Friday, December 07, 2012

Reconsidering the Relations Among the Spontaneous Orders

I have recently been thinking about the relations among the different spontaneous orders. I have typically been thinking of them according to Fred Turner's divisions into economies: market, political, gift, and divine. The market economy contains the catallaxy (exchange spontaneous order) and the monetary order and technology. The gift economy contains the scientific order, the artistic orders, and the philanthropic order. The political economy would contain government, including the democratic order. The divine economy contains religion and the religious order.

However, I have come to realize that one can also divide the orders into the good/morality, the true, wisdom, and practical living. There are spontaneous orders in each. And these orders can be divided into abstract, concrete, and mixed. Consider:

                      Abstract              Mixed                          Concrete
The True:   Math                     Natural Science      Science & math tech
The Good: Social Sciences  Governance            Philanthropy
Wisdom:    Philosophy           Religion                   The Arts
Practical:   Money                   Catallaxy                 Technology for living

All spontaneous orders overlap to some degree. All influence each other. However it is interesting to note that the True and the Practical are very closely connected (computers developed for the True are now used extensively in the Practical). And the Good and Wisdom are closely related. One could even argue that the Wisdom orders affect the moral order, which then finds its expression in the orders of the Good.

Note, too, that I divided the sciences. The social sciences are in fact moral sciences, and properly belong in the Good, not the True. This is not to say that the social sciences are not concerned with learning what is true-- only that that is not their primary function. This matters for how these science are properly understood and done. It also points to the fact that they are somewhere between Wisdom and the True.

If there is any idea I would love to get a great deal of feedback on, it's this.
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