Mind and Inter-Subjectivity: An Anthropological Perspective

Christina Toren

Department of Human Sciences, Brunel University, Uxbridge,UB8 3PH, Great Britain, mailto: Christina.Toren@brunel.ac.uk
 
 

Abstract

 This paper argues that mind is a function of the whole person that is constituted over time in inter-subjective relations with others in the environing world.  In this view, consciousness is that aspect of human autopoiesis that, with time, posits the existence of the thinker.  Given that human being would be outside social relations, a brief excursion into Fijian ethnography is included to suggest why it makes sense to study child development as a microhistorical process in and through which mind is constituted over time as a function of inter-subjectivity.  The paper proposes a model of the process of constituting mind, and consciousness as an aspect of mind, that is derived from a synthesis of certain of the ideas of Maturana and Varela, Piaget, Merleau-Ponty, and Vygotsky.

Keywords

Consciousness anthropology


return to main index of abstracts.