From the Pure “We-Relationship” in Schütz to “What Happens Between Us” in Waldenfels: Open Possibilities for an Inclusive Attitude in Relation to the Other


This article intends to compare the pure We-relationship in Schütz to what happens between us in Waldenfels. Schütz criticizes Weber’s basic methodological concepts: behavior and rationalism. For Schütz it is impossible through rational observance on relational behavior to guarantee the objectivism of sociology as a science. Schütz tries to prove that only a sociological theory that shows the different realms/worlds from which the interpretation of a product is built, with its obvious limitation of grasping the real meaning, while also clarifying the deep relationship with others, can in fact illustrate its relative anonymity or concreteness.  This task involves a sense of searching for concreteness instead of taking for granted its objectiveness. For Waldenfels, the pure We-relationship is too fixed in the subjectivity that is based on one-sided understanding, and decreases possibilities of the event occurring between us. For Schütz, one deals with an eternal paradox of interpretation that will not make us acquainted completely with the other’s mind. The lack of fissure in the We-relationship does not leave space for the possibilities of what happens between us, in other words, the meaning is arrested in subjectivity in an attempt to make meaning as concrete as possible. Waldenfels will not say that the meaning in its integrality can be found, but he will open ways, which lead to a threshold where/elsewhere one will find fissures, new possibilities that first penetrate the body and after can take place in attitudes towards the other.

Keywords: Weber, ideal types, SchĂĽtz, we-relationship, Waldenfels, what happens between us, otherness

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