[1]This is a significant revision of the first edition. It consists mainly of an expansion of the footnotes and of the list of references in order to better support the arguments, and for purposes of self-study. It consists also of a restructuration with some refinement of the introduction and conclusions. A subject word-index and a new appendix (III) have been added while the earlier appendix III is now numbered as appendix IV. I wish to thank my colleagues and graduate students, in particular Erik Stolterman, Åke Grönlund, Torbjörn Nordström and Anna Croon, for some criticism which I have in part tried to meet in this edition.

[2]See Ivanov (1972, chaps. 4-5, pp. 4.33 ff), the basic model of quality, summarized in later publications (1986, pp. 47ff; 1987a; 1987b). The basic model was adapted by Ehn (1973) and used as the original frame of the model for participation and negotiations based on union involvement in information systems development. This model was, in turn, taken up later by Mathiassen (1982, 2nd ed., p. 137, fig 6.7), where the original link to my work is effaced, probably because of the fact that the reference was dropped in further uses of Ehn's paper, in making more ideologically explicit the "resource" dimension (Ehn, 1988, pp. 271ff, and esp. 316ff; Ehn, & Sandberg, 1979, p. 34, fig. 2.1). The marxist view saw, for instance, the conditions of production as "objective". I objected, however, that the explication or determination of resources throws us, paradoxically and recursively, into the need of having an "information system" for such a purpose. The recursivity towards "fundamental assumptions" cannot be done away with the help of ideology or secular philosophizing. The concept of quality of information (systems) - as a link to Churchman's and Singer's work (references given later) - includes also the basic idea of (co) constructiveness as it appears in later ideas of constructive systems development (Forsgren, 1988a, pp. 51ff, 125ff, 142ff, 168ff, English summary on p. 177, esp. the 4th strategy of "computer application". Page refs. to the first printing).

[3]The criticism, later in this paper, against constructivism, post-modernism, marxism, language approaches, phenomenology, existentialism, etc. should not be associated to particular authors who just happen to use these words. In contrast to Churchman's systems approach which I have explicitly espoused, or to the tenets and dogmas of Christianity, to paraphrase what D'Arcy writes in chap. 4.9 below, it is difficult to dissipate what may be wrong in those views, to puncture nebulous beliefs; for they are everywhere and nowhere. There is a chaotically evolving literature in all -isms, out of which some "latest book" which has not yet been read, can be adduced as a rebuttal, or wholesale dismissal of whatever is said. Concerning, for instance, constructivism I have touched upon some sources of its different conceptions in an earlier essay (Ivanov, 1991b, pp. 18-25).

[4]See Bok (1982, esp. pp. 46-47, 76-77, 157-168, 266-270), and Woolridge (1992). The ongoing trends deserve their own new book on the top of all what has been already written. See e.g. Ivanov (1984a) on basic research, applied science, business economics, and engineering science. Ivanov (1985) includes an extensive bibliography at the end of the book.

[5]Ivanov (1991a) introduces in an appendix the structure of unpublished manuscripts of work under way. I say approaches instead of perspectives or views, because I do not approve of the "postmodern" sense in which the word perspective is sometimes used in research nowadays. In my understanding perspectives could mean for example apperception, a-priori, Weltanschauung, or elements of a "Singerian" sweeping-in process, (Churchman, 1971), but not any subjective unarticulated relativizing "opinion". By opinion here I mean e.g. a viewpoint or whatever assumed "feeling", intermingled with wishes, wills, perceptions, personality factors, or whatever, in the wishful belief that one can bootstrap oneself above e.g. psychological theories and above intellect. Concerning perspectives and perspectivism see also Ivanov (1991b, esp. pp. 35, 50n, 54, 72), and Reichmann (1992, pp. 62, 78, 225, 252, 258), (1993, pp. 85, 129, 280, 286, 298f, 303).

Concerning the aesthetical approach to meaning of information technology, cf. "computer programming as a branch of cinema" (Linderholm, 1991). It has also been pointed out, for example, that comparisons can be made between postmodern architect Ricardo Bofill's buildings and Bill Atkinson's programs such as MacPaint and HyperCard (Thackara, 1988). I have already been trying to identify some basic ethical problems which are ingrained in a postmodern "hypertext" programming style (Forsgren, & Ivanov, 1990). My contribution was paramount for my motivation to refine the idea of HyperSystems (Ivanov, 1993).

[6]This stands in a paradoxical contrast to more recent tendencies which attempt to rediscover some of the more refined aspects of the dialectical social systems approach under new labels such as "situated actions", "activity theory", "action regulation theory", or "contextual design". An example is Oesterreich's and Volpert's work in action regulation (Oesterreich, & Volpert, 1986).

[7]In particular, this trend effaced the distinction between the concepts of tool and of instrument (in the same spirit as of the philosopher of science G. Bachelard), as they might be applied to the computer. (Ivanov, 1988, pp. 98f). I thank Kenneth Nilsson for having called my attention upon Bachelard's work.

[8]In an earlier work (1991b, p. 81n) I summarized in an extense footnote a representative and problematic standpoint asking us to keep faithful to the "emancipatory ideal" inherited from the Enlightenment and represented today by the trade unions, a belief in progress, work, and democratic rationality. I could not refrain from stating that to this I feel seriously tempted to add "Amen", in the original and legitimate sense of the word.

[9]Which are the envisaged stable values will be clarified in the course of the text. They are the Christian values which eventually became summarized in so called human rights, and became, further, reduced to matters of power. Since a common tactics against conservatism is to equate it to denigrated "fundamentalism" I propose as an antidote the reference to a reader's letter "A fundamental error" (Blair, 1993), following a rather careless article (as it is rather common in religious matters) on fundamentalism in The Economist. On fundamentalism, pluralism, and tolerance, see Reichmann (1993, pp. 79f, 85f, 92ff), (1992, p. 256).

[10]"Om också forskningen aldrig förr nått så långt, aldrig till sådana resultat, så har den dock förmått syfta högre, mot betydelsefullare mål." (Lagerkvist, 1959, in the essay "Det besegrade livet", p. 141)

[11]Prof. em. Archie Bahm, whose work unfortunately I could not incorporate in the present essay, impressed me observing (personal communication, November 11th, 1991) that it is remarkable that Russian communism and American capitalism are collapsing approximately at the same time in history.

[12]These authors may be related to the "spiritualistic" currents of thought, with names such as Norström in Sweden and Lequier, Renouvier, Ravaisson and Laprune in France, that I had already noted in my earlier struggle for understanding "humanism" (Ivanov, 1991b, p. 14n). See e.g. Schuon (1975; 1986), Burckhardt (1987), Coomaraswamy (1989), Guénon (1946). In a personal communication concerning these latter names (July 1993), James Hillman suggested that most of these latter names could be characterized as "spirit people", as contrasted to "soul people".

[13]Piltz and, in particular, Reichmann, in Sweden , Guénon in France , or Buckley, Bell, C.S. Lewis and D'Arcy in the English speaking world . In Sweden, I would like to point out also Martin Allwood (1988; 1990a; 1990b). His multifarious criticism of present cultural tendencies, and "rowing against the current" seems to express at a somewhat more controversial secular or ecumenic level the same deep discontent - not to say "moral outrage" in Churchman's sense (Churchman, 1982), which lies at the basis of Lindbom's work. Unfortunately I got hold of Reichmann's latest and most relevant books on truth and culture (1992; 1993) too late for using them as a welcome complement to some of Lindbom's works.

Religious and Christian issues have notoriously been considered in the field of physics, a recent example in Sweden being Renard (1989). In contrast to the well known book by Davies (1983, which seems to be well considered among physical scientists), Renard seems to try to relate to Christianity, rather than to a vague concept of divinity. In the field of information systems research itself, to my knowledge, the only one to take up seriously the ethical and religious issue, beyond Churchman (1971) is Donald de Raadt (1991). His work, which I have not had the opportunity to study in depth, relies heavily upon the Dutch philosopher Herman (Hendrik) Dooyeweerd (1958; 1975). The Encyclopedia of Philosophy under "Dutch philosophy" (vol. 1, p. 442), introduces Dooyeweerd as a developer of the Calvinist "philosophy of the idea of law", which denied autonomy to philosophical thinking and sought for the origins of philosophy in the special revelation of God. In my earlier work on humanism for information systems (1991b), I preliminarily surveyed a broader, if not more relevant, range of such type of literature, including Kant's critical friend and forefather of non-secular existentialism, the philosopher Johann Georg Hamann (1967a; 1967b) who influenced e.g. the economist and statistician Eugene Böhler, close to the issues of information systems (Böhler, 1970; Böhler, 1973).

[14]I thank prof. Hernán López-Garay for calling my attention upon Martin C. D'Arcy, and, in general, for encouraging me personally with regard to the importance of these issues, and for inviting me to collaborate beyond his "systemic-interpretive exegesis of planning" (López-Garay, 1993). Unfortunately I was not able to get hold of D'Arcy's work "Humanism and Christianity" (1969) in time for this paper. Probably it would have been even more to the point, than "Belief and Reason". I also thank prof. Heinz Klein for encouraging me by accepting my challenge, and inviting me to try to relate Christian thought to his and Rudy Hirschheim's "rationality of value choices in IS development".

[15]In this context I thank Gunnela Ivanov for her proofreading an intermediate version of the papers, and helping me to decrease the number and gravity of printing errors.

[16]Despite my sharing and endorsing the authors' arguments, this is not to be understood, the less so in a working paper, as my "identification" with the authors in a sort of definitive position, taken on exceedingly complex issues. I estimate that I will consider to have reached maturation in the subjects of this paper whenever I happen to be able to understand or be able to judge the interface between psychology and theology as exposed by James Hillman, and the anthropology of science as exposed by Bruno Latour. (Hillman, 1985; Latour, 1990) (I thank prof. Guje Sevón for calling my attention upon Latour.) I relate these kinds of works to current socio-psychological patterns of participatory cooperative argumentative change of behavior.

Ultimately, however, my (decreasing) doubt may be a sign of cowardice, as D'Arcy suggests in his work surveyed in this paper. The remarkable difficulty I find in grasping (the exciting!) papers by Hillman and Latour reminds me of the difficulties in reading Heidegger. It may be time to leap over doubt in D'Arcy's sense, by considering dogma in its meaning of bridge between legitimate doubt and legitimate belief in Jung's sense: "The fact that a dogma is on the one hand believed and on the other hand is an object of thought is proof of its vitality" (Jung, 1953-1979, CW11, "A psychological approach to the dogma of the Trinity", [[section]] 170). Jung's thought, originally influenced by the pragmatism of William James, leads much farther beyond C.S. Peirce's conceptions of"The fixation of belief" (Peirce, 1877).

The flavour of Peirce's dispiriting and oversimplified conception of the problem, foreshadows the reasons for the later criticism of pragmatism in this paper. It is exemplified by his comparing doubt to "whatever other stimulus", and the satisfaction (belief) of the curiosity in doubt to the satisfaction of physiological hunger: "doubt implies mainly a struggle to escape from it". (ibid. p. 66n, my retrans.) So much for the love of truth whose problematic erotic undertones Peirce himself felt but did not seem to understand, and consequently hesitated in expressing (1877, p. 84). Peirce's pathos comes most probably from his perceiving the "ethics of logic" (Geach, 1991, cf. D'Arcy, in this paper, chap. 4.10), combined with his avowed failure to relate it to aesthetics and religion (Ivanov, 1991b, p. 43). I thank E.Stolterman for calling my attention upon this paper by Peirce in a volume I had already used (ibid.). Cf. a later footnote with reference to W. James' "The will to believe".

[17]Please observe - as I already noted elsewhere, how the fragmentation can also have as object the concept of truth itself. Truth gets bowdlerized by means of encasement in the boxes of smart taxonomies. In the tradition of critical social theory and radical humanism, for instance, the approach to requirements specification is conceived in terms of not less than nine "effectiveness measures". They arise from a prior taxonomy of three "object systems" classes - technology, language, and organization, and four "action type classes" - instrumental, strategic, communicative and discursive (Lyytinen, Klein, & Hirschheim, 1991, p. 50ff). After such a mind-blowing "Aristotelian" exercise it will be very hard for the critical social theorist to sense, for instance, the political import of different kinds of truths relabeled "criteria of validity claims" such as clarity, truthfulness, correctness and appropriateness, or correspondence of depiction, sincerity, intelligibility, correctness (ibid. pp. 46, 53). I can imagine somebody sacrificing his life - like a hero or a martyr - for truth, but not for one among nine criteria of validity claims.

[18]My translation of "Problemet, d.v.s. uppgiften, är att klargöra verkligheten genom sanningen, medan sanningen aflägsnar sig från verkligheten". Swedish readers who wish to follow the details of Norströms argument may see, passim, esp. pp. 114, 136, 156-8, 162-5.

[19]This is done, in the best case, with emphasis on "democratic power", and "empowerment". This is still not exactly the case I know of a young ambitious consultant to the trade unions in matters of information systems, who came to visit a professor at the university. This consultant confessed initially to neither expect nor need to gain any particularly valuable knowledge or insight at the university. What was wanted was, rather, to convert the work already done into a Ph.D. dissertation. The academic prestigious legitimation by the academic establishment of the work already done would facilitate the candidate graduate student's continued struggle for winning influence on systems development, on behalf of the workers. Cf. the "partisan approach" in the taxonomy by Hirschheim & Klein (1989), to which they attempt to contrast "radical humanism".

[20] Cf. key words such as equality, participatory influence or co-determination, and client-centering. Cf. a later footnote on power in pragmatism, and the pragmatist account of power and the good in Ivanov (1991b, p. 43): The "making of truth" is conceived as making for greater satisfaction and greater control of experience. It renders the truth of any time relative to the knowledge of the time, and precludes the notion of any rigid, static or incorrigible truth. Thus truth is continually being made and re-made. To this process there is no actual end, but an "absolute" truth (or system of truths) would be a truth which would be adequate to every purpose.

[21] Cf. Ivanov (1991b, chap. on "Cooperative work: examples of problems", pp. 55ff, esp. p. 70). Compare with Reichmann (1993, p. 286).

[22]Cf "The ability to conquer nature is also the ability to destroy man. And of all the forces of destruction none is more powerful than that which claims that the method and knowledge and social organization by which man achieves the conquest of nature are themselves no part of the values and ideals by which he may conquer human irrationality. The social conditions under which man today conquers nature makes possible not man's conquest of himself, but the conquest of man by other men. Instead of universalizing, these social conditions particularize; and in politics this results in squabbles over who shall conquer whom. Man's destiny becomes synonymous with narrowing his allegiances, and in its highest political reaches results in allegiance to nothing but power itself. Since no agreement as to ends was initially possible, it should occasion no surprise that no general end was achieved." (Simpson, 1951)

[23]The Swedish reader can follow the insightful discussion of tradition by Rolf (1991, pp.129ff). Further: democracy itself can, at its best, be a tradition. But then this pushes us back towards religious issues as they seem to be implied in a recent work on civic traditions in modern Italy: civicness is almost impossible to create where it does not already exist. Anonymous (1993b) on Putnam (1993). Cf. at the beginning of chap. 3.9. of this paper: "No love, and no community animated by love, can be born from this egoism, for love exists already, as well as community, and that because we are all children of the same Father". This would mean that "The General Will" is collective egoism if it does not square up with God' s will in the theological sense of the word, and no democracy can come out of it.

[24]Cf.: "Once we can abandon the primary delusion of subjective rational superiority - the supposedly normal perspective of normal ego psychology - and its addiction to meaning as relation to subjectivity, we begin to find ourselves living familiarly, daily, in the mercurial, unwilled, irrational of otherness; the whole world religious, revelation so continuous and hiddenness so present that these terms become redundant." (Hillman, 1985, p. 314)

[25]Please note how Churchman apparently nearly misses the point when he picks up this thread in "The systems approach and its enemies" (1979, pp. 136ff). After quoting a text on power, by Singer, he comments: "The word 'power' in this passage is rather unfortunate, because the meaning of the term has been changing radically in the last few years. To a nineteenth century mind (and a part of Singer was nineteenth century) there could be nothing wrong with each individual having more power, because it meant that he had an increased ability to cope with life and its environment, and, in particular, to aid his fellow man" [my emphasis]. But what about this being a particular problem of, just, the "nineteenth century mind"? Why has the meaning of the term power been changing so radically, and which are the consequences to be drawn from the answer to this question? Is it this kind of problem that lies at the bottom of the apparent inconclusiveness of, at least, Churchman's chapter on "Ethics of the systems approach", and its apparent dissociation from religion? Observe how these concerns become secondary in the aftermaths of Singer and Churchman, as represented by one of Churchman's most illustrious students (Mason, 1986).

[26]Cf. the present lack of interest for the historical debate on the foundations of mathematics as related to the foundations of the embodied mathematical logic of the computer instrument (foundations of computer science and information science). Cf. also the possible opinions on the supposed irrelevance of this essay for applied information systems, and the fuzzy charge of "esoterism" directed against the supposed "ivory tower" of the "old university".

[27]Cf.: "The moving horizon of promised results keeps the image forever young" (Boland, 1987, p. 374). Churchman (1979, cf. s. 169), writing on the pretended gradual progressive "approximation" or construction, criticizes the lack of calibration or adjustment to something corresponding to an objective "true value".

[28]Cf Bourdil (1989, chap. 82ff, chap. 4) on "History idolatrized". Cf. also Lewis' reference to the historical perspective in "screwtape letter" No.25 (Lewis, 1942).

[29]Cf. Habermas's substitution of philosophy of language for Freud, and of Kant for Rousseau. Cf. also later "ecumenic", syncretist or eclectic tendencies in the field of information systems, calling upon Marx, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein. (Ehn, 1988) Lately, syncretist tendencies have appeared under the label of "design". A contextual theory of styles in design of computer artifacts is envisaged, and will be built mainly on the basis of a "repertoire" of paradigmatic examples, in analogy to architecture.

The need of "systematizing" the repertoire of paradigmatic examples and of styles-in-"context" throws us, however, back into the "system"- problem which I started mentioning at the beginning of this paper, leading further to HyperSystems, etc. The idea of repertoire (cf. "toolbox", and the Swedish "smörgåsbord") summons, of course, the problems of pluralism, syncretism, eclecticism and of postmodern constructivism, considered in part at the end of this paper, inluding appendix I. The acceptance of historically defined and legitimated (paradigmatic) classes, or the construction of new classifications or coding schemes, is also, of course, a systems "design" problem (Churchman, 1961, "The teleology of measurement"; Churchman, 1971, chap. 9). Form, structure, and function, which exercise obvious fascination in the field of design can, then, be accomodated in the interplay between morphological, functional, and teleological classes (Churchman, 1971, chap. 3). Choice from a repertoire is (ought to be) a "monistic" aesthetical and ethical issue, and an integral part of the theory itself. In other words: each item of a "repertoire" may have been a life long commitment and struggle on the part of somebody, as often documented in the history of art. Which is, or ought to be, your commitment? What directs your choice or ("Hegelian"?) synthesis of items from the repertoire, or of archetypes from your unconscious, or of "partners to marry"? (Cf. the references to belief and dogma in this paper.)

In this sense it is true that Churchman's classes fall short of the challenge offered by the relation between aesthetics and ethics. But, that was the point of expanding the classes into Hegelian and Singerian inquiring systems (Churchman, 1971, chaps. 7 and 9, esp. pp. 170ff). This raises the issues around Hegel and romanticism, as they were foreshadowed by, e.g., Hamann. So called paradigmatic examples can be, rather, understood in terms of types and jungian archetypes. (Bär, 1976; Hammen, 1981; Philipson, 1963) This hints at the potential importance of "theological aesthetics", to be considered later in this paper, not to mention the importance of theological ethics with which aesthetics should converge. We deal, then, of course, with much more than a supposed "theory of style" seen a "conceptual framework". For an overview of architectural paradigmatic repertoire in terms of historical styles, types and examples, and characteristic features, please see Webster's (1961) under "architecture". For meanings of "systematic" cultural criticism of architecture, "style", etc. see Spengler (1981-1983/1918, esp. vol. 1).

[30]I thank T. Nordström for calling my attention upon the following quotation, by R. Rorty, whom I already had noted as an interesting but problematic representative of modern tendencies in pragmatism (Ivanov, 1991b, pp. 15ff on "History vs. structure - Liberal ironic humanism"). "If we see knowing not as having an essence, to be described by scientists or philosophers, but rather as a right, by current standards, to believe, then we are well on the way to seeing conversation as the ultimate context within which knowledge is to be understood." (Rorty, 1980, p. 389). Please note the mentioning of believing and of current standards. I think that here we may have one main point in "conversation killing" and in the breakdown of debate, possibly turning into psychological breakdown or war under the aegis that there is not time, no money, no trust for debate.

Compare, further, this approach at its extreme with Reichmann's reference to certain modern poetry which assumes that the reader will give meaning to nearly meaningless poems through a process of co-creation. (Reichmann, 1993, pp. 150f) Analog thoughts on the cooperative construction of discourse have fascinated some researchers in computer supported cooperative work (CSCW). Cf. with the classical psychiatric case of Schreber where "jesting ambiguity appears significantly in what Schreber calls 'the system of not-finishing-a-sentence' 'unfinished ideas, or only fragments of ideas' which 'became more and more prevalent in the course of years'" as quoted by Hillman (1985, p. 291).

I agree with Reichmann that the mentioned poetry (and analog postmodern science) ultimately implies an attempt to systematize meaninglessness. Such a mind-blowing attempt overlaps with what I contributed to criticize in hypertext, with implications for interactive hypermedia principles (Forsgren, et al., 1990). Alternatively it can be seen as an intuitive vulgar recall of principles of psychological projective instruments like the Rorschach test.

Cf. also Hillman's opening of deeper interpretation of possibly legitimate meanings of behavioral patterns which, in me, recall postmodernism (1985, pp. 307ff, 316ff). To the extent that (post-) modernism is the era of artificiality, please see an original depth-psychological conception of the (constructive) striving for the artificial of the artifacts, by Rossi (1992), associated to the work of the IMES group led by M. Negrotti at the university of Urbino (1991). For an insightful discussion of the aesthetical dimension - artistic representation - in this same context of artificiality and in the tradition of the sociology of art, see Bertasio (1993).

[31]Cf. the typical accusation that the discussion becomes "too philosophical" and inhibits conversation, and should be more "pragmatic". Churchman (1982, p. 57), touches upon this issue in a problematic way, in terms of "conversation killers". The idea is being further developed by Nordström (1990). What is problematic is that Churchman apparently does not envisage this type of conversation killing, possibly and paradoxically because he leans towards seeing ethics in terms of "eternal conversation" without exploring the content and presuppositions of the conversation, as for instance Apel and Habermas, in part, do. (Churchman, 1979, p. 118, cf.,. further, Ulrich's comments on Churchman's systems theory in the appendix II to this paper; Churchman, 1982, p. 57). I see this very questionable view of ethics where "human" values are regarded as "neither relative nor absolute", as an Enlightenment ethics without beliefs and without dogmas, but with a dogmatic belief in the goddess of (undefined) "Reason". Very rightly so, the acknowledged "hopelessness" of the enterprise (Churchman, 1982, p. 57), in a framework which has no legitimate place for hope, opens unintentionally the doors to the relativism (and the consequent utilitarian consultancy's misuses of his work) that Churchman himself explicitly and "heroically" tries to reject. I think that it is a document of the author's "Kantian" difficulties in integrating religion and religious faith in his work, at least up to the end of the eighties.

[32]Observe that the non-separability of sub-systems allows for their existing as distinct entities, which, however, relate to each other. (Churchman, 1971, chap. 3.) Cf. further:

"For the mother's dependent son, all is infinite, endless, with no boundaries, like clouds or open water; all is possible, all mergings and identities...". Robert Bly (Bly, Hillman, & Meade, 1993, p.261)

[33]Cf. Hillman who writes (Bly, et al., 1993, p. 269):

The missing father is not your or my personal father. He is the absent father of our culture, the viable senex who provides not daily bread but spirit through meaning and order. The missing father is the dead God who offered a focus for spiritual things. Without this focus, we turn to dreams and oracles, rather than to prayer, code, tradition, and ritual. When mother replaces father, magic substitutes for logos, and son-priests contaminate the puer spirit.

Unable to go backward to revive the dead father of tradition, we go downward into the mothers of the collective unconscious, seeking an all-embracing comprehension. We ask for help in getting through the narrow straits without harm; the son wants invulnerability. Grant us protection, foreknowledge; cherish us. Our prayer is to the night of dream, to a love for understanding, to a little rite or exercise for a moment of wisdom. Above all we want assurance through a vision beforehand that it will all come out all right.

Without the father we lose also that capacity which the Church recognized as "discrimination of the spirits": the ability to know a call when we hear one and to discriminate between the voices...

The mother encourages her son: go ahead, embrace it all. For her, all equals everything. The father's instruction, on the contrary, is all equals nothing - unless the all be precisely discriminated.

[34]An understandable paradox is that the imperfection of the world can very well be acknowledged, when such an acknowledgment can work as an alibi for double morals. This means that one readies oneself to give up "virtue" whenever one is confronted with power, or has to choose between truth and utility, e.g. in a consultancy situation. The apparently wise, and patronizing, motto can then be for instance "Life is a compromise". For an in-depth discussion of the problem of suffering when there is no "compromise", the Swedish reader can refer to Reichmann (1988) and compare with the rationale of social reforms, rationalizations or "re-engineering" of institutions, attitudes towards death, etc.

[35]Ivanov (1986, pp. 75 and 133) treats the question in terms of "solidarity". As also observed in a later footnote, the Swedish reader may compare the treatment of solidarity with Reichmann's consideration of the issue ("client-centering"?) in terms of the Samaritan, in Luke 10:29ff (Reichmann, 1993, pp. 269-277). Concerning Swedish historical examples of massive national moral-ideological catastrophes decurring from a defective understanding of these issues, in terms of Gunnar and Alva Myrdal's pioneer "social-democratic" thinking on evolutionistic prophylactic racial hygiene in Swedish population politics, see Ivanov (1986, pp. 145ff) with reference to Myrdal, G. & A. (1934, pp. 217-229, 286ff, 300-301).

[36]Cf. the discussion of rule of law as related to equity and equality by Ivanov (1986, pp. 74-76, but also, about equality, on pp. 46ff, 58f, 101, 104, 120f, 131ff, 139).

[37]Cf. also Reichmann (1993, pp. 105f, 282ff) and the problem of morality as negotiation, conversation, or debate (ibid. pp. 44, 80-85, 93ff, 126, 130, 150, 293ff, including "client centering", the "debate industry", and the "debate machine") (Reichmann, 1992, pp. 18, 29, 53f, 256f). The importance of trust in empirical economic reality has been richly illustrated not the least in the context of historical scandal bankruptcies such as the one associated with Ivar Kreuger (Thunholm, 1991). More recently we have the scandalous business events associated in mass media with the names of Robert Maxwell and Armand Hammer. In business economics the issue of trust has been studied in secular terms, e.g. in Sweden, by prof. Sten Jönsson and others at the Gothenburg School of Economics (Jönsson, & Sollie, 1993), and Lars Huemer at Umeå University (Huemer, 1993).

What does not seem to be appreciated is that the same issue of trust, and the same scandalous events, which seldom end up being disclosed in scandals, are relevant in the context of the university and in scientific research. This is the more so concerning the fuzzy performance of software projects and information systems, coming close to the legendary "emperor's new clothes". This kind of reality was obviously well acknowledged in the psychodynamics of the Tavistock tradition (Bion, 1961; Turner, & Giles, 1981). It would be sensational if ongoing research on participatory design and computer supported cooperative work believed to be able to dispense of such knowledge. Mike Robinson (1984, pp. 11ff) surveys cursorily and evaluates Bion's work noting (p. 14) what I consider the key problem: "the object of truth apart from the group itself". Cf. with a later note with reference to C. Lasch about client-centered therapy.

Consider, further: "The entire humanistic, secular approach to therapy will be experienced by the patient as the workings of the anti-Christ, because it wilfully ignores, and attempts to subdue, the noetic, spiritual quality of the revelations. We can draw the lesson for our times and our own work that attempts at humanizing patients through group therapy and feeling encounters will miss the mark so long as these measures do not at the same time recognize what the delusions themselves state: people are not merely people, humans not merely humans; bodies are also embodiements, disclosing in their characteristics and looks archetypal presentations of spirit. An individual human person is also always the bearer of eternal verities that non-secular, non-agnostic psychology perceives as daimones or spirits. (Hillman, 1985, p. 280, with implications for constructive cooperative work, and for understanding resentment.)

Please observe, finally, that lack of trust undermines reliance on "roles" or "social actors" as often found in theorizing in information systems research, since these sociological concepts rest upon meaningful expectations. Recovery of "democratic - cooperative - constructive" trust may have much to do with recovery from paranoid delusions - seen as matter of degree - which work as killers of conversations or debates: "Recovery means recovering the divine from within the disorder, seeing that its content is authentically religious" (Hillman, 1985, p. 278, see also about God's "infidelity" as source of secular jealousy and of humanism, "divinizing the other person", p. 294.)

[38]Cf. theological aesthetics (Berdiaev, 1990; Sherry, 1992; Sherry, 1993).

[39] Cf. Ivanov's reference to Maurice Blondel's critique of relativism (Ivanov, 1991b, p. 35f, in the chapter on "Psychological humanism").

[40]Cf. Lewis (1988, pp. 110-123, "The funeral of a great myth), and observe the possible implications for auto-poiesis.

[41]Cf. the earlier denouncement of sentimentalism by Lindbom. Despite the distantness of dialectical social systems theory from its original pragmatist and empirical-idealist basis, I have had lately the uncanny intuition that - disregarding most of Churchman's students who seem to turn back to solid good old pragmatism or utilitarianism - it tends towards a sort of sentimental preaching tone. It goes under obviously righteous banners such as "Toward a Just Society for Future Generations" (Churchman, 1990). This was preceded by a long series of interesting and important "Churchman's conversations" concerning mainly science, ethics, and peace (in the journal Systems Research, from its Vol. 1, No. 1, 1984, and continuing for several years). Nevertheless most of these texts appear to me to have been written in the same sort of increasingly sentimental mood which, curiously enough, seldom, if ever, leads beyond Kant, to the kind of issues or of literature considered in this paper. I attempted to formulate some of the perceived problems (Ivanov, 1990b). They contributed to my focusing on the meaning of "humanism" and, further, on this paper. My personal hypothesis is that this possibly sentimental turn in Churchman's work is contingent to what I characterized in an earlier footnote as his failure to integrate religion to ethics and aesthetics, at least until the end of the eighties.

[42]I understand, especially from Kant's writings about religion (Kant, 1989), that this must be one of the Kant-inspired secular Enlightenment's main tenets. Cf. the secular organizations AA's and Al-Anon's first step, of the "ten steps" for change (a so cherished concept in both postmodern family politics, crisis management, and systems development), formulated mainly out of practical modern experiences in coping with, and rehabilitating from alcoholism and drugs: "We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable" (Anonymous, 1981, p. 3, 7ff). Further: "When our eyes and ears and hearts were opened, we could free ourselves from our rigid determination to have things the way we wanted them." And the 2nd and 3rd steps: "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity", and "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.".

[43]Cf, again, with modern approaches of communicative action and rational argumentation, theories of design emphasising the ethical "choice" of the designer (Stolterman, 1991), and Tage Lindbom's distinction between virtue and morals in the excerpts included in this essay. Cf. also Hirshheim & Klein's rendering of Kant's definition of human interest as "a cause determining the will". (Hirschheim, et al., 1989) This discussion is relevant for the belief that communicative action and rational argumentation will eventually or at least periodically lead to a meaningful, true and good consensus. Besides my own efforts, a few research peers are presently struggling with these issues, and I have already expressed my gratitude for their encouragement and invitation to cooperate in this ethical - religious quest: López-Garay (1993), Klein & Hirschheim (1992), Werner Ulrich's ( his contribution to this paper of mine, appendix II), and de Raadt (1991).

[44]Regarding ego-inflation, cf Jung (1953-1979, in CW7 [[section]][[section]] 221-265 and 374-407, CW9 II [[section]][[section]] 43-67, CW10 [[section]][[section]] 431-721, CW17 [[section]][[section]] 230-252.) Please, cf., further, the appendix III to this paper. Because of the functions of the ego in mathematics, formal science, and in the "directed thinking" of technology, it seems that the field of information technology attracts gifted ego-inflated people. It would be consistent with the remarkable psychologizing speculations and preposterous claims which have characterized many writings on "artificial intelligence" - AI.

The possible offence caused by this paper of mine, disregarding the obvious influence of shortcomings in my own insights, modesty, sensitivity and diplomatic "social competence", may, however, be a product of ego inflation in the broad sense of the word. By this I mean the offended people's, and my own, difficulty of taking care of the feelings of aggressivity and guilt raised by the text, contrasted with the subjective self-righteous feelings of doing "one's best" and of having that which Lindbom names "good intentions". In other words: "Why should I be criticized when there are so many others who - in such case - are much guiltier than I am?". This would be the result of what Lindbom covers under the discussion of secularized man's negation of the imperfection of this world in general, and of our own sinful nature in particular. This is, in turn, related to what he calls "the socialization of self-pity" and, further, to self-righteousness and sentimentalism. I may have, of course, sinned myself in this paper by not giving more emphasis to my own shortcomings.

[45]The claim that this is not necessary since we have been created in the image of God in order to take care of this world autonomously, without asking Him for administrative daily details. This incurs, however, in Linbom's criticism of William Occam's separatism, (Lindbom, 1970, please see the separate appendix IV, in Swedish.) It is symptomatic to note that pioneers who care, like Churchman or Varela, do not shrink from acknowledging the need to dig into their fundamental assumptions, also called the guarantor's problem. Autopoiesis, for instance, acknowledges the links of its "powerful and informative methaphor" to Buddhism, rather than to Christianity. (Whitaker, 1992, pp. 83n, 106n, symptomatically in footnotes.) I myself, too, had identified the Buddhist ethical anchoring of autopoiesis in its linkages to European phenomenology (Varela, 1992, esp. chap. 2 on "ethical competence"). One main question in this paper, then, is which are our fundamental assumptions, and what difference do they make in our conception of making science, and in daily work?

[46]The reader who feels disturbed by the feeling that the works chosen for review in this paper are rather "odd", may wish to relate them to other which are, in a way, more conventional. First of all Buckley's "At the Origins of Modern Atheism" (1987), and D'Arcy's more focused work "Humanism and Christianity" (1971) which I got hold of too late for using it in this paper. The latter can be a good substitute for "Belief and Reason". Secondly, the Swedish reader may wish to consult the work of the physician and medical researcher Sven Reichmann (1992; 1993), but also of an established scholar, a historian working in the field of "history of ideas", like Svante Nordin (1989). In his extensive survey which culminates with thoughts that are consistent with the works and conclusions presented in this paper (pp. 174ff), he indicates that these works are close to central historical names such as, for instance, Ernst Troeltsch (as a better alternative, I noted in my book from 1986, to Max Weber) and, possibly, Leopold von Ranke (ibid., pp. 29, 73ff). I agree with Nordin's observations about the character of "Nietzschean" postmodern tendencies, and I have identified them as such in earlier works (1991b; 1993). In particular, I agreed about the similarity between the rhetorical aestheticism of American cybernetic constructivism found in academia, and European postmodernism seen as constructivism in its cultural practical guise. (1993, chap. on "Other directions for educational systems design"). Finally, I also agree with Nordin's concluding references to "the apocalyptic view of history" (Nordin, 1989, pp. 181f), probably on the base of Klaus Vondung Die deutsche Apokalypse (1988), even if I feel that Nordin has not had the courage to take the final leap which could bring him in consonance with D'Arcy and Lindbom.

[47]Niebuhr, H.R. The meaning of revelation (New York: MacMillan, 1960, first publ. 1941, p. 69) as quoted by Hillman (1985, p. 274), who also quotes (p. 286) Karl Jaspers definition (Jaspers, 1967, p. 27, 21), "Revelation...is the premise of all reasoning...The understanding of original revelation is what we call theology". Cf. the earlier footnotes on the meaning of dogma.

[48]In Sancho Panza's Windmills, 1979, p. 127f, surveyed in the Swedish supplement to the present paper. To the English-reading reader may suffice a reference to Carl Jung's concept of "directed thinking" (Jung, 1953-1979, CW5, [[section]][[section]]4-46). In an earlier work I coined the expression "don juan - syndrome" when describing the meaning of this deviation of surplus energy into restless activism, and into certain kinds of aestheticism including "rhetorics". (Ivanov, 1986, p. 135; Ivanov, 1991b, p. 35, the reference, mentioned in an earlier footnote, to Blondel, 1973, p. 9f.). My early (1986) observation that the don juan - syndrome, beyond legitimate Jungian "extroversion", is psychologically close to the clinically defined "borderline" psychotic states of e.g. "pathological narcissism", is reinforced by Reichmann's recent work, in its focus on "desperation and dialectics" (Reichmann, 1993, pp. 122-132, 283f). In accord with a clinical psychologist like Sass (Sass, 1992), he sees there great similarities with all the endless debates which surround us, where outlooks or views are contrasted to other views. Cf. the possible motives for preference for "open" debates in contrast with supposedly "gloomy" monological systemic argumentation. Please refer, further, to the earlier footnote concerning co-creating poetry, and to literature on "kitsch science" (Montgomery, 1991). The Swedish reader may compare with the severe attitude of Ellen Key to what seems to be aestheticism (Key, 1903-1906, Livslinjer III: Lyckan och skönheten, part II).

[49]As in part suggested in an earlier paper (Ivanov, 1991b) permeation by a religious spirit may, to a certain extent, be estimated by the degree to which the "theories", or the argumentation, mention and allow space to intellect and reason for attempting to grasp concepts like love and power in their relation to knowledge and truth, will, wisdom, hate, forgiveness, hope, faith, dogma, responsibility, trust, respect, prayer, promise, obligation, righteousness, testimony, courage, temptation, contempt, guilt, sin, vanity, humility, reproach, repentance, honesty, duty, virtue, sacrifice, friendship beyond cooperation, tolerance, suffering, sorrow, evil, death. Towards the end of an earlier essay (Ivanov, 1989) I had, in context, a long quotation from Jung (1953-1979, CW5, [[section]] 113) concerning the importance of the religious spirit in scientific work and directed thinking. I take the liberty of reproducing it because of its relevance, when "exoteric social world" can be substituted for "nature":

"If the flight from the world is successful, man can build an inner, spiritual world which stands firm against the onslaught of sense-impressions. The struggle with the world of senses brought to birth a type of thinking independent of external factors. Man won for himself that sovereignity of the idea which was able to withstand the aesthetic impact, so that thought was no longer fettered by the emotional effects of sense impressions, but could assert itself and even rise, later, to reflection and observation. Man was now in position to enter into a new and independent relationship with nature, to go on building upon the foundations which the classical spirit had laid, and to take up once more the natural link which the Christian retreat from the world had let fall. On this newly-won spiritual level there was forged an alliance with the world and nature which, unlike the old attitude, did not collapse before the magic of external objects, but could regard them in the steady light of reflection. Nevertheless, the attention lavished upon natural objects was infused with something of old religious piety, and something of the old religious ethic communicated itself to scientific truthfulness and honesty. Although at the time of the Renaissance the antique feeling for nature visibly broke through in art and in natural philosophy, and for a while thrust the Christian principle into the background, the newly-won rational and intellectual stability of the human mind nevertheless managed to hold its own and allowed it to penetrate further and further into the depths of nature that earlier ages had hardly suspected. The more successful the penetration and advance of the new scientific spirit proved to be, the more the latter - as is usually the case with the victor - became the prisoner of the world it had conquered. At the beginning of the present century a Christian writer could still regard the modern spirit as a sort of second incarnation of the Logos... It did not take us long to realize that it was less a question of the incarnation of the Logos than of the descent of the Anthropos or Nous into the dark embrace of Physis. The world had not only been deprived of its gods, but had lost its soul. Through the shifting of interest from the inner to the outer world our knowledge of nature was increased a thousandfold in comparison with earlier ages, but knowledge and experience of the inner world were correspondingly reduced."

[50]Please compare, for instance, Whitaker (1992, p. 5n) vs. e.g. Heidegger (1978, on modern science, metaphysics, and mathematics, pp. 243-282). I am also thinking, in particular, of the careful laying of foundations by Hernán López-Garay, Ramsés Fuenmayor, and the group for interpretive systemology at the school of engineering of the University of the Andes, Mérida, Venezuela. An introduction to their work was published in a series of articles in Vol 4, No. 5 (1991) of the journal Systems Practice.

[51]See Lindbom (1970, "Our daily bread" pp. 109-118), possibly appropriate for use, together with Bischofberger & Zaremba (1985), Johannes Paulus II's encyclic "Laborem Exercens" (1981), "Centesimus Annus" (1991), and with surveys like Caprioli (1983), in undergraduate education on work organization which reaches beyond the important, but by now so predictable socialist - democratic message. Please observe also that Ivanov (1986, p. 133f) refers to a discussion (Buttiglione, 1982, pp. 198ff, 224) on the relation between participation, solidarity, opposition, conformism, and alienation. The only source in English language I know for this discussion is Wojtyla (1977).

Since long I am waiting for an opportunity to call the attention of our research on work-organization upon the particular characterization of intellectual work in the Ecclesiastes/Sirach 38:24ff "A scholar's wisdom comes from ample leisure..." (and also 37:7ff concerning consultancy). Cf. also the I Ching (1968, The Book of Changes!) on the relation and transition between the hero and the sage: hexagram No. 1,"The Creative" (p. 9), but also No. 12 "Stagnation" (pp. 53, 448), No. 18 "Decay" (p. 78), No. 24 "Turning point" (p. 505), and No. 33 "Retreat" (p. 130). That certainly does not square up with the conventional wisdom advertised in the last 30 years of socialist divinization of manual work, or with the message of the Chinese cultural revolution, divinized in many mass media during the seventies, or with the insults against the "ivory tower". Today we may be reaping the fruits of our cultural revolution of combined socialist and liberal work-theorizing in the form of liberal ironic client-centering and practical profitable market-orientation of intellectual work, including university research. It is seldom one finds scientists expressing clearly their feeling of outrage for the decay of intellectual work (Chargaff, 1971, p. 641: "That in our days such pygmies throw such giant shadows only shows how late in the day it has become"). In the same spirit of civil courage see also C. Truesdell (1984a; 1984b).

All this material should be contrasted to, and complemented with the theorizing about the nature of cooperative work as found, e.g., in Bannon (1992, chap. 2.2.1), and Robinson (1991). Please observe Robinson writing: "Equality, in the complex sense of sensitivity to feelings, intuitions, and perspectives which are not necessarily articulated, and not usually considered part of the work process at all, is a necessary condition for undertaking and guiding [change of the way people live]". And, quoting L. Suchman, he endorses that "Actual attempts to include the background assumptions of a statement as part of its semantic content...run up against the fact that there is no fixed set of assumptions that underlie a given statement. As a consequence, the elaboration of background assumptions is fundamentally ad hoc and arbitrary, and each elaboration of assumptions in principle introduces further assumptions to be elaborated, ad infinitum.". This illustrates the relations between fundamental presuppositions of work, and the material in this paper.

[52]"Optimism och pessimism är den sekulariserade otrygga människans försök att dölja respektive möta sin inre oro." (Lindbom, 1962, p. 145, my trans.)

[53]Cf. the following: "The question then arises as to the reasonableness of taking one maxim and rejecting the rest. If the remaining maxims have no authority, what is the authority of the one you have selected to retain?.... New moralities can only be contractions or expansions of something already given. And all the specifically modern attempts at new moralities are contractions. They proceed by retaining some traditional precepts and rejecting others: but the only real authority behind those which they retain is the very same authority which they flout in rejecting others.... Those who urge us to adopt new moralities are only offering us the mutilated or expurgated text of a book which we already possess in the original manuscript. They all wish us to depend on them instead of on that original, and then to deprive us of our full humanity. Their activity is in the long run always directed against our freedom." (Lewis, 1988, "On ethics", pp. 74ff)

[54]The Swedish reader may compare this issue with earlier references to solidarity and to Reichmann's treatment of solidarity in terms of the Samaritan, in Luke 10:29ff (Reichmann, 1993, pp. 269-277). In classical Kantian philosophy some of these considerations touch upon the relation between the three critiques, in particular between theoretical and practical reason. The Christian thoughts presented in this paper do not frame neatly in Kantian philosphy, suggesting that what is interesting in this context is the other way round, in which way Kantian thought is framed in Christian approaches which are not "classically" philosophical. In earlier essays I have suggested recourse to the criticism against Kant, mentioning J.G. Hamann, Max Scheler, and others. See the earlier reference in this essay to Kant's writings on religion, which would deserve an own separate treatment.

[55]Please, consider the following possibly relevant meaning of "client centering", already mentioned in an earlier paper of mine. "As psychiatry takes on the characteristics of a new religion or antireligion, a 'protestant' conception of the priestly function has grown up in opposition to the 'catholic' conception. The 'protestants' have translated psychiatric theory into the vernacular, in order to make it more accessible to their constituents. They have introduced innovations in psychiatric ritual, like Carl Rogers' 'client-centered psychiatry', with the intention of diminishing the magisterial authority of the psychiatrist. They have condemned the arrogance of psychiatric priesthood, not because they object to the therapeutic conceptions of reality, but because they wish to diffuse them more widely than ever, rooting them in popular understanding and daily practice" (Lasch, 1977, p. 135f).

[56]Please consider the following:

"To be sure, there are those today in philosophy who seem to be solely interested in epistemic and methodological techniques, but care is required not to lead us to mistake refinements (and sometimes over-refinements) of one part of philosophy for its larger systematic framework. Not the least of the present virtues of systematic philosophy is that it has not been caught up in the sweep of employment as a handmaiden of officialdom. For that is often sneered at and secretly envied. Just as often it is misunderstood and even maligned by scientists themselves as being unwordly [cf. "esoteric"] (since it may disapprove of the way the world is being run); impractical (since it criticizes present practices); visionary (since it sees what can be done and ought to be done as well as what is being done). Indeed, in certain professional circles of scientists, the epithet "philosophical" is the final degradation when applied to a colleague, even though to a philosopher the patriotic and occupational chauvinism thereby evinced may seem the last refuge of a scoundrel." (Simpson, 1951)

[57]Cf. Jung (1953-1979, CW8, [[section]][[section]] 749-795). After an appropriate disclaimer for purposes of modesty, please cf. the following, by Bly (1993, p. 97): "The growth of man can be imagined as a power that gradually expands downward: the voice expands downward into the open vowels that carry emotion, and into the rough consonants that are like gates holding the water; the hurt feelings expand downward into compassion; the intelligence expands with awe into the great arguments or antinomies men have debated for centuries; and the mood-man expands downward into those vast rooms of melancholy under the earth, where we are more alive the older we get, more in tune with the earth and the great roots."

[58]I have remained impressed by the lapidary statement that "not only the Church, but the whole free world of pluralistic, tolerant democracy is built on the blood of martyrs and constructive dissidents". (Allwood, 1990b, p. 44)