The logics of the subjectiveness’ constitutiveness

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №7 - 2015

Author: Lipin Nikolaj, Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics, Ukraine

Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences, PhD in Philosophy

It is not evident for the naturalistic view that a human being is not present in this world from the beginning and his development is happening in contempt of the natural order. According to positivistic sociology, a man acquires his essence in the process of socialization while he is getting used to his social roles. An individual becomes a part of society, obtains his essence by replacing his true life with playing social roles. The alienation of a man from his essence is regarded here as obtaining essence while the sine qua non of the human subjectiveness is the active principle. The paradox is that human is free as a social being. But this is rather an interaction with others than just obtaining “socially necessary qualities”. The existence of an Other is a background and condition of development of a human being: the Other is not a confronting object, but the possibility of me myself. That is why a man cannot possess his subjectiveness as if it was granted. The differentiation of subjective and subjectiveness helps to prove this thesis.

Key words: subjective, subjectness, socialization, human essence, the Other.

The current situation is characterized by a naturalistic conception of a man. The perception of human existence as something natural dominates in the social sciences and mass consciousness. His being seems almost automatic and guaranteed Such an outlook doesn’t get it obvious that a man is not originally present in this world, that man’s development is not so much due to a certain nature, but in spite of it.

Religion opposes to this worldview the belief that the soul is given to a man in advance. Positive science searches for a human basis inside the genetic structures, considering it not god given, but created in a natural way. It looks like a man is determined to be a man.

A religious version seems to be more realistic than that of the positive science. Mainly because religious understanding compared to the positive science of man doesn’t exclude his problematic nature. As S. Khoruzhyi said, “fundamental adversity is inherent to a man” [11, p. 58] and his task is salvation as a correction of his ontological situation. The science in this respect evaluates a man more "positively", especially in its philistine refraction in the mass consciousness. Here a man is conceived as absolutely unproblematized and, as a consequence, rigidly determined from outside. It makes no difference whether he is defined by genes, unconscious or socio-cultural structures. What makes a man a man confronts him, is opposed to him, it presses, affects, and eventually suppresses him, thus urging him to be or at least appear to be a human being. A man needs to be compliant like a clay: burst, bend, and take a desired shape under environment’s severe pressure. It is clear that in this context everything that differs from me, and everybody else also confront me. The human I is pushed into a salvatory shell of individualism.

The history of philosophy clearly draws the idea that the more trouble-free and defined from the outside the human life is, the less freedom it needs and is allowed to obtain. This is true both for interpersonal relationships, such as the relations of a parent and a child, and for the future of entire nations. Where there is no freedom, tyranny begins to prevail. Therefore, philosophers’ thinking about freedom has an immediate practical value. If it is "scientifically proven" and the mass consciousness legitimizes the perception of man being determined by "nature", nothing else will remain, but to let the "scientifically proven" despotism dominate.

There are widely known words of J.P. Sartre, that a man is a project [8, p. 323] and human existence precedes his essence. Usually this statement is not objectionable, because commonly it is understood from the sociological perspective. In the era of "economic imperialism" the existential thesis is dissolved in an older claim to be a «self-made man». Making yourself, not being obliged to anyone, arbitrarily asserting oneself as the center of the world – that's what makes an individualistic project of a man. Today, cleansed of impurities of existentialism, the words of J.P. Sartre found realization in the "management of one’s own life" by P. Drucker [4].

However, resisting everything that is not I, confronting the others, a man actually cannot the Other, and hence himself. Another "You" is hidden from a man as well as his own "I". Of course, F.T. Mikhailov is right considering "that externalization of one’s own intimate subjectivity in the appeals urbietorbi creates a permanent attitude to oneself, as to I-other (or to the Other inside of me)" [6, p. 7-8]. Another inside and outside of me is a condition for the appearance of my I. An individual therefore can take on a variety of -selves that can separate from oneself, to make oneself the object of his attention, and thus meet oneself as the others, and others like oneself.

The opposition itself is possible only due to a man, such a being that, according to K. Marx, is capable of treating the world, the others and himself [5, p. 116-119]. Transforming the world into the object by opposition, a man invisibly for himself obeys to the logic of the existence and becomes not the other, but as all the others one more "thing" among things. Firmly  rejecting the environment, a man "plays" by its rules. An individual lives his project as the socialization according to the pre-prescribed regimens: "Socialization is the process and the result of a dialectical interaction between the individual and society, the occurrence of 'implementation' of the individual in the social structure by means of socially desirable qualities" [7, p. 1]. Under modern conditions a willful opposition to the society has become a part of the socialization process and does not take the individual beyond the empirical logic of existence, i.e. it has become a "socially necessary characteristic."

Within the framework of the positivist sociology, a man finds his essence in the process of socialization. Socializing, he realizes himself, and self-realization is understood as the acquisition of a (preferably high) social status. Merging with his social role, replacing the hopeless life of fulfillment of social norms and rules, the individual becomes a full member of society, finds his "essence". In the sphere of morality, according to  V.S. Bibler, this substitution is expressed by desiccation of living moral sense down to the morality schematics [3, p. 245]. The process of complete alienation of a man from his essence considered here as the acquisition of the essence.

The process of socialization, which is understood as the acquisition of essence, focuses on external forms of human existence, that is why the individual is not critical to what already exists. The essence of a man is conceived in the framework of socialization as being an achieved result. Having found the "place in the sun", the individual owns his essence as a given. Of course, the social pyramid can offer him the few next steps to climb, but he can stay on the step he has already reached. Climbing the social hierarchy is a training to fit predetermined by the empirical reality necessary social qualities. Self-realization in this case is not a resolution of conflicts of personal destiny, but an impersonal adaptation, indifferent to individual characteristics, to the contradictive personality. In fact, here we have the substitution of essence with partial existence. Sociology for the most part uncritically describes the transformation of the forms of existence, depriving existence of its dimensions.

Socialization refers to the abstract and general as "socially necessary qualities." However, in this position there is a claim that a process of "rooting" into existing social niches an individual develops as a person. It remains unclear how he had this ability to "root"? It is known that a child has no intention to "root" anywhere, he doesn’t want to do it and parents have a big task to develop this need, to make it truly generic, not just the biological beginning. If this "rooting" does not become a way of solving the internal contradictions of the individual, then, in spite of the strong pressure of educational society, the development is limited by meeting the needs of empirical existence. The process of socialization can take place when homo sapiens is present, this is a prerequisite for socialization, not the epiphenomenon. The animal’s socialization process has narrow limits despite the fact that the formation of the "socially desirable qualities" is possible. They are outlined by its natural destination, the animal is not able to get out of it. It cannot remake itself, make itself the subject of its own volitional attitude. The animal is a finite being, whose existence precedes essence, and its measure and definitions are initially given to it. A man has them just defined. An animal cannot go beyond its limits, because it cannot be in relation to itself, and therefore is tied to its original specificity. We can talk of a man only when he is able to go beyond his extremity, able to relate to himself and the world. It is impossible to explain the human capacity for transcendence without freedom and creativity.

A prerequisite of the human subjectness is the availability of the active principle. A "social human" as a product of socialization theory is conceived as a passive creature. The source of the movement here is the society, not the individual. The latter has to adapt to the existing inheritance rules and behaviors. That is why it is hard to talk about human subjectivity, and more so to mention the individual. A man as a passive principle is the object, not the subject, which is influenced by society, or any external force.

The project conceived as the establishment is a way of being a personality. Creative self-transformation of oneself as any essence is not something secondary, derivative with respect to human subjectivity. It lies at the base of the formation of a man as a rational being, as an active, transforming principle, as a subject. Creative self-transformation is the beginning of the human and its result. But the words of Jean-Paul Sartre, in this case, should not be interpreted as an instruction to achieve something that can be learned and then placed among other things in the existent being. This project is the fate that a man is doomed to bring continuously into action. The essence of man is development, so creativity and freedom are inherent to it.

The society initially isn’t opposed to and cannot resist the individual. Just getting into the thick of social relations, the individual becomes a man. Finding the cultural dimension of existence, a man finds freedom. A man is free as a social being. But it is not only and not so much the acquisition of "socially necessary qualities", but the interaction with other people. Therefore, an Other is the base and the condition of human evolution. The presence of an Other, the need for assistance and sympathy of an Other engenders universal and general forms of human activity. Later, a person can refuse to deprive his own base, but initially when just entering into relations with others he finds his essence, becomes the subject.

According to F.T. Mikhailov, thought, I occurs simultaneously with the formation of You. Due to this, the individual is forced to co-create and through the re-creation perceive a universal semantic space of the human community. Becoming a subject of his own will, a man finds himself and the other. I comes before oneself in the course of self-understanding in general, general-for-oneself and general-for-all forms. Only in this way, transforming its personal desires, emotions and needs in the general form, the baby may apply to the Others who is the compensation of child’s physiological inferiority, and without which it simply could not survive.

If you use the terminology of Martin Buber, the I-YOU relation is constitutive for the individual, and only on the basis of it the I-It relation becomes possible [2, p. 16, 28]. Within the framework of the positivist-minded sociological theories second attitude, by contrast, is understood as the original.

Other, understood as a ban, as a norm, poses on the individual as the "Father", and is dominating in the philosophy of postmodernism. This understanding of the Other as a source of the ban, and disciplinary power is based on the fact that the culture, the spirit is conceived as a repressive, totalitarian principle. In this case, the relationship with them is understood as a confrontation between the individual and the universal, and the formation of a man as the subordination of the instinctive-affective sphere to oppressive cultural norms. The individual is, then, forced to adapt to the existent regulations of behavior. Hence appears the assertion of the end of a man as a modern European construct. After M. Foucault concludes consciousness is rigidly determined by discursive practice [8, p. 364-368], the person ceases to be an active principle. Now he is a product, not the creator. And if so, then it is logical to assume "the death of the subject." The apotheosis of modern European subjectivity ends with the death of the subject.

An existent, transformed form of social relations is perceived as fundamental in the philosophy of postmodernism. "I-It" relationship is considered the least negative but still single opportunity. This view becomes admissible as a result of ignoring the logic of formation of I, when it is taken as a given.

A man initially does not coincide with oneself, and that this contradiction is a way of a man’s existence. Integrity is not achieved due to jumping into one of the extremes, but by solving contradictions. An Other is not alien to human subjectivity. The position of the confrontation of an individual to the rest of the world shows that an individual is strange to the world, as well as the world to him. However, the self-revelation of the person is not cut off from other people, but through them, in handling to them. Subjectness does not exist, if it is proposed that its formation is a result of reproductive recreation of what exists. It is the introduction to the world of what is not in the range of empirical existence, and at the same time, the introduction of the world that is his truth. Just drawing and creating universal and general ground of being, man can become a special person of impersonal representative of the kind. But the question is, can a man own his subjectivity as a given? The answer is negative. A man finds the essence in reference to himself and to others. The word and  the deed are not separable here. An Other is necessary to me primarily as a compensation of my physiological inferiority. But he will not be contributing, compassionate to me without my reference to him. To address this a man must join the universal dimension of being, which are the universal forces of the subject. In the process of sympathy and assistance, the subject is constituted. According to F.T. Mikhailov, the essence of a man is intersubjective, it "is situated" among the subjects, it is intrasubjective, in my address to myself: "... without sincere, deeply personal, intimate orientation to other people, to their good (or evil) response to your word or song, your gestures, smile, grimace, etc. - everything what you are free to (often cannot but) throw to the world, your conscious and unconscious experience of being you, your intuitive assessment and insight, your abilities and needs - without this always focused on people's attitudes moral motive, that activates all your vital force - there can be no intelligence you have, nor the higher emotions, neither the will, nor imagination. Neither can you have the opportunity or the need to appeal to people and expect them to be good or evil "[5, p. 64].

Creation of oneself is the creation of culture, in other words, filling oneself with the culture as a universal semantic content of human collaboration and communication. Culture appears here as a universal spirit, the degree of initiation to which is the measure of humanity of a man. The cultural sphere is the sphere of the universal, common-for-all sense space. To act in accordance with culture is to act keeping the relationship with the whole.

It should be noted, however, that creativity and freedom can serve as affirmation of the human self. After all, a self-made man implements his project, and therefore appears as a subject. He briskly and carefully sculpts himself on the basis of his needs and the measures of self-will. And this measure is a limit for him and his immersion into the universal forms of interaction. Since the primordial force of human freedom is the condition of its formation, the subject can stand apart from freedom itself. He is free to refuse his freedom. But as a result of this, a self-willed person loses the connection with the whole, and as a result, dramatically narrows the horizon of its ability to adequately move according to the logic of the objective world. Imposing the world the measure of his own needs, a man makes it satisfy his desires, and the world gives revenge to him. It turns out that the seemingly rational actions lead to irrational consequences. Therefore, it is necessary to reveal the bases on which the human subject is asserting itself.

On the basis of the ability to act in the context of the universal it is logical to distinguish subjectness and subjective. G. Batishchev defines them as the following. «Subjective must always the inner opposition to objective in all dimensions and spheres of culture: in cognition and in practice, in morality, in artistry, in the culture of communication. Subjective is constantly directed toward the objective, it absorbs it into itself, because it draws its content, it reproduces within itself or reflects, imitates it, is concerned of it, he is fighting for the possession of it... But it always imposes on it its own limitations, simplifies and isolates, refracts through its finite, more or less self-measured forms, infests it, obscures and even substitutes, in a word, it inevitably corrupts it» [1, p. 57]. Subjectivity puts in the first place its private interests and motives, using the objective as a tool to achieve its goals, perceiving the world through the prism of utilitarian relations. Its relationship with the world flows through the logic of the "I-It" relationship. In a similar way there develop the subjectivity’ relationships with society and other people. The society is given here in a negative way, as a faceless collection of abstract general rules and regulations. But , first of all, the objective should reveal itself as the universal, filled with universal meaning foundation of a man’s being, as the center of reason. Only then, it can be waived, appearing unable to keep oneself in the tension of semantic field of culture. But not only the world and society are opposed to subjectivity. There is also an Other, given to it in an objective way, as something opposing. Everything that surrounds subjectivity turns into an object that can be manipulated to suit one’s needs. The sad outcome of this objectification is that subjectivity reduces itself to an object, to a function, to a thing among other things. This happens in the process of inscribing subjectivity into relation of total corruption and the activities of external expediency. It is noteworthy that in the philosophy of postmodernism an Other appears as the objectified individual. As a consequence, the individual does not recognize himself, feels the plaything of impersonal social and natural forces.

Subjectness differs from the subjective. «Subjectness itself is wholly owned by the objective itself. It is one’s own inner step on the multidimensional stairway of increasingly sophisticated, developed and advanced forms of life. Therefore, opposed to the Subjectness, the more a man is subjective the higher he is promoted on this stairway, on this way of becoming infinite. Completeness of the subjectness is acquired only as overcoming the subjectivity» [1, p. 57]. An  Other is not an object, opposed to me, but the possibility of me myself. Then an Other appears on the "I-YOU" relations, where the "I" does not seek to impose willfully one’s own measure on  "You", and, thus, extend oneself in the Others, trying to see oneself in them. A Human being interacts with the Other, as well as with the world, in general forms, if not, then neither the Other, nor the world is revealed to him in reasonable and intellectual way. The General here becomes the base, and an individual becomes special absorbing it. It is clear that this feature is not obtained by subjectivity, but by subjectness, that is not to orientation to self-will, but to the objective, universal base.

The world as "It" is a dead object, as opposed to the subject. Such a world is a dehumanized, inhuman world. But the world was first revealed to a man as a humanized world, that is why mythological consciousness perceives the world as somwthing anthropomorphic. Only the human world can be given to a man and a human eye is able to see the humanized world. Another person, if it acts as an object only, apparently promotes the exaltation of the subject. In fact, the subject which, according to Heidegger, is a narrowing of the concept of substance to a human [10, p. 299], losing the connection with the whole of the culture, loses oneself. Human subjectivity, as we have seen, grows in a space saturated with human attitude towards oneself and the Others. Here the relationships to oneself and to the Other are identical, they merge into a single "You". The Other is not only outside, he's inside of me. And until I shall find the ability to see the "You" in myself, there is no "I". Or, you could say it in a different way - as long as I shall find no Other, there is no "I". "I" is not primary in relation to "You", but "You" can, and apparently, should act primary in relation to "I".


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Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №7 - 2015

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