“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Sensual objects are necessarily shared. They arise from the interaction of objects. One example would be the infamous Popeye. Popeye is created by cartoonists, then he lives rent free in the heads of anyone who is fascinated by him. Anything like a word or a meme performs in the same way.

A more extreme example would be quantum entanglement. A quantum can share information with another quantum across arbitrary distances, as if they were the same thing.

This sharing of “information” is what I now call interobjectivity. I'm thinking that it's a wider application of “intersubjectivity” to all objects, including nonsentient ones. That is, it explains phenomena such as social personhood (I am a person called Tim by the other). What some call intersubjective phenomena are a small subset of interobjective phenomena.

But it also explains things that are harder to explain without recourse to extra beliefs.
At present I think it accounts for what is usually called mind. Mind is an interobjective phenomenon produced in interactions between neurons and other objects such as cats, other humans, hormones, car keys and knitting needles. That's why it's so hard to find it. Perhaps then a brain in a bucket would be a mind, an interobjective system of brain plus bucket plus water—a pretty sad mind.

Since the sensual is the blood of causality, not some ethereal candy on top of the clunky mechanics of things, interobjectivity is significant because it accounts for how change can occur, when sensual objects become entangled with one another (metaphorical sense of entangled).

1 comment:

Bill Benzon said...

Culture, where interobjectivity meets intersubjectivity, no?