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memorial to lester embree
41. Schutzian Research: Volume > 9
Hisashi Nasu Lester Embree and the Networks of Phenomenologists in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan
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Lester Embree’s contributions to phenomenology were, in my opinion, based on his three kinds of activities, which are indissolubly connected with each other: first, teaching activities, second, publication and presentation activities, and third, organization activities. Since I was not his student and had no experience attending his classes, I cannot say anything about his teaching activities with conviction. So I would like to focus in this essay mainly on his organizing activities in the East-Asian countries, and his presentations in phenomenological conferences or colloquiums.
42. Schutzian Research: Volume > 8
Michael D. Barber Introduction to Schutzian Research 8
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43. Schutzian Research: Volume > 8
Alfred Schutz, Marina Banchetti Schutz’s Contribution to a Philosophical Dialogue at the Royaumont Conference in 1957
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This paper is a transcription and translation by Marina Banchetti of two memories of Edmund Husserl that Alfred Schutz recounted as part of a panel of philosophers discussing their memories of Husserl at Royaumont in 1957. One memory concerned Husserl lecturing in Prague without notes on the dignity of philosophy. The other had to do with Schutz ordering oranges for Husserl during his final illness.
44. Schutzian Research: Volume > 8
Benita Luckmann Alfred Schutz and Aron Gurwitsch at the New School for Social Research
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This never published paper by Benita Luckmann describes the ori­gins and uniqueness of the New School for Social Research. It portrays Alfred Schutz’s arrival in the United States, his reasons for working at the New School, his exchange with Talcott Parsons, the debate over his presentation of the Stranger in the General Seminar, and his many efforts to recruit Aron Gurwitsch to the New School. It also provides an account of Gurwitsch’s experience of life in exile, his friendship with Schutz, and his time at the New School after Schutz’s death.
45. Schutzian Research: Volume > 8
María-Luz Pintos-Peñaranda Aron Gurwitsch at the Dawn of French Phenomenology: From a Relative Invisibility to an Indelible Mark
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A network (1) of dates, persons, activities and publications relating to the beginning of phenomenology in France is listed below, thus enabling to substantiate the direct objective of this essay: (2) estimate how much Aron Gurwitsch contributed to the reception of phenomenology in France during the 1930s, to what extent he contributed, how and when. (3) The indirect objective is to establish the legacy of Gurwitsch in France after he was exiled to the United States. (4) Another objective is related tacitly with this: to show that in his Parisian stage Gurwitsch was not merely in a kind of transit, unimportant, “between” the life of the novice researcher in Germany and life of the relevant phenomenolgist in the US. He played an important role in France. This to the point that without Gurwitsch, probably French phenomenology would not have followed the path it followed in the years after his departure. (5) Yet, paradoxically, this crucial role was exercised implicitly and has had to be explicated.
46. Schutzian Research: Volume > 8
Jan Straßheim The Problem of ‘Experiencing Transcendence’ in Symbols, Everyday Language and Other Persons
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Alfred Schutz made a point which is crucial for understanding communi­cation and social coordination. Through symbols, signs or indications we experience that which transcends our experience. However, Schutz never solved the conceptual problems his claim implied. A solution is proposed through constructive criticism of Schutz. Symbols, signs and indications are based on typical expectations. In contrast, ‘experiences of transcendence’ are analyzed as experiences which deviate from typical expectations due to a tendency inherent to experience, as opposed to deviations prompted by the frustration of types. Such experiences are shown to be constitutive of our use of symbols, our use of language, and our relation to individual others. Experiences of transcendence do not passively reflect the situation, but they are motivated in their selectivity by ‘anxiety.’ Anxiety is phenomenologically under­stood as the expectation of atypical experiences. While anxiety motivates deviations from types, it is itself motivated by previous frustrations of types. Through this dynamics of motivation, experiences of transcendence and typical experiences refer to each other. Even so, the two categories are logically distinct. The possibility of communication and social coordination can only be explained by assuming, in addition to shared types, anxiety as a shared readiness to transcend types.
47. Schutzian Research: Volume > 8
Michael M. Hanke Schutz’ Semiotics and the Symbolic Construction of Reality
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Some decades before Umberto Eco refounded semiotics in the sixties, Alfred Schutz had already elaborated a theory on signs and symbols. Moreover, as Schutz himself affirms, neither was he the first to do so. The thoughts of Charles Sanders Peirce had already clearly influenced American pragmatism, and thinkers like George Herbert Mead and Ernst Cassirer had developed a theory of symbols, both referred to by Schutz in his later works. Nonetheless, sign theory was already present in his first book, Der sinnhafte Aufbau der sozialen Welt, and can be traced to the influence of Edmund Husserl. Schutz’s focus on the analysis of the relationship between individual and society fomented his perception of the importance of intermediary communication and sign processes as the setting and interpretation of signs, “Zeichensetzung und Zeichendeutung”, reflections that in his later working phase resulted in a proper sign theory, which is analyzed in the following article. Based on Husserl’s concept of pairing, Schutz here develops his theory of appresentational references, comprising a subdivision of: marks, indications, signs and symbols. This involves the concept of representation, a relationship between the signifier and the signified, and a subjective as well as constructive interpretation by actors. Consequently, this concept involves an objective sign system, a social situation and, as inserted into a process of communication, complementary producers (senders) and receptors (receivers) of signs and symbols. In the final comments the question is addressed whether, and in what sense, given the preceding theory of appresentational references, Schutz would hold that reality is a symbolic construction, as proposes the title of the 2016 conference on Schutz in Tokyo, The Symbolic Construction of Reality.
48. Schutzian Research: Volume > 8
Jochen Dreher Symbolic Reality Construction: A Bridge between Phenomenological Individualism and Pragmatic Realism
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The particularly significant theory of the symbol of Alfred Schutz is based on a combination of the two perspectives of phenomenological individualism and pragmatic realism. This theory on the one hand explains processes of symbolic meaning constitution from a phenomenological viewpoint, specifically following Edmund Husserl. On the other hand it demonstrates the functioning of symbols through pragmatic social action, which is relevant for symbolic reality construction. The paper elaborates both perspectives within the Schutzian theory of the symbol with reference to diverse interpretations of Franz Kafka’s novel The Castle. It outlines the decisive capacity of symbols to overcome and harmonize diverse and often contradictory meanings that are expressed and at the same time united by the symbol itself.
49. Schutzian Research: Volume > 8
Frederick J. Wertz Outline of the Relationship Among Transcendental Phenomenology, Phenomenological Psychology, and the Sciences of Persons
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Husserl focused perhaps more than any other philosopher on the relationship between philosophy and psychology. This problem was important to him because the European project of universal science must include sciences of consciousness that address questions of meaning, value and purpose so crucial for humanity. This paper provides a sketch of the later Husserl’s thinking on this issue in order to clarify the relationships among transcendental philosophy as the mother of the sciences, psychology as the foundational mental science, and the various regional sciences of persons. Radicalizing and extending the transcendental tradition to free philosophy from naturalism, Husserl developed methods and fundamental concepts for understanding consciousness in its distinctive world constituting function. In parallel fashion, Husserl traced the historical failures of psychology to its naturalistic philosophy, from which he liberated the discipline by means of phenomenological reflections on the intentional property of its subject matter. This pure focus on mental processes resulted in the clarification of the transcendental phenomenological foundation of psychology as well as a recognition of the paradoxical manner in which psychological processes are both world constituting and mundanely present in the lives of persons. The apperceptive synthesis of transcendental consciousness and mundane embodiment in the identification of the person is proposed as essential for a non-naturalistic, intentional psychology, which provides appropriate concepts and the method of intentional analysis for such sciences of persons as sociology, history, literary studies, and religious studies. The problems, means, and inevitable inadequacies of communicating transcendental insights in language are discussed. Analysis of the complexity of living persons discloses their transcendental dimension in the manifolds their mundane activities and in their products, including use, cultural, and art objects as well as social institutions. Attention is drawn to resources in phenomenology beyond Husserl and in the genuine psychological intuitions of non-phenomenologists for generating non-naturalistic, phenomenologically grounded person sciences.
50. Schutzian Research: Volume > 8
Hermílio Santos On Biography: A Schutzian Perspective
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The paper explores biographical experiences for the understanding of social phenomena, both in the writings of Alfred Schutz himself and in sociological empirical approaches based on his work. Schutz handles biography at least in two different ways: as a manner to investigate the “because” motives for one’s action and as a way to exemplify his theoretical considerations. The first step will be to discuss the biographical experience as a key aspect to understand the motivation for action. It will be argued that for Schutz, biography is not exclusively an individual life’s trajectory, but results of both individual and social experiences, synthesized on the individual relevance systems, which are embedded by the relevance systems of the community in which one has been socialized. In the second step the paper verifies how Schutz deals with his own biographical experiences to discuss theoretical and empirical aspects of his sociology. Examples of the first kind of use of biography by Schutz are, for instance, “The Stranger” and “The Homecomer”, which will be considered in this paper. A third step aims to discuss how these writings influenced empirical researches in sociology based on biographical narratives as a way to access empirically the social construction of reality.
51. Schutzian Research: Volume > 8
Carlos Belvedere Why I cannot dance the Tango: Reflections of an incompetent member of the “milongas porteñas”
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The purpose of this paper is to discuss the idea that members are fully competent at what they do. With that aim, I start with a Schutzian and Ethno­methodological account of what it is like to be a member of the tango scene in the dance halls of Buenos Aires. I specify different degrees and kinds of competences. On the one hand, there are fully competent members (sanctioned dancers) and incompetent members (the “beginners”). The incompetent members are the vast majority in comparison to the few fully competent ones. On the other hand, there are technically competent members and socially competent ones. Technical competence is very hard to acquire, thus it is very rare. Social competences, instead, are accessible to all members. These different ways of being a member are heterogeneous and indicate a significant diversity of competences and skills. I conclude that not all members are alike and that each one is challenged in a particular way.
52. Schutzian Research: Volume > 7
Michael D. Barber Editor’s Introduction
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53. Schutzian Research: Volume > 7
Fred Kersten “Idealism” and the Idea of Phenomenology
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There is a paradox in Husserl’s writing in that he strives for insight into conscious experience and that he seems to a require a methodical approach, which might seem to have been imported from without, namely the phenomenological reduction. As Husserl notes in a passage cited from Ideas, first book, the precondition for the adequate (or evident) insight into what is reflectively seized upon and the method, the epoche and reduction, the refraining from altering in any way what is given to reflection, are reached at the same time. Thereby the paradox is resolved. Th is analysis helps resolve the paradox of idealism, namely that phenomenology creates an idealistic realm detached from the objective world, since the method of reduction converges with the self-reflection emerging within the pre-phenomenological world that is never “left behind” but that is now seen as included within the reflective-phenomenological context, as can be shown with regard to the ontology of the world and our epistemological grasp of it.
54. Schutzian Research: Volume > 7
Roberto J. Walton Historicity in Edmund Husserl and Alfred Schutz: Development of Meaning and Modes of Relevance
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Th is paper attempts to examine history in the framework of Edmund Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology and Alfred Schutz’s constitutive phenomenology of the natural attitude. Significant similarities regarding the analysis of the lifeworld, its historical character, and the levels of this development will be shown in order to highlight the importance of the complementation that can be found in Schutz’s descriptions. Whereas Husserl’s furnishes signifi cant ideas dealing with, so to speak, a longitudinal or horizontal plane of history that involves the successive moments of establishment, sedimentation, and teleological reestablishment of meaning, Schutz’s main contributions concern themselves with, as it were, a transversal or vertical plane that entails the simultaneous systems of thematic, interpretative, and motivational relevance. The intersection of both structures leads to an enrichment of the analysis of history insofar as the types of relevance help to clarify and develop further the moments described by Husserl. Examples taken from the history of philosophy will off er an illustration. Finally, reference is made to the interdependence of moments and relevances in view of the problem of the continuity of history.
55. Schutzian Research: Volume > 7
Andreas Göttlich To Wait and Let Wait: Reflections on the Social Imposition of Time
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This paper presents an attempt to conceptualize in a phenomenological way a specific form of social interaction which is familiar to us all from everyday life: the interaction in which one person lets another person wait. Special emphasis is hereby laid on the aspect of power. To keep somebody waiting means to impose one’s time on him/her, and so the study of the waiting-interaction promises some insight into the basic mechanisms of social imposition and thus of exercising power. The concepts used for this analysis are primarily adopted from Alfred Schutz’s classic opus The Phenomenology of the Social World.
56. Schutzian Research: Volume > 7
Dániel Havrancsik Methodological Individualism: The Merits of a Schutzian Perspective
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The purpose of this paper is to show that the work of Alfred Schutz, mostly neglected by the current representatives of the social scientific movement of methodological individualism, can provide a foundation for an alternative methodological individualist programme, which instead of building on the presumed rationality of action, starts from the subjective consciousness of the actor, thus can overcome the objectivist bias characterizing most other variants. Following the Schutzian guidelines, this individualist approach can avoid the error of introducing elements incompatible with the individual level of explanation, and also can avoid the conflict between the principle of the freedom of choice, assumed by the action theoretical point of departure, and the implicit determinism of the theories grounded on the idea of rational action. Adopting the results on the fields of the definition of the situation and intersubjective understanding, provided by the phenomenologically grounded interpretive theory of Schutz, methodological individualist theory can also overcome some of its serious defi ciencies.
57. Schutzian Research: Volume > 7
Neal De Roo Facticity and Transcendence across the Disciplines: Phenomenology and the Promise
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This paper begins from one of the most commonly found questions in phenomenology, “What is Phenomenlogy?”, to argue that phenomenology is a trans-disciplinary approach to engaging with the products of human culture. This approach is characterized by paying particular attention to the distinction between facticity and transcendence within “lived experience” so as to help us better articulate and evaluate the promises that animate every human institution. Such a task necessarily requires inter-disciplinary input and helps us engage in our lives—in our shared cultural life—differently.
58. Schutzian Research: Volume > 7
Jonathan Tuckett Levels of Intersubjectivity: Scheler’s “Idea of Man” and Schutz’s Human Prejudice
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One of the key insights of Scheler’s approach to the topic intersubjectivity is to recognise that the problem of intersubjectivity is in fact several problems. In The Nature of Sympathy, Scheler lays out an order of precedence in which these problems need to be addressed. One of his major criticisms against analogical arguments and theories of empathy is that they violate this order. Specifically, they provide accounts of what the Other is thinking (intersubjectivity as achievement), but treat this as a solution to how we recognise the Other as Other (intersubjectivity as possibility). In responding to Scheler, Schutz takes up this order of precedence but then makes the signifi cantly bolder claim that intersubjectivity as possibility is not problematic and does not require a solution. The purpose of this paper is to show that Schutz’s argument relies on a Husserlian reading of Scheler’s use of “transcendental psychology” and that rather than sidestepping the problem Schutz in fact tacitly presupposes a solution in the form of the human prejudice. Significantly, this solution radically overturns the aims of Scheler’s phenomenology and even that of the broader Phenomenological Movement.
59. Schutzian Research: Volume > 6
Michael D. Barber Editor’s Introduction
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60. Schutzian Research: Volume > 6
Hisashi Nasu Transformation of Knowledge and a University “Crisis” in Japan
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This essay aims to interpret Japanese university reform plans in terms of knowledge. For this aim, a history of attempts at university reform after Second World War is described briefly (sec. 2), and the underlying tone of these reform plans is explored by asking why the university had to start attempts at reforming their education and research system, what these plans signify, and what results from them (sec. 3). Then, it is asked where such reform plans lead the Japanese university, and a conclusion is drawn that as regards to knowledge expected to be produced and transmitted in university, the present Japanese university becomes to be a different kind of institution from the university based on the W. von Humboldt’s ideas (sec. 4). This leads attention to A. Schutz’s theory of knowledge, especially his distinction between knowledge and information, his insight into horizonal structure of knowledge as well as his ideas about higher education founded on his theory of knowledge, and why and in which context Schutz’s theory of knowledge is significant for elucidating a university “crisis” in Japan is explicated (sec. 5).