Humanistic and normativistic metaphysics, epistemology, and conative orientation: Two fundamental systems of meaning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Polarity Theory suggests that worldview controversies spanning areas such as morality, politics, epistemology, and metaphysics are ultimately rooted in the clash between humanism, which portrays human nature as intrinsically good and valuable, and normativism, which portrays human goodness and value as contingent upon conformity and achievement. Previous research has shown that humanism and normativism are factorially distinct, rather than polar opposites, but has not clarified exactly how they differ. We report results from six samples of Swedish, U.S., and mixed nationality participants, suggesting that normativism is associated with an implicit metaphysics of essentialism and determinism, an absolutist epistemology, and moral intuitions, values, and aspirations pertaining to conformity with norms and the pursuit of excellence, whereas humanism is associated with an anthropocentric metaphysics, a subjectivist epistemology, and moral intuitions, values, and aspirations pertaining to intrinsic preferences and the pursuit of human well-being. The results demonstrate that humanism and normativism contribute independent of each other to the cohesion of personal worldviews, across the domains of metaphysics, epistemology, and conative orientation.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • New York University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)

Keywords

  • Worldview, Humanism, Normativism, Polarity Theory, Personal ideology, Belief, Compatibilism
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume100
Issue number Special issue: Dr Sybil Eysenck Young Researcher Award
StatePublished - 2016
Peer-reviewedYes