López, D. 2014. El problema del objetivismo en la producción de conocimiento sociológico: La correspondencia entre Alfred Schutz, Talcott Parsons y Harold Garfinkel . Cinta moebio 51: 171-191


The Problem of Objectivism in the Production of Sociological Knowledge: The correspondence of Alfred Schutz, Talcott Parsons and Harold Garfinkel

Dra. Daniela G. López (danielalopez@daad-alumni.de) Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani, Universidad de Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires, Argentina)


The epistemological problem of objectivism in the production of sociological knowledge confronts the researcher with the question of the risk involved in substituting social reality by the idealizations and abstractions created by science. Without a doubt, the subject seems intriguing and requires its thematization facing toward and appropriate foundation of sociological concepts. In order to address that problem, the article aims to recover, from a hermeneutic perspective, a phenomenologically inspired epistemology in the works of Alfred Schutz and Harold Garfinkel. To achieve this goal we first analyse Schutzian contributions in the context of the correspondence held with Talcott Parsons. There the author thoroughly discusses the difficulties that social sciences go through regarding the foundation of its concepts. Secondly, we revise unpublished bibliographical heritage from Garfinkel’s work who –interested in the epistemological debate between Schutz and Parsons– picks up the epistemological problem again. We will sustain that unlike Schutz who proposes a philosophical response consisting in the articulation of an ontology of the life-world, Garfinkel develops a methodological answer which aims to illuminate the practical reasoning and the methodological decisions of researchers in order to avoid the substitution of social reality by the idealities of the scientific reflection.

Keywords: Alfred Schutz, Talcott Parsons, Harold Garfinkel, epistemology, phenomenology

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Cinta de Moebio
Revista de Epistemología de Ciencias Sociales
ISSN 0717-554X