> K> In his schematic representation of
> lifeworld/internal worlds/external world etc.
> ([_TCA2_,]p. 127) he places "Lifeworld" outside (and
> above) participants' subjective worlds.
fred: This looks like the title of the Schematic which is a metaphor of
the Lifeworld which he also says is transcendent by which I think he
means that it is "in" consciousness, or consciously thematized 'as'.
> G: and says, p. 126, that "The scheme in Figure
> 20...is particularly unsatisfactory"---unsatisfactory
> for, I suppose, illustrating his just-made point that
> "the lifeworld is constitutive for mutual
> understanding *as such*."
> What he has in mind would have been somewhat helped by
> arrows outside the entire illustration, on each side
> of the illustration, with "Past" at the top and
> "Present Action" at the bottom of each arrow, since
> the reality of the lifeworld is developmentally
> instilled, in terms of the language capabilities
> embodied by the culture, the cognitive capabilities
> embodied by oneself (especially reflective analytical
> capability), and the knowledge available to each,
> which development instills (and appropriates).
F: I think it is important that throughout this discussion by Habermas,
he makes an issue of the transition in the theory of ideas from a
philosophy of consciousness to systems theory; this means that the
reflective resources of consciousness are displaced into a systems
theory, that is, are functionalized, ie functional systems theory.
Insofar as our Cartesian inheritance emphasizes reflective
consciousness, or with Kant the transcendental ego as mind or
consciousness, temporality or historicity is relegated to a reflection
and not to a functional resource; for example, a genealogical
understanding of another or one's self is now displaced into
understanding self or other as a role, a functional role which advances
communication: self as subject can 'operate' (or address the other) in
the context of the other's role. I think that there are valuable
analyses in Luhmann's more recent issue on functional systems theory,
but remember that Habermas' point is to critique functionalism so he
calls this kind of thematization or instrumentalization in systems
theory a shrinking down, for example.
> K> He constantly refers to a lifeworld, which is
> "intersubjectively shared". Does this mean that he
> advocates ONE lifeworld, common to all participants in
F: Yes, but one that needs to be thematized in situations or according
to situations. Again, Habermas sees this as a reduction to social
> G: The lifeworld includes the differentiations that
> also create the need for interpretive representations
> of it, i.e., perspectivity belongs to the lifeworld of
> actors within it. This is caused by the
> differentiation of world relations that cognitive
> development appropriates through language.
> The interpretable difference between perception and
> objectivity belongs to the lifeworld itself. "The
> structures of the lifeworld lay down the forms of the
> intersubjectivity of possible understanding" (126),
> not that the *specificity* of that understanding
> doesn't have to be achieved.
> What's intersubjectively shared *may* be taken as
> given, such as when we immediately have rapportous
> conversations or, for example, we "naturally" take the
> right side of the sidewalk (where "right side" is
> relative to oneself, which accomplishes the shared
> interest in not bumping into each other).
> But the integrity of individual differences (esp.
> relative to past experience that largely can't have
> been shared) requires that *often* it's unclear what
> we intersubjectively share; so, we talk about what we
> assumed or take to be important, etc., in order to
> establish our baseline when it doesn't feel evidently
> K>...Personality is not included as part of the
> lifeworld in his schematic representation on p. 127).
F: Personality is subjectivity, or subjective world. Note that
utterances refer to three worlds simultaneously: social, objective, and
subjective. Personality is a system made primarily of the roles one
functions as, or interests one has, and is therefore a kind of
self-definition, excluding any criticisms based on authenticity! Which
role or interests would be thematized in situ. However, in general, the
reduction of personality or subjectivity to roles is quite obviously a
reification. If we try to understand ourselves as distinct from our
roles, in every sense of role, then we would be recognizing our own
true self, or another's. OTOH, I still find Weber's discussion of goal
selection (see TCA1) as pertinent to both this problem of personality
as well as to action coordination problems with their attendent issues
in ethics, morality, and politics.
> G: Well, if you give weight to the word 'Lifeworld' on
> the page being outside all the squares, then you might
> suppose that Lifeworld, "Internal world"s, and
> "External World" are all part of the same graphical
> (uncontained) space, thus the same existential
> We have there a kind of hierglyph---something which
> suggests the importance of graphical elements in
> communicative action. Graphical communication is vital
> in the complex communications of science and
> education, as well as the often-simple communications
> of electronic media.
> There, we have a "text" which happens to be graphical,
> and this suggests the common condition, exhibited
> *here*, that what's "shared" intersubjectively is a
> text, but what's *actually* shared in meaningwhat's
> the same for both of us substantively---is quite open
> to interpretation.
> K>... but does this mean that this "common" lifeworld
> is constantly re-defined and adjusted to a particular
> G: Yes, given that "the" lifeworld is a conceptual
> construct in the first place, just as a general
> statement about your life would be a construct, while
> the life itself is quite "definite". Indicating what
> is "the" lifeworld is like indicating who a given
> person "is". What is given? Is there some *giving* of
> the given, like the experience of time in what's
> present? What IS "the" present?
F: I am not sure that Lifeworld is a 'concept in the first place.' It
is I think a concept in the second place, that is, that in reality, in
the use of language as utterance in situation, the common lifeworld
background comes into play: language mediates the lifeworld, the
lifeworld mediates language in a process of interpenetration or
intersubjectivity. This kind of statement that I just made is
conceptual as an ontological description, but it refers to a real
process that is immediate during interaction between Speaker and
Hearer, that is, it is experienced. Habermas stated that "Lifeworld is
transcendent, so to speak," that is, that the lifeworld is an object of
consciousness, conceptualized after the fact, but it is a 'thing' as
horizon in which we are related particularly during linguisitic social
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