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ISSN: 0974-892X


January, 2019



System of Temporality and Social Verity

Sushant Kumar Dubey, Assistant Professor, French, Department of English Studies, Central University of Tamil Nadu, Thiruvarur


Ontological Lighting

Let us remember the famous message that St. Augustine addressed to us in Book XI of his Confessions: "What is time? If no one asks me, I know it; if I want to explain it to whoever questions me, I do not know. " The innate awareness of death, our daily life, well bring some food for thought but make little reference to an instance" pre-Mière "or" authentic ". This requires another approach synthesizing this "mysterious and indescribable moment" from which everything else will flow (Husserl, 1964), the study of the transformations of our environment cannot ignore this precious "anchorage".

The being is time, the time being: the persistent identity of the pre - sense successively thought as being and as time, is likely to provide an adequate basis for the instruction of the process of temporality "vulgar" or "worldly" Fluid, circular and improperly spatialized, this time of the world - primitively perceived as the time of nature, both articulated and segmented - is that of the pure now: to be not yet (or to be no longer) always means not to be not yet (or no longer) now . the Physics Aristotle remains, in this regard, the common source of most conventional formulations based on the immediate experience of the ontological dimension  (5)  Which refers to the "number of movement according to prior ..The movement of the stars and planets, the succession of day and night, the inexorable flow of the hourglass, the ticking of the clocks or the resonance of the atoms (Brague, 1982).

If the usual language is never completely wrong, it can be confusing when it claims to erect such images into concepts. Real temporality, in fact, is not only that in which all phenomena occur, the medium of all things and the receptacle of all occurrences; it is also - and more deeply - what all that is can be and we appear as such. The temporary of our history being explained only by the temporal of our being, time - in his Heideggerian conception - acquires, from then on, a new stature: it neither rolls nor runs, but comes back, illuminates and ex-sists. Because it embodies the figure of the possible, it is the means given to what is to be in order to be no more. A proposition illustrated many times by Henri Bergson (duration goes hand in hand with invention, creation of forms and "continuous development of the absolutely new"), Henri Hubert (importance of "sacred" and "operative") or Castoriadis (rehabilitation of Hippocratic texts  (6).

A mobile frame intended to bring events under the watchful eye of qualified observers, the calendar time - innumerable repetition of ideally congruent presents - is part of a logic of identity and obeys only the imperatives of identification. Incompleteness, indeterminacy or unpredictability are, for this reason, largely obscured or marginalized. For its part, the "full" or "original" time is not and can never be a sophisticated version or a refined extension of this "trivial" or "functional" temporality. What he "broods" or "prepares", of which he is "fat" or "annunciator", does not lead to a succession of uniform instants totally arithmetic but to a "ceaseless production of otherness". The nunHere explosion split and fracture (7).

However, in view of the radical nature of such an upsurge, it should not be concluded that there is only change in a paroxysmal mode. On the other hand, even if - in appearance - a society only "conserves itself", the equilibrium obtained can be the result of a very complex institutional dynamic. In this sense, all collective bargaining is not limited to ensuring the respect and maintenance of codified procedures, but very frequently concerns the content and legitimacy of the established rules, which can be modified, changed or amended to a greater or lesser extent. Function of strategies and power relations (Reynaud, 1989).

Philosophically, the very word "institution" covers perfectly the indissociability of the two previously glimpsed aspects: on the one hand, permanence or stability (the structure that has just been created subsists by itself, the root stare being very suggestive); on the other, contingency (this creation could have occurred at another time). Although this provision may remain formally identical over long periods of time, it is neither examined nor understood in the same way according to the particular circumstances which, in each case, "justify" its application.

Preceding any reconstructive synthesis and surviving any thoughtful analysis, Tradition - in its most vivid form - constitutes, from this angle, a principle of unity, continuity and fertility: far from considering with sufficient past centuries as an intangible deposit, it gives rise to a whole series of possible reinterpretations which, in return, maintain, consolidate, update or renew it  [8] Thus, through a work of exegesis, the basic mission of Bible teaching is to make accessible to the younger generations an ever more penetrating understanding of the Word and the Scriptures. Effective morality, for its part, is not only regulation and determination: it is also momentum and surpassing (Gautier, 1988).

The development of a certain number of ethnological works tends to show how false is the denial of the historicity of so-called "archaic" societies, the "static", "repetitive" or "atemporal" character of these societies being that a modality like any other to take into account and manage more or less efficiently various parameters. The "arrangements" that are emerging are specific to each culture (Zerubavel, 1981). What defines a community, therefore, is not, essentially, the unmistakable recognition - by the totality of its members - of the local irreversibility of the physical time in which it evolves, but the way in which this irreversibility is internalized.

By creating its own temporality, each human group reveals itself to itself and assumes, by taking advantage of the assets at its disposal, the historical path it has set for itself or imposed upon it. Exile for Jews in the Diaspora, trial and hope for Christians, progress and accumulation for Westerners bear witness to what we might call destiny epoch. Brought from the magma of imaginary instituted meanings, these singular destinies permeate the temporal flow of "affects" and "moods" (Castoriadis, 1975: 290-291).

Even if it is to affirm that historicity is the "attribute" of society, or society the "presupposition first" of history, it is proving increasingly difficult to maintain a distinction very decided between these two entities. We can no longer separate, if not arbitrarily and forced by the linearity of speech, a "space", a "time" and "what" unfolds there. The "space-time" in which we situate all "reality" (and "social reality" itself) is of another fabric and integrates within it a corpus of norms, prescriptions and representations, combinations or arbitrations between incitement and coercion, persuasion and activation of commitments.


Methodological Approach

After recalling the main controversies concerning historicism (and one of its corollaries: determinism), we will focus on the rediscovery of "clean times".

Let us examine, first of all, the Leibnitzian postulate: omne presens gravidum est futuro.In this respect, we are confronted with an intellectual construction which, from the outset, may seem "fascinating". However, although the arguments put forward are subtle and endowed with a significant power of seduction, the overall logic underlying this analysis remains disappointing. His "irremediable weakness" or his "cardinal error" are obvious if one is to admit, following Karl Popper, that the interpretations retained are endowed with a clearly excessive predictive power  (9)Succumbing to this "emotional appeal", the "utopian engineer" will be convinced that only plans that follow the "course of history" will yield optimal results. "Activism" and "totalism" are thus linked (Popper, 1956). It will be possible to make some reservations as to the choice of the substantives used or to judge these too controversial positions; nevertheless, the indictment presented to us, even if it goes against convictions commonly accepted, is able to win the adhesion. Faced with a growing disaffection vis-à-vis the "great stories of emancipation"  (10) Maybe it's time came - as have shown Reinhart Koselleck, Ervin Lazlo and Edward Lorenz (11) to to depart from a double mythology: that of a "radical origin of events", and that of a "sabbath of knowledge" or a "Sunday of the spirit".

More generally, and in line with a critique of the problematic of the foundation, the relevance of the "nomological program"   deserves to to be questioned. In particular, the extent to which the use of a "strong" explanatory ideal is fully justified. In the line of sight: the search for a mobile primum , which we value demographics, technical progress or ideologies. Many companies, inattentive to the "motley of the world"  thus believed in the existence of a philosopher's stone from which everything - or the most important - could have been explained. But the adoption of such views has many more disadvantages than advantages because, by applying without discernment - If the formula "If A, then B", we expose ourselves either to invent concepts that are meaningless or to be quickly contradicted by the facts. It will be argued that industrialization necessarily leads to the nuclearization of the family institution; in the same way, we will associate modernization with an inevitable regression of religious values ​​or we will proclaim that violence and the "rise to extremes" depend only on the intensity of the discontent. Rejected by experience or made obsolete by new discoveries, this way of proceeding is not most satisfactory. Other approaches, more "contextual", they have no right of city?

Note, however, that some "laws" (of the type: "Individualization is bound to strengthen") may seem ill-assured (we could oppose them with several counter -examples) and insufficiently specified (what do we mean by "individualisation"? "), While keeping a heuristic interest, not insignificant because of the preliminary orientations and provisional approximations that they arouse (Simmel, 1984). It must therefore be seen, as Merton wrote in his Elements, not the culmination of knowledge but rather a point of departure or transition (Merton, 1965).

Viewed from this angle, the social sciences are not intended to establish nomothetic utterances but to produce, in a not "substantialist" but "formal" (this qualifier must be taken in its simmelian sense), theories medium -range theories). The forms of authority identified by Max Weber, whether charismatic, traditional or office, do not meet as they are every day. These are just "ideal-types". The paradox of collective action is also part of this type of questioning. If each individual seeks to maximize his preferences, the most appropriate course of action may be withdrawal or disengagement. But, on other occasions, protest, loyalty or apathy are not to be dismissed. If determinism retains a meaning, Raymond Boudon argues, it can only be in plates. Beyond these limits, the "speculative illusion" imposes its domination (Boudon, 1984: chapter VI).

Just as there is no "axis" of history but a variety of pathways  likewise there is no is it not "a" standard trajectory but periodicities and very fluctuating rhythms? The growths or regressions we observe This reappraisal of the "own times" (which, in itself, and contrary to the teachings of past centuries, no longer dissociates energy expenditure and order creation) has operated through the gradual transition of mechanical time (Newtonian model) with evolutionary time(dissipative structures). It is precisely, adds Henri Atlan, between two extreme representations of death - the crystal , image of the order frozen in its perfection, and the smoke , symbol of dispersion and incoherence - that is the "whirlwind" random designer "in which come to draw the autoorganisateurs systems  These find in this crucible not their destruction but the substance of their perenniality (Atlan, 1979).

The signs or messages addressed to us or that we capture carry with them a meaning whose content is never completely determined; they are thus "haunted" by meanings of which no exegesis - whether "divinatory", "comparative" or "discursive" - ​​can deliver the keys of intelligibility. The text of the social, by its "whites", its gaps and its erasures, is not clear to anyone, not even to those who are its privileged authors or interpreters (Gras, 1979). The necessary re-creation of the past in each of us does not imply, however, that certain "declensions" are not able, when the time comes, to win the assent of the greatest number by raising enthusiasm and passion.

At the same time, one and multiple, succession and coexistence, history is an "adventure of conscience" which capitalizes like a treasure and about which it is advisable to distinguish, as Paul Ricoeur invites us, the plan of traces or achievements, and that of decisions and events where everything seems to start from scratch (Ricœur, 1955). Because it is human, the historical reality can only be equivocal and inexhaustible. By ambiguity, says Raymond Aron, we must understand, besides the "plurality of spiritual universes through which our existence unfolds", the "diversity of interlocking in which ideas and elementary acts take place", the qualifier of inexhaustible designating for its part the "set of determinations attached to a word or posture", any work or language practice with a "fringe of incompleteness" (Aron, 1938: 147 et seq.).


Thematic Tracks

The sociology of everyday life offers a first perspective. The most common teleological interpretations, whether or not they emanate from the Marxist tradition, promised the "supreme conciliation of meaning and existence," a goal that can only be attained by the "final redemption of contradictions." On the other hand, the reappraisal not of waiting but of attention restores to the nûn all its authenticity; could creation, as an event category, emerge without such support? Therefore, rather than wanting at all costs to look for a privileged way of passage between a more or less idealized past (nostalgia for the Grund) and the singing tomorrows (cult of constructivism, in the Hayekian vocabulary), would it not be more appropriate to affirm without reserve "the capacity to live the existence as it is, in the reality of its presence and of his repetition "(Crespi, 1983: 43), out of all finalism.

If the expectations and behaviours of the actors can usually be identified through the conjunction of several variables such as political affiliation, the training course or the PCS, the "values ​​of intimacy" that make up our everyday universe are left untouched. Unfortunately not apprehend with the same ease. In spite of some rather recent advances  much remains to be done, the poverty of the testimonies and the fragmentation of the documentary sources being able to constitute a heavy handicap. Are we, under these conditions, condemned to a history "impression-nist", "porous" and "lacunary"? It would be to forget that beyond these inadequacies are finally taken seriously acts and gestures hitherto neglected because catalogued as minor, trivial or derisory (tears, eyes, sleep  How could one thus approach the trials of witchcraft without questioning this "circle of fear and anguish" which envelops all the protagonists: sorcerers, inquisitors, judges, witnesses ...? Similarly, does demographic analysis have to (and can it) be limited to purely quantitative considerations without ever considering the "level of existential hope" of individuals of childbearing age?

The insistence on the different figures taken by the "daily imaginary" should not be equated with any celebration of the area of the absurd, of the irrational or confused What is meant by assigning a status to registers that - previously - were lacking (think of materials, noises or colours), is basically our own experience as it is expressed before its conceptualization by logical thought. Here we find the contributions of Gaston Bachelard, Henry Corbin, Gilbert Durand and Michel Maffesoli.

Another interesting area to explore is the study of biographical trajectoriesand relationships between generations. Consider, for example, "residential routes". These, in direct contact with developments in the family unit (arrival of a child, break-up, widowhood ...), can be "voluntarist" (homeownership) or "forced" (expulsion, conflicts of neighbourhood) and correspond to an acquisition or an exchange, a permutation or an "annexation"  access channels combining - within networks more or less extensive relational  information circuits and self-help mechanisms  occupancy, we see, are not only dictated by the characteristics of housing but incorporate many other elements: career and promotion prospects, heritage endowments and expected financial gains, size of the household and possible modifications of its components, degree of attachment to the soil and risks of degradation of the environment, opportunities likely to be offered on the real estate market, possibility in more or less short term of recomposition of the territorial solidarities ...

This spatiotemporal dimension combines, in very variable proportions, effects of age, period and cohort. If age indicates the position in the life cycle, the period refers to a particular sociocultural context, the cohort representing the "set of slags left by the filter of history". The identification and empirical estimation of these different elements are however not without problem, the debates surrounding the respective weight of the "date of birth" and the "environment of origin" being far from settled 

The difficulties encountered should not make us lose sight of the need to carry out other investigations such as those relating to:

"Social life," Gurvitch stressed, "flows in multiple times, always divergent, often contradictory, and whose relative unification, linked to a precarious hierarchy, represents a problem for any society" (Gurvitch, 1969, vol II : 325.) Faced with a fragmented universe, full of singularities and potential surprises, such a plurality offers a guarantee: that of respect for the autonomy of the local. Apparently trivial result, sometimes even felt as tautological, but which, if it is placed within the most current scientific practices, should not be depreciated but strengthened.

The stakes are high because, in accordance with the precepts of critical rationalism, it is necessary to give sociology of action adequate methodological bases capable of responding case by case to the complexity of the issues studied



Works Cited

Attias-Donfut Claudine, 1988, Sociology of the generations. The imprint of time, Paris, PUF.

Attias-Donfut Claudine (eds.), 1995, Solidarity between generations. Old age, families, State, Paris, Nathan.

Aymard Maurice et alii (eds.), 1993, The Time to Eat. Food, time and social rhythms, Paris, Ed. of the House of the sciences of the man.

Barrère-Maurisson Marie-Agnès, 1992, the Family Division of Labor. Life in doubles, Paris, PUF.

Birault Henri, 1978, Heidegger and the experience of thought, Paris, Gallimard.

Boudon Raymond, 1984, The Place of Disorder. Criticism of theories of social change, Paris, PUF.

Brague Rémi, 1982, Time in Plato and Aristotle, Paris, PUF.

Castoriadis Cornelius, 1975, The Imaginary Institution of Society, Paris, Seuil.