2003 年 13 巻 p. 51-70
As is generally known, Durkheim's practical interest was directed to the integration and reform of France as a nation-state under the Third Republic. However, in order to understand his interest adequately, it is necessary to inquire into how he defined the French nationhood, in other words, basis of national identity of France. In general, as to the basis of nationhood, there are two opposite points of view: the one is individualistic and universalistic standpoint that stemmed from French Enlightenment, the other is collectivistic and particularistic one that is mainly advocated by German Romanticism. While supporting universalism of the former, Durkheim decisively rejected its premise that nation was essentially formed of contract resulted from individuals' free will. On the other hand, approving of both collectivistic perspective and stress on historical tradition of the latter, he could not side with its particularistic cultural nationalism. In this critical synthesis, Durkheim searched for the compatibility of historical tradition of France as a collective personality and humanistic universalism that would transcend narrow ethnocentrism of his day. Durkheim's solution was to think that universalism of France was immanent in France's own historical tradition and fostered by it over a long period of time. The concept of "moral individualism" was crucial in this respect, for in Durkheim's thinking "moral individualism" seen as system of beliefs of the French nation was the very ideal that not only embodied universalistic principle which told people to respect human personality, but also was deeply rooted in French history. Therefore, the main objective of this article is to study Durkheim's understanding of French nationhood through examining his "moral individualism" and its historical background.