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References and Further Reading 1. Life and Works Alfred Schutz was born in Vienna in He was an only child in an upper-middle-class Austrian Jewish family and had a strong mother.
In his youth he attended a classical Gymnasium in Vienna and developed a lifelong interest in music. After his serving in World War I, he received his doctorate in the philosophy of law at Vienna under Hans Kelsen in three years; studied marginal-utility economics; and became interested in the interpretative verstehende sociology of Max Weber.
Schutz completed Der sinnhafte Aufbau der sozialen Welt in On the recommendation of Tomoo Otaka as well as Kaufmann, he sent a copy to Husserl, who invited him to Freiburg and soon asked him to become his assistant.
It was necessary, however, for Schutz to continue his career as a banking executive in order to support his family. Husserl called him an executive by day and a phenomenologist by night.
He visited Husserl often until the latter's death in and continued to write essays, especially in the philosophy of economics. After the Nazi Anschluss, he helped many others flee the Nazis; he himself moved first to Paris and then to New York, where he continued to work in a private banking firm.
Soon he also began teaching sociology and eventually philosophy in the evenings at the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science of the New School for Social Research.
His correspondence with Aron Gurwitsch well documents his thinking from untilwhen he died. Schutz published dozens of essays in the United States and began working toward a second book during his last decade.
Before his death, however, he was only able to outline an arrangement of passages from various essays, eventually fleshed out by Thomas Luckmann in two volumes. But Schutz had also managed to plan several volumes of Collected Papers that his widow and two other students quickly edited after his death.
Moreover, translations of the Aufbau into English as well as it and volumes of papers into a number of Western and Asian languages began in the s.
His quite extensive, international, and multidisciplinary influence is still growing within and beyond philosophy. His oeuvre also continues to reward close study.
Several international conferences were held in the centennial year ofand there is a video of his life and work. Phenomenological Philosophy of the Social Sciences If phenomenology is comprehended in the strict signification now sometimes qualified as Husserlianthere can be no doubt that Alfred Schutz is the preeminent phenomenological philosopher of the social sciences.
But such a characterization needs to be comprehended carefully. In his book Schutz lists not only economics, jurisprudence, sociology, and political science, but also biography and the histories of art, economics, music, philosophy, and politics and implicitly archaeology as "Sozialwissenschaften.
This list can seem odd today because the historical sciences and jurisprudence are not usually considered social sciences, at least in the United States. A broader title seems necessary. One gets the most from studying Schutz if one bears in mind that his philosophy of the cultural sciences is concerned with all of the above listed disciplines.
What is particularly interesting about Schutz's position, is, however, his recognition that the cultural or social scientists regularly reflect on those same themes, that is, that they too engage in science theory. This makes discussions of basic concepts and methodology between scientists and philosophers possible.
He did succeed in having such discussions with some "Austrian school" economists, including Fritz Machlup, Friedrich A. Hayek, and Ludwig von Mises. He recognized, however, that science-theoretical reflections by scientists tend to be limited by the needs of the particular disciplines and hence seldom reach a fully philosophical level.
Schutz's approach can be called a "gentle prescriptivism," which may be why his thought has been very well received in a score of non-philosophical disciplines concerned with aspects of the sociocultural world.
Probably because he taught only sociology in the early years, had prominent students in that discipline for example, Thomas Luckmannand had a will to communicate with scientists, Schutz is sometimes characterized as a "phenomenological sociologist. This signifies that he reflectively analyzes how sociocultural objects are constructed with meaning in everyday life, largely with concepts found in ordinary language and thereby open to interpretation.
More will be said about this presently, but it deserves mention at this point that he characterized his approach in terms of what Husserl called "constitutive phenomenology of the natural attitude.
His objections to positivism aside, there are three main themes to Schutz's philosophy of the social sciences: In the first place, there is the problem of the delimitations of the realm of the social sciences in both the broad and the narrow significations. Schutz held that all science is theoretical and requires entry into the preconstituted subuniverse of a discipline.
In other texts he offers a taxonomy of the positive sciences. Except to agree with Husserl on the unification of all sciences by formal logic, Schutz has little to say about the formal sciences.
This and his opposition to positivism may have led some to believe that he opposed mathematization in the cultural sciences, but he clearly accepted it in economics, arguably the most mathematized social science, and could easily have accepted it elsewhere as well.
On the assumption of an implicit distinction between sciences of content and sciences of form, the "contentual sciences," as they might be called, are, for Schutz, of two kinds, the naturalistic and the cultural.
Against much philosophy of science, especially in the Anglo-American world, Schutz agreed with Dilthey and Husserl before him, and later with others such as Gurwitsch, on the priority of the cultural over the naturalistic sciences.Alfred Schutz philosophized about social science in a broad signification of the word.
He was deeply respectful of actual scientific practice, and produced a classification of the sciences; explicated methodological postulates for empirical science in general and the social sciences specifically. Pearson Prentice Hall and our other respected imprints provide educational materials, technologies, assessments and related services across the secondary curriculum.
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Total References: Total number of references to other papers that have been resolved to date, for papers in the SSRN eLibrary. Total Citations: Total number of cites to papers in the SSRN eLibrary whose links have been resolved to date.
Total Footnotes: Total number of footnotes resolved in the SSRN eLibrary. The Philosophy of Social Science. The philosophy of social science can be described broadly as having two aims. First, it seeks to produce a rational reconstruction of social science.
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