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The Review of Austrian Economics

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 177–203 | Cite as

The epistemic claim to the life-world: Alfred Schutz and the debates of the austrian school of economics

Article

Abstract

The aim of this article is to make a contribution to the reflection on the “interpretive turn” within Austrian economics going back to Alfred Schutz’s notion of life-world sketched out in his first book The Phenomenology of the Social World. In the context of the discussions on how hermeneutics can enrich economics, the problem of objectivism in the production of knowledge is emphasized, i.e., the danger of substitution of social reality upheld by social scientists. Although Schutz’s links with the Austrian School are well known, specialized literature, has not found in Schutz’s work comprehensive solution to the problem that objectivism sets forth regarding the production of knowledge in social sciences. In this article we aim to recover the radical character that Schutz granted his project on phenomenological foundation of social science concepts based on a thorough philosophical analysis of the features of the life-world. We will argue that Schutz sets off based on the problem objectivism in the production of knowledge and offers an answer geared towards the epistemic claim to the life-world. In this regard Schutz draws up a solution that brings together both at the life-world level and at the scientific reflection level, the subjective and objective, the aprioristic and the historical aspects of experience in a phenomenologically based continuum. Finally, and deeply connected to these considerations, new conceptual elements are brought forth to think of the problem of social order.

Keywords

Austrian school Alfred Schutz Life-world Interpretive turn Objectivism Social order 

JEL classification

B3 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gino Germani Research Institute, Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina

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