The principle of solidarity in Max Scheler's philosophy of social analysis

Rainier R. Altamarino Ibana, Fordham University

Abstract

The aim of the dissertation is to develop a philosophical method of social analysis based on Max Scheler's notion of solidarity. This is achieved by deducing the various levels of solidarity from Scheler's definition. Scheler defines solidarity as the reciprocal relationship between the whole and its parts. This definition is analyzed to yield the various types of relationships between the whole and its parts. Personalistic solidarity represents the reciprocal relationship between the whole and its parts, solidarity by interests represents the domination of the whole by its parts, organic solidarity represents the domination of the parts by the whole, and solidarity by contagion represents the absence of any relationship between the whole and the parts.^ The systematic character of Scheler's philosophy of social analysis is shown by the correspondence among the different degrees of solidarity, the various types of social units, and the order of values. Personalistic solidarity corresponds to solidaristic organizations and the values of salvation, solidarity by interest corresponds to societal (gesellschaftlich) associations and spiritual values, organic solidarity corresponds to life-communities (lebensgemeinschaften) and vital values, and solidarity by contagion corresponds to mass societies and pleasure/utility values.^ By identifying the exemplary persons and objects preferred by social units, Scheler is able to specify the prevailing ethos of the social units under investigation. He achieves this through the various levels of analysis that correspond to the various levels of solidarity: phenomenology, critique of ideologies, sympathetic participation, mob psychology, and statistical analysis.^ Since Scheler's analysis of society is set within the context of the order of values and the levels of solidarity, his analysis leads to an ethical evaluation of how social units approximate higher values and higher levels of solidarity. Ressentiment, scientism, determinism, psychological projections, prejudices, illusions, idols and ideologies are all exposed as perversions of the objective order of values and as distortions of the reciprocal relationship between the whole and its parts. ^

Subject Area

Sociology, Theory and Methods|Philosophy|Sociology, Social Structure and Development

Recommended Citation

Rainier R. Altamarino Ibana, "The principle of solidarity in Max Scheler's philosophy of social analysis" (January 1, 1989). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI8917236.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8917236

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