Émile Durkheim was a French sociologist whose major contribution was establishing sociology as a major science. Along with Max Weber and Karl Marx, Durkheim is responsible for establishing social science and social psychology as an academic discipline within the college setting. He is considered the father of social science.Know More
In 1887 at the University of Bordeaux, Émile Durkheim was reluctantly given the title “Chargéd'un Cours de Science Sociale et de Pédagogie,” which loosely translates to Professor of Social Science. It was under this guise that sociology first entered the French university system. The mostly “humanist” faculty at Bordeaux preferred the traditional views of history, law and philosophy and were not happy about Durkheim’s presence. Durkheim aroused fears of “social imperialism.” During Durkheim’s tenure at Bordeaux from 1887 to 1902, his main job was to lecture on the theory, history and practice of education. He also held Saturday morning lectures on social science for the public and covered topics such as incest, totemism, suicide, crime, religion, socialism, law, family and kinship.
Durkheim wrote four major works during his lifetime. The first, “The Division of Labor in Society” was published in 1893. “The Rules of Sociological Method” was published in 1895. “Suicide," his third major work, was published in 1897, and “The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life” was published in 1912.Learn more about Philosophy
Franz Boas' major contribution to anthropology was his denial of race as a biological construct. During the late 19th century, anthropologists used biological features to justify racial divisions. Boas disagreed with this and proved that physical features are a result of evolution in one's environment, not evidence of human species.Full Answer >
Plato was a philosopher and mathematician who changed the way philosophy was perceived and practiced in the Western world. He abandoned political power in the oligarchy to seek out virtue. Influenced by Socrates, Plato wrote some of the most enduring pieces of philosophical literature, which have had noted influences on every subsequent culture that read them. He founded the Academy and taught Aristotle, who also shaped Western thought and behavior.Full Answer >
The Republic, a philosophical work produced in 380 BCE and still discussed in modern curriculum, is one of the more commonly known contributions of Plato. The Republic addresses justice and politics. Another contribution of Plato is The Academy, an institution at which students could study astronomy, biology, mathematics and politics.Full Answer >
The sociologist Herbert Spencer is credited with the phrase "survival of the fittest," which he applied to biological evolution years before Darwin's "Origin of Species," and also to the evolution of society. As an agnostic, he also rejected the notion of a divine being, at least insofar as it is possible to say anything meaningful (or empirical) about it.Full Answer >