Type: Proposal Essays
Sample donated: Michael Long
Last updated: May 14, 2019
Introduction:Thisessay is about Emile Durkheim’s theory of ‘Individualism and the intellectuals’which is introduced by Steven Lukes.
Lukes is trying to shed the light on the political studies, liberalismand value of an individual in the political society. Steven Lukes was born on1941 in north eastern England. He is asocial theorist and British political. Lukes completed his study at Royal Grammar School in Newcastle upon Tynein 1958. He went to Oxford as a studentto study philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford and then he got moreinterested 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 NewYork university teaching politics and sociology. He was a widower; he has threechildren from his previous marriage. In2006 April, Lukes married Katha Pollitt who is a political commentator and anauthor. He has a profound influence on his career of Emile Durkheim who was aFrench sociologist and a philosopher who can help us to understand whycapitalism makes us richer and yet frequently more miserable. Inthis section I am going to summarize the text which was introduced by StevenLukes he has republished Emile Durkheim’s theory of ‘Individualism and theintellectuals”. Further we discusstheorist wider concerns related to text.
‘Individualism and the intellectuals’is highly inaccessible and minor known essay written by a wonderful sociologist’Emile Durkheim’. Lukes is saying thatthere are so many reasons to why he is explaining, translating and republishingthis article. This has been written byDurkheim in the response of political and social crisis when he was at the topof his authority. First, it is to provide some input of political theory whichis the agreement of opinion of all the students of politics and sociology togive respect to the main cause of modern political stupidity, corruption notworking in the best feasible way.
It isnot often asking the main reason for the existence of completely unacceptablestate of affair is the indifference by the public, specially their mostimportant and intelligent for political members for political questions andpractical administration. Mostly currentplans for reconstruction of modern political life have their own purpose. There are two promising program which havebeen put onwards are the proposal to enhance the scope and importance of localgovernment and more urban planning which seeks to manage development in anequitable and community based manner for substituting direct representation ofeconomic and professional interest in political parties. One of the most important contributions forthis mode of solution has given by Emile Durkheim. He provides a history of ideas, finalized bysystems, theories and current schools. Moreover,it includes the ideas which are social who works in the premises of classiccycle theories. Thus, by merging twodifferent perspectives together Durkheim’s work findings are the point of viewof much more ideas with socio pedagogical receptiveness and to the studyideology 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 detailsand speaks about the idea of its author.Accordingto this political theory here we are discussing the ability to talk about inthe support of liberalism which presents the key issues of the moral basis ofperson’s rights, the criteria and limitation of politically set obligationfurther we discuss the rights and acceptance of authority, what are theresponsibility of an intellectuals and the positive effect of liberalism. In this text Durkheim’s explain the rights ofan individual by focusing the principle of respect of a person. According towhich a human is consider as an individual who has a status of moral as well asreligious rights. This principle setlimitation for political obligation set by the political party. State cannot blame a person because individualrights are much more important than State. Moreover, he refuses to agree and doargue by giving his point of views based on moral and ethical reasons ratherthan religious beliefs.
Where theability to do something is being considered very important and agreeing withexpert’s opinion is logically justified. The issues which are related to thecommon judgment of men such deference is opposite to the reason. Here comes the responsibility of theintellectual to use logic in thinking for a problem of moral and culturalvalues considering the warmth and excitement of the crowd and image of theauthority. Finally,Durkheim’s narrates that a complete dedication should be given to an individualliberty and Political liberty should depend by working on political and socialnorms. The negative eighteen centuryliberalism should be fulfilled for the upcoming progress and must be finalizedand accomplished. As we consider the eighteen-century formulation ofindividualism should correct and practice it without modification.
Somehow it was reliable a decade ago but nowit should be completed and modified because it presents individualismnegatively. In this text theorist is addressing the political rights of anindividual and indicates that they have all kind of moral, ethical and socialvalues. He further explains that all therestrictions which were set by politics got some limitation by new principle ofliberalism. He elaborates liberalism inan advantage for society. He involvesDurkheim’s theory on individualism and the intellectual in his career andconsiders it the most reliable theory, according to which an individual’sfreedom is consider as the most significance part of the politics. Government is there for the safety of anindividual and state has no right to overrule an individual’s liberty. Theintellectuals have some responsibility to solve the problems and improvejudgment in decision making.
We cannotcompromise an individual liberty at any cause and all the aspects of social andpolitical norms must by consider under political liberty. Individualism is amoral, political or social outlook that stresses human independence and theimportance of individual self-reliance and liberty. As to author’s concern theintellectuals put their reasoning higher than authority because according tothem individual’s rights are inalienable. Accordingto Karl Marx an Individual’s freedom and nature relates to a society.Individualism is an ideology and political philosophy which indicate the valueof an individual. It is the key conceptin liberalism infect it is a core concept. Individualism has supreme importance in terms of the rights and in termsof need over a collective group.
Societyis basically just an aggregation of an individual. This idea is very differentfrom 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 andcollective of a class which is a working class or even in the family. Individual comes first logically and morallyprior to society.Locke’stheory of individualism- according to him the concept of individualism isdescribed as theological foundation.
The creator of the world creates all hiscreation 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 onreligious doctrine in Locke’s concept of individualism. The aspects ofliberalism such as anti salivary, anti-imperialism, anti-racist,anti-homophobic put the individual first.
Kant (an alignment philosopher)argues that individuals are “ends in themselves” he emphasis the course ofdignity and the individual worth for every human being. Locke emphasisuniversal human rights where he argues that no one ought to harm another in hislife, 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.Individualism makes an individual the more focus on the fundamental importanceto its premises, there are three aspects such as Liberalism, existentialism andanarchism these are the movements which make the human as a main part ofanalysis. Individualism must evaluate asthe right of the individual to freedom and self-realization.
They have the freedom to write, thinkaccording to their own way. Individualism in American literature; at the end ofthe nineteenth and at the start of Twentieth century the concept ofIndividualism in American author’s prospective referred as the dominantpriority of an individual on the ground of self-standing and personal growth.Moreover, Walt Whitman is the first revolution voice of individualism, throughhis poems “Song of Myself” he relates individuals in social surrounding to ablade of grass, he described the fact that everyone should acknowledge and beproud of the services and part perform by each individual in this world. JohnStuart Mill’s theory on Individualism-Before Mill’s input of individualism;Kant had redesigned Locke’s views. Herejects the grounds which are related to study for individuals and insteadaccept grounds related to metaphysics. Mill’s wishes his theory on individualism widely acceptable by removingthe need of theological foundation as well as metaphysic foundation and wantshis theory to totally base on physiological concept regarding pain andpleasure. Mill’s somehow rejected theneed of social contract and stated: “A favourite contrivance has been thefiction of a contract, whereby at some unknown period all the members ofsociety engaged to obey the laws, and consented to be punished for anydisobedience to them; thereby giving to their legislators the right, which itis assumed they would not otherwise have had, of punishing them, either fortheir own good or for that of society … I need hardly remark, either for theirown good or for that of fiction, this maxim is not superior in authority to theothers which it is brought in to supersede.
” Mill clearly rejects the conceptof binding. Therefore, rather than puthis concept of individualism on metaphysics, theological and contractualfoundation; he surrounded his theory with psychology. Mill’s theory of individualism believed thatindividuals have ultimate authority of their own action, so he considers it thestrongest course of action for liberalism. Dewey’s views- rather thanpresenting his theory based on previously explained concepts Dewey make histheory according to the existent situation.
America had become depend on each other and worked as collectiveorientation. Hence, he thought thecollectively working environment should be practice in order to meet thecurrent needs. Dewey believes that the solution of the problem has been alreadymentioned earlier. By exercising the “best knowledge and the best intellectual’smethods” we can use social knowledge given by experts and modify it accordingto current situation using the knowledge of how to tackle the situation.British ambassador to the United States (1907–13), wrote in The AmericanCommonwealth (1888), “Individualism, the love of enterprise, and the pride inpersonal freedom have been deemed by Americans not only their choicest, buttheir peculiar and exclusive possession.” The intellectual is involved inbrainstorming, some sort of critical thinking and research work towards societyand find solution for its problem.
Somehow the intellectual takes participation in politics either tosupport or to defend injustice by deference, editing or rejecting an ideologyand by supporting the system of value. When we involve intellectuals in thepolitical circumstances that particular intellectual has some majorresponsibility towards the nation and its duties. They should have uses their mind and exercisetheir ideas most likely. They can comefrom any part of life; they should involve all their knowledge in order to, butthey should believe that they know everything and put all their effort to giverational judgment. The intellectuals consist of enlightened elite who involvesin political matters to give guidance to the masses for their objectiveinterest. The role of the intellectuals derivedfrom an ethical system that relies on reason to explore objective justice.
Intellectuals demand that because of reasonability they have access to the universe. Conclusion:Inconclusion, in order to sum-up the whole text; Steven Lukes sheds light on thetheory of Emile Durkheim about ‘Individualism and the intellectuals” whichshows the importance of an individual considering its moral, ethical, socialand religious rights above than State. Here he mentioned the duties of the intellectuals towards all thedecisions which they make. He furtherelaborates and do argue that the liberalism which was taking negatively ineighteen centuries should be re-condition in order to accomplished andcompleted. He further explains thatliberalism has positive impact on society. The overall agenda of thisparticular text is to describe the procedure through which individuals sociallyconsolidate into society and to provide a sample for understanding the relationbetween the individual and their society. Durkheim believes that every individual holds some quality which makeshim different from one another; these differences set all of us apart with in asociety. Every individual has their ownquality of thought, influences, desires and other things.
They gave more importance to individualliberty rather than political liberty; an individual is not responsible for allthe social and economic situation of the country.