Re: Durkheim (resend)

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Sat 02 Apr 2005 - 21:46:21 GMT

  • Next message: Scott Chase: "Lorenz on theory of mind module?"

    --- Keo Ormsby <> wrote:
    > Most people would agree that memes are determined by
    > biological and
    > psychological factors, as well as social, but the
    > relative weight of each
    > factor varies with each author. Although I am
    > guessing that given Durkheim's
    > historical context, he said this to stress the point
    > that it is more
    > informative to study the social fact from its
    > interactions between
    > individuals (social point of view), than from the
    > point of view of the
    > individual or the biological species. In this sense
    > he is in agreement with
    > memetics.
    In Durkheim's own (translated) words, after a paragraph where he talks of the way elements can be associated or juxtaposed:

    [ED] "By virtue of this principle, society is not the mere sum of individuals, but the system formed by their association represents a specific reality which has its own characteristics. Undoubtedly no collective entity can be produced if there are no individual consciousnesses: this is a necessary but not a sufficient condition. In addition, these consciousnesses must be associated and combined, but combined in a certain way. It is from this combination that social life arises and consequentially it is this combination which explains it. By aggregating together, by interpenetrating, by fusing together, individuals give birth to a being, psychical if you will, but one which constitutes a psychical individuality of a new kind." [ED]

    It seems to me that we could look at Durkheim's socifacts as having emergent properties as the above passage is striving towards an emergentism of some kind. It could be OTOH a holism that verges upon vitalism, in which case run for the hills ;-)

    Emile Durkheim. 1982. The Rules of Sociological Method. The Free Press. New York. trans. by WD Halls

    __________________________________ Yahoo! Messenger Show us what our next emoticon should look like. Join the fun.

    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat 02 Apr 2005 - 22:04:00 GMT