PBS Research Seminar Series
*Internal event for LSE staff and students
Speaker; Hartmut Rosa, University of Jena
From Aggressive Modernity to Responsive Society?
Towards the Conception of a Self in Resonance
The lecture will start out by systematically substantiating the claim that the dominant mode of our late-modern relationship towards the world (of people, of things and of interactions) is a mode of aggression: Subjects are constantly forced to appropriate, control, calculate and dominate the world they live in, and to enlarge the horizon of what is available, accessible and attainable to them. The structural cause of this mode of relating to the world lies in the fact that modern societies operate in a mode of dynamic stabilization, i.e., they are forced to constantly grow, accelerate and innovate in order to maintain the institutional status quo and to reproduce their institutional structure. This, in turn, leads to severe forms of social pathology: To ecological destruction, social alienation, political aggression and individual burn out.
The second part of the lecture, therefore, will strive to explore the contours of an alternative mode of being in, or relating to, the world, which is centered around the conception of resonance. Resonance as a mode of relating to the world is characterized by four distinctive features: A) ‘Afßfection’: The subject is touched, or moved, by someone or something he or she encounters. B) ‘EàMotion’: The subject responds to this in a way that includes the experience of self-efficacy. C) Transformation: In this (recurrent) process of being touched and reaching out, the subject (as well as ‘the world’) does not stay the same, it is transformed. D) Unpredictability (Unverfügbarkeit): This process of resonance is unpredictable in a twofold sense: First, resonance cannot be enforced instrumentally, there is no way to predict for sure if or when it will occur or end. And secondly, if there is resonance, the result of the transformation cannot be controlled or predicted beforehand. Resonance is fundamentally open-ended.
Resonance in this sense is defined as a mode of relating to the world which is not geared towards increasing the horizon of what is available, attainable and accessible, but which develops ‘responsable’, dialogical relationships in three dimensions: with things (material resonance), with people (social resonance) and with life or the world as a totality (existential resonance). Hence, a resonant self, i.e. a self that is capable of relationships of resonance, requires a number of social and psychological preconditions: It needs to be open enough to be affected, but closed and consistent enough to respond self-efficaciously; it needs to be self-confident enough to enter into touching and transforming relationships it cannot control, and it requires social, spatial and temporal conditions that allow for resonance.
When: 12:00-13:00, Wednesday February 13th, 2019
Where: LSE, QUE 3.28 and 3.29