Sociology and Philosophy are two important fields that are complementary to each other. These two fields involve an in-depth understanding of the mind working, morality, ethics, social norms, and human behaviour. Both of these fields have produced iconic personalities and thinkers that made great achievements in understanding the relationship between self and society. The study of philosophy is an interesting albeit challenging activity that tests one’s mental thinking. Sociology, in contrast, is focused on human societies and issues like inequalities, social change, social identities, and globalisation. Keep on reading to understand the relationship between Sociology and Philosophy. Here, we will also study Durkheim sociology and philosophy influence.
Philosophy of Sociology
Sociology has a philosophy of its own in the context that it is committed to gaining knowledge concerned to its field. The field of Sociology examines the arguments, concepts and methods. There is significant philosophical scrutiny in the field of sociology. In fact, this scrutiny is much more in sociology in comparison to other natural sciences.
Sociology Involves Philosophical Thoughts
There is a presence of a great level of philosophical problems in sociology studies. Therefore, it is imperative for a sociologist to analyse philosophical issues when arriving at conclusions. This is because these philosophical issues are in the background of sociological problems. As such, any sociological theory involves a worldview that is Philosophical in nature.
The famous French sociologist David Émile Durkheim claims that sociology makes a contribution to philosophy in a direct manner. This was in spite of the fact that he made a clear distinction between the two fields. According to Durkheim, Sociology contributes towards the renewal of philosophical questions more than any other science. This again shows the close relationship between Sociology and Philosophy.
Close relationship between Sociology and Social Philosophy
Social Philosophy is the point where the fields of sociology and philosophy meet each other. Its role in the social sciences involves the study of social life concepts in the following two aspects:
The question of knowledge is dealt with by the epistemological aspect. This involves the concepts of happiness, justice, society, individuality, etc. The epistemological aspect also deals with the reliability of social sciences principles.
On the other hand, the questions of value fall under the purview of the axiological aspect. It also deals with social life values and the means of achieving them. Therefore, the axiological aspect involves the interpretation and estimation of the social phenomena. This process of interpretation and estimation takes place in terms of morality principles. Social philosophy’s object is the achievement of social good.
Role of Durkheim
Durkheim sociology and philosophy contributions are quite significant. He defines and establishes sociology as an academic subject. Durkheim made a clear distinction between sociology and philosophy, along with other social sciences. His argument was that sociologists must analyse and understand specific features of group life.
Durkheim saw sociology as the study of social facts that are external to the facts of individuals. The social facts represent the characteristics of the group. Moreover, these social facts, according to Durkheim, cannot be studied while being separated from the collective.
According to Durkheim, there are certain features of collective existence. These are as follows:
- Legal systems
- Urban structures
- Moral values
- Family values
Durkheim believed that it is not possible to reduce the above mentioned features to features of individuals which form it.
According to Durkheim, a collective has the following:
Durkheim believed that these parts of the collective are coercive individuals in the form of actors. As such, Durkheim has a structuralist approach to sociology. So, Durkheim believed that social structures have a mighty impact on social action.
According to Durkheim, individuals have certain duties and obligations. Their acting takes place in such a manner that it is strongly impacted by the structures of which they are a constituent.
It is possible to differentiate Sociology from psychology. The main area of concern of sociologists is with the structures that have an impact on social action. In contrast, psychologists focus on individuals and their mental processes.
Philosophy and Sociology are two important complementary fields. A deep understanding of the mind working, morality, ethics, social norms, and human behaviour is in these two fields. The relationship between these two fields can be understood by Philosophy of Sociology, Philosophical Thoughts in Sociology, and the close relationship between Sociology and Social Philosophy. Finally, read the role of the great French sociologist David Émile Durkheim in Philosophy and Sociology. He argued that sociology is distinguishable from economics, psychology, and philosophy.