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Aux origines de la sociologie. « Le contrat social de Rousseau » d’Émile Durkheim (1918)

Abstract : This paper studies the way in which Durkheim recaptured Rousseau’s political philosophy. The founder, after Auguste Comte, of sociology in France adopts an ambivalent attitude towards the author of the Second Discourse and the Social Contract: on the one hand, he pays tribute to the political theorist who understood the empirical emergence of the social bond; on the other, he criticizes social contract theories. It is between these two limits that Durkheim’s reappropriation, reconstruction, and reassessment of Rousseau must be situated: the rise of the collective subject is at the heart of their posthumous dialogue. This contribution will therefore address the Durkheimian interpretation of the Second Discourse, as well as his reading of the Geneva manuscript. I will show by what subtle distortion of the text Durkheim uses his own interpretation of Rousseau to read him as the ancestor of the idea of a “social realm,” and explain how the Durkheimian reading of the Social Contract carries out an original reinterpretation of the “general will” in sociological terms.
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Céline Spector. Aux origines de la sociologie. « Le contrat social de Rousseau » d’Émile Durkheim (1918). Les études philosophiques, Presses Universitaires de France, 2018, 184 (4), pp.535. ⟨10.3917/leph.184.0535⟩. ⟨hal-02187014⟩

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