ATENÇÃO: NÃO É PARA DISCUTIR E SIM PARA TRADUZIR. MENCIONE O PEDAÇO (OU OS PEDAÇOS) QUE VOCÊ TRADUZIU E PUBLIQUE A TRADUÇÃO NO CAMPO DE COMENTÁRIOS.
FP — How do you establish the connection between meaning and power? How does that connect actually?
FC — As I said, meaning is a label for a whole range of phenomena. Over the time that I wrote my manuscript, that perspective had different labels. I started calling it "purpose," then I called it "consciousness and culture," and finally I settled on "meaning." It's a very important term in cognitive science. People talk about the hermeneutic dimension of cognitive science. Social Scientists like Habermas or Giddens talk a lot about meaning.
Now, the key to this whole domain that I labeled with "meaning" is the ability of human consciousness to form mental images. That to me is the key. If I am able to form a mental image of something that either does not exist, or doesn't exist yet, or is not here at the moment, I can say: this is what I want, and I am going to work toward it. So, the whole idea of purpose is based crucially on our ability to form mental images: strategies, plan, all that.
Moreover, I can hold in my mind two or more alternative mental images, and I can say: “There are two different possibilities, and I prefer one over the other.” This is where values come in. They are based on the ability to make a choice between different mental images. And as soon as you have values, you'll have conflict. Indeed, you cannot deal with social systems in a significant way if you don't deal with conflicts. Power, then, is the way to resolve conflicts. It's not necessarily power in terms of domination or force. It can also be power in terms of incentives or persuasion or charisma. All these are forms of power. Power is a way of resolving conflicts. In any community, there will necessarily be conflicts, and the community as a whole will encounter situations in which it will have to decide to do either one thing or another. Since time immemorial, communities have given power to certain individuals, based on certain qualifications, to make these decisions for the community. In more complex communities and societies, this power becomes institutionalized, so that you have institutional structures that are very often hierarchies of power. For instance, in a company the organizational hierarchy is a hierarchy of power with certain rules of behavior — who reports to whom, who is responsible for what decision, and so on. This structure is formed not so much because people like power (although this is also true), but because it is an effective way of dividing tasks and labor, so that the company as a whole can act in an effective way.