Among the classical authors of sociology, Émile Durkheim passed away the first on 15 November 1917. His conception of the war as well as his ideas of a possible way out of it, therefore, are far from the horizon of experience that characterized the last year of the conflict. His major war writing is a critical analysis of the intellectual sources of German militarism: L’Allemagne au-dessus de tout. Karsenti focuses on Durkheim’s examination of the “Über-Ideology”, which moulded German nationalism since unification in 1871, especially in the work of Heinrich von Treitschke. Durkheim’s book is a censorship of the enemy’s warfare. Yet, what is interesting to discover, according to Karsenti, is the particular perspective of Durkheim’s investigation. The writing is a critique of all tendencies to reduce international politics to an “Über”. Accordingly, for Durkheim, there is a possible way out of the war, yet it has to be read between the lines of his distinction between a “good and a bad tradition” of the moral sciences in Germany.
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Bruno Karsenti born in 1966, has taught at the universities of Aix-Marseille, Lyon, and Paris I. He then joined the EHESS, where he has been teaching since 2006. He has studied the sociological and anthropological tradition, as well as its role in the development of the modern political thought. He published books on Marcel Mauss, Emile Durkheim, and Auguste Comte. He edited some of Gabriel Tarde’s, Lucien Lévy-Bruhl’s, and Henri Bergson’s writings. Recent publications: Moïse et l’idée de peuple. La vérité historique selon Freud (Paris 2012). D’une philosophie à l’autre. Les sciences sociales et la politique des modernes (Paris 2013). Socialisme et sociologie (et al., Paris 2017); La question juive des modernes. Philosophie de l’émancipation (Paris 2017).
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