Realidades sociais, cognição e linguagem


  • Luiz Henrique de A. Dutra Federal University of Santa Catarina - UFSC



This paper deals with the nature or the ontological status of social entities. Traditional critiques to Durkheimian sociology, for instance, raise the question about the reification of the social. The autonomy of social realities and their irreducibility to psychical and physical realities is the focus of my discussion. If human beings were suppressed, social realities would cease to exist, but this doesn’t imply that social events depend solely upon psychic variables. I try to argue for the thesis of the autonomy of the social and its downward determination upon the behavior of human individuals. In order to do this I introduce the notions of linguistic space and cultural space, which are in themselves abstract realities and enable us to analyze the social origin of our concepts and values. I argue that cultural objects are real perspectively, i.e. they exist just from the human point of view, but they are objective realities nonetheless, since they aren’t eliminable, or reducible, and in addition they have normative power over the behavior of individuals.