9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN29 Social Theory

2009-09-05 15:30:00 2009-09-05 17:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 15:30 - 17:00 Challenges: New Developments in Social Theory Building AA, AA.326

Social action in the context of creativity

Modern sociological action theories have to
deal with the difficulties caused by the complexity of explanation of creative
action. M. Weber has started the tradition of explanation of the reasons of
action in terms of subjective intentions, which played an important role in establishing
of sociology and studying human behaviour. But hereafter the position that
considers internalities of the subject, his/her motives and intentions as the
basic reasons impelling the activity led to difficulties in understanding the
nascence of the new action. In reality, there are no exhaustive intentions
which could explain the reasons of actions. Even being aware of the motives of
a subject, his purposes and intentions we are not always able to predict the
course of his activity. This problematics was touched upon in philosophical
works of  L. H. Davis, J. Austin, G. H. von
Wright, G. Ryle, L. Wittgenstein, and in sociological works of A. Sch├╝tz, G .H. Mead, J. Dewey; it has been
elaborated to the fullest in the modern neopragmatic approach of  H.Joas, M. Emirbayer, A. Mishe. The creative,
spontaneous character of activity was emphasized by pragmatists. I shall dwell
on the analysis of social action offered by Hans Joas. In my view, this
approach must be complimented by the knowledge of nature of human action that
psychoanalysis gives us, in particular, its structural dimension developed by
Jacques Lacan. Joas shortly mentions Lacan?s theory, criticizing and rejecting
its outcomes and its possible contribution to the development of the theory of creative
action, whereas it has much to add to 
understanding of action in those three dimensions that Joas concentrates
on: non-teleological intentionality of human action, its corporeality, and its
primordial sociality.