essay is about Emile Durkheim’s theory of ‘Individualism and the intellectuals’
which is introduce by Steven Lukes. Lukes
is trying to shed the light on the political studies, liberalism and value of
an individual in the political society.
of Steven Lukes: Steven Lukes was born on 1941 in north eastern England. He is a social theorist and British
political. Lukes completed his study at
Royal Grammar School in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1958. He went to Oxford as a student to study
philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford and then he got more interested in
sociology which was not really an existence much in Oxford than. In 1968, he
completed his doctorate on the work of Emile Durkheim. Currently he is working as a professor at New
York university teaching politics and sociology. He was a widower; he has three
children from his previous marriage. In
2006 April, Lukes married Katha Pollitt who is a political commentator and an
author. He has a profound influence on his career of Emile Durkheim who was a
French sociologist and a philosopher who can help us to understand why
capitalism makes us richer and yet frequently more miserable.
this section I am going to summarize the text which was introduced by Steven
Lukes he has republished Emile Durkheim’s theory of ‘Individualism and the
intellectuals”. Further I will discuss
theorist’s wider concerns related to text.
and the intellectuals’ is highly inaccessible and minor known essay written by
a wonderful sociologist ‘Emile Durkheim’.
Lukes is saying that there are so many reasons to why he is explaining,
translating and republishing this article.
This has been written by Durkheim in the response of political and
social crisis when he was at the top of his authority (Carman, 2008).
it is to provide some input of political theory which is the agreement of
opinion of all the students of politics and sociology to give respect to the
main cause of modern political stupidity, corruption not working in the best feasible
way. It is not often asking the main
reason for the existence of completely unacceptable state of affair is the
indifference by the public, specially their most important and intelligent for
political members for political questions and practical administration. Mostly current plans for reconstruction of
modern political life have their own purpose.
There are two promising program which have been put onwards are the
proposal to enhance the scope and importance of local government and more urban
planning which seeks to manage development in an equitable and community based
manner for substituting direct representation of economic and professional
interest in political parties. One of
the most important contributions for this mode of solution has given by Emile
Durkheim. He provides a history of
ideas, finalized by systems, theories and current schools. Moreover, it includes the ideas which are social
who works in the premises of classic cycle theories. Thus, by merging two different perspectives
together Durkheim’s work findings are the point of view of much more ideas with
sociopedagogical receptiveness and to the study ideology hence Durkheim cannot
provide systematic analysis of the ideology concept, but he uses the term and
proposes of the point. Secondly it is of
interest in history and thirdly it provides details and speaks about the idea
of its author (Sage Journals, 1969).
to this political theory here we are discussing the ability to talk about in
the support of liberalism which presents the key issues of the moral basis of
person’s rights, the criteria and limitation of politically set obligation
further we discuss the rights and acceptance of authority, what are the
responsibility of an intellectuals and the positive effect of liberalism. In this text Durkheim’s explain the rights of
an individual by focusing the principle of respect of a person. According to
which a human is consider as an individual who has a status of moral as well as
religious rights. This principle set
limitation for political obligation set by the political party. State cannot blame a person because individual
rights are much more important than State (Barry & Osborne, 2013).
he refuses to agree and do argue by giving his point of views based on moral
and ethical reasons rather than religious beliefs. Where the ability to do something is being
considered very important and agreeing with expert’s opinion is logically
justified. The issues which are related to the common judgment of men such
deference is opposite to the reason.
Here comes the responsibility of the intellectual to use logic in
thinking for a problem of moral and cultural values considering the warmth and
excitement of the crowd and image of the authority (Durkheim & Bellah,
Durkheim’s narrates that a complete dedication should be given to an individual
liberty and Political liberty should depend by working on political and social
norms. The negative eighteen century
liberalism should be fulfilled for the upcoming progress and must be finalized
and accomplished. As we consider the eighteen-century formulation of
individualism should correct and practice it without modification. Somehow it was reliable a decade ago but now
it should be completed and modified because it presents individualism
negatively (Bishop, 2007).
this text theorist is addressing the political rights of an individual and
indicates that they have all kind of moral, ethical and social values. He further explains that all the restrictions
which were set by politics got some limitation by new principle of
liberalism. He elaborates liberalism in
an advantage for society. He involves
Durkheim’s theory on individualism and the intellectual in his career and
considers it the most reliable theory, according to which an individual’s
freedom is consider as the most significance part of the politics (Levey,
2007). Government is there for the
safety of an individual and state has no right to overrule an individual’s
liberty. The intellectuals have some responsibility to solve the problems and
improve judgment in decision making. We
cannot compromise an individual liberty at any cause and all the aspects of
social and political norms must by consider under political liberty.
Individualism is a moral, political or social outlook that stresses human
independence and the importance of individual self-reliance and liberty
(Adamson, 2005). As to author’s concern the intellectuals put their reasoning
higher than authority because according to them individual’s rights are
to Karl Marx an Individual’s freedom and nature relates to a society.
is an ideology and political philosophy which indicate the value of an
individual. It is the key concept in
liberalism infect it is a core concept.
Individualism has supreme importance in terms of the rights and in terms
of need over a collective group. Society
is basically just an aggregation of an individual.
idea is very different from the idea of collectivism which we see particularly
in socialism, traditional concept, even in Islamic ideas. While we individual is subsumed with in a
collective of a nation and collective of a class which is a working class or
even in the family. Individual comes
first logically and morally prior to society.
theory of individualism- according to him the concept of individualism is
described as theological foundation. The creator of the world creates all his
creation same hence every individual is considered equal to other individual;
no one has right to rule over other.
Every individual should respect the rights of other individual. Therefore; human freedom is founded on
religious doctrine in Locke’s concept of individualism (Gustafson, 2001).
aspects of liberalism such as anti salivary, anti-imperialism, anti-racist,
anti-homophobic put the individual first (Nussbaum, 2011).
(an alignment philosopher) argue that individuals are “ends in themselves” he
emphasis the course of dignity and the individual worth for every human being.
emphasis universal human rights where he argues that no one ought to harm
another in his life, health, liberty and possessions. So, for Locke the
individual comes first, and they may form a social contract to join society to
be better off (Nussbaum, 2011).
makes an individual the more focus on the fundamental importance to its premises,
there are three aspects such as Liberalism, existentialism and anarchism these
are the movements which make the human as a main part of analysis. Individualism must evaluate as the right of
the individual to freedom and self-realization.
They have the freedom to write, think according to their own way
in American literature; at the end of the nineteenth and at the start of
Twentieth century the concept of Individualism in American author’s prospective
referred as the dominant priority of an individual on the ground of
self-standing and personal growth. Moreover, Walt Whitman is the first
revolution voice of individualism, through his poems “Song of Myself” he
relates individuals in social surrounding to a blade of grass, he described the
fact that everyone should acknowledge and be proud of the services and part
perform by everyone in this world (Vess and Nelson, 1999). ‘
to Ahuvia, (2002), John Stuart Mill’s theory on Individualism-Before Mill’s
input of individualism; Kant had redesigned Locke’s views. He rejects the grounds which are related to
study for individuals and instead accept grounds related to metaphysics. Mill’s wishes his theory on individualism
widely acceptable by removing the need of theological foundation as well as
metaphysic foundation and wants his theory to totally base on physiological
concept regarding pain and pleasure.
Mill’s somehow rejected the need of social contract and stated:
favourite contrivance has been the fiction of a contract, whereby at some
unknown period all the members of society engaged to obey the laws, and
consented to be punished for any disobedience to them; thereby giving to their
legislators the right, which it is assumed they would not otherwise have had,
of punishing them, either for their own good or for that of society … I need
hardly remark, either for their own good or for that of fiction, this maxim is
not superior in authority to the others which it is brought in to supersede.”
clearly rejects the concept of binding. Therefore,
rather than put his concept of individualism on metaphysics, theological and
contractual foundation; he surrounded his theory with psychology. Mill’s theory of individualism believed that
individuals have ultimate authority of their own action, so he considers it the
strongest course of action for liberalism (Verschraegen, 2002).
views- rather than presenting his theory based on previously explained concepts
Dewey make his theory according to the existent situation. America had become depend on each other and
worked as collective orientation. Hence,
he thought the collectively working environment should be practice meeting the
current needs. Dewey believes that the solution of the problem has been already
mentioned earlier. By exercising the “best knowledge and the best intellectual’s
methods” we can use social knowledge given by experts and modify it according
to current situation using the knowledge of how to tackle the situation
(Palumbo and Scott, 2005).
ambassador to the United States (1907–13), wrote in The American Commonwealth
(1888), “Individualism, the love of enterprise, and the pride in personal
freedom have been deemed by Americans not only their choicest, but their
peculiar and exclusive possession (Lukes, 1970).
intellectual is someone who is involve in brainstorming, some sort of critical
thinking and research work towards society and find solution for its
problem. Somehow the intellectual takes
participation in politics either to support or to defend injustice by
deference, editing or rejecting an ideology and by supporting the system of
value (Jackson, 2000).
we involve intellectuals in the political circumstances that intellectual has
some major responsibility towards the nation and its duties. They should have uses their mind and exercise
their ideas most likely. They can come
from any part of life; they should involve all their knowledge to, but they
should believe that they know everything and put all their effort to give
rational judgment. The intellectuals consist of enlightened elite who involves
in political matters to give guidance to the masses for their objective
interest. The role of the intellectuals
derived from an ethical system that relies on reason to explore objective
justice. Intellectuals demand that
because of reason ability they have access to the universe (Lukes, 1969).
conclusion, to sum-up the whole text; Steven Lukes sheds light on the theory of
Emile Durkheim about ‘Individualism and the intellectuals” which shows the
importance of an individual considering its moral, ethical, social and
religious rights above than State. Here
he mentioned the duties of the intellectuals towards all the decisions which
they make. He further elaborates and do
argue that the liberalism which was taking negatively in eighteen centuries
should be re-condition to accomplished and completed. He further explains that liberalism has
positive impact on society.
overall agenda of this text is to describe the procedure through which
individuals socially consolidate into society and to provide a sample for
understanding the relation between the individual and their society. Durkheim believes that every individual holds
some quality which makes him different from one another; these differences set
all of us apart with in a society. Every
individual has their own quality of thought, influences, desires and other
things. They gave more importance to individual
liberty rather than political liberty; an individual is not responsible for all
the social and economic situation of the country.
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