Arquivo para February 28th, 2024

(Português) O próximo e a amizade social

28 Feb

Paul Ricoeur’s text “Le socius et le prochain” (the partner and the neighbor) has already been explored in this post, highlighting the difference between a limited temporal relationship of partner and a relationship of philia and friendship that can last a lifetime: the next.

We now want to reread the comment made by Henri Bergson on this text, in which he articulates that the “I” starts from a “we” that we construct as an “I”, but that it is not separate from this, so the question arises that “we ” it’s that?

Does it designate these other people that we encounter every day in our family and professional environments, or this diffuse presence of others, of “everyone” that, for example, we claim when we try to make someone understand?

It means that we act in a way that is compatible or incompatible with life in society: “what would happen if everyone liked you?” in fact, there are, to say the least, two very distinct relationships with others: others as structure and others as praxis.

By the first term, this basis is understood as the efficiency of laws, institutions, and even more so, the awareness we have of our incessant visibility in the eyes of society: what is done is done based on the possible existence of others, even when no one is physically “there”, by the notion of another as praxis, we must understand the actions through which someone else, however, this distinction corresponds exactly to what Paul Ricoeur wrote in his book “History and Truth”, written to differentiate between “partner and neighbor”, because not only in the business world, but also in politics and social groups, what is true can be related to some narrative of the “society” belonging to.

We can speak of the presence of the Other as a structure in the sense that the socius designates this place, this simultaneously implicit and legal consideration of an invisible, anonymous, almost abstract other, but at the same time omnipresent, a bit like conditional, who would never cease to be presente, manifest to us in the Present, to become present, but never physically (but mentally, constitutionally).

By “near”, Paul Ricoeur designates the immediate, punctual physical presence of another person I know. We have good experiences of being close in big cities, as there we experience many promiscuous situations (subway, queues, etc.), but at the same time time, this crowd with which I am forced to compose is not made up of “neighbors”, since we do not know them.

If we activate praxis with others, always passing through the “socius” structure, the relationship presupposes a margin of choice, of election, of desire for approximation or rejection, as if our gross salary and our net salary, what is taken away of our salary paid, through supervision by an administrative authority, the “organization”, the State, social security, etc.

Thus the partner is linked to a social “praxis”, while the next depends only on a choice of human relationship independent of the structural relationship to which he is subject.

Ricoeur, Paul (1968) “The socius and the neighbor”, in History and Truth (in portuguese: História e Verdade), trans. F. A. Ribeiro. Companhia Editora Forense: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.