Sunday, 22 October 2000

From "The Division of Labour in Society"

By Emile Durkheim trans. George Simpson.

This law definitely plays a role in society analogous to that played by the nervous system in the organism. The latter has as its task, in effect, the regulation of the different functions of the body in such a way as make them harmonise. It thus very naturally expresses the state of concentration at which the organism has arrived, in accordance with the division of physiological labour. Thus, on different levels of the animal scale, we can measure the degree of this concentration according to the development of the nervous system. Which is to say that we can equally measure the degree of concentration at which society has arrived in accordance with the division of social labour according to the development of cooperative law with restitutive sanctions. We can foresee the great services that this criterion will render us.

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