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Title: Émile Durkheim : an intellectual biography
Author: Lukes, Steven
ISNI:       0000 0001 1507 0966
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1969
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Durkheim's background is described: born into a rabbinical family in Alsace-Lorraine, he grew up in an environment of defensive social cohesiveness, austerity and moral severity. On the third attempt, he was admitted to the Ecole Normale Superieure in 1879. His reaction to the Ecole's largely classical and literary curriculum was unfavourable, but he excelled in philosophical and political discussions with his contemporaries (he was strongly republican) and, though critical of most of his teachers, he is shown to have been influenced by Boutroux and Fustel de Coulanges, as well as by the work of Renouvier. After his agregation, he became a lycee teacher of philosophy. His early ideas about sociology are traced: in particular, his move from social philosophy to sociology, the formative influence of Comte, his qualified sympathy for Taine, his hostility to Renan, his adherence to scientific rationalism and strong opposition to all forms of dilettantism and mysticism, his early ideas about the practical implications of social science (and his hesitations in this regard), the development of his so-called "social realism" and the influence upon it of Comte, Spencer and Espinas respectively. Wishing to see social science at work, he visited Germany during 1835-6. His reactions to this visit are considered: his admiration of German university life, his attitude to German philosophy and the implications he drew concerning philosophy teaching in France, his approval of the Germans 1 organic conception of society, arid, in particular, of the work of the social econo­ mists, the jurists and Wundt. Their influence on his thought is assessed. In 1887 he was appointed to teach social science and education at Bordeaux. [Continued in text ...]
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Durkheimian school of sociology ; Sociologists ; France ; Biography