Manggaraian Idea Of “Moral-Self”: Study Of Manggaraian Traditional Texts

Fransiskus Borgias


Western philosophers called the idea of “individual-self” a “modern project”. Charles Taylor traced its historical development back to great philosophers of European rationalism (Kant, Hegel, Rousseau, J. G. Herder) with the birth of modern awareness of “individual-self” connected to western-modern individualistic society. Based on a study of “ethical-texts” preserved in Manggaraian oral-tradition, however, I postulate that indigenous tribes have their own way-of-thinking about individual-self, particularly individual-moral-self. Manggaraian people, though mainstream anthropology categorize it communal-traditional society, have some basic knowledge of the idea of moral-self, in the philosophical terminology of Taylor. Strong awareness of moral-self endorses people to have courage to make a personal-individual moral decision (Tillich). Traditional-ethical texts endorse individuals to have their own opinion on important issues of social-moral life, though they will different from the mainstream. Individuals do not depend upon social-communal values. Also in traditional community individuals are endorsed to make their own moral considerations though it means they contradict society. In moral issues individuals should make their own decision. This study traces such tendency in one of traditional community, Manggarai, in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara. It is based on several field research conducted in Manggarai for a project of doctoral dissertation.


Individual-self; moral-self; Moral life; philosophy; traditional texts; ethical-texts; Manggarai

Full Text:



Deki, K. T. (2011). Tradisi Lisan Manggarai, Membidik Persaudaraan Dalam Bingkai Sastra. Jakarta: Parrhesia Institute Jakarta.

Erb, M. (1999). The Manggaraians: A Guide to a Traditional Life Style. Singapore: Times Edition.

Gutmann, A. (1994). Multiculturalism, Examining the Politics of Recognition. Princeton, New Jersery: Princenton University Press.

Suseno, F. M. (1975). Etika Umum: Masalah-masalah Pokok Filsafat Moral. Yogyakarta: Kanisius.

Taylor, C. (2001). Sources of the Self, The Making of the Modern Identity. Cambridge, Massachussets: Harvard University Press.

Taylor, C. (1994). “Politics of Recognition”, in Amy Gutmann (ed) 1994, Multiculturalism, Examining the Politics of Recognition, p.25-74.

Taylor, C., Appiah, K. A., Habermas, J., Rockefeller, S. C., Walzer, M., & Wolf, S. (1994). Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition (Revised edition; A. Gutmann, Ed.). Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press.

Taylor, M. C. (2000). Journeys to Selfhood. Hegel and Kierkegaard. New York: Fordham University Press.

Tillich, P. (1952). The Courage To Be. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Verheijen, A. J. (1967). Kamus Bahasa Manggarai. ‘S-Gravenhage, Martinus Nijhoff: KLTLV.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Fransiskus Borgias

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

View My Stats IJIPTh


Abstract and Indexing By: