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Trabajo y sociedad

versão On-line ISSN 1514-6871


BIALAKOWSKY, Alejandro  e  MOLINA Y VEDIA, Agustín. The dreams of reason: crisis of meaning and egoistic suicide. Trab. soc. [online]. 2016, n.26, pp.117-140. ISSN 1514-6871.

This article seeks to investigate the theoretical and analytical consequences that the study of egoistic suicide has on Emile Durkheim's perspective. In order to do that, it begins with a reconstruction of the distinction between egoism and anomie, highlighting the importance of egoism, often downplayed by secondary literature, and its relation to the crisis of meaning. With this objective in mind, the difference between passive and active social spheres is pointed as a key element to understand that conceptual pair. In addition, the social genesis of the quest for meaning is traced in the author's postulates, leading to the study of the historical development of religions and of the individual manifestations of egoism (melancholy, languor, solipsism). In third place, it studies how the historical development of reason points to the emergence of a symbolic idealism linked to lack of integration resulted from a series of processes: the disarticulation between thought and action and between sophisticated beliefs and practices; the loss of a durable object (representational and 'mundane') and of a totalizing representation; and the absence of common social objectives. Lastly, the article examines how sociology, as science of the social, can intervene on pathologies related to the 'dreams of reason' characteristic of egoistic currents (passive and solipsist; active and destructive). Thus, it outlines the different attempts made by the author to find, in modernity, new ways to articulate representations of the totality of society with daily practices, capable of providing meaning to rationalized individuals. In this way, the role of the state, of collective rituals, ideals of humanity and patriotism can be reread in light of the questions and theoretical proposals that are at play in the analysis of egoistic suicide.

Palavras-chave : Egoistic Suicide; Meaning; Symbolic Idealism; Totality; Durkheim.

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