Social Facts, Cognitive Individualism and Individual Determinism

Author/s Tommaso Vitale
Publishing Year 2012 Issue 2011/95
Language Italian Pages 16 P. 49-64 File size 230 KB
DOI 10.3280/SR2011-095003
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The article discusses the controversy between social facts in Durkheim’s theory and explanations founded on a radicalized version of methodological individualism, based on cognitive neurosciences and genetic explanations. The variation of suicide rates is a theme that provides a good illustration of the two approaches. After reviewing Durkheim’s inheritance and the main criticisms of his theory, the difference between etiological and morphological typologies is discussed. The theme of legitimacy is then examined from the different perspectives of the two approaches: in the first case, it depends on institutions on the basis of individuals’ cognitive processes, in the second it is based on universal elements present in individuals’ biological constitutions.

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Tommaso Vitale, Fatti sociali, individualismo cognitivo e determinismo individuale in "SOCIOLOGIA E RICERCA SOCIALE " 95/2011, pp 49-64, DOI: 10.3280/SR2011-095003