The method of forming the dialogic basis of sociality as a factor of historical dynamics

Shemyakin, Jacob Georgievich
D.Sc. in History, Chief Researcher, Center of Culture Studies, Institute of Latin America RAS, Assistant Professor, Humanities & Social Sciences Center, MIPT University, Moscow, Russia


According to the author of the report, the key to understanding historical dynamics is the concept of humanitarian knowledge, which was formulated by M.M. Bakhtin. According to him, the specificity of this knowledge is determined by the fact that "the subject of the humanities is expressive and speaking being", i.e. a human being and his world in all the variety of its manifestations. "The criterion here is not the accuracy of cognition, but the depth of penetration" (M.M. Bakhtin. To the philosophical foundations of the humanities). In the sense in which Bakhtin uses the term "depth", we are talking about the basis on which the process of creation of his own, human world unfolds. And this basis, according to Bakhtin's concept, is nothing other than dialogic communication, interpreted as an analogue of the life process in the world of homo sapiens. The way of constructing the dialogical structure of sociality is determined by the approach to solving the problem of "the Other", that is, the other participant in the dialogue, with a different approach to solving key existential problems. This approach, in its turn, determines this or that ratio of the fundamental system-forming principles of unity and diversity, which forms the civilizational type and, thus, the character of historical dynamics of these or those societies.
The dominant principle of unity in the great "classical" civilizations (these civilizations, "sub-ecumens" as G.S. Pomerantz called them, include the West and the North. The West, Indo-Buddhist South Asia, Confucianist-Buddhist East Asia and the world of Islam belong to these "classical" civilizations: the "Other", though included in the picture of the world of the self-identifying civilization, is only an absolutely alien reality, being at an immeasurably lower level of being than this civilization itself. The most "exclusionary" discourse is characteristic of the West.
In the civilizational "borderland" (at present its main representatives are Russia-Eurasia, Latin America, Balkan and - with significant reservations - Iberian cultural and historical communities) the picture is fundamentally different: the "Other" is included in the living space of each of the interaction participants, is perceived as an integral component of this space (and regardless of the attitude towards it). The dominance of this or that discourse determines the whole character of the historical evolution of the corresponding societies.

Keywords: dialogue, "The Other", historical dynamics, "inclusive discourse", "exclusive discourse"