Javorskiy D.R. Heuristic Potential of the Concept of Energy in the Philosophy of Culture (Bataille’s Case)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2022.3.8

Dmitriy R. Javorskiy
Doctor of Sciences (Philosophy), Professor, Department of Philosophy and Theory of Law, Volgograd State University
Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation
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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9198-4847


Abstract. The article examines an example of the use of the concept of energy in humanitarian knowledge. The interdisciplinary concept of French writer, philosopher, social thinker Georges Bataille, described by him in the book "The Accursed Share", is presented. It is shown that the concept of energy is applicable to the study of sociocultural systems. In the light of this approach, culture appears as a system of devices ("organs", "machines") that utilize free (psychic, social) energy. In the absence of these devices, socio-cultural systems experience internal pressure of excess energy (the "accursed part"), which is fraught with the destruction of these systems due to troubles, civil wars and other conflicts. Bataille examines in detail three ways of utilizing free energy, which can be described in the framework of the philosophy of culture as three «organs» or three «machines» – war, religion and labor. The article gives a non-classical understanding of these phenomena. War cannot be reduced only to a set of violent actions to seize resources or impose will on the enemy. Religion cannot be reduced only to establishing a connection with the divine. Labor cannot be reduced only to the production of material or spiritual goods. All these activities are partly self-referential, and this self-referential can only be explained by an additional function, which is disclosed in this article. In conclusion, the relevance of the use of the concept of energy in the cultural and philosophical analysis of the current situation is shown. This situation cannot fail to attract the attention of those who rely on a humanistic position.
Key words: Bataille, war, energy, culture machine, culture organ, religion, labor, philosophy of culture.

Citation. Javorskiy D.R. Heuristic Potential of the Concept of Energy in the Philosophy of Culture (Bataille's Case). Logos et Praxis, 2022, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 75-83. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2022.3.8

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Heuristic Potential of the Concept of Energy in the Philosophy of Culture (Bataille’s Case) by Javorskiy D.R. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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