The Francis Hutcheson Principles
Man is a naturally sociable being, indeed much of our greatest pleasure comes from socialising, as does much of our knowledge, whether from contacts for a good job, cooperating in work, learning the skills of science or becoming an artist to the pleasure of good company. Socialising is therefore fundamental to the human condition and the more we socialise the more we develop as individuals. Indeed, the wider our social horizons the better we become in terms of knowledge of the world, particular skills or simply developing wider and deeper interests in our private lives.
"The wider and more diversely we socialise the more we learn and develop and lessen our fears and prejudices"
Consequently, barriers to socialising tend to the negative and breed ignorance, intolerance and fear; the wider and more diversely we socialise the more we learn and develop and lessen our fears and prejudices. To this end it is important to socialise as widely as possible, which involves a conscious choice to avoid emotive and subjective matters in public places, whether economic, political or social, which implies excluding religion and ethnic identities from public discourse.
This was particularly fundamental to Hutcheson’s influence on the American and French Constitutions, creating a melting pot that rose above many different religious and ethnic identities to enable increased exchange and united nations. Everyone spoke the same language and agreed on the primacy of a neutral social realm in which everyone could enter and mix equally, again removing religion and ethnic identity from the public arena.