Baltic accent

2023 Vol. 14 №4

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The Mobius strip of the pragmasemantics of sense: from culture through subjectivity to nothingness and back



The author endeavors to systematically present sense formation through the lens of the pragmasemantic approach. It enables the demonstration of how the primary factors of sense formation, socio-cultural practices and personal agency interact. Their relationship is non-linear: subjectivity results from the assimilation of socio-cultural experiences and the accom­panying narrative communication. Self-consciousness of the Self arises from the socialization of the individual through reflexive self-description. Thus, it engenders a "strange loop" (as described by Hofstadter), in which the inner becomes entwined with the outer, and the social intertwines with the individual. In this way, the possessor of self-consciousness gains a broader worldview extending beyond physical existence. This expanded perspective not only facilitates responses to situationality but also enhances the potential to proactively pre-adapt to one's environment. Selfhood is a flexible entity, receptive to new content, capable of self-modification, and open to change. The primary identity of the self-aware individual is the self-sufficient personality without any specific characteristics. Human existence is marked by absence, lack, loss, and an aspiration for change. It resembles an emptiness that defies classifi­cation, a drifting surplus that connects the unconnected. In this context, the article places particular emphasis on the apophatic nature of sense formation. Pauses, intervals, breaks, and gaps give rise to signs within the backdrop of non-existence. Subjectivity functions as a ‘user of voids’, serving as a metacontext, a source, means, and outcome of sense formation. It exists as a gap within being, an inherent incompleteness ready for completion and replenishment. In this regard, personal agency manifests as a universal interface, potentially facilitating infinite interconnections across contexts. This interface facilitates interactions between the tangible reality we inhabit and any conceivable alternative worlds. It enables transitions from physical reality to the realm of imagination and vice versa, or even simultaneous consideration of both.


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