Monday, February 09, 2015

Is "society" a real thing?

I believe it is, but maybe not the way the term is often used.

I see "society" as a useful term for describing a large system made up of the aggregate action of many interacting, individual parts. An emergent property.

Sort of the way "weather" is. Or "The market".

If a raindrop hits you, you might not say it is "raining" if that was the only drop. And, even if it is raining, not every potential raindrop will fall.

A "society" isn't guilty just because one individual is guilty. If "everyone" is guilty, you can still find individuals who are not.

It's why I still use the word "society" in some contexts. It doesn't replace individuals, but it can describe the general weather. The "system" that results from the actions of each individual part.


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