Durkheim owes much of his ethical theory to Kant, and wishes to retain a great deal of Kantianism in the theory. However, he does so at great cost to his own theory. Instead of reconciling the competing claims of rationalism and empiricism, which is his ultimate goal in utilizing Kant, Durkheim ends up with an ethical theory which is full of contradictions and which is basically a solely empiricist account of morality. By exploring both Kant's and Durkheim's ethical theories, I will demonstrate both the problems inherent in Durkheim's attempt to reconcile rationalism and empiricism, and his failure in retaining a universalistic account of morality, given the context of his theory. The result is an ethical theory with relativistic implications.
Philosophy | Sociology
Lyons '91, Maureen, "Kantianism and Emile Durkheim's Ethical Theory" (1991). Honors Projects. Paper 21.