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Paul Grobstein's picture

an interplay between individual and shared subjectivities

"I had suspected we were on our way to, an image that involves a creative, rather than limiting, convergence of potentially conflicting wills/minds. " 

Indeed, I hope we are.  The intended bottom line of Deconstructing and reconstructing individuals and cultures (which may well be less clear there) is not at all the Hobbesian or Freudian argument that "shared subjectivity" is "the price we have to pay in order to exist in communities."  It is instead much closer to your "trying to get more, different brains talking to each other, so that each individual brain becomes more flexible, elastic."  Yes, "shared subjectivity" helps us to work together on particular tasks but, even more important, efforts to achieve "shared subjectivity" expose us to different individual subjectivities and provide new take-off points from which to conceive new ways of thinking about things, both individual and shared (see The "objectivity"/"subjectivity" spectrum: having one's cake and eating it too).

The hazard, I think, is not "shared subjectivity" in and of itself, that's useful.  I think the hazard, as you suggest, is the inclination to reify either "shared subjectivity" or individual subjectivity, "our impulse to impose the structure that will allow us to feel like we've got it all figured out, like we really are the "masters and possesors of nature."  The antidote is not to deny the significance of either "structure" or "shared subjectivity" but rather, as you say, to stop indulging "our control-freak anxieties ... to let that "need" for control go."  


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