Belief and reason, power and heroism
in the task of the systems designer

Commented selections on presuppositions of participatory cooperative argumentative design and change[1]



by Kristo Ivanov

University of Umeå, Institute of Information Processing
1993 (rev 211028-2035)



    1. 1.Preface and introduction
      1. 1.1.A preliminary why
      2. 1.2.Personal context
      3. 1.3.Why Lindbom and D'Arcy
    2. 2.The systems approach and heroism
    3. 3.Lindbom, T. (1983). The tares and the good grain: The kingdom of man at the hour of reckoning . Macon, Ga: Mercer University Press. (Trans. by Alvin Moore Jr from Swedish: Agnarna och Vetet, Stockholm: Norstedt, 1974.)
      1. 3.1.What is truth?
      2. 3.2.The way of life
      3. 3.3.Objectivity
      4. 3.4.Good intentions
      5. 3.5.Concerning prejudices
      6. 3.6.The veil of Maya
      7. 3.7.Tolerance
      8. 3.8.Revolution
      9. 3.9.Love
      10. 3.10.Justice
    4. 4.D'Arcy, M. C., S.J. (1944). Belief and reason . London: Burns Oates & Washbourne.
      1. 4.1.Preface
      2. 4.2.Introduction
      3. 4.3.Chapter I: The meaning of the words Belief and Reason
      4. 4.4.Chapter II: What makes a belief reasonable?
      5. 4.5.Chapter III: The role of reason
      6. 4.6.Chapter IV: Relativism
      7. 4.7.Chapter V: Christian faith's relation to reason; prejudices and points of view
      8. 4.8.Chapter VI: Doctrine
      9. 4.9.Appendix I: Pragmatism and Modernism
      10. 4.10.Appendix II: Criticism
    5. 5.Conclusions
      1. 5.1.Disclaimer
      2. 5.2.Main conclusions
      3. 5.3.What to do
      4. 5.4.Strategy
    6. 6.Appendix I: A note on the "method" for this study
    7. 7.Appendix II: A heroic systems approach with insufficient means (with a contribution by Werner Ulrich)
    8. 8.Appendix III: A document on the sentimental trend
    9. 9.Appendix IV: Selections in Swedish (see separate cover, report UMADP-WPIPCS-48.93) from
    10. 10.References
    1. 11.FOOTNOTES



"My colleagues like to argue endlessly as to what should be required courses for our MBAs. My answer is that I have great doubts about making any of the existing ones required, but that I have no doubt that we should require a basic course in theology."  (Churchman, 1979, p. 99)


1. Preface and introduction

1.1. A preliminary why

The body of this working paper contains some texts that I wish to mediate to researchers and students of information systems, and to people who try to influence, and are influenced by information technology. Among students of information systems I include practitioners and consultants who care for the fundaments and long-run development of their work. In order to explain what all the following is about, I must start by outlining a short personal background.

The prime reason for writing this paper is my dissatisfaction, not to say deep concern, for what I perceive to be poor results of much research and product development that goes on under the label of systems development, computer supported cooperative work and electronic messaging. This must, however, be seen in the following personal context of my own struggle and failures.

1.2. Personal context

During the last five years a broad focus of my work has been the outlining of a collective long run research program which investigates the "whither" and the "why" of information technology as a presupposition of the "what", "when", and "how", including "by whom", "for whom" and "with whom". In this sense, this paper is a strategy document for a department of informatics because it deals with the why and whither of its survival, and growth, or development.

This interest flows from my initial work, in 1970-1972, on the concept of quality of information (1972; 1974; 1987a; 1987b). The idea corresponds roughly to what today stands at the basis of participatory evolutionary systems development. It was also related to the rise and development of some branches of the so called "Scandinavian approach".[2] It differed from later participatory approaches in that it rejected the primacy of material and technical reality, and allowed for the need of stable fundamental assumptions in systems development.

The technology that was necessary for an easy inexpensive small-scale implementation of the ideas, began to be available by the end of the eighties, in the form of relational schemes built into early hypertext languages for personal computers. Some possibilities for constructive computer applications illustrating quality-based systems were outlined in 1988 (Forsgren, 1988b)[3]. Elaborations in terms of illustrative computer prototypes have been described recently (Grönlund, 1993). In order to render explicit the sort and degree of envisaged quality, I refined some of my original formulations, and their formalization, in terms of the "HyperSystem" concept, originally conceived in the seventies (Ivanov, 1975; Ivanov, 1993). It included a systematization of the relations between the bearers of various system roles (designers, managers, clients, users and other affected people), and task content, for the continuous design and redesign of computer applications.

I noted then that, as often is the case in the economic and political reality of applied research and development, despite all good intentions, the computer applications of the ideas tended to loose their core meaning, as understood in terms of HyperSystems. Like the much advertised "participation" in systems development, they tended to become the same thing that was anyway beginning to being done by many insightful practitioners who had available cheaper advanced technology, without the need of any pompous "systems approach" (Anonymous, 1993c; Whitaker, Essler, & Östberg, 1991). In the process, the first things which get sacrificed are the refinements of the systems approach which distinguish it from so called client centering or market orientation. Then follows the sacrifice of analytical sophistication, and of reliability concerns, well recognized as being competitively necessary in practice (Anonymous, 1993a; Anonymous, 1993e).

Concerning theoretical integrity, the pragmatist content of the espoused systems approach has to compromise with the utilitarianism and "rhetorics" of daily consultancy. In "political" terms success tends to be defined in terms of clients' acceptance, equated to managerial acceptance, or: "after all you have to get paid to do something with computers, have'nt you?". The situation is becoming, if possible, even more problematic in face of the present wave of commercialization of the universities, and their increased financial dependence upon external business sources and granting institutions. What is often expected is immediate returns on investments, or, rather, sheer "business acceptance" of research and (mainly) development. This is a well known chaotic trend in both research and university education.[4]

I did therefore reflect on the ultimate meaning of the risk that my work might unintendedly support developments which I fundamentally did not approve, exploiting mainly the power, not the least the rhetorical power, of pragmatism (Ivanov, 1993, chap. 5.2). In my consequent effort towards the "Whither" and the "Why", I think that I have been painfully conscious of its preposterousness. I justified it thinking that it would not be done mainly by and for myself but, rather, that I wanted to link my own to my colleagues' work, and to offer researchers and students some suggestions about where to proceed in order to formulate and investigate important research questions beyond my time and capability. My suggestion was structured in terms of different approaches to the meaning of information technology: physical-technical, economic, mathematical, logical, statistical, socio-psychological, and so on.[5]

My idea had been informed by my background in engineering and psychology, indicating that what a thing "is", and the way of using it, is a complex function of what one happens to believe that it is, and of what it should be. If one looks at a computer from the disciplinary point of view of mathematics, as being a mathematical machine, it will lead to different consequences than if one looks at it as a numerical or statistical - graphical visualization instrument (rather than "tool"for statistical analysis and visualization. If one looks at the computer as if it were a "person", then this means commiting oneself to what a "human person" is, and ought to be, and ought to behave as, e.g. in terms of "humanism" or in terms of some psychological or sociological ("role") theory. The pitfalls of a facile acceptance of a superficial conception of roles have been amply described in the marxist tradition (Forsén, 1978). All this suggests a dependence of self-fullfilling prophecies upon what something is believed to be, and it is perhaps one secular example of the interplay between belief and reason, as addressed in some of the material to be presented below. In our context of information technology I know of at least two example of authors who suggest a similar understanding of the essence of the computer (Turkle, 1980; Turkle, 1984; Whitaker, 1992, p. 131).

A couple of years ago I had to pause in my ongoing work in order to detail the meaning of "humanistic" and "social", as adjectives applied often to our particular approaches in information systems research. These adjectives had begun to be used with increased frequency in research which dealt with concepts such as "powerful" technology, artefacts, design, participation, work-orientation, democracy, constructiveness, communication, user - friendliness, evolutionary flexibility, interactivity, computer supported cooperative work, skill and competence. Theories, laws, facts, methods, instruments, truth, stability, tradition, authority, responsibility, and objectivity were "out". Design principles, useability, tools, artefacts, heuristics, change, trial and error, narratives, styles, conceptual frameworks, debates, participation, and "bricolage" were "in". I sensed that, at least during these times of transition to good and bad in unknown proportions, the pragmatist heritage in the dialectical social systems theory to which I had committed myself (Churchman, 1971; Churchman, 1979) could be exploited in a superficial way.[6] This would contribute to efface the distinction between pragmatism, utilitarianism, and sheer activism.[7] If the popular version of the pragmatic test were to be applied to dialectical social systems theory itself (i.e. to be evaluated by its fruits) its results might tend to be negative.

The more I studied this application problem the more I realized that it was a matter of relation between the science of information technology, politics, aesthetics, ethics, and, finally religion. I felt distressed in realizing that the concepts of ethics and humanism tended to be appropriated in unfortunate ways. Ethics, for instance, was equated with explicitation of conflicts of interest, and possibly with their negotiation, barely touching even the concept of democracy. Aesthetic concerns, which I had also encouraged, were being translated into postmodern playfulness. They could easily become prey of present tendencies towards aestheticism, in concert with secularized romanticism or postmodernism, far from any influence by, let alone understanding of, the meaning of, for instance, of "theological aesthetics" (Berdiaev, 1990, pp. 302ff; Sherry, 1992; Sherry, 1993). Interesting work on aesthetics in our research area is anyway going on and is dependent upon some kind of ethical anchorage (Stolterman, 1991).

I had to counter what I perceived as the risk of influence from opportunistic development tendencies mixed with vague postmodern overtones. I felt distressed in realizing that my concerns were leading me away from what is traditionally considered as meritorious or profitable in academic and consultancy work in our area, despite their constituting its basis and enabling its evaluation. Even worse than that: my concerns and insights were in a collision course with the explicit good intentions of several hard working researchers. I myself could "statistically-democratically be wrong, i.e. remain alone or in minority amidst the majority of my research peers who would eventually evaluate me. Who likes the "pessimistic" messenger who brings the bad news? Nevertheless I kept firm in my intention to work on such issues which are, indeed "strategic". If a tenured researcher did not dare to explore his convictions and to dedicate to them when necessary, who else could be expected to do that? This eventually resulted in a more voluminous working report (Ivanov, 1991b). It was a rather "odd" report, with more of that type of detailed criticism which the reader may come to miss in this paper. It succeeded, however, in attracting the attention of some colleagues from near and far away in the international community, leading to promising contacts and cooperation. It was followed by sabbatical work in Italy and in France, where some selected academic contacts and a crash bibliographic study at Bibliothèque Nationale allowed me to gather important literature for my future studies, especially on the nature of technology and embodied mathematical instruments like computers.

One main issue came to be how "social" and "humanistic" would converge with "democracy" in the theories for development of information systems. In this respect the effort could be seen as a continuation of my earlier work at the interface with political science, sociology, psychology, and history of ideas (1986; 1989; 1991b). I discovered that neither liberalism nor socialism would be particularly helpful, and I identified Ernst Troeltsch as an important historical name to study the work of (Ivanov, 1986, p. 50; Troeltsch, 1977). Some old friends with Marxist sympaties tried to combine Heideggerian existentialism and Wittgensteinian language games, while others would acknowledge a wholesale commitment to "the modern project", to radical humanism, to silent knowledge, or to discursive argumentative action. One common denominator between them would be paying tribute to terms like democracy and democratic values in the context of participatory systems development and of computer supported cooperative work. These terms, however, were left unquestioned but for possible references to Kant and to the classical language of the Enlightenment.[8] I felt that to the extent that research approaches were philosophically grounded at all, they were grounded in the Enlightenment's Kantian humanism, and that Kant had been anew "canonized", as Marx had been in the seventies. Post-moderns had begun to coquet, more or less consciously, with late popular variants of Nietzchean thoughts. In the meantime industrial technological development from the big brother in the West would still dictate our so called concrete and practical work in applying information technology, and the banality of its theoretical ground would not be masked by the big words of the various -"isms". The only "democratic value" which could be envisaged in the chaotic industrial technological developments (Manasian, 1993) was a "murderous" free competition, the apparent unquestioned banner of a leading journal such as "The Economist". It is a reminder of the scope and limits of modern economic thought in relation to information technology, even if there are some heroic attempts to widen this thought to encompass human and formal science (Mowshowitz, 1993).

My own struggle with the possible meaning and relevance of technical thought and humanism for information systems design dates from the seventies when I renounced to foster my academic qualifications by means of following up and writing professional literature on, say, database theory and technology. I made instead the risky choice of studying, among other things like the Confucian decision theory of the I Ching (Klein, 1982, being an innovative application to a model for human cognitive processing), the collected works of Carl Jung. This I made mainly because of Jung's programmatic attempt to integrate psychic functions, including the directed thinking of logic and the feeling of values. While teaching decision models and quantitative methods to be used in decision support systems (Churchman, Auerbach, & Sadan, 1975), I sensed the problematic bridge between the quantitative and the qualitative, as embodied in the objective functions. My intermittent struggle culminated with the issues of humanistic computing science or of computer-supported human science.

1.3. Why Lindbom and D'Arcy

Then, I happened to rediscover a Swedish author that I already had noted more than ten years ago in the context of an interesting critique of Marxism and of other cultural criticism: Tage Lindbom (Lindbom, 1977). I had had my own struggle with the meaning of humanism in a wealth of other literature. I could appreciate that he seemed to have suceeded during the period of the last 30 years in formulating a great part of what I myself was realizing and was trying to say in my book on systems design and rule of law, and in my paper on humanistic computing science. This should be considered as the main motive for my choice and concentration on Lindbom's work in the context of many other options. What he writes "make sense" of most of what I have earlier reported having experienced in my research field and related social life, and gives courage to pursue work in a meaningful direction.

Starting as a historian and political scientist, politically engaged and conscious social democrat, Lindbom was a pioneer writer on labor unions, work, and "industrial democracy" beginning with a dissertation in 1938. He has eventually become a historian of science, philosopher and theologian. For nearly thirty years (1938-1965) he was director of The Central Library for Labor, of the influential Swedish Social Democratic party. I discovered to be close to his "conservativism", to be understood in its non-ideological sense, i.e. implying the recognition of certain stable values which deserve to be conserved.[9] That reminds me that already in a book I wrote on the basis of earlier findings (Ivanov, 1986) I felt like quoting on the back of the title page Nobel-prize winner Pär Lagerkvist who in 1927 observes (my trans.) "Even if research never before reached so far, never before reached such results, it still had succeeded in aiming higher, towards more important goals"[10]. I also wrote (ibid. p. 8) that whenever students asked about my political convictions I told them that in the choice between left and right I tended to look upwards.[11] In the case of Lindbom it could mean the tradition that is in associated with names of intellectuals such as Frithjof Schuon, René Guénon, Titus Burckhardt, Ananda and Rama Coomaraswamy, and others. They are mentioned in the English translation "The tares and the good grain", one of Lindbom's main works.[12]

Because of my estimate of the importance of this message for those students of information systems who are working with cooperation, learning, communication, skill and competence, aesthetics, methods, etc. I suddenly decided to abdicate at least temporarily from ego-centered "original" work. I decided to drop my immediate plans and to dedicate the summer 1993 to mediate and introduce Lindbom's and others' work to Swedish and English-speaking readers. This was done under the assumption that these readers - as it is often the case today - would not find the original work easily available or would not find the necessary time to dedicate to it, or would not note its relevance for research in information systems. Lindbom is not necessarily unique on the Swedish intellectual scene, and I guess that the synthesis might have included some other authors .[13] Some of their relevant works are listed among the references in this paper. Lindbom, however, in the tradition of Christian spirituality, seems to be closer to the problems of research in information systems because of his explicit consideration of human sciences, technology, work, and methodological matters of the history of science like, for instance, the quest for "mathematization".

Regarding Martin Cyril D'Arcy I know that he was a Jesuit and lived, I suppose, mainly in Britain, between 1888 and 1976. The U.S. Library of Congress has about 10 entries in his name, and the University of California's libraries about 50, dealing mainly with the relation between Christianity, humanism, reason and faith.[14]

I realized that the difficulty of the matter associated to the refinement of the authors' own language did not allow me to hope to be able to edit my own synthesis of his work, say, in the form of a series of book reviews. It allowed me still less to integrate it in any text of mine, at such a short notice. Despite of my estimate that about one third of the text in Lindbom's books intendedly overlaps the content of his other books I chose to attempt a synthesis by means of a selection of excerpts from a set of chosen books. In doing so I am aware that some duplications could not be avoided but I had not time to make a closer review of duplications, and I also believe that they can be justified in terms of the necessary emphasis on important issues.[15]

The main criterion for selection of the excerpts was that they should be relevant for the relation between information technology seen from the scientific point of view, and social science, humanism and ethics. In view of the overall purpose of the selection I took the liberty to break the continuity of the reading - I am painfully conscious of this - by overloading the text inserting my own references in parentheses, and observations in square brackets. They refer often to the possible relevance of the material for my field of information systems research. This is indeed a working paper, far from the purpose of a rhetorical executive summary which would aim at relieving the reader from the need for the referenced literature. It is also far from the purpose of relieving the anguish or the resentment of the reader who feels guilty or is touched on the raw by the bad news, and keeps asking how my text ought to be interpreted, or which conclusions ought to be drawn from the text, or why I did not repeat and expand the detailed arguments of my earlier papers which he has no time or interest to read. I use to tell new students how ingrate is the task of telling them that certain things are much more complicated than they thought, and that I have no answers, while they might have hoped to hear that things were much simpler and that they would get the answer in the form of a cooking recipe - "what to do". This problem includes the hard fact that attractive convincing rhetoric mana flows from optimistic oversimplifications associated with uncritical encouragement fostering unjustified self-confidence.

For the rest, I tried to maintain the original wording of the author, sometimes with a light editing which attempts to enhance continuity of thought despite the selection process. This paper is supplemented by a separate appendix which contains material written in Swedish. The division of the material is made for purpose of economy, assuming that most Swedish readers also understand English and most foreign readers who understand English do not understand Swedish.

My selection should be understood as my sharing of the authors' arguments, with the unavoidable shortcomings aggravated by my selection process.[16] I see their arguments and standpoints as a welcomed alternative to the common attitude of many researchers in the Swedish community who consciously or unconsciously share a secular liberal or socialistic approach to the development and use of science and technology, and to the relation between belief and reason. Ingemar Hedenius (1983), seems historically to be the Swedish representative for this common attitude, which still permeates the Swedish research establishment much more than is commonly realized.

The conclusions that I myself draw from this study are formulated at the end of the paper, and they take into consideration also the material in the supplementary appendix in Swedish.These conclusions are, of course, themselves subject to the relation between belief and reason which is considered in this paper.

2. The systems approach and heroism

Research on computer supported cooperative work and communication does not make often reference to the basic political science issues of democracy as related to industrial technology. Still, it seems fair to say, the ideals which are embodied in CSCW efforts and in democratic non-hierarchical electronic communication correspond to progress in terms of "production - science - cooperation", the trilogy of nineteenth century optimism. In order to guide, implement, and evaluate communicative cooperation it is necessary to understand the essence of this trilogy. Let us start by surveying some thoughts which have been expressed in the context of "the design of inquiring systems" (Churchman, 1971, pp. 202-4, from which the following quotations are taken.)

The striving for progress can eventually lead scientists and managers, if not clients, to identify themselves with the archetype of the hero, who may also be seen as the archetype of the optimist in general, and of the modern technical-economic optimist in particular. This hero, however, differentiates himself from the classical hero mainly in that usually he is not "alone" but, rather, in good company, rowing downstream.

To free the heroic mood in every man is an ideal, "the ideal of a unified decision maker, client, and designer". The image of hero which emerges from such thoughts tends to be the image of Greek mythology seen to stand at the basis of Western scientific and philosophical thought. "The black forest and its challengers are the mood that progress does not exist, that it is only a process at best, that the enterprise is no enterprise at all. For the hero in the midst of his journey has no assurance than anything will happen except his own death and that of his companions...You are on the road, then there is no progress, just change, which can be bright or dark, funny or sad, tragic or comic. The rules are gone, laws make no sense".

But it is also true that the impulse for the adventure or quest, which leaves the hero with no choice but to go forth, comes sometimes in the form of a message from the gods. "If you are fighting the battle, or whatever the mission may be, you are risking your soul for something overwhelmingly important and central. Progress is no longer diffuse, but here and now in your actions; revolution is one word for it. If you are on the way back, you may be disillusioned, angry, dead in spirit, or payful, or senile."

I know that many computer scientists feel that they take the role of hero leading a development for improvement of society and for personal happiness. One underlying question in this essay will be which should our heroic guidelines be: which is the relation between the hero and democracy, that is, what is the place of the hero, sometimes also envisaged as a systems designer who is a "radical humanist", in society. Is he only or mainly an agent of action and change? Which action and which change or revolution, and for what? Why should all rules be gone, and why should laws make no sense? And what else could the hero be on his way back other than disillusioned, angry, dead in spirit, playful, or senile, or just plain dead?

This justifies dwelling on the meaning of belief or of the "message from the gods", or of risking one's soul for something overwhelmingly important and central. Which gods or which God are in question here, and what is this something overwhelmingly important and central which justifies the risking one's soul, or was it the risking of only one's wellbeing? Or may it be so that the whole issues amounts to the identification of the God with the soul itself, including its relationship to spirit and mind, intellect and reason, and with that something "overwhelmingly important and central"?

Churchman's own inconclusive struggle with the question of heroism as representative of the moral force culminates in The Systems Approach and Its Enemies (1979, pp. 68, 139-144, 151, 166, 201f).

It is interesting to note that in contrast to the Greek hero mentioned above, there is the Christian "hero" as impersonated in Christ. It is often forgotten that Western science and rationality is not based only on Greek thought, which certainly includes and presupposes its mythology, but also on Hebrew thought (de Raadt, 1991). Christ also represents a particular solution of the integration of knowledge and love, belief and reason, a solution that includes issues which are implicit in our research discussions about so called cognitive styles, personal knowledge, double-loop learning, the nature of "artificial" intelligence, presuppositions for discourse and for cooperation, etc. For a secular criticism of heroism in the systems approach, see appendix II.

The difficulty of the question, and the difficulty to express in an acceptable way the relationship between religion, ethics, and science, supports the appropriateness of the form of this essay in terms of choices of relevant quotations from the literature. In this early version of my work, I repeat, I divide the material into this part, in English, and a supplement in Swedish. This part in English includes the preface and introduction, this initial section on "heroism", conclusions, and the selections which happen to be available in English or in an English translation. The Swedish supplement contains the appendix with the selections which were available only in Swedish or in a Swedish translation.

3. Lindbom, T. (1983). The tares and the good grain: The kingdom of man at the hour of reckoning . Macon, Ga: Mercer University Press. (Trans. by Alvin Moore Jr from Swedish: Agnarna och Vetet, Stockholm: Norstedt, 1974.)

3.1. What is truth?

(P. 15) Certainly one does not contest that in our secularized world there are both true and false affirmations, but what one calls true nevertheless is not recognized as something of absolute validity. For all is unstable in the Kingdom of man. Everything is cut according to what is momentarily considered as "scientifically established", or in pursuance of what is on record as expression of the sovereign popular Will and this latter is revealed in the ballot or in the public opinion polls. It is what man's sensory organs give utterance to which will determine what must be regarded as true, just, and good. But if secularized man conceives the sensory reality in which he lives as absolute, one perceives that this is contradictory, that this reality at the same time appears as something entirely relative.

When the transcendent source of truth, is denied, nothing remains for the profane to "seek" the truth on earth here below. And when the truth is no longer preexistent, one must conceive of it as something which may be attained somewhere out "ahead of us". The search for truth in the Kingdom of Man becomes therefore an operative process. Two ways then offer themselves to our experience, that of positivism and that of Marxism.

We find in positivism an idea inherited from the Stoicism of late Antiquity which represents truth not as an inspired vein of gold, but as a multitude of particles of gold scattered like fragments through existence.[17] This conception has been taken over by bourgeois liberalism and has become part and parced of the Western notion of liberty. Thanks to never ending discussion, to free scientific research and to a continuous process of selection [active selection of possibilities, or a continuous construction process of artefacts] the truth must be extricated in a progressive positivist perfectionment. The faith so often expressed during the past two centuries, in the capacity of modern science to resolve the enigmas of existence, would be very difficult to understand from a purely psychological point of view if it did not have as underlying hypothesis notions and hopes relative to a convergence of the sensible world. [Cf. the Singer-inspired convergence in "HyperSystems"], (Churchman, 1971, pp. 175, 241f, 256f; Ivanov, 1993).

The other way is that of Marxism. Here the truth is tied to the two Marxist pseudo-divinities, History and Matter. In the Marxist material world truth is nothing more than an ideological representation reflecting the struggles of materially determined interests. Truth, like everything else, is dominated by the historico-dialectic process and this is why the truth reigning in such and such circumstances is not other than the dominant class' conception of truth in the corresponding historic phase. The proletariat must finally emerge victor in these historic struggles and, therefore, the proletariat's conception of truth will ultimately prevail. The dialectical process, developing towards an always more elevated level, implies an end at a final state where the contradictions of existence are surmounted and where communist society without constradictions becomes the definitive state in which truth is of necessity liberated from all trace of relativism.

As a matter of fact, positivism as well as Marxism must have recourse to pseudo-metaphysical representations showing that the truth must come to meet us as scintillating and attractive gold, that the substances of truth have a natural tendency to converge, or that the truth must "be developed" according to a historico-dialectical process. [Only in later years "post-modernism" seems to be trying to put the absence of goals itself, "activities", and relativism, as a goal.]

The essential is that secularized man always ardently endeavors to reach univocal representations which will deliver him from the relativism of truth [univocal representations of at least "cooperation", "togetherness", "security" and such; cf. Kant's relation between duty and happiness]. Despite his denigration of a transcendent truth, and his avowed relativism, he does in fact search for something true which constitutes a fixed point amidst sensory existence. At the same time he obstinately denies any transcendent reality. He denies the truth even while recognizing it as a pre-existent point, and he tries to dissimulate this contradiction in holding that, thanks to profane science, the truth will finally be "discovered" [or, even "constructed", "created", or, so to say "artefacted"] as the last link in a long chain of researches. (Ivanov, 1991b, p. 33n, quotes Norström, 1912, who problematizes the difference between reality and truth, and consequently also the oversimplified conception of "depiction"): The problem, i.e. the task, is to clarify reality trough truth while truth distantiates itself from reality".[18]

That which profane man does not want to see is that the truth is found at the beginning and not at the end. [Cf. "It is difficult to find something you are not looking for"]. We have an awareness of something called truth and of something called untruth. Men are ceaselessly in disagreement on that which, in such and such concrete situation, is true or false. We can have all possible controversies on the interpretation of an historical source or of statistical data. That which we concretely discuss is one thing, but the important thing is that behind these controversies is situated essentially the consciousness that truth and falsehood [in contrast to only "perspectives" and "opinions"] constitute a pair of opposites in existence.

(P. 20) Why does secularized man seek truth? Why this feverish scientific research throughout the world? Before all else, secularized man fears chaos. The fear of chaos is the firm motive which pushes secularized man to try to establish a reasonable order in his existence ["rationalizations"]. When all values are declared relative and when everyone must "save himself as best as he can", it may be tempting to make of every aspiration to the truth an affair which concerns only the egoism of the individual [subjectives valuations, as contrasted to values, and perspectives]. We have to choose between a war of all against all and submission to an organized [preferably "communicative"] and institutionalized egoism. It is there that we are confronted with the problem of power [in its relation to justice in "democracy"].

The fear of chaos has a positive pole: the classical - and cynical - motivation for the profane exploration of the things of the world [and nowadays also for the social world]: knowledge is power. This search for knowledge is pursued with the intention of obtaining a position of earthly power, the acquisition of notions and aptitudes of a utilitarian and operative character.[19] This is not a way towards truth since the ambitious often manage the truth in a manner utterly devoid of scruples. The idea of power in our secularized world is in practice marked much more by cynical pragmatism than by the love of truth. The more secularization is accentuated the more the sense of cosmic solidarity is diminished and the more man experiences existence as empty space. The greater grows man's sense of emptiness and he imagines that by his activity, by his organizations and his constructions of institutions [including communicative informational "networks"] he can occupy this empty space. In this agitation without respite, scientific activity keeps the characteristic role which has devolved upon it.

This secularized "search for the truth" involves us in an increased pragmatism. No reasonable human being contests that scientific research has its value for our daily life. But that which is lacking in the Kingdom of Man is a corrective which responsibility before a superior power would represent. The inhabitants of the Kingdom of Man are not responsible except to one another, which is to say that the sensory needs and desires of self-interested man become, in the final analysis, the guiding thread for all life and all action. [Cf. client-centered market-orientation.] Also it is this which ultimately determines social, cultural, and scientific movements. He who wants to search for truth finds himself confronted with the growing exigency to bring together that which he estimates to be true and just with the needs and desires of self-interested man. [Cf. truth vs. democracy]. Here the desire for power and the sensory desires of man meet in the forms of pragmatism. The principles of power and of pleasure are, in fact, found to be allies.[20]This growing pressure of pragmatism makes one think that the more ancient and more or less facetious expression according to which "the truth is unbearable", takes on an ever more bitter realism in a context of increasing secularization. [Cf. the increased dependence of university research upon external business financial sources].

We do not encounter truth and falsehood in a simple option, in the concrete and easy to make choice of an "either/or". Things are not so simple, as though a divine message might be addressed to us at the same time as the serpentine tempter might appear with a contrary message. [Cf. "Faust".] The satanic power consists also in the capacity to disguise himself, to present himself in an attractive aspect, in such a way that the limit between the true and the false, between the good and evil, might seem effaced. [Cf. the possible misuses of "perspectives" or of "silent knowledge".] Thus it becomes possible for the subversive power to achieve his final object as formulated by Baudelaire: "The cleverest ruse of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist".[21]

[The following paragraph appears wrongly translated in the English translation, from the French. The version appearing below is translated by me from the Swedish original, p. 31.]

(P. 23) To search the truth is to will the truth. But I do not will the truth if I do not love it. Without the love of truth the will to attain it does not exist either, and without this will all choice is deprived of significance.

3.2. The way of life

(Pp. 25ff) To will is to choose [cf. to construct, to create, to build and rebuild artefacts], but if a choice is to have any meaning, it must be based upon an order of solid values. In the Kingdom of Man, however, all values are relative and therefore provisional. [Cf. the values of the designers of an information system, or the values of the clients that they choose to serve.] In such conditions a choice cannot truly amount to taking a position. It is nothing but a provisional act, obedient to short-sighted desires and impulses. If I relate myself only to my desires for power and pleasure, I will never be able to grasp the truth with love. The love of the truth then becomes for me an alien concept. This is also why in his aspirations to truth - which may often be worthy of interest - secularized man sooner or later ends up in pragmatism.

(P. 28ff) It is not the case that the interior and intellectual light burns ceaselessly with a clear flame and nothing can restrain its brightness. If that was the case, the children of the world would march infallibly towards a spiritual perfection under the conduct of pure thought [or of the the argumentative communication and debate]. On the contrary, the way of truth is a toilsome search up to the serenity which is reached only when man has left behind him physically and mentally the agitations and discords of life.

As secularization proceeds, the light of truth shines with a progressively weaker brightness. The champions of atheism have always acted in the conviction that the religious idea, the fruit of superstition, of ignorance, and the propaganda of the directing and ruling classes, would disappear of itself when the light of science and of "enlightened education" could be diffused liberally over humanity. Certain appearances would seem to indicate that things really come to pass in this way. Man can be led not only to deny, but to drive away and to "forget" the intellectual consciousness. It is a question of total repudiation of conscience and of religious sensibility on the psychic level.

(S. 33ff) The attacks, the exploitation and destruction of nature have for motive the attraction of material gain, and these destructive forces are directed also against man himself, being an expression of human egotism and pride.[22] The attack against symbolic rituals is no less virulent, but it has other points of departure. In the first place it takes aim at symbols as if they had been invented by man. [Cf. constructivism of artefacts.] (Ivanov, 1991b, refers to correlated debates in "Linguistic humanism and semiotics", p. 25.)

It is claimed that the beauty of ritual worship is an expression of human presumption, a manner of masking the image of God in order to substitute man in his illusory and imaginary grandeur. The art of temples, sacerdotal vestments, episcopal palaces, the loftiness of the pomp of the prelates, all this is interpreted as expression of human - especially clerical - pride, and the wish to dominate. Within the confines of the Christian world, this attitude attains its maximum in Calvinism which is animated by a resentment that is social in content and of which the outcome is the inverse: man is placed at the center, and major decisions are taken by votings held in democratically organized communities.

The symbol is one of the forms of divine manifestation in the world. The other is revelation. But revelation is addressed to a world full of imperfections and of contradictions. The play of oppositions does not remain on the exterior of religious life. All our confessional antagonisms, all the theological disputes, and all the wars of religion prove nothing concerning the transcendent and immutable truth. All these struggles only attest that the world is a created work, that the truth is certainly found manifested here, but only "as in a mirror", perfect in its origin, but exteriorized by imperfect men.

It is here that tradition enters. [Cf. the Church and the university, and the Kantian undervaluation of tradition.] As terrestrial creatures, we are tempted to forget ourselves in speculations and activities. If one had to allow that the constant changes in terrestrial forms and the individual mutations might serve as base for spiritual life, one would inevitably end in confusion and dissolution. By allowing the play of oppositions of terrestrial existence and individual subjectivism to ultimately determine the foundations of spiritual life, without fail one would place this latter under the banners of secularization. [Cf. the constructivist debate or conversation.] We live in the world of forms and the intellective consciousness must be supported by the forms that procure us our religious life. Ignorance, egoism, and wickedness necessitate that the intellective process have a support in exterior life and for revelation, an escort, a vigilant guard so that the message is known to be true and authentic, and not a product altered by subjectivism and opportunism.

The primary objective of the tradition is here. But the mission of tradition is not exclusively conservation. It is also explanation. Or rather: it is an interpretation in terms, in ideas, and in terrestrial concepts of the message given at the origin.[23] It is at this point that hermeneutics enter, which is the just interpretation of sacred documents, interpretation which always must include penetration in depth of the texts, and an elucidation of all dimensions which these texts contain.

3.3. Objectivity

(P. 44ff) Lively polemics have arisen over the question of whether objective reality, the truth, can be attained speculatively (Descartes), or by the gathering and empirical observation of material (Roger Bacon) [opinion polls, convictions, perspectives, or arguments], but a common base remains: it is that thinking and searching man is the bearer of the aspiration to objective truth. The way is then open to scientific positivism which triumphs in the Western world.

One system of thought, especially, arises against positivism, denying that the human mind soars freely over sensory reality, speculating, examining, gathering material and analyzing structures: Marxism. The spiritual is found to be contained within the material reality and, as an active and dynamic energy in the material world, it is the "reflection" of the latter. Man lives, however, also in time. Marx has resolved the dualism characterizing positivist thought which distinguishes between an observant spiritual subject, man, and the object observed, the sensory world [including reciprocally other humans]. In contrast to positivism's duality spirit/matter Marxism posits the two pseudo-metaphysical existential categories Matter and History. Positivism and Marxism have one thing in common: the object of their search is sensory experience.

(P. 51ff) The man of empirical sensualism, however, has refused his faculty of objectification from the moment when he refused to use intellective knowledge and had recourse only to his sensory and mental capacities. With this profane man, all knowledge, every notion, is subjective.[24] For thought cannot think itself; it cannot scrutinize the tenor of truth of the products that it elaborates qua instruments. It is in our intellective consciousness that we experience the truth, and in the "eye of the heart" that we objectify it.

3.4. Good intentions

(P. 53) In the Kingdom of Man, the mundane secular search for the truth rests on an argumentation which bears a strong moral imprint. Even if one may doubt the possibility of finding the full and entire truth by profane ways, even if in this profane search for the truth it is found impossible to attain that which is objective and absolute; nevertheless, it is declared, all these efforts are characterized by an honest and courageous quest for the true. [Cf. the constructivist debate and "the force of better argument".]

Profane scientific research will thus be led with a ruthlessness which has, in appearance, the mark of a noble passion for the truth. One must follow the scientific ways of truth even if they lead to the gates of Hell. (Ivanov, 1992, refers to the correlated "Why Not?" strategy, the transfer of the burden of proof, including the belief that dangerous questioning, revolt, or revolution cannot worsen the situation in the long run). All the results of research [including criminal accounts, responses to interviews, opinion polls, or voting results] must be put at the disposal of humanity. To suppress the results of research or an invention is the equivalent of joining the partisans of obscurantism.

Nevertheless, even at its beginnings, European science allowed its pragmatic character to appear. The principal objective of the Kingdom of Man is to make the human being the custodian of power on earth, and one of the most important means to reach this goal is science. It is for this reason that science is in the first place at the appetite for power. This pragmatic orientation of modern science constitutes at the same time the base of its moral existence: enhance the physical and psychic well-being of men, and lead mankind "forward". (Churchman, 1971, pp. 178n, 202, 254; Singer, 1936, p. 89 "The measure of man's cooperation with man in the conquest of nature measures progress").[25]

Science thus becomes one of the most powerful instruments of the Kingdom of Man. But, from the fact of its pragmatic - and consequently moral - orientation, the requirements of truth cease to be essential. It is a question of exploring the world of things [and construct or create artefacts, also in a social context, in cooperation], in such a manner as to procure to man the means of dominating this world. At the same time there are opened to man the possibilities of enjoying without reserve all that the world can offer to its dominator. Henceforth, all that is "beyond" seems ever less interesting, and the speculations of profane science on this subject seems as "unnecessary", as "useless".[26]

From this pragmatic point of departure, profane science lands in the bog of existentialism and, on this moving terrain, the scientist defines himself as at once humble, honest, and courageous in his search for the truth. He believes himself humble because he knows how fragile and incomplete are the results of all research. He believes himself honest because he considers that he is not bound by any pre-rational notion and therefore thinks he pursues his activity without preconceived ideas. He believes himself courageous because he does not fear unveiling disagreeable things before men. [Cf the earlier reference to the "Why Not?" strategy, and Lagerkvist (1959, pp. 131ff)] On the other hand the defenders of religion are presented as "enemies of the light" who, in a sterile and life-negating manner, entrench themselves behind dogmatic and orthodox systems. At the same time the defenders of the faith are accused of being cowards who are afraid of the light; they are taxed with pride and presumption because they persist in demanding the recognition of an absolute and transcendent truth. Subsequently profane science, to which one simultaneously attributes the humility of a servant and the heroism of a Prometheus, can appear as responsive to all the moral exigencies posed by the current system of values in the Kingdom of Man [including "Equality" "Participation" and/or "democracy"].

This attitude in the search for the truth, apparently so courageous and at the same time so totally pragmatic, extends its effects well beyond the domain of strictly scientific investigation. In modern society, power and well-being, with the principles of power and desire, are the targets at which all thought, all action and all aspiration are aimed. Opinion may be divided on the means of reaching these objectives [cf. "perspectives" and "silent knowledge"]. The consequences of our actions may be miserable. Nevertheless, even if all that is as imperfect and deceitful as possible, we are assured that all these efforts are stamped with "good intentions".

The future is a "progress" unlimited by any horizon and where no one will incur any responsibility.[27] The problem of truth is more and more thrust to the rear for the sake of the moral [paradoxically "ethical" as a buzzword] and, behind this latter, pragmatic justification.[28] Attention is ever more turned away from the notions of truth and falsehood to be directed towards that which is profitable to man [and to the clients in industry and in the service sector]. By this diversion, interest more and more attaches itself to terrestrial things and is limited to the world of sensible phenomena. That which serves to qualify intentions proceeds from the terrestrial and tangible domain, and this domain defines good as that which favors sensory well-being ["client centering" and "market orientation"].

The profound objectives of the Kingdom of Man which are the practice of an egoism without fetters and the possibility for the man devoted to his own self-interests, of "realizing himself" [or gaining "autonomy"] these objectives are dissimulated by a moralizing mask and receive a "superior" legitimation: it is stated that it is not a question of egoism, but of good, and it is this good which must be offered to the inhabitants of the earth. (Churchman, 1979, s. 136; Ivanov, 1991b, cf. the ethical program statement, p. 43 in the chapter on "pragmatism and religion".) This dissimulation permits the presentation of subjective egoism as disinterested and objective aspiration, and an apparent possibility is envisaged to cooperate with movements which are, in fact opposed and inimical [like atheistic communism or ruthless capitalism].

Under the aegis of popular sovereignity and drawing support from "good intentions" and their moral justification, there is presently developing in the Kingdom of Man a dream-like and utopian movement. [Cf the dreams of "universal egalitarian, worldwide electronic networks]. This stands in lively contrast to the objectivity which is supposed to hold sway there.

The course of secularization progresses according to two great currents, rationalism and sentimentalism. Cut off from the living sources of transcendent truth, incapable of objectifying the world in which we live in the light of intellectus, secularized man is reduced to his mental faculties - principally reason and sentiment. But reason and sentiment are so often mixed and they interpenetrate one another so intimately that it is frequently impossible to know what stems from the one or the other. Thought cannot proceed in the clear light of rationalism in a march that is "pure" and free of any sort of "dross". The discursive operations of thought have as integral parts memory, imagination, and sentiment. A thought without any preconception, unconditioned and objective in the Cartesian sense [or logical - argumentative, in the Habermas-Apel sense] therefore does not exist.

The system is reduced to a subjectivism in which two currents, rationalism and sentimentality, mingle their waters. For the one part, the Kingdom of Man entertains the idea that it is a question of establishing a world that is objective, scientifically controlled, sober, and founded on real facts. On the other hand, its prophets make use of sentimentality to muddle up everything and raise a false warmth that one declares to be justice, love of men, good will, and good intentions [the welfare state and "people's home", in Swedish "folkhemmet"]. In the social, political, philosophical, and pedagogical spheres rational and sentimental tendencies have been intermingled since the epoch called - with very little reason - the "century of light". In the nineteenth century there arose popular social and political movements which, at the same time as the "low church" sects, impregnated society with the poisoned mix that Rousseau had made of sentimentalism and rancorous rationalism, aiming particularly at the traditional elements that still bore the mark of hierarchy. Sentimentalism grows uninterruptedly. Marked at the same time by self-pity and by self-affirmation, secularized man goes his way. He believes that in his march he has at his disposal a moral justification: "good intentions". [Cf. appendix III to this paper.]

(P. 60) Who, in the final analysis, permits one to determine which actions are good? Who, facing the continual choices of our daily life, must be there and discern which intentions are truly the good ones? The response in the Kingdom of Man, can only be this: men themselves [i.e. the General Will]. It is therefore by means of public opinion polls and by plebiscites [cf. participatory systems, and conferencing systems as an example of groupware for "computer supported cooperative work"], that the leaders [systems analysts and designers, or participating affected people] acquire data on what may be called good and on the measures considered conducive to that good. It is necessary now to follow the quantitatively [or argumentatively in the sense of quantitative mathematical symbolic logic] determined way which leads to human "happiness" [ideals]; it is necessary to "give to the people what they want" [again: client-centering and market-orientation]. Good intentions, conforming to quantitative [democratic] norms, must be translated into facts and this adaptation takes place in feverish activity and by a labor of reform without respite [projects portfolios, and flexible evolutionary systems].

3.5. Concerning prejudices

(P. 69) In principle, contemporary secularized man impugns every form of prerational knowledge. That not only implies that the human being is less well equipped than the animals, the instinctive equipment of which cannot be contested. It signifies, at the same time, that the only valid conception of the true and the just would be founded on sensory experience and rational examination. And this amounts to a proclamation of subjectivism [and intersubjectivism]. One does not any longer recognize any superior and universally valid truth. Nothing will count any more but individual conceptions [perspectives] as well as the decisions taken by majorities of voters, decisions moreover which new votes can annul at any moment.

Nothing is above man, neither norm nor law. That which is supreme is not law but the legislating will. (Ivanov, 1986, pp. 77ff, considers the problem as expressing itself in "the rule of law"). To that another doctrine is added: by nature man is good and has the means to live according to this goodness. This turns to be possible by education, and in this philosophy of education an extremely important principle is thus introduced: it is in making a man a strong being, liberated from all repressive bonds, norms, and authoritarian constraints that one permits him to achieve the innate goodness in his nature. This becomes a basic educational principle: all wickedness comes from weakness. Make a human strong, he will be good. Obedience, all servile situations, all recognition of a superior truth are therefore, according to this philosophy, sources of wickedness. [Cf. "participation", "empowerment", and Kantian "autonomy", which was influenced by Rousseau's ideas]. Thus the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Man will be strong and their strength will render them free, happy, and good. [The Kantian "categorical imperative" does apparently have no simple and clear place in this type of elaborations.]

Social or socialist upsets will, however, not suffice in order to suppress the "authoritarian man" with his tendency to think and act in function of prejudices. These upsets must be accompanied by a psychic upheaval which has to be accomplished by means of information aimed at extirpating from the mentalities of men the last vestiges of prejudice. [Cf. self-learning communication and information systems.] If man liberates himself from his prejudices as from all authoritarian power, man is promised that he will become a free creature, strong and harmonious. Soundly conscious of his own value, henceforth he will act with a personal responsibility that also permits him to show tolerance towards others. Locke and Rousseau, Marx and Freud have convened an immense ecumenical gathering with the aim of realizing this plan.[29]

3.6. The veil of Maya

(P. 79) The veil which God has thrown over his creation is to teach men to distinguish that which is real from that which is illusory, this veil becomes for them, in a time of mounting secularization, a pretext and means of detaching themselves from the principal cause of their life and of installing themselves here below as if the world was real. It is then ever more easy to mingle good and evil, to amalgamate lies and truth in a magic potion of ever increasing refinement which is served to our world. In this carnival lies are presented in the attire of truth and the militants of iniquity take "white as snow" airs of innocence, exactly as the carnival festivals offer to the basest street hooligans the occasion to parade in the uniform of a field marshall, or for the worst blasphemer to vest himself in the robes of a cardinal.

There appears an intermediary zone where all is hazy and indistinct, where it is more and more difficult to discern the truth from the lie, the preferred domain of the spiritual "innovators" who always find there a more vast and more propitious terrain for their unscrupulous exploitation and experimentation with the values of the Spirit. It is there where so many praiseworthy energies and so many good intentions are lost, for the means of separation between the truth and lies are always lacking. All the satanic intrigues aim initially at the confusion that results from doubt. (Ivanov, 1991b, cf. the chapter on "cooperative work".) These states of confusion permit the entry of luciferian forces which relativize all values. It is this relativism which allows to incite revolt against all power and all superior authority.

3.7. Tolerance

(P. 88) The Kingdom of Man comes to us saying: make of the human soul a tabula rasa, a clean slate, and let us search without, in the exterior, for a knowledge of existence. In this world each step that we take is a step into the unknown. The true and the false, the just and the unjust are notions, so it is pretended, of which we have no direct preexistent knowledge. It is only after the fact, under the effect of a constant process of "trial and error", that something takes shape [is constructed] which, temporarily at least, may have some value as the criterion of the true and the just. justice must be converted into an "equilibrium" attainable only by empirical means and which in reality is only a provisional state with a constantly changing content.

This astonishing comedy cannot be played without observing certain fundamental rules. Because man is regarded as a clean slate and each decision necessarily having been submitted to the "trial and error" process beforehand, it is necessary that an entire liberty of thought and action reign. One must, therefore, challenge all orthodoxy and all attachment to absolute truths and immutable values. But, in order that this spectacle of a humanity entirely free in its thought and acts may endure, an essential rule is necessary: tolerance. For this swarming mass of life, of ideas and activities, the most divergent and the most controversial things must likewise have their possibility of expression. [Cf. participation and co-determination in "the marketplace of ideas".]

[The following paragraph, found in the Swedish original of the book, does not appear in the English translation].

That which the Kingdom of Man denominates tolerance is, in fact, a common term indicating two different processes. One is the destructive tendency towards a complete heterodoxy, aiming towards a relativism of values, where every opinion, every principle, every norm will be transformed into something temporary. This is a communional social life, where nothing can be believed to be true beyond the validity of the latest research result, where nothing has moral validity beyond the subjective judgements of the individual or of the collectivity of interests, where nothing has longer judicial validity beyond the period between the decision by the majority of the legislating community.

This leads us to the tendency of the second process under this same rubric of "tolerance". The relativism of values creates a provisional state which is a field of battle where each one would have the right to express freely his thoughts and desires. The hostilities conducted in the name of tolerance take the form of debate. This latter presupposes that a preexistent truth does not exist, but that the "true" and the "best" [provisional] would be comparable to fragments that one could assemble, thanks to the shock of ideas produced in free discussion. [Cf. Habermas's "ideal discourse" on the basis of rational argumentation, as compared with dialectical inquiring systems.](Ivanov, 1991b, p. 61.) That supposes in its turn that all participants in the debates are animated by a common will, that of uniting their efforts in view of reaching that which they [paradoxically] believe can be considered a noble end result of the debate - the [provisional] truth.[30]

No reasonable creature questions the value of the exchange of ideas. But in order to assure the liberty of these exchanges, two conditions must be fulfilled: that those who think differently should benefit from a true tolerance and that the exchanges concern essential subjects and lead to durable results. Not one of these conditions prevail in the Kingdom of Man. Debate is a means of struggle in the hands of egoist [or collectively egoist] forces who work for themselves and who treat tolerance as a luxury that it useless for their interests. [Cf. limitations to the membership in the debate.](Ivanov, 1991b, see pp. 60ff, "Neutralizing criticism", for an illustration.)

Any deepening of the discussion is carefully avoided.[31] For one would see with overmuch evidence, if the interlocutors should there encounter eternal truths, the fallacy of supposing that a debate or a dialogue could be a selective process permitting the reunion [or reciprocal enrichment] of scattered "fragments of truth". [Cf. the "fragments" vs the "system"] The discussion would immediately come to a stop. This must not be allowed to happen. The anxiety with which the participants in these debates avoid every effort to deepen them shows one thing: a "therapeutic" effect is attributed to these dialogues and discussions, a means of giving some tension to mental life, of dispelling ceaselessly menacing sadness, "engaging" men in a dialectical game devoid of any real aim.

Today, that which one often refers to by "tolerance" is a means of extirpating the last vestiges of a normative order. There is no longer any place in this secularized world for an authentic tolerance. For when egotistical man, subordinate to his sensory interests, has full scope to seek his own advantage, the notion of tolerance loses its meaning. His neighbor then is changed into an obstacle in his way [or - paradoxically - changed into a conversation-killer who insists on using difficult or "philosophical" language, or changed into a menace against his own "career" or against his "noble intentions" or "self-realization"].

3.8. Revolution

(P. 103) Viewed superficially, the revolutionary movements, socialist, communist, anarchist, seem on the way to achieving definitively and globally the revolutionary work commenced in 1917. All over the world young revolutionaries erected barricades, uttered their curses against "authoritarian structures" and promised to replace them with a "living democracy" [today "non-hierachical network organizations and computer supported communication and cooperative work]. In reality, it is a new revolution that is under way [also in the university and research world].

The French Revolution had proclaimed the advent of profane man, of the autonomous individual, all-powerful citizens of the Kingdom of Man. The Russian Revolution pursued the destructive work in making this individual an integral part of all-powerful matter, with a soul that is nothing other than a projection of this material world. The third revolution, silent and without barricades, is the logical development of the two that preceded, principally in that it manifests and brings to accomplishment the seeds of self-destruction contained in all the anterior revolutionary strivings. Secularized man loses his identity, and in materialism he loses even the possibility of maintaining the illusion of spirituality, as he was still able to do in humanistic "spirituality". It is an interior disintegration, a process of decomposition going on without arrest.

This silent revolution is interior and it reveals itself constantly on the exterior by acts of violence [and acts in general, grafitti, activity without respite, projects, reforms, etc.]. Vacuity, absurdity, absence of identity and of paternity, despair, manifest themselves in fits of fury against "authoritarian structures" and "established interests" [and "hierachies" - cf. the increasing difficulty to grasp the meaning of the hierachy of a collegial organization like the university, or of the Church].

This absence of identity, of consciousness of one's "me" and of paternity is accompanied by an ever more marked absence of maturity, and a result of this is an incapacity to assume human relationships in a normal and adult fashion. Such a condition characterized by a growing confusion leaves no other possibility to the new generations but to seek on an inferior level the satisfactions of their needs for a common life. As there is no paternity and hence no fraternity - the one is the condition of the other - "symbiotic" coexistence is reduced to a state characterized by nihilism and chaos [Cf. "groupies" and "flaming" on "on-line" egalitarian electronic mail where everybody can communicate with anybody, and about anything, over all boundaries.]

In this "symbiotic" and infantile manner of living together, there exists neither comradeship nor true solidarity, but only the solitude of the creature devoted to himself. At the same time there is no more demarcation. For symbiosis involves the elimination of a sentiment lived during each process of maturation, which is the consciousness of the "me" and the "thee", of the rapport between the adult and the adolescent, between the strong and the weak, and similarly for sex, for love, for mercy, and for responsibility.

It is from this "symbiotic" confusion that the revolutionaries presently loom. It is not a revolt under the sign of strength, but of weakness. A young man [and a student!], healthy and virile, lives in a state of vital tension with his father [or teacher-manager!], for he wants to become a father himself one day. The image of the father is constantly before his eyes. On the other hand, the "symbiotic" rebel, in the weakness of his person and in his lack of maturity, lances desperate attacks against every father image, because he would destroy it. And if he would destroy the image it is because he does not desire to and could not become a fully mature father. It is in such states of childish backwardness and debility that the "anti-authoritarian" [and anti-hierarchic, egalitarian?] tendencies of our time prosper.

Then all limits are obliterated from consciousness. Like the slogan, we must live in a "world without frontiers", it must be forgotten that all creation is a formal and limited world in which, as human beings, we must know not only that frontiers exist but also where they are drawn: frontiers between man and woman, between child and adult, between the beautiful and the ugly, between good and evil, between truth and falsehood.[32]

The "absence of frontiers" in space must also be applied to time. It seems that the bridges must be destroyed, before and behind. This silent revolution produces a ["instant - flexible - project"] man "without history" for whom the past appears indifferent and every action seems equally indifferent in relation to its effects in the [unpredictable] future. Time becomes a stunted "now", while space is considered "without end" [cf. worldwide joint-ventures]. Both thenceforth seem indifferent. [Cf. the effects of modern electronic communication and world-wide transportation in "the virtual organization"]. This permits the new revolution to remove the supports of two keystones of human existence: the conception of time and space are in the way of disappearing from the consciousness of man.

3.9. Love

(P. 117) If one chooses the way of revolution, one places oneself at the point of view of collective egoism. If one gives oneself to the revolution of the sexual life, the point of departure can be only that of the man egotistically bound to his sensory desires. 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 community does not become a reality except when we find this paternity and acknowledge it[33].

The Kingdom of Man is a social order. It is obliged to have recourse to growing numbers of laws and ordinances, to threats and reprisals [or to the invisible hand of murderous competition], in order to maintain the cohesion of its troops when all the seductions of the all providential State no longer suffice. [And the other way round: neo-liberal technocratic tendencies can be seen as a menace and a promise, menace of being abandoned to oneself, and a promise of getting the freedom necessary to become a winner - in face of our dissatisfaction with the welfare state's inability to live up to our fanciful expectations.]

One cannot avoid noting the disappearance of all true fraternity, as well as the simple and daily sentiment of solidarity, of helpfulness and of solicitude. Let us not embellish the past. The history of humanity overflows with familiar conflicts and fratricidal struggles. Where can one find the community, the family, responding perfectly to ideal desiderata? But even if the family is presently decadent one has no reason to forecast a future for human relations envisaging, not only that the family is placed in question as an institution but that it is openly menaced with annihilation, for where there is no longer love nor charity, the door is open to brutality. Such is human nature.

3.10. Justice

(P. 121) Justice is a transcendent guarantee giving assurance that not anything created is submitted to a merely arbitrary treatment. It gives the lie to all those doctrines affirming the predominance of hazard in existence.

(P. 123) No normal man remains passive in the grip of suffering and difficulties. Everyone defends himself - and must do so - against suffering, just as difficulties must be surmounted. That is in no way in contradiction with divine justice. It is when one negates the superior order, and when man refuses to recognize a superior power and even a superior justice, that injustice arises in the heart of man.

There is a close relation between love and justice. Both are parts of the created order, but each represents a different aspect. Justice is tied to equilibrium, love to grace. (Ivanov, 1991b, see p. 41n, ref. to the Kantian tension between love and law, according to Niebuhr, 1986, pp. 143ff.) The end, for us humans, is not only judgement. With the latter, grace and mercy also intervene. Our actions are placed on the pans of a balance. This is why justice is, with its suum cuique (to each his own) the expression of an egalitarian aspect of weighing. Grace in turn, as a force acting by love in existence, touches us vertically.

love and justice are the great victims of the modern process of alteration and destruction. The point of departure is always the same: individual man. For in the Kingdom of Man, there are "no other gods but me", and utilizing all means at his disposition the human being must conquer his position of power. And when it is a question of love and of justice, the premise is posed: there is no superior love, no superior justice. The center of the one and of the other is the individual self, sensual man devoted to his own self-interest. The point of departure is egoism.

How, in these conditions, can justice be established? How, in this crossfire of sensory forces and interest, can any kind of justice prevail? In Rousseau's writings one perceives a fundamental note: [existential] self-pity. It is he himself that he loves. In this autistic world, he encounters his own fragility, his weaknesses, his morbid tendencies, his torments, and his pains. Rousseau is delivered up to himself and to his sufferings. Then he creates a religious pseudo-world of which the center is the temple of sentimentality which is called the human heart, and where he elaborates the new "esoterism".

The center of man is the heart - it is there that the insoluble conflict is to be found that opposes Rousseau to the much more cerebral encyclopedists. The heart is the sentimental and autistic headquarters of the Kingdom of Man. "At the bottom" of this heart, in this "natural" temple, man is pure and good. There, not only our sensory but also our moral foundation is to be found. Secularized man has "conquered" love and justice. The power which is also necessary to man can be reconciled with his innate "natural" goodness: all submission, all subordination, all servility arouses malice in the human mind. Let us become strong, and we will become good.

In the heart, then, resides sentimental self-pity, but also pure and innocent Nature; and with Nature, the love of justice. Nevertheless, to reach this goodness, this purity, this justice, and this love, man must be equally free, strong, without bonds, "neither the lord nor the slave of anyone". This problem can only be solved through equality. One must not seek justice "above", but realize it here below, in earthly equality.

The individual is bearer of the human egoism, and the collectivity - bearer of the egalitarian order. In this collectivity, devoid of charity, and where, consequently, morality has only a single dimension, it is a question of resolving double problems. For the one part, no one can be stronger than I - and the self defends itself against a horde of wolves - and for the other, no one can be weaker ["it could be myself", or "he could turn against me"]. In such conditions all difference is a menace, even on the part of the weak - which may be directed against me. This is why an important element of the fundamental system of social security consists in eliminating all backwardness in an egalitarian regime.

Equality, as the relationship of power, is then a balance of terror. But power, it has been said, is only one aspect of the picture. The other is self-pity. It explains the curious mixture: on the one hand, a conceited and aggressive desire for power and, on the other, a sentimental compassion towards one's own weakness and confusion. It is this last psychic component which gives such a pronounced emotional note to the life of profane man. Amidst all the glorification of democratic liberty and the exercise of power by the citizenry one perceives an undeniable tendency to spread out and, so to speak, to socialize self-pity. [To manifest their nobility of spirit by proclaiming their identification with the oppressed, and their solidarity in the struggle for their cause.]

The socialization of self-pity, however, does not lead to a true compassion of a universal compass, since it is grounded in the fear of suffering. It motivates abolition by the providential State of suffering implying, positively, the well-being and the material and psychic satiety of the individual. It is the negation of the imperfection of this world [which, in turn, implies the negation of another directing higher spiritual world]. The fear of suffering and the efforts to eliminate it provide the emotional base for the order of profane justice.[34] This must not be confused with compassion. This latter is man's disposition to charitable sharing by placing himself in the position of his neighbor.[35]

Egalitarianism excludes charity because the former is not renunciation but revendication and surveillance. It implies the quantitative control of things.[36] At the beginning and at the end of all this system is found the aspiration of the egotistical individual to satisfy his needs for sensory enjoyments. The existence of man becomes then, individually as well as collectively, a defense of his own well being and not a disposition to sacrifice and renounce it. If he wishes the well-being of all, this is neither from compassion nor from charity, but because it appears to him as the one solid guarantee of his own individual well-being. [Cf. the interest for the power of technology and the possible motives for commitment to participation in the development and operation of technical systems for increased well-being.]

4. D'Arcy, M. C., S.J. (1944). Belief and reason . London: Burns Oates & Washbourne.

4.1. Preface

(S. v) Many people feel that, however attractive some of the Christian values and doctrines may be, they cannot bear the light of reason. They hope against hope that there may be some ultimate solution to the tragedies of everyday existence and to the private, social, and international problems we have to face. Many know in their hearts that the city built by man turns, all too frequently, into a city of avarice and hate. They have lost faith in the "planning" about which so much is written. Without some kind of inspiration from above such planning is like the stitching of old clothes. The wearing out goes on despite the busy needle.

4.2. Introduction

(S. 3) Among views which give little or no part to reason or intellect in faith, Kant holds that our thinking is limited to phenomena and that we can know nothing of God and spiritual freedom or spiritual personality because these conceptions have no basis in sense. But though, philosophically speaking, such conceptions are illegitimate and have no content they are demanded as postulates in the practical order. We cannot live as free, moral men without them. Faith, then, is a postulate of the moral and practical order. The influence of this view has been great. It seemed to free religion from the difficulties of science and give it a standing which, if not rational, was nevertheless also beyond the range of hostile criticism. Many, therefore, think that they can have an experience called faith which is genuine and true though it has nothing to do with what scientists call reason.

Faith was thought of more and more as an experience of a unique kind analogous to artistic experience. Reason and religious doctrine were separated off from the heart of religion. Religion need no longer be defended on rational grounds. Christian thinkers need lo longer believe that there exists any content or doctrine of faith which must be considered immune from change. Doctrine, no matter how sacred, can be believed or disbelieved without any loss to essential Christianity. Liberal Christians followed this path. Faith seems to mean for them an assurance of the Christian experience, and a confidence that no matter what conclusions they form they will be assisted by the Holy Spirit. The Modernist is more positive in his rejection of old ideas than the Liberal. He has been influenced by the pragmatic philosophers, such as William James. Truth is never more than a hypothesis which works. We should believe in Christianity because above all other religions it works and has value. The Christian story contains in mythical form the ideal towards which man is evolving. The doctrines of Christianity have no absolute truth but serve as symbols pointing man in the right direction.

Rationalist tendencies characterize certain thinkers who have followed the contrary line, extolling reason, and wishing it to do a work which the orthodox tradition says to be beyond its capacity. In pressing the rights of reason they make it difficult to see how faith can be free and, as such, a virtuous act, and how it can be supernatural and a gift of God to which he can lay no claim.

In contrast, the Catholic view is that faith is an act of the intellect directed by the will, that it is reasonable, and that we assent with certainty, and lastly, that we assent to the word of God just because it is God's word, given to us, therefore, on the authority of Truth itself. The fixed characteristics to notice, then, are that the assent is supernatural, free and certain, and that it rests on God's authority.

4.3. Chapter I: The meaning of the words Belief and Reason

If you find this chapter dry, remember that you cannot buy truth cheaply, especially considering that few bother to think out questions of religion.

My first point is that it is not reasonable to reject a religion because it calls itself a belief. A belief can be rational and even certain. The only kinds of knowledge which do not include belief are direct knowledge by perception and self-evident truths. Belief can mean probability amounting to almost practical certainty, including the resting on the evidence and the word of others. All knowledge which is not absolute certainty may be called belief, but the more specialized meaning is that of knowledge which rests on the word of others. A scientist cannont himself perform all the experiments whose results are down in the textbooks, and he is dependent in part on the word of other scientists as conveyed in the printed page of learned journals. Our daily experience is a tissue of beliefs. [Cf. the beginning of this paper where I state my temporary "abdication" from ego-centered academic work in order to mediate and introduce others' literature to researchers in my scientific field.]

4.4. Chapter II: What makes a belief reasonable?

(S. 19) By belief I mean, primarily, any ideas of views we hold which do not rest on direct experience or self-evident truths, and, secondly, all our knowledge which rests directly or indirectly on the words of others. [Cf. "trust" in democratic dialogue and debate.]

We have now to sift this mass of beliefs and separate the reasonable from the unreasonable. To do this we distinguish between belief in the word of another, belief in a cause, and belief in a person. The last - believing in (or at least giving the benefit of the doubt to) a person like a friend - is probably the strongest emotionally. The important truth lying behind this kind of belief is that there are persons who deserve to be trusted, and that without this trust many of the greatest enterprises for good will fail.[37] As in giving one's word so in giving one's trust and love the decision ought, if possible, to be irrevocable. [Cf. presuppositions or "fundamental assumptions" of communication, dialogue, and of "cooperation", beyond the "force of better argument".]

Belief in a cause implies more study and deliberation, but it is seldom unaccompanied by intense emotion. beliefs of this kind change the world for good or for ill, and no society prospers without a cause to defend. One of the signs of decadence is the absence of any belief in oneself or one's community or a positive ideal. Most of those who propagate their cause would be shocked to hear they were thought irrational. In practice they are not only fully persuaded that their cause is true but they try to justify it by arguing and trying without end to persuade their fellow-men to believe in it.

We are at present strong in our belief in the virtues of democracy. Past tests from experience are not in its favour, but we should probably reply that they were not fair tests and we stick to our belief in it. Why? Well, I think we are convinced that its view of man is the right one and it gives him the best opportunities to live a full life. But notice that we are applying here a criterion quite different from that of the scientist and empiricist one.

If we must test the Christian belief by its effects ("by their fruits you shall know them") then it can give imposing evidence of truth. There is no end to the things we owe to it, hospitals and a type of school and university, a passion for learning, the laws which emancipated us and gave us freedom and rights as free men (this was the work of English medieval lawyers who were Churchmen), the religious orders who dedicated themselves to looking after the poor and destitute, many of the glories of our painting and architecture, new types of spiritual beauty as manifested in a Venerable Bede, a Benedict, and Bruno and Francis of Assisi; a new idea, in truth, of human nature with the accompanying virtues of brotherliness, respect of woman and innocence, and humility. There are shadows in the picture, but if we take this test of effects of Christianity a strong case can be made out. This is not the supreme or only test, no more than, for example we need to take as the only test of Communism [or of Democracy], its practical successes.

The final test of every religious theory and belief is the truth of its premises and the height and consistency of its ideals. In discussing great beliefs like Democracy and Communism and Christianity one can always wriggle out of difficulties drawn from practice. You know the answer some of us give "Christianity has not failed because it has never been tried". It illustrates the indecisiveness of an appeal to practice. The real test is whether it makes out its claims to be true and to answer the problem of man's destiny. And because it does not hide away in a corner but offers its credentials openly and without fear, it belongs to that category of belief which is prima facie reasonable. There are faiths which rely on feeling, on mystical insights, on pragmatical values alone. Christianity is not one of them. True, it says that, if you accept the evidence that God has spoken, you are bound in reason to accept that revelation, but, even then, the mind is allowed to play upon the doctrines revealed. But before you accept you are presented with a panorama of life, an interpretation of history, and a philosophy of man, which you can examine to your heart's content freely and without prejudice.

4.5. Chapter III: The role of reason

(S. 24ff.) Many do not believe that Christianity has stood up to the tests of a reasonable belief. To them religion seems to survive despite reason. Reason is cold and impartial, religion appeals to the emotions and is partisan and propagandist. They think that it has always traded on men's fears, lent itself to the wildest orgies and resisted the advance of science. Book after book tells how those who have been brought up in some faith have had to abandon it in later years or have turned against its baseless threats, its narrow intolerance, its searing inhumanity. Such evidence is far too strong to be dismissed with an angry denial. But first notice that the same kind of indictment has been brought against parents and political rulers, kings and governments. Yet even the critics would not pretend that we can get on without parents and governments.

A generation or two ago it was the fashion to debunk religion by tracing its origin to magic or animism or superstition. It is now clear that in primitive worship a pure if confused idea of God can shine through barbarous customs and superstitions [cf. Jung's psychology]. Growth in philosophy and art and, generally, in religion does not proceed as in science from the lower to the higher but from the confused to the distinct. The best things in life never grow out of date; the worst that can happen to them is to be out of fashion. To desert our true love is evidence of our fickleness, not of her fading beauty.[38]

What part does reason play in all this? Science proceeds from the senses and intellectual activities combined, philosophy from the mind, and morals belong to the will; but religion is the response of the whole man to what is his most vital concern. You are a man before you are a thinker or artist or economist. It is you thinking, feeling, and desiring.

If, then, religion expresses the total man as no other human activity can, if it is the mother country of the impulses, we can understand why no civilisation endures for long when it abandons religion; why again the impetus to live gradually declines in its absence, the meaning and purpose of life are lost and man surrenders to fate and his own Frankenstein monsters [cf. technological determinism]. Again we can see why religion can be so allied to madness and produces such terrifying fanaticism and frenzies. It is the primordial urge and gathers up within it all other impulses, thoughts, and emotions. If it goes wrong, then mad fears and sex passions and avarice [and technological utopias or political beliefs] may take charge in its name, and we can have a crop of lunatics and hypocrites. Such aberrations are a witness to its power and the desperate need of simplicity and wisdom in the direction of it.

Christianity is a mature religion, and so far from despising reason it has been accused of overrating it. It started as an historical event and it expanded rapidly into a universal faith which challenged the moral, spiritual, and intellectual ideas of the time and of the past. It had to defend its assumptions and pretensions and justify its creeds. In fact, it is the scientific age which has remained predominantly an antirationalistic movement, based upon a naive faith. What reasoning is wanted, has been borrowed from mathematics. Science repudiates philosophy. In other words, it has never cared to justify its faith or to explain its meaning; and has remained blandly indifferent to its refutation by Hume.

Religion is far too vital a concern to be ignored because of the boorishness or even human incompetence of some of its servants. All other activities are nourished by the inner belief that our efforts are not all wasted, that life is not all cross questions and crooked answers, and that the end is a lame and impotent conclusion. Our very reason cries out against this, and the soul cannot be satisfied with dusty answers or remain for ever placid in [constructivist, or liberal ironic] doubt.

4.6. Chapter IV: Relativism

(S. 29ff) The Christian belief claims to be reasonable; and in two ways. First before you make any act of faith, the mind is invited to examine the evidence for Christianity; and after you come to believe, the mind explores the content of that faith under the direction and control of Revelation. Today, many are like men who talk as if they intended to propose to a woman, but never do. Society is at present [1946] permeated with a kind of God-fearing Agnosticism. Instincts and habits are still Christian, but the mind is just confused and in doubt. Such agnostics think that theirs is the most reasonable view. They say that they do not deny the possibility that a God exists but that it is wiser to suspend judgement. It is difficult to have patience with this oistrich-like action. If God exists, as they say He may, He is not a noboby who can be ignored. To treat the Being who fills the universe and on whom all depends as a nonentity is in fact an insulting compromise, and a shallow form of atheism.

A free, full-grown, responsible and personal human being has begun to reflect upon himself, on his status in the universe, on his relations with his fellow-men and with nature; and he realises with his understanding that the rationality in nature which he discovers, the ideas of truth which he is bound to follow and learn, the standards of justice and love which he must aim and obey, must all have a living source.

At the same moment that man discovers his own excellence and dignity as a free, personal being, he also acknowledges a free, personal Godhead, and is happy. As soon as he begins to lose sight of himself by confusion of thought or sophistry, he also begins to lose sight of the nature of God. He denies his own freedom and dignity, and the world becomes strange and impersonal [and the need increases for a desperate "inter-subjective" communication]. He feels himself the creature of fate and necessity [or of relativism], and he feels that the world is too much for him [i.e. the motivation for relativism]. Only the false romantic [the "sentimental"] can believe that in the silent, inexorable world of atheism a man can be master of his fate. Our Western civilisation has developed the idea of personal liberty from its Christian tradition of a personal God.

This rule, that a right regard for our own free, personal nature and a right conception of God as personal and providential must coincide is verified today when the true idea of God has been lost and the shadow of necessity haunts our civilisation with its scientific determinism [and its communicative relativism], its economic necessities and the servile state.

There may be a twofold explanation of our modern Agnosticism. The first is that we have been so deluged with ideas and counter ideas that we have slipped into the habit of picking and choosing alternatives [or constructed "artifacted" perspectives] without ever committing ourselves finally to one of them. Our society lacks a unifying motive. [Cf. "democracy"!] It has been taught to be tolerant of everything, even evil, to be sceptical of fundamentals, of its soul and its freedom and of the norms of morality set like stars in the firmament. We prefer to be nomads in search of sensation [and in search of perspectives] rather than sure of our spiritual city. To toss truth to and fro, to look wise and be non-committal, has its pleasures.[39] But to sit on the fence when the fence is rotting is not the act of a wise man. So too in religion; it is more comfortable to regard God as a kind of absentee landlord and dwelling as far off as the Virgin Islands. It might be decidedly uncomfortable to have to face up to a living God who is not deceived by the bogus, can expose us for what we are, and judges our motives and way of life by the standards of pure truth. Far more soothing is it to stop thinking and rely on vague, general terms and long-winded descriptions of the "great hypothesis", the "inapprehensible reality", the "organic absolute", and similar bung-holes without any barrel.

But there is a more worthy reason why intelligent men hesitate to think of God as personal. In early religions the gods worshipped were far too like ourselves, and man has a bad habit of making things after his own image. Now, it is the work of science and philosophy to remove these fond imaginings and replace them with scientific and abstract terms. To teach the multitudes, however, we have to use pictures, and when we study with our minds we have to use general and abstract terms, and that makes study laborious. This is the chief defect of human thinking: we have to use abstractions and learn to clothe them in sensible imagery. [Cf. "metaphorical" and "heuristic" strategies for inquiry.] God does not have to use general terms, nor is He an abstraction. Abstractions are like pennies which we human beings have to use in place of silver, and are to be found in learned books.

But now notice that the learned tend to fall into their own pit, for you catch them writing of Nature and Evolution and Progress and Mind and Reality with capital letters, and so giving them a substantial status as beings which they don't possess at all. When Christians call God personal they both avoid the mistake of the anthropomorphists and that of the scientists. They do not think of God as a kind of superhuman being like Jupiter or Wotan. Nor do they stop at abstractions like Nature or Mind, into which the scientists lapse.

4.7. Chapter V: Christian faith's relation to reason; prejudices and points of view

A point of view begins when there is the chance of interpreting several facts or a number of data. Except in hot argument we do not normally boggle over statements like twice two is four. We have no personal point of view about it; it offers no challenge to our mind. [Cf. the foundational views of mathematics, presently ignored in applied science.] But immediately there is a challenge, and the facts need collating, then points of view and different interpretations begin, e.g. about the news in the papers, the habits of mutual friends, the conduct of the war, the policies of governments, almost everything. We like to have a point of view, and the point of view is fairly consistent. It is dictated by a mixture in us of information, taste, affection, fears, and likes and experience. We have each of us a kind of personal pattern and this pattern may both quicken our insight and blind us. [Cf. "perspectivistic blindness" as opposed to "perspectivistic seeing"!] We may be quick to find what we like and quick to read into others [and into their own arguments] our own pattern, and so miss a great deal. Critics may not get inside the mind of the persons they abused; they were prejudiced. For true understanding you must get inside the mind of others, by sympathy. If you don't you will be prejudiced and have a narrow point of view.

Now, our point of view or pattern enters into all our ordinary judgements. We are constantly unifying our experience and making it our own, and much depends on whether we can keep on growing with an open mind and enlarging our experience. One danger is that after a time we become satisfied and complacent, and then our mind closes [i.e. works with only depictive views of reality]. Another danger is that some passion or hate may discolour all our thoughts and inclinations. Also those who allow themselves to be swayed by a contemporary fashion, and talk about the necessity of truth being up to date, and about outworn dogmas and the ancient superstition of religion, have never understood men, and have blinded their own minds.

How, then, can the mind be freed from prejudice and made open to recognize truth? Everyone should, among other things, not be content with mere snapshots of reality and settle down into a complacent enjoyment of the second rate, or anything less than a complex view of life: one which includes the mystery of man himself, time and waste and sorrow and death and evil, as well as scientific progress, joy in art, and the kind of high human thinking which is illustrated, for example, in an anthology like Robert Bridge's Spirit of Man.

Concerning faith, Christians arrive at the threshold of faith by reason, but then go on: the human point of view is given a new perspective in a divine pattern which is the point of view of truth. [Cf. an early footnote about dogma] Passage from reason to faith, is not the black-out of reason but the enlightening of it. Faith, however mistaken, is not founded on unreason, It is much less unreasonable than what we ourselves are doing constantly, that is, allowing us to be influenced by the views of another.

4.8. Chapter VI: Doctrine

(S. 42ff) When people say that science is opposed to [or inconsistent with] Christian belief, we must ask, what is opposed to what? The real scientist, busy in his field of research generally dislikes those who speak in his name and talk too much about subjects outside his specialized work. He feels that he is exploited by popularisers, and he is not responsible for that dreary jibe that science deals with facts and progresses, while philosophy and religion avoid facts and are stationary [cf. "depictive"]. He knows that discoveries are made by science, but many so called facts are really only hypotheses, and that scientific hypotheses don't profess usually to be more than makeshifts. Only harm is done to science when people extend such hypotheses beyond the field in which they hold good, and use them to explain everything. [Cf. extending principles of social science such as democracy into a "religion", like system science may be tempted to.] The itch of some scientific thinkers to be philosophers and high priests leads them to generalise in the most wanton manner. [Cf. the "evolutionism" of "evolutionary embryonic" information systems which, used as a metaphor, borrows from the power of the concept of evolutionism.].

There are in every age certain popular catchwords and tendencies. In the nineteenth century, owing to the progress made in many directions, the idea of evolution fell in with the mood of the time,and though it was only a scientific theory it became a popular philosophy. It has never been very coherent, and the good it accomplished is now interred with the bones of Spencer, Darwin, and Huxley. The follies in the belief have cost us dearly - for we cannot deny that that view of man has had a share in the disintegration and misery which have followed in our day. Nevertheless there are people still ready to exploit the scientific hypothesis and expound it as a view of life which ousts that of Christianity.[40] It is made to cover everything, the inorganic, the organic, and mind and spirit. [Cf. auto-poiesis, and, again, evolutionary embryonic systems development.] But notice, that an all-out Evolutionist cuts his own throat. The law of development, he says, is that of survival value. Claws are advantageous, therefore some animals have claws. To think has survival value, therefore thought flourishes. But if this is so, his own theory follows the same law. It is evolved not because it is true, but because it has survival value. [Cf. also the pragmatism of "auto-poietic" "academic survival" and "grant success" at universities.] He ought not be interested in its truth, for in an all-out evolution that has no place or meaning. Then, too, none of these Evolutionists can tell us what it is that evolves. Growth is not mere change; it is change of something which remains more itself at the end than at the beginning. In the inorganic world it is doubtful if anything grows. Is it a bladder which has grown larger when a football is blown up? If protons and electrons are the only physical reality, they remain completely the same in all changes, and so there is no evolution. If you bring in the word "structure" or "form" (Churchman, 1971, cf. morphological classes, in chap. 3), then the units making up the form are never the same for two minutes, and it looks as if a form which was other than its physical units had grown. That is odd, because it suggests that the form is immaterial! What is it then that grows? [Cf., again, what is the embryo of the information system which will evolve?] What remains the same and becomes an individual in his evolution from some remote ancestor? The truth is that evolution is only a convenient hypothesis which helps to coordinate known facts in a limited field of science. Christianity is quite content to accept it as such, but Christians dislike the sloppiness of thought which applies it as a truth to everything, the mind included. [Cf. so called embryos without determinate specifications, auto-poietic evolution, and the evolving constructive mind.]

This example of evolution is typical of the theories, taken from physics or economics or psychology, which are proffered as the last word of wisdom on everything in general. [Cf. the temptations of sloppy "systems thinking".] They attract because they are supposed to be up to date and the product of science, which is infallible. Christianity has nothing to fear from real science. From Newton onward there have always been plenty of first-rate scientists who were at the same time thorough believers. But after a blitz of false propaganda, people are now unwilling to believe anything which is ancient as well as modern.

The real difficulty of our day I believe to be this clinging mist of doubt. It has been spread wider by poor religious teaching and the feverish inconsistancy of modern opinion. Some Christian teaching is so bad as to be only a caricature. Let it be true; if it is thaught without conviction or authority, it is soon forgotten. Unfortunately, too, we live in an age of inconstancy. In a healthy society a man hasn't for ever be re-examining himself. He is at home in an ideal and can go about his proper business in a creative mood. Nowadays a young man has no continuity with his early years. He finds he must change his ideas on politics, economics, and conventional morals; and so he takes for granted that the same must hold true in religion. No great philosophy of life warms the hearts of our generation.

The Christian philosophy, so far from thwarting man's aims, creates an atmosphere in which man's aims can live best. No other philosophy makes room for so much: for spirit and matter, reason and imagination, the rights and duties of free persons. Everything is there in its right proportion: science in its relation to man's other aims, the proper functions of families and nations, and the solidarity of man, - and behind all, there is no impersonal fate but a living God.

In an age which is one of mass-production, the influence of public opinion [cf. "democracy"] seeps through one's reason into the soul, and this is why even men of independent judgement may feel without knowing why that the day of Christianity is over. People feel that a tide of disruption is now at full flood, and that it is a cosmic [constructive] movement which cannot be changed. We live in a flux. Language changes, habits, artistic tastes, government change; and so stupendous are the changes in the extent of our knowledge of the world that we feel an immense gap between what we and our forefathers thought, and are inclined to think that they must have been credulous and immature in their beliefs.

The answer to this trouble of mind is to study what Christianity really teaches in its doctrines. It is not the truth of the doctrine which has grown old but the imagery and associations that the language used calls up. But though the clothing of an idea in language may repel, the idea itself may be unalterably true. Christianity is not committed to any philosophical system. In some respects Christian faith is like human love. It awakens devotion to a person as well as attachment to a cause.

4.9. Appendix I: Pragmatism and Modernism

(S. 49ff) Contemporary Agnostics share with the Communist and the Nazi, as well a with the Catholic, a confidence which is not easily shaken by disturbing facts. They are all believers. The difference which I would maintain exists between their beliefs is that the Catholic one is founded on reason, the Nazi and the Communist on messianic expectation, and the Agnostic on disillusionment and an interior disharmony. By an interior disharmony I mean the result of the coming to pieces of an early belief and the failure to resume the fragments under one Creed. [Cf. the quest for a "systems approach".] There is now no "general body of knowledge on the general truth of which civilised man could agree". But that does not mean that all belief is absent. Even a negation creates prejudices and feeds dislikes. The old is abused and tolerated more in form than fact, and the novels like those of writers as H.G. Wells and B. Shaw are avidly scanned in the hope that they may offer a clue out of the maze. Their role, apart from their position as writers of the English tongue, is to exhibit better perhaps than anyone else the bankruptcy of modern life and thought. The modern Agnostic believes in a unity, but it is dark. [Cf. "evolutionary system"]. He is aware that the past has slipped away and that the present is carrying him along without his understanding it or exercising proper control of it. His belief is a negative one; it has no absolutes and no standards, and yet he likes to think that he is better off than his Christian friend, more broad-minded, more far-seeing and closer to the goal of human life.

It is difficult to dissipate this view, to puncture this nebulous belief; for it is everywhere and nowhere. It can be extreme and form a dark cloud of doubt which covers every approach to religion. To such doubters religious persons are on the same plane as witch-hunters, fortune tellers, and idolaters. But there are those who wish to preserve the values [like democracy] which they recognise in religious nations while at the same time they are unable to accept the content of any religious belief. This distinction is applied with special force to Christianity. Few of its dogmas are up to date. By rigidly adhering to past ways of thought it has lost hold on the modern mind.

The feeling persists that dogmas are a relic of past ways of thinking and that the modern mind has no use of them. [Cf., again, the early footnote about dogma.] Our outlook now is experimental and tentative [communicative, constructive, artificial, and eternally evolutionary]. It lives on probabilities and hypotheses, it allows for growth [construction] of knowledge [and artifacts] and flexibility in method. So much has been learnt and so vast are the areas of uncertainty that the only wise policy is to make the best of present knowledge and allow for its limitations. (Ulrich, 1987, cf. his negative heuristics for social systems design) This mood expressed itself at the beginning of the century in what has been called pragmatism and modernism, a view which decried the absolute certainties of past ages and regarded the mind as an instrument for service and life. Pushed to an extreme this view led straight to scepticism [and utilitarism] but the modern critic says that each age has its temptations, that he has corrected the bias of those years, and that if this age is too fond of probabilities and surmises the medieval world suffered from the opposite defect and was too fond of dogmatising. The revolt against positivism plunged a generation into the opposite extreme. All thought was considered to be tarred with the same brush; its claims to give truth were denied, and it was made into the servant maid of some mysterious new function or force and judged by its works.

This heresy against the mind was called pragmatism, and in theology it took the name of modernism. It denied any real separation or priority of spirit life. It denied moralism and sentimentalism as well as intellectualism: life is the test and criterion of truth, as serviceableness is of any instrument.[41] Knowledge is thought of as a kind of plan made to suit experience and foretell and control future experience. As such, of course, it could not hold the place of honour which the Christian Church had given it. It had lost the absolute and final character which the traditional philosophy gave to it.

This suicidal pragmatist view of reason has been overinfluenced by the idea of progress and the limitations of the human mind [Kant]. It is a prejudice that the human reason is only a practical instrument for the needs of man. Speculation in such a view is just a scribbling in the dark, a blind man's guess about the flowers of paradise. It is not realized into what an abyss of ignorance such a defeatist doctrine of human reason leads. The distrust of human reason and of man prepares the way for superstitions and lunatic dreams which insult the world's intelligence.

4.10. Appendix II: Criticism

(S. 85ff) Faith, in contrast with moral choices, being concerned with an ultimate is not unlike, in some respects, the kind of choice which the democracies have to make in fighting Nazism or Totalitarianism. The struggle is between two contrary views of life. Or to take another example: our Parliamentary system depends upon the various parties having a common conception of society, about which they agree. The various parties debate which is the better means for perfecting such a society. This is like a moral choice. If, however, a new party arises which has a totally different conception of society, debate must turn on to fundamentals, and no Parliamentary system can work. This is like the choice of faith.

From Aristotle downwards it has been accepted by the greatest number of the great moralists of the world that the criterion of good and bad acts is to be found in the judgement of the "phronimoi", the wise men. (Ivanov, 1991b, concerning "phronesis", p. 46 in the chap. on "pragmatism and religion"). The virtue of Prudentia was regarded as the Queen in the practical order.

It is simply difficult to understand the objection that it is impossible to believe what one does not understand. Belief can be used for an opinion of a high order, as when we say that we believe that the sun will rise tomorrow but we have no absolute certainty. In this sense, of course, we must understand the statement which we believe. But belief is also used in the sense of accepting something on the word of another. In this sense I need not understand the meaning of that "something"; in fact most people cannot be said to understand why it can be that the earth is round. Many use the formulas of science in their daily lives, in cooking and heating houses and in driving cars, etc., without knowing the meaning of their formulas. They have some idea of what they are doing, but then every believer, including the Christian believer, uses understanding and judgement.

(S. 89ff) Faith is a virtue, and it can be compared to the virtue of prudence. Prudence now often means little more than "wait and see" or an excessive caution which is far from the original connotation of the name. In a wise and prudent moral judgement a man is aware of the accord of what he is about to do with what he should desire, or to put it more technically, with the proper and appropriate end of his instinct or inclination. But not only is he certain of this interior accord between his decision and his desire; he is equally certain that the exterior circumstances and the nature of the action to be performed, which solicit his assent, are such as to deserve it. In other words, I judge both that this action is the right kind of course for a right-minded man to follow, and also that the external circumstances are such that in the light of them a good man ought to make this decision. [Cf. this scheme vs. the modern conceptions of communicative action and rational argumentation.](Östberg, 1993, cf. his conception of responsibility as virtue - not only "personal knowledge" - in the context of "risk management".)

In our moral choices our certainty lays both in the objective rightness of the action and in the known interior accord of our desires with their right end. Our action was virtuous and free because we thus corresponded with what we realised to be right and good. But all such moral choices fell within the general conception of the end of life and our ultimate good. In faith we are concerned not with intermediate choice, not with ways and means, but with our final end, with life and the eternal life. [Cf. Singer's and Churchman's intersubjective "ideals".] Our whole existence is at stake, all that we are is engaged, and we have to decide to accept of refuse, truth revealing a new way and end and life. (James, 1956, gives the pragmatist account of this type of concerns.) If, as it may happen, we recoil from the invitation and see it from our all too human point of view, it may seem to us fantastic or mythological or as making an unfair demand on the surrender of our precious private judgement and desires. Faith entails a complete surrender. It is this which scandalises those who are rich in mind or talents or noble ambitions. They are shocked, and despise the act of total surrender as an act of cowardice, and spurn the act of authority which demands it as wanton and oracular.[42] They are not, however, true to the highest instinct of man which makes him when in love give his all and keep nothing back. If this be so between a man and a maid, it must be the law of love between God and man.

The hesitations and objections, the delays and compromises which not infrequently occur when the challenge of faith has to be met, are often a sign of some interior and only half-undertstood resistance of the natural self to the sacrifice demanded. The same happens when some grave moral decision should be taken, when one has to change one's way of life, marry, or enter some service. But such prolonged doubts are not rational; they are much more likely to be rationalisations of some fear or selfish emotion which holds the self in thrall.

Man is then really asking that faith should rest on purely natural reasons and that his assent should be not one of faith but a conclusion resting on premises and only as strong as those premises. Such an assent would neither be free nor supernatural. There will and can be no virtue in it.

Now, faith has been defined as an act of the intellect directed by the will, and it is because of this "direction of the will" that our assent can be both free and virtuous as well as certain. The clue to the possibility of such assent is to be found in morals. In a proper moral judgement we saw we have both objective evidence to justify our decision, and within us the sensed orientation of our desire according to right reason. This gives us a certainty that our choice was right.[43]

The likeness between the act of faith and the practical judgement in morals consists in that in both the assent is a virtue and free, that the intellect is directed by the will. Despite this likeness there are, however, differences. In faith the choice is of a final good and of a life which demands complete surrender of the self with all its powers.

5. Conclusions

5.1. Disclaimer

To begin with I wish to remind and emphasize that this is a working paper. The categorical style of the conclusions should be "discounted" by the reader since these working conclusions formally do not claim to be more than well motivated and supported hypotheses.

Since I may be treading on the toes of many people I also wish to emphasize that the spirit of my criticism is such that its apparent strength or even violence, and offence, stands in direct proportion to the extent of the claims of those who feel criticized. These claims can be seen either in terms of consumed research resources, or in terms of the number and kind of people who are supposed to have been influenced or are supposed to be influenced in the future. There is a paradox here which I have already noted in an earlier paper. While I was writing it I happened to glance at the calls for papers to a conference on systems thinking. Papers were invited for the following streams: problem structuring, systems and operations research, systems and the social sciences, information systems, choice of methodology, use of particular methodologies, project management, and applications of systems thinking. I realized with a certain uneasiness that it would not be difficult for some schools and projects in the field of information systems research and computer science to be successful in submitting papers to almost all the streams, not to mention to other conferences on subjects like expert systems, decision support systems, group decision support systems, computer supported cooperative work, teleconferencing, human-computer interaction, hypermedia, educational technology, computer-aided learning, geographical information systems, information management, etc.

It should be obvious that under these circumstances nothing can be questioned or even said without risking to tread on the toes of researchers and practitioners who may feel that they have something valuable and revolutionary to contribute in almost all those fields, plus in business, philosophy, methodology of science, and culture in general including reform of our way of living. It is nothing short of a synthesis of Western thinking in terms of its major philosophers, a revolution of the human mind, of our human way of thinking and creating our future, including our way of conceiving business, organizing work and leisure, financing research and development, etc., all this based on information technology. This seems to be the price we all have to pay for the universal "rhetoric" appeal of buzzwords in the fields of applications of the the universal cosmic tool called computer, which borrows from the prestige of the queen of the sciences, mathematics. In other words: under such circumstances the degree of offence that is felt by the possible objects of criticism must be directly proportional to their degree of ego inflation.[44] Even so, I would have worked harder and longer with the purpose of softening the occasional harshness of my tone in a language which I am far from mastering, if it were not for the severity, that in accord with Lindbom's and D'Arcy's analysis, is required towards that which, within ourselves and others, despite all good intentions, can damage the intellect.

As an introductory conclusion I wish to state explicitly and ritually that I continue to be in favor of technology, democracy and cooperation. This paper should in no way be interpreted as contempt, disdain, scorn, or disregard of efforts to develop artefacts or technological support of democratic, participatory, cooperative, communicative, argumentative work and design. It is, rather, an attempt to explore the meaning of these words in terms of some of their presuppositions and fundamental assumptions.[45] I wish to contribute to prevent them from becoming buzzwords. In doing so, I concede that my approach in these few pages cannot make full justice to the complexity of the issues. In particular, concerning "democracy", it would be necessary to dwell further upon the delicate relation between democracy and Christianity as suggested, for instance, in the works of Roger Garaudy, Jacques Maritain, and others like, for instance Charles Taylor. (Lindbom, 1980, pp. 47ff and 58ff, for instance, considers Maritain's and Garaudy's work.) I wish also to emphasize that the extent and weight of referred materials would be crushing if they were understood as an appeal to the reader to solve it all, to dominate the whole thing in order to do valuable work. There is an advantage in trying to desinflate the ego by having a Christian attitude in the sense of also remembering that it is Christ who bears the cross. Or, as August Strindberg - if I remember right the unidentified passage - lets a figure in his play To Damascus express it: "If you do not want Christ to bear the cross for you, bear it yourself!". Furthermore, at the risk of some repetition, I wish to remind all I wrote in the preface-introduction to this paper.

I wish also to emphasize what by now should be a pacific point, namely that university research cannot consist only of answering questions and improving material conditions but also, if not mainly, of formulating important questions. If we happen to be in the middle of cultural crisis, however, it must mean that whoever attempts to express such a fact can be expected to meet particular difficulties. There will be no language available. Whatever is said will tend to be misunderstood, be equated with either an aggression or a "straw-man argument" or "bang into open doors", or be judged "not relevant to our small scale daily work" [cf. Occam's separatism]. Such a response will, in turn, require a paralyzing escalation of literary-diplomatic talents. A paper like this one will also raise lots of "Why Not?" questions, including questions about whether the message stands for opposition to democracy, human communication, cooperation, science, technology, and all other good things in life. Whatever is said or written, if not bowdlerized, will raise resentment, aggressivity, fear, anguish, outrage, or, in general, negative feelings. Not even Christ himself escaped this fate in his historical confrontation with a cultural crisis. What to say about those who obviously are very far from being a Christ, and, on the contrary, risk all the time to be victims of an ego-inflation? Such a social environment will convince a gradually increasing number of critical writers to refrain from considering controversial issues, leading eventually to a total conspiration of silence. The power of coarse pragmatism will, then, celebrate triumphs. There are such tendencies, reported in the university environment, where researchers refrain from criticizing and from exposing themselves to criticism - even in a simple seminar or conversation - because of fear of being misunderstood. This is cultural crisis. The sudden next stage may be "war".

This is, then, a working paper, and its conclusions can be better appreciated in the context of my earlier works in this very same direction of what I perceive as a broad strategy for the study of information technology (1984b; 1986; 1991a; 1991b).[46] The appreciation of the text selections is also extremetly dependent upon the experiences and goals of the reader. Or, as it may be expressed concerning the appreciation of a work like The Design of Inquiring Systems (Churchman, 1971): It is difficult to find something you are not looking for.

The complexity of the issues, being at the level of a cultural criticism, it presupposes that the conclusions themselves are an illustration of the interplay between belief and reason. This is to be interpreted even beyond the scope of the classical pragmatist treatment of "the will to believe" (Ferré, 1987, p. 45; James, 1956), and closer to the sense of Christian humanism (D'Arcy, 1944). It has also been pointed out that applicability alone, like consistency alone, is not enough. A conceptual synthesis must not only be applicable to some experience which it interprets; it must (much more demandingly) be adequate to all possible experience, if it is to succeed in being of unlimited generality; that is, it must show all experience to be interpreted without oversights distortion, or "explaining away" on the basis of its key concepts. (Ferré, 1987, p. 163)

For the rest, concerning conclusions, it is difficult to accept painful conclusions which remind us, against the background of the ongoing worldwide political and economic upheavals, that it may be necessary to question, in a more fundamental way than ever before, the directions taken by our scientific rationality. For me, the preparation of this paper has been like a "watershed" in my long struggle for identifying the "IS" and the "OUGHT" of my own, and my research field's fundamental assumptions. When this is said, I may be allowed to go into the heart of the matter.

5.2. Main conclusions

One conclusion of this study is that the spiritual postulates which were surveyed are necessary for making sense of what is happening in our research area. These postulates are related to the Kantian postulates of the practical and moral reason recalled by D'Arcy, and to theological revelation as defined by Niebuhr: "This intelligible event which makes all other events intelligible".[47] In spite of not having the kind of spontaneous faith which seems to be required for feeling saved (the non-secular version of liberated), I estimate that my "re-engineering" of myself is culminating with this paper. It has been, like for Lindbom himself, the result of a slow process which can be described in a sort of constructive scientific terms. I am thinking of theoretical constructs - which are not only constructs - like the mathematical operators of sub-atomic physics which allow making sense of experimental results and observations.

I repeat: it is a matter of need of spiritual, intellectual postulates of ethical and religious nature in order to make sense of the wealth of uncathegorized experiences, including social experiences. With the help of the proposed "dogmatic" postulates I am not only able to make sense of these experiences which overlap with the experiences described in the texts and in my referenced earlier work, not the least about problems of cooperative work, and problem and challenges in HyperSystems (1991b, pp. 55ff; 1993, chap.5). I am also able to connect in a purposeful convergent "Leibnizian" network (Churchman, 1971, chaps 2-4) isolated areas of knowledge which could be attributed to different fields like industrial information technology, psychoanalysis, religion, economics, mathematics, history, political science (socialism, democratic liberalism), etc. I am convinced that there are some possibilities for secularized responses or, at least reactions, to these insights. I judge, however, that these responses are not able to make sense of the insights to the same extent {Ivanov, 1988 #923; von Wright, 1989 #1785, a witness of Wittgensteinian deficiencies; Strömholm, 1993 #1786, from the field of law}.

This conclusion, which I partially anticipated in the preface, allows me also to make sense of a great amount of strong experiences I have had in my thirty years of professional work, and more of fifty years of living in different cultures. This includes not only making sense of my disappointment with the directions taken in computer and information science in those branches that attempt to deal with human-computer interaction and social contexts. It includes also making sense of my general disappointment with most of the fruits of the pragmatically inspired dialectical social systems theory which I myself have struggled for. I am thinking of the failure of many of its followers - among whom, in modesty, I must include myself - in making any real theoretical progress beyond the point where its master left it, in a problematic state, fifteen years ago, at the interface with politics, morality, aesthetics, and religion (Churchman, 1979). As a matter of fact, I have the impression that many followers can fail by oversimplifying the most simple and popular account of the systems approach (Churchman, 1968), and by not living up to its most viable refinements which happen to be, in fact, already available. In the name of the necessary consultancy rhetorics, hilariously and insightfully described by Ida Hoos in her "classic" (Hoos, 1983), several of the basic features of the systems approach tend to be disregarded.

A further theoretical failure of dialectical systems theory is the apparent divorce between belief and reason, and between morality and religion that Lindbom covers in his discussions of virtue, and d'Arcy in his discussion of prudence. Another is our incapability to evaluate its practical achievements as embodied in the works of the followers, despite their possible wordly success as consultants. On the contrary, their and their technical fellows' apparent success can be paradoxically attributed to their command of surplus psychic energy for "directed thinking". It is the energy which - as hilariously pointed out by Lindbom[48] - becomes freed when thinking is divorced from feeling, and ethical responsibility is ignored or transferred by the "facilitator" to the "invisible hand" of a negotiation process. Certain insights can, for good and for bad but perhaps mostly for good, be paralyzing when psychic energy is not freed and made available to wanton doing but, rather, remains tied to the ethical inwards struggle.

My continued support for the particular systems theory comes from the fact that I cannot envisage a better alternative than Churchman's thought for those who want to relate hard science, hard economics, and technology to the ultimate issues of the foundations of information technology, politics, morality and religion. I still consider Churchman, with all his possible shortcomings, as by far the deepest thinker and the best basis I know concerning the fundaments of information systems research and computer support ("the design of inquiring systems").

It was the need for meeting the problems of dialectical social systems theory which prompted me to look beyond systems, for "HyperSystems", and for a "humanistic computing science". I claim that both D'Arcy and (in particular) Lindbom succeed at a more general, non-disciplinary level, in the task of formulation that I was attempting in my book of 1986, and in my essay on humanistic computing science of 1991. Furthermore, Lindbom makes some modest but important contributions which have not been the main focus of my selections in this paper, in the direction of another effort of mine: the understanding of what seems to be a process of mathematization of our culture. It aims at the meaning of computerization and applications of information technology, in work and in society at large. Lindbom's work allows also for focusing on other matters that have not stood at the center of this essay but still are highly relevant to information systems research, like, for instance, "system" and "work".

Lindbom's work strengthens my conviction about the theoretical, and therefore also practical limitations of the socializing and moralizing twist of information systems research in the direction of participative work centering, evolutionary flexibility, democratic communication and cooperative decision making, etc. The texts of this paper make sense of the late quest in the direction of post-modernism, phenomenology and existentialism, critical social theory, cybernetic constructivism, and liberal irony. They also make sense of the paradox that, in some quarters, the war against depictive positivism seems to be made in positivistic utilitarian terms where market and client-orientation tend to be substituted for sheer hedonism, and negotiation tends to be substituted for ethics. It also make sense of the feeling of disorientation which must necessarily assail researchers, not the least graduate students, who are trying to orient themselves in the maze of different approaches or "isms". These different approaches, often in the name of originality or creativity, seldom take cognizance of each other. Despite my critical attitude, I claim to have worked hard in order to relate, in mutual respect, multifarious orientations and "-isms" in my academic community, including my closest colleagues (Ivanov, 1990a). In "Leibnizian" terms (Churchman, 1971, chap. 2), this amounts to trying to knit together a plurality of isolated, non-convergent, consensus-based fact-nets, on isolated islands of social groups or academic sub-cultures.

The probable reasons for my failure in this "ecumenic" work up to now are also the main reasons for my renouncing in this paper to sustain a detailed argumention which "shows" the shortcomings of various research approaches in terms of buzzwords that are here cursorily criticized in terms of Lindbom's text. It is enough to see the aftermaths of one such detailed and insightful argumentation which was directed against a particular Swedish school for "silent knowledge" (Rolf, 1991). A whole book that is highly relevant for all talk about knowledge, skill, and organization, including uses and misuses of Wittgenstein and Polanyi, importance of tradition, authority, etc. was passed over by the information systems research establishment in almost complete silence. This contributed to my process of validation of Lindbom's and (in the footnotes) Reichmann's observations on the nature and function of many modern "debates" (see the footnotes of this paper). In the spirit of the "Why Not?" progressive strategy considered in this and earlier papers of mine, debates can be also used as a trap to suffocate insights and their expression, by requesting unwelcomed and costly detailed argumentation on extremely complex matters. This seems to be a variant of the fact that "the verification of the theory depends as much on the cost of trying to apply it as it does on other empirical evidence" (Churchman, 1961, p. 331). In any case, at least I feel pleased by my having called, by the end of 1991, the attention of graduate students and many colleagues on the specific contents of Rolf's book, pointing out the relevance of its detailed topics for their ongoing work. Nevertheless, the overall experience, and analog experiences like those corresponding to the lame responses to other detailed and legitimate criticism of trends and schools as by Whitaker (1992), do not encourage me to repeat the feats having as object some other school in the field of information systems. This does not mean that I renounce to carry on my argumentation, but it suggests that I turn it more into a sort of extended Leibnizian net which links several isolated nets to each other, in the same meaning as suggested by the reference to Ferré above (Ferré, 1987).

I also question that outgrowth of American pragmatism, the empirical idealism which led to West Churchman's dialectical social systems theory. I claim to have worked hard to introduce it in Swedish research on information systems, notwithstanding its occasional "strategic" renaming into constructivism. Nevertheless this systems theory may be legitimate and "work" to the extent that its followers do not imitate Icarus in his following of Daedalus in the Greek myth. In their studies they must really reach beyond its most popular presentation (Churchman, 1968), and must be imbued by the same religious spirit and experiences as its founder.[49] In this context I feel that the relation between Churchman and "Churchmaniacs" is analog to the relation between Kant and Kantians. In particular, I reject the practical expedient of reducing ethics to a matter of communication, articulation, and negotiation among conflicting interests, as much as I reject the rejection of any alternative to that on the basis that it is "dogmatic" in the theological and philosophical sense of the word. Only recently, in Sweden, has somebody dared to remind the intellectual community of the complexity of the term dogmatic as it is "technically" used in philosophy of science (Edman, 1993). I have not been able to find in neither Kant nor in our field's Kantians any discussion of the concept and of the contents of catholic dogmas (Kant, 1989), as compared, for instance to Jung's attention to the issue (Jung, 1953-1979, CW 11, [[section]]170).

Another conclusion is that I feel also encouraged in my progressive distrust of secular existentialism which seems to have departed so much from the Christian concerns of one of its founding fathers, Johann Georg Hamann. The more I learn about the foundations of modern "enlightened" liberal secularized thought the more I get convinced in my conclusion that it is important to investigate the sources of secularization in order to be able to attain lasting results which are accepted and shared by those who are affected by them. The surveyed literature encourages me to reach further back before Cartesian rationalism. I was already studying the deeper reasons for "the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics" (Wigner, 1960) with the hypothesis that it is supported by Cartesian theology (Buckley, 1987, pp. 68ff on "universal mathematics"; Marion, 1981; Shea, 1991b). Lindbom suggests the names of William Occam and Roger Bacon. He also enables me for the first time to gain a convincing understanding of the key point in Rousseau's thought as well as of the difference between Hobbes and Locke, including the possible role of Calvinism, not the least in technology, industry and services. I think that this is important in order to develop our understanding of the anatomy of democracy which is often taken for granted in our socialist-democratic faith in "participation". This had motivated my studies based on related literature (Buckley, 1987; Riley, 1983; Riley, 1986) which I interrupted for studying Lindbom's work and for writing this paper.

It also follows that I feel increasingly skeptical of much that has been taken for granted as a superior aspect of the Scandinavian school of information systems. I think, in particular, of its proud commitment to participatory constructive continuous design and redesign of information systems and computer artefacts, twenty years after its exordium and nominal affirmation on the Scandinavian scene. The politically and economically nearly impossible task of "rational" evaluation of what has been achieved, apparently had to be approached in the timid mood of the child confronting the emperor's new clothes (Whitaker, 1992, pp. 6n, 67n, 191f; Whitaker, et al., 1991, pp. 25, 34ff, 40ff). It is easy to agree that valuable results have decurred from about twenty years' research and action research. It would be hard to argue "scientifically", but easy politically, with anybody who claimed that what has been going belongs to the restless social activism that is criticized by Lindbom.

In any case, I do not see a core meaning in what has been stated lately, that "the party is over", or that we should rely on trial and error, and on heuristic, technical "bricolage", with beliefs in progressive, work-oriented, union-based playful democratic rationality. I do not believe in what today seems to be desperate appeals to what remains of "the modern project". I do not believe in second-hand reliance on secular currents of thought like existentialism, marxism, Wittgensteinian ordinary language, or liberal irony. I do not see stable results of the commitment to their names beyond the fact that they represent a belief which has been used for a leap to some kind of post-modern approach, or to liberal irony, or to aestheticism. In the second-hand use which is sometimes made, for instance, of Heidegger's thought, I miss the breadth and the kind of concerns of what I myself happened to read in some of his original writings, and the concerns of others who have used his work outside the information systems field.[50] I repeat that I do not deny the possible merits of work which has been going on in information systems design. I rather claim that the conviction about its possible merits is a rather complex function of reason and of beliefs. These beliefs are much more fuzzy and problematic than those formalized, and often distrusted, in Christian doctrine.

In conclusion I also feel strenghtened in my conviction about the need for watchfulness of restless, respiteless activities in all sorts of ill conceived and inconclusively abandoned projects - the don juan syndrome. They may claim to contribute to the survival, if not betterment, of mankind in general and business in particular, on the basis of a second-hand follow-up and servile use of a chaotically evolving technology. To the extent that such restlessness is a sympton of honest involvement I would prefer to refer the issue to the ethics of work. "Work" and "skill" or competence are today, not the least in the socialist tradition, rather "divinized" in its importance for the dignity of man. I prefer an updating of the rather classical "theology of work".[51] In summary, I prefer an outright theology of work (in analogy to the earlier mentioned "theological aesthetics"), rather than a divinized working man or a divinized beautiful work, and a divinized environment in terms of the aestheticism of "form" as related to "function" and "structure".

I reject the charge that the type of conclusions above would be pessimistic or, what may amount to the same thing, patronizing, dogmatic, orthodox, intolerant, fundamentalist, or non-constructive. "Optimism and pessimism is the secularized insecure human's attempt to hide respectively confront his inner inquietude".[52] Despite the temptation of my looking for reassurance in the possibility for my setting up profitable "laundry list" or "flip chart" bullett-approaches, as often found in proposals for research grants, I agree with Lindbom that the alternatives are to be sought primarily among a handful of Christian thinkers and colleagues, and in allowing ourselves to reflect.

In this context I wish to emphasize that I am conscious that, with Lindbom and D'Arcy, I may be allying myself with "loosers". Their thoughts are namely not of the kind that can be expected to obtain grants or make success with the establishment or with research peers. Students will not welcome the added burden of "esoteric" literature. As such these loosers will not contribute to my success either. I do not wish, however, to be interpreted as overstating the importance and range of e.g. Lindbom's thinking. Despite my estimate that it does not detract from his conclusions, his view of the technology of work may have to be upgraded to the level of present "high tech" which, by the way, will be obsolete in five years from now. He may not measure up to Kant's philosophical heights or Marx's social spread. I assume, by the way, that neither Kant's and Marx's followers today, nor systems designers, can match those masters. And so what? Most systems designers may, in fact, believe they need neither philosophical nor theological support at all. Lindbom, of course, is not a computer scientist, he does not solve all problems, and I do not agree with some of his positions which are beyond the scope of this paper. In particular, I do not believe that his somewhat tactical and "ritual" periodical assurance and approval of the positive import of technology (an assurance which I am also tempted to repeat and support) is, in the long run, a service to what I believe is our common cause. Among other consequences, this attitude may contribute to the gap between world and spirit.

5.3. What to do

What about those scholars and students, not to mention practitioners, who then keep asking what is the alternative, what should they do since everything seems to be more or less questioned or "rejected"?

Concerning what to do, and not to do, passing discretely over the problematic (pragmatist?) meaning of doing, I would start with a possibly "scandalous" suggestion. I dare to refer reseachers and practitioners to the Ten Commandments - all of them, and in their context of biblical situated action - as an alternative to "ethical guidelines".[53] This may counter, for instance, the belief that private life is ethically separable from professional life, and that one can cheerfully fail in being faithful to one's own family or employer, but still be faithful to one's peers, to the labor union, or to democratic ideals. This might also contribute to prevent our moralistic and sentimental coming back to the same or similar issues every twenty years or so, as happens now with ongoing discussions on ethical guidelines in information systems design, without having learnt the lessons from previous debates (Churchman, 1970).

A corollary from such a shift of emphasis, in concert with the messages in this paper, would be to stop asking who are and ought to be the clients who ultimately define our tasks. Stop asking for whom, by whom, or with whom. The alternative is to start asking what, and why. Try to worry more about which goals should be served, which goals are good. Try to worry less about the identification of our "neighbors" who happen to be the occasional bearers of such goals.[54] In doing this we should keep in mind that "good" is not a matter of only debating and voting on a plurality of perspectives supported by the force of a problematically (un)definible better argument. We should also keep in mind that to be good is not the same as belonging to the class of the oppressed or to the class of those who are supposed to have been liberated, or to have liberated themselves in Rousseau's spirit. A modest initial step in the right direction would be to stop talking about user centering, client centering, work centering, work orientation, and market oriented information technology, as if they were the key to ethics.[55] We could at least remember, as a small step in the right direction, that a main point even in the popular simplified version of the systems approach (Churchman, 1968) was the distinction between the "roles" of decision makers or managers, and clients or stakeholders. Furthermore, the definition of resources and of environment also were important political, economic, and ethical matters.

These latter considerations also support my view that, contrary to some criticism (Whitaker, 1992, pp. 171ff.), the HyperSystem base is well advised in intervening in the context of problem solving processes for computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), reflecting aspects only as they are viewed through the role-to-role mappings. In relation to the literature surveyed in this paper this means taking seriously in consideration the hierarchic and power dimensions of democratically organized work without succumbing to the egalitarian illusion. This must be done, if not for other reason, in order to be able to question the distribution of roles and of power.

Since, as already mentioned, I may be treading on many researchers' toes, I want to emphasize the following. My use of D'Arcy's and Lindbom's thought, and of several others' who are adduced in the footnotes, does not question a circumscribed restrained use of technology-based participation, debates, communication, constructiveness, model building, artificial intelligence, or whatever, to limited mundane simple tasks of daily administration, production, or services. A little improvement here, possibly at the cost of a little systemic loss there (Churchman, 1968, chap. 2), may help our poor mankind to go on earning its daily bread as it has been done up to now. Nevertheless, as my late colleague Staffan Persson used to say, "it is not simple to know what is simple". This is even less so in dealing with the pervasive power of information technology with its embodied industrial mathematization of our activities. In order to explore that, and in order to understand the presuppositions and the long term effects of information technology, we need, among other things, the stuff considered in this paper. What I definitively reject on the basis of this paper are possible preposterous claims or hints that the technology-based approaches mentioned above would constitute a new sort of research and business "philosophy", a sort of "Copernican" revolution in our view of rationality, an important contribution to our business or, worse, that they would be a sort of democratic ethical and humanistic - social breakthrough. I think that the latter claims are more appropriate as "rhetorics" of sales engineers. I write rhetorics with quotation marks because I am definitively in favor of legitimate rhetorics, by sales engineers or whoever, including researchers (Pera, 1991; Shea, 1991a).

For the rest, my "answer" to the question of what to do or not do consists of three parts:

(1) I would like to refer to the question of "strategy", considered below.

(2) I want to assure that, as an "old engineer", I appreciate the importance of technology in its relation to money, and the importance of "doing". I approve and encourage fund raising for meaningful innovative projects. This paper includes some exploration of the meaning of "meaningful", also for that context. In particular, I encourage projects and work-oriented, or client oriented developments of whatever, that are expressions of the personal stable involvement and participation which characterizes all genuine work and related skills. This means, among other things, the opposite of the don juan syndrome. It means bringing individual projects to clear and responsible completion with clear ethical accountability beyond sheer business acceptance. It means avoidance of pure "rhetorical" use of any particular philosophy, or of eclectical mixes between opportune "isms". It means avoidance of periodic reversals of theoretical perspectives which follow the reversals of the granting policies of funding agencies, and the occasional buzzwords in fashion on the computer market. In the academic environment it means also willingness to submit oneself to criticism by presenting one's work in seminars, and report it in a way which is not only "rhetorical". Most of all, it means at least consistency with, and possibly also serious consideration of, a theology of work in the sense of work ethics as suggested in this paper.

(3) I want, however, also to suggest that we all should consider the possibility of not necessarily "doing" and, in particular, not feeling obliged to do so called project work where projects have become don juanism, or to write so much as to "make career". It can be a question of "sacrifice". Such a suggestion may appear to be paradoxical in view of the volume of this paper of mine, including its appendix. It is indeed of fundamental importance for scientific work to write. The kernel of the matter, however, is that I think that we better not work and not write with the main purpose of getting things going, getting them published and "statistically" widely read in the short run, or in the expectation of getting sizeable grants from the establishment, or, in general, in the expectation that the whole will enhance our further career. I take - not lightheartedly because of the possible consequences for others - the risk of being sternly blamed on occasion of the next peer evaluation of my research strategy.[56]

That is also why I respect also those also colleagues of mine who dwell in what remains of the "ivory tower" or "phrontistery", who deepen their and others' understanding by listening, studying, reading, and moderate doing, renouncing to restless doing or wanton writing in the spirit of the don juan syndrome or of the "publish or perish syndrome". They may not make success of their research careers, but they learn, they are competent, they help their peers in doing, in planning and in research, they teach, and are, in fact, a sort of heroes. They may ultimately remain unemployed or "get out of business", as a smart young researcher expressed it, symptomatically without stating what he believed the nature of our business to be. They may, nevertheless, cause less damage to their "clients", and they are closer to the spirit of truth which was surveyed in this paper.

5.4. Strategy

The last but not least conclusion concerns how these insights and conclusions should influence the strategies for research and education at a department dealing with information systems, administrative data processing, or informatics. I would like to suspend until further notice my main judgement in this matter, also hoping for the contributions of some readers. As a matter of principle I refer the issue to the treatment that Lindbom reserves in his books for the relation between the spirit and the world. I judge that the university's primary responsiblity towards its students and staff is for the spirit and intellect, and that the concern for their material well-being, supposed organizational survival, and "career" is secondary. I read somewhere: "Career? What is it? It's something about horses, is'nt it?" Carl Jung would probably equate that problem with the issue of "the stages of life" and of midlife crisis.[57] Career is a highly temporary and relative matter. It may be perfectly legitimate to leave a great part of the solution to the serendipity and subjective spontaneous inventiveness of the involved people. Strategy for a research organization can then be seen as a matter of design (Stolterman, 1991) - a matter of preparedness for thought and action - rather than as guidelines or, worse, a specification of what to do or not to do.

A recent issue of The Economist (Anonymous, 1993d), in fact, points out that there seems to be no agreement on the most basic question of what is a corporate strategy. There is a trend away from formal planning at big firms which has been gathering pace for the past 30 years. In a vast outpouring of writing on the subject during this period, management theorists have come up with so many alternative views of what a corporate strategy should contain that they have undermined the entire concept. "A growing number businessmen now question whether thinking consciously about an overall strategy is of any benefit at all to big firms." It may even be the case that a non-utilitarian and historically grounded approach to serendipitous planning has better long-run chances also for sheer "survival". Belief in so called strategic thinking could not rescue old successful multinationals and stable business giants from meeting recently unexpected catastrophes, developed in the course of a couple of years. The catholic Church has survived two thousand years, and the university - the archetypal "knowledge business" - has survived one thousand years. To the extent that both the Church and the universities become business and loose their soul, however, the more can they be expected to run into the scandalous bankruptcies which have afflicted comparatively shortlived business and financial empires.

This modesty of planning and organization may still be less problematic than the implicit assumptions held by many people today when they believe that ethical commitments can be developed and honored without organizational support, for instance, by the Church. Serendipity can be practiced, with full conscience that both people and their organizations, like successful multinationals, can ultimately, "apocalyptically", die. And, still, I would dare to refer both myself and the reader to "the classic" Matthew 6:26. I guess that pessimism is an unconscious secular interpretation of the apocalypse. It would be consistent with the sentimental attachment to such issues like "survival" as if it were ultimate goal or top priority for our and future generations' lives.

"The more unconscious we are of the religious problem in the future, the greater the danger of our putting the divine germ within us to some ridiculous or demoniacal use, puffing ourselves up with it instead of remaining conscious that we are no more than the stable in which the Lord is born. Even on the highest peak we shall never be 'beyond good and evil', and the more we experience their inextricable entanglement the more uncertain and confused will our moral judgement be."
(Jung, 1953-1979, CW11, [[section]] 267)

"I think one reason a professor may discourage the discussion of ethical issues among his students in class is that he himself has no satisfactory answer."
(Churchman, 1979, p. 118)

"Tell a wise person, or else keep silent,
Because the massman will mock it right away.
I praise what is truly alive,
what longs to be burned to death"
Goethe (Bly, et al., 1993, p. 382)

"Do not give to the dogs what is holy;
do not throw your pearls to the pigs:
they will only trample on them,
and turn and tear you to pieces."
Matthew 7:6 (The New English Bible)

6. Appendix I: A note on the "method" for this study

I will illustrate the dilemma of this study by referring its message, beyond appendix II and beyond the earlier references to e.g. Ferré, to the most advanced discussion I know of the issue of scientific method in information system research (Nissen, Klein, & Hirschheim, 1991).

Klein, Hirschheim and Nissen claim (1991, p. 2) that knowledge [=truth?] is a matter of community acceptance. The criteria for acceptance are an agreed set of conventions which must be followed if the knowledge is to be accepted by society. The set of conventions, however, are not arbitrary but are well thought out and have historically produced knowledge claims which have withstood the test of time.

I claim that this argument is akin to the arguments which e.g. D'Arcy adduces for his Christian approach to the relation between belief and knowledge, which has, in part, been produced "historically".

Klein et al. consider further that science, in its current sense, is a convention - related to societal norms, expectations, and values - engaged in the search for understanding.

I observe, with reference to the arguments by D'Arcy and Lindbom, that this approach bypasses the issue of what is the difference, similarity, and relation between such concepts as norms, expectations, and values (not to mention the will). It also bypasses the issue whether there are, for instance values which are or should be fixed, given once and for all.

Klein et al. refrain (p. 5) from trying to define and classify how modern research approaches relate to the various schools of thought such as rationalism, idealism, and empiricism (not to mention Christian thought). Nevertheless they introduce a taxonomy which includes ahistorical or undiscussed concepts (like supremacists, advocates of contingency, and eclecticists, besides the preferred pluralists), and is fundamental for their espousing a "pluralist" approach to research. In Lindbom view, such pluralism would probably amount to a Kant-inspired outright liberal "market" approach. It would be the liberal market where the best product wins because of the force of the mix quality vs. price, corresponding to the market of knowledge ("the free exchange of ideas", or "the marketplace of ideas", pp. 7f): a piece of knowledge wins because of the mix of "the power of arguments that can defend the claim against any possible challenge". By being caught in a ahistorical taxonomy, then, one not only misses the relation to rationalism, idealism, and the rest, but also misses, for instance, the relation between pluralism, eclecticism and syncretism. Both eclecticism and (especially) syncretism have a history which would deepen the discussion beyond implicit liberal pluralism.

Finally, in this short review, Klein et al. acknowledge that the volume they introduce, like all research, is bound to exhibit a "bias" in (p. 8, 16). I pass over the problematic and undiscussed concept of bias, which in science seems to assume, in Lindbom's sense, the existence of a "true value" (Churchman, 1979, s. 169; Ivanov, 1972). I only observe that the authors in their quality of editors, in helping "to maintain the marketplace of ideas and seek check and balances against ortodoxy", for the purpose of quality of publication, "had to identify the fundamental assumptions of each contribution". In this way they hoped to assure the quality of the contributions by having them judged by "internal criteria", seeking "knowledgeable" referees that pursued "similar kinds" of research . I pass over their non justified rejection of the concept of ortodoxy (and, incidentally, their acceptance of "marketplace of ideas") which is discussed in Lindbom's work, and also denotes - like dogma - a living concept of the Christian Church. I also pass over the authors' understandable but problematic obvious need for practicality and expediency in the task on hand. I observe, however, that this kind of bootstrapping does not evade the issue of objectivity or ultimate truth. The authors seem to assume that they can - from an acknowledged but not positioned "biased position" identify, in an objective unbiased way, not only their own, but also others' "fundamental assumptions", a concept that is left undefined. This seem to me to be the result of unconscious fuzziness regarding both the concepts of bias and of truth, i.e. one focus of this paper.

I question whether pluralism, including in a broad sense also eclecticism and radical contingency (p. 9) "in principle" can work at all. Pluralism without an ultimate basis can be expected to lead either to unconscious relativism or to the issues covered in this paper. Consequently, I share the concern that Keen (1991) expresses in his own paper. "Diversity may substitute dilettantism and carelessness for the ortodoxy and methodological intolerance that marks narrow fields and narrow communities". His only solution to the problem of ensuring quality in diversity, however, is (besides a statement of belief in the philosophy of language and hermeneuticss) "to reiterate the need for more attention to scholarship and exegesis than just to 'research'" (p. 39f). For the rest, despite of not having followed in my present work - because of space, time and other reasons - Keen's suggested "checklist for improving information systems research" (p. 44), I estimate that this work of mine could reasonably satisfy such a list, if necessary. My main claim, however, it that this paper of mine reiterates the need for more attention to scholarship and exegesis than just to "research".

7. Appendix II: A heroic systems approach with insufficient means (with a contribution by Werner Ulrich)

Dr. Werner Ulrich is in my opinion one of the most serious, if not the most serious student of West Churchmans dialectical social systems approach. He is probably the one who has contributed with its most ambitious theoretical development. Upon a visit and seminar at Umeå university in June 1993 we had a dialog and later discussion which eventually led Ulrich to write a personal letter on July 22nd stating the following (quoted with permission). It is attached here in order to give the reader an opportunity to sense the kind of "heroic" complications which follow from a systems approach which tends to secularization, and whose only other alternative to Kantian enlightened liberalism would be along the socialist path described by Lindbom above. I myself have been trying to approach the criticism against Kant on a couple of earlier occasions (Ivanov, 1991b; Ivanov, 1991c). I do not share Ulrich's heroic pessimism implicit in his negative heuristics. I do not share his optimism for the potentialities of the mentioned currents of German contemporary philosophy incorporating the language-pragmatic turn, as I do not share Peter Keen's wholesale enthusiasm for (belief in) the philosophy of language and hermeneutics being the most exciting direction of information systems research (Keen, 1991, p. 40). That is, in fact, my reason for turning to Lindbom's approach which considers exhaustively both the neglected socialist alternative which stands as the intellectual and emotional basis for the nearly facetious facile rejection of the "heroic" mood (Ehn, 1988, p. 188), and also relates it to the Christian interpretation of heroism, if not sanctity: a meaning for the heroes and the martyrs.[58]

And now the slightly edited text by Ulrich:

(1) West Churchman's systems thinking appears to adhere to an ideal concept of comprehensive reason. His concept of reason (or of rationality) is Kantian in the sense of Kant's ideal of a reason that would be so comprehensive as to become transparent to itself and to justify the conditions of its own possibility in an absolute, because complete, fashion (the totality of conditions is itself unconditioned). This is in fact the program of Kant's "transcendental philosophy", namely, to secure to human reasoning and knowledge a way of justifying the conditions of its own possibility.

The point is not that this ideal is wrong or irrelevant - it is, in fact, epistemologically indispensable, namely as a critically-regulative idea. The point is, rather, that a thus-conceived systems rationality is bound to remain a mere program, for it is so ideal as to remain impracticable except, perhaps, for gods [sic!]. That is why West Churchman's systems designer is bound to become a hero!

Against this implication, one can advocate the critically-heuristic turn (Ulrich, 1983; Ulrich, 1987): it seeks to maintain the critical intent of Kant's approach without sacrificing practicability. A critically-heuristic systems approach concentrates on the "negative half", i.e., the critical task, of systems thinking, by seeking to help practical men and women (including systems designers) to reflect systematically on the inevitable lack of comprehensiveness - the sources of selectivity and deception - in their propositions (systems designs) and thus to foster the possibilities for disciplined self-reflection and reasonable debate under real-world conditions of incomplete rationality. The concept of uncovering the unavoidable boundary judgements flowing into any proposition or systems design, and of unfolding their life-practical implications, provides a central leverage-point to this end. It also makes clear why the systems approach misunderstands itself (and specifically, the critical significance of the quest for comprehensiveness) unless it renounces the idea of ever sufficiently (i.e. comprehensively) justifying any proposition or systems design - a still widespread, but ultimately technocratic and elitary utopia of the systems approach. (Ivanov, 1993, can be seen as introducing with "HyperSystems" an approach which unites the utopian striving with the conscientizing of - among others - boundary judgements.)

(2) The importance of the critically-heuristic turn becomes perhaps most visible in the domain of value judgements. Boundary judgements have normative implications that need to be considered as an indispensable (non-separable) part of systems thinking, rather than as a "slippery" subjective issue that is best referred to an extra-rational domain of subjective acts of faith (as conventional concepts of science, including systems science, have it).

The branch of philosophy that deals with the issue of reasonable discourse about value judgements and, in particular, ethical judgements - is practical philosophy. West Churchman's thinking is strongly oriented toward Kant's practical philosophy, as shows his concern in the categorical imperative. However, Kant himself had to admit that his transcendental approach failed to find a compelling justification for the "objective validity" (binding character) of the imperative. Similarly to the Kantian understanding of the systems idea (to which it is fundamentally related), the attempt to live up to the imperative has "heroic" implications for the systems designer, as he is compelled to put himself mentally in the place of all concerned citizens and to become comprehensive in overviewing and evaluating a design's practical implications for them. [Cf. the equally "heroic" compulsion to identify, motivate or involve all affected parties who ought to contribute with their perspectives on the design.]

Contemporary German philosophy has considerably developed Kant's approach to practical philosophy, by incorporating into it the language-pragmatic turn (shift from Kant's "monological" approach, as embodied in the categorical imperative, to a "dialogical" or communicative approach, as embodied in the structure of reasonable argumentation itself (Ulrich, 1988, cf. the section 2 of the paper for an easy introduction).

Regretfully, West Churchman's systems thinking has not taken up this development of practical philosophy. Instead, his equally "dialogical" systems approach mainly relies on two earlier philosophical developments subsequent to Kant. The one is Hegelian dialectical thinking, an approach which - similarly to Kant's thought - has important critical implications but is weak in securing (disciplined) practice (Ulrich, 1983, cf. chap. 5). The other development is the tradition of American pragmatism (especially James's and Singer's pragmatism). Pragmatism (especially Peirce's "pragmaticism") seems indeed to be truly important as a basis of critical systems thinking (Ulrich, 1989), but it cannot replace practical philosophy. In that sense, the conclusion is that Churchman's systems approach seeks to secure a convincingly reflected critical purpose by philosophically insufficient means - a conjecture which again makes understandable the "heroic" implications of his systems approach [and the tendencies to trivialize and misuse it in purely instrumental use!].

8. Appendix III: A document on the sentimental trend

Somewhen in 1992 I unexpectedly received the following electronic mail message from an American fellow researcher friend of mine who does not read Swedish and does not share my particular research interests which happen to be explored in this paper. When I received the message I had not yet thought of reading Tage Lindbom and I had not mentioned his name to anybody. I edited the text only inasmuch I just deleted some terms with embarassing details which would facilitate an identification of the sender and of the referred work, whose author or title I never had mentioned to the sender. I do not need to take stand here on the quality of the book the sender refers to, or to take stand on the sender's psyche which, by the way gives the impression of being completely normal, with a positive attitude to both technology and human science. I do not consider the text "insulting", aware as I am that similar things could be easily be written about my own work. As a matter of fact, I concede that the reaction of the sender may be caused by his not having understood the message of the text he read. The main point here, however, is making sense of his emotional reaction, which strikes me as nakedly honest and spontaneous.

It suffices, for the purpose of this paper, to show what I think is a symptom of the probable impact of the sentimental mood described by Lindbom in his book excerpted above. I have met an acknowledging understanding of the reactions documented in the text when I showed it to some fellow researchers in Sweden, independently, again, of any opinion of mine. I had, by the way, not formed yet any opinion, and had no reason to share it with anybody.

I have no alternative hypotesis to offer which would explain in a consistent way the emotions or feelings which provoked the sender of this message. I take this as one piece of evidence which - ceteris paribus - contributes to corroborating Lindbom's findings about the context of raising sentimentalism in secularized man. Now, to the message:


I find myself encountering things Swedish in unexpected places - such as the book by ....published by ...under the rubric "Artifical Intelligence and Society". If you've seen it, how did it strike you?

I struggled through much of it - but found myself first irritated and then somewhat repelled, but I don't really know why! It is clear that these essays come out of some active current of Swedish intellectual life, but what moves that current is hidden from me. I can, so-to-speak, see the writers gesticulating, waving their pens (or laptops) and I can see their mouths moving but I can't make contact with anything they are saying. ARE they saying anything? If so, why I cannot appreciate it? Why does it all seem so cliché-ridden and predictable (with endless variants of what we would here call 'politically correct ideas'), and so self-justifying (see the chapter by the chair-maker who seems to have 'wasted' (perhaps?) countless hours building a replica of a [antique] satisfy various personal interests and now wants to justify himself in a public as a good, sensitive, and thoughtful person. Why does that *irritate* me so much?!)

Why do I have the strong impression that almost all essayists are preaching (do you find this to be common in Swedish writing?) - if so, to whom do they preach? To the Swedish intellectual who needs further self-justification or to Americans like me whose enjoyment of technology and stimulation by its problems needs to be "corrected" - first through guilt and then through an appreciation of Swedish industrial democracy?

An abstract of one of the chapters:

"The re-emergence of dialogue is seen as part and parcel of an attempt by some AI scientists to place information technology, "expert systems", etc. into some sort of proper perspective [I already have a strong yearning for an improper perspective]. This dramatic [??] re- emergence is rooted in the need to understand the role of thought and experience in working life, particularly in Sweden with its commitment to industrial society."

Does any of this really have *anything* significant to do with AI and society?


What ARE these people really saying??

Well, thanks for letting me unburden myself of my
irritation; any comments or therapy is welcome,

(Signed) XXX

9. Appendix IV: Selections in Swedish (see separate cover, report UMADP-WPIPCS-48.93) from

Lindbom, T. (1962). Sancho Panzas väderkvarnar [Sancho Panza's windmills]. Stockholm: Norstedt. (Reprint, Borås: CETE, 1979.)

Lindbom, T. (1970). Mellan himmel och jord [Between heaven and earth]. Stockholm: Norstedt & Söner.

Lindbom, T. (1974). Agnarna och vetet . Stockholm: Norstedts. (English trans.: The tares and the good grain: The kingdom of man at the hour of reckoning. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1983.)

Lindbom, T. (1980). Är religionen en social utopi? [Is religion a social utopia?]. Borås: CETE.

Lindbom, T. (1981). Riket är ditt [The kingdom is yours]. Stockholm: Norstedts.

Lindbom, T. (1991). Demokratin är en myt [Democracy is a myth]. Borås: Norma.

Lindbom, T. (1993). Före solnedgången [Before sunset] . Borås: Norma.

Ahlberg, A. (1974). Humanism i atomåldern [Humanism in the atomic age]. Stockholm: Natur och Kultur.

Thoreau, H. D. (1977/1849). Om civilt motstånd [Resistance to civil government] . Stockholm: Arkturus. (ISBN 91-970038-6-7.)

10. References

Ahlberg, A. (1974). Humanism i atomåldern . Stockholm: Natur och Kultur.

Allwood, M. (1988). Essays on contemporary civilization . Walnut Creek, CA: Eagleye.

Allwood, M. (Ed.) (1990a). Den västerländska civilisationens rötter. Mullsjö: Persona Press.

Allwood, M. (1990b). Human science and the global dilemma. Saybrook Review, 8(1),

Anonymous. (1981). Al-Anon's twelve steps & twelve traditions . New York: Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters.

Anonymous. (1993a). All fall down: The people who write software for big computer projects like to describe themselves as "engineers". To deserve the name, they must behave as other engineers do. The Economist, (March 20th), 89.

Anonymous. (1993b). Book review: Making democracy work - Civic traditions in modern Italy, by Putnam, R., et al. The Economist, (February 6th), 88.

Anonymous. (1993c). Computer clinics. The Economist, (January 9th), 65.

Anonymous. (1993d). Eenie, meenie, minie, mo... : Top managers of big firms devote the bulk of their efforts to formulating strategy, though there is remarkably little agreement about what it is. The Economist, (March 20th), 80, see also 81, 96.

Anonymous. (1993e). The high-tech war: As airline deregulation spreads from America, airlines are arming themselves with powerful computer systems to fight global fare wars. The Economist, (December 26th - January 8th), 83-84.

Bannon, L. (1992). Taking CSCW seriously: Supporting articulation work. Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 1(1),

Bell, R. H. (1984). Sensing the spirit . Philadelphia: Westminster Press.

Berdiaev, N. (1990). De l'esclavage et de la liberté de l'homme [On man's slavery and freedom] . Paris: Desclée de Brouwer. (Orig. Russian 1947.)

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[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), " 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 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)


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