Values, Knowledge and Solidarity: Neglected Convergences Between Émile Durkheim and Max Scheler [Book Review]

Human Studies 34 (4):353-371 (2011)
Within the purview of the sociology of knowledge Durkheim and Scheler appear among its important inaugurators theorizing the social foundations of knowledge, seemingly from mutually exclusive perspectives. Scheler’s phenomenology of values and community is often juxtaposed with Durkheim’s attempt to integrate values in reality, represented by the social configuration of organic solidarity. This essay argues that the affinity between Scheler and Durkheim deserves reexamination. Means employed for pursuing this aim include a reconsideration of how values mediate reality, but, above all, an attempt to show that both thinkers converge on their principal normative goal. This is no other than a global community of solidarity which both Scheler and Durkheim, albeit through different trails, visualize as the culmination of value-ethics. While Durkheim pursues this goal through a systematic exposition of the transition from mechanical to organic solidarity, late Scheler’s view of ‘the age of adjustment’ discloses a normative approach on modernity at odds with the then prevalent Kulturkritik . This ideal helps to rehabilitate Scheler and to approach the notions of sociality, the sociology of knowledge and the configuration of the ‘encompassing person’ through Durkheimian lenses. The essay concludes with a brief appraisal of theoretical gains drawn from this newly lit affinity
Keywords Adjustment  Convergence  Durkheim  Scheler  Solidarity  Values
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DOI 10.1007/s10746-011-9195-8
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The Creativity of Action.Hans Joas, Jeremy Gaines & Paul Keast - 1998 - Sociological Theory 16 (3):282.
The Nature of Sympathy.Max Scheler, Peter Heath & W. Stark - 1955 - Philosophical Review 64 (4):671-673.

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