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Deadline: "The Idea of Solidarity in Philosophical and Social Contexts"


Call for Papers

Critics of the concept of solidarity usually raise a number of basic objections with regard to this idea, which – for reasons of clarity – can be summarized in the following general points.

Firstly, regardless of whether solidarity is understood as a virtue of character represented by the Samaritan attitude, as a feeling – an attribute of human nature – or, finally, as an axiologically rational principle of cooperation which goes beyond selfish short-term cooperation, solidarity is – critics of solidarity would claim – by its very nature inevitably particular. This means that the precise form and content of the idea is defined on an individual basis by a particular local type of community which it co-creates. Consequently, any claims to the universality of the concept may not be effective. The argument is sometimes additionally supported by another claim stating that the particularism assumed by solidarity inescapably leads to the exclusion of other communities which are perceived as antagonistic.

Secondly, solidarity is criticized predominantly from the viewpoint of those contemporary approaches which are related to liberal culture, usually incorporating such concepts as universality and belief in the fundamental moral value of a free and responsible individual. In this context, the collectivism postulated by solidarity, attaching primary importance to community interests and values, is regarded as merely an anachronistic legacy of pre–modern forms of collective identity, the essence of which lies in the absence of the individual. The individualism and nominalism of contemporary times is thus placed in opposition to so-called “anachronistic” solidarity-based duties and obligations.

Thirdly, disapproval is often expressed of those proposed structures of contemporary social order which recognize solidarity as the overriding social principle. Claims are made that the proposal that solidarity regulate the organisation of legal and procedural structures, e.g. of the state potentially jeopardizes modern community institutions, such as the free market. It is emphasized that solidarity, similar to charity, assumes voluntariness, which is why it cannot be recognized as a common law standard.

The main aim of the Conference, organized by the Department of Philosophy of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan and the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, Washington D.C., is to thoroughly discuss the criticisms and objections voiced against the idea of solidarity. Also, conference participants will attempt to reflect on the problem of validity of the idea in the globalizing world of today, analyzing it from the three contexts in which it is markedly present:
a) ethical and moral;
b) social, and
c) political and legal.

Abstract of no more than 500 words should be emailed as a Word-document to:
Tadeusz Buskinski
Dariusz Dobrzanski

Deadline for submission is March 30, 2007.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Tadeusz Buskinski
Dr. Dariusz Dobrzanski
Department of Philosophy
Adam Mickiewicz University
Poznan, Poland

Към новина: 12/02/2007 "The Idea of Solidarity in Philosophical and Social Contexts"

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