In the left hand column is part of Habermas' notion of lifeworld. In the next column is an example of how this works itself out in our experience of information technology or information systems. In the third column are some issues that arise from applying Habermas' view to I.S. and challenges to his view. In the fourth column is a brief list of portions of Dooyeweerdian thought that either supports Habermas' view or addresses the issues.
The speculative proposal of this is that if we augment Habermas' view with the Dooyeweerdian one, then we obtain an enriched notion of lifeworld.
See also new page on Dooyeweerd's approach to everyday experience (lifeworld and attitude).
|Lifeworld concept||Relevance to I.S.||Issues that need addressing||Dooyeweerd|
|Lifeworld versus System||
||Lifeworld as multi-aspectual functioning; system as functioning in which one aspect is given overriding importance, and in the end is absolutized.|
Lifeworld is a perspective on life |
(rather than a separate part of life from system)
|IS use or development may be studied or guided by rationalized (system) or unrestricted (lifeworld) criteria.||But How to differentiate types of meaning in lifeworld?||
Aspects are a spectrum of meaning. |
Perspectives we take may either centre on single aspect, or be multi-aspectual (LW).
Lifeworld as participation |
System involves distancing
|Proximal versus distal software||Account for proximal engagement with software yet distance from topic of software.||
Engage. Aspectual functioning;
'proximal' aspectual knowing |
Distancing occurs from analytical functioning, esp. Gegenstand.
Lifeworld as tacit assumptions |
System as involving formalized knowledge.
|Difficulty of articulating lifeworld makes knowledge elicitation difficult and affirms significance of the issue of tacit knowledge.||
Aspectual knowing. |
Note: Dooyeweerd did not work out a theory of dialogue or discourse, so perhaps Habermas' theory could enrich Dooyeweerd here; but the idea that dialogue is itself multi-aspectual functioning could enrich Habermas' view and overcome the tension. To Dooyeweerd, no dialogue, however ideal, can be an absolute basis for social action in the way Habermas seems to hope.
Lifeworld as stock of shared understandings |
(the view from phenomenonology: account for intersubjectivity.)
|Draws attention to the social nature of IS usage, even personal usage. Gives a more satisfying account than does phenomenology; acknowledges generation of shared assumptions.||But generation of shared assumptions can occur without Communicative Action. We needs framework that accounts for different types of shared understanding found in IS. View of intersubjectivity as shared understanding does not seem quite appropriate for IS. LW must bear undue philosophical burden of accounting for intersubjectivity because of the divorcing of language from reality.||Intersubjectivity based on aspectual law side r.t. stock of experiences; this emancipates lifeworld from philosophical burden of accounting for intersubjectivity. Aspectual knowing.|
Lifeworld involves communicative rationality and action |
System invovles instrumental.
(Habermas' criticism of Weber)
|Paradigms in three areas of I.S. have moved from instrumental to communicative view.||But lifeworld is more than communicative action and rationality; e.g. aesthetics, vision. Habermas seems keen to reduce all to C.A.||Dependency of post-social aspects on social and social on lingual. Distinct aspectual rationalities. Irreducibility and diversity suggest there are more types of action and rationality than Habermas admits.|
Vision of who we are |
(an important content of lifeworld)
|Habermas draws attention to the social, not just personal, nature of vision of who we are users, developers of I.T. Better account of virtual identity than given by Turkle and a postmodern stance.||
Dooyeweerd's aspects: kernel meaning of pistic is 'vision of who we are'. It is a post-social aspect and hence involves social.
Meaningful, normed lifeworld |
Loss of meaning in system
|Can account for difference between large IS and IS used in lifeworld. Does not presuppose instrumental use of IS Draws attention to importance of under-researched issues of ceasing to use IS, and of legacy software, seeing the latter as lifeworld.||But conflates two types of meaning: meaningfulness and signification But we need to account for diversity of meaningfulness Curious finding in legacy I.T. systems: Lifeworld colonizes system!||
Meaningfulness as 'referring beyond'; loss of meaning in system seen as severance of 'referring beyond'. |
Steering media of lifeworld and system: A,G,I,L |
|In IS usage, IS output may be seen as steering media. In ISD, deliverables may be seen as the steering media. Habermas' [1987:274] Figure 37 of steering media could be useful in informing IS research.||But four media are not sufficient. Habermas seems overkeen to reduce all action types to communicative.|
Copyright (c) 2010 Andrew Basden. But you may use this material subject to conditions.
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Created: 2005? Last updated: 22 April 2005 link to everyday.html. 17 June 2010 new .end.