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Solidarity pp 209-220 | Cite as

Solidarity: Its History and Contemporary Definition

  • Andreas Wildt
Part of the Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture book series (PSCC, volume 5)

Abstract

In the following essay, I will start out by commenting on a few fairly widely held — but in my view false or at least unproven — assumptions about the history of “solidarity ” regarding both the history of the use of the word and the history of the idea or concept of solidarity. These assumptions are demonstrated especially in the papers of Karl H. Metz and Eckart Pankoke. The general tendency of these assumptions may be summed up by saying that they are too hasty in ascribing to the concept of “solidarity ”a one-sided normative and, in particular, political meaning. According to the latter meaning, “solidarity ” is used both in an instrumental way and in a way that relates the concept specifically to the state. Too little recognition is given, thereby, to the moral and affective meaning of the concept — which contains certain essential descriptive assumptions. In the second section of this essay, I will suggest a definition of the concept which clings to these traits and also tries to explicate our current everyday, intuitive understanding of the word in a way that is as generally acceptable as possible. I will also explain what I intended to achieve with this somewhat complex attempt, and what the limits of that attempt are.

Keywords

Moral Aspect Liberal Economist Catholic Social Teaching Substantive Conception Legal Meaning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Wildt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of BerlinGermany

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