ABSTRACT

Societal knowledge increases when individuals communicate particular experiences from which universal generalities are theorized. The universal theories evolve as more experiential data is introduced. As a universal gains longevity, it may become valued within a group as a tool that aids in making judgments in related, particular situations.2 After a time, a universal theory may become habitual and gain the weight of truth or law. Kornprobst argues that universals and particulars are in a constant dialog much as actors within a society are in constant dialog. He argues that these processes should be included as functions within the concept of judgment. Judging is “practical reasoning by subsuming particulars under universals,” though universals are “mulitvocal, that is, they are interpreted diff erently by diff erent actors.”3 This dialog is a dance of persuasion and receptivity; each persuasive experience increases both the persuasiveness and the receptivity of the pair for future experiences.4 The individual members of a group bring their experiences to bear in the social dialog of shaping universal theories.