Leading international scholars are bought together in "Debating Durkheim" to discuss controversial issues in the work of this increasingly important founding father of sociology. The subjects covered relate to Durkheim's Jewish background and its influence on his life and thought; to a positive reinterpretation of Durkheim's study of primitive thought in terms of social classification; an attempt to shed light on his book on methodology, "The Rules," which has been much criticised; a philosophical and sympathetic analysis of the notion of the social; a discussion of Durkheim's sociology of morals based on a study of social facts; a careful consideration of the problems of Durkheim's references to state, nation and patriotism; and finally, an application of "The Rules" to data relating to first names and raising the issue of social imitation.
The appendix is an extension of the first chapter and covers translations and hereto unpublished material by Durkheim on the issues of Jewishness and antisemitism. As these essays will show, Durkheim raises basic issues which must be examined if contemporary society is to be understood.
-"The Journal of Indo-European Studies