Document Type : Original Article
The aim of this work is to demonstrate that Alfred Schütz's contribution to the social sciences is understandable only within the framework of his troubled relationship with Husserl's phenomenology. We will see how Schütz tries to take charge, to face and resolve a good part of the critical issues present in Husserl's work and, above all, to make a turning point in the field of investigation of phenomenology which will prove decisive for the human sciences as it will focus his attention on the question of intersubjectivity, considered no longer as a problem concerning only the phenomenological sphere but as a fundamental category of human existence. Therefore, we will try to show how Schütz's path assumes a considerable critical value as it contributes to raise the expectations of sociology and to strengthen the confidence of this discipline which tends to go beyond the narrow boundaries outlined by Husserl and to go in a direction diametrically opposite to "The Crisis of European sciences" outlined by the father of phenomenology, since Schütz provides stable and adequate bases for the social sciences that allow to analyze the fundamental structures that support the social world, and, in this way, at the same time, he manages to safeguard the basic nucleus of the phenomenological discipline, since, stripped of metaphysical lure and devoid of verbal and oracular enchantments, it is traced back to the Husserlian idea of rigorous science. From this point of view, Schütz's merit lies primarily in having made a critical revision of phenomenology, in having initiated a broad debate on the role of the social sciences, and in having provided the first ideas for the foundation of a phenomenologically oriented sociology.