomenologist
neglecting his deeply ontological foundations. Against this, the paper
argues that the ontology of time is the basic foundation upon which
Schutz's understanding of intersubjectivity is based. This is because time
constitutes the basic phenomena of the life-world and orders human
activities in this world; not as the private world of individuals but
an intersubjective world.

References

Alfred Schutz, Phenomenology of the Social World, translated by George Walsh and Fredrick Lehnert. USA: Northwestern University Press, 1967.

Alfred Schutz, Collected Papers III, Studies in Phenomenological Philosophy. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, Publishers, 1970.

Alfred Schutz, Collected Papers I, The Problem of Social Reality edited by Maurice Natanson. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1962.

Edmund Husserl, The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1936.

Richard Grathoff, ed. Philosophers in Exile: The Correspondences of Alfred Schutz and Aron Gurwitsch, 1939 – 1949. Bloomington: Indiana

University Press, 1989.

Jochen Dreher, The Symbol and the Theory of the Life-world: Transcendences of Life-World and their Overcoming by Signs and Symbols. Human studies, 2003.

Alfred Schutz and Thomas Luckmann, The Structures of the Life-world Vol. 2. Evanston IL: Northwestern University, Press, 1989.

Alfred Schutz, Collected Papers II, Studies in Social Theory, ed. Arvid Broderson. The Hague: MartinusNijhoff, 1964.

William James, The Principles of Psychology.New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1950, Vol.2.

Helmut R. Wagner, Phenomenology of Consciousness and Sociology of the Life-world: An Introductory Study. Canada: University of Alberta Press, 1983.

Richard M. Zaner, The Theory of Intersubjectivity in Alfred Schutz, Social Research, Vol. 28 No. 1, Spring1961, Pg. 74.

http:www.jotor.org/stable/40969317.Accessed 15/10/2013.

Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality. USA: Penguin Books, 1966.

Downloads

Published

2022-06-30

Issue

Section

Articles