Émile Durkheim: Sociology as an Open Science


Volume Editors: and
Sociology for Durkheim was by no means a knowledge closed in its specificity. It was rather an open science, permeable to contributions coming from other disciplines. For him, the task of sociology was to study what held societies together, giving place to reflective change and progressive development. This is an epistemological and political model that still retains all its relevance today: an example to be rediscovered against any reductionist conception of the vocation and object of social sciences; an encouragement to see sociology as an indispensable protagonist for an authentic interdisciplinary dialogue in the field of humanities. It is one of the best legacies Durkheim left us, that this book attempts to illustrate.

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Giovanni Paoletti, Ph.D. in Philosophy (2000, University of Pisa) and in Sociology (2003, Sciences-Po, Paris), is full Professor of History of Philosophy at the University of Pisa (Italy). He is the author of several articles and a monograph on Durkheim (Durkheim et la philosophie. Représentation, réalité et lien social, Classiques Garnier, Paris 2012).

Massimo Pendenza, Ph.D. in Sociology (Napoli, 1998), is full professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for European Studies (CES) at the University of the Salerno (Italy). He is the author of several articles, monographs, and edited books on Classical Sociology (Classical Sociology Beyond Methodological Nationalism, Brill, Leiden and Boston, 2014).
List of Tables

Introduction Reversing the Canon of Durkheim’s Sociology
  Massimo Pendenza and Giovanni Paoletti

part 1
A Crossover between Disciplines: The Elementary Forms of Religious Life
1 Reason as a Social Faculty The Elementary Forms of Religious Life and the Sociological Critique of Philosophical Enlightenment
  Nicola Marcucci

2 Durkheim and the History of Religions The Strange Case of the Camel’s Sacrifice
  Giovanni Paoletti

3 Little Skeleton and the Rubber Duckie Durkheim and the Invisible Religion
  Fabio Dei

4 ‘Fusing Morals and Aesthetics’ The Aesthetic Foundations of the Cosmopolitan Social Bond in Durkheim’s Vision of Ritual and Religious Life
  Dario Verderame

5 Durkheim, the Durkheimian and the Sociology of Festivities
  Philippe Steiner

part 2
Beyond Conservative Durkheim: Society, Solidarity, and Politics
6 Elevating Human Dignity as a Universal Frame of Reference Durkheim on the Moral Sources of Solidarity in Modern Societies
  Massimo Pendenza

7 Towards a Model of Reflexive Solidarity
  Ambrogio Santambrogio

8 The Government of Society Durkheim on the Political, the State and Democracy from a Sociological perspective
  Francesco Callegaro

9 Durkheim, “Europe” and Brexit
  David Inglis


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