Volume 9, 2017
Inconsistency Between Solitary Ego and the Social World?
Becoming and Meaning in Alfred Schutz
This paper aims to show the logical consistency between the subjective and the intersubjective constitution of meaning in Alfred Schutz by revealing his insight into the dynamic character of reality. In reconstructing what is implied by the proposition “the problem of meaning is a time problem,” this paper reveals that the interrelationship between the past and the present, namely “becoming,” is fundamental to meaning-constitution. By critically introducing the Bergsonian view of the tension between the durée and its symbolization, Schutz thematizes our meaningful reality in the fluidity. From this perspective, the intersubjective world is characterized as a continuous dynamic reality taken for granted by the actors. While subjectivity, as a function of articulating experiences in becoming, is a condition of the intersubjective world, the intersubjective process enables the taken-for-grantedness of subjective reality. Schutzian phenomenology may lead to a theory of the complexity and uncertainty of social reality.