Human Studies 19 (1):43 - 69 (1996)
|Abstract||This paper is a comparative study of Alfred Schutz and Jose Ortega y Gasset, with special attention to their respective characterization of social reality. For this purpose, the author draws on the explicit references Schutz and Ortega directed towards one another and develops a critical comparison of their theoretical systems. In addition to the reciprocal references which appear in their published works, valuable documentary evidence is provided by Schutz's letters and, first and foremost, by his marginal notes preserved in his own copy of Ortega y Gasset's Man and People. As far as the critical comparison of Schutz's and Ortega's theories is concerned, the weight of the discussion falls on Ortega's Man and People. A careful reading of this essay allows us to successively invoke the key components of Schutz's phenomenological characterization of the structures of the life-world. According to this strategy, and after some preliminary sections devoted to contextual, biographical, and sociocultural matters, the following topics are comparatively discussed: (1) the philosophical foundations of sociology, with particular attention to Ortega's doctrine of the Other as potential danger; (2) the taken-for-granted dimensions of the social world; (3) the multiple spheres of reality, and their structuration around the fundamental core of the radical reality of the I (for Ortega) or the paramount reality of everyday life, as the intersubjective world of culture (for Schutz); (4) the influence of pragmatism on their theoretical systems; (5) their strikingly similar characterization of the perspectivist stratification of the social world; (6) the inexhaustible complexity of the problem of intersubjectivity. Obviously, the common influence of Husserl, Weber, Scheler, and Bergson casts light upon the comparative consideration of any of these issues.|
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