Intuitive meaning

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What is the foundation of social meanings, the cultivation of motives and beliefs in a community of human minds? How does meaning and collaborative intentionality emerge in intimate human relationships of early childhood and how does it grow in society? This article begins with an account of the origins of shared intentionality and intersubjective cooperation of feelings and ideas in infancy and early childhood. Then, the enquiry extends to the concepts of the social sciences, drawing ideas from the relational sociology of Pierre Bourdieu and the social philosophy of Jürgen Habermas. It attempts to elaborate the transition between the primary psychobiology of human sympathy, of proto-conversation and early intersubjective play and cooperation, and more abstract socio-philosophical concepts of the articulate and technically complex adult world. An important conclusion is that the same motives that make the creation and propagation of meaning possible in early childhood and the successful mastery of adult competence can be responsible for social marginalization or exclusion when the experiences of individuals or communities diverge from those of the larger society. We attempt to indicate how a recovery of the original intimate motives by sympathetic intervention can assist a deviant individual to gain a more meaningful place in the social group. Keywords: intersubjectivity; motives; emotions; sympathy; meaning; habitus; culture; marginalization; special education; therapy


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