Towards a theory of subjectivity

Thomas Teo


Abstract: After introducing general problems that a theory of subjectivity must address, the meaning of subjectivity is discussed and defined as the wholeness of first-person somato-psychological life. The most important principle in a theory of subjectivity is the entanglement of socio-subjectivity, inter-subjectivity, and intra-subjectivity. This entanglement entails that subjectivity is unique and irreplaceable, which are philosophical elements in a psychological theory. Subjectivity takes place in work, relations, and the self, and in the way that persons conduct their everyday lives in particular contexts and times. Subjectivity is constituted and/or mediated through materialities, discourses, and actions, including technologies. A theory of subjectivity must include reflections on “what is” but also about “what is possible” in human somato-psychological life. Because traditional theories of subjectivity have no conceptual space for socio-subjectivity, forms of subjectivity into which subjects suture themselves are discussed. Consequences for the discipline of psychology are laid out.

Keywords: Subjectivity; Theory; Interdisciplinarity; Society; Culture; History; Psychological Humanities


Verso una teoria della soggettività 

Riassunto: Comincerò illustrando le questioni generali che una teoria della soggettività deve affrontare, per discutere e definire poi il significato della soggettività come totalità della vita somato-psicologica dalla prospettiva della prima persona. Il principio più importante in una teoria della soggettività è l’intreccio tra socio-soggettività, inter-soggettività e intra-soggettività. Da questo intreccio ne viene che la soggettività è qualcosa di unico e insostituibile; questi aspetti filosofici devono caratterizzare anche una teoria psicologica della soggettività. La soggettività trova la propria concrezione nel lavoro, nelle relazioni, nel sé e nel modo in cui le persone conducono la loro vita quotidiana nei propri particolari contesti e tempi. La soggettività è costituita e/o mediata dalla materialità, dai discorsi e dalle azioni, comprese le tecnologie. Una teoria della soggettività deve considerare “ciò che è” unitamente a “ciò che è possibile” all’interno della vita somato-psicologica umana. Dal momento che le teorie tradizionali della soggettività non hanno concesso uno spazio concettuale per la socio-soggettività, in questo lavoro si discuteranno quelle forme di soggettività al cui interno i soggetti si vengono a trovare suturati. Saranno quindi illustrate le conseguenze di questi aspetti per la psicologia come ambito disciplinare.

Parole chiave: Soggettività; Teoria; Interdisciplinarità; Società; Cultura; Storia; Psychological Humanities

Parole chiave

Subjectivity, theory, interdisciplinarity, society, culture, history, psychological humanities

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