The Musical Foundations of Alfred Schutz’s Hermeneutics of the Social World

  • Andreas Georg Stascheit
Part of the Contributions to Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 68)


In 1956 Alfred Schutz was invited to present “Mozart and the Philosophers” at the renowned Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore. In the run-up to this lecture, a Baltimore newspaper published a short article that contains perhaps the most concise précis of Alfred Schutz’s self-defined intentions: “His principal fields of endeavour are philosophical interpretations of the social world through language and the arts, especially music.” A reconstruction of Alfred Schutz’s way into sociology through music has to follow two analytical directions: The exploration of correlations between Schutz’s own musical practice and his theoretical positions, complemented by tracing back the influences, the controversy between Nietzsche and Wagner and the debate between Bergson and Einstein have left in Schutz’s thought. Thus, the analysis unveils sources and backgrounds of what may be called the cantus firmus present throughout the work of Alfred Schutz: the nexus of time, action and the plurality of rationality.


Musical Experience Philosophical Interpretation Phenomenological Reflection Piano Playing Predicative Structure 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.KWI - Institute for Advanced Study in the HumanitiesEssenGermany

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