Contemporary societies are ‘increasingly structured around a bipolar opposition between the Net and the self’ writes Manuel Castells in the ‘Power of Identity’ (Castells, 1996). Having already alluded to what this does to self-hood within ICT-mediated collective action - a move towards ‘public performances of the self’ (McDonald, 2002) on another post, one might also think of the relationship between such a bipolar opposition and ideas of ‘Sensus Communis’ with a changed relationship between doxa and endoxa within the context of such a morphology.
In the Critique of Judgement Kant writes: “..we must take sensus communis to mean the idea of a sense shared, i.e., a power to judge that in reflecting takes account, in our thought, of everyone else’s way of presenting, in order as it were to compare our own judgement with human reason in general… Now we do this as follows: we compare our judgement not so much with the actual as rather with the merely possible judgements of others, and put ourselves in the position of everyone else…”
Ideas of sensus communis probably represent a lacuna to those who study ICT-mediated collective action and social movements and merit significant attention. Having been thinking about the changed relationship between doxa and endoxa and the increasingly permeable relationship between public and private forms of sociality in contemporary (digital) life and the implications for what such permeability represent for how we understand the very idea of political action itself I will be definitely reading a bit more Aristotle and Kant in the near future - if people have any ideas or suggestions about sensus communis, selfhood and digital re(presentation) would be good to bang some ideas together.