Everyday Morality. Questions with and for Alfred Schutz

  • Bernhard WaldenfelsEmail author
Part of the Contributions to Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 68)


Alfred Schutz’s successful restitution of the social everyday world suffers from a certain moral abstinence which tends to leave the everyday to mere pragmatics. Our paper aims to overcome this shortcoming already noticed by Aron Gurwitsch. The everyday morality we are looking for is highly ambiguous. On the one hand, there is a mere common-sense morality absorbed by what everybody says and does. On the other hand, there is a morality which is incorporated in our everyday world and distributed among various vocational fields like medicine, law, technique or politics, but which exceeds what is common. Our everyday is not simply normal, but results from a process of normalisation. As Max Weber stresses, our everyday world contrasts with what is beyond the everyday. In order to discover this excess we need what Husserl calls an ethical epoché. This break has to be completed by a responsive epoché turning back to the demands to which our common speaking and doing responds. Such a responsive kind of ethics is largely inconspicuous, functioning as a sort of tacit morals. Robert Musil warns us against the over-consumption of morals which would extinguish the sparks of an intensified morality which keep us alive.


Everyday Life Everyday World Homo Oeconomicus Moral Absolutism Pure Sociology 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity BochumBochumGermany

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