Publication details

Die Robinsonade

Title in English The robinsonade


Year of publication 2014
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Description The paper explores the history and contemporary relevance of the robinsonade as fictitious marginal case of the social for economic and sociological theorizing. First, after a brief sketch of Daniel Defoe's foundational novel, the general structural properties of the resulting literary genre will be discussed. Second, it will be shown that the robinsonade is embedded in a specific modern social imaginary, connected to Descartes, Hobbes and the discovery of the new world. Third, the use of the robinsonade and its criticism in economics will be discussed. The fourth and fifth chapter deals with the sociological importance of the robinsonade, on the on hand for rational choice theories, on the other hand for the phenomenological sociology of knowledge of Berger and Luckmann. Finally, the function of the robinsonade for social theorizing will be discussed in general as well as with regard to its specific forms.
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