Maurice Natanson

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Maurice Alexander Natanson
BornNovember 26, 1924
New York[1]
DiedAugust 16, 1996 (aged 71)
Santa Cruz, California
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern Philosophy

Maurice Alexander Natanson (1924–1996) was an American philosopher "who helped introduce the work of Jean-Paul Sartre and Edmund Husserl in the United States".[2] He was a student of Alfred Schutz at the New School for Social Research and helped popularize Schutz' work from the 1960s onward.[1]

During his career he taught at the University of Houston, the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research,[3] the University of North Carolina, the University of California at Santa Cruz, and Yale University.[2] He was a visiting professor at the Pennsylvania State University and University of California, Berkeley.[3]

A captivating speaker,[1] Natanson delivered the inaugural Alfred Schutz Memorial Lecture, "Alfred Schutz: Philosopher and Social Scientist"[4] (1995) and the Aron Gurwitsch Memorial Lecture "Illusion and Irreality"[5] (1983) at the annual meetings of the Society for Phenomenology & the Human Sciences in 1995.[6]


Natanson was the author of numerous works including:

  • A Critique of Jean-Paul Sartre's Ontology (1951)
  • Literature, Philosophy and the Social Sciences (1962)
  • The Journeying Self: A Study in Philosophy and Social Role (1970)
  • Edmund Husserl: Philosopher of Infinite Tasks (1973)
  • Phenomenology, Role and Reason (1974)
  • Anonymity: A Study in the Philosophy of Alfred Schutz (1986)
  • The Erotic Bird: Phenomenology in Literature, (1998) and editor of Essays in Phenomenology (1966)
  • Phenomenology and the Social Sciences (volumes 1 and 2) (1973).

Natanson also edited The Problem of Social Reality, volume I of the collected papers of Alfred Schutz. The Husserl book won the National Book Award for Philosophy and Religion in 1974.[1][7]

A Festschrift in honor of Natanson, The Prism of the Self, published in 1995 (edited by Steven Calt Crowell), includes contributions from Fred Kersten, Lester Embree, Lewis Gordon, Thomas Luckman, Richard Zaner, Nobuo Kazashi, Michael McDuffie, Gail Weiss, and Judith Butler.[1][8]


  1. ^ a b c d e Judith Butler. "Maurice Natanson". The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 50, 1997.
  2. ^ a b New York Times (1996-08-20). "Maurice Natanson, A Philosopher, 71". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
  3. ^ a b Maurice Natanson (1970). The Journeying Self:A Study in Philosophy and Social Role. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison Wesley.
  4. ^ Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology. "Alfred Schutz Memorial Lecture". Retrieved 2011-08-25.
  5. ^ Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology. "Aron Gurwitsch Memorial Lecture". Retrieved 2011-08-25.
  6. ^ George Psthasas. "Society for Phenomenology & the Human Sciences: A Brief History". Retrieved 2011-08-26.
  7. ^ National Book Foundation. "National Book Award Winners: 1950 – 2009". Retrieved 2011-08-25.
  8. ^ "Prism of the Self". Retrieved 2011-08-25.

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