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Relation in Social Psychology: A Central Concept for the Understanding of the Human Being, Groups, and Society

  • Pedrinho A. GuareschiEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

I am convinced that my most important contribution, both theoretical and empirical, is based on reflections on the concept of ‘relation’ and practices drawing on it. After graduating in Philosophy, Theology, Sociology and Psychology, I remained dissatisfied with the contributions brought by these areas and sought a vision that would help me understand both Human Being and society. I found it on the elaborations of the African philosopher Augustine of Hippo. Human Being is neither an “individual”—indivisum in se sed divisum a quolibet alio”, as proposed by the individualist liberal vision, nor part of a whole, as proposed by the totalitarian view. It is person-relation, meaning ‘relation’ as ordo ad aliquid, that is, the intrinsic ordering of something towards another(s). The Human Being, the society, the objects, and the social dimension are all essentially conceived as the outcome of their relations. I have seen such a dimension in several other authors who try to account for the complexity of the world, but they have never formulated it explicitly. The notion of ‘relation’ as the core of my ontological, epistemological, ethical, and aesthetical approach to diverse matters has been fruitful in my attempts to deeply understand social phenomena.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil

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