Friday, October 11, 2013

Notes on Aida (1)

Today, I started to re-read intensively Kimura's "aida".

The corresponding English word for Aida may be "between" or "between-ness". As I am currently working on intersubjectivity and social cognition, what Kimura thinks through the notion of aida seems very attractive.

He tries to re-consider the problem of intersubjectivity based on the notion of aida. "Aida" in Japanese literally means the spatial or temporal distance between two things. In the context of social cognition, aida means the "between" of two or more persons. Needless to say, it refers to the realm of inter-subjectivity.

However, a bit surprisingly, he asks what it means to be alive, in the introduction of the book. He says, the life that is explained in biological sciences is mere "vital activities of living substances." The life itself is beyond such activities that are found in the particular living organism. In fact, even though one living organism ends up by death, the life itself does not come to an end. The life manifest itself through the living organism but itself is beyond those. What he stresses is that our sense of living has its own root in what he here calls "the life itself", which is beyond particular living organisms.

In the deepest sense, Kimura's notion of aida seems to refer to this relation between each particular living organism (humans, animals, plants) and the universal life-force. The life itself is the universal ground, which makes possible the subjectivity of the particular living being. Before describing the intersubjectivity, the notion of aida refers to the foundation of the subjectivity which appears as the sense of living. This is what I found in Kimura's text today.