Pragmatic Theory of the Life-World and Hermeneutics of the Social Sciences

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


In contemporary social theory, social reality is generally conceived as a meaningful construction. Hence, despite the criticism exercised in Derrida’s deconstruction and in postmodern thought in general, hermeneutics represents an indispensable methodological tool in the social sciences since it aims at basic constitutive processes of society. Relying on the Schutzian constitutive theory of the life-world, this paper deals with the main steps of this constitution, reveals their pragmatic motivation, and elaborates on the methodological consequences for hermeneutic practices in the social sciences.


Sign System Social Reality Semiotic System Universal Mechanism Meaning Constitution 
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.


  1. Berger, P.L., and T. Luckmann. 1966. The social construction of reality. A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. Garden City: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  2. Bourdieu, P. 1979. La distinction, critique sociale du jugement. Paris: Minuit.Google Scholar
  3. Deleuze, G., and F. Guattari. 1980. Milles plateaux. Paris: Minuit.Google Scholar
  4. Derrida, J. 1967. De la grammatologie. Paris: Minuit.Google Scholar
  5. Foucault, M. 1975. Surveiller et punir, naissance de la prison. Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  6. Foucault, M. 1986. L’ordre du discours, leçon inaugurale au Collège de France prononcée le 2 décembre 1970. Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  7. Gadamer, H.-G. 2007. Text and interpretation. In The gadamer reader. Trans. R. Palmer, 156–191. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Luhmann, N. 1984. Soziale Systeme. Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  9. Lyotard, J.-F. 1985. La condition postmoderne, rapport sur le savoir. Paris: Minuit.Google Scholar
  10. Merleau-Ponty, M. 1945. Phénoménologie de la perception. Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  11. Peirce, C.S. 1984. Writings, vol. 2. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Saussure, F. 1979. Cours de linguistique générale. Paris: Payot.Google Scholar
  13. Schutz, A. 1962. Collected Papers. Vol. I: The Problem of Social Reality, ed. M. Natanson. The Hague: Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  14. Schutz, A. 1964. Collected Papers. Vol. II: Studies in Social Theory, ed. A. Brodersen. The Hague: Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  15. Schutz, A. 2003. Theorie der Lebenswelt I, Alfred Schütz Werkausgabe, vol. V/1, ed. M. Endress and I. Srubar. Konstanz: UVK.Google Scholar
  16. Schutz, A. 2004. Der sinnhafte Aufbau der sozialen Welt, Alfred Schütz Werkausgabe, vol. II, ed. M. Endress, and J. Renn. Konstanz: UVK. English translation: 1967. The phenomenology of the social world (trans: Walsh, G. and Lehnert, F.). Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Schutz, A., and Luckmann, T. 1973. The structures of the life-world. Trans. R.M. Zaner and E. Engelhardt. Evanston/London: Northwestern University Press/Heinemann.Google Scholar
  18. Soeffner, H.-G. 1989. Auslegung des Alltags – der Alltag der Auslegung: Zur wissenssoziologischen Konzeption einer sozialwissenschaftlichen Hermeneutik. Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  19. Srubar, I. 1988. Kosmion. Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  20. Wolff, K.H. 1991. Review of I. Srubar, Kosmion: Die Genese der Pragmatischen Lebenswelttheorie von Alfred Schutz und ihr Anthropologischer Hintergrund. Contemporary Sociology 20(3): 498–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of ErlangenErlangenGermany

Personalised recommendations