ENGAGING WITH AND ENRICHING HUMANIST THOUGHT: THE CASE OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS

in Philosophia Reformata

Those who believe that explicitly Christian thinking is possible in the scientific disciplines tend to assume that it must be antithetical to the world’s thinking. Based on some of the author’s experience, this article examines a different approach, in which Christian thinking is used to account for and enrich the world’s thinking by transplanting it from its current ground-motive (usually that of nature-freedom) into the arguably more fertile soil of the creation-fall-redemption ground-motive. The article shows how Dooyeweerd’s version of Christian thinking has been employed in two areas of thinking in information systems (selected from five with which the author has been involved): (1) thinking about the nature of computers and information, with the artificial intelligence question of whether computer is like human being (2) soft systems methodology, by which perspectives on ‘human activity systems’ are orchestrated into new learning and plans. In both areas, the original ideas are accounted for, given philosophical underpinning, reinterpreted and enriched. These two show that Dooyeweerd’s philosophy can be equally useful in thinking grounded in both positivist and interpretivist cultures.

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