Article ID: CBB708515471

The Neo-Lamarckian Tools Deployed by the Young Durkheim: 1882–1892 (2023)


I argue that the French sociologist Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) decided to constitute sociology, a novel field, as ‘scientific’ early in his career. He adopted evolutionized biology as then practiced as his principal model of science, but at first wavered between alternative repertoires of concepts, models, metaphors and analogies, in particular Spencerian Lamarckism and French neo-Lamarckism. I show how Durkheim came to fashion a particular deployment of the French neo-Lamarckian repertoire. The paper describes and analyzes this repertoire and explicates how it might have been available to a non-biologist. I analyze Durkheim’s very early writings between 1882 and 1892 in this context to substantiate my argument.

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Authors & Contributors
Loison, Laurent
Gissis, Snait B.
Barberis, Daniela S.
Burian, Richard M.
Gayon, Jean
Gildenhuys, Peter
Journal of the History of Biology
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Canadian Journal of History
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Llull: Revista de la Sociedad Española de Historia de las Ciencias y de las Técnicas
Columbia University
Cornell University Press
University of Minnesota Press
Metaphors; analogies
Discipline formation
Durkheim, Émile
Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Antoine Pierre de Monet de
Bourdieu, Pierre
Caullery, Maurice
Comte, Auguste
Darwin, Charles Robert
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
Great Britain

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