Materializing Bakhtin: The Bakhtin Circle and Social Theory by C. Brandist, G. Tihanov

By C. Brandist, G. Tihanov

Interdisciplinary by means of layout and cause, this quantity brings jointly 9 essays via tested and new students from Russia, Britain, and North the United States to discover the historic contexts and present relevance of the paintings of the Bakhtin Circle for social conception, philosophy, background, and linguistics. The articles display that exploring the historical past of Bakhtinian suggestion is a greater method of appreciating their importance for the research of latest social and cultural phenomena.

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We should briefly recall that in the Hegelian schema the different moments of ethic, culture and morality, distinct on the historical level, represent, respectively, the progression of objective spirit towards the realization of its definitive form. At each of these historical ‘steps’, the singular act bears a specific ethical content, which is either inferior, equal, or superior to the given spiritual context. In the context of ‘ethical life’, where it is the community (that is, the common mores) who speak through the individual, the conflict bursts out when an individuality confronts the moral law of the community – as in the tragedies of Antiquity, such as Sophocles’ Antigone, which represent these dramatic conflicts.

The exact sciences constitute a monologic form of knowledge: the intellect contemplates a thing and expounds upon it. There is only one subject here – cognizing (contemplating) and speaking (expounding). In opposition to the subject there is only a voiceless thing. Any object of knowledge (including man) can be perceived and studied as a thing. But a subject as such cannot be perceived and studied as a thing, for as a subject it cannot, while remaining a subject, becomes voiceless, and, consequently, cognition of it can only be dialogic.

The ‘dialectical monologism’ of official Soviet Marxism that Bakhtin encountered may have had a serious bearing 42 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 Bakhtin and Hegel on his evaluation of Hegel’s philosophy. It is up to us to try to understand ‘dialogically’ – that is, in its ‘contextualized meaning’ – all the consequences of some of these personal, social, historical and cultural misunderstandings that took place on this occasion. I refer to the idea of ‘historical individualities’ as it has been developed in the context of the human sciences tradition, and as it is central for the reflection of Weber, Simmel or Dilthey.

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