Dialectical Interaction and the Limits of Discourse

"Negativity is an essential part of human existence and change."
—Weeks & L'Abate
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 5

class="first">Dialectical Interaction and the Limits of Discourse

Post by JerseyFlight » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:23 pm

What is vital is that humans learn to interact with each other. Our neural wiring is inescapably interpersonal. Humans orient their sense of self through their interaction with others. All selves are shaped by the social environments through which they pass. What accounts for the 'person' is none other than a dialectical interaction between 'persons.' However, there is a limit to dialectical interaction, psychological defenses often stand in the way. One cannot healthily interact with those who are abusive. The possibility of interaction hinges on crucial psychological attributes. If we are using the medium of exchange to merely validate feelings of power, then our interaction will be inherently authoritarian. [There is nothing wrong with being authoritative, this just means one is knowledgeable about a subject, but being authoritarian means that one rejects the burden of proof in relation to their claims of authority. The authoritarian demands respect without justification.]

The value that dialectic offers to human interaction is only beginning to be explored. How would it work? Can dialectics help us overcome pathological barriers to communication? It's an interesting question: to whom are we speaking? It must be admitted that some people, because of the trauma they have suffered, end up becoming dangerous to others. This tells us that there are limits to interaction, limits that are set by the dysfunction of social conditions. Can dialectic help us overcome these barriers?

Dialectic is not beyond making use of institutions, which is one concrete answer as to how society deals with difficult pathology, it does so through the medium of an institution because the problem is too big for any one individual. Sadly, this is the state of many personalities that have been traumatized, their condition cannot be addressed by isolated persons. However, most of our institutions are abusive, they do not address the issues that caused the problems in the first place. People need care not punishment. [It is not my intention to speak on the qualitative nature of institutions here, which is of course, the most important aspect of any institution. Subtract dialectical consciousness and one is left with the tyranny of identity, which can only offer a false picture of the world. In order for a society to create qualitative institutions it must be capable of thinking in terms of dialectics. Above all dialectics is a tool that helps us solve problems.]

These are just preliminary thoughts on a topic that is only now beginning to be explored. The most interesting, and I would think, important question, is not whether interaction is essential or whether it increases overall well being and performance, but how to interact with a world that is lost in pathology and psychological defensiveness? We know interaction is vital, I would submit that the opposite can also be the case. The negative side of Attachment Theory is that it tells us that people can be dangerous, they can actually harm our psychology. How then should we proceed?


Post Reply