The essay deals with the idea of the subject in the political realism of Vilfredo Pareto. While discussing the theoretical and epistemological status of “residues” and “derivates”, it focuses on a concept of human being as an “ideological animal”, defined both by impulses, instincts or inclinations and a “need for logic”, i.e., man’s tendency to give a rational justification to his motives and acts. As a result, the power of persuasion in shaping social conducts – and, first of all, social equilibrium – in opposition to that of truth is emphasized. The interpretative proposal discloses a model of subjectivity, in which human nature and social construction intertwine and overlap, and formulate, as Pareto’s possible conclusive hypothesis, that of a social unconscious, never fully investigable, where society meets subjectivity “at the back” of consciousness.     Keywords: Pareto, Residues, Derivations, Persuasion, Social unconscious

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