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By Kenneth Smith

This quantity units out to discover using Émile Durkheim’s notion of the ‘collective cognizance of society’, and represents the 1st ever book-length therapy of this underexplored subject. working from either a criminological and sociological point of view, Kenneth Smith argues that Durkheim’s unique suggestion has to be sensitively revised and certainly up to date for its genuine relevance to come back to the fore. significant changes to Durkheim’s proposal of the collective realization contain Smith’s compelling arguments that the version doesn't follow to every person both, and that Durkheim’s suggestion doesn't in anyway depend upon what should be known as the disciplinary capabilities of society.

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Extra resources for Émile Durkheim and the Collective Consciousness of Society: A Study in Criminology

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Free) will Kant is obliged to argue for a concept of will that, in so far as it is purely rational, is not subject to the laws of nature. But Durkheim thinks that any such proposition is absurd. Mankind is embedded in nature and everything we do is therefore completely natural. Where Kant goes wrong, Durkheim thinks, is in supposing that human beings – even great philosophers like Kant himself – can ever be purely rational beings; we are always emotional creatures too (112). Philosophers normally do not regard an act as completely moral except when we perform it freely without coercion of any sort (112), but Durkheim thinks that this is a mistake.

I will further argue that we should always avoid the use of the term ‘conscience’ when translating this expression into English, but that it is especially important that we do this in the context of Durkheimian sociology because of the overtone that this term has of an individual or personal moral choice. By contrast, the idea of ‘consciousness’ – that we should all be fully and completely aware of the important social reasons why we act as we do – is key not only to Durkheim’s concept of the common and collective consciousness of society but to his entire sociology too.

There is no truly moral force save that involved in attachment to a group’ (2002, 82). The focus of his second principle of morality is therefore the collective, and just as before with the principle of discipline, we see that for Durkheim this also has two parts or elements. First, Durkheim claims all morality has a common content, and second he claims that this content is selflessness. Combining these two elements together, just as before with the principle of discipline, produces a second principle of morality, the focus of which is collectivity.

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