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Title: Order and self : an exercise in the phenomenology of human being
Author: Sánchez-Flores, Mónica Judith
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis is an exercise in the phenomenology of human order, as a necessary prelude to a new understanding of postcolonial global change. Its starting point is to question the Western tradition of knowledge as the highest point of human “development”. This is a critique of the traditionally Western notion of reason in which I argue that an understanding of human order must be grounded in a phenomenology of religion. In this way I seek to reinterpret the Weberian categories which have shaped modern/ Western social understanding. In the first part of the thesis, “Institutions and Legitimation”, I describe three ideal types of views of reality: the pagan/primitive, the Western/Christian, and the Eastern/mystic types. Nevertheless, these pure types are also theoretically posed as three aspects of experienced reality, and so, they are considered as both mixed and complementary in human interaction. I am aware that this leads to a theoretical paradox; but this is justified by the intuition that at the same time as paradox rules the immediacy of experienced reality, coherence rules the order and exposition of our disciplined observations, explanations and cosmologies. The appreciation of this “simultaneity” (social reality as both “created” and “creative”) leads me to propose a perspective of observation: the present moment of meaningful experience. This perspective highlights this aspect of “simultaneity” (synchrony) as opposed to, and in contrast with, the aspect of coherent “sequentially” (diachrony) in human order. In the second part of the thesis, “Organisation and Structure”, I propose two ideal types of organisation structured around the experience of immediate simultaneity. These two types are considered as complementary aspects of human order: the organic and the artificial ideal types of organisation. This perspective of observation is congenial both with phenomenological observation and with the emerging paradigm of “complexity”. My approach counters the traditional view in the social sciences that “complex” or “higher” forms of order progressively emerge in interaction through specialisation and differentiation from homogeneity to heterogeneity in time. While belief in progress may be an important feature of discipline (and a particularly important one for the modern notion of self), I argue that it should not be imposed as a deterministic characteristic of the observed processes themselves (social or otherwise).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available