chapter  Chapter One
130 Pages

The Forerunners and Founders of the Sociology of Law

WithGeorges Gurvitch, Alan Hunt

The one series of forerunners of sociology of law occupied themselves principally with the problems of the genesis of law, which they proposed to study by going back to the most ancient societies and seeking a continuous and uninterrupted line of development. Quesnay, Le Trosne, Dupont de Nemours, Merrier de la Riviere—by their reflections on the "fundamental and essential order of society" which the State is incapable of modifying, by their realization that the law decreed by the State always gives way before that of economic society— became simultaneously founders of political economy and promoters of sociology of law. The junction between research in the jural typology of groups and genetic sociology of law, anticipated in certain German doctrines, found a particularly clear expression in the French socialist doctrines of Saint-Simon and, more particularly, of Proudhon. A more detailed analysis leads Durkheim to distinguish certain sub-types within the two main types of jural regulations and forms of solidarity.