Objective Meaning and Subjective Meaning: A Clarification of Schutz’s Point of View

  • YU Chung-Chi
Part of the Contributions To Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 62)


The problem of “subjective meaning” and “objective meaning” has been closely related by Schutz to the problem of validity (Geltung). According to the critical philosophy of Kant, objectivity is equivalent to general validity which is acknowledged by all rational beings, either in the realm of knowledge or morality; by contrast, subjectivity is referred to the realm of sense experience, which is incapable of being rigidly defined in terms of knowledge on the one hand, and on the other hand refers to self-centered interests that deviate from the imperative of moral laws. In the phenomenology of Husserl, the aim of which lies in clarifying the foundation and the formation of scientific knowledge, it is the objective meaning that he is mainly concerned with. The objective meaning, as a result of intentionality, makes up the core that lies beyond the perspectival adumbration (Abschattung). Even though Husserl founds objectivity upon subjectivity in the framework of his transcendental phenomenology, he concentrates on the transcendental rather than the empirical character of subjectivity. Only thus, he believes, can we lay a solid ground for the objectivity of all kinds of knowledge.


Cultural Object Objective Meaning Subjective Meaning Transcendental Phenomenology Critical Philosophy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyNational Sun Yat-Sen UniversityKaohsiungR.O.C.

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