Emile Durkheim: Sociologist and Philosopher by Dominick LaCapra

By Dominick LaCapra

In Emile Durkheim: Sociologist and thinker, Dominick LaCapra, a number one theoretical historian, deals a tremendous revised serious research of Durkheim's methodological and philosophical ambitions, with an emphasis at the metaphysical, epistemological, and moral difficulties inherent in forming constructs of the cultural and social spheres.

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As we view it, it cannot be posed with greater profundity? 6 In the excellent j u dgment of David Thomson, "The Third Repub­ lic . . 2 8 In his i naugural lecture at Bordeaux, Durkheim stated his i n tensely moral goal in no ambiguous terms: Our society must restore the consciousness of its organic unity . . No doubt these ideas will become truly effi cacious only if they spread out into the depths of society, b u t for that it is fi rst necessary that we elaborate them scientifically in the u ni versity.

I'm not disturbed by this attitude. "49 The personalities and ideas of the professor-philosopher-administrators Liard and Lapie show the extent of their afflnity with Durkheim. 50 Louis Liard is often credited with h aving made over the universities i n France almost single-handedly. In his Souvenirs d' unepetite enfance, Liard described with warmth his adolescence i n Falaise, Normandy: his love for churches b u i l t in the M iddle Ages, the wooden houses dating fro m t h e flfteenth century, the ruins of the castle of the dukes o f N o rmandy, and above all the old college built in the shadow of the ancient fortress.

The far Left was equ ally unable to propose a constructive alternative to existing policies. Between these two extremes, most of those who agreed upon a democratic and republican form of government did so with the tacit assumption that politics would not disturb the basic configuration of vested interests in society. " French labor legislation remained the most backward of the "advanced" industrial societies. And French society continued to be highly gendered and stratifi ed, with little equality of opportunity, less equality of reward, and no positive consensus on the legitimate n ature of the social structure or political regime.

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