METAPHYSICS OF IDENTITY

* translated into English with an online translation service, the original text can be found here

Despite the attractiveness of the visible evidence of various behavioral images, identity cannot be characterized by any function, property, distinctive feature, and even more so by any external characteristic of the individual. Identity is a qualitative, not a quantitative characteristic, it is a characteristic of the existence of a person as a whole, and not of his existence in any part. And as soon as we move to the level of philosophical analysis and generalization, to the level of qualitative human development, the set of possible identities we have is quite small. Any social individual: citizen, Philistine, populist – in the original sense of these words-is a representative of the people, a part of society. No matter what color of skin he was, no matter what profession he worked in. First of all, whether he wants it or not, he always personifies the social subject in his activity.this is the whole that he necessarily implements, this is his first and main identification and, consequently, identity. Here, by the way, there is a significant number of problems, which is called “burnout” or “professional cretinism” when people are so personifiziert in a public entity that in all situations far beyond the immediate professional functions of a person continues to engage in this activity, and nothing but the personification of man has no. So some Director commands everywhere and everyone, the teacher tries to teach everyone, and the doctor diagnoses everyone he meets, if there is nothing else. And if there is something more, if there are other dependencies of a person’s existence, then he forms a more complex unit, he forms his own unity of himself as an individual and can grow in it to individuality. It will include the public subject, but will no longer be reduced to it. This will be another subject with different grounds and other goals of activity, which does not exclude the continuing personification of the public subject, but, nevertheless, doubles the existence of a person and increases his opportunities, increases the degree of his freedom, because in some individual or domestic relations, he can apply his social and professional skills, and in some exclusively public and public situation, he can go beyond the situation and act as a person, which is fundamentally alien to state structures.

However, in society there are such seemingly narrow professional activities as management, scientific knowledge, sacralization, artistic creativity, which immanently require the professional to go beyond their professional group and identify themselves with the entire society, with the people, with the country, with its history. In these conditions, the individual develops a civilizational identity. In some special, critical situations, for example, threats to the existence of a society, this requirement to go beyond their social group is imposed on all citizens, on all individuals as members of a given society – they must all identify themselves with this society, act on its behalf and in its interests, which allows this society to survive.

More rare is the situation of real existence of the highest level of integrity, in which a person can go beyond the boundaries of their society, realize their universal nature and belonging, this is a universal identity. But this is all, and this is the whole set on the map of multiple social identity: four or at least three hypostases of each individual’s being. Each social individual, as a rule, is one in three persons.

* The research was carried out with the financial support of the RFBR in the framework of scientific project no. 19-29-07489

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