From Liberal Individualism to Sociology: A Paradoxical Mediator
When disputing against the notion of natural order, Hume also reconsiders the idea of human nature, understood from then on as the power of invention and artfulness, and not any more as a simple element integrated to the Whole of Nature (like the part of the Whole-Nature in the stoic way), concerned to respect a Nature already constituted into a System. In the Humian perspective, there is no "respect" but the one concerning the inventive dynamism of nature whose only "concern" is its own preservation through its expansive modalities: an attitude that should normally discourage any apologetical project to the benefit of the search for factors improving and preserving the individual and the social body in a given situation, the mediation here is technical. To the conformity to the ordered or instructed once and for all norm, is substituted the detection of mechanisms building norms necessarily changing according to "circumstances". The Scottish Historical School, by systematising the gains of Humian analysis, establishes the notional elements allowing a given discourse on social issues, in short a sociology.
Key Words : economy, Hume, sociology, individualism, nature
t. 37, 1992 : p. 89-99