Phenomenology

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By Alfred Schütz

This e-book encompasses a thoroughgoing research of the function of objectivity as opposed to subjectivity within the social sciences and the character of human motion . It additionally offers a philosophical research of the character of social technology as such, and increases in addition to solutions the elemental query of no matter if to and to what volume the social sciences delivers us with a real knowing of humans.

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These questions do not as such belong to the social sciences. They refer rather to that substratum of objects of the social sciences which we discussed previously, namely, the level at which the social world is constituted in Acts of everyday life with others—Acts, that is, in which meanings are established and interpreted. As yet we are not prepared for a thorough analysis of these problems but will have to be satisfied with a few imprecise results of merely provisional validity. Weber takes up repeatedly the question of how meaningful behavior is to be defined and how it is to be distinguished from meaningless "relatively natural world outlook"; cf.

Weber's Methodological Concepts / 5 Max Weber's "interpretive sociology" (verstehende Soziologie') takes its departure from the same basic idea. This is not to question the originality of Weber's enormous contribution or even to assert his dependence on Simmel. On the contrary, Weber's work, drawing together as it does so many of the currents of his age, is throughout the unique product of an astonishing genius. It was he who gave present-day German sociology its direction insofar as it is a science rather than an ideology, and it was he who gave it the tools it needed for its task.

Sander, who thinks that Weber means by "orientation" that the object of every social act is to cause someone else to behave in a certain way through one's own physical behavior (expressive act). See his "Gegenstand der reinen Gesellschaftslehre," Archiv fur Sozialwissenschaften, LTV, 329-423, esp. 335. 35. See below, Chap. 2, sec. 17. 18 / THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE SOCIAL WORLD behavior. He speaks of the fluctuating boundaries of meaningful behavior and mentions affectual behavior as a borderline case: Purely affectual behavior also stands on the borderline of what can be considered "meaningfully" oriented, and often it, too, goes over the line.

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