Alfred Schütz (1899-1959, aka Alfred Schutz) was a philosopher and sociologist. He was born in Austria and studied law in Vienna, but moved to the United States in 1939, where he became a member of the faculty of the New School for Social Research. He worked on phenomenology, social science methodology and the philosophy of Edmund Husserl, William James and others.
Schütz's principal task was to develop the phenomenological philosophy of Edmund Husserl as a basis for a philosophy of the social sciences. Although Schütz was never a student of Husserl, he, together with a colleague, Felix Kaufman, studied Husserl's work intensively in seeking a basis for a "sociology of understanding" derived from the work of Max Weber. This work and its continuation resulted in his first book, Der sinnhafte Aufbau der sozialen Welt (literally, The meaningful construction of the social world, but published in English as The phenomenology of the social world). This work brought him to the attention of Husserl, with whom he corresponded and whom he visited until Husserl's death in 1938. In fact, he was offered the position of assistant to Husserl at Freiburg University in the early 1930s, but declined.
Schütz is probably unique as a scholar of the social sciences in that he pursued a career as a banker for almost his entire life, teaching part-time at the New School for Social Research in New York and producing key papers in phenomenological sociology that fill three volumes (published by Nijhoff, The Hague).