Art as an enclave of meaning
For a relatively brief work, Alfred Schutz's essay, "On Multiple Realities,"1 presents a remarkably wide-ranging theory of subjective life. In it Schutz is ultimately concerned with the themes that occupied his primary attention throughout his life's work: the methodology and conceptual foundations of the social sciences. However, as he defines his approach to these themes, he addresses issues well beyond the range of what we might expect from a "philosophy of the social sciences." For much of the essay, discussion of direct questions of social-scientific methodology is postponed for the sake of inquiry into the most general features of subjective experience. Schutz was hoping to combat the naiveté harbored in any expectation that a philosophy of the social sciences might restrict itself to a narrow concern with method. Schutz believed that, if these methodological issues are to be resolved, what is needed is a thorough philosophical critique of subjective and intersubjective experience. Since subjective experience-experience as it is lived-is the presumed "object" of social scientific investigation, discussion of social scientific method must be guided by philosophical clarification of the nature of subjective experience. Schutz thereby develops the notion of "multiple realities" to serve as a general conception of the structure of subjective experience; this philosophical conception, in turn, is called upon to provide methodological guidance for the social sciences.
McDuffie, M. (1995)., Art as an enclave of meaning, in S. Crowell (ed.), The prism of the self, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 205-219.
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