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The Theory of Social Pulsation


Ivo Komsic

The Theory of Social Pulsation is a new social theory elaborated from the social phenomenology and philosophy of sciences’ standpoint. It represents an innovative interpretation of social phenomena postulated as active states of social actors including individuals, social groups, and social facts (organizations, institutions, systems). As an active state of social actors, pulsation is defined by eight variables that constitute social phenomena as a whole: (a) intention, (b) reaction, (c) reflection, (d) communication, (e) institutionalization, (f) internalization, (g) structuration, and (h) innovation.

Ivo Komsic argues that social states are pulsating and within those states, social causality is transferred from one social actor to another. Social actors continuously transfer social causality from one to another, depending on the intensity of its pulsation. Balanced or unbalanced, functional or dysfunctional, consensual or imposed, a system will be classified in the presence or absence of one of these phenomena, by its greater or lesser intensity. The theory posits a new paradigm that tends to overcome the "eternal" problem in sociology—relations between individuals as social actors and social structure, that is, "social statics" and "social dynamics," the role of the great historical personalities and the "objective law of history," freedom and necessity in social action, micro and macro social levels.

The model of social communication analyzed in the book can be used as a general model of social and political communication, particularly in multiethnic and multicultural societies considering the contemporary state of affairs globally.

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Proposition V


A new social state begins when the pulsation of social actors wanes or completely loses the purposes that kept its intentions in motion.


Unequal intensity of social pulsations is not only found among social actors. The rivalry of pulsations is constant; it lasts until they are both annulled. However, pulsation—viewed in isolation as a pulsation of a single social actor—loses its intensity over time.

Since the power of pulsation of every social actor depends on the interiority of social facts, it will wane according to the degree in which those facts lose meaning for social actors. Social facts, as institutionalized communication, present objectives that social actors incessantly obtain and subsequently construct as their own intentions—or objectify them. Through structuring and increasing these facts, their “meaningful content” for social actors fades.

The question becomes: how does a new social state and new pulsations of social actors emerge? If we assume that we cannot decide one social state through another, than what is the capacity of that other state? Does it mean that the new (new intentions) is established on the transcendental despite the assumption of the structured lifeworld?

Kant allows the opportunity for “knowledge of the external order”, even though limited to moral law and its order, to extend beyond the limits imposed←67 | 68→ by pure practical purpose. Freedom is not only the possibility of knowledge a priori to law which pure reason sets...

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