Advertisement

Journal of Bioeconomics

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 275–294 | Cite as

Intersubjectivity and Embodiment

  • Jean-Pierre Dupuy
Article

Abstract

This paper explores how the self-constitution of the social order is affected by a property of human desire that is seldom taken seriously in the social sciences, namely the fact that desire is essentially triangular. It brings into play a subject, an object, and a mediator or third party whom the subject imitates. It is suggested that the difficult issue of the embodiment of social cognition finds its solution in the role played by the third party. It is shown that Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes were familiar with this pattern. The paper focuses on the role played by imitation in Hayek's conception of the social order as spontaneous or self-organized. Many apparent contradictions in Hayek's social philosophy are explained (away) when one realizes that Hayek remains oblivious to the ambivalence of imitation. Imitation is efficient if the correct information is present somewhere and recognized as such, but otherwise it becomes a source of illusions and waste. The problem is that it is impossible from inside the system to know in which of the two cases one finds oneself. To overcome this undecidability, it is necessary to resort to an exteriority. Generalized imitation has the power to create worlds that are perfectly disconnected from reality: at once orderly, stable, and totally illusory. The notion of collective or social self-deception is illustrated with the case of gift giving. The conclusion of the paper is devoted to a critique of the notion of truth in American pragmatism in that it ignores that possibility altogether.

American pragmatism French Intersubjectivist School of Economics Hayek imitation gift-giving social deception 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References cited

  1. Arthur, Brian W. 1990. Competing technologies: an overview. Pp. 590–607 in R. Dosi (ed.)Technical Change and Economic Theory. Pinter Publishers, London.Google Scholar
  2. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1972. Esquisse d' une the ´orie de la pratique. Droz, Geneva R, Nice [English transla-tion, Outline of a theory of practice. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1977 ].Google Scholar
  3. Dewey, John & Arthur F. Bentley. 1973. Knowing and the known. Pp. 89–187 in R. Handy & E. C. Harwood (ed.)Useful Procedures of Inquiry, Behavioral Research Council, Great Barrington, Mas-sachusetts.Google Scholar
  4. Dupuy, Jean-Pierre. 1992. Le sacri ce et l' envie. Calmann-Le ´vy, Paris.Google Scholar
  5. Dupuy, Jean-Pierre. 1995. Mimesis and social autopoiesis. A Girardian reading of Hayek, Paragrana. Internationale Zeitschrift fu ¨r Historische Anthropologie 2: 192–214.Google Scholar
  6. Dupuy, Jean-Pierre. 1997. Libe ´ralisme et justice sociale. Hachette, Paris.Google Scholar
  7. Girard, Rene ´. 1966. Deceit, desire and the novel: self and other in literary structure. The Johns Hop-kins University Press, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  8. Godfrey-Smith, Peter. 1998. Complexity and the function of mind in nature. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  9. Gray, John. 1986. Hayek on liberty. Basil Blackwell, London.Google Scholar
  10. Grossman, Sanford J. 1976. On the e. ciency of competitive stock markets where traders have diverse information. The Journal of Finance 21: 573–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hayek, Friedrich. 1944. The road to serfdom. Chicago University Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  12. Hayek, Friedrich. 1973. Law, legislation and liberty, vol. 1, rules and order. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London.Google Scholar
  13. zHayek, Friedrich. 1988. The fatal conceit. The errors of socialism. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  14. Joyce, James. 1934. Ulysses. Modern Library, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. Keynes, John M. 1936. The general theory of employment, interest and money. Macmillan, London.Google Scholar
  16. Keynes, John M. 1937. The general theory of employment. Quarterly Journal of Economics 51: 209–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Khalil, Elias, 2003. Behavioral economics and the transactional view. Transactional Viewpoints II(1): 1–8.Google Scholar
  18. Koestler, Arthur. & J. R. Smythies. (ed.)1969. Beyond reductionism. Hutchinson, London.Google Scholar
  19. Kristol, Irving. 1978. Two cheers for capitalism. Basic Books, New York.Google Scholar
  20. zLawson, Tony. 1997. Economics and reality. Routledge, London.Google Scholar
  21. Le ´vi-Strauss, Claude. 1950. Introduction àl' oeuvre de Marcel Mauss. Reprinted in Sociologie et anthro-pologie, PUF, Paris, 1973.Google Scholar
  22. Manent, Pierre. 1982. La lec ¸on de te ´nèbres de Rene ´Girard. Commentaire 19.Google Scholar
  23. Mauss, Marcel. 1924. Essai sur le don. Anne ´e Sociologique, I. [I. Cunnison English translation, The gift: forms and functions of exchange in archaic societies. Norton, New York, 1967 ].Google Scholar
  24. Orle ´an, Andre ´. 1988. Money and mimetic speculation. Pp. 101–112 in P. Dumouchel (ed.)Violence and Truth. Stanford University Press, Stanford.Google Scholar
  25. Orle ´an, Andre ´. 1990. Le ro le des in. uences interpersonnelles dans la de ´termination des cours boursiers. Revue E ´conomique 5: 839–868.Google Scholar
  26. Palmer, Daniel K. 2003. The transactional view and autopoietic biology. Transactional Viewpoints II(2): 1–5.Google Scholar
  27. Posner, Richard. 2002. Dewey and democracy: a critique. Transactional Viewpoints II(3): 1–4.Google Scholar
  28. Rorty, Richard. 1999. Philosophy and social hope. Penguin, London.Google Scholar
  29. Sartre, Jean-Paul. 1939. Une ide ´e fondamentale de la phe ´nome ´nologie de Husserl: l' intentionalite ´(A fundamental idea in Husserl 's phenomenology: intentionality), [reprinted in Situations I. Gallimard, Paris, 1947 ].Google Scholar
  30. Varela, Francisco & Jean-Pierre Dupuy (ed.). 1992. Understanding origins. Contemporary views on the origin of life, mind, and society. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Dordrecht.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Pierre Dupuy
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Ecole PolytechniqueCREAParisFrance
  2. 2.France-Stanford Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Department of FrenchStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

Personalised recommendations