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Epistemology and Practice
Durkheim's The Elementary Forms of Religious Life

£39.99

  • Date Published: June 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521112369

£ 39.99
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  • In this original and controversial book Professor Rawls argues that Durkheim's The Elementary Forms of Religious Life is the crowning achievement of his sociological endeavour and that since its publication in English in 1915 it has been consistently misunderstood. Rather than a work on primitive religion or the sociology of knowledge, Rawls asserts that it is an attempt by Durkheim to establish a unique epistemological basis for the study of sociology and moral relations. By privileging social practice over beliefs and ideas, it avoids the dilemmas inherent in philosophical approaches to knowledge and morality that are based on individualism and the tendency to privilege beliefs and ideas over practices, both tendencies that dominate western thought. Based on detailed textual analysis of the primary text, this book will be an important and original contribution to contemporary debates on social theory and philosophy.

    • Controversial interpretation of Durkheim's work
    • Based on detailed textual analysis of primary sources
    • Explores relationship between sociology and philosophy in an exciting way
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521112369
    • length: 372 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. Durkheim's outline of the argument in the introductory chapter
    2. Durkheim's dualism: an anti-Kantian, anti-rationalist position
    3. Sacred and Profane: the first classification
    4. Totemism and the problem of individualism
    5. The origin of moral force
    6. The primacy of rites in the origin of causality
    7. Imitative rites and the category of causality
    8. The category of causality
    9. Logic, language and science
    10. Durkheim's conclusion: logical argument for the categories
    Conclusion.

  • Author

    Anne Warfield Rawls, Bentley College, Massachusetts
    Anne Warfield Rawls is Associate Professor of Sociology at Bentley College, Massachusetts. She has a background in both sociology and philosophy and has published extensively on social theory and social justice.

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