Tarde’s ‘Psychological Statistics’

  • Raymond Boudon


We have lost the habit of reading Tarde, and certainly not just recently. Even very old sociology textbooks include scarcely more on Tarde than a more or less paraphrased version of Durkheim’s critique. The same applies to a recently published work.2 The treatment Tarde gets from these authors is little worse than that accorded to Durkheim himself. They make repeated comments about the “psychologism” of the one and the “sociologism” of the other and endlessly discuss the ontological level at which the “conscience collective” is to be understood; they do get round to a discussion of “imitation”, recognising that the notion is less naive and therefore more inaccessible than is generally believed.


Psychological Statistics Public Prosecutor Criminal Statistic Synchronic Analysis Diachronic Analysis 
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  1. 2.
    R. Daval et al., Traité de psychologie sociale, Volume I (Presses Universitaires de France, 1963).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    A. Pizzorno, “Lecture actuelle de Durkheim”, European Journal of Sociology, Vol. III, 1962, p. 2.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    H. Hyman, Survey Design and Analysis (Glencoe, Ill.: The Free Press, 1955);Google Scholar
  4. H. Selvin, “Durkheim’s Suicide and Problems of Empirical Social Research”, The American Journal of Sociology, 63 (1958), pp. 607–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 21.
    F. Simiand, Le salaire, l’évolution sociale et la monnaie (Paris: Alcan, 1932) especially pp. 5–25.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond Boudon

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