Toward a theory of solidarity

Erkenntnis 59 (2):157 - 188 (2003)
Abstract
Many types of 'other-regarding' acts and beliefs cannot be accounted for satisfactorily as instances of sophisticated selfishness, altruism, team-reasoning, Kantian duty, kin selection etc. This paper argues in favour of re-inventing the notion of solidarity as an analytical category capable of shedding important new light on hitherto under-explained aspects of human motivation. Unlike altruism and natural sympathy (which turn the interests of specific others into one's own), or team-reasoning (which applies exclusively to members of some team), or Kantian duty (which demands universalisable principles of action), the essence of solidarity lies in the hypothesis that people are capable of responding sympathetically to (or empathising with) a condition afflicting others, irrespectively of who those others are or whether one cares for them personally. And when that condition is a social artefact, we argue, solidarity turns radical.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1024630228818
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Solidarity: A Motivational Conception.Mariam Thalos - 2012 - Philosophical Papers 41 (1):57-95.
The Role of Solidarity in Social Responsibility for Health.Massimo Reichlin - 2011 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 14 (4):365-370.
Justice and the Politics of Deference.Avery Kolers - 2005 - Journal of Political Philosophy 13 (2):153–173.

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