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Clear & simple

Monday, 15 February 2021, Universität, Forschen

Will the vaccination bring back solidarity?

During the first COVID-19 lockdown almost a year ago, a sense of solidarity was evident in many aspects of life in Austria – such as people doing the shopping for seniors – but today we hear much less about this. Will vaccinations against the virus enable us to rediscover a collective sense of mutual support? Sonja Rinofner-Kreidl, from the Institute of Philosophy at the University of Graz, sees this as a conflicted question.  

"If our willingness to show solidarity through our actions depends on being vaccinated, then it never really was solidarity. In that case, any talk of solidarity is purely superficial, with no underlying substance. Solidarity means behaving in a way that benefits the whole community. Regardless of whether we expect any personal reward, such as a protective vaccination. 

Solidarity is not a barter transaction that we engage in occasionally because it is advantageous for us. It is deeply embedded in us, and in everything we do in life: none of us can survive as an isolated individual. In this sense, anything that makes the community stronger also makes us stronger as individuals. 
But anyone who sees everything through the magnifying lens of self-interest, and for whom solidarity is linked with getting something back in return, has not really understood the meaning of solidarity."


>> Link Video Sonja Rinofner-Kreidl

>> Learn more about the scientist: Sedcard | Website 

Clear & Simple

Putting it simply: expert insights instead of fake news. In our new series “COVID-19 – clear & simple” (German only), experts at the University of Graz respond to topical questions about the “COVID-19 vaccination programme”.


Sonja Rinofner-Kreidl’s research work focuses on the branch of philosophy known as phenomenology. She investigates how feelings, desires, actions and cognition relate to objects, and how claims to reality are warranted. >> Sedcard


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