I found this extremely interesting from Dewey’s Democracy and Education loc 562-575. He argues that the concept of ‘imitation’ tends to mistake an outcome for cause, imputing to a generic tendency to copy each other what is better explained by commonly constituted agents finding themselves in similar situations which tend to produce similar responses.
There’s an interesting parallel between Durkheim’s conception of social regulation and what Archer calls ‘bounding variety’ and Cybernetics describes as ‘attenuating variety’. As Durkheim writes on pg 300 in a discussion of marriage and divorce, “One cannot avoid looking outside the place where one is when one no longer feels […]
From On Suicide pg 215-216. If I understand correctly this is what Durkheim understands by social integration. As he write on pg 216, “to say of a group that it has less communal life than another is also to say that it is less strongly integrated, because the state of […]
From Suicide pg 163: Reflection only develops when it becomes necessary for it to develop; that is to say, if a certain number of unconsidered ideas and feelings which, until then, had sufficed to govern behaviour, have become ineffectual. At such times, reflection intervenes to fill the void that has […]
Durkheim’s argument about social contagion is immensely relevant to contemporary discussions of ‘fake news’ and computational propaganda
From Suicide pg 120-121: We must beware, indeed: when one speaks of imitation, one implies a phenomenon of contagion and, not unreasonably, we may pass very easily from the first of these ideas to the other. But is there anything contagious about carrying out a moral precept, or deferring to […]
There’s a fascinating connection between this account on Suicide pg 46-47 and what Bourdieu describes as hysteresis and Archer as contextual incongruity: Because of the extreme sensitivity of his nervous system, his ideas and feelings are always in a situation of unstable balance. Because the faintest impressions have an abnormal […]
I’m rereading Durkheim’s Suicide for teaching purposes and I’d forgotten how fascinated I am by his account of the boundary between the psychological and sociological, as well what this means for our conception of the individual: From pg 17: Intention is too intimate a matter for it to be accessible […]