The Participating Citizen

A Biography of Alfred Schutz

By Michael D. Barber

Subjects: Sociology, Philosophy Of The Social Sciences, Phenomenology, Biography
Series: SUNY series in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Paperback : 9780791461426, 336 pages, August 2004
Hardcover : 9780791461419, 336 pages, August 2004

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Table of contents


1. Maturing in a Troubled Vienna


Schutz's Youth
The Austrian/Viennese Context: Up to World War I
From War's End to the Anschluss
Education and Employment
Marriage and the Founding of a Family


2. Social Science and Philosophy (1919-38): Weber and Bergson


Schutz and Max Weber
From Bergson to Husserl


3. Philosophy and Social Science (1919-38): Husserl and Mises and Kelsen


Edmund Husserl's Phenomenology and The Phenomenology of the Social World
The Austrian Economic School, Value-Freedom, and the Context of Economic Science
Hans Kelsen, the Pure Theory of Law, and Alfred Schutz


4. Matters Unpublished


The Problem of Personality in the Social World
Diary of a 1937 Visit to the United States


5. Anschluss


The Emigration of the Immediate Family, March 13, 1938-June 12, 1938
Arranging the Emigration of Schutz's Parents from Vienna to Paris, June 12, 1938-April 6, 1939 (and Ilse's Mother, Gisela Heim, June 4, 1939)
The Departure of the Schutz Family from Paris for the United States, April 7, 1939-July 14, 1939


6. Reestablishing


Life in the United States and Its Insecurities
Helping Others Emigrate
Business as Usual and a New Academic World


7. World War II Years


Editing, Teaching, War Research, Business
Family and Friends
A Son's Illness


8. Schutz, a Nihilist?


Gurwitsch and Schutz on "The Stranger"
The Voegelin/Schutz Debate
Assessment of the Debate: The Need for a Participant Stance in Ethics


9. Peace and Productivity after the War (1945-51)


Working with Reitler and Company after the War
The New School for Social Research
The PPR Editorial Board and the International
Phenomenological Society
A Family Tragedy and Friends
Research and Publications


10. The Years 1952 to 1956: Responsible Life at its Fullest


The Final Years of Full Business Life
Family Life: Caring for Older and Younger Generations
The International Phenomenological Society and Editorial Duties
Teaching and Administrating at the New School
Schutz, the Mentor


11. The Years 1952 to 1956: Philosophical Midwifery; Correspondence and Research


Collegiality in Correspondence
Publishing on Wide-Ranging Relevances


12. The Search for Equality


"Equality and the Meaning Structure of the Social World"
Aspects of Human Equality: The Fifteenth Symposium of the Conference on Science, Philosophy, and Religion
The Institute of Ethics in 1956
Schutz, Ethics, and the Search for Equality


13. Triumphs and Decline, 1957-58


Disputes and Success in the World of Phenomenology
Active Citizenship in the New School Community
Encouraging and Advising Colleagues through Correspondence
Success at Royaumont and in Publication


14. Death and New Beginnings


Illness, Death, and Condolences
Posthumous Publications


Appendix: The Courses Schutz Taught




An in-depth biography of the philosopher who brought phenomenology to the social sciences.


Winner of the2007 Edward Goodwin Ballard Book Prize in Phenomenology presented by the Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology with interest from a fund raised from Professor Ballard's family, students, and friends

Vienna-born philosopher and social scientist Alfred Schutz (1899–1959) is primarily responsible for applying to the social sciences the resources of phenomenology, the prominent philosophical movement begun by Edmund Husserl in the early twentieth century. Drawing on previously unavailable letters, this biography depicts Schutz's childhood, adolescence, first visit to the United States, struggle to secure asylum for family and friends after the Austrian Anschluss, family and business life, and connections with phenomenologists worldwide, the New School for Social Research, and close friends. As a philosophical biography, it examines the ethical dimensions of his philosophical work, including its resistance to ethical theory, and shows how during the civil rights movement he articulated a standard for assessing democracy in terms of ability to facilitate individual citizen participation.

Michael D. Barber is Professor of Philosophy at St. Louis University and the author of several books, including Equality and Diversity: Phenomenological Investigations of Prejudice and Discrimination.