Notwithstanding the increasing interest that solidarity recently attracted in social, political, and moral philosophers, the foundations of a philosophical research field on solidarity have still to be laid. This thesis pursues the broad aim to contribute to this foundational work and is organized and structured accordingly. The substantive goal of the whole research project that unfolds henceforth is to reach a definition of the concept of solidarity, which is not intended to overcome or dismiss our everyday intuitions and commonsensical understandings of solidarity, but rather to make sense of what is underpinned by them. The dissertation is divided into four chapters. In Chapter 1, I take the steps from Durkheim, who is by broad acknowledgment regarded as the pioneering theorist developing a systematic account of solidarity. The potentially original contribution of Chapter 1 is a conclusive focus on some questions that can be formulated out of Durkheim’s framework and have been quite neglected by the commentators of his works. One of such open questions, that is, the extent to which anthropological assumptions on human nature ̶ and especially sociability ̶ may influence any theorization of solidarity, prepares the terrain for the subsequent development of the dissertation. Chapter 2 aims at shedding light on this intuition, which is elaborated in terms of an updated nomological reappraisal of human nature and a genuinely original concept that I propose, that is, the «anthropological load». By this concept, I mean a scalar property of social, ethical, and political concepts which indicates the extent to which the conceptual space for theorizing each of them is determined by anthropological assumptions. Following Durkheim’s suggestion, I consider sociability as the most salient anthropological assumption for theorizing solidarity. Accordingly, at the end of Chapter 2, I present a possible strategy to frame the structure of the concept of sociability, that is, that of a dispositional and open cluster concept. Chapter 3 is intended to unpack some core features that compose the cluster of sociability, that is, capacity of self-categorization, the capacity of empathy, and capacity of being moved by prosocial motivation. For each of these features, it is proposed to adopt a definition borrowed from the pertinent scientific literature which will be selectively presented and discussed. To conclude, Chapter 4 takes the final and crucial step of the whole research project, that is, the definition of solidarity. The structure of this chapter is twofold. Firstly, I still present seven cases that are, at least intuitively, solidarity-evoking. In so doing, a phenomenological catalog of solidarity will be provided, wide enough to give a flavor of the pervasiveness of the phenomenon; the remainder of the chapter will be devoted to the question of whether all of these cases can be covered by a concept of solidarity, to be defined. The subsequent endeavor of defining solidarity, to be attempted in the second section, shall stick to the methodological guidance offered by Chapter 2. Thus, the definition of solidarity will be developed accordingly, that is, based on the sociability-related properties unpacked in Chapter 3.

A Sociability-based Theory of Solidarity

CAMBONI, FRANCESCO
2021-10-27

Abstract

Notwithstanding the increasing interest that solidarity recently attracted in social, political, and moral philosophers, the foundations of a philosophical research field on solidarity have still to be laid. This thesis pursues the broad aim to contribute to this foundational work and is organized and structured accordingly. The substantive goal of the whole research project that unfolds henceforth is to reach a definition of the concept of solidarity, which is not intended to overcome or dismiss our everyday intuitions and commonsensical understandings of solidarity, but rather to make sense of what is underpinned by them. The dissertation is divided into four chapters. In Chapter 1, I take the steps from Durkheim, who is by broad acknowledgment regarded as the pioneering theorist developing a systematic account of solidarity. The potentially original contribution of Chapter 1 is a conclusive focus on some questions that can be formulated out of Durkheim’s framework and have been quite neglected by the commentators of his works. One of such open questions, that is, the extent to which anthropological assumptions on human nature ̶ and especially sociability ̶ may influence any theorization of solidarity, prepares the terrain for the subsequent development of the dissertation. Chapter 2 aims at shedding light on this intuition, which is elaborated in terms of an updated nomological reappraisal of human nature and a genuinely original concept that I propose, that is, the «anthropological load». By this concept, I mean a scalar property of social, ethical, and political concepts which indicates the extent to which the conceptual space for theorizing each of them is determined by anthropological assumptions. Following Durkheim’s suggestion, I consider sociability as the most salient anthropological assumption for theorizing solidarity. Accordingly, at the end of Chapter 2, I present a possible strategy to frame the structure of the concept of sociability, that is, that of a dispositional and open cluster concept. Chapter 3 is intended to unpack some core features that compose the cluster of sociability, that is, capacity of self-categorization, the capacity of empathy, and capacity of being moved by prosocial motivation. For each of these features, it is proposed to adopt a definition borrowed from the pertinent scientific literature which will be selectively presented and discussed. To conclude, Chapter 4 takes the final and crucial step of the whole research project, that is, the definition of solidarity. The structure of this chapter is twofold. Firstly, I still present seven cases that are, at least intuitively, solidarity-evoking. In so doing, a phenomenological catalog of solidarity will be provided, wide enough to give a flavor of the pervasiveness of the phenomenon; the remainder of the chapter will be devoted to the question of whether all of these cases can be covered by a concept of solidarity, to be defined. The subsequent endeavor of defining solidarity, to be attempted in the second section, shall stick to the methodological guidance offered by Chapter 2. Thus, the definition of solidarity will be developed accordingly, that is, based on the sociability-related properties unpacked in Chapter 3.
Solidarity, Durkheim, Philosophical Anthropology, Social Psychology, Conceptual Analysis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/1057605
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