Volume 5, Issue Part 1, 2007
Selected Essays from North America Part 1
Michael D. Barber
Endorsement and Eidos
Phenomenology and the Schutz/Voegelin Correspondence
Like Alfred Schutz, Eric Voegelin opposed positivistic approaches to the social sciences through the method of locating the object of social science in life-world relationships. However, Voegelin’s metaphysical critique of modern political theory led him to emphasize sub-rational, metaphysical factors and to suspect epistemological/ methodological approaches, like phenomenology, that proceed independently of them. However, due to this strategy, Voegelin appears less self-reflective about the methodology underpinning his claims, in contrast to Schutz, who relied more heavily on phenomenological methods. Nevertheless, Voegelin discovers the attitude of committed participation exceeding the stance of phenomenology that must be used to describe it.