(Tardian) Monadology and Sociology (of Law)

Thursday, 19 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Michał DUDEK, Department of Sociology of Law, Faculty of Law and Administration, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland
Undoubtedly, Gabriel Tarde's metaphysics expressed in his Monadology and Sociology received recently great interest from a variety of thinkers. Even though this work can be considered as purely philosophical and its relation and compatibility with other threads in his ouvre (socio-theoretical, criminological, economic, etc.) can be questioned, ideas for broadly understood social sciences are still drawn from it and discussed by contemporary commentators. However, it should be stressed that in most cases sociological conclusions drawn from Monadology and Sociology are general - they do not refer in a focused manner to any particular area of social life or subject of sociological inquiry (e.g. religion, politics, art, etc.), but instead they seem to concentrate on the social in general. Against this background, this paper attempts to make a one step further in contemporary revival and applications of Tardian metaphysics by discussing its possible implications for the contemporary socio-legal research (most notably, law's ontology and epistemology, including empirical research). This analysis is preceded by careful (statement after statement) reconstruction of Tarde's metaphysics, coupled with discussion on relevant theses expressed by its commentators. Even though the task of looking at the law through the Tardian monadology can be regarded as speculative and experimental, the paper in the end aims at addressing the following practical question: what can be borrowed from Monadology and Sociology that will allow to better grasp the law and its functioning?