Monday, May 13, 2024


599 Design of a society

 Currently I am writing a book with the title ‘Design of a society’, in Dutch. I will also write an English version. In due time, see my website.

 I do not pretend to be able to found a society, but I can specify what is desirable in it. The book gives the design of a society, based on the sixfold causality of Aristotle: the ‘efficient, final, material, formal, conditional and exemplary cause. There is a. chapter for each cause.

 The desired society is oriented towards the flourishing of ‘Homo Faber’ and ‘Homo Ludens’; the making of things, and the playing, experimenting with things. Crucial in this is the ability to ‘assimilate’ and to ‘accommodate’, learning through absorption, and learning through invention, in the first chapter.

 The second chapter is about the final cause, the motivation of people to make things. The third chapter is about the material cause, the means of production. In contrast with earlier thought, that is not nature, but is a task for the economy. Markets play a large role in this, but there are various imperfections of markets that require intervention. I plead for an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI).

 Het fourth chapter is about the needed competencies, th formal cause. In particular, that goes into the ability of assimilation and accommodation, and into the need for elations between people, with Martin Buber’s idea of reciprocation between people, instead of the purely instrumental relations in pure self-interest. Such interchange requires trust, and it is an art to conduct that well. The fifth chapter treats the needed education and schooling for those abilities, and ethics. The main role lies with the Aristotelian virtue of ‘phronesis’. That is also im[ortant in the practical action of Homo Faber.

 The sixth chapter treats of the conditional cause, in particular institutions. It discusses the task of establishing a balance of ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ freedom, of regulation for the public cause and freedom of action for the individual. It is needed to limit the complexity of regulation, which bureaucracy cannot cope with, in its attempt to individualise, in combination with the necessary control of fraud. Here, the UBI raises its head again.

 The seventh chapter is about nature as exemplary, not material cause as means for the use by Man, but as example and goal of good conduct. In several ways one can learn from nature in making things. Nature also deserves respect, in its magnificent manifestation of evolution. Evolution has seldom yielded organisms that defile and ruin their environment.



No comments:

Post a Comment