The symbol between ethics and communication in Alfred Schütz

Journal of Philosophical Criticism 1 (1):71-88 (2018)
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Abstract

This paper focuses on the concept of symbol and tries to outline its function as a means of communication. In order to describe the communicative qualities of symbol, it is necessary to show its ethical nature. The paper analyses the role symbols play in intersubjective relations, in the construction of the individual’s reality, and in the human ability to attribute meanings and assign functions.The conceptual frame- work for the understanding of what symbol is, how it works, and how it is made is a particular combination of phenomenology and pragmatism, which lies on the theory of ‘appresentation’, as we can find it in Alfred Schütz’s viewpoint. The paper invites a reflection on the power of symbol, particularly on its power to communicate the incommunicable.

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Massimo Vittorio
Università degli Studi di Catania

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