The symbol between ethics and communication in Alfred Schütz

  • Massimo Vittorio University of Catania
Keywords: symbol, communication, otherness, appresentation, phenomenology


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 rela- tions, 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 pragma- tism, 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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