Greg Yudin 1, 2
  • 1 Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, Gazetnyy Pereulok, 3-5, Moscow, Russian Federation 125009
  • 2 Princeton University, 304 Laura Wooten Hall Princeton, NJ 08544

Making sense of suicide

2009, vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 80–93 [issue contents]
The paper discusses the possibility of understanding of the meaning (Sinn) in social science. This problem is exposed by analyzing sociological determinism in theory of suicide. Is it possible for sociology to follow Durkheim's plea and renounce the task of interpretation of meaning? We argue that this strategy runs counter philosophical-anthropological claims of durkheimian sociology. Consistent determinism can get rid of the intentional component of suicide only at the cost of admitting formal impossibility of suicide. This theoretical solution appears to be extremely influential in epistemology of social science. But unfolding of this logic leads to the necessity of justifying reflexive cognition, which, in turn, is impossible without rethinking suicide. The paper shows that although the task of interpretation of meaning is unavoidable for the epistemology, it should at the same time abandon the claims on understanding the meaning. An alternative conception of cognition in social science demands that the emphasis should be put on the experience of suicide.
Citation: Yudin Greg Borisovich (2009) Smysl samoubiystva [Making sense of suicide] The Russian Sociological Review, 2, pp. 80-93 (in Russian)
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