How to state the problems of collective identity?

  • Vіncent Descombes
Keywords: identity of the collective wholeness, epistemological criterion, grammatical criterion


Such terms as identity and, in particular, collective identity had been established in the discourse of social sciences since the 1950’s in those contexts where formerly they rather had to do with individuality. Reasoning upon the theoretical principles of research of collective identity, the author raises the question of conceptual content of transition from psychological lexicon of the individual to that of identity. That requires finding out the sense development of the terms identity, existence and individual on the common basis, as well as provides for consideration of a man both in empirical and normative sense. When raising a problem of identity criterion for the collective wholeness, the author considers, in particular, two types of criteria: epistemological (following which we identify an individual as himself) and grammatical (which defines the individual’s identity to himself within the framework of his transformations). Proceeding from the presented analysis, the author makes a conclusion that the community based either on common characteristic, or on the fact of availability of the same thoughts, has no his own reality; instead, the community based on sharing institutions is a necessarily real group.


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How to Cite
Descombes, V. (2017). How to state the problems of collective identity?. Filosofska Dumka, (4), 81-96. Retrieved from