On other occasions we have written about the issue of plurality (see recently entries A sociality plural and The plural construct and open in the social world), but it is not back on the subject. Because, I think, it is necessary to insist on that condition baseline of the sociality of human beings -which is often overlooked.
Human beings are social beings. The assertion trivial previous foundation in the continuous observation that human beings are born, and acquire their capabilities in social contexts. Is with others that we learn a language, to give one of the properties most characteristic of what it means to be human.
Human beings, on the other hand, are self-employed individuals. Every one thinks (and feels and prefer and so on) for their own account. Each one takes his own experience and history, and one of the characteristics of human beings is the richness of its memory biographical -that is inherently individualized.
This double feature has been made noted previously (Kant spoke of the ‘unsociable sociability’), but on many occasions it has been raised as the opposition between selfishness and altruism that, as mentioned by the recently deceased Todorov (in La vie commune. Seuil 1995) is an exemplary mistaken to think of the matter. The individuality is not selfishness, nor the ideal of sociability is the communion pure (and nothing changes in essence to change the terms of the moral evaluation of the free individual against a social structure that limits and subjugated). This view of the matter ends up looking at as a problem which is the basic condition -that is with others who are different to themselves that it is possible to become what one is.
The sociality of humans is something that is built with others, but in plurality with others-not in the reduction of this plurality in a higher unity. When we talk, when we consider a common project (and it is basic in human beings their discovery that, together, do more things, have more power, than apart ” – to use terms dear to Spinoza) every one who comes and participates from their own individuality and it is so constructed that it was doing. Even when everyone does something his own, it is with others, in conversation with other perspectives, that you can even improve your own idea and project.
An individual associate is an individual who can be less (and so, then, individualism is not a matter of selfishness, it is that even from the perspective of the person themselves is through the relationship with others who can do more). A collective subject that does not have individuals that may be less, because you can’t grasp the autonomy and the capacity that each of us brings in each one.
The other is not a limit to the action itself, nor someone with whom I am called to desdiferenciarme; it is an opportunity to be, and be and do new things. And that is why plurality is baseline, and represents our specific power.