TOPIC OF THE ISSUE:

EVERYDAY LANGUAGE AND UNDERSTANDING

 Abstracts

SOCIO-LOGICS OF EVERYDAY UNDERSTANDING: FROM FORMULATIONS TOWARDS PRACTICAL FORMALIZATIONS

KOLYO KOEV

The analysis aims at redirection of the sociological view from the theorizing assumptions of the world (irrespective of the starting position: „theoretical“, „empirical“ or seeking balance between scientific and everyday constructs) to the ordinary practices over the course of their development. The work which is coming out from this redirection is indicated by the term „socio-logics“ with an emphasis on the „practical logics“ opening before the researcher and on the resulting sociological commitments. The analysis is focused on two key socio-logical texts – Harvey Sacks and Harold Garfinkel’s paper „On Formal Structures of Practical Actions“ and Sacks’ lecture „Omni-relevant Devices“ – and points to some practico-logical problems of everyday understanding. By putting the two texts together under the rubric „socio-logics“ the common point of interest of Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis is indicated and a field of analysis, ignored by the contemporary sociology is outlined. Keywords: ethnomethodology, formal analysis, socio-logic, practical logic, reflexivity, indicators, formulations, practical formalizations

THE DECLARATION „I KNOW“ (ITS PRIMITIVE MEANING)

DIMITAR VATSOV

The paper starts with and departs from Wittgenstein’s notes „On Certainty“ (Wittgenstein 1998) in order to elucidate the primitive meaning – e.g. the common function – of the utterance „I know“. Although Wittgenstein forbids raising theses in philosophy, the following theses can and should be raised as analytical generalizations: There is no need to say „I know“ if the basic certainty in our ordinary dealing with things is not broken. Hence „I know“ comes as an answer, as a reaction to a crisis in certainty.
The function of „I know“ is to stop the doubt and to re-build the certainty. Saying „I know“ has the character of a specific performative – an assurance, declaration, that prepares a specific position for its speaker.
„I know“ puts the speaker into the position of an eyewitness who is immediately on the spot.
This position of an eyewitness is paradoxical since it could not be discursively described or argumentatively grounded. The only way someone else to be assured in what is said by the eyewitness is to come closer and to take immediately the eyewitness’s position because the position of the eyewitness is a boundary of the field of vision that could not be seen from within the field.
So the eyewitness’s position of „I know“ is declared as auto-referential point. This auto-referentiality works as a prohibition for doubt.
Declaring such position is a move into a language game, it is a performative effect – the eyewitness’s position is not an instance of certainty but a result of assurance claiming certainty. Hence it cannot be a premise into some a-temporal deduction or reasoning of truths. Accepting or rejecting the certainty of the declared „knowledge“-position is another move into the language game, a matter of further recognition or misrecognition of what has been said to be known.
The utopia for pure knowledge is a utopia for a position of eyewitness sub specie aeternitatis. The demonstration of the performative character of „I know“ shows this utopia as utopia. In the same time the uses of „I know“ are basic practical moves of stopping uncertainty and stabilizing the flow of experience.
Keywords: Wittgenstein, certainty, „I know“, assurance, performative, eyewitness, knowledge, uncertainty

POWER AND UNDERSTANDING IN COMMON-SENSE ARGUMENTS

TODOR HRISTOV
The paper claims that everyday conversations produce power as much as understanding. The claim is substantiated by an analysis of cases of common-sense arguments including ones between a parent and her child accused of drug use, a regional supervisor and a middle-level manager. The analyses lead to a notion of power applicable to common-sense settings via an analysis of the asymmetrical distribution of jurisdiction and veridiction in the sense of Michel Foucault, i.e. the right to say what is to be done and what is to be known.

Keywords: Ethnomethodology, conversation analysis, power, conflict, neoliberalism

THE BIOGRAPHICAL INTERVIEW AS AN EVENT: THE PRELIMINARY PHASE

TEODORA KARAMELSKA

The article presents an analysis of the practical methods whereby a respondent to a biographical interview and the researcher interviewing structure their talk, striving to see each move in their interaction as a ‘document standing in behalf of’ a certain ‘underlying pattern’. The aim is to demonstrate that, from an ethnomethodological viewpoint, even though the interviewer strives to intervene to a minimum, the construction of a biographic narrative is the joint local work of the two participants, and that the first sequences of their talk are of decisive importance for the whole interview.

ALLTAG UND ALLTAGSMORAL. FRAGEN MIT UND AN ALFRED SCHÜTZ

BERNHARD WALDENFELS

Die Restitution der Alltagswelt richtet sich bei Husserl primär gegen die Abwertung der natürlichen Erfahrung durch die Natur- und Geschichtswissenschaften (Naturalismus und Historismus), bei Schütz primär gegen die Abwertung der sozialen Erfahrung durch die Sozialwissenschaften (Soziologismus). Auffällig ist, daß so etwas wie Alltagsmoral kaum vorkommt, desgleichen die Überformung der moralischen Erfahrung durch Gebots- und Verbotssysteme (s. Nietzsche).
Welcher Art ist diese Auslassung? Steht dahinter eine ethische Epoché (Husserl), die das Sollen indirekt in den Blick bringt, oder eine ethische Abstinenz, die es beiseite läßt? De facto scheint eher letzteres zuzutreffen.
Welches sind die Folgen? Die Alltagsmoral wird zerrieben zwischen normativer Geltung: Was man nicht tun darf (Leitdifferenz: richtig unrichtig) – traditioneller Bindung: Was man gemeinhin tut (Leitdifferenz: gut/schlecht) – pragmatischer Wegfindung: Was man jeweils tut und tun kann (Leitdifferenz: praktikabel/impraktikabel). Die Hermeneutik kommt hinzu als Allround-Methode (Anwendung von Regeln, Deutungsmuster, Einschätzung von Situationen etc.). Der Primatsanspruch geht reihum. Der fremde Anspruch, der in jeder Bitte laut wird, entschwindet. Dasselbe gilt für „Narren und Märtyrer“ wie Thales und Sokrates, die zur Genealogie der Philosophie gehören (Gurwitsch).
Was der Normalisierung des Fremden widersteht, ist ein rechtverstandenes Ethos des Alltags. Dieses ist nicht denkbar ohne Regeln und Ziele, Mittel und Wege, aber es geht darin nicht auf. Gleich der Sprache bewegt es sich zwischen Gewöhnung und Erfindung. Es verkörpert sich in einem Prozeß der Veralltäglichung in Form einer stillschweigenden Moral. Es tritt hervor in Formen der Entalltäglichung, die das bestehende Ethos überschreiten. Der Überstieg wird provoziert durch außeralltägliche Ansprüche. Wenn der Alltag ein Ethos enthält, das über Gewöhnung, Anpassung und Kalkül hinausgeht, dann nur deshalb, weil er mehr ist als bloßer Alltag. Der Ort des Ethos liegt zwischen dem Ordentlichen und dem Außerordentlichen, zwischen Eigenem und Fremdem.

Keywords: Alltag, fremder Anspruch, ethische Epoché, Ethos, Moral, Responsivität, Fremdheit

 

 

THE RISE OF A SOCIAL PROBLEM

MILENA IAKIMOVA

Against the background of different protests in Bulgaria (mainly the teachers’ strike of 2007 and the February protests of 2013) the paper reconstructs Herbert Blumer’s theoretical version of what a social problem is and reaffirms his thesis that the social problem obtains no inner nature presumably preceding its appearances but is a matter of collective definition. The main question though remains: what is „collective“ in the collective definition? Regarding this question the guiding reference is Blumer again and the tradition of Chicago school, a tradition in which social unrest is the context in which the elementary forms of sociality surface. Thus exposed they look like mimetic structures putting through ethical categorizations without reference to propositional judgments.

Keywords: social problem, everyday rationality, protests, elementary collective behaviour, mimetic structure

FROM A PRIORI TO HISTORICAL A PRIORI
AND THE COMMENTARY. THE PROBLEM OF OBJECTIFICATION IN KANT THROUGH FOUCAULT

LEA VAJSOVA
The article deals with the problem of objectification in Foucault seen as a problem of power; the author dwells on how Foucault reworks the concept of a priori central to Kant’s thought. Presuming that objectification is a question of situation how is it possible to experience objectification as something that transcends the situation that has produced it? The author’s thesis is that Foucault has tried to resolve the contradiction within Kant’s definition of a priori (as a condition that makes experience possible) by conceiving of the historical a priori and of commentary as a way of controlling the randomness and eventfulness of discourse.

Keywords: objectification, power, a priori, situation

INTERPRETATIONS OF TASTE IN THE LANGUAGE OF WINE

YASSEN ZAHARIEV

The article addresses the issue of sensory taste and its relation to the Aesthetics. Attention is drawn to the synthetic nature of the perception of taste. Taste is capable of perceiving its objects only with the participation of the other senses. The sensory taste objects have never been considered as part of the aesthetic theory. Nevertheless the name „taste“ is used as a metaphor designating the aesthetic faculty of judgment. One of the main claims in the article is that through the emergence and the development of a specific wine language and a method for descriptive analysis of wine in the second half of XX century sensory taste for the first time can be viewed as a source of aesthetic experience. The article gives a brief overview of the emergence of a new sign system used for the description of wine. The article deals with the traditional form of wine classification and evaluation based on the origin and the emergence of alternative forms like the 100 point evaluation system introduced in the 1970s by R. Parker. The interpretation of taste in the wine language opens a new field in human experience where metaphors are the main tool for explanation and understanding. The article draws attention to the prevalence of this language outside the field of wine and its application to other objects of taste.

Keywords: descriptive analysis, metaphor, aesthe-tic, classification, evaluation

THE LITERARY WORK OF ART: POSSIBILITY, UNIQUENESS, IDENTITY

DARIN TENEV
This article consists of two parts. The first deals with the question of literary potentiality. It is argued that there are two aspects to this potentiality. The first one is related to the inscription of non-predetermined reading wherein a reader will introduce different elements as quasi-immanent to the work. The second one concerns the manner in which the work does not coincide with itself. This aspect presupposes a remainder which cannot be actualized and which conditions the non-predetermined reading of a concrete reader. Such a notion of potentiality suggests that the literary work of art does not have an essence. The second part of the article addresses the problem of literary work’s identity. How can people discuss a work if it does not have an essence? Identity is reconsidered as constituted by a particular set of possibilities, fixed by a name. The concept of uniqueness is introduced in contrast to that of identity. Uniqueness is what indicates the work across all possible identities. Uniqueness is trans-identical.

Keywords: potentiality, uniqueness, identity, rea-der, literary work of art, difference

THE OTHER AS A DIFFERENT AND STRANGE BODY: RECONSIDERATION OF THE NOTION „DISABILITY“

BORYANA BUNDZHULOVA
This article considers a principal difficulty, which stays in front of the researcher dealing with the world of disabled people. What kind of methods is relevant for an attempt to overcome the border between Me and the Other? The argumentation develops in three steps. First, this text handles with the tension between „My body“ as an object of the research and Me as a subject who thematizes this body. Am I able to „go out“ of my body, is it possible to avoid solipsism and the „techniques“ of the analogical apperception concerning the Other? Second, the attention is drawn to the strangeness of the Other’s body: its relation to the world as an existential horizon reveals its incommensurability. The paper focuses on this incommensurability, which opens up a necessity to give a new meaning to the notion disability. Third, the author doubts the validity of a certain classical approach concerning the attitude to the Other and seeks the possibility of „alternative“ methodological applications.

Keywords: disability, privation, instrumental being, body-world relation, incommensurability

RECONNAISSANCE OF REALITY. THE NEW INVISIBILITY OF THE SOCIAL IN THE WORKS OF DANIEL INNERARITY

BLANCA NAVARRO PARDIÑAS, LUC VIGNEAULT

Daniel Innerarity, well-known in West European intellectual circles but almost unknown in Eastern Europe, where he has never been translated, is certainly one of the most penetrating observers of the new social realities of our time. According to the journal Le Nouvel observateur, Innerarity is one of the most significant thinkers of the 21st century. As opposed to the old Marxist Utopias, he proposes an ethics of hospitality imbued with the „new wisdom of frontiers“. His work is above all a reflection on the inner complexity of the contemporary world, with its characteristic opacity and enigmatic aspect. The authors of this article would like to introduce in brief the social theory of Daniel Innerarity. Presenting in brief his intellectual path and especially his sociological essay The Invisible Society, the article offers several keys that make it possible not so much to understand our time, as to sense one of the constant concerns throughout the history of mankind: our desire to better anticipate our own future. The authors highlight the originality of this view in presenting the new philosophical anthropology proposed by Innerarity in his book Ethics of Hospitality.
Keywords: otherness, ethics of hospitality, complex society, chance, social opacity, philosophical anthropology

DEAD HUMAN BODY IN SCIENCE AND ART – IN THE PERSPECTIVE OF BULGARIAN LEGISLATION

STOYAN STAVRU

Dead human body is a subject of interest of various sciences – biology, medicine, philosophy, ethics, sociology, etc. This article will consider some of the legal issues related to the legal status of the dead human body in the context of the plastinates – chemically treated (anonymous) dead human bodies, which are used to demonstrate the human anatomy or to achieve a certain artistic and even aesthetic impact on the observers (as exhibits in one of the infamous international exhibitions in Europe and USA). Contained in the exhibition plastinates claims for clear delineation of the legal terms of the admissibility of this kind of public display of dead human body: no age limit to visitors and for commercial purposes.

Keywords: plastination, law, dead human body, legal issues

PUBLIC DISPLAY OF PLASTINATED HUMAN CADAVERS: BETWEEN HARM AND OFFENSE

INA DIMITROVA

The article argues that a legal prohibition of public display of plastinated human cadavers could not be easily justified. To demonstrate that I contrast two types of interests – the interests of the individuals, who have donated their bodies and have requested this type of disposal of their bodies, and the public (or a certain group), stating that this practice produces a large amount of profound offense. With regard to the first type of interests the legal prohibition could reasonably be interpreted as posthumous harm to autonomous individuals. With regard to the second type of interests the legal prohibition is a form of legal protection from a profound offense – a procedure, which according to Joel Feinberg is based on the principle of legal moralism, which shall not be endorsed in a liberal society. We can conclude that since the thwarting of the first type of interests invokes one fundamental liberty-limiting principle – the harm principle – and the promotion of the second type could be based solely on the principle of legal moralism, than we lack good reasons to impose legal prohibition.

Keywords: plastination, posthumous harm, (profound) offense, legal moralism, Joel Feinberg

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