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Relational Reason, Morals and Sociality

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Edited By Elżbieta Hałas and Aleksander Manterys

Relational sociology draws attention to non-utilitarian aspects of sociality that reach beyond instrumental rationality, and presents the problem of relational reason. Shaping a civil society under cultural plurality requires reflection upon relational rationality. This book focuses on relational goods as an emergent effect of social relations, focusing on the issue of good life and the Good Society.

The relational approach involves viewing social relations neither as an expression of the system nor as an individual action, but as a human reality in its own right, based on reciprocity.

The authors explore the moral dimensions of sociality in various areas of social life. The aim is to enrich the understanding of relationality and of the significance of the relational theory of society.

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Introduction: Focusing on Relations, Reason and Morality (Elżbieta Hałas and Aleksander Manterys)

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Elżbieta Hałas and Aleksander Manterys

Introduction: Focusing on Relations, Reason and Morality

Following some of the leitmotifs in relational sociology, i.e. the issues of relational reason and relational goods (Donati 2009, 2011: 157–158, 2015c: 198–228), this volume presents studies that tackle these issues, either at the theoretical level or through research on selected areas of social life.

In the book’s title, the term “relational” directly accompanies the term “reason,” but relational understanding also includes morality and sociality. The relational approach undoubtedly requires explanation. It should be noted, however, that this book is the result of a narrowly scoped team venture within relational sociology, and thus cannot meet the expectation that it will contain an in-depth study and interpretation of these key notions. For now, let us pause at the general statement that each of these categories separately, i.e. reason, morality, and sociality, requires relational understanding, and all of them remain mutually related. The subsequent texts in this book reveal a relational key that opens up new cognitive opportunities. This introductory discussion offers only a brief outline of the issues of sociality, morality and rationality configured anew as part of the relational approach in sociology.

We should start by characterizing the relational sense of sociality. It is neither possible nor necessary to explicate it in depth here. For now, let us contrast the holistic concept of society with sociality. It is worth noting at this point that a radically...

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