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seven A Medley of Social Structures the conclusion of the previous chapter is that the ontological notion at the foundation of Dooyeweerd’s social­ philosophy—“invariant structural principles”—requires substantial reformulation . Yet it appears that much of the detailed construction he erects on that foundation yields fruitful insights of continuing pertinence . Here I examine that construction in detail, aiming to exhibit the nature and range of those insights and to propose further reformulations. The first section opens by recording how the notion of differently qualified social structures generates a complex set of categories under which diverse social structures can be grouped. It then proceeds to discuss at greater length a second set of categories introduced by Dooyeweerd, which further illuminates his central contentions while also generating additional problems. In the second section I examine Dooyeweerd’s application of the notion of enkaptic interlacements to the realm of social structures. I conclude that although his articulation of this notion needs reframing, it has the potential to be developed into a valuable tool of analysis for a philosophy of social pluralism. In particular, it helps frame a balance, which pluralistic theories sometimes lack, between the distinctness and autonomy of social structures and their interconnectedness . In these two sections the substance of Dooyeweerd’s social pluralism will come more clearly into view. The final section addresses the character of that pluralism explicitly, elaborating on the sense in which it develops directly from Kuyper’s social thought and contrasting it with 110 A Medley of Social Structures 111 what Dooyeweerd took to be its principal opponents, “individualism” and “universalism.” The precise senses in which Dooyeweerd’s Christian pluralism can be termed modern will then also appear in sharper relief. Categories of Social Structure On the basis of Dooyeweerd’s notion that social structures can be dis­ tinguished according to their typical structural principles, the definitive feature of which is their qualifying function, an initial classification can be readily developed. Just as things can be grouped into various radical types according to the modal aspect in which their qualifying function is found, so social structures can be similarly grouped into a series of radical types (secondary types). Since social structures are relationships between humans they will be qualified by one of the (postlingual) normative aspects characteristic of human subjective functioning. Dooyeweerd refers to six such normative radical types, listed here with some of his own examples. 1. pistically qualified: religious communities, including churches; 2. morally qualified: marriages, families, trades unions, political parties , charitable organizations, schools;1 3. juridically qualified: states and international political organizations; 4. aesthetically qualified: theatres, galleries, orchestras; 5. economically qualified: business corporations, industrial organi­ zations; 6. socially qualified: clubs, fraternities. Within each radical type will be found a series of genotypes distinguished according to the specific structural features associated with their founding functions. Finally, yet further distinctions are possible according to the variability type of a relationship. I have noted that only radical-­ typical and genotypical differences are determined by the internal structural principle of a social structure. Their variability types arise instead from the numerous external enkaptic interlacements into which they enter. It might seem that this would be more than adequate for the purposes of developing a systematic classification of social structures. Yet 112 h e r m a n d o o y e w e e r d Dooyeweerd does not proceed in this way, introducing instead a further classification based on a different series of distinctions, which he terms “transcendental societal categories.”2 Their purpose is to give a “systematic survey of the various structural types of societal relationships.”3 This also seems to be the purpose of the classification according to structural principle, and Dooyeweerd does not convincingly explain the precise relation between the two systems.4 The transcendental categories supply a general classification of social structures according to four pairs of contrasting characteristics (three of which have already been mentioned). 1. “communities” or “interlinkages”; 2. “organized” or “natural” communities; 3. “differentiated” or “undifferentiated” communities; 4. “institutional” or “voluntary” communities. Communities and Interlinkages This is the most fundamental distinction in Dooyeweerd’s account of­ social structures and opens up some of his most interesting insights.­ “Interlinkages” is a less cumbersome rendition of a term Dooyeweerd uses in NC, “inter-individual and inter-communal relationships.”5 The core of the difference between communities and interlinkages centers on the contrast between unity and coordination. A community is “any more or less durable societal relationship which has the character...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780268076894
Related ISBN
9780268023058
MARC Record
OCLC
761233339
Pages
464
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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