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Le cœur et la raison selon Rosaldo
Emergence de l'anthropologie des émotions

Séminaire du Jeudi 19 janvier 2017

Emotion (en anglais) = affectivité

Le cœur et la raison, l'affectivité et la pensée rationnelle, c'est une dichotomie spécifique de l'idéologie occidentale, qui se présente aussi chez George Herbert Mead en 1934 (Mind, Self and Society) et chez Marcel Mauss en 1938 (La notion de personne) sous la forme d'une polarité entre la personne sociale dans ses jeux de rôles et l'individu privé dans son intimité. Cette dichotomie justifiait, jusqu'aux années 1980, l'exclusion de l'affectivité du champ de l'anthropologie et de la sociologie, qui n'étudiaient que le système des attitudes (familiarité et tendresse vs. humilité et respect, dans l'avunculat par exemple) et le jeu des physionomies (face work de Goffman) gouvernés par des règles sociales. Comparer avec la linguistique de Saussure à la même époque, excluant la parole pour se limiter à l'étude de la langue.

Une ontologie moniste chez les Ilongot

Tirant les conclusions d'une découverte ethnographique aux Philippines, Michelle Rosaldo rompt avec cette dichotomie. Rupture fondatrice qui rend possible une anthropologie de l'affectivité.

Michelle Z. Rosaldo, Toward an anthropology of self and feeling, in Richard A. Shweder and Robert A. LeVine, Eds., Culture Theory. Essays on Mind, Self, and Emotion, Cambridge, CUP, 1984, pp.137–157. Spécialement, p.145:

“Anthropologists, following such diverse thinkers as the Frenchman Marcel Mauss [1938] and the American G. H. Mead [1934] have held to a distinction between the "me" and "I" — between the social person characterized by ideas about the body, soul, or role and a more intimate and private self. Thus, Meyer Fortes [Oedipus and Job, 1959] has taken pains to show that African peoples typically enjoy vocabularies for talking first about "the person" as described for kinsmen, courts, or cures and, then again, about the "individual" who enjoys a "destiny" that is hers or his alone. (…)

Ilongots see the rinawa or "heart" as something that responds and acts within the world, but also claim that actions of the "heart" are often hidden, inexplicable, opaque, autonomous. The Ilongot notion of the "heart" would then — to Fortes — be a token of the individuated self that is but masked, presented, staged in public life.

/146/ In challenging this standard view, I would not claim that Ilongot individuals do not exist. Rather, I want to argue that an analytic framework that equates "self/individual" with such things as spontaneity, genuine feeling, privacy, uniqueness, constancy, the inner life, and then opposes these to the "persons" or "personae" shaped by mask, role, rule, or context, is a reflection of dichotomies that constitute the modern Western self. And in this case "our" distinctions prove misleading as a frame on which to hang Ilongot constructs.”

Les Ilongot des Philippines n'opposent pas le rinawa à une autre instance mentale qui serait le principe des actions rationnelles. Dans l'ontologie Ilongot — mais je commets un anachronisme en employant le mot ontologie — il n'y a qu'une seule et unique instance de la vie, de la pensée, de la parole et de l'action: le cœur.

Description du cœur chez les Ilongot

1°) Principe de vie, de volonté, de conscience et d'action

(36) For Ilongots, ' heart' is at once a physical organ, a source of action and awareness [la conscience], and a locus of vitality and will. It provides a ground that links thought, feeling, and physical well-being, and ties natural and social processes to the development of the self. In different contexts, 'heart' can be equated with words for 'life' (biay) , for 'shade' /37/ or 'spirit' (bēteng), for 'breath' (niyek) , ' knowledge' (bēya) , and 'thought' (nemnem). Minimally, the 'heart' is a vital organ that animates the body; without it, there is no life.

2°) Le cœur humain, parce qu'il pense, a des émotions

(37) Heart as bēteng, as something that can leave the living body, is an aspect not only of human persons, but also of animals and plants. But if, possessing bēteng, humans are related to inanimate life in nature, the 'hearts' of humans also 'think' (nemnem) and 'move' ('enu'nu) with conscious 'breath' (niyek). Ilongots say 'You have no breath' to indicate either ignorance or exhaustion; and they speak of the 'flow' or 'coursings' (kurut) of the 'breath' or 'heart' when alluding to depths of feeling and supposedly hidden thoughts. To be a man 'of breath' ('uniyek) is furthermore to be a man of liget — a word suggesting 'energy, anger, passion,' which is related to a variety of physical processes realized in people as enthusiasm, agitation, passivity, and violent action, and as motion or stillness, opening or closing, splitting, spinning, rising, /38/ or falling of the heart. These motions of the heart are our emotions; and just as, according to my informants, people's beteng do not differ, so the dynamics of human feelings, although they may vary in their intensity, are similar, no matter one's personality or situation in life.

3°) Ce que dit le cœur est indissolublement parole, pensée et action

(38) Thus, talk of the heart is, much as we would expect, talk of "interior experience," but it is also talk of social life and public situations, describing not unconscious process but such qualities of consciousness as inform the ways that people act. In stories, the heart does not desire, reflect, or otherwise oppose itself to events that stand outside it. Narrators comment, 'My heart said "shoot it," and I shot it'; 'My heart said "he is coming," and he came'; and they do this by way of orientation, describing persons with reference to their 'knowledge' of activity in the world. Because 'knowledge' is associated with speech, thought is always cast as words the heart has spoken.

4°) Homologie entre les émotions et les processus médicaux, agricoles, sociaux et politiques.

(38) Further, as I will suggest below, our 'breaths' are shaped by and similar to processes that extend beyond those we see as determinate of a human personality; the passions are paralleled by processes that bring coherence to a social group, bounty to a rice field, or health to a person who is ill.

(43) Ilongots speak of 'hearts,' then, not to explain behavior by reference to character, motives, or a well-imaged personality, but to indicate those aspects of the self that can be alienated — or engaged — in social interaction. (…) Concerned less with "motivation" than with action, Ilongots are interested in feelings because affective life has consequences for health, cooperation, daily labor, and political debate.

Le cœur, modèle explicatif indigène de la division du travail

Chapitre 4, pp. 99ss. Les femmes cultivent et font cuire le riz, les hommes sont chasseurs. Polarité dans l'espace entre la maison et la forêt:

(103) Women work in cleared spaces, the house, yard, and garden, whereas men cut down trees and engage in construction; men are fishers and hunters, foragers for wild produce who transform the forest to garden and escape to the forest (as a woman escapes to her granary) when noise and dissension disrupt daily life in their homes.

Les femmes ont le cœur dispersé, les hommes ont le cœur concentré (p.100).

(99) Relations between the sexes are understood by Ilongots in terms of the differences and similarities in men's and women's hearts; and the emotional bents of men and women are, in turn, at once occasioned by and revealed within the kinds of work they do.

(104) Wadeng, in an interview, remarked that women's work is repetitive and 'thorough,' 'vague' (sawasawa) and unfocused, 'like their hearts'; he contrasted the style of women's work in their gardens with the 'decisive' (tu'meg) and quick-moving efforts of men on a hunt.

Invocations aux cœurs de riz dans les jardins

Michelle Rosaldo s'inspire de la pragmatique — la linguistique des actes de parole — pour interpréter les catégories de pensée Ilongot. Voici un exemple de sa méthode d'interprétation. Il s'agit des emplois du mot rinawa (cœur) dans le contexte de la culture sèche du riz. Iconicité du mot rinawa quand les femmes lancent des magic spells aux cœurs de riz [rice hearts] (p.109).

Cf. Glossary, p. 251: rinawa "heart, to will, want, take to heart"

tu 'emina sinanem 'amunga si rinawa ten 'embiray, nu makpit pu 'awan pu rinawatu

"All cultigens seem, in a sense, to have hearts, because they are alive, but when they dry up, they have no more heart."

Le rinawa du grain de riz, c'est sa fécondité, sa vitalité.