Gustave Belot, Critic and Admirer of Durkheim

An Introduction

in Durkheimian Studies
Author:
W. S .F. Pickering University of Oxford william.pickering@anthro.ox.ac.uk

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In Durkheim’s time, Gustave Belot was an active, well-known participant in debates on social issues. Nowadays he is a marginal, largely forgotten figure. This essay aims to provide an introduction to his life and work, in which he was in many ways sympathetic with Durkheim’s project for a social science but was also highly critical of it. The discussion concentrates on Belot’s position on ethics and religion, to bring out where he supported Durkheim and where he attacked him on these two areas of central concern to them both. In particular, it focuses on Durkheim’s critique of Belot’s Etudes de morale positive, then in turn on Belot’s critique of Durkheim’s Formes élémentaires.

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Durkheimian Studies

Études Durkheimiennes

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