Friday, August 14, 2020

488. Being: from property to process.

In the preceding item in this blog. I summarised Pierre Bourdieu’s account of the transition from a social societal structurer to an economic, capitalist one. At the same time, there was a transition from a process view of identity, life as a process of development, advocated by Aristotle, and later Kierkegaard and Heidegger , of being as a verb, as something one does,  to being as a noun,as something one has. From the latter is is but a small identity as having sneakers of a certain brand, in consumerist society, to the benefit of manufacturing.
As a result, one wants to cram a fnite life full with things and experiences, as argued by Hartmut Rosa (2016, 2019, neglecting attention and time spent on what Rosa called ‘resonance’, the  maintenance of relations of mutual effort and attention, in give and take, mutual influence, that people really want. To cram more and more material and experiential content in our finite lives, the efficiency and speed of production of those must continue to increase.This leads to what hartmut Rosa called an ‘acceleration’. that crowds out resonance.

This is the idea that a person is not ready-made, acting as an outside observer to the world, trying to come to grips with it. We come into the world with a potential to deveop ideas, in a.process where we try to assimilate experience in whatever cognitive frames we have at the moment, and adapt that when experience does not fit In that way, we are not only part of the world but the world is part of us, in our constitution in interaction.with it. People are dissimilar because their reconstuction of the world is dependent on its path,along an individual life.This, I think, is the meaning of Heidegger’s notion of ‘Dasein’.

This does not mean that all our cognitive constructions are adequately realistic.Our mode of cognitive construction,has developed in evolution,giving priority to what was best for survival and procreation. What was adaptive in the past, in the long history of evolution, is not necessarily adaptive under current conditions. In 400.000 years,society.has developed from that of hunter-gatherers,via agricuture and indusrial society. to present digital society.with radically changed conditions of life, relations, cognition, culture and morality. We have adapted to that to some extent, in our cognitive construction, but apparently.not sufficiently, when we consider the current state of the world. Since Francis Bacon we have developed a stance of exploiting the world to our material benefit, and this may lead to our destruction.

I am not pleading for a return to the past, which is impossible and undesirable, but for learning from it to make requisite adaptations.

Rosa, Hartmut 2016, Leven in tijden van versnelling, Boom
------------------2019 Resonance, Polity Press.

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