This chapter is the first of a two-part discussion on Schutz’s concept of relevance. The concept stands as a bridge between phenomenological egology and social analysis, and is thus central to the Schutzian theoretical project of bringing egological analysis to bear on basic questions of social reality, subjective meaning, and actors’ orientation in the social world. The chapter distinguishes the phenomenological approach and its egological method from the assumptions and approach of cognitive science, which was recently proposed as a means to address issues of cognition in social theory and research. The chapter gives background on the concept of relevance, considers the role of language and typification in the constitution of relevances, the difference between personal and sociocultural systems of relevance, and the stratification of relevance systems as theorized by Schutz. The chapter highlights the difference between Schutz’s relevances and more commonly used sociological concepts of norms and preferences. The second part of the discussion, which follows in Chapter 4, discusses Schutz’s elaborations of the concept of relevance into thematic, interpretive, and motivational aspects, relevances as intrinsic and imposed, and their relationship to learning and power.