CONSTRUCTION OF THOUGHT OBJECTS BY THE SOCIAL SCIENCES: ALFRED SCHULTZ
Alfred Schutz was influenced by Husserl’s phenomenology. He also criticizes Weber. He says that Weber simply assumes that actors share subjective meanings. Schutz asks, “Why and how do actors come to acquire common subjective states in a situation? How do they create a common view of the world? This problem of intersubjectivity is central to Schutz’s intellectual scheme. My presentation is on construction of thought objects by the social sciences. It begins with the understanding of Weber’s rational action. Schutz says that when the actors are acting in a particular situation they act on the basis of “stock of knowledge” at hand and this “stock of knowledge” is taken for granted by the in-group to which the person belongs. Schutz also says that the actor also has a stock of knowledge which he uses subjectively at the time of carrying out an action. For Example:
A student as a member of the student community has to read for exam may be two months before the exam or 3 months. The stock of knowledge a student have as a member of student community requires him to prepare for exam but a student as an individual has to decide subjectively whether to study one month before or one day. So a student has his own stock of knowledge at his personal. * Schutz identifies there is a difference of biographical situation between the observer and observed. Therefore what appears rational to the observed may not be necessarily rational in terms of observer’s understanding. They also have different stock of knowledge and they do not have the reciprocity of perspectives , which makes something appear rational from the perspective of the actor and irrelevant from the perspective of the observer. * Schutz also says no action is unreasonable from the perspective of an actor because both past actions and future actions of an actor refer to the stock of knowledge at hand. Even if the action fails, the actor...
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