Temporal phenomenology of Otherness by A. Schütz (or the birth of phenomenological sociologism)

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The author considers the construction of the ‘temporal sociologism’ by A. Schütz from the ‘general thesis of the alter ego’ to the Stranger and the Homecomer. The background and starting point of this construction is Schütz’s criticism of the Husserlian egological approach to the basic category of the Other and the radicalization of phenomenological reduction. The Husserlian primordial reduction to an isolated monad is replaced by a radical reduction of the ‘cultural pattern’ as a phenomenon of the ‘social a priori’. Social a priori and the Stranger serve as necessary conditions for intersubjectivity as not derived from the Ego and acquire temporal features in the categories of ‘cultural pattern of the group’ and ‘Homecomer’. In Schütz’s interpretation, the Stranger combines temporal and functional (spatial) features, which allows to define the category of ‘cultural pattern of the group’ and describe the relations of the Stranger with the group in terms of ‘temporal sociologism’. The Stranger category is the result of reduction of the taken-for-granted ‘cultural pattern of the group’. Schütz’s temporal sociologism places any manifestation of the social not only in the intersubjective space but also in the continuum of alterations in intersubjectivity. After this radical reduction of the ‘natural attitude’ to the ‘cultural pattern of the group’ by the Stranger category, Schütz goes further and reduces the ‘natural attitude’ to the belonging to/identification with any group by the ‘Homecomer’ category, which allows to explore the continuum of alterations in intersubjectivity exactly at the moment of its breaching. The experience of Homecomer restoring a ‘breach’ with his group represents the reduction of taken-for-granted ‘self’ in itself - turning into a Stranger for oneself, which allows to find a social basis in oneself. Thus, Schütz’s temporal sociologism develops as a definition of the social through changes in time and preserving social identity despite changes in the continuum of intersubjectivity.

About the authors

S. P. Bankovskaya

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Author for correspondence.
Email: sbankovskaya@gmail.com
Myasnitskaya St., 11, Moscow, 101000, Russia


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