Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Roman Madzia gives a working paper on 'Care of the S: The Dynamics of Mind between Social Conflicts and the Dialogicality of the Self'

The paper deals predominantly with the theory of moral reconstruction in George H. Mead’s thinking. At the same time, it points to certain underdeveloped aspects of Mead’s social-psychological theory of the self and his moral philosophy, and tries to develop them. Since Mead’s ideas concerning ethics and moral philosophy are anchored in his social psychology, at the outset, the paper presents this theory underlining some problematic moments there and tries to solve them. The most important one, as the author argues, is the hypothesis that social conflicts (which are, at the same time, conflicts within individual selves) are to be seen as a root of reflective, discursive thinking altogether. Unlike certain other psychologists of his era (like Vygotskiy), Mead failed to appreciate this moment in the genesis of the dynamics of the self. As the paper argues, in the light of this critical interpretation of Mead’s philosophy, the classic philosophical term ‘the care of the soul’ can be reformulated in contemporary terms as ‘the care of the self’. Since, in Mead’s philosophy, the self is a product of social interaction, it turns out that the care of the self and the care of the soul might, to a great extent, be regarded as identical to the care of society (or community).

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