SOCIOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY IN FRANCE SINCE 1945: DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF A PHILOSOPHY WITHOUT SUBJECT Author(s): PIERRE BOURDIEU

and JEAN-CLAUDE PASSERON Source: Social Research, Vol. 34, No. 1, Focus—Contemporary French Philosophy (SPRING 1967), pp. 162-212 Published by: The New School Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40969868 . Accessed: 22/08/2011 05:33
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

The New School is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Social Research.

http://www.jstor.org

SOCIOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY IN FRANCE SINCE 1945: DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF A PHILOSOPHY WITHOUT SUBJECT
BY PIERRE BOURDIEU AND JEAN-CLAUDE PASSERON
he reader a systematic JL will findin thispaperneither history and schools or philosophical events which have ofthesociological in Francesince1945,nora philosophy of one another succeeded or of the history of sociology, the history of philosophy but a in order ofthemaintrends ofsociology torestore which, sociology and to doctrines, fullmeaning their to works tries to relatethem in other to their cultural tries to showhowposicontext, words, and oppositions in theintellectual field tions are connected with or implicitly attitudes.1 It is withthis explicitly philosophical in mindthatwe have prepared thisoutlineof a sociology of unconscious which at affinities French aims uncovering sociology, and at deciphering rather declaredaffiliations, thandescribing of declarations rather than literally accepting implicit purposes intent. remarks, For,as A. O. Lovejoy or "Thereare,first, assumptions, explicit implicit incompletely in the mentalhabits,operating or more or less unconscious which It is thebeliefs or a generation. of an individual thought are rather of coursethatthey are so mucha matter tacitly preand the of than for, argued ways expressed formally supposed are not and inevitable that natural so seem which they thinking often are that with theeyeoflogical scrutinized self-consciousness,
i Cf.P. Bourdieu, Noet projetcréateur," TempsModernes, "Champ intellectuel vembre1966,pp. 865-906.

SOCIOLOGY

AND PHILOSOPHY

163

more decisive of the characterof a philosopher'sdoctrine,and still oftener of an age." 2 of the dominantintellectualtendencies Whethertheydeplore it or welcome it, French and foreign observers theclose linkwhichhas always are agreedin recognizing existed between French sociologyand philosophy. The exception provesthe rule: those who date the appearance of a truly scientific sociologyin the post-war period (i.e., fromthe moment when certain sociologistsopenly repudiated any philosophical motivation) expressby thatveryfacta philosophy unconsciously of scienceand at the same time reveal theirplace in the French intellectualfield,whereany takingof a positionwhich is objectivelydefinedin termsof its opposition to other positionshas when Michel Crozierwelphilosophicalimplications.Similarly, in autonomization of the social the sciences,"the emercomes, or "the more and more gence of a new conceptionof rationality" 8 of action scientific intelligence," by far-reaching appropriation is he not proposing, in spite of himself, a philosophyof history
2 A. O. Lovejoy,The GreatChain of Being,A Studyof the History of an Idea, HarvardUniversity 1936, Press, Cambridge: p. 7. » M. Crozier, "La Revolution culturelle," Daedalus,December1963. It is evident less this articlewe are going to deal with Americansociology that throughout of ideas than as its social image been in its main stream as whatit has actually in France,whether in the mindsof mostintellectuals theyused this synthetical as a bogeyor as a mythical of American guaranteefor sociology representation theirown work. It is irrelevant that in the 'fifties some Frenchneo-positivists withsociological claimedkinship whichhad, in fact, ceasedto empiricism, wrongly dominate research in the UnitedStatessincethe 'thirties, or thatthe ignorance of the greatsociological theories of the 19thcentury could hide behind the example of an American thathad rediscovered the theoretical of Marx, sociology significance Weberand Pareto alreadybefore1939 (through the worksof Parsons Durkheim, and Mills,forinstance).The failure to appreciate theAmerican schools of sociology an objective and theirdiversity constitutes factof the history of ideas. This is the we are goingto consider theauthors, and works, objectofour study.Moregenerally, streams of ideas through the representations thathave been the conditions of their of an intellectual theireffective conpenetration public, ratherthan examining tributions to thehistory of philosophy or to thehistory of science. Besidesthe fact that these contributions could not be discerned except by a limitednumberof a thorough theirevaluationwould necessitate specialists, epistemological analysis, whichwas not the intent of thispaper. Moreover, thiswould ultimately make us we obviously could not pretend to, adopt thepointof viewof posterity, something if onlyby way of omission or lack of cautiousness.

164

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

which is ultimately that seeks its nothingbut a neo-positivism guaranteein Americansociologyand civilization? that leads some scholarsto Is it not the same presupposition see in quantitativeresearch,as it has developed in the United of rationalsociology end of the history and, by States,the fitting characterof all sociothe same token,the test of the scientific of history logical research, past or present?Again,when a writer a of scientific defeat as future in the sociology represents perfect of Durkheimismover such competingtendenciesas the victory thoseof Le Play, Tarde, Worms et al., is he not basing history's of science? To explain the on a philosophy judgmentof the facts of Durkheimism by the positionsof power occupied by triumph is to ignore the in the universities Durkheimand his followers extent to which the apparentlyscientific disputes about Durkof the heimismwere part of the political and religiousconflicts time; it also gives away somethingof the philosophical tenets underlyingwhat is apparentlyonly a sociological description. or philosophers what Frenchsociologists whether bring Similarly, of a denial is guiltyawareness into the debate over Durkheimism satisfaction it is triumphant of originsor whether resultingfrom to unchallenged attachment or again,unconditional emancipation, do theynot invariably tradition, manage to conceal the only real which not Are of discussion? many of the descriptions subject appear to deal with questions of fact regardingthe historyof Frenchsociologyreallydealing with an epistemological question whichis neverformulated? If,in all itsphases,sociology expresses, it knowsit or not, philosophit meansit or not,whether whether ical options,cannot the relationsbetweensociologyand philosor can, for formsand significations, ophy assume verydifferent example, philosophicalquestions which absolve or remove one fromany sociologicalpracticeor whichsociologicalpracticefeels to the philosophical compelledto take into account in deference fashionof the day be confusedwith thosequestionswhichsociological practice poses to philosophersand, more importantly, those which are posed to sociological practice by and in that

SOCIOLOGY

AND PHILOSOPHY

165

an explicit epistepracticeitself?If, in thisway,one substitutes mological question for descriptionsgoverned by an implicit of the investimore by the relationship determined epistemology, to theobject,one cannot gatorto his peersthanby his relationship of sociology the history the questionconcerning avoid reinstating instead of wonderingby what miracle posed by neo-positivism: darknessto which the from the metaphysical sociologyescaped had condemnedit,oughtwe not in fact of Durkheimism triumph has been able to be askingourselves whyit is thatFrenchsociology masterempiricaltechniques to assimilate and, more particularly, which is not so difa scientific philosophy only by rediscovering fromthatof the Durkheimians? ferent One could easily be convinced of the appearance of a new philosophical orientation,both in the social sciences and in philosophyitself,judging by the combined cry of alarm from certain philosophersconfronted by the developmentof a subin which theyperceive,a little belatedly jectlessanthropology, conceptionof perhaps,a radical questioningof the spiritualistic of humanistic values. In the human person,or, more generally, at a philosophicalinteras an "attempt a reviewof a workoffered in an existentialist pretationof the presentstatus of criticism, and thesocial sciences," as againsttraditional thinking perspective, forChristian personalism spokesman JeanLacroix,theauthorized and, as such, a keen guardian of the rightsof the free mind, reassureshimself: of of the subject is not dead, if the thinking "The philosophy In this. a as Sartrecan inspiresuch profoundstudy opposition the authorshows that language is not to excessivestructuralism, absolutelyexhaustedby its linguisticbeing, nor its signification 4 by its functioning." Lucien GoldAt the oppositeend of the intellectualspectrum, how mann pointsout, in the name of the rightsof "historicity," to this criticize in a humanist it context, sociology "important is,
*L<? Monde, pp. 16-17, October 1966.

166

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

and combat it." 5 A similar anxiety makes Roger Garaudy, a Feuerbachianreaderof Marx, take fright at the theoretical antihumanismthat Louis Althusserbringsout in the Marxist tramomentum dition.6 And thereis no doubt that,when the first of the fashionof the day is spent,the destruction of the subject, and consequentlyof humanism,will be detected in Michel Foucault'slastbook,Les motset les choses("Words and Things"), the "archaeology of the social sciences."7 The ethnologists and sociologists, after all, have only made as Durkheim themselves social factsas things," guiltyof "treating And how a is it that this almost expressly taught centuryago. crimeso long escaped the defenders of the mind and of freedom if not because all the conditionsfor theirerrorwere presentin thecorpusdelicti? To speak of "structure" ratherthan "social body,"of the "unof the "savconscious"ratherthan the "collectiveconsciousness," age mind" ratherthan the "primitivemind;" to formulatethe which revives Durkheim's approach, new scientific philosophy, - much more appealing in the language of structural linguistics to biology; coarsereferences to the tasteof theday thansomewhat to recognizethe Durkheimian ancestry only throughthe most or the relatives the Englishcousin Radcliffe-Brown, respectable as Marcel whose executor, Mauss, position glorious testamentary saved him fromthe ridicule usually evoked by theoretassistant - all theseare so many kind ical professions of faithof the crudest the and from others channelsforhiding,from oneself, euphemistic or for archaism its intentsuspect truthof a scientific over-simplification and, at the same time,hostileto the credo of any philoor atheist. Did it not take Christian whether sophicalhumanism, all the prestigeand all the daring of a "heroic mediator" like fromdyingpheto make the transition Maurice Merleau-Ponty
5L. Goldmann, Sciences humaines et philosophie, Paris: Gonthier, "Mediation" Series, 1966 (to be published). « L. Althusser, Pour Marx, Paris, Maspero, 1965. 7 M. Foucault, Les mots et les choses, Paris: Gallimard, series "Recherches en sciences humaines", 1966.

SOCIOLOGY

AND PHILOSOPHY

167

nomenologyto renascentanthropology?In an article on "Le philosopheet la sociologie" ("The Philosopherand Sociology") de sociolowhichappeared in 1951 in the Cahiersinternationaux gie as well as in the courseof lectureshe gave the same year(Les - "The social sciences Sciencesde l'hommeet la phénoménologie he stressed,while specifically and phenomenology"), attacking Durkheimian definition of of the the"naturalist" religion, naivety of the eidetic analysis. Some yearslater,in the absolutepriority 8 he an article entitled "From Mauss to Lévi-Strauss," granted he did fail to but not its emancipation, ethnology philosophical - or, better, to reserve to philosophythe right to re-interpret - the existentialsignificance of the inanimate structures arouse built up or discoveredby the ethnologist. But the philosopher forat the same time,in 1950, did not have to do it all himself, in a foreword to Sociologieet Anthropologie, Claude Lévi-Strauss, the workof Mauss as a prefaceto his own in whichhe presented what must work,also broughtout in the role of the ethnologist of a have surpassedthe fondestexpectations phenomenologist: "The apprehension(which cannot be objective) of the unconscious formsof the activityof the mind nevertheless leads to it is a similar after all, processthat,in psysubjectivation;for, enables us to recoverour self,howeveralienated and, choanalysis, in ethnologicalinvestigation, to reach the most alien of other 9 personsas if he were anotherselfof ours." Far fromsupposing musthave had to advance in disguiseto gain thatthe sociologist we should perhapsconclude thatit was recognition, philosophical no easier forhim than forhis contemporaries to realize the sinof scientific intentions. his For, speakingmore generally, cerity
"De Mauss à Lévi-Strauss," 8M. Merleau-Ponty, in Signes,Paris, republished 1953. Simonede Beauvoirpublishedin Temps Modernesa reviewof Gallimard, élémentaires de la parenté("Elementary Structures structures of relationship") as of the work, the proofs of whichshe had earlyas 1949,i.e., upon the publication The Second Sex. This is an exampleof the asked to see while she was writing intercommunication which existsbetweenFrench intellectuals in different fields and of different persuasions. à l'Oeuvre de Marcel Mauss," in Sociologieet 9C Lévi-Strauss, "Introduction Paris,P.U.F. 1950,p. xxxi. Anthropologie,

168

SOCIAL RESEARCH

all the social sciencesnow live in the house of Durkheimism, to them,as it were, because they walked into it unbeknownst backwards. But as the philosophicalimportanceof the social sciencesincreases,we see the sociologistsbecoming more and more fully awareof thephilosophical importof whattheyare doing,whereas the philosophers, revertmore and more at one timeaccomplices, to their traditionaldiscourse about the "reductive" nature of the scientific explanation. It is this which makes one wonder whetherit was not because he had explained the philosophical of his sociology "whereases" thatDurkheimat once provokedthe reactionof the spiritualistic elements. The divisionof the intellectual fieldbetweenthe Durkheim school and its adversaries of everystripehad been so deep that it still dominatedthe French sociological scene as described by Marcel Mauss in 1933 and Raymond Aron in 1937: "The old rivals have not put down their arms; antagonisms and multiply. In France especially, the philosophers have persist energetically practiced their role as critics. For example, M. in his Problème de la Conscience,still sees the Brunschwicg, as trapped by a dilemma which, in his view, had sociologists like de Bonald beforehim,and from alreadyheld Comteprisoner, - as if such dialectical whichhe does not thinkDurkheimescaped in the progress and historical were of any importance arguments Les deux sources de la in his of a science! H. Bergson, book, religion et de la morale,while prepared to recognizethe part including Durkheim and others,in played by the sociologists, of those sources,nevertheless relegatesthe advancingknowledge to the realm of the 'closed', studiedby sociologists subject-matter the solidified. He reservesto psychology, philosophyand even of what is open, alive, trulypsychical to mysticism, the scrutiny 10 of moralsand religion/' and creativein matters
io M. Mauss, "La sociologie en France," 1914, La Science Française, Vol. I, Larousse, 1935.

SOCIOLOGY

AND PHILOSOPHY

169

"The complex character, and scientifically, of philosophically Durkheimiansociologyexplains the controversies it has aroused, the various kinds of opposition it has encountered:opposition - in thename of positivescienceDurkheim from thephilosophers castout philosophy onlyto end up, it seems,witha new,so-called scientific philosophy; oppositionfromindependentsociologists less systematic, anxious to keep the aspirations of the new science as regards morals and religion) within narrower (particularly limits;opposition,lastlyand above all, fromCatholicswho saw in thiscreationof government teachersan expressionof the lay and of modern a weapon againstreligion materialism, mentality and spirituality sociology drawninto the found itself willy-nilly traditional between the Catholic Church and Reason, and conflict that is why, in France, a distinctionmust be made between Catholic sociologyand university sociology,the latter primarily n under the influence of Durkheim/' As can be seen fromthe obituaryon Durkheimwritten by the Paul one of his Catholic Bureau, adversaries,the sociologist conflictbetween university sociology and the Le Play school occurredin the sphere of ultimate values, where no holds are barred: the time seems auspicious: the recentdeath of "Consequently, the undisputedleader of the French school of sociologyhas left thatschool in some disarray, as was inevitablethe day when the brilliantgiftsand propheticmastery of the incomparabledialecticianin Emile Durkheimwere no longerthereto mask the overweening rashness of conclusions deduced from an a priori ratherthan froma methodicalanalysisof philosophicalsystem the facts."12 into the logic of the intellectualfield, Thus, when translated where opposingviews,whatevertheirreal nature,must be pre11R. Aron,"La Sociologie" in Les Sciences socialesen France: enseignement et Preface recherche, 1937,pp. 16-17. by C. Bougie,Paris,Hartmann, 12p. Bureau,La sciencedes moeurs:introduction a la méthodesociologique, Paris,1923,preface.

170

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

of scientific the conflict sented in the trappings argumentation, disguise,that of appears in an even more deceptiveand effective a priority, theopposition and thedogmatic betweenfidelity to facts to whichitsopponents reducedDurkheimism. It maybe observed in passing that those who deplore the fact that the triumphof meant the triumphof dogmaDurkheimismin the universities tism over empiricalresearch,have adopted the view for which the opponentsof Durkheim had soughtto gain acceptancebut, value to Durkat the same time,refuseto accord any scientific heim's criticismof the "microscopicsociography"of his opponents. on had failed to impose completely What religiousorthodoxy succeeded of the Durkheimism, orthodoxy university philosophy in securing, if not fromDurkheimhimself, at least fromhis followers. There is, even today,a philosophiaperennisof teachers of philosophywhich,unaffected by the successionof schools of and by the teachingprocessin is handed on through philosophy, and compulsory ofoutlinesofthought theform problem-questions that is not for dissertation It surprising subjects). (as, example, his very university success compelled Durkheim to make conwhich to thissortof academicgood manners, siderableconcessions systemof requires one to recognize,if not a pre-determined values, at any rate the value of the subject,eitherindividual or collective,by whom values are posited. The records of the of the FrenchPhilosophicalSocietyreveal how Durkdiscussions on his opponents'ground,acceptingthe role heim had to fight a defenseand in the of defendantby the very fact of offering end yieldingto his opponentsby explainingthe reasonsfor his action in termsof the reasoningof his opponents.13Compelled forced to see his workin the objectiveterms upon him constantly
is The factthat Durkheim's affected was profoundly thinking by the categories as taughtat French of Kantianphilosophy and especially of classicalphilosophy, in his sociology of knowledge), evident universities explainswhy (as is particularly and contested was so quicklyperceived Durkheimism whyit by the philosophers, as valid, and lastly,why it whichit itselfregarded was susceptible to objections instruction and official could so easilyprovidematerialforroutinized pedagogism.

SOCIOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY

171

and theentire Durkintellectual field, byhisuniversity entourage heimwasled,at one and thesametime, to protest against vainly themisreading ofhisRèglesde la méthode ("Rules sociologique ofsociological method") bythespiritualistic (as can philosophers be seenin thepreface to thesecond and,contradictorily, edition) - as a challenge to enter intopolemics and put forward and out ofspite, as it were suchan extravagant and provocative version ofhisideas(one may for certain mechanistic remember, example, and biological to as his to the work, give eyesof a metaphors) an antiquated he wasled reader, or,again, superficial appearance; to retranslate into spiritualistic terms what the hypothesis of collective had previously consciousness madeit possible to regard as most achievements. positive thereis no doubt thatwhatDurkheim's Moreover, disciples on passed was thataspectof his workwhichhad been taxedthe most of theenvironment, forthey werecloserto bythedemands in whichthe shift thesocialconditions in Durkheim's thought took place than to the utterly inaccessible of the experience scientific revolution which the masterhad wrought. In the Annéesociologique of 1925,MarcelMausscontrasts thesituation of the second-generation with that of the first Durkheimians of theschool: members were andhisfirst Durkheim collaboraand,unlike "They young had not had to fight, but merely to exploita victory tors, they won. no had a method. They to devise already longer They could,and they did,applyit." remarked Maussin 1925, most ofthenewcomers, whohad But, beenrecruited from the classes from to 1910 1902 of the mainly Ecole Normale weredead,nearly all of themin the Supérieure, war. Although Mauss continuedto exercisegreat influence, Durkheimian like thoseof Granet and Meillet, works, although after1920,the Durkheimian werepublished schooltendedto no morethana university become form of support foran official and routinized, and the more it ideology. Institutionalized a subject ofinstruction, themoreit wascompletely became iden-

172

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

tified withthatprophet-like sanctification of society so profoundly shocking to the heirs of the Enlightenment Durkheim became indistinguishable of a secularand Radical froma stereotype of France,which,even beforethe war of 1939, a new generation MerleauMaurice thegeneration of RaymondAron, intellectuals, and Sartre, Ponty rejected lock, stock and barrel.14 Jean-Paul whichbecame apparentjust before The philosophical reaction, the outbreakof the war,foundfertile soil in the social and intellectual conditions of the Occupation and the Resistance,and subsequentlythe Liberation.15 There is no need to go into a detailedsociologicalanalysisof the intellectuallife of thisperiod to realize how much so manyof the themesand "commonplaces" of philosophyand literatureowed to the crisis throughwhich France had just passed.16 Behind what mighthave appeared to
i* However,the scholasticcontinuation of a Durkheimiantraditionwas at aroundhim,in the Social CélestinBougie collected least usefulforthe transition: were those of theEcole Normale Documentation Center who,after 1945, Supérieure, - RaymondAron, research to providethe impetusfor a renewalof sociological and Jean Stoetzel. L'Année Sociologique(that was agonizing GeorgesFriedmann sincethen)officially ceasedto existin as onlytwoissueswerepublished since1914, school became rarerand of the Durkheimian 1927. After1930,the publications in France:An Empiricist View" in as J. Stoetzel notes(J.Stoetzel, rarer, "Sociology ModernSociological New York,DrydenPress, H. Beckerand H. Boskoff, Theory, 1957). The Année Sociologiquewas replaced by the Annales Sociologiquesin of separatebookletsthe variousfieldsof study in the form 1934,whichsurveyed the bookleton generalsothatthe Annéehad dealt withtogether.For instance, was committed to the care of C. Bougie and R. Aron,but Mauss also pubciology in 1945,but it was resuscitated lisheda fewarticles in it. The AnnéeSociologique is no longerthe center thatit was in otherdays. of French sociology is As Sartre to theneweditionofAden Arabieby in 1960, in his preface observed which thepost-war before Paul Nizan,thegeneration dominated periodhad already and in particular with the the war brokenwith the philosophy of its teachers from Ravaissonto Brunschwicg. of neo-Kan one another tianswho followed dynasty - an aggressive Les chiensde garde by Nizan of this desire Apartfrom expression - the'thirties to breakaway ofLe malheur de la conscience dans saw thepublication on Hegel and the Hegelian la philosophie de Hegel by JeanWahl,variousarticles Les tendancesactuelles de la studies of AlexandreKoyré,Georges Gurvitch's allemandecontemporaine. and Raymond Aron'sLa sociologie allemande, philosphie i« Even though remain theresemblances pointedout by observers superficial, they - stillkeen amongthosewho wentthrough - of a do express thisperiod the sense betweenthe historical and the worksit inspired. connection profound experience in thethought ofSartre and in particular, Stoicechoes JeanWahlnotesthat"certain

SOCIOLOGY

AND PHILOSOPHY

173

to be a teeming massof trends and arguments, it is contemporaries of commonassumptions. onlytoo easyto see todaya whole system The philosophicalchoices which, at the time theywere made, musthave been feltas completebreakswiththe philosophies that dominatedintellectuallife beforethe war, were in realityessentially related to the philosophyof the subject, whetherin its or in its Bergsonian form. "Existentialism," Brunschwicgian Wahl observes,"certainlyopposed Bergsonian tendencies, Jean and comalthoughtodaywe can see manycommoncharacteristics mon tendenciesbetween Bergson and the existential philoso17 phers." For it is ratherby what might be called its "metaphysical tone" or, as Lovejoy says, its "mood," that the of thisperiod,at leastwhereits expression philosophical thinking is most impregnated by the atmosphereof the time, renovates themes and problems which remain unchanged in their basic à la philoassumptions. Thus, in RaymondAron's Introduction to the Philosophy of History"), sophie de l'histoire ("Introduction claimed it to be a critical of although philosophy historyand, Weber and Rickert, linked itselfto Kantian rationalism, through readers oftheperiod,sometimes readersleastlikelyto be confused, found a mine of dramatically existentialist queries on the conflictof values or the ambiguitiesof political commitment. The of the time could easily be summedup philosophicalsemantics - those, in fact,which in a few consecratedwords and phrases formed theheadlinesof themain reviews such as Espritor Temps Modernes:historicity, or the debate betweenmoralsand politics; class consciousness, or the debate between existentialism and or the debate between the genuine and Marxism;commitment,
the idea thatour freedom is intacteven whenwe are slaves,relate to a problem whichwas feltin the Resistance" française, (J. Wahl, Tableau de la philosophie be Paris,NRF, Idées,1962, p. 152).The relationship suggested by JeanWahl might endorsed who wrote in Qu'est-ce of the novelhimself, by Sartre que la littérature?, istsof the inter-war whichcould buoy up the spiritin periodthat"theirmorale, dailylife,and whichmight perhapshave been able to do so duringWorldWar I, In such times, men turnto Epicurus provedinadequatefora greatcatastrophe. or to Stoicism."(Paris,Gallimard, 1948,p. 247). it J. Wahl, op. cit.,p. 150.

174

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

exthe ungenuine.18 While it is true that this dramatization in the double language of philosophy and pressesitselfnaturally or Gabriel Marcel,it is Camus' thetheatre, as can be seen in Sartre L'homme révolté,a universalhistory of the existentialtragedy, and condenses the colorfulcut-outfigures that brings together whichconstitute the popular imageof existentialism. Never before, perhaps,has therebeen so completea manifestation of the logic peculiar to the French intellectualfield that requires everyintellectualto pronouncehimselftotallyon each and everyproblem. Every intellectualfelt himselfperpetually put on noticeby all the others(as can be seen froma sociological phenomenonof the period analysisof the most characteristic his intellectual statusby a political thepoliticalpetition)to justify in keepingwith his public image,and, more specicommitment to examineall the politicalconsequencesof his philosophifically, his politicaloptions.19 as also to justify cal options, philosophically of the of the philosophers thatthe bibliographies It is significant with works theoretical show alternating political works period of theday the entire of theproblems into discussions whichthrow Maurice theories. of their Merleau-Ponty, weightand reputation for example, although more closely bound than Sartre to the works and in his theoretical canonicaltextsof phenomenology, of thesocial sciences more whichdrewupon thelatestdiscoveries removedfromthat existentialcontact with the centuryalways du comportefollowsLa structure in theworkof Sartre, reflected of Behavior")withSens et non sens ("Sense ment("The Structure and Nonsense"),a collectionof essayson such diversesubjectsas
have been united,it is is "And as thereis no theater unlessall the spectators to all. We are common that so are that situations to find they general necessary of violence, thoseof the end and the means,of the legitimacy have our problems: betweenthe individualand the of action,the relationship of the consequences group, between indivdual initiativeand historicalinvariables." (J.-P. Sartre, in Sartre Paris,Seuil, 1958,p. 12). par lui-même, quoted by F. Jeanson i» Students life by reasonof theirstudiesand especially linked to intellectual not only the classesstill adopt today-the lag is inevitablethosein philosophy of such modern attitudes of thisperiodbut also the complete interests intellectual and Camus,who are studiedin theirsenioryear. as Malraux,Sartre classics

SOCIOLOGY

AND PHILOSOPHY

175

theartof Cézanne,the cinemaand the novel,and La phénoménoof Perception")with logie de la perception ("The Phenomenology Humanismeet terreur on ("Humanism and Terror"),a comment the historicalactions of communistparties. While, in general, - fromWeber, Pareto and Durkheim all European social thought - differs from the American to Aron and Lévi-Strauss tradition in that Marx and Marxism are of major importance as points of reference, in France the whole of intellectual life is affected by the existence of an CommunistParty,and by the presorganizedand long-standing ence ofa sizablegroupof Marxistintellectuals. Everyintellectual is consequently called upon by thede factosituationto justify his adherenceor non-adherence. For example, the first concern of Sartrein mostof his political writings is to explain the reasons for the position he is takingat the momentvis-à-vis the Communist Party,rangingfrompainful disassociations to unity of action,with or withoutmental reservations.While the imperative to commitoneselfis particularly compellingin the political connectedwith sphere,it applies equally to all fieldsof activity intellectuallife defined in very broad terms: "We must miss ofour time,"Sartrewrotein themanifesto withwhichhe nothing introducedthe first number of Temps Modernes.™ The works of Sartre, in whichwe see him takepositions on refusal of military serviceand help forthe Algerianresistance, as well as on the art of Nathalie Sarraute,the paintingof Lapoujade and the playsof Jean Genêt, and above all, the Temps Modernes, are perfect of this policyof being presentat all the outpostsof illustrations the intellectualfrontand participatingin all the avant-garde whichmayalso be identified, withhardlya variation movements, in sense,by the desire to "miss nothing." From the diary of a to the memoirsof a priest,fromthe military reminisprostitute an cencesof Indo-Chinawar veteranto the confessions of a taxidriver,fromwars of independenceto anti-semitism and the de20Sartre, "Présentation des Temps Modernes", Situations III, 1949, pp. 126-127.

176

SOCIAL RESEARCH

colonizationof women, it is always the same chasing afterthe latest"alienation/1 However,in choosingall the above examples from thesame district of the LeftBank,we do not wish to suggest that the unity of the intellectualfield extends no further. A Emmanuel Moucomparisonof the reviewEsprit,representing nier'spersonalist with Temps Modernesrevealsstrikmovement, ing coincidencesin the choice of causes and campaigns. Here - given the same seriousof tone that again, it is largelya matter - distinguishes ness of spirit,if not the same spiritof seriousness and alwaysgood-natured readinessfrompremeditated thoughtful and always ready ferocity.21 Such a to and fro of themesand thoughtssuggestsintensive of the intellectualdomain, which might be gauged integration fromthe highdegreeof intercommunication among the different of intellectuals. The categories organizationof the intellectual fieldin France undoubtedlyprovidesmore opportunity for contactthan is the case elsewhere. The best knownperiodicalsare, in fact, which distinguished receptivity, by theirundifferentiated enables themto print, side by side, a structural analysisof a myth and an articleon twelve-tone music or modern painting. Such a special class of intellectuals periodicalsencourageand attract - who are oftenmarkedby theirabilityto in generality specialists
21The titles are enoughto bringout of thesetworeviews of thespecialnumbers the convergence of preoccupations.That is to say, in 1945,for example,when thereappeareda special Sartre wroteLa Question Juive("The Jewish Question"), issue of Espritentitled "Les Juifs parlentaux nations"("The Jewsspeak to the "L'hommeamérinations"). In 1946,Espritpublisheda special numberentitled while Temps Modernesput out an issue on the United cain" ("The American") on Germany and fascism, States. In 1947,Espritpublishedtwo special numbers devotedan issue to Germany.Lastly,in 1951 there and in 1949 TempsModernes et lutte appeared a special numberof Esprit entitled"Conditionprolétarienne while in 1952 and the workers' ouvrière" struggle"), ("The stateof the proletariat and peace") in Temps et la paix" ("Communists "Les Communists Sartre published of a new kind (leisure, Modernes. From 1955 onwards, social problems education, "the new working class,"etc.) and economic women, problems, began to working of ideological but the difference make theirappearancein the two publications, theseproblems and tackled before moodis shownby the time-lag TempsModernes in with contrast the to to old its receptivity approaches problems, fidelity by greater out of the economic of Esprittoward the concerns boom. arising

SOCIOLOGY

AND PHILOSOPHY

177

fromone area to move, alwaysat the same level of generality, anfor example, to structural another fromelectoralsociology, a kind a of Thus small there arises republic letters, thropology. who ofkoine,or sometimes a linguafranca commonto thenovelist discusseshis worksin philosophicalterms,the philosopherwho of judgmentson the novelist'sart and the jourdelivershimself and everybody. nalistwho talksabout everything - "terminoloAn intellectualworld of such strongintegration logical," logical and moral conceals beneath patent sectarian disputesthe unspokenacceptanceof an orthodoxy. The shatterand markoff the phases whichpunctuatebiographies ing ruptures of intellectualhistory are possible only when based on a comare the which not be known because the pass-words may plicity materialmasterwordsof rejectionand repudiation:naturalism, and ism,positivism, analyticalatomization. explicativereduction Thus Sartre, who enteredupon the intellectualscene by making an attackupon Brunschwicg's idealism,ended by finduniversity - Comte,Taine, that had both the same absolute enemies ing they Durkheim: whereyou will and thatis the kind of de"Open a biography scriptionyou will find,interrupted by the recital of external idols of our era: eventsand by references to the greatexplanatory constitution." education,environment, heredity, physiological And at theconclusionof a polemicalattackon all the scientific acts of positivepractice,the inviolable rightsof subjectivity are reaffirmed: "This unitywhichis the being of the man in question is free unification. And unificationcan never come after a diversity that it unifies." . . . must When he laysdown thatthis"unityof responsibility to both the letterand the be personalunity,"Sartreis reverting of spirit personalism. is unifi"Being,forFlaubert,as forany subject of 'biography', of a novel project, cation in theworld . . . , it is the unification

178

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

a unification which is to reveal itselfto us as a non-substantial 22 absolute/' The wholesale rejection of the rightsof scientific positivity which found syncretic and indeterminate in a German support traditionconfusedlyunderstoodas a sort of confederationto combatpositivism, of thewayin whichspiritualistic is reminiscent eclecticism piled on Durkheim'shead all the sinsof materialism.23 As G. Davy noteswithregardto P. Bureau, "under the name of sociological materialismhe rejects simultaneouslyliberal economics,Marx's scientific socialism,Durkheim'ssociologismand own and all this,in the Catholic sociologist's social scienceitself, " 24 words,in order to 'accept the demandsof freedom.' of intellectual In relatingthe historical and social environment atlife to the attitudeof an entiregeneration an all-embracing than the to rather desire characterized titude by rejectutterly by we are of clear what is consciousness only being rejected any withmoredetail but also perhaps whatSartresuggests, indicating of with the corrections of retrospective illusion, in the fragment
22Sartre, L'êtreet le néant, Paris,NRF, 1943, p. 648. 23it is common of battlearraythe criticisms at thistimeto deployin extended of Husthe Comtian or Weber teeming argumentation positivism, against Dilthey the holismof or the sociologist, of the psychologist serl againstthe naturalism of the culled from the Goldsteinian teaching Kojève, the Hegelianism biology, or the excommunicatory of Kierkegaard certainties existential proffered prophecies withGerman oneself but the meansof familiarizing "ontics," against by Heidegger of German so pooras at thetimewhentheprestige were, rarely perhaps, philosophy of minorworks was at its height. The few translations, frequently philosophy from laboriousword-by-word whosedeliberately rendering gained added prestige - made any attempt at historical and parentheses a baroque use of hyphens perby the verysequenceof theirappearance. The Heideggerians spective impossible than one mightthink) who did not knowGerman(and theyweremorenumerous of Was ist Metaphysik? had to wait twenty-six yearsafterthe Frenchtranslation written before by a theysaw the Frenchof Sein und Zeit; and in the biographies Meditationen came beforeIdeen I and the Cartesianische numberof Husserlians, that replaced since it was commentary Consequently, LogischeUntersuchungen, could turnthe with the originalwork,the concealedcommentator directcontact commentawhilethe open and authorized of theworkto his own account, prestige the from reserved forthe wordsreceived in the recognition torcould glory directly lips of the master. 24P. Bureau, Introduction à la méthodesociologique, quoted by G, Davy in d'hieret d'aujourd'hui, Paris,f. Alean,1931,p. 11, Sociologies

SOCIOLOGY

AND PHILOSOPHY

179

intellectualautobiography to be found in the first pages of La Critique de la Raison Dialectique: "Under the influence of the war and the Russian revolution, - in oppositionto - only in theory, we set up violence of course the gentledreamsof our teachers. It was a sick violence (insults, which could brawls,suicides,murders,irreparablecatastrophes) have led us to fascism. But itsmeritin our eyeswas thatit placed the emphasison the contradictions of reality.. . . We plunged blindlyalong the dangerouspath of a pluralistrealismdirected at men and things in their'concrete'existence.. . . For a long and the individual/'25 the totality time,we confused The factthat,in orderto definethe philosophicalattitudesof the period,one has to rediscoverthe verylanguage used by its actorsto describetheperiodreminds us thatit would be extremely of the philosophers naïve to describeas naïve the relationship to their objects. Nevertheless, this philosophymanaged for some fifteen yearsto keep the "natural naïveté" of scientific practices at the lowestlevel of intellectualprestige and thereby helped to hold back the development of the human sciencesand especially the social sciences. While, in the prevailingphilosophicalclifroma theoretical benefited tolerance mate,psychology naturally a pre-eminent as offering forphenomenological pretext reworking, work which outside the had conSorbonne sociological proper, tinuedonlyin thefringe areas of electoralsociology and religious - and reduced their to most sociology sociographical aspects which had scarcelybegun to experience the firstreactions to Americanresearchhad, as one can imagine,little or no chance of attracting the mostenterprising minds. However,when it enlisted the phenomenologicalmethod in
Sartre, 25J.-P. Critiquede la Raison Dialectique,Paris,NRF, 1960,p. 24. One mustalso rereadthe preface to Aden Arabie,publishedin 1960,in whichSartre - in all likelihood,more authentically - the existentialposture which describes determined his philosophical attitude and surreptitiously opposedhim to a Nizan, who "spokelittleabout the humancondition but much about social matters" and who foundin Spinoza and Freud the answersto his questions(P. Nizan, Aden Arabie,preface Paris,Maspero, by Sartre, pp. 14 and 29-30).

180

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

the serviceof the insistent that demand for the totallyconcrete, intellectual with the canonicalrules brokecompletely generation and subject-matter liberated of university and thereby philosophy, anthropologicalscience from the conventionsthat had held it prisoner. By decreeing that the most ordinarysituations of lifewere worthy of phenomenological analysis, by obliteveryday erating any borderline between literatureand philosophy,by the café waiter,the allowing into the most theoretical writings man suffering frombrain damage,the experimental monkeyand and the in a of child the a the rat maze, drawings photographic which made of new this discourse, philosophical image, type for a social scilaid the groundwork everything philosophizable, ence intenton seeing in everyobject an object of science. The of RaymondQueneau or Boris Vian, playon wordsand on things Saturnini slang monologue in Le like philosophical parodies Chiendentor the irreverent jokes in L'Ecume des jours about to obliteratethe Partre" are all part of the same effort "Jean-Sol betweennoble and unworthy distinction subjects,betweenphiloand in theirown and down-to-earth things, sophicalgood manners from the everyday detachment with their humorous way,along called forby detachment life,theyintroducethe methodological the social sciences. While the empiricalresearchwhich began in the early 1950's the methodsand techniquesof Americansociology by borrowing otherthanthe on something theneed forbasinganalyses answered experienceof the analyst,the objects to which this researchwas directedpostulatedan intellectualfieldhaunted by immediately Marxism,the workingclass and the exploitationof labor. This we look at Chombardde Lauwe's urbanstudies is thecase whether and handion industrial or theresearch by Friedmann encouraged attraction to the its owed workers. This approachno doubt craft than the marfactthatit appeared to reconcile,morerealistically riage between verbal political commitmentand philosophical the demand fora total choice and, at the same time,scitheory, are still sufficiently entific rigor, The tracesof Sartre'sinfluence

SOCIOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY

181

in AlainTouraine'slastworkto provethatthechoice numerous of empirical can co-exist with as a totalexperience investigation in the philosophy of commitment. Everything Sociologiede 26 action from V therefusal to thestudy of to "reduce sociology socialdeterminisms considered as the pressure of a situation on behavior" to the effort not to provide as an objectof sociology of socialsystems but also the"agent, either onlythefunctioning collective or individual, who constitutes his social existence by in discussions, his commitment as a participant and dedisputes - showsthatthe "sociology mands" of freedom" (an expression used form the school of Le of with is a already by Play) philosophy whatwas "closed" leftto thesociologist as Bergson subject. Just and solidified, so Touraineconcedes and functo structuralism tionalism thestudy of socialsystems and symbolic while systems, to "actionalism" what he calls"thetotality and offorces reserving of forms in the that is to capable breaking up game," say Bergson's whatis open,vital,psychic and creative. And it is language, and even languagethatTouraine borrows Bergson's approach whenhe givespreference in which"thefaith to themoments of thebeliever the life of the overwhelms thebeliefof the church, militant conviction of the teacher the upsetspoliticalstrategy, 27 communication." goes beyond pedagogic The samedesire toreconcile totaltheoretical commitment with a concern fortheconcrete is reflected also in a kindof literature which hasbeenappearing since1958and whoseprophetic pathos hasas itsfavorite thecollective themes of civiliza"mass tragedies marvels of an "affluent and the tion,"thescience-fiction society" mutation" about the efficient "anthropological brought by magic of modern meansof communication. This commentary on our age,whichdoes not excludethe empirical any morethanit is excluded hasproliferated so muchonlybecause bytheempirical, all thesociological for conditions itssuccess werepresent: (1) The
26A. Touraine, Sociologie de l'action, Paris, Seuil, 1965. 27Touraine, "La raison d'être d'une sociologie de l'action/' Revue Française de Sociologie, Octobre-December 1966.

182

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

who had been excluded fromor had availabilityof intellectuals leftthe CommunistParty, afterthe crisisof conscienceprovoked in themby the Budapestevents, into sociologicalor parabrought who found in sociologicalproductionsome Marxist part-timers forthe total,or the tortured, a substitute comUtopiansociology whichadherenceto Stalinism had been formanyof them. mitment the membersof thisnew intellectualgenera(2) More generally, tion broughtup in the period when existentialism was triumphant, were inclined to adhere to old intellectualattitudesin theirmannerof approachingnew fields,especiallyas their unitraininghad more often introducedthem to a pathetic versity whichwas like manna fromheaven for vulgateof existentialism, 28of the late 1940's,than to the hypokhagnes phenomenological therefore more ascetic and somethingonly thought,something of forthosewhoseuniversity specialization (itself, course,the proof intellectual ductofa sociallyconditionalhierarchy reputations) works. Lastly,(3) reference of thenecessary led themto thestudy of of major problemsand the disintegration the fragmentation of the old allegiancespromotedthe appearance of new systems in the intellectualfield. For a fewyears,forexample, affiliation - which is to Temps Modernes what a the review Arguments group of minor prophetsis to a circle of disciples around the - proposed a world-widemeditation which found the master of its marvelsin a mutual assistance pact thatmade posbrightest of distinctions the fine on sible polemics Marxologywithoutany humor and without any consequences. This marginal intelliespeciallyin gentsiafound its favorablepublic among students, of numbers is enough to cause a Paris, where the mere effect feeling of loneliness and confusion the basis of all Utopian dreams. It is obviouslyno accidentthat the mystiqueof group utopias brieflyassumed the dynamics and psychotherapeutic in a sectarianhubbub of reciproof canonicalreligiosity features cal excommunications.
28 Universityslang for students showing a serious but still immature approach to life's problems, with a connotation somewhat similar to that of "sophomores."

SOCIOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY

183

oftheintellecIn setting itself sub-system up as an autonomous to a was reverting tual universe, the worldof the sociologists the which of structuration not unlike that governed principle life in the preceding of philosophical period: the organization with of American-inspired confrontation ostensible positivism ofworld-wide thehumanism ofhistoricity or thepathos modernity on a based common a conceals complicity actually deep-seated The and a common intellectual socialsituation Arguments past. ofperits carried to like the degree generation, group, preceding with a coquettish fection the art of maintaining relationship the selected within a man'stotalwork, works thereby replacing interof thereader to thetotalworkas a systematic relationship with an of and to follow effort the rogation sequence arguments, a who are unitedin theirtastefor between readers relationship themutualexcitation from derived allusiveand elusivereading. and techniques ofAmerithesameperiod, themethods During can sociologywhichowed partof theirhighreputation to the factthatthey werelittleknownand, moreimportantly, poorly - fulfilled understood in a different oftheintelsector a function, forthedifference lectual in style, almost world, identical, except withthat which was exercised amongtheideologists by thewritand later, ofLukàcs, Moreno and Korsch, Marx, ingoftheyoung or in a the of German different works Rogers, again, by period, philosophy. A journey to theUnitedStates nowreapsthesamerewards in to theBlackForest, as did oncea pilgrimage and a stay at prestige Harvard nowrepresents or Columbia thesamekindof initiatory riteas did oncea visitto theHusserlian at Louvain. archives theshortage of translations, whichbeganto appear Although after as was not to acquain1960, certainly greata barrier only or anthropological tancewithEnglishsociological as literature thelackoftranslations had been in thepastwithrespect to Germanphilosophical the inadequate facilities of specialized works, and theshortage ofthemost essential libraries information tools, our university whichundervalues tradition the technical side of

184

SOCIAL RESEARCH

intellectual work (translations, annotated editions, intelligent and solitary in favorof risky reflecbibliographies) improvisation more as the social tion, and, sciences, the specifically regards of means and financialallocations,the absence of a meagerness sociologicalteachingtraditionoriented towardresearch,the reof the first cruitment wave of researchworkerswho could not of but resentthe inferior position of sociologyin the hierarchy CNRS and creation of the the fact the that intellectual disciplines Research Center) freed these researchers Scientific (National the fromthe need to attend,at least for theirown instruction, whichno one had evertaughtthemand basic coursesin sociology, - in which the currentintellectualfashiontarredand feathered short,a whole combinationof factual conditionsexplains why and measurement could have to experiment the mere conversion to and seemed have heroic thosewho been regardedas something as an absolute beginningand an absolute had been so converted end. Thus, because empiricalsociologyin France was founded on the illusionof a first beginningand, by the same token,on ignorance of the epistemologicalproblems posed by any scientific of the as well as on a deliberateor unwitting disregard practice, but succumb not theoretical past of European science,it could to positivist especiallyas the logic of differentiation temptations, fieldcondemnedit, if not to adopt the intellectual whichgoverns at least to find a substitutein a positivist philosophyoutright, of faith.29Thus, in order to the formof a modernist profession
to act as spokes29In 1961J. D. Raynaud, destined training by his philosophical devotedan articleentitled to the philosophers, man of the empirical sociologists to the book, de sociologie) and DialecticalReasoning" (Revue française "Sociology Critiquede la Raison Dialectique. The aim of the articlewas, by means of the which to neutralizethe impugnations oftenlegitimate ironyof the practitioner, to lay upon the sociologists. terrorism theoretical Sartre's Alongwithother sought of new sociological of a number in 1960, suchas thesimultaneous appearance, signs, Etudes Rurales, de Communications, Sociologie, Européennes journals (Archives laboraof new research theestablishment de sociologie), L'Homme,Revuefrançaise and prereflects such self-confidence of older centers, toriesor the strengthening field. in the intellectual a profound changein the balanceof forces supposes

SOCIOLOGY

AND PHILOSOPHY

185

one's existin a fieldin whichone cannotexistwithoutjustifying initial post-war existence, guarded itselffrom empiricalsociology in intellectual of order to avoid comingto test strength and, any which would have allowed gripswith the theoretical misgivings it was to invoke it, if not compelledit, to go beyondpositivism, and of the future, of the civilization science the America, image as a totalvindication;fall back upon the automaticaspectsof the * mosthumdrum' 'methodology' and, in extreme cases,upon autoas the absolute answer;cloak itselfin a selfmatic multi-copiers assuranceborn of belongingto a small world recruitedby the method of co-opting, and therefore safe fromcompetitionand as a bogey academic socioutside questioning;use systematically in or in taxonomies entombed theoretical routine ology long which were as frivolousas theywere ponderous;30 and, lastly, available to the technician: indulgein thoseeasyrefusals opposing in of name his and theoretical the queries techniques, political in name of the scientific neutrality. challenges But apart fromthe assuranceand the reassurance providedby the intellectualclimate for the growthof a neo-positivism, it is undoubtedlythe developmentof French societyand, more pareconomicexpansion,which constituted the terrainpar ticularly, in appearanceat any rate, excellencefora sociologypredisposed, to become an applied science. Just as in different periods the intellectual worldis dominatedby one or anotherof the scientific withoutdifficulty disciplines,so it seems that one can identify of the thedifferent branchof that by periods sociology particular sciencewhichranksfirst in discussionand research. Thus, labor or industrialsociologygraduallygives way, between 1950 and soci1960, to organizationsociology,including administration When which to had then been an almost ology. sociology, up academic exclusively discipline,becomes an applied science in
soAs JeanStoetzel to Georges "Most recently, this Gurvitch, saysin a reference in taxonomy has finally someresults underthe greatexercise produced proclaimed sociauxet liberté title. . . Déterminismes humaine(Paris,1955)"(J. Stoetzel, loc. cit.).

186

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

to thedemandsofa bureaucracy, eitherpublic or private, response it tendsnot only to lose its freedom of choice as regardsresearch and to options approach realitylooking foranswersto the ques- forit owes itssubject-matter and itsretionsaskedby itspatrons sources to a bureaucracy and makes administrative organization ever its favorite risks of but it than more turning object study into administrative sociologyor sociologicaladministration. - particularly seen since the introduction We have accordingly of the Fourth Plan, which placed some ratherlarge "orders" in - the developmentin France of the fieldof sociologicalresearch a movement whichhad begun much earlierin the United States, especiallyin the sphereof labor sociology: from a reform-minded "With the shift public to an audience of of with the shift and bureaucrats, administrators stability-minded and scientific to extra-academic from academic manysociologists concernwiththe theory and technical roles,we noteda decreasing of conflict and a tendencyto replace analysisof conflict by the and 'strains' of 'tensions', study psychologicalmalfunctioning. While early American sociologistsaddressed themselvesto an - lawyers, audience of conflict-oriented radicals, reformers, groups politicians later American sociologistshave found their audiconcernedwith the ence largelyamong groups and professions of common values and the minimizingof group strengthening mental health experts,religiousleaders, conflict: social workers, well as as administrators, educators, public and private. The in the later period and movements relativeweaknessof reform of social structures bureaucratic of the rise requiringthe services have helped to bringabout in the taskof administration scientists of the self-image thisshift, in audience. Accompanying thisshift advohas changed fromthat of self-conscious many sociologists in human and expert to thatof a 'trouble-shooter' catesof reform 31 relations." The widening of the audience of sociologiststo include the
si L. Coser, The Function of Social Conflict,Glencoe, Free Press, 1964, pp. 28-29.

SOCIOLOGY

AND PHILOSOPHY

187

at least as much as the administrative occupationscontributes, purelymaterialpressureof the ordersplaced by administrators, to shaping the intellectualintentof sociologists. This helps to explain why,even in France,where the role of the greatuniverresearch bodies (CentreNationalde la RechercheScientifique, sity Ecole des Hautes Etudes,Maison des Sciencesde l'Homme) would be sufficient research at leastrelatively to makescientific ordinarily can see the described Coser even in the we shift independent, by that is not as directly sociologicalliterature dependentupon demand as theoutputof thecompany research whichhave divisions, so in In decade. order to the last multiplied greatly, especially win recognition fora disciplinewhose scientific is still legitimacy in and order to avoid of the challenged, customary charge futility or uselessnessmade by men in authority or in business,some a prioriwith the expectatend to identify themselves sociologists tionsof an audience whichis at the same time theirpreferred object of study, goingso faras to reduce administration sociologyto a mirror-image of the image which administrators have of administration. This can be seen fromthe appearancein this literature of the new style something betweenan administrative reportand distinguishedjournalism for administrators (of which Le Monde the that is cultivated in the new represents perfectexample) - such sects exchange-places/'clubs," studygroupsand intellectual as the X-Criseof pre-war days or, today,the Club Jean Moulins, - where senior officials and soProspectiveand the Futuribles of the of ciologists upper echelons administration pool theircommon ideas on the "administrative phenomenon." of theSociétéfrançaise The lastCongress de sociologie(October reflects this of the two culturesboth by its 1965) rapprochement principaltheme,"French Society Trends and Desires," and by the participation in it of responsibleleaders of the economyand the national administration such as R. Grégoire,whose name is linked to income policy; C. Gruson, Director of the National of Statistics; Institute and P. Massé, Directorof the Plan.

188

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

referThus, in the Frenchintellectualfielda new, portentous ence positionhas emerged in theform of a groupwhichhad never before been active in French intellectual life, for the SaintSimonians began to play a part in the industrialboom of the offfromthe intellecSecond Empire only by cuttingthemselves and both administrative tuals. No doubt Frenchcentralization, intellectual, along withits facilities all in Paris forexchanging as the reviewslike Espritwhichhave opened their such opinions, yearsor so, is contributpages to thisdialogue forthe past fifteen of the field by authorizingand ing greatlyto this restructuring direct contactsat the highestlevel. Owing to the encouraging of the French intellectualfield to the veryspecial susceptibility of theday,thisrestructurfashions intellectual of the temptations of personnelfrom one transfers ing is accompaniedby spectacular a another: sectorof intellectualproductionto philosopherwho in 1949 wrote a Heideggerian article on Maurice Blanchot in forsciencepolicyin a large Temps Modernesis todayresponsible More international broadly,an analysisof census organization. resultsindicatesthatbetween1954 and 1962 thosein the "tradi- and tional" intellectual occupations decreased in proportion - to those in the intellectualocin absolute numbers sometimes adminisor large-scale linked to industry cupationsmoredirectly tration.32
32A comparison of showsthat,in thosebranches of the 1954and 1962censuses from and the social needsresulting linkedto the economy growth, directly activity ratethan has expandedat a faster in intellectual thenumber occupations employed of persons of thebranchtakenas a whole,and eventhanthenumber thepersonnel of activity in thebranches levelsofthebranch. Contrariwise, at thesenior employed workhas the whereintellectual to individuals, characterized by the sale of services the numberemployedin intellectual statusof a liberal profession, occupations at a slowerrate than the total numberof employees in each branchhas increased the artistic in the branch. Similarly, of seniorpersonnel and the number occupawherethe artistic declinedin relative size,the moresharply tionshave constantly therehas been a net declinein the forexample, sector: lay in a traditional activity with the theatre. Lastly,the connected artistic in numbers occupations employed both in the public are declining, in the legal professions of thoseengaged numbers and in the liberalprofessions sector (whichmoreand morewomenare entering). in the numbers an increase have recorded Since,at the same time,the law schools

SOCIOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY

189

on a new we see thelatest Similarly, phaseofsnobbery taking " of from fashion the tradition coloration current by borrowing the modern thenew" and finding in theadvocacy of modernity form of thesearch Teilhardde Chardin fororiginality. and,in the opinionof some,even the review Planète,whichmixesasarchaewith withpsychology, tronomy astrology, metapsychology retranslate with withscience-fiction, and science ology mythology for starved forthebenefit who are of thescientifically inclined, beliefs. So the the old eschatological nourishment, spiritual and the of componential tasteforthelatest refinements analysis funcof and social the same serves theory graphs psychological did in an earlier and manners of style tionsas therefinements been reached Even the world has by thecontaliterary period. that movements, gion: thetraditional weaponof all avant-garde foritsbackwardness, takeson new ofdenouncing theopposition a no in in backwardness is a which context challenge meaning and in which, for to a fashion but to "modernity" longer simply a "art to as strict science." for art's "art sake" givesway example, ofsociologists who notonlybythesmallgroup is felt This shift butalsothroughadministrative demand with arein direct contact a redetermination because it involves out theintellectual world, life between social demandand intellectual of therelationship of theintellectual.Exof thefunction a redefinition and,thus, value as diametrically their for sociologists judgments, cept and M. as L. Goldmann options philosophical opposedin their of theintellectual of thestatus feelthisrealredefinition Crozier keenly: innovaM. Crozier] twoessential "Sucha change[says implies of social are assumthe which tions:first, theupgrading sciences, and greater vis-à-vis thetraditional normaimportance inggreater
it mustbe assumed thatthestudents from theseschools of their students, graduating or public administration will be goingmoreand moreinto business management at the expenseof traditional careers, which,becauseof the way in whichthe old offered wereexercised, forand the freepursuitof independence legal professions interests. intellectual

190

SOCIAL RESEARCH

- and which - law, philosophy,the humanities tive disciplines and renovatingthose disciplines; and secondly, are penetrating and more important, of the role of the intelthe transformation involvedin action. much moredirectly himself lectual,who finds become a man of action,his thinking While he does not thereby comes much closer to action, much more pertinentto it, and usable. Action is no longera world apart. Compromise directly and bargainingare no longer shamefulbut may be studied rano longerspends his time denouncing tionally. The intellectual themin the name of the ideal but triesto understand themand 33 to rationalizethem." the "Future historians [saysGoldmann] will probablyidentify in France to 1955 1960 as the years sociological turning-point between crisis capitalism and organizationcapitalism, accomand humanfromphilosophical, historical panied by a transition isticsociology of today.. . . to thea-historical sociologicalthinking In the intellectuallife of WesternEurope, and particularly in and more are the sciences social France, anthropology) (sociology and moreoccupying theideologicalplace once held by philosophy. If one should ask who are the thinkers the role in French filling intellectuallife today that once belonged to Bergson,Meyerson, thereis no Sartre,Jean Wahl and Merleau-Ponty, Brunschwicg, and foremost doubt about the answer:theyare first Lévi-Strauss, an anthropologist, and R. Aron, a sociologist,who began his intellectualcareeras a philosopherof history during the preced34 ing period." Whateverthe diagnosis,the case comes down to the same rewhich observers definition of the missionof the intellectual assoand once is this perceived ciate with economicgrowth, accepted as the "main objectiveof society,"to use Comte's expression. in whichabstract intellectual thatthedisfavor Lipset comments
33Crozier, slip of tonguein the last op. cit. One cannothelp notinga revealing has givento wordof thisquotation, bearingin mind the meaningpsychoanalysis the term"rationalization." 34Goldmann, et philosophie, humaines Sciences 1966, Paris,Gonthier, pp. 6 and 8.

SOCIOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY

191

whichintellecartforart'ssakeand the contribution activities, has been tualsmaymaketo politics are held in the new states in the material economic in their interest by progress encouraged the and socialfields.The desireto catchup withand surpass bothforpoliticians former colonialpower has madeit necessary, and fortheintellectuals to themselves, relegate having objectives level no practical a of to preoccupations.35 significance secondary to France, mutatis couldbe applied, Thisdescription mutandis, to theUnitedStates where a reference could,factually speaking, colonialpower. One could to the former replacethereference in a certain nationalfor ofthis, instance find a thousand examples thereverse isticposture whichis simply imageof its model which reflect andspirit orin thechanges ofstyle, directly purpose likeExpress ofa weekly thetransformation or,in a moreroundlike Espritand TempsMoaboutway,thatof leadingreviews of the present themes which the retranslate dernes, obligatory and withtheir consistent intolanguage coloring particular period mood. in their with ideological purpose, short, philosophical - in which - at leastin time totherelationship Thesereferences economic is into a phase of continuous France's growth entry of the structure of the physical reorganization by accompanied of an of consciousness theeconomy, the explicit by appearance another and of a desireto control at the phenomenon it, and, ofwhich thestruclevel,bya wholesetofsocialtransformations, worldare one aspect, in the intellectual makeit turalchanges and nature the of that to look into the significance necessary relationship. of ecobetween the atmosphere There is a structural affinity Franceafter thatdominated and socialcrisis nomic 1945,against a and a background of international tension, subjectivist philosa and a tortured narcissism characterized was which by ophy in history. And today, theeconomic interest prosperity pathetic level of attireflected at the and concomitant security profound
35S. M. Lipset, The First New Nations, New York, Basic Books, 1963.

192

SOCIAL RESEARCH

and in the optimismthatcharactudes both in a high birth-rate terizesthe intellectualmood of the period,and, even more proin a faithin the autonomousand anonymousefficiency foundly, of demographic and economicmechanisms capable of producing theirown regulatory or, at the verymost,requiring machinery have a directcondo not thesethings limited management only nectionwith the intellectualtrendsas well as the art formsthat dominatethis period?36 The developmentof an empiricalsoci- like theappearanceofthe"new theater" kind ologyofa positivist an objectivistliteraor the "new novel," which first represented the tureof "personalnon-existence," or, again, triumphof struc37 farbeyondthe circleof specialists turalanthropology extending - entailsa weakeningof the previousinterest and in in history narrative. as well as of fictional the subjectas the agentof history we would have to describein greaterdetail all the Obviously, intermediate connectionsby which the economic situationcan be related to intellectualattitudes:for example, the greatlyinas a result of the recognition creased importanceof sociologists of theiraudiaccorded themby policy makers;the enlargement ence as shown by the largereditionsof worksdealing with the
86The history of this. illustration is a perfect of the Frenchword "contrôle" its meaning had shifted Whereas, generation by a changeof sign,the post-war the ideal of a moral in whichit had expressed its Durkheimian from connotation, the in whichit designated to one thatwas strongly of society, negative, integration of an invadingsocial order exemplified hidden organizedconstraints by "the as it undera positive connotation American recovering wayof life,"it is gradually but with two difword the from contamination "control," semantic English goes the ideal literature uses the word to designate the technocratic ferent colorations: with the whileforthe "new Left" the wordis associated of rational management, as exemplified in decision-making, number of the greatest ideal of theparticipation thesepartial to go beyond It is,ofcourse, self-administration. necessary byYugoslav in delve into the restructurings notationsand, as Trier suggested, lexicological of ideas. the that reflect areas history linguistic 87in a guide to contemporary that recently conversation appeared in France, which structuralist extent to the of extreme we findthe following holy example struchas studiedthe family writhas spreadamonglaymen:"Claude Lévi-Strauss and the of primitive tures techniques, do-it-yourself peoples,raw and cookedfoods, one to him form thesesubjects of SouthAmerica. The thoughts natives suggested of thebasesof 'structuralism* (whichsee)."

SOCIOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY

193

socialsciences and bythespecialized collections put out virtually houses; the simultaneously by the mostimportant publishing increased demandforscientific whichis expanding application, for in work outsidethe uniopportunities engaging sociological as well as university of sociology, framework, versity recognition with the of and research which, along multiplication teaching careers more advanceposts, provides frequently promising rapid - all of mentthanthosein the traditional university disciplines thishelpsto create a kindof security thatis perhaps not unconnected withtheprevailing intellectual of sociologists.38 optimism Asidefrom thechanges which havetakenplace in thestrictly vocational world ofthesociologists, for commitment theoccasions whichcreated the objective forthe kindof thought conditions that characterized thelate 1940'shavegrown scarce. increasingly This is due in the first of the great place to the disappearance issuessuchas thechoicebetween the socialist and the Western war whichwas the last of the great camp,or of the Algerian causesof theFrench It is due also to theroutine intelligentsia. of today's and sociallife,whichprovides economic material for eclectic round-table discussions rather than forindignant petiandno longer callsfor or tions, commitments dramatic spectacular whichlooks to challenges. The optimistic Utopianliterature thehorizons oftheyears 1980or 2000has takentheplaceof the old millenarian whilethesociological when literature, approach, it doesseekto opposetheeuphoric neutralization of sociological is directed toward still another problems, finding impersonal pattern oftheproblems oftheaffluent society bydeliberately looking - at at themfrom a distance and from an unaccustomed angle therisk, it is true, of confusion in thepublicmindwith arising
38The licencede sociologie was createdin 1957 upon the (Degreein Sociology) initiative of Raymond who had been appointed Professor at the Sorbonne Aron, in 1955. Now,ten yearslater,thereare in Paris as manystudents forthis registered new degree(whichhas also been gradually introduced in all the provincial univerfor the Degree in Philosophy. The teachingstaff sities)as thereare candidates has showna parallelincrease: the Facultyof Letters at the University of Lille, for whichin 1960had onlyone faculty member in sociology, now has nine. example,

194

SOCIAL RESEARCH

the literary the most obvious, i.e., predilectionfor dramatizing them themostsuperficial, bypresenting changesin modernsociety unheard of. as something absolutely betterthis alterationin the intellectualcliNothingexpresses mate thanthe successive changesin the public image of the work of RaymondAron: the same philosophicalor criticaltextwhich in the late 1940's in the lightof the underwent reinterpretation - through mood the of pessimistic period, todayappears to offer the same selectivelogic and reinterpretationa philosophythat the general demobilizationof the intellectualarmyand justifies the end of ideologies. And, indeed,if one were to read Raymond Aron as one would read Burnham,one could see in the work of of the relativeautonomyof the political order the theoretician the closureof the greatdebates on the value of political systems and on the effectiveness of politics,and find in his "Eighteen foran Lessons on IndustrialSociety"the theoretical justification attitude of indifference encouragedby the intellectual atmosphere ofa society American whosefuture, foreshadowed the by example, and economicdetermining appears to depend on morphological ratherthanon the wishesof the subjectsof history. factors But an analysisof the successiveimages of the work of Léviwould be no less illuminating.What Simone de Beauvoir Strauss saw in it in 1949 expressesthe intellectualexpectationsof the period much more than the intrinsictruthof the work,and is diametrically opposite to what Ricoeur or Sartreis able to read into it today. The reviewwhich Simone de Beauvoir wrote in de la parenté ("Elementary élémentaires 1949 on the Structures of Kinship") presentsthe picture that a philosopher Structures and makes it possible to see how might have of structuralism which reconciledconcern for the Lévi-Straussian anthropology, experimentalwith theoreticalpurpose, succeeded, by its very philosophicalhandiness,in provokingthe fascinatedinterestof and becomingone of the poles of the philosophical philosophers world: "French sociologyhad been wrapped in a long sleep: Levi-

SOCIOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY

195

a brilliant as an eventmarking bookmustbe welcomed Strauss' of the Durkheimian The efforts schoolto organize awakening. relied socialfacts becausethey intelligibly disappointing proved on questionable and on no lessdubious metaphysical hypotheses historical In reaction, schoolcalledfor theAmerican postulates. it confined to amassing abstention from itself any speculation: to explain theirapparentabsurdity. factswithout attempting who the Frenchtradition but who was Lévi-Strauss, inherited in American trained has sought to pursuethe same techniques, 39 endeavor as his masters whileavoiding their weaknesses." of Thus, Simonede Beauvoircan discernthe resurrection socialscience to see,in a blunder which is all too onlybyfailing of obvious and thephilosophical today, implications thisscience, to it a thencurrent thusfeelsentitled to attribute philosophy, in effect, Durkheimian and it from science thereby, dissociating philosophy: l'Lévi-Strauss from hasrefrained venturing upon philosophical to stray from never allows himself scientific he ground; rigorous Buthisthinking is clearly humanist great objectivity. partofthat humanexistence mainstream whichconsiders as bearing within itself . . . The book not onlyhas Marxist its ownjustification. to me it often seemed to reconcile echoes; felicitously Engelsand for man us an to as and Hegel originally appears anti-physis, whathisactionachieves of confrontation is theconcrete position without whichthefirst withself, witha different wouldbe self, I also found unableto define itself. the singularly striking agreeand thepropositions mentbetween certain descriptions put forin wardby existentialism: existence, establishing itself, by the selfsame momentum establishes itslaws;it is notgoverned byany and it internal the necessity, yet escapes contingency byassuming 40 conditions of itsspringing forth." as Lévi-Strauss* schemetakeson a However, anthropological more preciseshape by reference to linguistics, and makesits
39S. de Beauvoir, Temps Modernes, Nov. 1949, p. 943. 40de Beauvoir, loe. cit., p. 949.

196

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

and as, similarly, scientific moreexplicit, structuralism philosophy - which has only really called itselfthat since 1958 - imposes more and more upon philosophersthe cipher-stencil by which it insistson being deciphered,philosophers are agreed in seeing in it a philosophy withoutsubject,even thoughtheyare still not sureabout the exact identity of thisnew philosophy. "Structuralist philosophy,it seems to me, is condemned to fluctuate between a number of roughlyoutlined philosophies. At times one would say it was a Kantian philosophywithout transcendental subject, or even an absolute formalismwhich would lay down the verycorrelation of nature and culture.. . . There is thus in Pensée sauvage, in addition to the hint of a transcendentalism withoutsubject, the outline of a philosophy in which structure plays the part of mediator,placed between and praxis practice.. . . There is, in Pensée sauvage,the outline of a verydifferent in whichorderis an orderof things philosophy 41 and itself a thing.. . ." As one can see, everything combines to make Lévi-Strauss' and disturbing," ideas "both fascinating to borrowthewordsused Paul in Ricoeur by concluding the discussionon structuralism sponsoredby Esprit. The ambiguous attitude of Lévi-Strausswith regard to the philosophicaldebate which is developingaround him is not unand no doubt explains the relatedto the successof structuralism, which philosof his well as the audiences as diversity ambiguities ophers find in his philosophy. Unlike Durkheim, who could the rights establishsociologicalscienceonly by brutallyasserting is able to of the philosophythat made it possible, Lévi-Strauss adopt an attitude of ironical detachmentwith regard to the philosophicalattentionbeing shown him because this attention estabnow irrevocably thatthe social sciences, itself demonstrates on of their the lished,impose philosophy philosophers question
4i Paul Ricoeur, "La pensée sauvage et le structuralisme"(The Savage Mind and Structuralism),Esprit, Nov. 1963, pp. 618-619.

SOCIOLOGY

AND PHILOSOPHY

197

and no longer need to impose a philosophyon themselves, in orderto be able to impose it on philosophers. Called upon by Ricoeur to state whetherthe philosophyof structuralism is necessarily implied in the practiceof the scientist or whether it is injectedby the philosopher livingin the scientist, the free to Lévi-Strauss leaves, choose, which is the philosophers mostelegantwayof reserving one's rightto a philosophy of scientificpositivity withoutriskingbeing charged with the crime - of positivism: inexpiable today "I confessthat the philosophy which seems to me implied by of thoseyou is most research the the briefest down-to-earth, my outlinedin yourstudywhen you wonderedabout the philosophical orientationof structuralism and observed that more than if it were one was conceivable. I would not be alarmed,therefore, leads to the restoration to be provedto me thatstructuralism of a kind of crude materialism.I am too well aware,however,that such an orientationis contraryto the trend of contemporary a cautious attinot to impose upon myself philosophicalthought and I preventmyself fromtakingthe tude: I read the sign-post 42 road it showsme." - whichis not withoutirony - is made Such diplomatic courtesy by the social sciences, possibleby the positionwon forthemselves and Insofar as Lévi-Strauss ethnology. linguistics particularly has awakened these sciences in France from their empiricist slumber,it is ofteneasy to see in the rebirthof theorya break of the immediately with the neo-positivist inclinations preceding a rather than revival of Durkheimian period approaches. It be veryeasy to findin the work of Durkheim, would, however, and in the theoretical capital bequeathed by the group that put out theAnnée Sociologique,the outlinesof mostof the queryings of structural A second beginningentails the peranthropology. sistent of principlesand an almostobsessionalprereaffirmation
42Esprit, loc. cit., p. 652.

198

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

a new problems. Furthermore, occupationwith epistemological to confineitself divisionof scientific labor has led anthropology to ethnologicalresearch(even if it still harbors,and above all of man, as is shownby the thehope of a totalknowledge inspires, ' 43 change in the meaning of the term 'anthropology,") and to and all the consequences avoid bringing out all the implications whichwould inevitably resultfromthe extensionto our societies - often unof the ethnologist's approach. In agreeing to wear - themaskof exoticism, riskscollecting the ethnologist knowingly a specious following. The success of Tristes Tropiques ("Sad Tropics") can only be understoodin the light of the fact that, of this"philosophicalessay," whatever the scientific qualifications its readershave been able to find in it ambiguous satisfactions producedby ethnology, procuredby the objectivizing perspective a similar objectivizing withoutrunning the risk of performing reductionupon themselves.For proof of this,one has only to observethe furor aroused by the anthropological approachwhen, which made no disin keepingwith the Durkheimiantradition, it is rigorously and sociology, betweenethnology tinction applied to reference with whether and to familiarbehavior institutions, or to attitudesto worksof art.44 of a university the functions out a sociologyof the audience met with by the In sketching
43As Paul Rivetpoints to VolumeVII of theEncyclopédie out in his introduction its Kantianmeaningof the retained had which term the anthropology française, forexample science ofman up to thesecondhalfof thenineteenth century, general and was becamespecialized de Bréau,thereafter of de Quatrefages in the writings was inherited whilethe bulk of its meaning anthropology, appliedonlyto physical conon the groupsof scientists and sociology, depending ethnology by the terms in the senseaccordedit in of anthropology the concept cerned. By re-introducing Léviand "social anthropology", "culturalanthropology" the Englishexpressions the broaderand older meaningof the word,almostsimulStrauss relegitimatized of Kant'sAnthropologie. withM. Foucault'snew translation taneously 44It is the sociological and educationwhichhad been at aspectsof knowledge renewaloí thathave seen the mostrecent the heartof Durkheimian anthropology it is amonga new generation the Durkheimian speaking, approach. More broadly that and wereschooledin ethnology, out in philosophy who started of sociologists, thathad interests and sociological of theethnological has beena reunification there dissociated been completely by neo-positivism.

SOCIOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY

199

workof Claude Lévi-Strauss, and of the publicimagesthrough it reaches which and influences theintellectual publicand even the public at large,it is not our intention thatthe to suggest of thisworkdepends, in the finalanalysis, on whatis sincerity in it bya reading oriented grasped bytheintellectual expectations ofa period ora group.It wouldbe naïve, for toattempt example, to establish a relationship of thesametypebetween, on theone an and economic social characterized situation hand, by continuous expansion withitsresultant of security and, on the feeling other suchdifferent intellectual as technocratic hand, phenomena an which often is more than sociology, byideological scarcely of optimism overgrowth or of euphoric concern with product and structuralism as a scientific eventhough efficiency, approach, thephilosophy a superficial without offers thatit implies subject withreliance on automated analogy machinery. for the optimism of The ideological responsible atmosphere fromthe Ecole Nationale the "younggentlemen" graduating of as of theirfuture, is no as themselves sure d'Administration, doubtvery to thatwhichSartre whenhe tells similar recreates us of theattitude men of his background and whichtheyoung of his generation had toward their to the future, right up years of thegreat crisis: "In thecentury of theairplaneand of electricity we did not think we wouldbe exposedto such surprises; it did not occur to us thatwe wereon theeve of anything; on the contrary, we had a vaguesenseof pridein feeling thatwe werelivingin the thelastgreat ofhistory. Evenifwe were after morning upheaval worried sometimes the of we thought we by rearming Germany, had entered on to a longstraight roadand we weresurethatthe tissueof our liveswould be wovensolelyby personal circumand scientific discoveries felicitous restances, punctuated by 45 forms." It will not be surprising to find, at the level of systems of
« Sartre, Paris, NRF, Idées, 1948,pp. 25&-257. "Qu'est-ceque la littérature?",

200

SOCIAL RESEARCH

thathave theirvision of the futureand theirphilosophy thought of administraof history, "mood" of a stratum thatthe existential as shown themselves is torsbenton identifying by theirtastefor - with all the ascendingcurvesthatcharacterize the "projection" literature is closelyconnectedwith the forward-looking century, or with a even or whichtheyfinance, inspire,produce consume, of growth like thatof Teilhard de Chardin,who, recontheology for faithand faithin reason,providesscientific reasons ciling the and metaphysical backingfor the secular creed of thosewho bethat grows:46 the symposia,other kinds of lieve in everything talks and discussionclubs, which are becomingthe round-table dominant mode of intellectualexchange,offera means and a of intellectuals privilegedplace forthe reciprocalcontamination and technocrats. Whereas,in the case of an intellectualoutput which is closely keyed to the expectationsof a special class of elethe intervening it is almost too easy to identify consumers, thatlink such works ments,fewin numberand self-explanatory, a similarattemptwith respectto a sciento theirsocial context, would prove infinitely less tific schemelike thatof structuralism fruitful.For it can be seen thatworkswhichare producedunder such social conditionsthat theycan have no other audience of constrained to take into than theirpeersare objectively reference and conaccount the questionsbequeathed by theirpredecessors of social science, theyare linked,above all, to a history sequently of science,in that, whichis not the same thingas a social history as such, science is relativelyindependentof intellectualhistory of economicor social history.Thus most of the and, a fortiori, containedin the public image errors and outright contradictions are due to the fact that,where this of the work of Lévi-Strauss link is not made betweenthe work and its theoretical past, the readeris condemnedto the illusion of readingsomething wholly order of the unique or an autodidactic text, which, reversing conclusivesubordinations, and disregarding reduces, importances
46The review Espritdevotedtwospecialissuesin 1963and 1964to the ideas of Teilhardde Chardia

SOCIOLOGY

AND PHILOSOPHY

201

for example,Lévi-Strauss' analysisof the do-it-yourself hobby to an instrument intellectualdo-it-yourself of Parisian-style putter. link is made, it becomes clear that, soon as this However,as in orderto develop to its maximum,i.e., into a scientific method, indicatedby Durkwhat was in factonly one of the possibilities from had to refrain Lévi-Strauss heim, revivingin its entirety an approach that associated the science of the functioning of of science their historical social systems with the development. is concealingwhen he Is it not thisabdicationwhichLévi-Strauss of evolutionism, condemnsthe ethical assumptions which, even in the modified formit takeswith Durkheim,alwaysowes somethingto a philosophyof progress?The aim of Lévi-Straussian - to echo Leibniz in to set up a "basic catalogue" anthropology, Leibnizian scheme of simple elements to a typically referring whichshould make it and the laws governing theircombination, to combinations the actuallyfoundin thevarious possible explain betweenparenhistorical leads to the placing of history cultures, in whichthe is as done almost theses, by structural-functionalism, reduces of social systems interestin the functioning overriding Aron to a subordinaterole, or again, as Raymond does, history and War les nations entre et in Paix ("Peace guerre paradoxically, a trans-historical betweenthe Nations"), in which he constructs relations. of international systematization It was the modernanthropological approach in its mostambiselftious formthat Fontenelle expressedwith the triumphant when he set assuranceof the nationalismof the Enlightenment of out to deduce froma knowledgeof the eternal mechanisms ofall possiblehistories: humannaturetheuniverse "Human nature is composed of ignorance,credulity, vanity, witha littlecommonsenseand honesty ambitionand wickedness, thrownin, but in a very small dose compared with the other an infinite such people will construct Consequently, ingredients. and a veryfew sensible ones; numberof ridiculousinstitutions one anotherand then make peace treaties, theywill oftenfight will oppressthe weaker bad in almostalways faith; the stronger

202

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

and will tryto give their oppressionan appearance of justice, etc. . . . Afterwhich,one could examine all the possible variaand juggle withthem, tionsproducedby thesegeneralprinciples, so to speak,in all possibleways; one could imagine in detail an of eventsthat eitherhave happened or are verysimilar infinity to those that have happened. This method of learning history would certainly not be a bad one; one would be at the source of and from that standpointone could amuse oneself by things observingthe consequencesone had already foreseen;for once one can envisagefrom have been mastered, the generalprinciples a global viewpointeverything that theycan produce,the details which can even be disbeing no more than an entertainment or lack of of their with because at times pointlessness pensed challenge.... I would just as muchlike a man to learn the exact of every clockin Paris,at whatdate and by whatcraftsman history it was made,howoftenand forhow long it has failedto keep time, which clocks strikelouder than others; but let him not bother or what makes it at all to findout how a clock is constructed 47 tick." of Frenchsociologyas we Althougha sociologyof the history between have outlined it could not but accentuatethe contrasts that the various periodsin order to do justice to the differences constants certain nevertheless are there presented separatethem, in its field intellectual French of the structure the organizaby mustbe which of activities its in tion and consequently the logic if we are to avoid and analyzedsociologically graspedexplicitly of "national in effects the thoseverbal explanationswhich bring tradition." even thoughin theguise of an "intellectual character," peculiarto the Frenchintellectual Amongall thecharacteristics of the intelligentsiais unconcentration world, the physical doubtedlythe most obvious and thus the most oftenremarked upon. Sartrein 1947 stated a commonplaceof sociologywhich like to apply to themselves: intellectuals
*t Fontenelle, Essai sur l'histoire,Paris, Payot, 1966, pp. 159-161.

SOCIOLOGY

AND PHILOSOPHY

203

"Within only fiveyearsafterthe appearance of my first book I was on friendly withall myfellow-writers. terms Centralization all had brought us to Paris. With a littleluck,a rushedAmerican could meetus all in twenty-four hoursand in thattimeobtainour viewson UNRRA, the UN, UNESCO, the Miller Case, the atom - from bomb. In twenty-four hours a trainedcyclistcould carry Vercorsto Cocteau,calling en route on Aragonto Mauriac,from Bretonat Montmartre, Queneau at Neuillyand Billy at Fontaineas the bleau, requiredby scruplesand pangs of consciencewhich - one of those manifestos, formpart of our professional duties one of those petitionsor protestsfor or against the return of Trieste to Tito, the annexationof the Saar or the use of V-3's in a future war,by whichwe like to show thatwe belong to our In hours,a piece of gossip,withoutbenefit century. twenty-four of bicycle, can make theroundsof our group,and returnfittingly embellishedto the one who startedit. We can be found all to- almost - in certaincafés,at the Pleiade concertand, in gether certain appropriately at the BritishEmliterarycircumstances, From to time time of one worn us, out, will announce bassy. that he is leaving for the country. We all go and see him, we tell him thathe is doing the rightthing,thatit is impossibleto writein Paris and we see him offwith expressions of envyand - we ourselveshave to stayin town to look withour good wishes afteran old mother, a youngmistress, an urgenttask. He leaves withsome reporters fromSamedi-Soir who will take photographs of his hide-away.He gets bored. He comes back. 'Afterall/ he " 48 says,'there'snothingbut Paris/ But must we join Sartrein regardingthe "physicaldensity" of the French intellectualworld as the primaryand even sole explanationof its "moral density"? In fact,more than simple in space, it is the specificorganizationof space and proximity timein trulyintellectual whichaccount forall the signs patterns indicativeof a strongly medium: for example, a sysintegrated
« Sartre, loc. cit.,pp. 207-208,

204

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

tem of interdependent attitudeswhich requires fromeach that he should definehimself by the image he has of the constantly othersand/or by the image theyhave of him; the intenseinteracquaintanceship,which provides the indispensablemeans for this exercise in reciprocal definition;the logic specificto the diffusion of ideas and fashions, whichcannotpass fromone point in theintellectual each time,undergoing fieldto anotherwithout, relative of thereceivthe as reinterpretation requiredby positions ing group and the transmitting group,thatis to say,by the structure of the intellectualfieldas a whole; and the closednessand of an intellectual group which is tendencyto self-sufficiency especiallyinclined to translateinto termsof its own logic the events of theoutsideworldand reuse,interalia, nationalor international political events in the processof exchangingsymbolic in termsof to definethemselves images that enables sub-groups opposition.49 It will be understoodthat in a situationin which the intellectual is required to have a quasi-sociological knowledgeof the entire intellectual field every intellectualact bears a load of over-determinants which at everyinstantcompels everyintellectual, by virtueof his positionin the whole,to commithis entire positionwithrespectto the whole. Connectionwith a periodical contributor of thepermanent or newspaper, from thetotalsupport to the occasionalcontribution or the factof being a knownfaithfor reciprocal instruments ful reader, is one of the preferred
49Everything seems to indicatethat duringthe last decade the self-contained with the field has increasedsimultaneously character of the Frenchintellectual outsidethe fieldand whichformerly whichoriginate attenuation of conflicts gave in the intellectual theiroppositions the intellectuals scope for expressing greater into the intellectual which at timesused to introduce idiom. Thus, affiliations and Catholics, bebetweensecularists violenceof the conflicts worldthe merciless and revolutionaries, reformists between and especially tween theLeftand theRight, no longerpreventa respectful dialogue. What was long only an exceptionatheist" the providential over"Sartre, whether it was Mauriacbenevolently looking - has now becomethe rule, to Marx his vasterudition or theRev. Calvezdevoting of the debatesat the CentreRichelieuor the the ecumenism as can be seen from thaw during the discussions of the Semaine de la pensée marxiste ("Marxist ThoughtWeek").

SOCIOLOGY

AND PHILOSOPHY

205

identification because, in all the sphereswhich are subject to and judgment,it bringsinto play, if not a intellectualinterest of coherentsystem philosophical,political and estheticoptions, whichis recognizedand expressedas a totality at least a posture, of styleand means of support. rightdown to the imponderables a as in the tribal society passing outsider is subjected to Just untilhe can be locatedin a genealogy, so the intellecquestioning tuals who striveto prove theirpersonaluniquenessand irreducibilitydo not stop until theyhave eliminatedthe unclassifiable if necessary, to an arbitrary even by resorting, taxonomy.Hence the productionof all the "isms" suitable for designatingtotal a whole philosophyand employedwith the options committing intentionof definingboth oneself and the others. Hence also the permanent to prophetism which,in Weber's defitemptation in action of all existennition,fullyachievesthe systematization tial options. Beforesuch completeand compellingexpectations even the rejectionof philosophycannot be limited to a simple and innocentstatement but mustbe affirmed as the negationof a fieldthat negatesthe rejection(which explains the acrimonious of faith),unless one is in coloringof certainpositivist professions to thesupreme suchan unassailablepositionas to be able to resort deceptionof false ingenuousness. of such a systemrequires, as its Obviously,the functioning first condition,an institution capable of producingpeople who have fullymastered the game and are whollydetermined to play it. Actually, the philosophyclasses, as constitutedunder the are fairly Frencheducationalsystem, with the help of successful, - and on which it the image of total educationwhich it assumes - in associating in the mindsof students the intellecpridesitself tual role with the aptitude for giving total responsesto total classes for the Ecole Normale Supéquestions. The preparatory and school this itself,only raise to a higher degree of rieure, this special trainingin the art of determining one's intensity in accordancewith a complex system intellectualpreferences of and of in them makingingeniousness disappointing expectations

206

SOCIAL RESEARCH

the supreme test of a perfectknowledgeof those expectations. Thus the method wherebya dissertation-monger composes an inimitable product out of the ready-madebatch of common eruditionand patterns of thoughtservedup by higheracademic fromthat which enables reviewslike education is no different Esprit or Temps Modernes, or periodicals like La Quinzaine, the image of their Nouvel Observateuror Express to construct batch of of the out subjectsimposedupon mandatory originality of each themby theintellectual period.At thehighest atmosphere where consecrationis imlevel of intellectualaccomplishment, are even more distinmediate and supreme,the ' 'great works'* in the art of meetingexpectations guished for their virtuosity a product of whichtheauthorsare themselves createdby a system those expectations. and the no less requisiteart of disappointing Michel Foucault,the latestof thesegloriestypicalof our counowes a partof his successwith the generalpublic to the fact try, to the would-beintellectual thathe speaks,in each of his readers, of a work who has learnednot to demand proofof the greatness which has made it plain that such proofwill be shown only to while the reputationthathe so promptly the initiated, acquired talent in the smallcircleof his peersderivesfromthe polyphonic discordant in the which accompanieshis playing registers long the history of history, the philosophy of philosophy, of thehistory of the sciencesand the philosophyof the sciencesto compose a of the scienceswhich is simultaneously of the history philosophy of the sciences. a history of the philosophy an intellectual In such world,self-educated people and foreigners,i.e., thosewho have not been trainedat this national school the Ecole Normale,can, with a few forthe upper intelligentsia, exceptions,only hope to achieve a position which is respected listed in the chapter ratherthan admired. Of the philosophers in a recentwidelycirculatedwork, on contemporary philosophy more than half are graduatesof the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Ricoeur, Sartre and includingAron, Guéroult, Merleau-Ponty, Vuillemin,while more than half of the remainderare émigrés

SOCIOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY

207

to whomthe Frenchintellectual worldoffered a welcomethat and reserved.50 The restare Catholic wasat oncewarm philosofor one semi-self-educated Gaston Bachelard, writer, phers, except whooweshisvery of his as muchto theoriginality specialstatus work wedded to cultural as tohisownroleas an eccentric frankly It is understand how Bernard to Groethuynon-conformity. easy Nouvelle Revue to the sen,whocamefrom Française, Germany able to thenone of thesummits of Parisian intellectual was life, an inof Rousseau, makesucha profound of thetragedy analysis nocent thewolves.51 among lifeby inThis unifying intellectual which regulates training, bothwith in each intellectual a system of exigencies, culcating not makes itself felt and to with to others respect respect himself, thatof to whichit is mostdirectly related, onlyin the sphere in the social but also literature, and, secondarily, philosophy, owesbothits and in particular, whosehistory sciences, sociology withthegroupof theEcole itsbeginnings, strong periods (from revival via thenewimpetus around to Normale Durkheim, today's was provided de Documentation that Sociale)and by theCentre of the to of orientations activities those its the pure products in philosophy, of degrees French school,the holders especially it is becauseof their from those theEcole Normale. Obviously, at leastabovea certain French sociologists, pastthat philosophical or prétenambitions feeltheneedto manifest levelofdistinction, on themselves selected if tions tooriginal bybasing synthesis,only cohortof "founding ratherthan on an anonymous authors, remain desire to or byinvoking their fathers/' opento neighboreven are constantly of whichthey reminded, ing specializations, the in theabsenceof anyinter-disciplinary institution, through chums. facilitated contacts bycollege personal
boThe rigidityof the French university, frightened by the entrance of foreigners, is well known. Only the Ecole des Hautes Etudes, with its more flexible organization, was able to accommodate such scholars as A. Kojève, A. Koyré, and, for a long time, E. Weil. 5i See B. Groethuysen,Philosophie de la révolution française, Paris, Gonthier, 1956. Ch. V.

208

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

Thus, it is not only because Frenchsociologyis the heir to an ancient and glorious traditionof philosophicalspeculationthat it constantly rediscovers but, more prophilosophicalstringency of the intellectual because theorganization field, foundly, through and of the models it holds in the permanenceof its institutions and a special honor, imposes a special method of recruitment styleof vocation,and emphasizesto the mind the philosophical and themosttechnical of themostprivatepreferences significance projects. It took the blindnessto history of a generation, saturatedand credo or paralyzedby the dogfascinatedby the existentialist matismof a fossilizedMarxism,to believe that the connection betweenphilosophy and sociology had been brokenforever. The illusionof an absolutebeginning and the myth of a sciencewhich was supposedto be its own philosophical could never justification have taken hold of the empiricistgenerationof the 1950's so had it not been forthe special situationof thatgenerastrongly, - the intellectualgeneration tion in relationto its older brother of 1939, a generationwhich,linked to a philosophicalpast but cut offfromempirical practice by the war and, perhaps,even and financialrestructures more,by the absence of institutional of was compelledto put off the task reconciling sources, empirical and theory. research of concreteresearchand However,as soon as the development a concern with techniques,social recognitionof sociologyand, of the connectionsbetween anthromoreover,the rediscovery to the social sciencestheirplace in and restore sociology pology to the intellectualworld, the very conditions for recruitment with the are orientathe sociologicalprofession changed,along tions and philosophicalassumptionsof research. All but nonwith a philoexistentbetween 1950 and 1960, researchworkers in philosophy and moreespecially graduates sophicalbackground, or fromthe Ecole Normale, findtheirway into the researchinwithoutthem. thathad been established stitutions of intellectualbackgrounds, Suddenly,with this new diversity

SOCIOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY

209

in a worldwhichbelieveditself permacompetition reappears of convenient device shielded from the it by nently co-optation, and episteand this oftheoretical is accompanied bya resurgence of empirical rediscussion.For, once the demands mological search are universally it is no longer to invoke accepted, possible theinterlocutory of of rights empiricism against stringencytheory. has helpedto ofstatistical culture thespread Thus,forexample, from irrational funcdissociate thestatistical the instrumentality tionsof protection whichit was able to assume and terrorism theperiod ofgroping whenstatistics wasstillin thehands during ofthefew. now apparent, Must the reconciliation, betweensociological and a in the be as element theory practice regarded necessary ofthesocialsciences, a reflection or is it merely of special history influences Frenchintellectual the current determining affecting scene?52One cannot sidestepthis question,as MarshallD. Sahlinsdoes,by ironical references to philosophy as a "French ' national F. of resource' like or, J. Revel,byspeaking thefrivolity of Parisianfashions in philosophy.53 it is the taskof Certainly deal to with the theoretical conditions epistemology required fora rigorous but where scientific the social sciences practice, areconcerned, ofsociological a sociology mayshowthat practices the social characteristics of the scientists the and, particularly, kindof education have received, the position they theyoccupy in theintellectual or even do their social field, origin, not make all equallysusceptible them to a scientifically soundand producof theuse of philosophical tiveconcept reflection in their scientific in When a scientist scientific encounters, practice. practice theneed fora theoretical re-examination of thatpractice, itself,
52The notion of "theory" which oftenare nowadaysholds severalmeanings, not precisely Here,we intendto mean by this termless a general distinguished. of the social system than the reflection about the effective executionof theory i.e. what the tradition of the philosophy of sciencecalls "epistework, sociological and whichcannotbe reducedto so-called mology" "methodology." 53M. D. Sahlins,"On the Delphic Writingof C. Lévi-Strauss," The Scientific American, June1966;J. F. Revel,Pourquoi des philosophes? ("WhyPhilosophers?")

210

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

and findsin his intellectualtrainingthe necessaryinstruments to meetthisneed, all he will be able to draw froman intellectual field that associatesphilosophyand sociologyis encouragement to redouble his epistemological vigilance. But in view of the worksare subjected caricatural distortions to whichphilosophical and hearsay of Parisian acquaintanceship by the oral transmission the Frenchintellectualfieldis alwaysin dangerof fostergossips, within the scientific and frivolity ing philosophicaldilettantism itself. community restssolelyon the when a discussionof scientific For, practices false familiarity born of the superficialreading of fashionable it has little chance of adding anyperiodicalsand newspapers, of the social sciencesor of strengthening to the thing philosophy the epistemological awarenessof those in researchwho, rather than bring doubt upon their own practice,as mighthappen if are temptedto thinking, theywere to engage in real theoretical attractthe atwhich immediately the worldlyparaphrases prefer tention of thegeneralintellectual philosophers public. Similarly, who apply theirminds to the social sciencesmay,dependingon eitheruse and the positiontheyoccupyin the field, theirtraining the prestigeof philosophyin order to impose their theoretical scientific terrorism practices by layingdown the law concerning a real from know about, or, knowledgeof starting nothing they to a the techniquesand the questions relevant given scientific practice,proceed to a legitimatereview of the epistemological practice. assumptions implicitin any scientific The relative position of philosophywithin the intellectual field and of the various philosophieswithin the philosophical field has perhaps never been so favorableas it is today,when the test imposed on philosophyby social sciencesbecomingincreasinglyaware of their philosophical implicationsbrings to the forefront such worksas those of Gaston Bachelard,who sets of science; Jean Piaget, who estabthe philosophy out to clarify of logical thought; the lishesexperimentally originof theprocesses MartialGuéroult,whosephilosophicalidea is to founda rigorous

SOCIOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY

211

of the history science of philosophy; who Georges Canguilhem, in thehistory of science and looksforthephilosophy of science; who a endeavors to reflection makephilosophy JulesVuillemin, on modern scienceand the history of philosophy a history of reflection on science.54 Such philosophies are predisposed, by the veryobject they forthemselves choose and bythewayin which it, they approach to lend sociology the theoretical assistance it needs,if onlyby thegeneric of theconditions thatmakepossible posing question scientific in in refusing to dissociate any practice.But addition, and philosophical scientific fromthe history truths of science, in otherwords, from the totality of historical conditions which make possibleeach stateof science, are at one with the they without also apply, philosophy subjectwhichthesocialsciences at leastimplicitly, whenthey refuse to treat theirobject,either or by negligence, as a subjectwhichwould more by omission or lesseludescientific either of investigation bythetranscendence itslogical or the freedom of its ultimate categories by options. we notto see in thesomewhat aroused, Ought aggressive irony forexample,by Claude Lévi-Strauss certain American among a hintof the recognition thatis on theway forthe positivists, efforts to reconcile theoretical and empirical stringency rigor? Sahlinshas pointedout thatwhenthe Smithsonian Institution celebrated with ofthebirth ofJames great pompthebicentenary Lévi-Strauss was exported from the Collegeof France Smithson, to be temporarily in Washington, withalmost the put on display samefanfare thataccompanied theprocession of the Mona Lisa from the Louvreto the Metropolitan.55 sociJustas American
54When one asks oneself what distinguishesthese philosophers from the existentialist philosophers,with whom after all they share a common universitypast, one can see no explanatory principle other than their differences of social and geoor lower-middle-class graphical origin,for the formerhave come fromworking-class between backgrounds and primarily from the provinces. Is there not an affinity the ethos associated with such a social situation and a morality of the intellectual life which is expressed,at least indirectly, in the motive of rehabilitatingscience and scientific work? 5ßSahlins, loc. cit.

212

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

ology was able, for a time, by its empiricalrigor,to act as the bad conscienceof French sociology,perhaps the time scientific will come when French sociologywill, by its theoreticalstringency, become the philosophical bad conscience of American sociology.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful