[OPE-L] Overdetermination

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Mon Dec 26 2005 - 19:28:13 EST

>My answer here, Howard, is that I can't think of a "social structure," as I
>said above, that is (in your words) "mind independent.

Side comment:

Surely the point is that the social structure exists, not without minds, but
rather regardless of what individual people may think, i.e. they are
necessarily related in certain ways, regardless of what they may
individually happen to think about it, or even regardless of how they may

In my wikipedia contribution to the article "social relation" (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_relation ) I distinguish the following
typology of social relations:

  a.. the subconscious social relations (for example at the level of the
collective unconscious or between parents and children,
  b.. social relations which exist only in subjective awareness or
subjective perceptions (a person might act as though a social relation
  c.. intersubjective social relations involving shared meanings conveyed
through communication,
  d.. objective social relations which exist whether someone is aware of
them or not (they might nevertheless be communicated insofar as we
communicate with everything we are and do);
  e.. social relations in the process of being transformed from one kind
into another, or being interrelated with each other;
  f.. spiritual or intuitive social relations of some kind.

A social "structure" in this case refers to a relatively stable
(reproducible) complex of objective social relations, which may be directly
observable, or observable indirectly through the empirical effects it has.
Precisely because it exists independently of what any particular individual
thinks, the real nature of this structure may be accurately or falsely
interpreted, and to reveal this real nature may require scientific research,
or at least comprehensive experience of the social world.


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