INTERSUBJECTIVITY AND SOCIAL COHESION: AN ONTOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE

  • Amos Ameh Ichaba
Keywords: Alterity, Intersubjectivity, Social Cohesion, Ontology, Merleau-Ponty

Abstract

This paper is aimed at creating the proper ontological understanding of ‘otherness’ with the view to demonstrating how such understanding is essential to the reduction of conflicts, killings, misunderstandings and bitterness between persons and societies in order to foster social cohesion. The paper is a consequence of reflections on the perceived increasing hostility between persons, groups, communities and societies across the world. Common commitments are increasingly becoming elusive and one wonders what the fundamental problem could be. This paper therefore raises the following questions: what could be responsible for the widespread hostilities across the world, especially in the 21st Century? Can the possible lack of proper understanding of ‘alterity’ be the problem? What then is alterity from the ontological point of view? How can the proper ontological understanding of alterity bring about greater social cohesion? Using the critical and hermeneutic methods, this paper, reflecting on Merleau-Ponty’s reversibility thesis, argues that the right ontological understanding of ‘the other’ as indispensable to the existence and wellbeing of the self in an ontological unity, is fundamental to the achievement of social cohesion across the globe.

Published
2021-03-16
Section
Articles