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The Forms of Social Reality

  • Richard Westerman
Chapter
Part of the Political Philosophy and Public Purpose book series (POPHPUPU)

Abstract

Westerman argues that Lukács interprets social being as an interlocking set of intentional practices, governed by an overarching formal logic. People and objects exist in society as complexes of meaning; their meaning is determined independently of their material existence, and is not the projection of a subject. Applying the model gleaned from Lukács’s Heidelberg drafts on art, Westerman identifies three levels of Lukács’s argument. Phenomenologically, individual objects are defined by intentional practices that govern the way subjects relate to them; the commodity, Lukács argues, is the site of a dichotomous intentionality. Second, these individual meanings are governed by a specific principle of validity that generates an ontic social reality, or way the world is understood as operating in the everyday lives of those within it. Third, this is founded on an ontological account of the way any objective reality appears as coherent from a particular subjective standpoint. Ontologically, therefore, social reality is a totality in which the relations between subject and object are determined by an asubjective logical form.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Westerman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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