Models, Metaphors, Lamarckisms and the Emergence of ‘Scientific Sociology’

  • Snait B. Gissis


The aim of this chapter is to answer the following question: ‘How and why were models, mechanisms, analogies, metaphors and assumptions that could be characterized as Lamarckian-Spencerian, neo-Lamarckian perceived to be especially congenial to an emerging sociology seeking to become a scientific discipline in the latter part of the nineteenth century, and even in the early twentieth century?’ In answering this question, I shall briefly address the following issues: determinism and plasticity, individuals and collectivities, heredity and inheritance, and deal primarily with Herbert Spencer and Émile Durkheim.

This essay is dedicated to the memory of Silvan S. Schweber


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Snait B. Gissis
    • 1
  1. 1.Cohn InstituteTel AvivIsrael

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