Durkheim on law and morality: The disintegration thesis

Steven Lukes, Devyani Prabhat

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    A celebrated and much-discussed article by the distinguished English legal philosopher H.L.A. Hart entitled 'Social Solidarity and the Enforcement of Morality' (1967) presents a radically simplified account - a caricature, so to speak - of Émile Durkheim's views on law and morality. Hart called this account 'the disintegration thesis' and identified the then eminent English judge, Lord Devlin, and Durkheim as proponents of this thesis. We here seek to set out the disintegration thesis as formulated by Hart and also his helpful suggestions for rendering it into a set of empirical claims. We dispute his attribution of this thesis to Durkheim and present an alternative account of Durkheim's views about law and its relation to morality. The critique of Hart's characterization of Durkheim helps to identify what is distinctive about Durkheim's views and to explore various questions raised by Durkheim's writings concerning the legal regulation of morality. We conclude by suggesting ways in which Durkheim's answer is particularly relevant to our time.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)363-383
    Number of pages21
    JournalJournal of Classical Sociology
    Volume12
    Issue number3-4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Aug 2012

    Fingerprint

    morality
    Law
    attribution
    solidarity
    regulation

    Keywords

    • Crime
    • disintegration
    • evolution of law
    • individualism
    • morality
    • norms
    • prohibition
    • punishment
    • solidarity
    • torture

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science

    Cite this

    Durkheim on law and morality : The disintegration thesis. / Lukes, Steven; Prabhat, Devyani.

    In: Journal of Classical Sociology, Vol. 12, No. 3-4, 08.2012, p. 363-383.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Lukes, Steven ; Prabhat, Devyani. / Durkheim on law and morality : The disintegration thesis. In: Journal of Classical Sociology. 2012 ; Vol. 12, No. 3-4. pp. 363-383.
    @article{57d180910e5b4e4484d19cd1d65b062d,
    title = "Durkheim on law and morality: The disintegration thesis",
    abstract = "A celebrated and much-discussed article by the distinguished English legal philosopher H.L.A. Hart entitled 'Social Solidarity and the Enforcement of Morality' (1967) presents a radically simplified account - a caricature, so to speak - of {\'E}mile Durkheim's views on law and morality. Hart called this account 'the disintegration thesis' and identified the then eminent English judge, Lord Devlin, and Durkheim as proponents of this thesis. We here seek to set out the disintegration thesis as formulated by Hart and also his helpful suggestions for rendering it into a set of empirical claims. We dispute his attribution of this thesis to Durkheim and present an alternative account of Durkheim's views about law and its relation to morality. The critique of Hart's characterization of Durkheim helps to identify what is distinctive about Durkheim's views and to explore various questions raised by Durkheim's writings concerning the legal regulation of morality. We conclude by suggesting ways in which Durkheim's answer is particularly relevant to our time.",
    keywords = "Crime, disintegration, evolution of law, individualism, morality, norms, prohibition, punishment, solidarity, torture",
    author = "Steven Lukes and Devyani Prabhat",
    year = "2012",
    month = "8",
    doi = "10.1177/1468795X12453270",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "12",
    pages = "363--383",
    journal = "Journal of Classical Sociology",
    issn = "1468-795X",
    publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
    number = "3-4",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Durkheim on law and morality

    T2 - The disintegration thesis

    AU - Lukes, Steven

    AU - Prabhat, Devyani

    PY - 2012/8

    Y1 - 2012/8

    N2 - A celebrated and much-discussed article by the distinguished English legal philosopher H.L.A. Hart entitled 'Social Solidarity and the Enforcement of Morality' (1967) presents a radically simplified account - a caricature, so to speak - of Émile Durkheim's views on law and morality. Hart called this account 'the disintegration thesis' and identified the then eminent English judge, Lord Devlin, and Durkheim as proponents of this thesis. We here seek to set out the disintegration thesis as formulated by Hart and also his helpful suggestions for rendering it into a set of empirical claims. We dispute his attribution of this thesis to Durkheim and present an alternative account of Durkheim's views about law and its relation to morality. The critique of Hart's characterization of Durkheim helps to identify what is distinctive about Durkheim's views and to explore various questions raised by Durkheim's writings concerning the legal regulation of morality. We conclude by suggesting ways in which Durkheim's answer is particularly relevant to our time.

    AB - A celebrated and much-discussed article by the distinguished English legal philosopher H.L.A. Hart entitled 'Social Solidarity and the Enforcement of Morality' (1967) presents a radically simplified account - a caricature, so to speak - of Émile Durkheim's views on law and morality. Hart called this account 'the disintegration thesis' and identified the then eminent English judge, Lord Devlin, and Durkheim as proponents of this thesis. We here seek to set out the disintegration thesis as formulated by Hart and also his helpful suggestions for rendering it into a set of empirical claims. We dispute his attribution of this thesis to Durkheim and present an alternative account of Durkheim's views about law and its relation to morality. The critique of Hart's characterization of Durkheim helps to identify what is distinctive about Durkheim's views and to explore various questions raised by Durkheim's writings concerning the legal regulation of morality. We conclude by suggesting ways in which Durkheim's answer is particularly relevant to our time.

    KW - Crime

    KW - disintegration

    KW - evolution of law

    KW - individualism

    KW - morality

    KW - norms

    KW - prohibition

    KW - punishment

    KW - solidarity

    KW - torture

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84866866589&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84866866589&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1177/1468795X12453270

    DO - 10.1177/1468795X12453270

    M3 - Article

    AN - SCOPUS:84866866589

    VL - 12

    SP - 363

    EP - 383

    JO - Journal of Classical Sociology

    JF - Journal of Classical Sociology

    SN - 1468-795X

    IS - 3-4

    ER -