Dialogue between Sociology and Philosophy. Ontological Trust, Search for Meanings, and Self-Reflection in an Era of Uncertainty
The aim of the article is to initiate a dialogue between sociology and philosophy, in order to clarify the relationship between ontology and society, subjectivity and the massification process and between the need for meaning and the spread of nihilism. The starting points of my analysis are Giddens’ claim that the formation of identity in contemporary society requires ontological trust and Touraine’s thesis of the end of society which calls for the formation of subjectivity. In the dialogue between philosophers such as Martin Heidegger, Friedrich Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard, Karl Jaspers and sociologists such as Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Anthony Giddens and Alain Touraine, I reflect on the meaning of ontological trust, the way in which it can be achieved and why today it has become central to the sociological debate. The fruit of this dialogue is that what was once considered society’s role is now recognized as the burden of the individual himself. For this reason ontological trust is fundamental for the formation of a strong and stable identity, for overcoming nihilism and finding new meaning and for the affirmation of the ethic of responsibility.
Mariolina GraziosiUniversità degli studi di Milano. Dipartimento di Scienze sociali e politiche