Nineteenth Century Philosophy

Sociology and Philosophy

Who was Emil Durkheim?

Emil Durkheim (1858–1917) taught at the universities in Bordeaux and Paris and is credited with having founded the academic field of sociology in France. His goal was to develop sociology as a positive science with its own subject matter. His major contribution in this regard was an insistence that society could not be reduced to the nature and behavior of the human individuals that constituted it. His principle works were The Division of Labor in Society (1893), The Rules of Sociological Method (1895), Suicide (1897), and The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912).


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