Title: The Closing of the Civic Mind. Marcel Gauchet on the 'Society of Individuals'
Authors: Braeckman, Antoon # ×
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Thesis Eleven
Series Title: Thesis Eleven vol:94 issue:1 pages:29-48
Abstract: According to Gauchet we are living in a ‘society of individuals’. But a central term is missing from that formula, and not by any accident, for contemporary society has lost it from view: the term of the political. In sum, thus reads Gauchet’s diagnosis, society today is haunted by a kind of individualism out of which no society can be conceived, as it obfuscates its political dimension. The aim of this paper is to elaborate this diagnosis, and more specifically the idea that there is no society, and therefore no individual either, without the political. In order to do so, I will explore the meaning of the formula ‘society of individuals’. Within the scope of this analysis, I shall primarily pay attention to the ‘primacy of the political’ in Gauchet. To conclude, I will assess Gauchet’s diagnosis, by fathoming in what sense contemporary individualism, besides being an ‘eclipse of the political’, is also a threat to democracy.
ISSN: 0725-5136
VABB publication type: VABB-1
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Centre for Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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