Exploring the Social Imagination

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Circular Reasoning in the Social Imagination

Circular Reasoning exists because this is a fallen world; hence, circular reasoning in man's mind and thus in his science, in his social science, in his human thinking and behavior. People who criticize faith in a creator, or criticize the Bible fail to criticize their own mind which is infallible. Science has changed its positions on many so called theories and or discoveries over the years because man's thinking (corrupted by sin) is our 'science' which is based only on agreement reality and that brings in a whole lot of social dynamics which are rooted as in embedded in subordination and domination which generates circular reasoning.

Yes, of course there will be those who scream out "what about logic"? What about it? From a premise flows a conclusion.  Logic is the science that evaluates arguments (whose arguments -men??? Yeah and their social agreement which is based on social dynamics at work made possible through social interaction) and because we know that an argument is a group of statements including one or more premises and one and only one conclusion men have to come to a social agreement that this is what it is and is not. Even and especially higher math is subject to man's social agreements.

Yes, of course, one can argue that it was math that has got man to the moon. But, from the position of the social imagination, only the math that men socially agreed on did that. There was much more than math that got man to the moon; if in fact, he really did. What is most valuable for the social imagination was that man had the idea that he could do something like that and at the time when most equations seem to say it was impossible. There was a science that told man the world was flat, then there was the science that told man the world was much smaller and he could said easily to Asia leaving from Europe. There was the science that said the earth was the center of the universe..even the theory of gravity swallows its own tail. Point being, there are/were many sciences in man's social imagination. As Solomon said "there is nothing new under the sun"~ Ecclesiastes.

Cornelius Castoriadis a Greek-French thinker the 20th century. Upon reading, L'Institution imaginaire de la société (Imaginary Institution of Society 1975), by Cornelius Castoriadis, I realized that his view was about something very fundamental in the social imagination and that it was inescapable. Castoriadis began to develop his distinctive understanding of historical change as the emergence of irrecoverable otherness; which is something that emerges in part from the activity of the self. Who am I and who am I not. This can become and usually is institutionalized as the self participates in the social imagination = the group of who I am and am not.

Essentially, it means that the self dissociates or does not associate at all with otherness that makes no sense or has no reason in the self’s preservation. That is why creating external social institutions (as objects outside of the self/mind) give stability or stable form to what Castoriadis termed the ontological "magma” of social significations" which do allow stability and continuity for the self and the group which the self identifies.

One cannot have an autonomous society that fails to turn back upon itself, that would not interrogate itself about its motives, its reasons for acting, its deep-seated beliefs and attitudes. Circular reasoning works in a positive way thus. It justifies the self in its activity in the social imagination of who I am and am not. Now, one can argue that such activity is wrong, but the self in the moment among other agreeing selves will consider it right. Considered in concrete terms, however, society doesn't exist outside the individuals making it up. The self-reflective activity of an autonomous society depends essentially upon the self-reflective activity of the humans who form that society. Circular reasoning is embedded and inescapable when it comes to who I am and am not. It can appear to 'morph' over time as Castoriadis explained (even in the case of revolution) but it is just an illusion of change in terms of the who and the place... what does not and cannot change is the fundamental aspect of the social imagination - who am I and who am I not.

Considering circular reasoning...faith in Jesus Christ brings us right back to where we started in the embrace of our Creator!

*painting image credit - Jennifer Goldberger

No comments :

Post a Comment