You are about to begin studying a course that could change your opinion on virtually every public policy issue that you will ever consider. To embark on such a perception altering academic journey is indeed the adventure which most students anticipate when they begin their higher education. Many of the ideas presented in POS may seem controversial and even revolutionary. These ideas are NOT presented as dogma or doctrine and should be weighed carefully in your mind for validity and accuracy. Only you can decide what you think are the best ideas----the ones that are closest to the truth. What makes POS different from the other social sciences is its emphasis on an interdisciplinary approach to the study of social relationships. Many different disciplines are considered in regard to their particular contribution. Then each is related to the others in the context of understanding social relationships. The main disciplines that make up a socionomic education are:
1) evolutionary psychology
2) moral philosophy
3) complexity theory
4) austrian economics
6) natural law social philosophy
7) natural rights legal philosophy
8) social anthropology(our laboratory).
These eight disciplines are focused on three primary issues concerning society. The first is social development, which involves a consideration of issues such as trust, toleration, and creativity. The second is social order which looks at matters of economic efficiency and growth. The third is social harmony which involves questions concerning peace and justice. Eight disciplines focused on three aspects of social organization. That is the framework of socionomics. The disciplines are not studied in depth but just to the extent that they deal with social relationships. The strategy for learning this material during our fifteen week period will be to mix the disciplines and ideas together instead of learning one at a time. So one week you may be learning about evolutionary psychology and the next austrian economics and then legal and moral philosophy. As the term goes on, you will begin to see how these separate areas of study are related to each other. A basic socionomic education requires reading many books, but we will be emphasizing only the three on your syllabus. The entire socionomic Recommended Reading List, including books of related interest, can be found at the Tucson Center for Socionomic Research(TCSR) web site. TCSR also has an internet panel discussion group called The Cactus Club, which is focused on socionomic topics, and an email discussion group called The Sonoran Society. Students are welcome to join the latter group if they desire to participate in a socionomic dialogue outside the class. As indicated on your syllabus, grades are determined by a combination of timed T/F quizes, two essay tests (the latter one is not comprehensive), and a term paper. The weekly assignments will include readings from the three textbooks and hyperlinked reference articles on the internet. Students can also participate in bulletin board informal discussions with other classmates and your instructor by using the available course software. Subsequent weekly E-Lectures will elaborate on the upcoming reading material and give you some guidance regarding the assignments. Good luck and good learning.