Monday, March 16, 2009

Moral Order or Individualism, Which Determines Social Ontology

The old question of nature versus nurture is being resurrected, of sorts, in coming to understand what makes for social ontology. Social ontology is the study of reality. This interests me and my husband immensely.

The division lies in how one understands how people come to develop, as well as how they come to think, and how they put it all together. The Quadralateral is sometimes useful for understanding different ways of approaching reality, but there are certainly other ways, as well.

The Quadralateral has four components; reason, experience, tradition, and text (texts are usually understood within a tradition's framework). All aspects of the Quadralateral can be viewed from an individual developmental view, or a social/contextual/cultural/traditional view.

The individual view is based on Enlightenment principles of reason and moral order, while the social view emphasizes social/cultural/tradition and political history view, which emphasizes the individual within context. Whether one believes in an innate nature or the importance and impact of nurture within the different social units of society, both are important aspects of "being" in the world and a development of understanding (hermenuetic) of "reality" in the world.

We cannot understand, or judge from our own perspectives, which apart from the difference of understanding the social contexts themselves, are also, individually understood, depending on one's personality, gifting, and "idiosyncresies".

I want to read and study further along this line of understanding, as it is interdisciplinary in nature and it would complement my husband's "coming to terms" with faith.

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