Conference Buenos Aires 2014
“Life-World, Politics and Power”
II. Conference of The International Alfred Schutz Circle
for Phenomenology and Interpretive Social Science
Location: Fundación Williams: Av. Belgrano 1670, 1st. Floor, Buenos Aires
Phenomenology’s contributions to the reflection on politics and power are often misunderstood. Critical diagnoses regarding its descriptive, explanatory and prescriptive capacity are frequently made. Indeed, it is common to hear that phenomenology is not concerned with these issues and cannot account for them. These short-range critiques lose sight of the fact that the phenomenological perspective paid considerable attention to the political. The legacy of Husserl himself has been portrayed by its most brilliant interpreters as an emancipatory project. In turn, post Husserlian phenomenology has made huge contributions to the political debate, both in critical dialogue with the Marxist perspective and with political liberalism.
In this context, the work of Alfred Schutz is of particular relevance. Especially his last years were increasingly devoted to political issues such as citizenship, participation, equality, justice and social change. Schutz’s growing interest in the political shed new light on his long-lasting concern for phenomena such as imposed relevances and social hierarchies, and his treatment of the political is grounded on his phenomenological description of the life-world. It is in the framework of his concerns for the life-world that issues such as power and politics become central. Nowadays, they acquire a renewed importance at a time when politics has been superimposed, in many respects, by a thoughtless pragmatism. In this context, the Schutzian perspective could substantially contribute to a renewal of political thought emphasizing the subjective viewpoint of the individual actor – a renewal which is pending since the times of Husserl and remains our task at the beginning of the third millennium.
Local Organizers: Carlos Belvedere, Daniela López (Universidad de Buenos Aires)
Organizers: Jochen Dreher (Chair), Hisashi Nasu, Michael D. Barber, Hermílio Santos, Andreas Göttlich