Intersubjectivity

KERRY MACDONAK at Meena.CC.URegina.CA
Thu Jul 20 16:08:49 MDT 1995


Jon Beasley-Murray <jpb8 at acpub.duke.edu>
	Excuse me for "butting in".

:OK, Seamus, let's go with this.  I'm happy with "intersubjectivity" as a
:term, but I'm not sure what it means (or, rather, how it can be
:used) pragmatically and in specific situations--analyses or whatever.


Dfn:	Intersubjectivity - the capacity of knowing what another person
actually intended.

	The term is used most frequently in discussions concerning "meaning".
How it is acquired or transmitted (more or less).

:What does "articulated in the field of historical change" mean, for
	    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^	
:example, when it isn't just an abstract gesture towards that fact that
:"everything's very complex"?

	The idea is that meaning of any concept needs to be grounded within the
historical/material reality of the times which it is constituted.  Some
concepts change over time (the meaning of the term has a particular connotation
for each historical "era").  The "family" is one that not only has changed over
time, but it also has varying ideolgical meanings within a given time.


:I don't think it's worth just gesturing at theory without putting it to
:use.  The question seems to be how to understand agency without falling
:back on individual subjectivity--or models that imply such subjectivity
:(with autonomous brains--the intellectuals, the party...).  How do groups
:of people, and bits of people, or agglomerations of bits of people, go
:about things, undergo and effect changes?

:What, for a start, is a marxist theory of subjectivity?  (and I guess we
:can take that to include intersubjectivity)

	It would seem to me that Marxism has am implicit theory of
intersubjectivty - materialism.  As meaning and intent are grounded and arise
out of the relations between people who are situated in particular locations of
their material reality which constitute their "consciousness", the theory
necessarily is implied, IMO.

:important to look at in this regard: I think it's similar to (or at least on
:the same plane as) what Bourdieu means when he discusses habit, and the
:bodily or mechanical inculcations of the habitus.  Though he's far too
:pessimistic for my taste.

	His analysis seems a bit too structuralist leaning, downplaying
agency or limiting agency within the status quo and thereby resistance becomes
truncated.  Though "habit" as a concept of the unconscious/uncritical
day-to-day manner in which people live is useful in coming to an understanding
of the difficulties of organizing that resistance.

	Well, excuse me for "jumping" and I hope that I'm not "butting in".

kerry


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