02/02/2017 - Arnaud Saint-Martin - L'Humanité
At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, the emergence of sociology resulted in an unprecedented intellectual and moral shockwave. It also created many victims, beginning with philosophy which had to redefine itself.
Sociologists, Weber, Simmel and Tönnies in Germany, Durkheim and, in particular, Gabriel Tarde, first put forward the idea of “historical determinism”. They then concentrated on a new concept of theoretical construction which respected the complexity and limiting power of facts, took into account the “social” nature of different categories of thinking and how knowledge is produced and transmitted.
A large part of 20th century philosophy can be seen as a response to this cognitive revolution which is why authors like Bergson, Heidegger, James, Jaspers, Merleau-Ponty and Russell are subjected to unprecedented analysis.
Marc Joly is a sociologist specialised in the history of human and social sciences and a research fellow at the CNRS. He is also the author of Devenir Norbert Elias (Becoming Norbert Elias) (Fayard, 2012).