The Relational Understanding of the Origin and Morphogenetic Change of Social Morality

  • Pierpaolo DonatiEmail author
Part of the Social Morphogenesis book series (SOCMOR)


According to the Author, the prevailing modalities for explaining social morality in current sociologies reflect the cultural and structural dualisms of modern Western society (based on the individual/state, private/public, micro/macro axes) and their compromises. The theory of ‘institutionalised individualism’ is intended to grasp the distinctive trait of the dominant morality, which today faces a profound crisis. This chapter argues that, with globalisation, new processes generating moral norms are emerging that, alongside sequential and concomitant forms typical of modern morality, represent a transmodern form of normative morphogenesis (normogenesis) that the Author calls ‘relational’. Relational morality is characterised by the fact that moral norms must respond to new needs in the ways in which human beings relate to each other and with nature. This ‘relational normativity’ asserts itself wherever social relations are considered as a reality endowed with sui generis qualities and causal properties, thus becoming the foundational moral criterion of new social practices.


Social morality Relational sociology Relational morphogenesis Relational normativity Lib/lab morality 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Business LawUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

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