Social Subjects, Social Objects and Their Mutual Bootstrapping: A Constructivist View on the Morphogenesis of Human Societies

Monday, 11 July 2016: 16:30
Location: Hörsaal 15 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Pablo NAVARRO, University of Valencia, Spain
Human societies emerge and develop their multifarious forms through a double process of sociogenetic bootstrapping. This process intertwines the progressive differentiation of human social subjects and the correlated differentiation of (constructed) social objects. It is a process of mutual boostrapping: human subjects differentiate by means of their dealings with other subjects; but these dealings are meditated through social objects. And social objects are socially constructed in the process of interaction between subjects. The sociogenesis of the individual subject may be viewed as a process of progressive differentiation between ego and (the representation within and by ego's mind of) other subjects. Initially, the child is an undifferentiated subject (there is no difference, within its mind, between ego and alter). Through a process of subjective boostrapping, the child starts to distinguish between itself and other subjects. This process may be conceived as a process of agential symmetry breaking. Agential symmetries are broken reflectively (through the production of different, contrasting images of ego and alter) and they are recomposed transactionally (by means of a trans-action between ego and alter). The sociogenesis of social objects is parallel to that of social subjects. Initially, the child lives in an undifferentiated world. Progressively, this undiffentiated reality starts to break into distinct (physical) objects endowed with peculiar properties. A similar process drives the emergence of social objects. In this case, those objects are defined not by means of physical interaction, but by means of social interactions (which involve ego, but alteres as well). The differentiation of the social subject amounts to the constitution of internal, imaginary societies that guide the interactin of the social individual. On the other hand, the differentiation of social objects amounts to the constitution of internal “social world views” that are in gear with the “individual society” of each social agent.