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Journal Articles Journal of Ethnographic Theory - HAU Year : 2016

Obstinacy and suicide: Rethinking Durkheim’s vices

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Abstract

This article takes Durkheim’s Le suicide as a conceptual testing ground for an ongoing field inquiry into assisted suicide in Switzerland. It tackles the question of the extent to which a Durkheimian approach to the social facticity of human practices can adequately grasp the ethico-pragmatic variation in which people give form to their lives, especially under heavily constrained circumstances. The article makes two interventions: it first draws out the conceptual significance of the asymmetry in the architecture of Le suicide, namely, of Durkheim’s explicit refusal to elaborate a fourth type of suicide (fatalistic suicide). It then presents the blind spot, and asymmetry, as constitutive of his normative scientific posture: that social science, in its modern modalities, has the means to identify the normative ends toward which social life should Aim :, to the detriment of a more pluralist ethical and anthropological postulate through which to grasp and understand the multiplicity of moral forms pertaining to suicide, of which assisted suicide in Switzerland provides the test case.
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Dates and versions

hal-03479205 , version 1 (14-12-2021)

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Anthony Stavrianakis. Obstinacy and suicide: Rethinking Durkheim’s vices. Journal of Ethnographic Theory - HAU, 2016, 6 (1), pp.163-188. ⟨10.14318/hau6.1.012⟩. ⟨hal-03479205⟩
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