Talk:Émile Durkheim

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Good article Émile Durkheim has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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Large tracts of this are stolen almost word for word from britannica. Especially the paragraph under the subtitle 'Achievements' —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:04, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

There are still several passages in this article that are word to word from the Britannica article. In this version the Britannica article is properly cited, however, I'm afraid that it might still be a copyright violation to leave the article as is. (talk) 09:24, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Such passages are at least the following ones: "This was not due to provincialism or lack of attention to the concrete" and "The vast information Durkheim studied on the aboriginal tribes of Australia and New Guinea and on the Inuit was all collected by other anthropologists, travelers, or missionaries". There might be more. So, don't remove the tag untill this is settled, please. (talk) 10:50, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Error in the education section?[edit]

I don't know very much about Durkheim, but this quote from the education section does not seems right to me: "Learning about individuals who have done good things for the many makes an individual feel insignificant." Shouldn't it be "makes an individual feel significant?" --FiftyOneWicked 15:38, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

seconded, I didn't understand this (talk) 23:07, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

--No, no it shouldn't. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:26, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

--The wording is a little complicated, but what it means is this: when we hear stories about great people who have done great things (like Ghandi or Mother Teresa or MLK or Moses or Jesus or a man who saved people from execution in the Holocaust or a researcher who made a world-changing discovery), it makes us feel less valuable as individuals. We feel outdone, overshadowed, unimportant. Does that make more sense? This is what the quote you questioned is trying to say. I believe it is accurately Durkheim, but the sentence-structure could be touched-up a bit if it hasn't already. (And if it has, perhaps someone should remove this section from the talk page?) (talk) 03:46, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Placement of education section?[edit]

Why is the material about education stuck at the bottom of the article like this? I know too little about Durkheim, but I'd love to see somebody who does know his work re-integrate that appendix (so to speak) into the article. --Christofurio 14:25, Mar 13, 2005 (UTC) --FiftyOneWicked 15:38, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

  • After reading the above comment, I noticed there were two parts about education, interrupted by a paragraph that began "Finally..." So, I put all that education stuff, together, in its own section. Still not ideal, if someone was interested enough to expand that into a seperate article, I think that would be great.--Brian Z 06:29, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

-user:smartgirlatbsms- should the answer be that if we compared our selves to the greats of the world we would feel insignificant to the world unless we do something great to impress the world to compare ourselves to be significant —Preceding unsigned comment added by Smartgirlatbsms (talkcontribs) 23:43, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Was the study on the book Suicide correct?[edit]

I remember reding here on wikipedia that the study about the suicide rate on the catholics and protestants was incorrect due to the different classification of the deaths by the police on both communities. I tryed looking about it on this page history but didn't find this reference. Anyone remembers about that?

Yeah, it was discussed in a sociology lecture I had, but I have no verifable sources for it. Will see if I can find anything.--LeftyG 03:45, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

The idea of correctness would be more ideological. The study to which I think that you're refeing is JWB Douglas' on coroners interpretations of suicides and his findings that there were certain key things they looked for (ie notes). This lead to some deaths that could have been suspicious being definined as suicide and visa versa. Kymii 22:44, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I believe this might be in reference to the study you seek:
  1. Suicide and Religion: Did Durkheim Commit the Ecological Fallacy, or Did Van Poppel and Day Combine Apples and Oranges?
  2. Author(s): Miles Simpson
  3. Source: American Sociological Review, Vol. 63, No. 6 (Dec., 1998), pp. 895-896
  4. Published by: American Sociological Association
  5. Stable URL: [1] (talk) 03:51, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Overhaul planned[edit]

I plan, one of these days, to go a bit more in depth with this entry... in my judgment, it's rather superficial and doesn't mention several of his important claims, such as the claim that society acts as a type of God for all involved.

This isn't to say that it's been terrible thus far... rather that it needs to be more in-depth.


Accepted today?[edit]

Are his theories and ideas accepted and used today? Or have there been new and different theories in more recent years? Gflores Talk 17:05, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

See the Strain Theory, Social Control Theory and Subcultural Theory. David91 02:17, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

His theories, especially those on sacrifice, and thus religion, has been falsified. But the core of his ideas are still about and there are some who call themselves New-Durkheimians... --Yanemiro 17:56, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
"Have been falsified?" Care to shed a little light on that? Sources/references? That's a pretty big statement to make. (talk) 03:55, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Sociology of religion[edit]

I believe there should be a topic "Durkheim on religion" in here. Where´s a good explanation of his elementaries forms... ?

i have a question: lets take a look at this

Besides, the idea of the supernatural, as we understand it, is recent. It presupposes an idea that is its negation, and that is in no way primitive. To be able to call certain facts supernatural, one must already have an awareness that there is a natural order of things, in other words, that the phenomena of the universe are internally linked according to necessary relationships called laws. Once this principle is established, anything that departs from those laws necessarily appears as beyond nature and, thus, beyond reason: For what is in this sense natural is also rational, those relations expressing only the manner in which things are logically connected. Now, the idea of universal determinism is of recent origin; even the greatest thinkers of classical antiquity did not achieve full awareness of it. That idea is territory won by the empirical sciences; it is the postulate on which they rest and which their advancement has proved. So long as this postulate was lacking or not well established, there was nothing about the most extraordinary events that did not appear perfectly conceivable. So long as what is immovable and inflexible about the order of things was unknown, and so long as it was seen as the work of contingent wills, it was of course thought natural that these wills or others could modify the order of things arbitrarily. For this reason, the miraculous interventions that the ancients ascribed to their gods were not in their eyes miracles, in the modern sense of the word. To them, these interventions were beautiful, rare, or terrible spectacles, and objects of surprise and wonder (Øavµata, mirabilia, miracula); but they were not regarded as glimpses into a mysterious world where reason could not penetrate.

That mind-set is all the more readily understandable to us because it has not completely disappeared. Although the principle of determinism is firmly established in the physical and natural sciences, its introduction into the social sciences began only a century ago, and its authority there is still contested. The idea that societies are subject to necessary laws and constitute a realm of nature has deeply penetrated only a few minds. It follows that true miracles are thought possible in society. There is, for example, the accepted notion that a legislator can create an institution out of nothing and transform one social system into another, by fiat — just as the believers of so many religions accept that the divine will made the world out of nothing or can arbitrarily mutate some beings into others. As regards social things, we still have the mind-set of primitives. But if, in matters sociological, so many people today linger over this old-fashioned idea, it is not because social life seems obscure and mysterious to them. Quite the opposite: If they are so easily contented with such explanations, if they cling to these illusions that are repeatedly contradicted by experience, it is because social facts seem to them the most transparent things in the world. This is so because they have not yet appreciated the real obscurity, and because they have not yet grasped the need to turn to the painstaking methods of the natural sciences in order progressively to sweep away the darkness. The same cast of mind is to be found at the root of many religious beliefs that startle us in their oversimplification. Science, not religion, has taught men that things are complex and difficult to understand. But, Jevons replies, the human mind has no need of properly scientific education to notice that there are definite sequences and a constant order of succession between phenomena or to notice that this order is often disturbed. At times the sun is suddenly eclipsed; the rain does not come in the season when it is expected; the moon is slow to reappear after its periodic disappearance, and the like. Because these occurrences are outside the ordinary course of events, people have imputed to them extraordinary, exceptional — in a word, extranatural — causes.

why is it, that we think miracles in society are possible, if we dont believe in laws of nature operating in society? wouldnt we have to believe in such laws, so that when theyre broken, we can speak of miracles, as durkheim states in the first paragraph?

I intend to augment the religion section with references to Rodney Stark's critiques of Durkheim's approaches and perspectives. However, that's problematic when that section is quite uncited. So, if anyone feels like adding references for that section before I start adding referenced critiques, that would make the whole thing look better and more balanced. 23:49, 5 May 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jclemens (talkcontribs)


The first half of this article or so needs some sort of cleanup and re-shaping (I'm not very familiar with Durkheim, so don't hold me to it). This article needs references. I don't know how this article was rated as a B without it having references.

LCecere 04:03, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

I also wonder why this sentence is important: "His Jewish background did, however, shape his sociological perspective; many of his students and collaborators were fellow Jews, and often blood relatives."? If the Jewish background shaped his sociological perspective, we should explain how (i don't know), but what does it have to do with the fact that his collaborators were Jews? How did it impact his scholarship? Or am i missing something here? WikiDima 20:06, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

In the section on Durkheim's middle years we are told that:

France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War had created a backlash against secular, republican rule and many considered a vigorously nationalistic approach to rejuvenate France's fading power. Durkheim, a Jew with a sympathy towards socialism, was thus in the political minority, a situation which galvanized him politically. The Dreyfus affair of 1894 only strengthened his activist stance.

That seems a bit confused to me. France at the time of the Franco-Prussian War was not a republic but was ruled by Napoleon III, whose title was Emperor of the French. As a direct result of France's defeat in that war, Louis Napoleon fell from power and a republic was instituted in its place. Nevertheless, there was vigorous opposition to France's Third Republic from monarchists, clericalists, and other reactionaries.

JimFarm (talk) 15:15, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Including Suicide[edit]

Is Durkheim's suicide not included in his theories and ideas section because there is a separate article on this? I do believe that we should add a link to his book Suicide (book) because his studies about suicide are very prominent still today in research. --FiftyOneWicked 15:38, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

There already is a link to it under the "Litterature" section --m3taphysical 18:52, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I realize there is a link after re-reading the article but I do believe it should still have a section that details his findings briefly with that link included in the section.--FiftyOneWicked 06:53, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Style: "science sociale" needed?[edit]

Does anyone object to removing "science sociale" (Social science) and replacing it with simply 'social science'? I don't think the French translation of the phrase is really adding anything useful to the article, and it certainly doesn't need to be clarified in (English) anyway. Cheers, Varlokkur 16:04, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. I've already taken care to remove the unnecessary translation --m3taphysical 21:08, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

The Civil Service[edit]

It may be a while since I did my sociology degree but I seem to recall that one of the most important pieces of work was his study of the methods of the Civil Service, can a section on this not be added?

Was that not Weber with his work on bureacracy? Kymii 22:46, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Father of Sociology; Durkheim, Comte or . . .[edit] says it was Ibn Khaldun, a renaissance man 4 centuries before Comte. says Auguste Comte(1798-1857) is best known today as the father of French positivist thought. ... It was Comte who first coined the expression "sociology." ... But wait, says Emile Durkheim is considered by many to be the father of sociology. During his lifetime, he published an impressive number studies on subjects such as ...

And I thought Max Weber was regarded as the father of sociology.--Markisgreen 13:54, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Comte, Durkheim, Marx, and Weber are considered as the founding fathers of Sociology. Masterpiece2000 (talk) 05:49, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, as they say, "victory has many fathers, while defeat is an orphan," so sociology must be quite a success. August Comte coined the word, but the subject did not become a formal academic discipline until Durkheim and Weber successfully established it as a university subject, with its own departments, chairs, and curricula. I suspect that Marx would have blanched, if he had been called a "father of sociology," since he heartily despised Comte. In fact for a long time, Marxists were quite hostile to sociology, and most sociologists were hostile to Marxism. One of the first steps towards a rapprochement was when Bukharin wrote his Historical Materialism - A System of Sociology, which while very critical of bourgeois social science, acknowledged the insights that had been attained by bourgeois sociologists and sought to incorporate them into Marxism. Indeed, he sought to present historical materialism as a Marxian sociology.

BTW Herbert Spencer should be included as a father of sociology. He was very much influenced by Comte, and in turn, his work had a strong influence on Durkheim.

JimFarm (talk) 15:32, 12 April 2009 (UTC)


In the section where it says "religious phenomena stemmed from social rather than religious factors" or some such...

I don't think "phenomena" is quite the right word. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:37, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

dangling sentence[edit]

"Durkheim also had an extreme macro apporach, where social norms shape our consciousness"

just sitting alone as one of the final paragraphs! what's the purpose of this ... ? (talk) 23:06, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Can Anyone Square the Vicious Circle?[edit]

This page refers the reader to the Solidarism page, which basically says that in a Durkheimian sense, Solidarism is what Durkheim thought. It then gives three alternative definitions, but they aren't D's. I'm left having to infer exactly what solidarism means when applied to Durkheim. I'd really like to know if I've got it right.

Terry J. Carter (talk) 15:16, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Durkheim founder of sociology?[edit]

An unknown user has repeatedly asserted that Durkheim is the "founder of modern sociology". However I believe that this is an oversimplification of what Durkheim actually is. From what I know (I've studied Durkheim and Weber in several of my courses), there is no "one" founder of sociology. If you look up the history of sociology article, you'll see that departments specializing in sociology were created in America before Durkheim founded the first department in Europe. What Durkheim did found, however, is the first positivist school of sociology. This has already been specified in the lead section. I therefore recommend that the statement claiming that "Durkheim is the founder of modern sociology" be removed, because it is too generalizing and imprecise. --m3taphysical (talk) 17:13, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Main sociological positivism requires improvement![edit]

Perhaps not appropriate to advertise here, but it's an urgent task for the sociologists on wikipedia to improve sociological positivism, which, for some strange reason, has been left behind as one of the worst pages within the soc portal. --Tomsega (talk) 01:00, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

egoistic and egotistical RfC[edit]

Comments on RfC[edit]

Quickly looking through the literature, it seems that the term "egoistic suicide" is used quite prevalently, whereas "egotistical suicide" is used hardly at all. On the other hand, some of his books have been translated so that "egotistical" has been used throughout instead of "egoistic." I think that a parenthetical remark along the lines of (sometimes translated as 'egotistical suicide') might be of aid for people looking into that subject. It might give someone another term to search for, or help them connect the dots to know that the two terms refer to the same thing. Yes, the words are synonyms, but terms used in specialty fields aren't always well-behaved in that respect. MarkNau (talk) 17:53, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Discussion of egoistic/egoistical by involved editors[edit]

moved from my talkraseaCtalk to me 00:07, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Why have you removed the edit to the suicide section in Emile Durkheim's page which mentioned that egoistic suicide is also known as egotistical suicide? This is a productive edit, as many editions/translations refer to only one term and not the other. Readers should be aware of the relation between the terms. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:01, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

It's redundant. Egotistic- and egotistical-suicide are the same thing. RaseaC (talk) 02:04, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
That is the point to stating that it is "also known as" the other term. The words are not the same: egoistic refers more to a general self-centered nature while egotistical refers more to a self-centered way of thinking and speaking. Look up the terms and you will see that they are not perfect synonyms. The implications of both terms on the semantics and the basic message of Durkheim's theory is significant. This information - a matter of 5 words - should be included in Wikipedia's article. Both are valid terms with different implications. It would not be the first time a Wikipedia article lists multiple terms for the same thing.

According Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary they're the same words. 'He performed an egotistic suicide for egotistical reasons', same thing. RaseaC (talk) 02:19, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Unless that was a typo, you just used exactly the same word twice. The difference is between EGOISTIC (one 'T') and EGOTISTICAL (two 'T's). Look up the two words in Merriam-Webster. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:40, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, that was a typo. Forget the examples, the word has the same meaning (even according to our very own encyclopedia) and so differntiation is not necessary. RaseaC (talk) 02:50, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I support RaseaC's decision. Saying that "egoistic refers more to a general self-centered nature while egotistical refers more to a self-centered way of thinking and speaking" is a very, very vague differentiation: even by your definitions I don't see what the difference is. Even we just supposed that the two terms referred to two different things, it would almost logically imply the terms "egoistical suicide" and "egotistical suicide" have different meanings.
For my part, however, I am quite certain that Durkheim did not intend to use two distinct words with different meanings to refer to the same thing. If the two words have been equally used by translators, I believe we can fairly assume that they refer to the same thing. Thus, no need to distinguish between the two words: they mean, and refer to, the exact same thing. --m3taphysical (talk) 22:01, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
They may, indeed, refer to the same thing - after all, that is why both are used. People do interpret what they read based on the literal meanings of words, however, so it should be noted that translations of this book use the terms interchangeably, regardless of etymology. Further, the main point is this: look at other Wikipedia articles. Take the "Simpson's paradox" as an example. The article mentions that this concept has gone by at least four different names, each of which is listed. Those are all names for exactly the same thing. REAL ENCYCLOPEDIA ARTICLES MENTION ALL SYNONYMOUS AND RELATED TERMS. Your discrimination, in this case, is an unnecessary inhibition to Wikipedia's potential. The addition of five extra words, which acknowledge that this phenomenon has another name, is not detrimental to the Wikipedia article. On the contrary, it is a simple relation of facts - the very purpose of an encyclopedia to begin with. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:48, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Not only do they refer to the same thing, the words are synonyms which is why it is redundant to list both. The Simpson's Paradox example is irrelevant because those are four completely different terms, which use completely different words. If it makes it easier, think of 'egoistic' and 'egotistical' being the same words (as that is, effectively, what they are). It is detrimental to the article as so far as it is redundant wording, which should be avoided so as to improve the readibility of the sentence. raseaCtalk to me 00:05, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Ignorance of the English language does not give you the right to abridge an encyclopedia. The words are not entirely the same. They are not true synonyms. Despite the fact that people often use them interchangeably (out of a base ignorance of the etymology), there is a distinction between egoistic and egotistical. Even if you do not believe that this distinction is legitimate, the fact is that it is a distinction made by some. You have no right to abridge the available information for those to whom this distinction is helpful. Especially for people who study in the social sciences, distinguishing words on such minute details is a common necessity. Words with similar constructions and similar meanings should not be dismissed as the same. Consider desert and dessert, two words with similar roots and only one letter difference. Consider translate and transliterate which are about as difference as egoistic and egotistical. A quote to highlight the point I made earlier showing the difference between egoistic and egotistical:
These two words, which are equally common, are often used interchangeably, though a distinction can be made. Egoism refers, in terms of philosophy, to theories in which self-interest is regarded as the principal motivating factor. And so an egoist believes an individual should seek as an end only his or her own welfare: His conduct was characterized by ruthless egoism.Egotism implies a vain self-absorption as a matter of behavior rather than an ethical principle, and an egotist is somebody who behaves in a selfish or self-centered way: Her egotism makes her ignore other people's concerns. [1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:32, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
The fact that this is a topic at all, let alone a contentious debate over terminologies, suggests that it would, after all, be useful to have those three simple words added to the Wikipedia page. If two people cannot agree on the semantics, why should the information be left-out or removed from an encyclopedia? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:37, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Firstly you're muddying this discussion with incivility (please don't refer to other editors as ignorant - comment on content, not contributors) and ridiculous examples (we're talking about similar words with similar meanings not similar words with completely different meanings such as translate and transliterate). Obviously you can nit-pick differences between the words but in the context in which they are used they are the same i.e. egoistic suicide is basically someone topping themselves because they are not socially integrated so in the sense of this definition there is not differentiation required - in a completely different context the difference between egoistic and egotistical may be relevant but here it isn't. Thanks, raseaCtalk to me 15:36, 1 December 2009 (UTC).

In order to avoid an edit war, I suggest we arrive to some form of consensus. One party advocates for absolute factual accuracy and precision; the other advocates for clarity and relevance. Both are, in a certain way, legitimate, even by Wikipedia's own standards. WP:N states that added material simply needs reliable sources and references to be considered notable. Technically, all that needs to do is to cite authors using "egotistical" to prove that he is adding true and verifiable material.
Then comes the problem of relevance. I believe that the reason why the Simpson's paradox article cites four different names is to avoid confusion: adding these names is relevant in that it serves a purpose: to make sure the reader isn't confused about the subject. On the other hand, the present debate almost seems to be a semantic issue, rather than a comprehension issue. Even though adding "egotistical" may appear as adding superfluous information, I believe the right thing to do in this case would be to stick to Wikipedia's notability guidelines. --m3taphysical (talk) 16:34, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
That being the case, refer to the 2006 Penguin Classics translation of On Suicide, translated by Robin Buss (ISBN 978-0-14-044967-9). This recent edition of the book uses the word "egotistical" as compared to the 1997 translation Free Press translation of On Suicide, translated by John Spaulding and George Simpson (ISBN 978-0684836324), which uses the word "egoistic." The Penguin edition boasts that it is a "New Translation," thus suggesting that their staff believes that there is merit to using the term "egotistical" over the term "egoistic."
Notability is proven. The fact that the most recent translation of the work in-question has used "egotistical" and not "egoistic" shows that there is a debate in the sociological community over which words most accurately reflects Durkheim's intentions. Both words should be included in the Wikipedia article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:08, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
In response to the claim of incivility, I take offense at that. It seems terribly uncivil to me that you would remove a sentence from an encyclopedic article on the basis of your own personal opinion. If you want to be civil about things, start a conversation page on the matter before you go and remove the information other people share. Your act is one of tyranny, not civility. You have no room to talk. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
In response to your objection to the incivility claim I invite you to read WP:CIVILITY so that you may understand why making incivil remarks is considered incivility and reverting edits is not. With regards to the comparisons you make above I would argue that it doesn't necessarily mean a difference of opinion in the sociological community but rather no particular weight given to either word due to the lack of differntiation. I do not belive WP:N is relevant here because while different authors may use different terminology that is down to their personal choice rather than Durkheim's work, on that basis one could probably find a list of different phrases use to refer to egoistic suicide but there is no reason to include because that would be redundant (and I have no interest in making such a list because I am not pointy. This may be a stupid question but can't we just get a literal translation of the original work? raseaCtalk to me 22:26, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
In response to your response to my response: Assume good faith. Nothing I said previously was intended as a personal attack, nor a sign of incivility. My statement that the confusion between two similar, yet different words is a confusion resulting from ignorance was not to say that you, specifically, are an ignorant person. It was a statement to iterate that ignorance of the minutiae of the English language is too often a barrier to true understanding of greater concepts. I am not passing a judgment on you; I do not know if you are or are not ignorant. I am stating that your quick-to-react behavior and language, your utter disregard for my semantic/didactic/etymological/nit-picking addition of the words also known as "egotistical suicide" was an example of linguistic ignorance. Your editing was brash and uncalled-for. Your personal opinions are not to define the encyclopedia. The alternate translation has merit, adds meaning to those of us concerned with etymology, and meets Wikipedia's notability requirements. The fact that you have turned this debate personal rests in your own hands. The alternate term should be included. End of story. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:40, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Woah there. Your comments DO sound very personal and offending. But let us not be too quick to judge. I think we can fairly assume that most people have opinions and most people stick to them, including you. Wikipedia encourages users to be bold, therefore I believe RaseaC's initial actions were entirely legitimate. Furthermore, these kinds of confrontations happen on a daily basis: people disagree. There is no reason for you to be pedantic, and there certainly is no reason to say that RaseaC "has no room to talk". Please stop accusing him. We're debating over the use of a word, let's not get too upset about it. --m3taphysical (talk) 22:44, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Excuse the shortness of this response, I am only going to reply to the part of your post that is relevant to this discussion. I have addressed your merit, meaning and WP:N concerns in my previous post and explained why I feel the 'alternative' phrase should not be included. I'm not sure where we go from here, WP:DR seems OTT. raseaCtalk to me 22:47, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Both "egoism" and "egotism" exist in French. However, most french sources refer to "egoistic suicide" rather than "egotistical suicide" --m3taphysical (talk) 22:53, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps the word ignorance has too strong a connotation anymore. Forget that word. Strike it out. Ignorance. How about "misinterpreting" or "misunderstanding" or "misconstruing" or "misjudging" or something along those lines? My statement that RaseaC has no room to talk is not in terms of this little linguistic debate, it is in terms of civility. Censoring others is not being bold, it is simply jumping too-quick to judge.
Just because you think that the phrase should not be included, we are all supposed to accept that? Where is the civility? Other members have already stated that there is validity in the terms. This is tyranny not civility. I think the term should be included. So include it. You are passing a judgment right now. You are saying that your opinion is worth more than mine. If you want to be civil, you will acknowledge that we must agree to disagree - and that the term should be included for the greater-good. It does no harm to include it and it can help people to think more critically about the subject. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:55, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
That last comment made no sense to me. Anyway, I've requested external opinions to this debate so that we can put an end to it and avoid an edit war. Cheers! --m3taphysical (talk) 23:01, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
The more we try and find a resolution the more complicated this matter gets. I'd be happy to go for whatever term Durkheim uses but finding that out would be near-on impossible in which case I would suggest we go with whichever term is the most popular translation which although probably un-scientific is arguably more likely to reflect his original work. raseaCtalk to me 23:02, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Edit conflict: me either. WP:DR it is. raseaCtalk to me 23:04, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
Or simply include both terms. It is ONE word. It will not kill Wikipedia to have ONE more word - I promise. This is just stubbornness at its finest. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:05, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

We'll see what 3O brings. On a sidenote please sign your comments with ~~~~. When having an ongoing discussion it can create edit conflicts when another user or a bot makes a contribution just to add your signature and that can be frustrating to some editors. Thanks, raseaCtalk to me 23:12, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Again, not a personal attack -- but, out of curiosity, what gives you the right to act as the judge, jury, and executioner with Durkheim's article? From where does this authority come? (talk) 23:18, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
It comes from having access to WP and therefore being able to edit it. Anybody has the right to make any changes they like - infact we want people to be WP:BOLD (aslong as they're in the spirit of things). I guess we're all 'judge, jury and executioner' everytime we hit the save page button (or alternative depending on which program we're using which, incidently, I think was WP:Huggle in this case).raseaCtalk to me 23:32, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
So things like credentials don't matter anymore... All editors have equal opportunities to veto one-another, but all vetoes have more power than positive efforts... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:51, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

What matters is what's mattered since day one, core policies such as notability, verifibility etc. Effectively yes, all editors have 'veto' powers but more often than not off that 'veto' is poorly enacted it will be reverted. It's an odd concept but it works. This discussion is veering off topic, this page is for discussing the article, feel free to continue on my talk if you wish. Thanks, raseaCtalk to me 00:02, 2 December 2009 (UTC).

That's fine. If you like, you're welcome to strike-out these last off-topic questions or simply remove them. That's your call. (talk) 00:25, 2 December 2009 (UTC)


Does anyone know of any sources that could verify the following claims? Might be some form of OR.

However, other social scientists[who?] suggest that Durkheim himself never made the error of an ecological fallacy, only that the potential for an ecological fallacy exists in his studies if Durkheim's own explicit research parameters are ignored. That is to say, a strict reading of Durkheim shows no room for ecological fallacy. It is only when researchers, critics, and analysts studying Durkheim begin to make assumptions that the ecological fallacies surface.[citation needed] Proponents of this interpretation argue that as a social scientist concerned with social-level interactions, an extrapolation of his concepts to the individual level was neither of interest to Durkheim nor considered valid or valuable to him, thus making him avoid it altogether.[citation needed]

Cheers, --m3taphysical (talk) 01:47, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Some possible sources I've found include the following,
"The Fallacy of the Ecological Fallacy: The Potential Misuse of a Concept and the Consequences" [2]

One example of the consequence of viewing studies as acting on only one level is the analysis of Durkheim's Suicide4l in epidemiological contexts. We examine this example closely because it is often cited as the exemplar of the ecological fallacy.9'10 One analysis in an epidemiology textbook is as follows:

"He [Durkheim] found, on the average, [that] provinces with greater proportions of Protestants had higher suicide rates and that provinces with greater proportions of Catholics had lower suicide rates. Durkheim concluded from these data that Protestants are more likely to commit suicide than are Catholics. While the conclusion may be true, the causal inference is not logically correct, because it may have been Catholics in predominantly Protestant provinces who were taking their own lives. This logical flaw, called the ecological fallacy (Selvin, 1958), results from making a causal inference about an individual phenomenon or process (e.g., suicide) on the basis of observations of groups.10(P9)"

In fairness to Durkheim, it should be noted that he based his conclusions on ecological-level correlations in tandem with an examination of suicide rates among Catholic and Protestant individuals within provinces.4142* However, it is worthwhile to examine this ecological fallacy with the assumption that these facts were correct. (page 822)

Other relevant pieces:

"A Test of Durkheim's Theory of Suicide"[3]
"Suicide and Religion: Did Durkheim Commit the Ecological Fallacy, or Did Van Poppel and Day Combine Apples and Oranges?"[4] (talk) 03:24, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Why isn't my edit/reply showing up? (talk) 03:37, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! It's important that inserted material be properly referenced. I'll check out the sources more thoroughly as soon as I have time. Or perhaps you could include them yourself. If you need any help on how to cite sources, feel free to check out Wikipedia:Citing sources, which always gives good guidelines on how to do it :) --m3taphysical (talk) 04:26, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Alright, it's fixed! --m3taphysical (talk) 18:54, 4 December 2009 (UTC)


I thought Emile Durkheim was best known for his idea of Collective Representations? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:18, 24 February 2010 (UTC)


If there is anyone who watches this page who also knows quite a bit about Rousseau, could you contact me? Thanks, Slrubenstein | Talk 13:37, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Individualism and the Intelectuals[edit]

As far as I can tell, Durkheim's "Cult of Humanity" starts from this paper, which was written, at least partly, as a response to the Drefus Affair. There seems to be no reference to it on wikipedia. I think it's important, but don't really have a good appreciation. If someone agrees, and does, could they write it in, please? (talk) 03:11, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Not B-class[edit]

This article is not referenced well enough for a B-class. It is C-class. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 20:39, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Unreferenced content[edit]

I am moving some unreferenced content here. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 23:45, 7 April 2011 (UTC)


In classical sociology, the study of religion was primarily concerned with two broad issues:

  1. How did religion contribute to the maintenance of social order?
  2. What was the relationship between religion and capitalist society?

These two issues were typically combined in the argument that industrial capitalism would undermine traditional religious commitment and thereby threaten the cohesion of society. More recently the subject has been narrowly defined as the study of religious institutions.

In his article, 'The Origin Of Beliefs' Émile Durkheim placed himself in the positivist tradition, meaning that he thought of his study of society as dispassionate and scientific. He was deeply interested in the problem of what held complex modern societies together. Religion, he argued, was an expression of social cohesion. His underlying interest was to understand the existence of religion in the absence of belief in any religion's actual tenets. Durkheim saw totemism as the most basic form of religion. It is in this belief system that the fundamental separation between the sacred and the profane is most clear. All other religions, he said, are outgrowths of this distinction, adding to it myths, images, and traditions. The totemic animal, Durkheim believed, was the expression of the sacred and the original focus of religious activity because it was the emblem for a social group, the clan. Religion is thus an inevitable, just as society is inevitable when individuals live together as a group.

Durkheim presented five elementary forms of religious life (The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life; Conclusion) to be found in all religions, from the more "primitive" to Judeo/Christian/Moslem. These are: 1. Sacred/Profane division of the world; 2. Belief in souls,spirits, mythical personalities 3. Belief in divinity, either local or multi-local 4. a negative or ascetic cult within the religion 5. Rites of oblation, communion, imitation, commemoration or expiation.

He argued that these five forms were communal experiences, thereby distinguishing religion from magic.

Durkheim thought that the model for relationships between people and the supernatural was the relationship between individuals and the community. He is famous for suggesting that "God is society, writ large." Durkheim believed that people ordered the physical world, the supernatural world, and the social world according to similar principles.

It was the individual’s way of becoming recognizable within an established society. Belief in supernatural realms and occurrences may not stem through all religions, yet there is a clear division in different aspects of life, certain behaviours and physical things.

In the past, he argued, religion had been the cement of society—the means by which men had been led to turn from the everyday concerns in which they were variously enmeshed to a common devotion to sacred things. His definition of religion, favoured by anthropologists of religion today, was, "A religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, i.e., things set apart and forbidden--beliefs and practices which unite in one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them." (The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, Book 1, Ch. 1)

Durkheim believed that “society has to be present within the individual.” He saw religion as a mechanism that shored up or protected a threatened social order. He thought that religion had been the cement of society in the past, but that the collapse of religion would not lead to a moral implosion. Durkheim was specifically interested in religion as a communal experience rather than an individual one. He also says that religious phenomena occur when a separation is made between the profane (the realm of everyday activities) and the sacred (the realm of the extraordinary and the transcendent); these are different depending what man chooses them to be. An example of this is wine at communion, as it is not only wine but represents the blood of Christ. Durkheim believed that religion is ‘society divinised’, as he argues that religion occurs in a social context. He also, in lieu of forefathers before who tried to replace the dying religions, urged people to unite in a civic morality on the basis that we are what we are as a result of society.

Durkheim condensed religion into four major functions:

  1. Disciplinary, forcing or administrating discipline
  2. Cohesive, bringing people together, a strong bond
  3. Vitalizing, to make livelier or vigorous, vitalise, boost spirit
  4. Euphoric, a good feeling, happiness, confidence, well-being

===Law=== Beyond the specific study of crime, criminal law and punishment, Durkheim was deeply interested in the study of law and its social effects in general. Among classical social theorists he is one of the founders of the field of sociology of law. In his early work, he saw types of law, distinguished as repressive versus restitutive law (characterised by their sanctions), as a direct reflection of types of social solidarity. The study of law was therefore of interest to sociology for what it could reveal about the nature of solidarity. Later, however, he emphasised the significance of law as a sociological field of study in its own right. In the later Durkheimian view, law (both civil and criminal) is an expression and guarantee of society's fundamental values. Durkheim emphasised the way that modern law increasingly expresses a form of moral individualism - a value system that is, in his view, probably the only one universally appropriate to modern conditions of social solidarity.[2] Individualism, in this sense, is the basis of human rights and of the values of individual human dignity and individual autonomy. It is to be sharply distinguished from selfishness and egoism, which for Durkheim are not moral stances at all. Many of Durkheim's closest followers, such as Marcel Mauss, Paul Fauconnet and Paul Huvelin also specialised in or contributed to the sociological study of law.


Durkheim also theorised a direct correlation between the the increasing gap of the wealthy and the poor, and the distrust they hold for each other. As the wealth move further from the poor, they begin to see each other as a threat to their security. As such, the wealthy adopt more draconian methods of crime prevention, such as broadening the the definition of crime, or adopting new technologies that further broaden the gap and target the offender and innocent alike.


Durkheim was also interested in education. Partially this was because he was professionally employed to train teachers, and he used his ability to shape curriculum to further his own goals of having sociology taught as widely as possible. More broadly, though, Durkheim was interested in the way that education could be used to provide French citizens the sort of shared, secular background that would be necessary to prevent anomie in modern societies. It was to this end that he also proposed the formation of professional groups to serve as a source of solidarity for adults.

Durkheim argued that education has many functions:

  1. To reinforce social solidarity
    • History: Learning about individuals who have done good things for the many makes an individual feel insignificant.
    • Pledging allegiance: Makes individuals feel part of a group and therefore less likely to break rules.
  2. To maintain social role
    • School is a society in miniature. It has a similar hierarchy, rules, expectations to the "outside world." It trains young people to fulfill roles.
  3. To maintain division of labour.
    • School sorts students into skill groups, encouraging students to take up employment in fields best suited to their abilities.

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Émile Durkheim/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects: Satisfied that there is sufficiently broad coverage
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc: No evidence of edit wars
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales: All images have an appropriate tag and are either out of copyright or licensed under CC
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions: All images have a suitable caption
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:

Reviewer: Pi (Talk to me! ) 00:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm going to take a break. I'll be back to finish this in a bit.

The reviewer hasn't edited in a month, so a new one will need to be found. Wizardman Operation Big Bear 15:39, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 21:07, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Émile Durkheim/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer:Tom Morris (talk) 00:25, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    I have some slight concern that technical terminology is introduced but not always explained clearly. An example might be the concept of a social fact which is used five times in the article before the section on social facts. Not being a sociologist, I was rather looking forward to learning what Durkheim believed a social fact to be. Imagine my disappointment when I learn that it is "a term he coined to describe phenomena that have an existence in and of themselves and are not bound to the actions of individuals". Okay. Do rocks count? Probably not. That's a childish thing to say. Is suicide a social fact? A flag is a social fact, apparently. The description of the concept is slightly unclear to this sociological layman.
    I think the placement and delayed definition are fine, but you are right hat the concept was lacking something in the first sentence. I added as the third quality that social facts "have a coercive influence upon [individuals]", I think this now clarifies why a rock wouldn't really count. Of course, I see how we could go into semantics and claim that everything has a coercive aspect, and Durkheim's definition and discussion have been both expanded and criticized by others to address that. Personally, I'd add another clarification - that material social facts are artifacts created by humans (so, nature products like a rock wouldn't count), but frankly, I just spend 5 minutes looking and failing to find a clear ref for that. However, <ref name="AllanAllan2009">{{cite book|author1=Kenneth Allan|author2=Kenneth D. Allan|title=Explorations in Classical Sociological Theory: Seeing the Social World|url=|accessdate=9 June 2011|date=2 November 2009|publisher=Pine Forge Press|isbn=9781412978125|page=106}}</ref> does call material social facts cultural artifacts, and those are of course man-made objects. If you think that a clarification that a material social facts is man-made, based on that ref, would be helpful and justified, I'd gladly add it. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 21:20, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
    I know that John Searle later reused this concept of a social fact rather like this: just as there is a physical fact that underlies the truth conditions for a sentence of the sort "There is a glass on my kitchen table", there exists a social fact that underlies the truth conditions for a sentence of the sort "Barack Obama is the President of the United States of America". There isn't some physical test you can do on: you couldn't grab some DNA and prove that someone is the President.
    I do not know whether Searle's description coming out of an analytic philosophy kind of milieu is running on the same sort of track as Durkheim. That is not actually the issue. But I'd suggest here that there is a useful point of comparison: in the sentences that make up the previous paragraph, I gave an example of the sort of prose that would be appropriate to explain a concept like a social fact. It uses an example, it draws a distinction with a fairly familiar sense of the word as we ordinarily use it and clearly delineates between different kinds of thing.
    It is helpful, but I tend to avoid unreferenced examples. Is there MoS that discusses whether examples need to be referenced?
    In the section "Society, collective consciousness and culture", there is the following sentences:
    In a socioevolutionary approach, Durkheim described the evolution of societies from mechanical solidarity to organic solidarity (one rising from mutual need). Thus the division of labor was counteracting and replacing collective consciousness.
    (I've omitted the footnotes.)
    The paragraph does go on to explain the differences. But what is the context of the second sentence I have quoted above? The division of labour counteracts and replaces collective consciousness... why? Is that a product of Durkheim describing these concepts of solidarity? Or is it a product of the evolution from one to the other? Or is it a product of the new form of solidarity (organic solidarity). An aside: the links used for mechanical and organic solidarity both point straight to Solidarity.
    I've clarified this (I hope) in the new version. And yes, organic solidarity, mechanical solidarity, as well as organic society and mechanical society need some attention, to say the least. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 21:20, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
    The changes don't go quite as far as I'd like. Social facts is now understandable. The prose for solidarity still could be improved, but I'm happy to pass the criteria—it demands clear prose rather than clarity in the underlying concepts. If the sources do not provide enough material to make the prose any clearer, I have to err on the side of charity. —Tom Morris (talk) 12:51, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
    The prose is syntactically fine, but often it doesn't serve to enable easy understanding for the reader.
    I'm not going to fail it for prose, but it currently is not "clear" as the GA requirements require. If it can be improved in the short term, I'll pass it. I'm reasonably satisfied that it meets the requirements for criteria 1(b).
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    The links all work. Impressively well-referenced.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    It passes at GA, but one possible area of improvement would be this: more information on the influence that Durkheim had on sociology overall. The section on 'Establishing sociology' lists a few of his accomplishments such as the influence on structural functionalism, and also lists a rather impressive list of thinkers and academics he influenced including sociologists as well as psychologists (Piaget) and others (Geertz, Foucault). It would have perhaps been useful if it could cover more of the influence and reaction to Durkheim's work in sociology and in other field's—I know he has been influential in certain theological circles for instance.
    A valid point, but my expertise and the texts I used are from sociology. If there is something accessible online one could recomment, such as a Durkheim section in an intro to theology book on Google Print, I'd gladly see if there is anything relevant. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 21:20, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
    No NPOV issues.
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
    No edit warring or other similar issues.
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    Everything is out of copyright and on Commons. No issues.
  7. Overall:
    If the issues I raised in the discussion of criteria 1 can be resolved reasonably quickly, I'm happy to pass the article with congratulations to the authors for their hard work so far.
    These issues have now been resolved, so I'm declaring the article as having passed GA standard. —Tom Morris (talk) 12:51, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the review. I hope I addressed your concerns. Please let me know if further action is needed. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 21:20, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

French pronunciation[edit]

Émile Durkheim[edit]

Copied from my talk-page:

Hello Omnipaedista, could you please explain me this edit? Thanks, Korg (talk) 20:11, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
The transcription you had added was completely arbitrary; I provided the correct one: [5] & [6]. --Omnipaedista (talk) 00:16, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
The transcription I added was certainly not arbitrary. It reflects how his name is commonly pronounced in French. On the contrary, the links you provided do not show the correct pronunciation (I would be tempted to add a negative vote to the Forvo pronunciation, and I'll correct the transcription on the German Wikipedia). Please have a look at this video: [7] (at approximately 03:10 and 03:35). Regards, Korg (talk) 13:45, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the very interesting link! Is it the case then that the pronunciation given at Forvo is an alternative (less common/"uninformed") one? --Omnipaedista (talk) 06:40, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't know... Personnally I've never heard this one before, but that doesn't mean it is incorrect per se. In any case, the article should mention the other pronunciation. Would you please undo your revert? Thanks, Korg (talk) 16:34, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
I will copy/paste our discussion to Durkheim's article talk-page and undo my revert as soon as possible. --Omnipaedista (talk) 14:36, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

But I am still uncertain; apart from the German Wikipedia, most online sources (such as [8], [9] and [10]) give [dyʀˈkɛm] as well. On the other hand, Lévi-Strauss himself clearly pronounces Durkheim as [dyʁkajm]. Should we include both in the lede? It'd be nice if we could find a more reliable source. --Omnipaedista (talk) 18:51, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Rousseau deux[edit]

If there is anyone who watches this page who also knows quite a bit about Rousseau, could you contact me? Thanks Slrubenstein | Talk 20:25, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Is "Aurangzeb" reference a prank?[edit]

This sentence, "In this argument, Durkheim was acknowledged by a pet name Aurangzeb" seems like a prank. It does not make sense in context, and I know of no anecdote connecting Durkheim with Aurangzeb. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gruntledky (talkcontribs) 01:05, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

How to mention evidence against Durkheim's theory of category?[edit]

This article does not mention it, and I'm nost sure if it is relevant, but there is an interesting review article in Annual reviews in sociology by Albert Bergesen considering the evidence supporting Durkheim's theory of mental categories. He comes to the conclusion that: "this review concludes that the Durkheimian theory of the social origin of mind has little empirical support and suggests that the sociology of mental life needs to be radically retheorized."

I think this might be of some sort of relevance here... (talk) 10:01, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

This may be more relevant in an article on the topic, although I think we would need to create it first. Or at least redirect the Theory of category and theory of the social origin of mind. Perhaps you'd like to create an account and then start a new article? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 10:04, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

WP:COPYPASTE on this page is a false positive[edit]

The duplicate detector report reports common phrases such as "childhood and education", "the french school", and "the effect of", which do not constitute copy-pasting. The copypaste message should be removed. —Mark Bao (talk) 02:56, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

I've removed the copypaste template from this article (permalink to revision). —Mark Bao (talk) 21:34, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
But, the copied sentences were not discovered using a "duplicate detector report" (see discussion above). The possibility of finding long sentences (see above discussio under heading "plagiarism") in the exact form on two pages are astronomically small. I'm going to put it back untill we have the time to remove the copied content.--2001:708:110:201:216:CBFF:FEBD:2D9C (talk) 09:57, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Understood, thanks for the update. —Mark Bao (talk) 01:21, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
@Mark Bao and 2001:708:110:201:216:CBFF:FEBD:2D9C: It seems to me that any problematic content has been long rewritten. What remains is two or three phrases which are perfectly fine. Unless you want to suggest that "the dreyfus affair" is a phrase that only Britannica can use, this report seems pretty spurious to me. I endorse Mark's removal of the template. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:07, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
It seems like some suspect phrases have simply been paraphrased. Original: "This was not due to provincialism or lack of attention to the concrete" Article: "Neither provincialism nor inadequate attention to the concrete seems to have been the case." Is this acceptable by Wikipedia standards? Best, —Mark Bao (talk) 15:18, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Depends on how close it is. Looking at Wikipedia:Close_paraphrasing#Example, I don't think what we see here fits the "close" definition, which would require removal of said content; hence I think that the existing significantly rewritten text is fine. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 02:59, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

I have removed what does appear to be plagiarism in this article. This diff shows the content has been copied from the Britannica article. GorillaWarfare (talk) 15:17, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

@GorillaWarfare and Mark Bao: With this content removed, can we remove the plagiarism warning tag? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 02:31, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
@GorillaWarfare and Piotrus: Piotr, I believe you removed the plagiarism warning tag in a previous revision, and GorillaWarfare removed text that appeared to be plagiarism. Psychonaut added a copyvio-revdel which maybe GorillaWarfare should take a look at. —Mark Bao (talk) 04:10, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

I am removing the template, as nobody is stating here that any copyvio problems persist. Ah, this is not a template I can remove, as a non-admin. Sigh. It's been there for a month, nearly... User:Moonriddengirl, could you look at this? It's a high visibility article, we should prioritize fixing this (and I hope it would be simple here, just delete few revisions... through is such deletion even supported by our policies?). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 10:02, 19 May 2014 (UTC)


"According to Comte, a true social science should stress for empirical facts, as well as..." What should it stress? The soundness of its foundations? (talk) 12:38, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Notable Works Section[edit]

It would be a boost on a variety of authors if we included a list of their works with links to buy them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:21, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

First, Wikipedia is not a place to advertise, well, anything. Second, this is not a place to discuss this topic, but Monsieur Durkheim. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 12:41, 14 February 2015 (UTC)