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.
Chiapperino, Luca
Turner, Brian J.
Strenski, Ivan
Staum, Martin S.
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Journal of the History of Biology
Mefisto: Rivista di medicina, filosofia, storia
Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
Perspectives on Science
Llull: Revista de la Sociedad Española de Historia de las Ciencias y de las Técnicas
University of Minnesota Press
Cornell University Press
Columbia University Press
Columbia University
Metaphors; analogies
Discipline formation
Durkheim, Émile
Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Antoine Pierre de Monet de
Darwin, Charles Robert
Spencer, Herbert
Rabaud, Etienne
Herschel, John Frederick William
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
18th century
Great Britain

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