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In a context marked by recurrent attempts to delegitimize sociology, the article tries to define the requisites of a history of this discipline and in so doing to help us to answer the increasingly widespread and insistent questions about its purpose and nature. Based on a critical reading of Marc Joly’s recently published book, La Révolution sociologique (2017), this article seeks to fix, if not the integral meaning of sociology, at least the conditions that must govern its retrospective apprehension. Three negative conclusions emerge from this reading. The revolution introduced by classical sociology into the modern order of knowledge can only be grasped if we go beyond epistemology (1), take into account the conflicts over the social (2), in order to generalize without dogmatism towards a historical definition (3). In conclusion, two positive criteria that at once respond to these constraints and give the expression “sociological revolution” its proper value are indicated (1) the internal relation with political philosophy on a theoretical-methodological level, and (2) the constitutive relationship with socialism on a practical-political level. These conclusions also serve as points of reference that can be used to seize the sources of the current crisis of sociology as well as its possible solutions.


  • Sociology
  • philosophy
  • history
  • revolution
  • crisis
Francesco Callegaro
Johan Giry
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