Friday, 1 May 2009

The Light of Objectivity: Homo-subjectivus

A particular poetic definition was conveyed and has now propagated onto here: "Objectivity is out there and we as a people or a species are on our way to there. We realise ourselves as a people and species when we reach objectivity; we betray ourselves as a people (and as species?) when we turn from it." (Asabiyah, 29/4/09)

This sounds like, when we get to the objective then we become who we are. In an Aristotelean sense, becoming what you are is a realisation of an inner potential. Once realised, this potential has become externalised or expressed, and today we might say it is now objective. The objective of a potentality this way is to make it real, to externalise it, to make it objective.

The word Objectivus appears in western language in the beginning of the 17th century. It branches off from the term Objectus which simply meant 'thing'. Objectivus becomes a universal category for things: that which matters for all matter (all 'things'). At the same time, it can also imply the meaning of 'destination': Where one is going, or perhaps a place.

The Enlightenment group around itself a formation of categories that we have already touched upon: Universality, Freedom, Publicity, and the exercise of Reason. Objectivus without doubt is related to each of these. In a Heideggerian sense, a Destruction of the concept of Objectivus is now called for. To undertake this Destruction, we will ask to our experience of the objective, not how we imagine Enlightenment man experienced the objective since by no means can we know that.

The objective is experienced as such in many obvious ways. If we wanted to mention three ways that seem important, what would they be? Predictability could be one, often explained by causality. The more uniformly something behaves, the more apparently it is perceived as objective. Why is that? Perhaps the more uniformly something behaves, the more without mind it is perceived to be. That which is without mind can only move by mechanical means, and in this way it is objective. It seems we ended up in a well-known place: a mind-body duality. Clearly that is a dead-end, and a simpler approach to the Destruction is now called for.

The objective is simply that which is outside of me. It is the space that I fill up with my presence. This space is always potientially shared with others, it is public. It is in the public that I represent myself to others. This self-representation is objectivity. But this is only half the story of course. What we name objectivity is not confined to what goes on between the agents which inhabit the public space. We have other objective cognitions than the social ones. The objective is also the experience of the Earth. The Earth in the objective experience is very often governed by laws, for example the natural laws. Could it be that the natural laws are another mode of self-representation? Does math exist in nature? Do numbers?

We realise ourselves when we reach the objective, according to Asabiyah. Thus the objective is related by necessity to our essence, shall we say, the substantiality of the modern man, the human being of the 21st century. In the 21th century modern man is governed by the practice of Science as Research. Science produces objective knowledge of the world. More knowledge of the world as objective equals more objective perceptions. This is partly why we say that the more scientific our world becomes, the closer we become to the objective. However a striking thing about this, which seems at first sight almost absurd, is the fact that the closer we get to the objective the more subjective as a species we become.

The subjectivity of a species corresponds to its anthropocentricity. This has to do with how well the species in question can form relations to other foreign entities, without compulsively adhering this relation to its own cognitions of a self. A foreign entity is anything other than the species members: other lifeforms, but also inanimate mountains, rivers, trees, houses, whatever there is. Anthropocentricity is in its pure form, a compulsive govern by the dominant cognitions, which in turn by adherence make up the sum total of all relations from the species and to its world.

A striking example of this, is one of the dominant cognitions of the modern Homo Sapiens, namely the perception of Nature as Natural Resource. By adherence the liberal categories emerge: Free Trade, Free Movement of Goods and Labour, Interest, Credit & Debit, etc. A new Idealism under the name Capitalism, and a new Freedom, the freedom to wake up in your bed tomorrow and believe whatever you want to believe in.

Home Sapiens of the Modern age as we have stated, are essentially a man of Science as Research. By this practice the world is increasingly made objective, "out-there", foreign, a lifeless background, indeed it has only worth as resource or leisure. What escapes the modern scientific man is that this, shall we call it, Objective Earth is a creation of his own: a self-representation. The closer we get to our destination (the objective) the more we realise ourselves. The more the world becomes objective, the faster the essence of modern man reveals itself as: Homo Subjectivus.

Homo Subjectivus is the anthropocentric being of Homo sapiens in its purest form. Every relation to anything external to the species itself is an anthropological relation, it can only be established, understood and maintained by adherence to the dominant cognitions, collectively grouped in two well-known isms: Humanism and Capitalism. For Homo subjectivus, Humanism will always imply Capitalism by a common shared concept named Freedom, and any Capitalism will always be a Humanism. Any and all experience will adhere to these two super-cognitions. Equally any and all perceptions of the world will always be a subjective perception of something objective. The subjective has become the defining and universal trait for all specie-members.

If man as Homo Subjectivus were to vanish, perhaps cease to exist, what would happen? From the argument we have made this would first of all not mean the end of man. Also it would not mean that man would no longer have cognitions, personality, likes and dislikes. Of course not .. Only a fool or a postmodernist would challenge the reality, truth or importance of man as a cognitive and psychological being. We have made a clear argument for the hypothesis that it is the relation to the Earth which is essential for the Being of man, and that it is a two way street: Alter one of them and the other will follow.

For some time now, it has been known that the world as Objective Earth, and mans essence as Subjectivus, is really a very primitive configuration. It seems to be another absurdity, that out of this configuration of the Being of man, a very advanced technology has recently emerged. This has given rise to a new set of fundamental questions, perhaps a whole new fundamental ontology, to which the answers are an urgent task of our time. What are this Technology and where did it come from? How are the relation between the Technology and the Human? What are the Human?