Jo-Jo Koo Talk

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Jo-Jo Koo Talk

Post  John on Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:48 pm

Here is the abstract for the talk on Wednesday. I hope to see everyone there!

Additional information on Dr. Koo can be found here, here, and here.

Two Conceptions of Human Sociality

Speaker: Jo-Jo Koo
Concordia University (Montreal, Canada)


It is commonplace, perhaps even a platitude, that we understand human sociality in terms of interpersonal interactions. If we examine this intuitive understanding of human sociality in greater depth, it involves the two following assumptions:

The Assumptions of Interpersonal Interactionism (IPIA):

(I) There exist prevalent modes of human sociality that are realized when (i) two or more individuals are present in some context (ii) who interact with one another in accordance with some implicit set of constraints that (should) govern in that context.
(II) These modes of human sociality suffice for understanding both the fundamental way in which human beings are social and all forms of sociality. Accordingly, any account or invocation of human sociality should begin with these modes of sociality as its key datum and point of departure.

I will begin this talk by briefly discussing the appeal of this set of assumptions as underlying our intuitive understanding of human sociality. Next, I will argue that this interactionist understanding is inadequate as a complete account of human sociality. The conclusion for which I will argue is that human beings have to be already socially constituted, in a distinctive way that I will sketch, in order for them to understand one another and be social along the lines of IPIA at all. The idea of the social constitution of the human individual for which I argue is this:

Individual human beings are not entirely self-sufficient. (1) They must depend upon one another for the possession and exercise of some basic capacity – namely, the capacity to be in the world – that is central to the flourishing of the human being. (2) Furthermore, no one can come to possess and exercise this basic capacity – no one can be characteristically human – except by sharing the world (sharing norm-governed practices), not primarily by interacting with other human beings.

Although my conception of the social constitution of the human individual will draw (among other sources) from early Heidegger’s thinking in Being and Time, the philosophical points I make will not be cast in “Heideggerese” and will be intelligible on their own terms. I will end by anticipating and replying to a few likely objections to the conception of the relation between the interactionist and socially constituted views of human sociality that I work out in this talk.


Anticipated length of talk: 35 minutes
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Pleasant Experience

Post  John on Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:19 pm

So I had a good time during the presentation. Does anyone have any additional thoughts that were not asked during the presentation by Jo-Jo Koo?
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