File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_1996/96-05-20.182, message 30

Date:          Tue, 9 Jan 1996 11:02:56 GMT-700
Subject:       Re: Agency: Porpora, Bhaskar, and Giddens

Bwankia, thanks for your thoughtful comments.

Bwanika says of agency:

"I have not read Porpora but I have studied this issue. All human 
actions should be left to swing as a free pendelum. Therefere 
intersubjectivity antials taking society  as well  individual action 
into a kind of interplay. That is what to me, I call 
intersubjectivity. { De- individualising society} It is more than 
neccessary, since the welfare systems which have granteed the 
elianation of labour , through capitalistic conformity are giving way.
If total capitalistic expoliation comes to a stand still, stoping war,
children care, Old care, social conflict will require intersubjective
sensebilities and the de- capitalisation of society (de intrumentalisatuion
or re-socialisation). This is what I see as ontological in the above
analysis, the rediscovery of human society."

De-individualizing society does seem important, but does an 
intersubjective approach constitute an ontology.  Actually this is 
Porpora's critique of Giddens, as I understand it.  It may be wrong 
to suggest that Porpora remains intersubjective, he does attempt to 
construct an ontology with his notion of *social-based-position 
agency*.  My problem is not that he remains on the level of 
epistemology but that his ontology itself is relative.  This may be a 
case of the difference betweeen a philosophical ontology, whereby, a 
relational approach is established, and a scientific ontology, 
whereby, it is up to science to re-construct a more specific ontology.

Are Bwankia and myself saying the same thing?  It seems so.

Moreover, Bwankia's comments on de-individualizing society, and re-
socializing seems a good way to put it.  In neo-classical economics 
individualism and asociality is the orthodox.

Also, I am not sure that Giddens structuration remains on the level 
of epistemology.  This must be forced onto Giddens, at least in my 
interpretation.  However, I would agree, that Giddens does not make 
*as* explicit the commitment to onotology as does Porpora and 
especially Bhaskar.  Hence, leaving open an epistemological 

hans despain
University of Utah 



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