Heterology as a new perspective of philosophical anthropology


The possibility of forming a new approach to the philosophical study of the complex of questions about “human nature” is investigated. There are two groups of reasons that determine the relevance of such research. First, it is the need to understand the phenomena determined by the development of the philosophical discourse itself (the development of the Actor-network theory of B. Latour, the formation of the Object-oriented ontology of G. Harman, etc.). The second group includes the tasks that society faces in connection with scientific, technical, social, economic and cultural development (for example, strengthening of digitalization and the resulting reorientation of humanitarian knowledge from the study of practices to the study of systems of relations of the “subject-sign environment”). The term “heterology” means the doctrine of human nature containing some components that are not reducible to the conscious “I”. The main concepts of the description of human nature (biological-social, psychoanalytic, social-constructivist) are analyzed. On the basis of the conducted analysis, each of these concepts demonstrates the recognition of the presence of an “innermost part” of the human being (cultural unconscious, individual unconscious, discursive norms), which, defining the “I” of an individual, nevertheless, are not part of it. The concepts of “polyphony” (the ability to various kinds of manifestations of human potencies) and “heterogeneity” (i.e., secrecy, inaccessibility for direct cognition, a certain number of human characteristics and potencies) are clarified and compared.