The Social vs The Self

consciousness - political vs self

What we’d now call political consciousness was always assumed to come first. In this sense, the Western philosophical tradition has taken a rather unusual direction over the last few centuries. Around the same time as it abandoned dialogue as its typical mode of writing, it also began imagining the isolated, rational, self-conscious individual not as a rare achievement, something typically accomplished – if at all – after literally years of living isolated in a cave or monastic cell, or on top of a pillar in a desert somewhere, but as the normal default state of human beings anywhere.

dawn-of-everythingch. 3: neuroscientists assert that we spend most of our time on "autopilot". "Human thought is inherently dialogic." (cf enigma-of-reason)

"self-actualization" vs "community actualization"

homeward-boundwk. 1 apparently, Maslow's "hierarchy of needs" was (a) not originally presented as a hierarchy, and (b) inspired by his time spent amongst the Blackfoot (to watch), who actually regard "self-actualisation" as the basis for community actualisation, and ultimately, cultural perpetuity.


dawn-of-everything Graeber, David, and David Wengrow. 2021. The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. Signal. ↩︎ 1

enigma-of-reason Sperber, Dan, and Hugo Mercier. The Enigma of Reason. ↩︎ 1

homeward-bound Björkman, Anna, and Dougald Hine. 2021. ↩︎ 1