On Durkheim´s Aphorism: Treating Social Facts As Moral Facts

Monday, 16 July 2018: 11:00
Oral Presentation
Anne RAWLS, Bentley University, USA
Two decades before Weber penned the argument that became the anchor of the “value free” movement, Durkheim had begun making the important argument that all meaningful facts and objects are social facts and that all social facts are moral facts. Durkheim intended by this argument not only the idea that social facts depend on social cooperation to make them, but that the cooperation involved was an essentially moral enterprise because it created the ideas, identities and social relationships without which we would not be recognizable human. Durkheim considered the social commitments that this creation depended on to be “sacred” and therefore the underlying requirements of the social process to be moral. This was not a functional argument. It was a constitutive argument. If Durkheim is right about this there is no possibility of value free science. Durkheim´s argument will be fleshed out with reference to ethnomethodology and research about race relations.