A Nondualist Social Ethic: Fusing Object and Subject Horizons in Measurement
A Nondualist Social Ethic: Fusing Object and Subject Horizons in Measurement
1. Dualism and Nondualism
2. From individual experience to institutions and systems
Is it possible for measurement to satisfy both the need for global unity and shared human values, on the one hand, and the need to respect and value individual human uniqueness, on the other? Can humanity figure out new ways of enacting self-understanding that recount its past, present, and future in terms that not only better enable everyone to feel part of something larger than themselves but which also liberate them in free creative expressions of joy for life? Any viable social ethic has to begin from the paradox of attempting to integrate theopposed poles of human totality and human singularity. Even when one conceives of a social ethic in terms of a system, the end result demands respect for a complex combination of harmony and dissonance that is better understood in terms of systems of discontinuous systems, or meta-systems. Taking language as a model
of integrated subject-object unities sets up possibilities for coherent multilevel measurement information infrastructures. Health care, education, management, and other areas in which ordinal counts, percentages, and ratings typically are treated as measures stand to benefit the most from realizations of this kind of nondualist
social ethic and its realization of meaningful quantification.
William P. Fisher, Jr., Ph.D. received his doctorate from the University of Chicago, where he was supported by a Spencer Foundation
Dissertation Research Fellowship. He is currently Research Associate in the Graduate School of Education at the University of
California, Berkeley. Dr. Fisher is recognized for contributions to measurement theory and practice that span the full range from the
philosophical to the applied across a diverse range of fields.
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complexity; information infrastructures; measurement; nondualist philosophy