2007-11-20 - Egreen@virginia.edu Durkheim 1. The Science of...

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Egreen@virginia.edu Durkheim 1. The Science of Social Facts 2. Contracts and Rationality 3. The Structure of Religion 4. The Theory of Rituals Other Notes Durkheim impressed with physics and biology Thought that’s how science should be It was mature in the sciences He though sociology should be a social physics i. A rigorous and predictive science There is no difference between the social and natural sciences i. So there is no difference between social and natural world ii. Monism – one world iii. Dualism – two world 1. weber says there is a social world and a natural world Entelogical difference (dualist entology) The world consists of two realities i. one is nature ii. two is society 1. society history and culture iii. the entological difference triggers the methodological difference the social world consists of objective meaning in nature there is no subjective meaning sociology cannot proceed like nature, bc subjective would need to be interpreted Durkheim is a monist not a dualist Some facts you don’t find in nature i. Absence – meaningful nature Durkheim sees sociology as social physics Social Facts Just like a natural fact i. Something necessary and unavoidable ii. One cannot go against the facts of nature 1. if u go against the facts of nature the plans will be foiled 2. one must reckon the facts of nature 3. the facts of nature are obvious and given 4. they are also called hard facts of nature a. hard – unavoidability b. natural fact resists people that try to ignore it, circumvent it, etc c. the rules are not subjective
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iii. people can use these facts to explain other things 1. this can be explained in natural laws a. mathematically – differential equations 2. we can use natural laws in math equations in order to explain the behavior of natural facts 3. we can explain social facts with social equations 4. therefore sociology is social physics a social fact is an external force i. not a force in the mind, not internal, not inside persons head ii. it is outside the head, it is external iii. durkeim views society as an external and objective force that exerts itself on what persons do and how they do it, without those persons being aware of it or being able to change it iv. society is not simply a sum of parts or aggregate of persons 1. even if we knew everything there is to know about persons, we still would only know a little about society v. that is sociology (durkheims) round rule vi. society is an impersonal force that exerts itself on persons, like gravity imposes on persons 1. people are simply forced without people being able to do anything about it 2. if one does try to act against a social fact, that social fact will strike back a. same for the force of nature i. chances are you might get destroyed b. the same would happen if you try to avoid a social
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2007-11-20 - Egreen@virginia.edu Durkheim 1. The Science of...

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