Static and dynamic

Or on the understanding of the human being and the human situation

Bogdan Bogdanov

Developed across the theories of phenomenology, hermeneutics and semiotics, this scholarly essay comments on a type of understanding of the human, which also claims to be an action model. A key feature of this action-modeling understanding is the bringing together of the standpoints of essence and existence. These are expressed in other ways, too, but also through the ideas of static and dynamic. When the human is considered on the basis of the notion of essence, as the issue is commonly thought of, then human essence is represented in a closed and static way, and correspondingly, the human is understood as identity coinciding with itself. But the human phenomenon is determined and ready, and yet, it is a non-identity in the process of formation, aiming towards an entire complex of other. Hence the hypothesis that the human can be understood more effectively if represented as flux and transition, which it actually is, also in the acts of its understanding. Or, to put this in a different way, the human is at least bi-principled and bi-essential.

Two principles/essences of this type are the individual and the social. Western thought of the 20 century usually represents these in static opposition. And this turns them into complex semiotic units which necessarily include connotation of their opposite. The more appropriate option is to think of these two major manifestations of the human dynamically and in propositions, in which the relationship between their constructive meanings is to be represented as a kind of transformation. It is in this aspect that the present work discusses the notions of subject and object. While the static uni-essential thinking of the human opposes the subject to the object as the emptiness of understanding to the fullness of what is being understood, thinking in the dynamics of change results in their interference as a subject of versatile contents and an object exposed to subjectness. This dynamic thinking naturally involves the notions of world and reality, and requires that the human situation in the world be represented as immanence, transcending towards another immanence. On such grounds, the hypothesis also evolves that it is nothing but the living, which, in its play of separation and togetherness, brings forth the semiotic situations of objects bound together in the range of “my body, my environment of objects, the others, the world”, and subjects bound together as “me, me/you together, me/us, you, them”, as well as the ambiguous attitude of the individual towards the environment/world like this one, and the rest of the world.

Published 9 March 2004
Original in English

Contributed by Critique & Humanism © Critique & Humanism / Eurozine


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