Alfred Schutz and a Hermeneutical Sociology of Knowledge

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


Karl Mannheim’s sociology of knowledge has already been the subject of criticisms, most typically: it is flawed by some epistemological confusion; it fails to specify the type or mode of relationship between social structure and knowledge; key terms of his arguments, e.g., “Gebundenheit” or “Verbundenheit,” are fundamentally ambiguous; it fails to resolve the paradox of relativism; it is committed to reductionism. But in the late 1970s, there were several attempts to re-interpret Mannheim’s work in terms of hermeneutics and revive his sociology of knowledge. Their arguments, called “hermeneutical turn” of Mannheim, tried to take into account some typical criticisms on Mannheim's work, and also a sociology of knowledge developed by Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann. The aim of this essay is to search for alternative directions of developing Schutz’s work toward a hermeneutical sociology of knowledge by exploring his theory of knowledge firmly founded on his original and pregnant theory of “relevance.”


Shared Meaning Regulative Principle Fundamental Tenet Social Distribution Finite Province 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



 I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Professor Frances C. Waksler for her useful comments on an earlier version of this essay.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyWaseda UniversityTokyoJapan

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