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Durkheim and Spencer Author(s): Peter A. Corning Reviewed work(s): Source: The British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 33, No.

3 (Sep., 1982), pp. 359-382 Published by: Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of The London School of Economics and Political Science Stable URL: . Accessed: 03/09/2012 19:09
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PeterA. Corning

and Spencer Durkheim

A limited effort is made in this article to compareand contrast emphasison theirtheories Durkheimand Spencer,with particular to social science of societal evolution and their basic approaches methodology. It is concluded that, while Durkheim'ssociology was heavily inSluencedby the work of Spencer, it differs in certain basic respects. To the extent that subsequentgenerations of Durkheimand of sociologists have embraced the 'paradigm' sociological rejected that of Spencer,the effect upon macro-level theory has been highly constricting.Much can be gained from a of both theorists,and from study of the strengthsand weaknesses a morebalancedperspective. ' intoned Talcott Parsons (quoting ' "Who now reads Spencer?" Crane Brinton) in the opening line of his own now seldom-read work, The Structureof SocialAction.1 "'Spenceris dead."' prophesy,it Whetheror not this declamationwas a self-fulfilling is certainlytrue that HerbertSpencer-who had once been lionized as perhapsthe greatestmind of the nineteenthcentury-went into eclipse and became a virtual non-personamong many twentieth century social scientists.2 Emile Durkheim,by contrast, came to be widely hailed as a 'founding father' of sociology, despite the fact that he owed much to Spencer. (Consider,for instance, the preeminent index to The Divzsionof Laborin Society,3 Durkheim's references forty-three It contains work. cited and most frequently Auguste author, mentioned frequently most next The to Spencer. a cutious is there ) Indeed, times. eighteen c)nly cited is Comte, skip and by Spencer pass to sociology of historians among tendency directly from Comte to Durkheim,despite the fact that Comtedied in 1857, six years after Spencer'slandmarkSocial Statics appeared, while Durkheimwas bornin 1858 and did not publishhis first major work until 1893, near the end of Spencer'sprodigious(albeit concareer. troversial)
Journalof Sociology TheBrsttsh Volume33
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Thoughit would require a lengthy monographto do justice to the subject. originally the dominant one. or it may be the easierobtainmentof food.This vision wasnot original with Spencer. .the units pass froma state of perfect independenceto a state of mutualdependence. and that for which a society exists. That is. It is an agglomeration of sentientindividuals who are pursuingtheir own needs.But. however. In any case. The motive for acting together. This is unfortunate.9 he adopted the view that societal 360 .PeterA. may be defense againstenemies.'6 Furthermore.. and makes society possible. but the underlying principleandmotivatingforce can best be described as 'egoistic cooperation'.or it may be. and commonly is. wants and interests. The key to Spencer's sociology was its essentially biological cum economic character.because these two theoristshad very different views of society.Spenceralso held that there is a reciprocal relationshipbetweenComte'ssocial'solidarity' andcooperation: 'Cooperation is made possible by society.. a system of exchangesand mutualbenefits. it arises out of 'the strugglefor existence' (in Darwin'sphrase)and constitutes. is at once that which can not exist without a society.. by the chase or otherwise.. he emphasized that the utilitarian ends arepriorandparamount: Cooperation. in his mature work. for that matter. both of these.4as well as some penetratingcritiquesof Durkheim. It presupposes associatedmen. Spencer was an unvarnished Benthamite liberal-the last of the philosophicalradicalsand the inspiration for Social Darwinism (which ought properly to have been called Social Spencerism). he also was at pains to emphasizethat a society is not really an organism. Though Spencer frequentlyemployed an organismic analogy to underscore the concept of functional integration in organizedsocieties. Corning Whilethere have been some efforts in recent years to rehabilitate some of Spencer'stheoreticalcontributions. and there is much to be gained from comparing and contrastingtheir theoreticalconstructs.8 In his earlier writings. Cooperationand a division of labor lie at its base. kin-basedassociationsare likely to be the sorts of groupsin which 'the greatestsocial cohesion and power of co-operation'are likely to occur. and as fast as they do this they becomeunited into a society rightlyso called. to be sure.It was sharedby the classical economists. in essence.I propose to take a limited step in this directionby focussinghere upon their macrolevel theories of society and societal evolution. though. notably The Principles of Sociology . Spencer viewed society as a 'utilitarian'instrumentality.sto date therehas been no systematic effort (to my knowledge) to re-examine Durkheim in light of Spencer. and upon certain key aspectsof theirmethodologies. Let us first consider Spencer's work.7 Elsewhere.of course. the liberal philosophers-and by Plato and Aristotle.

. inorganic and organic. material and mental. is an underappreciated Recognizingthe primarytruth that social phenomenadependin part on the natures of the individualsand in part on the forces aresubjectto. involved as the factors are at the beginning. concomplicatingsuper-organic stitute a further set of factors which become more and more influential causes of change.everproducts. by their war-struggles profound metamorphoses. incessantly co-operate in creating new elements. progressively readily have been endorsed used an illustrativemetaphorthat could by his nemesis: These old forms which it [society] successivelythrows off. Simple growth of populationbringsinto important. that areincreasingly play freshcausesof transformation The influenceswhich the society exerts on the naturesof its units. he maintained: '[T]he phenomenaof social evolution are determinedpartly by the external actions to which the social aggregateis exposed.which were derivedfrom behaviorand social change. And the ever-accumulating. those of Marx. psychologicaland socio-economicforces. As societies progressin size and structure. have all been once vitallyunited with it-having severallyservedas the . of the evolvingsociety. but also differed from.The pre-established environinginfluences. observing that these two sets of factors are themselves 91 l Elsewhere. After providing and 'external'factorsinvolved. of the various'internal' a briefresumE Spencer concluded his overviewchapter with a statement that.each step in advanceincreasesthe involution. were parallelto.Durkheimand Spencer 361 evolution was the product of an interaction between what would now be called ecological. which are at first become more and more alteredby the actions almost unalterable. So that. and those which the units exert on the nature of the society. Humannature (man's psychological propensitiesand mental faculties) and society are involvedin e coevolutionary process. by adding factors which themselves grow more complex while they growmorepowerful. to classic: my mind.Spencer changedas the society changes. now and now by their industrialintercourse. we see that these two fundamentally the individuals distinct sets of factors.Spencer's both his psychology and his sociology.give originto other sets as social changesadvance.with which social changescommence.they work on one another. and partly by the nature of its units.l° Attention should be drawnto the fact that Spenceris here clearly suggestingthe basis for resolvingone of the morevexingproblemsin the social sciences-the nature of the relationshipbetween the individual and society and the causal potency of each in social views. . including both cooperative and conflictual forces.

l5 Though Spenceris often painted as a conflict theoristwho sought to account for societal evolution througha competitivestruggle for the 'survivalof the fittest'. though based on utilitarian motives.Spencerassertedthat the 'proximatecause of progress' was the pressure of populationon resources: It produced the originaldiffusion of the race. He suggested that societies can be rangedalong a continuum between two ideal types (to borrow Weber's term). Thus in all ways increasein population by its actions develops a social organismwhich becomes heterogeneousas it becomeslarger. In other words. Spencer suggestedthat a divisionof labor would arise 'spontaneously' wheneverpeople were thrown togetherin largenumbers-that increased size alone would be sufficient to stimulate cooperation.It is daily pressing us into closer contact and more mutually-dependent relationships. Wherethe former type had predominated in the past. and a witheringaway of the state (a vision quite close.He also noted that variousfactorscan facilitateoccupationaldiversity. It compelledmen to abandonpredatoryhabits and take to agriculture. the processesof societal evolution.includingenvironxnental variationsand variations inindividual abilitiesand skills: Stress of needs leadsmen severallyto adopt occupationsfor which they are best adapted. peaceful integration. and the pressure of needs would automaticallytransformcompetition into cooperation. he did offer a hypothesis in a paper publishedin 1852 entitled 'A Theory of PopulationDeduced From the GeneralLaw of Animal Fertility. Corning protective envelopes within which a higher humanity was being evolved. It led to the clearingof the earth'ssurface. it was Spencer's view that the latterwould do so in the future..would in time bringabout an integrated. and that the directionof societal evolution was toward material affluence.l4 Returningto this theme in 7'he Principles of Sociology.'t3In that paper. actually he abhored war and held a dualistic view. .l2 Though Spencer never developeda fully satisfactoryexplanation for why societies evolved.and to increasedskill and intelligence. 'militant' and 'industrial'(economic).. It has stimulated men to progressive improvements in production. .which relied on Malthus. harmonious social order...362 PeterA.and it becomes possible for the number of special occupationsto increaseas the increaseof population affordsmen for each. in fact.They are cast asideonly when they becomehindrancesonly when some innerandbetter envelopehas been formed. to Marx's).personalfreedom. made social organizationinevitableand has developedthe social sentiments.It forced men into the socialstate.

.Spencer did recognize the problemof social solidarity(integration). He did so by claimingthat civilizationper seand. than the role of the divisionof labor. however. while the elements that were unique to Durkheim turned Spencer upside down.' he asserted: '7 If. discountingthe biological fundamentalsand the role of economies in meeting them. in essence.Are not its effects universally recognized? Since it combines both the productivepower and the ability of the workman. what Durkheim extracted from Spencer (often without attribution. For Spencer(and Darwin and the classicaleconomists)the paradigm problemwas the struggle for existence. or heal the woundswhichit inflicts. the division of labor is associatedwith satisfyinghuman needs and wants and is therefore fundamentally an economicphenomenon(broadlydefined). That is. as compensation. it would have no other function than to diminishthe effects which it produces in itself. would not interest him in the least [sic]. it is the necessary condition of developmentin societies. perforce. '[C]ivilization is morally indifferent.Durkheim and Spencer 363 Turning to Durkheim'sDivision of Labor..inverted this relationshipand made solidarity-the Hobbesianproblem of 'order'-and the 'moralhealth'of society the primary problem. the division of labor has no other role than to render civilization possible. otherwise. He beganby statingthe obvious: Nothing seems easier to determine. But the propositionwill be demonstrated later that these needs are themselvesresultsof the divisionof labor. If.It is the sourceof civilization.Durkheim. and the division of labor was viewed as being functionally related to this problem.l8 . in effect.certain goods from civilization which.or in a way that misrepresentedSpencer) exhibited many of the same merits and weaknesses. taken by itself. not only does it not have a moralcharacter.. but it is difficult to see what reason for existence it can have. it would participate in the same moral neutrality. if the divisionof labor does not fill any other role. both intellectual and matersaldevelopment.Moreover. the divlsion of labor replied to no other needs than these.thus deliberatelyputting himself at odds with the utilitarian viewpointand with the Darwinian paradigm. Becausethe latter does not go forwardwithout a demandfor greaterexpenditure of energy [sic]. the division of labor that makesit possible-has no inherent moral value.but for him it was secondaryandinstrumental to the overarching problemof meetingsurvival andreproductive needs. however. '6 Durkheimthen proceededto challengethe obviousby. We shall see first glance. then. civilizationhas no intrinsicand absolute value. what makes it valuable is its correspondenceto certain needs. man is led to seek.

it consists of all the rules of action which are imperativelyimposed upon conduct. the overall benefit-cost ratio may still be favorable.' to borrow Edward Tiryakian's characterization. and it is a real entity-a concrete 'social fact': 'The domain of ethics is not so nebulous.22 Nevermindthe fact thatDurkheim's metaphor is self-contradicting. the very germ of which cannot possibly be found in any of the separateelements. not the economy. it cannot be said that the division of labor advances humanwelfare.2'is central to Durkheim 's concerns (and to subsequent generations of sociologists) for he saw it. society is a reality sui generis-a social organismthat exists apart from any of its members: It is very certain that there are in the living cell only molecules of crude matter.of which social solidarity is the paramountone. the more one wants. and this associationis the cause of the new phenomena which characterize life. ' Durkheim pursued the argument by assertingthat economic advancedoes not necessarilyproduce happinessor reduce such social pathologiesas crime and suicide. 'The more one has.)The point is. Durkheim'sconclusiondoes not follow a fortiori. But these molecules are in contact with one another. Later on. Now.A whole is not identical with the sum of its parts.does not apply to units that are only in juxtaposition with one another but to a functionally integrated systemwith a divisionof labor!The emergent characteristics of organisms arisepreciselyfrom their combinatorial properties. Durkheimwas claiming that the social organismhas its own separateneeds and requisites.Nevertheless? he arguedthat the social and moral orderis of primaryimportanceto humanwell-being. not the other way around. Corning In other words. or 'commonconscience')the system of commonly held beliefs. Durkheimcharacterized societiesof this type as beingbasedon 'mechanical solidarity.l9 Therefore. as the real basis of society. as societies grow larger and as the division of labor . ' However. it is the division of labor that createseconomic wants.andits properties differ from those of the componentparts. solidarityis maintainedby what Durkheim called the 'collective conscience' (adso sometimes renderedas the 'consciencecollective'. since satisfactionsreceived only stimulate instead of fulfilling needs'. (The Spencerwell understood. Moreover.The moral order (whichhe tendedto equatewith society) is somethingthat is prior to and independentof the economic sphere. sentiments and norms that together create a normativeinfrastructure. Of course. primitivesociety without an extensive division of labor.'20This 'normativeinfrastructure. to which a sanction is attached.It is somethingdifferent. in a section on 'The Progress of the Division of Labor and of Happiness.364 PeterA. in a small.

Durkheim is correct: DurkI believe the judgment of Talcott Parsons26 heim's Divzsionof Labor was in part a polemic againstthe egoistic.In whatevermannerthe result is obtained.Durkheim of division the that deny to or basic materialneeds and happiness. then.the collective consciencebecomes progressively as a binding force for the social order. both functions are being weighed accordingto an explicit external value criterion.Despite this fact. but that it rendersthem solidary. 'the more we advance.the more profoundly do societies reveal the sentiment of self and unity. It is possible that the economic utility of the divisionof labor may have a handin this.. and its true function is to create in two or morepersonsa feeling of solidarity.. [T]he economic servicesthat it can renderarepicayunecomparedto the moraleffect that it produces. consistsin the establishment are linked to one another.25 Assumingfor the sake of argumentthat the divisionof labordoes have the social-psychological'function' that Durkheim claimed and psychological (Durkheim'stendency to conflate organizational aspects of solidarity obscured the issue).the most remarkable of labor is not that it increasesthe output of functions divided. it passesfar beyond purely economic interests.. or needs... individuals would be independent. be some other social link which produces this result..Withoutit. in any case.its aimis to cause coherence among friends and to stamp them with its seal. There must. In order to make this argument. Durkheimtriumphantly is the division of labor that 'more and more fills the role that was formerly filled by the [collective] conscience. To understandDurkheim.'24Let us savorDurkheim's thesis for a moment: effect of the division In all these examples. basic of meeting the to significantly laborcontributed chose to do both.'23 And what is this other binding force that produces a very different type of society based on what Durkheimcalled 'organicsolidarity'?It is none other concludedthat it than the divisionof labor. This is a function of the division of labor a good deal more important than that ordinarilyassignedto it by other words.for it of a social and moralordersui generis.It is clear that the criterionfor Durkheimwas humanhappiness. utilitarian model of society-against the premises of the liberal economists (and Spencer) about human nature and the underlying nature of society. they Throughit. but.and Spencer Durkheim 365 weakened increases.and he arguedthat social solidarity is more importantto happinessthan is the divisionof laborand the satisfaction of material wants. both. Durkheim claimed.. between the relationship had eitherto downgrade however.. it is . the question of which involves is moreimportant function(economicor social-psychological) a value judgment.

'27 establish psychic and moral content of 'solidarite.Corning PeterA. works. especiallyin light of his later heimdid not ultimately deny forces in The Divisionof Labor. and this includes between various economic interests the many historic conflicts aristocracy.All societies versus'organic'solidarityinvolvesa minimaldivisionof labor (some that we know of involve at least 366 .of functions labor. his careerat least. I will points: lation.Theare not. socialsolidarity-though not equally of of social organizationare unsocial and psychologicalaspects the by Spencerand the importantand they were underplayed deniably 'rationalpresent-day among tiust as they continue to be normative of social liberals dimension theorists.but he did downplaythese to bind men the same social entities that serve 3. and.In short. formuwith. (trade)amongspecializers (or a divisionof labor).by greatly oversimplifiedsocial point into a single mold.'it had a strong relations.exchangesthrough of not involvean integrateddivision need direct cooperation. on the basis of 'mechanical' 4. Durkheim'stypology of societies a dubiousdistinction. Durkheim cesses economichistory. involvesa dynamicthat can work life economiclife. he was to recognizethat. with Durkheim's However. specializationof without occur isomorphic. 'a science of morality. in fuzzy 1. various ethnic. influences (often at the same time togethermay also have divisive the divisionof labor. Likewise.there are also many problems forego a detailed discussion For the sake of brevity.It is also true that theindependently choice' interact and of.)28 concept versusegoismin social impliedaltruism and partialtruths contained are. Just as a divisionof labor may solidarity. at this stageinadmittedobjectivewas to important his a moralistthan a social scientist. some important There may well encouragesentiments thiswork.The parties (trade) need not even involve third compressinga variety of prois theoretically important. more as Durkheimused the (Indeed. Paradoxically. social binding forces at work in important social mobilization procharismaticpolitical leaders andpracticesand institutions. religion. Cooperativeactivities in well in all cases. so there are other integrationand psychological complex societies-language. culturaland social cesses. some of the major merelysummarize and terms'coin his use of terminology. kinship (which this. classconflicts. by and or may not be accompanied 2. Consider for differentmen). Durkheimwas 'exchange' a 'divisionof labor'and economic operation'. a division -not to mentionMarxian againstfractionating-desolidifying does not by any means ensure -social conflict. Durkremainsan importantfactor).northern manufacturers (mercantilistsand the landed westernfarmersand the railroads) of labor and southern plantation owners. to be sure. Cooperationcan fact.

) Likewise. To take an extreme example.30 And what does Durkheimuse to fill this supposed explanatory gap? In fact. or the various forms of scientific collaboration and economic transactionsbetween Russia and the worldin morerecentyears. infrastructure6. It is not truethat a moralorder-a normative to a divisionof labor. 5.29 But. theorists. says Spencer. so of labor. presumably. various parties.)All that is required is a common or complementaryset of goals among motivation. the evidence would seem to thateconomicandpoliticalforceshave alwaysbeen important suggest determinantsof societal cohesion independentlyof the normative sphere and that such a typological distinction between societies is not very meaningful. by comparisonwith Durkheim's discussionof the 'causes'of the division of labor. [the division of labor] will come about of itself.all societies have means of inducingand reinforcingsocial solidarity. non-Communist These criticismspale. As a matter of fact. Durkheimwas vagueabout exactly how the divisionof labor acts to induce solidarity. consider the Western alliance during WorldWarTwo. or did Durkheimtendedto idealizeprimitivesociety. In fact. First.appropriate in and the ability to coordinateefforts (a cyberneticinfrastructure.a means of is still a is a necessarypre-requisite matter of controversywhether or not such hypostatized entities actually can be viewed as havingan independentexistence. because it follows the line of least resistanceand all the forces of nature will invinciblybear in this direction: But why do they specialize?Whatmakes them lean towardsdistinFishing themselves from others? Spencer ably explains in what manner evolution will be produced.if it does take place.and Spencer Durkheim 367 differentiated)and so-called primitive societies can be surprisingly It is not elements). other words). for both the problem and the solution? In fact. Spencer's very own explanation-the struggle for . (organic cooperation variousforms of economic division a precede must society that true. the question is not even raisedfor him [sic] .the causalmechanism self-evident. however.(Indeed. is. but he does not tell us the source producingit. One wondersif it is not a bit captiousto arguethat the division of labor is at once responsiblefor weakeningother forms of social solidarityand for causingsolidarity-that is. Durkheim libels Spencer by claimingthat Spencerhad based his explanation of the divisionof labor on the inherentinstabilityof homogeneous societiesandthe consequentspontaneoustrendtowardheterogeneous societies. social other many so (Like historically.from rules social backed by sanctionsto arcaneand economicallyunproductive rituals (mechanicalelements). as Durkheimmaintained.

.One need not add that. opponents are not obligatedto fight to a finish.368 Corning PeterA.Suffice it to say that the explanationof societalevolutioninvolvesan exceedinglycomplicated In fact..33 As secondaryinfluences. We were started in this direction.34 Having (evidently) derived his theory from Spencer. For such reasonsit becamenecessaryfor us to changeour mode of living. in more homogeneoussocieties. made more and more difficult the survival of individualswho continued to devote themselves to unspecializedtasks [?]... but becausethe strugglefor existencehas becomemoreacute.first. if society effectively includes more membersat the same time they are more closely in relation to each other. a result of the strugglefor existence. both hereditaryand social. a configural involved has labor of ive developmentof the division situation-specific different. the progressissue.Darwin justly observed that the struggle between two organismsis as active as they are analogous [sic].is necessaryin orderthat man may maintain himself in the new conditions of existence as he advances in history. That settled.owing to the more extensive consolidation of societies. then.Citinghis earlieranalysis that: shown have to explanationsof furnishesthe means of maintenallceand survivalto a greater number of individualswho.. it is not because external circumstancesare more varied. especially if it is accompaniedby an increase in population.would be condemnedto extinction.but it is a mellowed denouement.. as well as the fact that it was 'the directionof least resistance'. they are in rivalry everywhere.Also. it is easy to understandthat all condensationof social mass. dynamic: and the Malthusian existence If work becomes divided as societies become more voluminous. necessarily determines advallces in the division of labor. Durkheimnow mentioned factors that he had previouslychided Spencer for advancing:individualdifferences.. of number A and interactionalprocess.. The divisionof labor is.31 Durkheimreturned to this thesis in The I2ules of Sociological even and amplifiedupon it in ways that put his argument Afethod32 to how of model a as closerto Spencer's. Having the same needs and pursuing the same objects. but it has been anythingbut spontaneous. the struggleis still more acute and the resulting specializationmore rapidand complete. becausethe course we previouslyfollowed was now barred [?] and because the greaterintensity of the struggle. .. ... but can exist one besidethe other. in proportion to its development. he claimed construct The divisionof labor. Durkheim displayed exactly the same deficiencies.Thanks to it. .

Why is solidarity a more important function? Because.Indeed.we may be surethat the explanation a psychological is false.More importantis what Robert Mertonterms a 'latent function'-social solidarity.37 .the relationshipbetween population growth (in particular)and the division of labor has been complex: in the do not necessarilylead to increases a... as Alice (In Wonderland) Accordingto Durkheim. Thefirst originsof all social processesof any importanceshould be sought in the internal constitution of the socialgroup [his italics] . Durkheimargued.the economicfunctionis 'picayune'. economic and. in order to isolate social phenomenaanalytically..therehavealso been environmental and well as a response. Populationpressures of an increaseddivisionof labor. historically. social and physicalenvironment.He began by insistingthat social phenomena must be explained without reference to biological. that is). Populationpressures (as Malthusobserved). a curious argument..deliberatelyexcluded whole domains of causation a Durkheimapparentlydid not. There have beenpositive incentivesas well as negativepressures involved in the historical development of the division of labor. divisionof labor. consciousness the role of individual pressly downgraded of utility). Whereasthe latter was oriented to the individualand in termsof an interaction insisted on explainingthe 'super-organism' needs and motivesand the bio-psychological between the individual's Durkheimwas a radicalholist who.. calculations individual particularly [E]very time that a social phenomenonis directly explainedby phenomenon.been the only cause b.. It is. that proinvolvingthe divisionof labormightalso be ductivity improvements a cause of seemsantipodalto Spencer'sbroadlysynthetic approach. Moreover. d.and Spencer Durkheam 369 variables have been involved. c. historical. psychological causes (he exand volition. Durkheim's methodological stance was most boldly stated in The Rules of SociologicalAlethod. Spencerrecognized.the principalcause of the divisionof labor is its function in mitigatingthe strugglefor existence (an economic function.there arevariousalternatives havenot. while crossing the borderinto metaphysics(in the nameof science).36 Durkheim'sbasic methodology also contrastssharply with that of the followingprinciple:The determiningcause of a social fact should be sought among the social facts precedingit and not among the states of individual consciousness. especially. havealso been important innovations and technological opportunities variables.35 would say.therefore. Yet this is not its most importantfunction. We arrive.

every way of acting which is generalthroughouta given society. Skinner's'stimuli'. non-economic)milieu creates a specific context that may shape social behavior. water. must lie outside of the individual. sleep. defecation. Nor did he deny economic facts. capable of exercising on the individual an external constraint. . etc. he asserted. 'When the individualhas been eliminated.They are collective properties of the social group and are independentof any givenindividual andhis/hermotivations.: '[S1ociety is not a mere sum of individuals.aremoreimportant. to the extent that theirmotivations.370 Peter A. Psychological trainingmight be a 'valuablelesson' for the sociologist. then.' he said. in a statement that sounds metaphysicalat first blush. Durkheimwanted to focus on the ways in which the social (i. or again.' a 'statesman'or 'men of genius'who might independently influence social B.43 Durkheim did not actually deny the reality of such biological facts as our individual needs for physical security. fixed or not.independentlyof individual motivations.38 By this Durkheimmeant to allow for the individualactionsof a 'public official. Corning Durkheim did leaveopen a smallloophole in his argument. perceptions. abilities and choices influence their behavior and thus shape the nature of social facts? Durkheim'simplicit reply was that external forces.-the motivationalsubstrateto which much of our behavioris either directly or indirectlyoriented..of great importance for the sociologist.They arerecognizable becauseof theircoerciveeffects upon the individual. the sociologistmust 'abandonpsychologyas the center of his operations'-except in so far as psychological facts might be 'fused' with social facts. while at the same time existing in its own rzghtindependentof its individual mantfiestations [his italics].'39One is promptedto ask: If such fusions of individual and social facts apply to the 'Great Man'.. he insistedthat social facts are also real 'things'.and which is central to Spencer'ssociology... 40 Social facts. why should they not apply equally to all individuals. F.society alone remains. they determine it from without. havingreceived 'profit' from it. they are like molds in which our actions are inevitably shaped':42 A social fact is every way of acting. economic exchanges. etc.' They were simply irrelevantto his sociologyfiwhich was concerned with the influenceof autonomoussocial facts in socialstructures. The constriction in Durkheim'smethodology is clearly evident in the way he defined 'social facts'. '[t] he restriction on the principle enunciated above is not.4l Nevertheless. food. sex.e. the system formed by their associationsrepresentsa specific reality which has its own characteristics. But he was not much interestedin these 'facts. 'Far from being a product of the will. However.but.

it depends upon altru2sm-upon subordinationof the individualto society. implausibleas it may seem. but as he defined it.'46 The result of this strategywas a kind of self-imposedtheoretical social his efforts to explain the origin of a particular tunnel-vision. feastsand ceremonies Setting aside the question of whether or not either the concept of time or social ritualsare social facts by his definition. but they keep the social organismfrom flying off into space-or. Durkheim'ssociology was not about the full dynamics of social life and social causation.the socially sanctioned(or proscribed)ways of behaving-which underlie whatNisbet and Petnn call the 'socialbond. important. social facts are the glue that holds the normative infrastructure together. traditions . conceded Durkheim a broader and less moralisticsense. more to the displaysa low opinion of our ancestorsto think that they had no other than of time (e.Not only is the moral order a necessaryprerequisite framework). into anarchy(bellumomniumcontraomnes). the seasons. in other words. etc. But where Hobbes felt it necessary to impose moral order through sovereign authority.47 practisedby primitive seasonalrites.'44 What Durkheimwas really trying to do. in other words. the division of labor) with the ability to impressmorality upon each individual.Social facts. his sociology 'comprisesonly a limited group of phenomena.). His social of Sociologists ends.' The 'queen of the sciences' (Comte's term) in moral hands a science that specialized had become in Durkheim's were 'functions' as his just facts. lest society degenerate Durkheimendowed 'society' (and. was a methodology for his 'science of morality. rules. are like gravity waves: You can't see them. In sum.g. into an Hobbesianwar of all againstall.Durkheimand Spencer 371 But how do we know social facts really exist if they areindepenWe can dent of any given individualand are out there. social referentsfor gainingan awareness the lunarcycle.'45 [morall to 'social functions in relation fact' in 'social the term use to chosen subsequentgenerationshave that. Durkheimsaid. intuitively and contrived seemed often phenomenon In attempting to account for how humans developed the concept of time.animalmigrations. the way Durkheimdefined them.Durkheimposited that the pnme function of EquaSly is to order the concept of time (and of such artifactsas calendars) . was to counter the Spencerianargumentthat the social order could be derived from egoistic cooperation (from the calculus of mutual self-interest). moral were facts forces.he claimed. day andnight. but for economic life (a pre-contractual it cannot be built upon egoism. For. by their statisticaleffects. Durkheim'santecedent social fact was the societies. or through the use of an 'index' (indicators). for example.. somewhere? identify them. They are the norms.

Population growth.52 an attack to which Parsons subsequentlyresponded. then. rather than being ends in themselves.wasviewedby Durkheim as secondary.'Clearly he is not treatingincreasednumbersas biologicallycaused.etc.'50Parsonsdiscounts its significance. was among the first to note that Durkheim'stheory ( explain social facts sociologically. and that socialritualsmighthavedeveloped in arl ancillary relationship to bread-and-butter functions. .it is relevant to my critique of Durkheim'swork. He quite overlookedthe alternativehypothesis that 'time' (and its division into regularunits) might have had vitally important economic (suxvival) functions for hunter-gatherers.' Pope concludes in a non sequitur. the division of labor was not a social fact in Durkheim'sdefinition.or how the normativeinfrastructure acted to encourage or discourage suicide.) .. while not commentingupon the irony involved.372 PeterA.cities or technology. Though their argumentis muddled. horticulturalists.traders.socialorganization intelligible.Durkheimreasoned that the ancients'use as calendrical benchmarks of stellaror seasonal events was due only to the fact that 'objectivesignsarenecessaryto observing that this was not Durkheim's'mainline' of theoreticaldevelopment and was 'soon abandoned...Durkheim also had trouble living up to his own dictum. .e. the explanation of socialdifferentiation in Division follows Durkheim'sinjunction. It was not an increasein numbersthat Durkheimused to account for the divisionof labor.To the contrary.Pope claims. he invoked supposedlytaboo biological facts (hereditary differences) to help explain the division of labor and differences between men and women to account for sex differencesin suicide rates.'54(Of course. 'Far from manifestingany form of biologicalreductionism.. Corning social events.'48 .that Durkheim ascribed an increasingdynamic density to three factors (I) population concentration. For instance. in fact. Briefly.49He also had considerable difficulty in avoidingthe involvement of psychologicalfactors when it came to explaining'anomie' or 'solidarity'. Pope charges that Durkheim did not. and (III) improvedmeans of transportation and communication.53 Pope also notes (correctly).(II) the formationof cities.The most stunningexample. and neither were populationconcentration. Talcott Parsons. he claims. is to be found in The Division of Labor. 51 It should be noted that Durkheim'stheory has recently been severely attacked by Whitneypope.but an increasein the 'dynamic or moral density' of a population-the proximity and level of 'active commerce' (economic activity? functional interaction?) among the different individuals. Spencer'stheory) to the effect that the division of labor is a response to population pressureswas 'essentially biological' and amounted to a ' "biologizing"of social theory.though.however. employ a biological explanation.

by .Rightly or wrongly. if population growth in relation to the means of subsistence (the Malthusian variable) is the necessary cause.or of the vicissitudes suicide is not the resultof individual of economic life. and I find his argumentobscureand is that Durkheim contradictory. After unintelligible. is: Exactly why does an increasein the 'material'(physical) 'volume' and/or 'density' of humanpopuDurkheim's in the divisionof labor?55 an increase lations 'necessitate' biologicalproblematique.. in orderto make these the focal points of his argumenthe had to turn effects into causes. Durkheim's'theory' illustratesperfectly the shortcomingsof any to social theory. Though Durkheim did identify some significantsocial factors. 'active commerce').questions. (population paradigm he had bought into the Darurinian/Malthusian in relation to the means of subsistence)as the underlyingcause of the divisionof labor..and proffer social (moral)causes that beggedprior. The division of labor is. Durkheim wanted to show that pathology. then.. Durkheim himself provided the definitive response to Pope. It was quoted in excerpt form above.economic. possibly engage in some circularity. account for social factorswith veiled referencesto economic forces (e. as he candidly admitted. as Durkheim himself phrasedit. The framework.e.g. similar in their mode of adaptation]. problem the what apparent became it a set of propositions. a result of the struggle for existence. But how does this squarewith the notion of a 'dynamic or moral density' that he had introduced a few pages earlier?I don't think it does. but the effect is a little like viewinga fourcolor poster with three of the colors missing. The key question.. answerwas the strugglefor existence-the justly obsetved that To repeat Durkheim'skey statements:'Darwin as they areanalogous active is as the strugglebetween two organisms [i. to recourse without case his make to trying Durkheimwas biology or economics..Men submit to the same law.. His argument of the segmented seemed to be that there must also be a breakdown of a largersocietal a coalescence characterof primitivesocieties arld coalescenceto this causes what is though. it is not sufficient. ecology.introducemidstreamfacilitatorsas if they were precipitatingcauses.Durkheimand Spencer 373 Quite apart.The most charitableinterpretation thesis that society (the moral was trying to advancehis overarching order) is somehow prior to an economy and that.57 approach monochromatic The problemsinvolved in adoptingsuch a truncatedcausalparadigm and methodology are clearly in evidencein Durkheim'smost famous empirical work Suicide. question. for the moment.'56 Durkheim'sstatementshere are unequivocal.. from the question of whether or not Durkheim'sconcept of dynamicdensity or his reasoningmakes any sense. is answer Durkheim's occur in the first place? of form the in argument his of logic the attemptingto reconstruct is.. So he proceeded.

As Parsons observed. 'Egoistic' suicide.'60Durkheimcould not..(The data for Protestantsversus Catholics and single personsversus married couples were invoked here.Instead.No matter how ingenious the researcher's presumed causal mechanism underlying a statistical correlation remainsan ad hoc hypothesisuntil some meanshas been devisedof testing it directly. categories economic what he postulated about theories different heim advancedthree type was alluded fourth (A suicide. it is not an explanationof suicide. pressures nineteenth century Japan). suicide. etc. Durkreligious (occupation.). Clearly. Method: Sociological of Rules The in it put he As social cohesion. on the other hand. most important Durkheim's growth. his motives and ideas.explainwhy the overwhelmingmajorityof Protestantsand single personsdo not commit personsdo. while a numberof Catholicsand married nor sufElcient necessary neither are status singleton and Protestantism occur. for instance. Durkheimwas also pioneeringin the commission of one of the most pervasiveerrors in social science theory: A statisticalcorrelationtells you nothing. Sometimes the social facts he invoked were negative-social constrictionson .but this caveat is much abused in deductions.' milieu-by in the social of the availableaggregatestatistics review a on analysis his Basing societies and different sociodifferent across rates on suicide affiliation. overall conclusion.of the reader.374 PeterA.' [his 'd2sre. of types to be three different to but neverdeveloped. Corning the individual as such.g.S8 what he called 'courantssuicidogenes. Durkheim'stheory of suicidewas preciselyof this sort.directly. explanationsof this kindvery often tend which are heavily dependentupon to rely on plausibilityarguments moraland otherwise. economic omic distressor rapid inversely with varies suicide that was though. to suicide conditionsfor In other words.garding Durkheimheld that suicide is causedby factors Instead. 'Durkheimthrows little light on the actual mechanisms by which the result is produced in the individual suicide. 'anomic'suicide is caused by social dislocations experienced by an individual when there are in times of econparticularly instabilitiesin the social environment. resultswhen an individualis freed from moraland socialconstraints and supportsthat might otherwiseinhibit such behaviors. its under individuals holds it integrated. It is at best only a proposedexplanationof the observedstatistical differencesin the suiciderates for different sociologicallydefined groupswithin a reified entity called 'society'. 'altruistic'suicide was viewed as the result of social operatingin certainkindsof societiesof socialgroups(e.'59 So what is wrong with this analysis?For one thing. italics].) In a nutshell.) Finally.the practice. strongly is 'When society control. appealsto the predispositions.about causationand should not be so interpreted.

in fact. He merely rejects for the purposes of sociological analysis the postulate of autonomous internal influences-an internal purposiveness. or 'teleonomy' (utilitarianor otherwise) that necessitates a recourse to 'psychological facts' in order to explain social behavior. However.62 Accordingly.) to more diffuse social conventions. . the relativelyhigh rate of suicide among army officers was explainedas beingthe resultof the stringent discipline and the behavioralconstraintsassociatedwith armylife.expectationsand structures. selectivelyadopt or even rejectwhat is received.Durkheimand Spencer 375 the individual or gTOUp norms that somehow encouraged the individualto commit suicide (for installce. though.suicide is attributedto the operation. and (ii) the internal screen is not passivebut is a purposiveinformation processorwith cyberneticproperties. suicide is an exceedingly complex phenomenoninvolvingan interactionbetween internal biological and psychological factors. his rather free-wheeling explanationsproduced some striking (apparent)inconsistencies.For instance.etc.Durkheim also invoked behavioral constraintsand subordination to a close-knitorganization (socialcohesion?).6l In short. in point of fact.if the individual is unable to fulfillhis/herneed to find meaningin life). of social (moral) facts. But how does Durkheimknow that social facts alone are responsible?And why does he think they are so potent? In actualityhe does not. or 'photographic plate' (in Parsons'smetaphor). they are external influences that somehow become internalizedand then act automaticallyto control behavior. Durkheim'smethodology taps only a segment of the total causal matrix in social life. he surreptitiously introducedwhat might be called 'positive'social facts-non-coercive influencesthat wereseen as promotingcohesion and solidarityand reducingthe likelihood of suicide. In accountingfor the relatively low rate amongCatholics.Durkheim does not really avoid psychology. These factors range from the very personaland contextspecific (physico-chemical disorders. The shortcomings in Durkheim's methodologyhavebeen put into sharprelief by the rapidlyaccumulating researchin psychology and psychobiology which suggests that. job-pressures.or dis-operation. Social facts are supposedlyabout real things that act as causes of socialbehaviorindependently of the individualwill. Sometimes. family and social relationships. it can passivelyaccept. At other times. we are perfectly free to posit an alternativemodel in which (i) social facts arenot autonomousbut are always embeddedin people and continue to exist only as long as people believein them and act towardone anotheras if they exist. He only infers that social (moral) facts impingeupon a passiveinternalscreen. in other words. as well as external factors.on the otherhand. andwith the subordination of the individual to a domineering organization(social cohesion?).

64 As Durkheimhimself observed. However.Durkheimwronglyclaimed.Comte. that change is 'the central issue' informing all of Durkheim'smajor works.but he was more interestedin studying specific slices of his own society (the division of labor. suicide.66 or. the more crime there is the more solidaritythere will be and the morehappiness will ensue. crime.Spencer 'set out.when in fact his approachand his key concepts in this domain were almost wholly derived from Spencerand. he was more scientific! This is not to say that Durkheimwas indifferentto the problem of social change ('social dynamics.67 Durkheimdid not abandonan evolutionaryperspective. and so forth) and was concerned primarilywith relating these phenomena to the moral order (to solidarzte)-albeit from an historical perspective.Even less correctis the attempt by Roscoe Hinkle68 to portrayDurkheim as a major evolutionarytheorist. Spencer.on the other hand. In Spencer'scase. but to show how the evolutionaryhypothesiscan be verifiedin the social realm.but where Spencer'sinterest centeredon functions in relation to the biological problematique. that Spencer should be considereda philosopheralld not a social scientist. One of the more outlandish examples is Durkheim's dead-seriousassertion that the function of crlme is to arouse collective sentimentsof antagonism towardthe crlminal and thereforeto strengthen the normative order. Corntng To summarize.Therefore. religion. for Durkheimthe centraltheoreticalproblem was the moral order. it is not quite correct to say. Durkheim and Spencer were also alike in being interested in 'structuraldifferentiation. the conception was derivative (he acknowledgedSpencer as the source).'65(It was for this reason. then.' in Comte's term). then. not to study social facts in themselvesand for themselves. . to a lesserdegree. was concernedwith the 'struggle for existence' alld defined society in terms of an economy with a divisionof labor. 'Crimebringstogetheruprightconsciencesand concentrates them. Durkheimsaidhe was moreinterested in studying social phenomena 'for their own sake. as many sociologists of succeedinggenerations were led to believe.) On the other hand.for the sake of theirrelationship to the moralorder.'63 Presumably. more precisely.376 PeterA. In Durkheim's case. however. Sociologists who give Durkheim credit for this 'master idea' are thereforequite mistaken. this interest flowed logically from his underlyingconception of society.'and both defined societal evolution in those terms. and he defined society essentLially in those terms. as Anthony Giddensdoes. alld for him differentiation was not really of greatconcem -except in so far as it impactedupon the normative infrastructure.Durkheim was more interested in functions (or dysfunctions) in relation to the social (moral) order (structural-functions). Both Durkheimand Spencerwere concernedwith functional analysis.

69(Well. he banished what biologists call teleonomy (or internal teleology) from social theory. set the politicalorder above.econinsisted on the interdependence omic and sociologicalprocesses.Wherethe formerassertedthat the 'causes of social phenomenaare intetnal to society'7l and that the principlecauses of historicaldevelopmentmust be located. and causal efficacy to disembodiedsocial facts.'70 Second.Durkkeimand Spencer 377 Methodologically. It was not a limitedanalogybut a real entity. to the reifications created in his own mind. Durkheimviewed the political sphere as both an integralelement which evolveswith society (he explicitly adoptedthe analogyvviththe brainand nervous system. . It is a 'naturalreality. 'that.' he said. howeverimperfect.) 'So successful has his faulty "scientism"been.'72 the latter espoused a multi-faceted. though there may in pratice be pathologicalcasesthat do act autocratically. he declared.Like Comte.but 'amongthe concomitant[social]circumstances.I cannot imagine a greaterchasmon this issue than the one between Durkheimand Spencer. Accordingly. which Spencer pointedly eschewed) and which may serve positive filnctions-normative included. though. in differentways. If so.Durkheiminsisted on their radical separation.73 In conclusion. we may eventually come to recognize and give equal weight to the contributions and shortcomingsof both theorists. or to statistical artifacts.if Durkheim'ssociology was more compatiblewith autonomy. Finally. The term 'function' is preferableto 'end' or 'pulpose'. Durkheim's 'social organism'was very different from Spencer's. or over the social organism).His view of the politicalrealm position between Spencer (who denied occupied a middle-ground any organicrelationshipbetween the polity and society) and both Hobbes and Rousseau(who.because 'social phenomenado not generally exist for the usefial results they produce'.Durkheim differed from Spencer (and other majornineteenthcentury theorists)in at least threeimportantways. Durkheim attributed independence placed concreteness. the term "teleological"has a bad smell in sociology: as being a term redolent of metaphysics and theology.' observes Ronald Fletcher. First. position wasvastly In one importantrespect. not always. Durkheim's superiorto Spencer's. not in past history. psychological. multi-leveledinteractionism. a nascent social science that was strivingfor disciplinary it may well prove to be the case that Spencer'ssociology will be more compatible with a social science that is in the process of reachingout to embracethe full rangeof causationin humansocial life.I would argue. to this day. Durkheim was clearly guilty of committing what the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead called the 'fallacy of mis' That is. that does not need to be imposedby force. where Spencer (md other nineteenth century theorists) of biological.

. 13. II(1). Spencer. W. Chicago. G. Mauss and ed. Carneiro. 1938 [1895]. p. 27. New York. cit. The Makingof Sociology: A Study of Sociological Theory. in Dominick l aCapra's . 14-15. R. The Princ2ples. pp. 248. 7he Rules of SociologicalMethod. 14. 23. T. Nisbet (eds). Quoted in G. 5. pp. PeterA.g.' in R. Durkheim. E. Division of Labor. Parsons. 25. II.' in Primitive Classification. II(1). Nisbet (eds). See also pp. 53.. 24. 285-6. p. 16.' in E.. p. op. 435-6. H. S. A. Parsons. op. op.g. Cambridge UniversityPress. E. 20. Spencer.and in relationto each other. E.. p. 26. 21. Chicago: lJniversity of Chicago Press. 'A Theory of Population Deduced from the General Law of Animal Fertility. op. trans. Chicago. cit. 3. Appleton. Ibid. pp. Macmillan. Durkheim. 'Introduction.). 19. Evolution and Society: A Study in Victorian Social Theory. The Free Press. Ibid.vol. 223. md we havemuchto gainfromviewing them in the round. 173. I(1). p. Bottomore and R. 17. Tiryakian. 22.' Westminster Review LVII. p. cit. Fletcher. 244. Needham. Simpson. in T.. Mueller. 262-3. Many students of Durkheim have recognized the moral preoccupations that. The Rules of Sociological Method. A. p.. 4. The Structure of Social Action. TheSocial and Political Thought of Herbert Spencer. I(1). 18.. New York. 'Introduction.). Burrow. p.. xxix. The Evolution of Society: Selections from Herbert Spencer's Principles of Sociology. cit. As recently as 1978. The University of Chicago Press.. II(1). 8. Catlin (ed.. R.. 501. p. A History of Sociological Analysis. Ibid. 187-236... Carneiro (ed. cit. New York. H. R. p. E. 7. Cohen & West. Spaulding and G. trans. Needham. pp.1971. pp. H. Oxford.. Ibid.. E. 1963. G. A History of Sociological Analysis. 53-4. Ibid. cit. 56. 368. E.. Spencer. 102. pp. trans. Suicide. Fletcher: The Makingof Sociology.1933 [1893] . op. Simpson. 1949 [1937]. Corning For there was in each of these nineteenth century pioneers an admixtureof good and bad. Scribner. Chicago. p.op. The Principles of Sociology. 1951 [1897]. Basic Books. I. 343. Solovay and J. Durkheim. 3. Division of Labor. Division of Labor. Durkheim. Ibid. 1967. Catlin. 1978. Ibid. E... cit. p. op. R. Free Press. Durkheim. 1970 [ 1966]. Durkheim. 10. trans. 53. Ibid. 50. G. Bottomore and R. op. 1852. 468-501. pp. Wiltshire . Ibid. 2.378 PeterA. 1897 [1874-5]. L.Division of Labor in Society. M. L. cit. Ibid. 9. II(1). Corning VisitingLecturer Department of Engineering-Economic Systems Stanford University NOTES 1. the contributions of Spencer were still being given short shrift in T. 60-1. J. 6. G. 435-6. E. New York. 15. D. New York. pp. R. London. Cited in J. Durkheim. 28. by E. p. Durkheim. 'lntroduction to the Translation.'EmileDurkheim'. 11. 12.

) 36.' Thus Durkheim'sfirst majorwork. Bellah. values and social 'pathologies') continues to run like a red thread through contemporary sociology. R. 33. Emile Durkheim on Morality and Society. Cornell University Press. How else can one explain statements such as the following.Jovanovich. as historian Richard Hofstadter has pointed out.). A. Harcourt. N. 265. The Rules. cit. though. studied in terms of their genesisand development. Gambridge. LaCapra. Ibid. E. 35. Masters of Sociological Thought: Ideas in Historical and Social Context. 3). See also Parsons. was a rabbi.. R. Sometimes. 1973. Mass. Giddens. Emile Durkheim: Selected Writings. Harvard University Press. Durkheim. University of Chicago Press. this greaterproductivity is only a necessary .Durkhezm and Spencer phrase. Coser. Ibid.. Durkheim represented a transitional stage in the emergence of the modern social sciences. cit. 'Introduction. op. Hofstadter. 1972. Spencer was sophisticated enough to avoid entrapment in the sort of simplistic proposition that Durkheim was bold enough to offer (one which subsequentgenerationsof sociologists have discreetly allowed to recede into obscurity): 'We can then formulate the following proposition: The division of labor varies in direct ratio with the volume and density of societies.. N.' (Division of Labor.New York. but he alwaysconceived of his contributionsto sociology as being primarilyfocussedwithin the more specializedfield of the 'sociology of moral facts. Fletcher.A. op. It is not coincidental that. Chicago. one suspects that the source of Durkheim's self-contradiction was his tenuous graspof economics. it is because societies become regularlydenser and generally more voluminous [his italics]. CambridgeUniversity Press.was conceivedas 'an attempt to treat the facts of morallife accordingto the method of the positive sciences' (op. Durkheim. quoting from Durkheim.. cit. New York. and. Emile Durkheim: Sociologzst and Philosopher. sociology in its early days attracted an extraordinarynumber of ministers and ministers'sons. 4).. . run 'like a red thread'through Durkheim's thinking. op. Durkheim: Morality and Milieu. op. 'Introduction: Durkheim'sWritingsin Sociology and Social Philosophy. cit. Boston. (D. The SociologSyof Emile Durkheim. Nisbet. Oxford University Press. which is flatly opposed to the one quoted above-and to itself. provides a succinct summary: The endeavourto contributeto the foundingof a sociological 'science of morality'very rapidly led Durkheimto a concernwith the natureof sociology and of social phenomenamore generally. 262.). 266-70. 32. 1972. .' As he wrote in 1900: 'Insteadof treatingsociology in genere. 263.' in A. 1955 [1944]. The divisionof labor appears otherwiseto us than it does to economists. cit.but the problem of order (and a preoccupation with norms. it essentially consistsin greaterproduction. Beacon Press. R. Division of Labor. Ithaca. For us. L. op. Giddens (ed. p. Social Darwinismin Amencan Thought. Bellah (ed. 30. pp.Y. A. 92-3. For them. 19 72. cit. 29. 379 In effect. 34.we have always been preoccupiedonly with legal or moralrules..) Times have changed. N. p. (R.' in R. for instance. p. Brace. Durkheim'sfather.. 31.. New York. pp. . Anthony Giddens. Wallwork. we have alwaysconcerned ourselvessystematically with a clearlydelimited orderof facts: save for necessaryexcursions into the fields adjacentto those which we were exploring. Ibid. p. Ibid. if it progresses in a continuous manner in the course of social development. . 197 1. 1974. p.

384-5.p. but. 45. Durkheim. p. The Rules. Cambridge University Press. 54. op. Peter A. 39. p. p. 270. pp. cit.requisite for their physical survivai. pp.. (Division of Labor. Ibid. 323.G. Nevertheless. 111-12. cit. Durkheim also later modulated his methodological posture. in his reply to Pope. 103. 'Sociologie et Sciences Sociales. New York. 401. More important. The Social Bond (2nd ed.380 of consequence. Durkheim. there remains the essentiallyuntested assumptionin sociological theory that social solidarity (the social bond) is an empiricalproblemthat requiresspecial binding forces independentlyof economic and political transactions. cit.a repercussion the phenomenon [of population growth and a more acute struggle for existence]. Nisbet op. pp. p. 264-6. E. However. incorrectly disowned his own earlier judgment: 'Pope was right that 46.' in A. Perrin. 29.. 399-415.112n. Durkheim. 1977. Corning the first emergentproperty of human aggregates. p. 346)..pp. the problem is today defined more in socialengineeringterms. renderingsocial encountersin any and every differentiated context predictable' (Ibid. 'Thus . op. cit. op. 51. 43. Durkheim. Giddens (ed. 41. 57. 28. op. pp.). cit. Knopf.E.' Review. The Rules. 52. and trans.. Ibid.Moreover. p. p. op. cit. pp. p. 266. p. cit. op. Durkheim (with P. cit. Ibid. This denial is not convincing though (see below).. it is not to producemore. Sociologists also have a tendency to suggest that the economic bonds (the bonds of mutual self-interest) and political bonds are somehow less important than social bonds.). 42. 49. Fauconnet). 40. Sociological American XXXVIII. p. but it is to enable us to live in new conditions of existence that have been made for us. 47.. 104. Division of Labor. Ibid. Durkheim's methodological posture has been known chiefly through The Rules of Sociologicai Method. Durkheim later denied as 'absurd'chargesthat he had claimed for society some sort of independentphysical(causal)existence (Suicid e. Modern-daystructural-functionalists still tend to be oriented to the problemof the normative order. R. to my knowledge.. (See W. comprises the elementary interdependence.Amongsubsequent sociolgenerationsof English-speaking ogists. 1972 [1903]. Bottomore and R. Ibid. p. 275). Durkheim. mechanisms of [T]he next emergentsystem property is that of order: rules carrying effective negative sanctions if necessary. 13.Sometimes this presumed need is defined as a societal need and sometimes as a personal psychological need. 55. 44. 102... 110. op. Ibid..some of the works methodological that reflect Durkheim's evolution were not availablein English until quiterecently. Pope. 56. op. op.. p. 111.. Common sense suggests that all are important.A. 50. 53.the social order is clearly acknowledgedto be an instrumentalityrather than an end in itself. Durkheim... 257.. Pope. 48.op.cit. cit. 272. and he conflated the three. 1973. It might also be noted that Parsons. 113. cit. Nisbet and R. Moore 'Functionalism. 3 20?.. Parsons. Durkheim.' in systematicstudy of the relationshipbetween them has yet been undertaken-an astounding fact and a testament to the parochialism of the varioussocial sciences. Ibid. independenceand causal potency. cit. 267. p. p. 38. Emile Durkheim: Selected Writings. However. 262.. therefore. Division of Labor. as Spencer maintained. op. W. 10. Ibid. Suicide. p. The Rules. Division of Labor.. 266. 'Classic on Classic: Parson'sInterpretationof Durkheim.. to the end Durkheim was unclear about the distinction between emergence. If we specialize. 37. New York. both in word and deed.

William James at Harvard. To which Pope incorrectly responded with an exultant touche: 'Parsons. p. op. cit.. biologizing or other reduction of social theory. in the main.Likewise. 58. Pope. op. 53. 45 2) . Mass.. p. Einsidler (eds). Bellah. 64.' American Sociological Reuiew.. cit. for that matter. See especially L.. The other considerationfor Durkheim was the distinction he wished to establish between egoistic (utilitarian) and altruistic (moral) sources of behavior. op. 209.TheStructureof Social Action. Durkheim's implicit psychology is. which sociologists have not. p. 1959.. cit. confronted head on. Revisited. 111). XL.acknowledges that I was correct in rejecting his claim that Durkheim introduced a version of the Malthusian principle of population. Bellah. Parsons. Diuision of Labor. whereas such reified (emergent) phenomena as 'solidarity'and 'anomie'werescientific because they existed outside of the individual and had causal efficacy (though. he also denied their independent physical existence). 11).. Durkheim. Durkheim. his Principles of Psychology was used as a text by. Here. [that Parsons] cited as evidence of the breakdown and biologizing of social theory. But. 59. there is a sharp contrast with HerbertSpencer. of course. Robert Bellah gives an essentially accurate rendering of Durkheim's views.. 333. and comments: 'Although his conception is schematic and oversimplified. AmericanSociologicalReview.. neither have sociologistsbeen very selfcritical about their own implicit assumptions (and hidden causal theories). Thus. p.. Hankoff and B. cit. By contrast. . XXIV. Durkheim wanted to adhere to the aspirationsof positive science and confined his sociology to ex ternal 381 observables.S. a complicated subject. Two different desideratacombined to shape his position on the relationship between individualpsychology and the external environment. (In fact.. again. 1979.. but he treated them as unimportant). that inner goals and 'intentions' (including utilitarian calculations) were 'subjective' and therefore not amenable to scientiElc analysis (he didn't quite deny their existence. among others. 60.G. Littleton. Durkheim'sambivalenceabout human nature has alreadybeen noted. 'Durkheim and History.moralitywas sometimes treated as something that benefits society at the expense of the individual and sometimes as something that is conducive to individual happiness (enlightenedselfinterest?) because it constrains the tyranny of the appetites. his Homo duplex was sometimes treated as a screen that passively receives and reflects 'moral dictates' (tabula rasa?) and sometimes as a cauldron of desires and appetites that must be carefully contained. Parsons.' (W. D. p. 62.. In short there is no breakdown. p. p.' op. p. But it is precisely this appeal to "population pressure".. 61. 109). he assumed the rather 'schizoid' posture. 65..P. 'Sociologie et Sciences Sociales..) 63. Suicide: Theory and Clinical Aspects. 452n. .'Comment on "Parson's Interpretation of Durkheim" and on "Moral fireedom Through Understanding in Durkheim" '. On the one hand. op. . 'Parsons on Durkheim. Ibid. Accordingly. lest the individual engage in destructive or self-destructive behavior. N. Wrong! Parsons was right the first time.' American Sociological Reziew XL 1975.g. The Rules.' (T. 102. cit. p. Herbert Spencer could not have said it better.' (R. 151. p. Durkheim. Durkheim is unquestionably correct in seeing structural differentiation in response to adaptive exigencies as a major aspect of social change. cit. 1975. obviously. whose breadth made him also one of the pioneers of nineteenth century psychology.Durkheim and Spencer Durkheim did not in fact introduce a version of the Malthusianprinciple of population. E. to quote LaCapra(op.

41. 25 68...382 PeterA. v. 8. cit. cit..p. 336-46. R. 70. 73. 30. 'Durkheim's Evol71. 72. op. Quoted in Giddens. op. Durkheim. 69.. also see pp.. utionaryConceptionofSocial Change. p. XVII. 100. The Rules.95. p. 189-202.' cit. op. Corning 66. 67. p. p.. c it. 1976. Sociological Quarterly. The Rules. Hinkle. l I. p.341. op. . pp. Ibid. 117. Quoted in Giddens. C. cit.. op. Durkheim. Fletcher. Ibid. p.