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Download Collected Papers I: The Problem of Social Reality by Alfred Schutz (auth.), Maurice Natanson (eds.) PDF

By Alfred Schutz (auth.), Maurice Natanson (eds.)

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Extra resources for Collected Papers I: The Problem of Social Reality

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Action is either overt or covert. By definition, all overt action is both projected and purposive. Purposive phantasying would be termed a "performance," not an action. But overt action is only part of the total complex of action. Refraining from action - what may be termed negative action - is also a type of action, indeed an especially interesting and important phenomenon. "Covert" action, then, covers all forms of negative decision in which the actor purposively chooses to refrain from certain overt conduct.

Essentially, he is suggesting that the natural attitude itself is an achievement based on a prior suspension of doubt. To be sure, this is not a self-conscious affair any more than the natural attitude itself is self-consciously constructed. Suspension of doubt may now be considered a clue to the very concept of typifi- INTRODUCTION XLIII -attitude," the doxic belief in the very being of the world, finds its primary expression in the common-sense world. All modifications of this thesis must then be treated as having their root in daily life, just as all movements from one finite province of meaning to another presuppose the bed-rock of common sense.

But the final development of his position would, as he recognized, require the working out of INTRODUCTION XLVII a philosophical anthropology, a theory of man. Hints toward such a theory are given throughout his work; now they remain seminal fragments of an extraordinary achievement. The critical evaluation of that achievement is beyond our present scope, but to attest to its brilliance may be permitted as a final privilege. Dr. Schutz was modest in his claims but certain of the truth of his endeavour.

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