Louis dumont essays on individualism

Where, then, in this case, is the relation of the part to the whole? Morton, revised by L. This mutation of individualism is seen to begin with the Greek Cynics, absorbed and modified by Roman Stoics, absorbed and modified by Christianity.

About the difficulty of the task there is no doubt. The new way elevates that side of us that wants autonomy with no restraints. A really good report on the evolution of individualism from Rome to the Enlightenment.

To seek ultimate truth they largely forgo social life and its practical distractions. Previously published in French in laviedesidees. Therefore, the meaning of politics cannot be the same in a society that assigns a religious dimension to the royal office as in a society in which this office has been secularized or where this sacred dimension is preserved simply as a disguise to conceal the power relation.

This all gets turned around by Popes meddling in secular Louis dumont essays on individualism and competing with kings. This means that the categories of thought in which we ordinarily reason and through which we communicate with each other will not emerge from the process unscathed.

Though he inserts a chapter on Marcel Mauss that reads like Ivory Tower jargon, this volume was first in a series that forced me to doubt fundamentals of my beloved Enlightenment philosophy.

Vincent Descombes emphasizes the substantial originality of that thought, which defined the political on the basis of comparative studies and in that way dispelled some of the equivocations of modern and contemporary philosophy. This is surely the first question that any political philosophy should raise.

In his last book, he offers this: But the meaning of this distinction is not always well understood, as can be seen for example when readers think they detect Louis dumont essays on individualism anti-modern prejudice in his thinking.

All responses of this kind try to define politics exclusively by the way in which it presents itself to our shared consciousness; therefore we remain trapped in our particular shared meaning: This brings us to the second point: Readers of Hegel have to ask themselves each time whether Hegel is discussing the apparatus of the state or is making a sociological observation.

Essays on Individualism

In our history in the West, we see a gradual formation of the category of the political as we understand it, in controversies surrounding the theological-political question: Nevertheless, it counts as anthropology because it requires in us a change of perspective that involves a reform of our conceptual apparatus.

What are the implications of this intellectual project for political thought? Christianity then deposits a form of individualism into the Enlightenment where it takes off with abandon. For some of our philosophers, politics is understood as a part of life in society, but it is the part that must provide the sense of wholeness of the entire society.

Does Dumont try to state it? The comparative principle demands that we reverse the perspective, because from the anthropological point of view it is we who are exceptional. II The second possible definition of politics falls between the preceding explanations, which remain completely encased in the shared modern meaning, and a fully comparative definition.

On the contrary, it requires us to start with the contrast between the various ways in which different societies have or have not defined a category of the political in relation to other categories of thoughtwith a view to arriving, at the end of the comparative investigation, at our modern concept of the political separated from the religious as a particular case.

They have not seen that with this contrast between two types of social ideology, Dumont was just giving a fresh take on the great division in the discipline of sociology: Rousseau was thus not only the precursor of sociology proper, but as well posed the problem of modern man, who has become a political individual without ceasing to be a social being, a problem which is still with us.

Just the head of state, the various powers, and the bureaucracy? Indeed, if we agree with Dumont we have to conclude, contrary to what most of these theories suggest, that the category of the political does not emerge—when it does—in the interaction among individuals within a group in a power strugglebut whenever historical circumstances require that a collective will be expressed in a human decision, which brings out the principle of the primacy of foreign policy over domestic policy.

In a commentary on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Dumont demonstrated all the advantage that can be derived from this advance. In the former, the individual is paramount, their rights, equality, freedom, liberty. Perhaps it will be objected here that these views are archaic, because democracy as we understand it means accepting disagreement and conflict, while the obsession with unity in the Jacobin manner, for example reflects an authoritarian concept of citizenship.

However, if it believes it is capable of doing without that concept, it is because it quickly equips itself with everything that is needed for political institutions to function in an autonomous and partial sphere: Why does Hegel speak in a double language in this way?

Comparison is thus a contrast between conceptual schemes. Holism consists rather of understanding things as part of a bigger picture, as is necessary in translating, where you have to switch from one language to another. This contrast makes it possible to have a comparative definition of a nation: Translating a speech is not just replacing one word by another.

But the part-whole relationship important to Dumont is not like that of one piece of a mechanical system to the whole system, it is a relation involving meaning.

Essays on Individualism: Modern Ideology in Anthropological Perspective

They would have to stop taking for granted their social environment, and understand what makes it particular. That is perfectly true. If you want to discuss this essay further, you can send a proposal to the editorial team.13 Louis Dumont, Essays on Individualism: Modern Ideology in Anthropological Perspective, (London: The University of Chicago Press, ), p 14 Dumont (), p Douglas Ayling page 5 Moving from the Western academy to the popular imagination, the resonances of.

Louis Dumont ( – 19 November ) was a French anthropologist. Dumont was born in Thessaloniki, in the Salonica Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire. He was an associate professor at Oxford University during the s, and director at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in ultimedescente.com: Anthropology.

Louis Dumont's Essays on Individualism is an ambitious attempt to place the modern ideology of individualism in a broad anthropological perspective. The result of twenty years of scholarship and. Louis Dumont’s Essays on Individualism is an ambitious attempt to place the modern ideology of individualism in a broad anthropological perspective.

The result of twenty years of scholarship and inquiry, the interrelated essays gathered here not only trace the genesis and growth of individualism as the dominant force in Western philosophy.

Louis Dumont's Essays on Individualism is an ambitious attempt to place the modern ideology of individualism in a broad anthropological perspective. The result of twenty years of scholarship and inquiry, the interrelated essays gathered here not only trace the genesis and growth of individualism as the dominant force in Western philosophy, but /5(2).

Dumont’s hierarchical dynamism. Christianity and individualism revisited Joel Robbins I should note that it was written for a conference honoring the centenary of Louis Dumont’s birth and is published along with other pieces from that event.

Dumont Louis. Essays on individualism: Modern ideology in anthropological perspective.

Download
Louis dumont essays on individualism
Rated 3/5 based on 19 review