The Concept Of Reciprocal Communication And Its Relevance In Modern Communicative Reality


The subject of this research is the process of communication in a situation of dividing beingness into an object and a subject in a transforming communicative reality. The object of the work is the reflections of Karl Jaspers and P.A. Florensky on the problem of communicative studies in a social and humanistic orientation, in a strong belief in the spiritual development of each person. In the writings of thinkers, the theme of loneliness and phenomena that can overcome it arise. The antagonism of loneliness and friendship, loneliness and love, loneliness and deep communication sometimes plays a significant role in the reflections of Jaspers and P.A. Florensky, perhaps because the problem of interaction between man and the world, the subject and the outside world is one of the cornerstones of modernity. The real solution to the issue of the possibility of full-fledged communication, as well as the issue of preventing disintegration on a global scale, lies not on the way of eliminating differences, but on the way of gaining commonality while maintaining differences: whole coincided in their aspirations and ideas.

Keywords: Florensky, Jaspers, philosophy of communication, dialogue, unity


A profound transformation of social reality in modern Russia is causing fundamental changes in the communicative sphere. A modern man is looking for new socio-cultural, philosophical, essential foundations that can provide communication of a new formation. The new communicative environment is actively being formed and offered through the mass-media. In an effort to assert his own life values and meanings, the individual perceives the multicultural, polysemantic code as inauthentic (improper) communication and tries to resist unification, establishing genuine, independent communication. This process, which is characteristic of a situation of worldview, semantic pluralism, leads to the formation of a specific communication environment, study of which becomes an over-current goal.

Problem Statement

This process, characteristic of a situation of worldview, semantic pluralism, leads to the formation of a specific communication environment, the study of which by philosophers, cultural scientists, sociologists and linguists is actively continuing. However, research based on our own modern Russian experience can and should be supplemented by an analysis of what has been understood in this area abroad. Thus, Karl Jaspers, who was not only one of the founders of German existentialism, but also a classic of psychology and psychiatry of the 20th century, explored the search for genuine communication in which one unique existence, the world of “I” is able to open up to meet another, to realize its unique potencies. The purpose of this analysis of the philosophical views of Karl Jaspers is to study the view about the essence of communication, its importance in the context of modern communicative transformation. It seems relevant, it is necessary to understand the meaning of the teachings of K. Jaspers and about communication in the present period, when there is an urgent need for the formation of new methods of communication.

Research Questions

In the writings of many philosophers, the theme of loneliness and phenomena that can overcome it arise. The antagonism of loneliness and friendship, loneliness and love, loneliness and brotherhood sometimes plays a significant role in the reflections of many thinkers, perhaps because the problem of interaction between man and the world, the subject and the external world is one of the cornerstones of the life of mankind, which has no temporal characteristics. The precondition for the existence of today's world order, taken in depth, according to Karl Jaspers, is the nature of the human personality. If the individual is absent as an existentially filled subject, but is, according to I.N. Sidorov, "decoratively careless representation" (Sidorov, 1997), then in the foreground comes, by and large, the uselessness of a person's stay in this world. The task facing any person is not to get bogged down in a natural desire to mechanically continue, in other words, to drag out his existence, constantly feeling the “descriptively finite nature of objectivity” (Jaspers, 2013). But at present, the metaphysical sword hanging over the head of humanity has a completely different character, the German philosopher confidently proclaims. The essence of the danger that awaits the individual is in the world that he artificially created for himself, but there he also lost himself, his essence. The German thinker asks the question: “What does a person need to try to find himself? Desire alone (although this is already a lot), but clearly not enough." Of no small importance for Jaspers is the feeling of joy received from the process of life. But this is just an island to which you can sail in moments of pain and disappointment. Such a refuge is of a temporary, limited nature. It is not possible to live in it forever, fleeing adversity, the philosopher claims. Sooner or later, harsh reality will cover with its veil.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this analysis of the philosophical views of Karl Jaspers and Pavel Florensky is to study the views of the thinkers about existential communication, its importance in the context of modern communicative transformation. It seems relevant, it is necessary to understand the existential meaning of K. Jaspers' teaching on communication in the present period, when there is an urgent need for the formation of new methods of communication.

Genuine communication does not average people, does not equalize them, does not deprive them of their individual qualities, but, on the contrary, contributes to their spiritual development. The essence of such communication is that it requires from each person a deep understanding of the origins of human existence and finding oneself as an independent being. This kind of individualization seems to be the only possible solution for the salvation of humanistic and spiritual culture in modern Russian society: the development of interpersonal communication is in dire need of its own humanistic basis, focused on revealing the creative potential of an individual. This determines the relevance of the study of the doctrine of genuine communication in the philosophy of K. Jaspers, which is important for understanding the vectors of development of a new communicative situation in the future.

Research Methods

The methods of this research are the historical and philosophical approach, presented by the methods of analysis in the form of comparison, generalization of research data and drawing conclusions. Also, methods of reconstruction, concrete historical, hermeneutic and comparative methods were used.


Reflections of Karl Jaspers and P.A. Florensky about communication are of value not only for a philosophical analysis of the spiritual state of a person, especially those who are experiencing an essential crisis, but also for the real formation of those forms of communication in social interaction that are characteristic of individuals who remain faithful to the original cultural essential heritage in alienated, technocratic and consumer times.

In the conditions of modern reality, as noted by B.V. Markov, Jaspers places great hope “on spiritual and friendly ties, on being rooted in the soil, on home and family, as supports of a new order” (Markov, 1997). Family relationships, according to Karl Jaspers, are built on love, mutual respect and fidelity. It is the family that connects the individual with other individuals for an extended period of time. This is due to everyday communication, "which can be fully realized in its openness only in the everyday difficulties of everyday life" (Jaspers, 2004). In family relationships, according to Karl Jaspers, "true identity" reveals its face to a greater extent, since communication is carried out between loved ones, every day and on the basis of trust, warmth and humanity. Sincerity, sympathy, warmth in the mass of people are scattered, do not have a specific addressee, while all of the above qualities accumulate around a limited number of people, in the family, in the house, as a refuge for love and true friendship. All family members for each specific individual should appear only as a subject filled with internal content and having a deeply personal, individual essence, to have only an inherent, “integral element of the spirituality” (Vizgin, 2016). Each serves as a support for the other, solidarity and trusting relationships reign between family members. According to Pavel Florensky, there are four verbs that reflect the concept of "love". The first understanding is associated with the sensory side of a person's life, when a desire arises "to direct an all-inclusive feeling to an object, to surrender to the object, to feel and perceive for it" (Florensky, 1990). This sensation is associated with the world of passion, sensual desire, zealous lust for physical pleasure. The second interpretation of love has a wide meaning, as a rule, it is opposed to passion. Pavel Florensky believes that this phenomenon is "an internal inclination to the person, which grew out of a sincere community and closeness" [Jaspers, p. 396], expresses the inner close relationship between people. In this case, loving individuals find satisfaction in communicating with each other, self-saturate with each other, this unity has an "organic character" (Vodolagin, 2006).

The third reflection of the concept of "love" is not a passionate desire for another object, not a sensual urge to it, but a calm, continuous feeling in time, which can be an indicator of "personality growth" (Safranski, 2004). Individuals in this case feel themselves closely related, belonging to each other outside of any conditions and circumstances. People have a common understanding of the universe and other phenomena, acquire an organic connection, understood as generic, indissoluble. As examples, one can name the love of parents for children, of a citizen for his fatherland. The fourth interpretation of the concept of love is associated with the rational assessment of the individual as a subject; in this process the rational principle prevails. Most of all, it is possible in this case to use such synonyms as "respect", the ability to value. Where there is a potential for rational assessment, the feeling can be weakly expressed, implicit. Since, according to Pavel Florensky, evaluation involves comparison, this process may include an act of free will, selectivity. But, as the German philosopher notes, at present there is a threat of destruction of marriage and family ties, moreover, “the tendencies of its destruction grow with the absolutization of the universal order of existence” (Zolotukhina-Abolina, 2017).

The frighteningly cold face of objectification appears when the house ceases to be a stronghold of love and friendship, a guarantee of real communication, but turns only into a place to spend the night. This is explained by the increasing employment of a person at work, lack of free time, as well as the growing trend of technization, which "... turns the spiritualized world into indifferent substitutability", which is, according to R. Safransky, a dangerous threat "to overshadow the abyss of being" (Safranski, 2004). The role of the system is twofold. On the one hand, it seems to support the desire of individuals to live together and close communication. On the other hand, its presence determines the likelihood of uprising, conflicts, ruptures and quarrels within the family, even the departure of some members from it. In fact, this is due to one factor, according to Karl Jaspers. The operation of the system is such that its task is to prevent the personality from feeling its great power over the violent reality, which can find its manifestation either in the feeling of extreme, acutely experienced loneliness, or, conversely, in the feeling of the strongest and deepest unity with another personality, when a person “… comes out of the darkness,… from the state of loss, in which he looks hopelessly into emptiness, from the state of self-forgetfulness…” (Sidorov, 1997). Kindergartens, schools and other social institutions are created in society, where home education is replaced by public education, where the main goal is not to educate a single, one-of-a-kind, unique and incomparable existential personality, but to mechanically cultivate an innumerable kingdom of self-like. K. Jaspers in this context assesses the role of the state negatively. Instead of prohibiting, and otherwise severely punishing divorce, polygamous relationships, abortion, homosexuality (the philosopher calls all of the above "going beyond the historical human existence"), the role of the state is reduced to their explicit or implicit encouragement.

Human society is united by double interpretation braces, from the point of view of Pavel Florensky. The first hypostasis of such a union is a personal connection going from one human personality to another, the desire to give to another "from his fullness" (Florensky, 1990). This connection is based on the feeling of each other as original units, “monads” (Pavlyuchenkov, 2013). The second component is the feeling of love, sympathy towards one person which is projected onto the whole society as a whole. The thinker notes that the connecting elements of ancient society were the personal and generic principle in the individual. Both forces are spiritualized over time, turning into friendship between members of a given community. There are two sides of social life, understood from a religious point of view: agapic and “filic” (Zweirde, 2020). Brotherhood and friendship, according to Florensky, are in areas parallel to each other. It might seem that these two phenomena, like two streams, can merge into one semantic whole. The combination of these two concepts is a duality, but not confusion, not identification. From the point of view of Pavel Florensky, each person is another person's neighbor, but not everyone is a friend. An adversary, a hater, an offender, a slanderer no matter what is a neighbor, but even a sympathetic, loving person is not always a friend in the deep understanding of Florensky, since the relationship of friendship is deeply personal, individual. Having brothers does not eliminate the possibility of having a friend. In some cases, having brothers makes the need for a friend even more urgent. “To live among brothers, one must have a Friend, at least a distant one; to have a Friend, one must live among brothers,” Pavel Florensky wrote (Florensky, 1990). Observing the “golden rule of morality” and treating others as oneself, one should “see”, feel, recognize, “touch” oneself in at least one person. In this case, this individual is a friend; the nature of the relationship may have an agapic, sacrificial principle. But so that the potency of love for one's neighbor does not degenerate into narcissism, self-esteem, so that individuals do not become for each other simply conditions for comfortable coexistence, it is necessary to "unfold" the human personality, its ability to deprive itself of selfish manifestations in itself, the potency of agapic love.

In the event that the "substance of the whole" of Jaspers is exposed to the possibility of disintegration, splitting, its existence becomes shaky and doubtful, the essence of the educational process is also threatened by fragmentation and disintegration into composite, unconnected, fragile elements, which leads to the appearance of "isolated individuals "(Vlasova, 2018). Under such circumstances, upbringing as a metaphysical deep phenomenon is not able to lead the becoming individual to comprehension, to the all-encompassing “substance of the whole”, to an understanding of his greatness and beauty. Instead of the expected appearance of a unique, unrepeatable existential subject, numerous, repeatable, hardly distinguishable from each other objects are obtained, incapable of establishing a deep connection with each other. Through the essence of the mediocrity of a mechanically existing object, what happens is that the “substance of the whole” loses its bright palette of color, metaphysical depth in itself, which, according to K. Jaspers, is “a symptom of the anxiety of our time” (Zolotukhina-Abolina, 2017). The existing world order more and more embraces doubt, decay, disintegration. Such living conditions are created when “a person can come to a different consciousness of being and himself” (Jaspers, 2020), the thinker notes. A gaping black abyss seems to open up in front of him, into which he is about to slide, taking all the people with him. Thinking and feeling individuals anticipate the approach of the deadening steps of a pitiless abyss capable of absorbing the greatness and beauty of "true identity". The German philosopher confidently asserts that the solution to this problem falls on the shoulders of the upbringing of future generations. He writes the following: “...upbringing determines the future of human existence; the decline of upbringing would be the decline of man” (Zolotukhina-Abolina, 2017).

“In order to be oneself,” Karl Jaspers writes, “a person needs a positively filled world” (Jaspers, 2000). If the world is not like that, then a person hides from it until he acquires a positively colored thought or idea. At first, changes, even if very insignificant, occur in the depths of the human personality, and only then they are transferred to the existing world order. If suddenly the manifested being appears before the face of the individual in an unsightly, repulsive form, in this case his goal is to preserve in himself the positive that he has managed to accumulate. Some today in despair ask the question: what is left now in the world, what is worth cherishing, what to hope for, what to be for? The philosopher gives the following answer: the most precious thing, a storehouse of inexhaustible possibilities, is a person taken in "true identity" or, in the words of I.N. Sidorov, “non-objectivability, ... non-empirical integrity, represented by the human soul” (Sidorov, 1997). “The spiritual situation today requires a conscious struggle of a person, each person for his true essence. He must resist this struggle or be defeated, and it depends on how confident he is in the basis of his being in the reality of his life,” Karl Jaspers writes.


The main conclusion of the study is the statement of Karl Jaspers and P.A. Florensky that the precondition for the existence of today's world order, taken in depth, is the nature of the human personality and its ability to enter into deep communicative relations with the "Other", which can be difficult in conditions of changing the nature of the communicative situation in the present. The author's contribution to the study of the topic is the analysis of the issue in question in its transposition into modern communicative features. The novelty of the research lies in a detailed analysis of the philosophical reflections of Karl Jaspers and P.A. Florensky regarding this topic and the identification of the importance of the problem of dialogicity as the most important human property in the era of communication transformation.


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Bagaeva, O. N. (2022). The Concept Of Reciprocal Communication And Its Relevance In Modern Communicative Reality. In I. Savchenko (Ed.), Freedom and Responsibility in Pivotal Times, vol 125. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 809-815). European Publisher.