Morality and Individualism - Suggestion Form Durkheim's Theory

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 10:15
Location: Hörsaal 18 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Yoshihiko SHIRATORI, Kobe University, Japan
              One of the contributions of Durkheim to sociological theory is his discussion on intermediate groups. In the context of the intermediate group idea, he thinks three structural layers, namely, individual, intermediate group and whole society. He supposes that actual biggest whole society is a state. Durkheim’s argument on state is characterized by his point of view shich puts state in the context of discussion on morality. He asserts that state is above all organ of moral discipline.

              Durkheim’s discussion on morality is also developed in his Moral Education. He states three elements of moral education. They are spirit of discipline, attachment to group and autonomy of the will. These elements correspond to three types of suicide presented by Durkheim. Egoistic suicide may be avoided by attaching to groups; altruistic suicide may be avoided by autonomy of the will; anomic suicide may be avoided by spirit of discipline. It must be emphasized that Durkheim gives importance not only to society but also to individual as element of morality.

              Based on these discussions, I will inquire into the question of morality as well as the relationship between morality and individualism.