Schutz on transcendental intersubjectivity in Husserl

Human Studies 2 (1):95 - 110 (1979)
Abstract
In his paper on transcendental intersubjectivity in Husserl, which refers mainly to the Fifth Cartesian Meditation, Schutz (1966a) marks out four stages in Husserl's argument and finds what are for him insurmountable problems in each stage. These stages are: (1) isolation of the primordial world of one's peculiar ownness by means of a further epoche; (2) apperception of the other via pairing; (3) constitution of objective, intersubjective Nature; (4) constitution of higher forms of community. Because of the problems Schutz encounters in each of these stages, he concludes that Husserl's theory is unacceptable (Schutz, 1966a, p.82). Having already proved that it is unacceptable, he now explains why these problems arise in Husserl's theory. Intersubjectivity, says Schutz, is "a datum of the life-world," (1966a, p.82) not a transcendental problem. In other words, intersubjectivity must be dealt with as a problem of the life-world of the natural attitude, not a "problem of constitution which can be solved within the transcendental sphere." (Schutz, 1966a, p.82). There is no such thing as transcendental intersubjectivity, if by that is meant intersubjectivity of a plurality of transcendental egos. The role of transcendental phenomenology in the problem of intersubjectivity is to explicate within the transcendental reduction the sense: "intersubjectivity in the life-world." Husserl was diverted from this proper role of phenomenology--in his words, to "explicate the sense which this world has for us prior to all philosophy" (trans. and quoted by Schutz from "Cartesianische Meditationen, para. 62, in fine," in Schutz, 1966a, p.82)--because of the unobtrusive transformation of sense of his concept of constitution from that of explication and clarification to "creation," in the sense of providing an ontology of the lifeworld. The fact that phenomenology is in principle incapable of doing this lies behind the failure of Husserl's theory of intersubjectivity (Schutz, 1966a, pp.83-84). Unlike Schutz, I will deal with this general issue explicitly in the context of the stages in Husserl's argument and Schutz's objections. It seems to me that Husserl does remain within the sphere of clarification of sense, but to do explication and clarification of certain "senses" results inevitably in doing a kind of ontology.
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Kenneth C. Bessant (2011). Authenticity, Community, and Modernity. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 41 (1):2-32.
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