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 0857281798, 9780857281791

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The Anthem Companion to Gabriel Tarde

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ANTHEM COMPANIONS TO SOCIOLOGY Anthem Companions to Sociology offer authoritative and comprehensive assessments of major figures in the development of sociology from the last two centuries. Covering the major advancements in sociological thought, these companions offer critical evaluations of key figures in the American and European sociological tradition, and will provide students and scholars with an in-​depth assessment of the makers of sociology and chart their relevance to modern society. Series Editor Bryan S. Turner—​City University of New York, USA/​Australian Catholic University, Australia/​University of Potsdam, Germany Forthcoming title The Anthem Companion to Philip Rieff

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The Anthem Companion to Gabriel Tarde Edited by Robert Leroux

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Anthem Press An imprint of Wimbledon Publishing Company www.anthempress.com This edition first published in UK and USA 2018 by ANTHEM PRESS 75–​76 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HA, UK or PO Box 9779, London SW19 7ZG, UK and 244 Madison Ave #116, New York, NY 10016, USA © 2018 Robert Leroux editorial matter and selection; individual chapters © individual contributors The moral right of the authors has been asserted. All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. British Library Cataloguing-​in-​Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloging-​in-​Publication Data Names: Leroux, Robert, 1964– editor. Title: The Anthem companion to Gabriel Tarde/[edited by] Robert Leroux. Description: London; New York, NY: Anthem Press, 2018. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2018007052 | ISBN 9780857281791 (hardback) Subjects: LCSH: Tarde, Gabriel de, 1843–1904. | Sociology – History. Classification: LCC HM479.T37 A58 2018 | DDC 301.09–dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018007052 ISBN-​13: 978-​0-​85728-​179-​1 (Hbk) ISBN-​10: 0-​85728-​179-​8 (Hbk) This title is also available as an e-​book.

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À la mémoire de Raymond Boudon (1934–​2013)

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CONTENTS

Introduction Robert Leroux

Chapter 1. Forgotten Social Psychologies: Gabriel Tarde’s Formulations Ian Lubek

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Chapter 2. Rediscovering Gabriel Tarde Elihu Katz

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Chapter 3. Tarde and the Maddening Crowd James B. Rule

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Chapter 4. On Gabriel Tarde’s Psychologie Économique Bernard Valade

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Chapter 5. Gabriel Tarde’s Sociology of Power Massimo Borlandi

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Chapter 6. Gabriel Tarde: The “Swallow” of French Criminology Marc Renneville

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Chapter 7. Tarde and Durkheimian Sociology Robert Leroux

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Chapter 8. From the Philosophy of History to Social Science: Gabriel Tarde, Reader of Cournot Thierry Martin Chapter 9. Tarde and Simmel on Sociability and Unsociability David Toews Chapter 10. Babylonian “Socialism” versus Troglodyte “Communism”: Two Utopias of Gabriel Tarde Efraim Podoksik

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Chapter 11. Gabriel Tarde’s Manuscripts and Library: Construction and Uses of Database at the End of the Nineteenth Century Louise Salmon

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List of Contributors

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Index

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INTRODUCTION Robert Leroux

At the close of the nineteenth century, Gabriel Tarde held an enviable position within the nascent but still restricted community of sociologists (Valade 1989). Tarde’s works were widely read, and they sparked much discussion among those who, like Alfred Espinas and René Worms, were striving to make sociology a true scientific discipline. Auguste Comte of course, had signed the birth certificate of this discipline half a century earlier but Tarde, in contrast to his great rival Émile Durkheim, was not at all inspired by the founder of positivism, unless it was to contradict him. Instead it was Antoine Augustin Cournot, at least in his philosophical writings, who served Tarde as a kind of intellectual guide (Martin 2002). Hence the originality of Tarde’s sociology, the intention of which, as revealed in much of his works, was to link the homogenous and the heterogeneous—​like and unlike—​in a strict relationship of reciprocity that evokes some aspects of Hegelian dialectic. What struck him in particular, in the panorama of history, was the picture of the man who makes and unmakes himself in contact with others, and the picture of a society that is constantly being reshaped by the invention, imitation and subjectivity of social players. Such a stance, which ran counter to the positivism of his time, was of course unlikely to attract many readers to the author of Les Lois de l’imitation, but it may help explain his intellectual legacy, which was tortuous to say the least. In 1970 the philosopher Jean Milet, in the most important book yet devoted to the thought of Tarde, had this to say about his legacy: “History commits some strange injustices. It has been particularly harsh on Tarde. This man was hailed by his contemporaries as one of the great thinkers of his time […]. Yet a few years after his death that same man fell into an inexplicable oblivion. A shroud of silence settled over his work. For the last 50 years, mention of the very existence of this great sociologist and philosopher was to be found in only a few studies and articles, often moreover of foreign

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origin” (1970, 13). Even Raymond Aron, who wrote a great deal on the history of sociology, did not see fit to include Tarde in his gallery of intellectual portraits. How, in hindsight, are we to interpret this eclipse? We must surely start by looking at the architecture of his work, which is written in a heavy, needlessly complicated style, often distracted by curious digressions and a somewhat questionable use of metaphors borrowed from the world of nature. We must also say that the recurrent comparisons that are drawn between Tarde and Durkheim (who was much more precise in articulating his ideas) have not always been to the former’s advantage. Some social science historians have also put forward the notion that Durkheim’s ideas were more in keeping with the social and political context of the time (marked in particular by the emergence of trade unions and the growing influence of the socialists) than were those of Tarde, who was “more attuned to the high-​bourgeois internationalist viewpoint of the salons that Tarde took pains to frequent when he settled in Paris in 1904” (Lubek 1981, 377). Opposed to socialism and partial to elitism, Tarde was something of an anachronism in his own time (Lukes 1973, 202). It was not until the 1960s that his sociological work was seriously revisited (Clark 1969; Boudon 1971). This book seeks to identify the principal threads of a complex course of thought, resolutely tortuous, which has contributed greatly to the development of sociology, in France and elsewhere. Although he founded no “school,” and never had any real disciples, Tarde certainly propagated some new ideas in his own time. For example, his social psychology, which he developed with a perspective far removed from that of Gustave Le Bon, was one of the most important influences on the symbolic interactionism of the Chicago school. And in his analyses—​which have spawned scarcely any posterity—​he also had the virtue of seeing that the overly narrow utilitarianism of some economists was incomplete and betrayed major theoretical gaps. It is true in any case that Tarde was not the author of just one book. We would be at risk of misunderstanding Tarde, whom Dauriac in fact considered “one of the most original philosophers of the 19th century” (1906, 149) if, as is often the case, we confined ourselves to his famous Lois de l’imitation. There can be no doubt, in any case, that over the last 15 years the work of Gabriel Tarde has for various reasons undergone new assessments. The authors of this rediscovery approach it from different horizons. The present volume of essays, as will be seen, includes contributors from no fewer than four generations of “social scientists” whose thinking is rooted in many different intellectual traditions.

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References Boudon, R. 1971. La crise de la sociologie. Genève: Droz, 75–​91. Clark, T. N. 1969. Gabriel Tarde:  On Communication and Social Influence. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. Dauriac, L. 1906. “La philosophie de Gabriel Tarde,” L’Année philosophique, XVI, 149–​169. Lubek, I. 1981. “Histoire de psychologies sociales perdues: le cas de Gabriel Tarde,” Revue française de sociologie, 22, 361–​395. Lukes, S. 1973. Émile Durkheim:  His Life and Work. A  Historical and Critical Study. London: Penguin. Milet, J. 1970. Gabriel Tarde et la philosophie l’histoire. Paris: Vrin. Valade, B. 1989. “Gabriel Tarde (1843–​1904),” Encyclopaedia Universalis, 22, 66–​68.

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Chapter 1 FORGOTTEN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGIES: GABRIEL TARDE’S FORMULATIONS Ian Lubek

In examining the “lost social psychologies” of Gabriel Tarde, a research format and set of guiding hypotheses are offered to historians, sociologists and social psychologists of science (Lubek 1993a) interested in studying Tarde, other “lost” social psychologists, or more generally, any branch of a discipline that has “disappeared” from historical accounts (Lubek 1983a; Lubek and Apfelbaum 1979, 1987). After a brief overview of Tarde’s life work and style of intellectual system-​building, four specific attempts to create a Tardean social psychology are examined, including his final formulation of an interpsychology. But his ideas had little impact in France and North America (Lubek 1990). Five hypotheses are offered to guide research about the historical and institutional factors at work:  (1) the debate with Durkheim represented a clash of “paradigm/​exemplars”; (2)  there was a lack of a Tardean paradigm/​ The author acknowledges grants/​ fellowships from Canada Council, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) of France. Research was facilitated by interviews with Guillaume de Tarde (1885–​1989), youngest son of Gabriel Tarde, and Mme Paul-​Henri Bergeret, granddaughter, who kindly gave access to the papers of Gabriel Tarde, at the time kept in the family home at La Roque Gageac, France. The Tarde Archives are now located in Paris at the C.H.E.V.S. Archive (Centre for 20th Century History) at the Fondation Sciences Politiques (Salmon 2005). Unpublished manuscripts and correspondence of Tarde mentioned are found in the Tarde Archives. Erika Apfelbaum (CNRS) assisted with archival work and translations, contributing helpful comments during the writing, completed while a visiting researcher at the Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale, CNRS/​Université de Paris VII. This text evolved from a series of conference papers at, e.g., American Psychological Association, in 1979. An abridged French version appeared in Revue française de Sociologie (1981, 361–​395).

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community to promote and institutionalize his ideas; (3) Tarde’s perspective may not have been compatible with the sociopolitical ethos; (4) linguistic and cultural barriers may have prevented transatlantic migration of the ideas; and (5) interactionist theories had an epistemologically vague status within the positivistic social sciences. The search for “lost” systematic social-​psychological analyses may help correct some of what Samelson (1974) called “origin myths” in the history of a discipline. In examining more closely a “forgotten” research enterprise in terms of its own sociocultural–​historical context, one may get a better understanding of certain key turning points in the development of a scientific discipline. In other studies, explanations have been sought about why certain minority (or dissident) ideas, theories or paradigm/​exemplars (Lubek and Apfelbaum 1979, 1987; Lubek 1980) have become lost or defeated in debate, often against a stronger “paradigm/​community” that support what eventually will become the mainstream formulations or paradigm/​exemplar. One purpose of this chapter is to highlight the use of primary archival sources in historiography. At the time of the original work in the 1970s, there was a renaissance in scholarship in France about the history of sociology and the social sciences, and archival research began in earnest. A “Durkheimian study group” was formed in Paris, issued a newsletter, and also organized special issues of the Revue française de sociologie, with Philippe Besnard (1976, 1979a, 1981) editing three, starting in 1976 with À propos de Durkheim, followed in 1979 by “Les durkheimiens” and, in 1981, “Sociologies françaises au tournant du siècle. Les concurrents du groupe durkheimien,” in which a precursor version of this chapter appeared (Lubek 1981). This group found various Parisian sociological archives to work with, but to my knowledge, only Milet (1970) had previously consulted the Tarde archives in the Dordogne region of France to write about Tarde for his thesis. This “antique” article is presented here to show the great value of texts such as diaries, letters, lecture notes, book contracts in understanding what goes on “behind the scenes” in academia or “behind the pages” in publications. Since the article appeared in French, much additional research about Tarde has appeared (e.g., Barry and Thrift 2007; Blackman 2007; Candea 2010; King 2016; Leroux 2011; Salmon 2005). But back in the nineteenth century, there was a wide variety of articles and books, conference papers, symposia and courses in universities and colleges, each touching on some aspect of the evolving “social psychology, and if we confine ourselves to contributions in the French language, we can scan the literature starting with P.  Chasles’s (1875) posthumous book La psychologie sociale des nouveaux peuples until the outbreak of World War I.  The specific social-​psychological contributions of Duprat, Hamon, Palante, Toulouse and

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Chasles have already been briefly described (Lubek 1980) and attention paid to Augustin Hamon (Apfelbaum and Lubek 1982; 1983; Lubek and Apfelbaum 1989). But, as well, works on social-​psychological themes were offered to turn-​ of-​the-​century French readers by Bunge, Draghiesco, de Roberty, Mazel, Maxwell, Marion, Campeano, Létourneau, Bourgeois, de la Grasserie, Le Bon, Bouglé, Fouillée, Parodi, Lapie, De Greef, Solvay and others (Lubek 1980; Gundlach 1977). During the Third Republic, a number of currents of ideas, institutions, social movements and evolving academic disciplines confronted the interaction between the individual and society (Apfelbaum 1986). This was often discussed in both scholarly and popular media under such rubrics as social sciences, socialism, solidarism, mutualism, social hygiene, syndicalism, social work, social questions, folk psychology, collective psychology and crowd psychology. Eventually (by the 1890s), some authors, including Tarde, would begin to use the term “social psychology.” Many of the earlier “proto-​social psychologies” (Apfelbaum 1986) have been forgotten, both in France and in North America, and not mentioned in historical accounts. As well, some of the origins of evolving systems of “social psychology,” such as Tarde’s, were not documented by disciplinary historians. It may be useful for a fuller understanding of a discipline’s present state, the longevity of its scientific research, and training programmes for its new researchers to examine how and why these “lost” or forgotten social psychologies, or contributing branches, have disappeared. This chapter focuses on just one under-​cited and “lost” French contributor to social psychology, Gabriel Tarde, who may have been the most persistent social thinker of the period attempting to formulate a systematic social psychology. Tarde’s (1890) early work on imitation was cited and remembered in the 1940s–​1960s in the North American literature of child/​developmental psychology, and his works on criminology were also cited in France. But his various attempts to create a systematic “social psychology” are largely unknown on both sides of the Atlantic. We will only briefly examine Tarde’s overall writings (œuvres), but rather focus more specifically on the social-​psychological ideas. A  final section will offer some hypotheses about the lack of acceptance of Tarde’s social-​psychological ideas within the developing discipline of social psychology.

The Evolution of Tarde’s Œuvre: Problems of Slow Gestation, Dissemination, Expansion and Repetition Tarde reports seeking a social explanation of the individual’s economic, collective and interpersonal behavior:  “j’ai essayé de dégager […] le côté

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purement social des faits humains” (Tarde 1890, i). A rich set of biographical materials about Tarde is already available; this chapter focuses more narrowly on his social-​psychological ideas. See further: Bouglé (1905a), Clark (1968a; 1969), Discours (1909), Guy-​ Grand (1934), Lacassagne (1904), Matagrin (1910), Mazel (1904), Milet (1970), Tarde (1909a) and the unpublished diaries of Tarde (1862–​1900). From this material one receives the impression that Tarde emerged as a creative thinker who developed many of his ideas while isolated from other social thinkers. His eclectic interests led him to extensive self-​directed readings, especially after he returned in 1866 to his native Sarlat (and the nearby home at La Roque Gageac) to begin a legal career. Generally, his ideas took some time to germinate, from the moment he first noted them to their more polished appearance in print. Although initially rather shy about publishing his ideas, he tried them out as short articles before reworking them into longer, more systematic studies. As his early ideas matured, he constantly revised them and then expanded them into new areas. As he explained to a young social psychologist, G. L. Duprat, in a letter: “De fait, mes idées principales se sont formées bien longtemps avant leur publication. Un de mes anciens collègues de Ruffec se souvient très bien que je lui ai souvent exposé, dès 1874 ou1875, ce qu’il a lu depuis plus développé dans mes ouvrages […] Entre vingt-​cinq et trente ans, mon système d’idées a pris corps” (Tarde 1904a, 333). The systematic reworking and updating of ideas sometimes brought about criticisms of Tarde’s later works: some of the material, developed at an earlier stage, might not be fully integrated with the later-​developed ideas. For example, in 1881 he published his first article on La pychologie en économie politique; these ideas would later be repeated in La logique sociale (Tarde 1895a) and Psychologie économique (Tarde 1902). Similarly, in the early 1880s a series of articles began appearing in Revue philosophique that formed the basic ideas of Lois de l’imitation (Tarde 1890). Another element that would affect the speed and direction of development of Tarde’s œuvre was editorial decision making. Below are several examples of these processes at work in the shaping of the Tardean system or paradigm/​exemplar (Lubek and Apfelbaum 1979; Lubek 1980). These may provide useful clues when considering the specific problems Tarde would face in gaining acceptance for his social-​psychological ideas. Milet (1970) discusses two early unpublished studies by Tarde on La différence universelle (Tarde 1870) and Les possibles (Tarde 1874). Both informed his later work and portions of the latter finally were published in Tarde (1895a; 1895b). In 1874, he readied a book for publication entitled La répétition et l’évolution des phénomènes: Essai critique et théorique, but after failing to agree to the conditions of the editor (Germer Ballière, the predecessor of Félix Alcan), he withdrew

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the text. Essertier suggests: “Un de ses manuscrits, qui date de 1874, fait déjà de l’imitation, c’est-​à-​dire de l’interaction des consciences, la loi du monde moral et social” (1930, 201). The slow gestation of Tarde’s ideas can also be seen by comparing the different manuscript versions of what started, in February 1884 as a sociological novel, Roman sociologigue: Une page d’histoire future, which was Tarde’s troglodytic utopia set in the twenty-​second century. After several revisions, the setting was moved to the twenty-​fifth century, and the manuscript was sent to sociologist/​editor René Worms, who changed its title to Fragment d’histoire future (Tarde 1896; reprinted in 1904 and 1905, and translated into English in 1905, with a preface by H. G. Wells). Les Lois sociales (Tarde 1898b) also shows a revision and summary of three major systematic works (Tarde 1890, 1895a; l897). During the last one-​third of his life, Tarde became increasingly prolific and produced 15 books plus numerous articles in the areas of criminology, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, sociology, geography, archeology, history, economics, futurology, penology, social psychology and, time permitting, literary divertissements and poetry. In much of this work, key concepts and themes are reworked, updated, then applied to new areas, such as politics, law, power and economics, and then further expanded. As discussed below, some critics chose to focus on that which was repeated, rather than evaluating the new systematic extensions that had been made. Given the narrow focus of this chapter on social psychology, we do not cover the different branches of Tarde’s eclectic writing, as described by philosopher Henri Bergson, as a point de vue très original sur la causalité […], celle qui opère dans les sociétés humaines, où un individu invente et où d’autres individus l’imitent. L’imitation […] c’est une certaine action sui generis qui s’exerce d’esprit. C’est une certaine contagion psychologique se propageant dans une certaine direction déterminée. C’est, entre les consciences, un va-​et-​vient qui tend à produire un nivellement et qui les amènerait toutes sur le même plan si, à chaque instant, de nouvelles inventions ne créaient de nouvelles différences de niveau. Psychologique et social tout à la fois par ses origines, ce principe a conduit Tarde à constituer une science des sociétés qui repose sur l’étude de l’âme humaine et une science de l’âme humaine qui tient l’individu pour prédestiné à la vie sociale. Il a donné une sociologie nettement psychologique, et une psychologie toute prête à s’épanouir en sociologie. Entre la science de l’homme individuel et celle de l’homme social Tarde opéra une synthèse sur laquelle il fit converger toutes les autres sciences particulières. La répétition avec l’opposition et l’adaption qui en sont complémentaires, fut pour lui un principe d’explication véritablement universel. (Bergson 1909, 6)

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Four Attempts to Create a Systematic Tardean Social Psychology Tarde himself thought that the roots of social psychology were traceable to the observations and analyses of Mme de Sévigné’s 17th-​century salon society (Tarde, 1901, 139–​140). The origins of his own attempts to systematize social psychology are traceable to the early 1880s. After outlining his various attempts, we may speculate about why these social-​psychological ideas became “lost” in France and America. How Tarde’s two-​volume “Social Psychology” (Tarde 1887) lost its title Examination of Tarde’s personal papers shows that from about 1884 onward, there were plans for a two-​part work entitled Psychologie sociale and La logique sociale. Tarde worked from March 15 to April 19, 1884, then added revisions in February 1885 to a chapter entitled Logique individuelle et logique sociale. He noted on the folder containing this chapter: “Attach this as a final chapter to a book titled Psychologie sociale et logique sociale or else Logique sociale et psychologie sociale.” During 1886–​1887, his “plan” listed a variety of alternative titles and variations including: La psychologie sociale; La psychologie sociale, théorie sociologique; La psychologie sociale et la logique historique; La psychologie des sociétés et la logique de l’histoire; L’imitation et la science sociale. In June 1886 he envisioned two distinct parts, the first on “Imitation and its laws” and the second on “Invention and its laws” (including social logic and social teleology). By 1887, a file folder contained a two-​part work to be called La psychologie sociale: essai sur la science des sociétés, with an alternative title listed as Les lois de l’imitation: principes de la science sociale. As such, the material for the two volumes was sent off to the publisher, Félix Alcan. In his foreword for the book titled “Psychologie sociale” (unpublished document, dated May 1887), Tarde indicates that he has chosen the title “Social Psychology” because sociology was too entrenched in the public mind (after Comte and Spencer) “with physical or biological interpretations of social facts.” Tarde dissociates himself from the organicist view of sociology. “In other terms, if I don’t view sociology as a ‘higher’ form of biology, even more tangled and obscure than the original, I do regard it as an enlarged psychology, enlightened by its own extensions.” With all the recent revolutionary advances in psychology, social science, according to Tarde, could not remain indifferent to that discipline. For even if psychology called itself physiological, it “is eminently sociological by its implications and its consequences,” as a look at Bernheim’s work on “universal suggestion” would show. In outlining “a pure

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sociology untrammeled by any anatomical or physiological elements,” Tarde notes that this youngest science can come of its own, leaving anthropology to worry about the whole man and his physical and social sides. Tarde defines his task as a sociologist “to consider man exclusively as a member of society, as a transitory depository of a social form, a certain type of civilization which preceded him and will survive beyond him.” Finally, he argues that “the social is therefore quite distinct from the vital, although the social may be formed as a consequence of the vital, by an accumulation of individual contributions over the centuries. But one must specify the nature of these ‘deposits’ and unravel the distinctive, permanent, and necessary features of the resulting social phenomenon […] the capital of individuals consists exclusively of beliefs and wishes, susceptible to spread by imitation (i.e., for discoveries and inventions, for initiating ideas. and plans), and such propagation of given examples is the characteristic achievement of societies” (Tarde 1887, unpublished manuscript). A series of letters was exchanged between Alcan, Tarde and the psychology advisor to Alcan, Th. Ribot, during August and September 1887. Alcan (letter to Tarde, August 12, 1887) was reticent to publish such a large work, which would entail 2 volumes of 350–​400 pages each, and which would have to be marketed at the prohibitive price of 15 francs. As well, Alcan was unable to put up the 4,500–​5,000 franc costs of production, but nonetheless offered to distribute the book for Tarde, if the latter paid the printer. A week later, Alcan (letter to Tarde, August 19, 1887) agreed to publish the two works separately. Les Lois de l’imitation, the first volume, appeared in 1890 priced at 6 francs (and a second edition at 7 francs 50 followed in 1895), but minus Tarde’s foreword about social psychology and any indication that this was part of a two-​volume work on social psychology. The appearance of the second book. La logique sociale, followed only five years later, in 1895. Although a number of authors place the publication date as 1893 (e.g., Tarde 1909; Benrubi 1933; Milet 1970) or else 1894 (e.g., Clark 1969; Guy-​Grand 1934), the earliest copy I have come across of the first edition is dated 1895. Les lois de l’imitation became Tarde’s psychological hallmark, first in France then in America. The English translation by E. C. Parsons, appeared as The Laws of Imitation, but not until 1903. However, La logique sociale was less widely distributed in France and was never translated into English. A rough comparison of impact can be attempted if one assumes that the degree of dissemination of ideas correlates with the numbers of books sold. (We know from such sources as the National Union Catalogue, or Lorenz’s Catalogue approximately how many editions each work went through. (Lubek 1981, Table 1, 367) The general pattern that emerges from examining the account statements sent by Alcan to Tarde (1897–​1901) is that there was probably an initial press run of 1,000 copies and most later editions had 500 copies printed. After scrutiny of

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the accounts, I estimate that prior to 1921, Les lois de l’imitation sold about 4,600 copies in France, while La logique sociale saw about 2,500 copies printed. The English translation, The Laws of Imitation, was estimated to have sold between 1,500 to 2,500 between 1903 and 1962 The dissemination of Tarde’s works may be compared with sales in America of other “social psychology” works, often used as college textbooks. Murphy (1949, 405) reports sales for William McDougall’s (1908) Social Psychology text at over 100,000, while Edward A. Ross’s Social Control (1901) sold about 18,000 copies by 1933 and his Social Psychology 43,000 (Weinberg, Hinkle and Hinkle, 1969). There may also be a relation between books read during undergraduate and graduate training and the longevity of certain ideas within a paradigm/​community (Lubek 1980; 1993). Comparisons of the “classic texts” of the social sciences with university course syllabi and later citations in the literature may shed some light on the relation between book sales and later impact of a system of ideas (Garfield 1978). In Les Lois de l’imitation, social-​psychological mechanisms and laws are sketched, and case materials and analogies help illustrate a variety of Tarde’s ideas on, for example, La répétition universelle; Les similitudes sociales et l’imitation; Les lois logiques de l’imitation; Les duels et accouplements logiques; Les influences extra-​ logiques; La supériorité sociale, and La coutume de la mode. Tarde discusses how the customs, ideas, gestures of a person (group or society) are transmitted by imitation: “le procédé psychologique par lequel les idées se répètent et se propagent dans le monde social.” Inventions, for Tarde, are not just “certaines hautes hypothèses” or “certains perfectionnements mécaniques ou industriels,” but also encompass “cette multitude d’idées, de désirs, de décisions, qui remplissent nos journées et qui ne sont, au fond, que des combinaisons d’idées ou de désirs anciens” (Tarde 1909a, 42). The spread of the wave. Tarde proposed such laws as: “l’imitation […] va de l’intérieur à l’extérieur, va du supérieur à l’inférieur,” and that there is a “loi d’alternance de la coutume et de la mode”—​the former representing imitation of the past, and the latter, a more contagious, present imitation (Tarde 1909a, 43–​45). In La logique sociale, Tarde (1895a) takes a logical look at both individual cognitive-​logical processes, and the logic involved in interpersonal decisions. By the 1970s, social psychologists interested in varieties of cognitive social-​ psychological theories (exchange, cognitive dissonance, balance theories, dialectical social psychology, etc.) could rediscover a rich treasure of precursor ideas in Tarde’s work (1895a). Perhaps the essence of the La logigue sociale can be summarized as follows:  “Il s’agit de savoir d’abord par quelle démarche logique l’individu balancé entre des idées ou des désirs qui luttent au seuil de sa croyance ou de sa volonté, se décide entre eux après hésitation ou trouve

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le moyen terme qui les unit; et comment d’autre part ces conclusions intimes, tirées séparément dans chaque individu, après s’être heurtées entre elles dans des luttes non plus individuelles mais sociales, s’harmonisent enfin, par des triomphes ou des accords que répand l’imitation et qui conservent à la société son équilibre nécessaire” (Tarde 1909a, 45). The first chapter, “logique individuelle,” discusses “la croyance et le désir” and suggests how such beliefs and desires may be measured for intensity and how their interplay creates social life, as reflected in language, religion, science, industry, law, and so forth. “L’esprit social,” part of “Logique sociale statique,” shows parallels between the “psychologie des personnes et la psychologie des sociétés,” but ends with a “critique de l’idée de l’organisme social.” After a brief categorization of decision-​making outcomes (la série historique des états logiques), Tarde continues his discussion of “Logique sociale dynamique” with a chapter on “Les lois d’invention,” for example, the law of passage from multi-​conscience to single conscience. The second half of the book is directed toward applications of these ideas in the content areas of language, religion, “the heart” (le cœur), political economy and art. Tarde’s plan in the 1880s seems to have been to create a systematic social psychology as he worked on his magnum opus. Tarde’s ideas on the psychological and sociological aspects of imitation were picked up in the works of American social/​developmental psychologist James Mark Baldwin (1895; 1897) and sociologist Edward A. Ross (1908). But his two-​volume idea of a social psychology (Tarde 1890; 1895a) has not been cited by later English-​speaking social psychologists as making a pioneering contribution to their discipline, perhaps ignored (or left to developmental psychologists interested in imitation and modeling) simply because of the removal of the original title of “Social Psychology.” In France, as well, the debates with sociologist Émile Durkheim caused much of Tarde’s writing to be viewed, or retrospectively labelled, as “individualistic” and “psychologistic,” rather than social-​psychological (or sociological). Could a two-​volume Psychologie sociale, composed of Les lois de l’imitation and La logique sociale, have provided a defined content area and a guiding set of principles sufficient to delineate, in the 1890s, a psychologically oriented social psychology? At this point, one can only speculate about what different turns the fledgling discipline of social psychology might have taken had an editorial decision not stripped Tarde’s two-​volume work of its original title, “Psychologie sociale.” Tarde’s Études de psychologie sociale More than a decade passed from the moment when Tarde’s Psychologie sociale of 1887 became “dis-​entitled” at the publisher’s until a 326-​page volume

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appeared in R.  Worms’s book series (Bibliothèque sociologique internationale) as Études de psychologie sociale (Tarde 1898a). This book was a collection of both unpublished conference papers and previously published articles, loosely intertwined to demonstrate his evolving social-​psychological position. The articles were entitled: “La sociologie”; “Les deux éléments de la sociologie”; “Le transformisme social”; “L’idée de l’organisme social”; “Criminalité et santé sociale; La criminalité professionnelle”; “La jeunesse criminelle”; “Souvenirs de transports judiciaires”; “La graphologie; Sympathie et synthèse”; “La sociologie de M.  Giddings”; “Crimes, délits, contraventions.” Many of the articles were devoted to criticisms of other sociological formulations, for example, organicist, Belgian “transformist” and Durkheimian. But from time to time, notions arise about the interactionist social-​psychological perspective or “interpsychology” that Tarde was developing. Already, in La logique sociale, Tarde (1895a, Chap. 4) had discussed “invention” in terms of dialectical inter-​ cerebral contradictions. In the first essay in this new work “La sociologie” (Tarde 1898a, 62) Tarde describes an “interpsychic psychology complemented with a social logic”; in the second paper, originally presented in 1894, he takes on Durkheim’s logic about “social facts,” rejecting the sociological perspective and describing an interactive position. “Whatever the social thing […] it is transmitted and passes, not from the social group taken collectively to the individual, but rather from an individual—​relative, master, friend, neighbor, comrade—​to another individual, and during this passage of one mind [esprit] into another mind, it [the social thing] is refracted” (Tarde 1898a, 67). Tarde then listed four possible conceptions of sociology as being:  social physics, social biology, social ideology, and social psychology—​opting for the latter (Tarde 1898a, 92–​93). The volume contains no connective tissue to tie together the essays, yet nonetheless one may find here the beginnings of a developing, interactive social-​psychological approach, which Tarde worked on during the 1890s; he successively shifted his discussion from “inter-​cerebral effects” through “inter-​mental psychology” and “inter-​mental action,” to the final version, labelled simply “interpsychology,” and then further developed after 1900. Tarde’s Études de psychologie sociale (1898a) seems to have had only one printing and was not translated into English. The work is useful for analyzing how Tarde was shifting over the years from an individualist, psychological position toward an interactive social-​psychological framework. The unwritten “Interpsychologie” and the Psychologie économique (Tarde 1902) Tarde was appointed in 1900 to the chair of Modern Philosophy at the prestigious Collège de France, an institution that gives no academic degrees.

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Here he continued in earnest to develop his interpsychology in a series of lecture courses. His opening course in March-​June 1900, was on “Psychologie Intermentale” followed by a course on “psychologie économique” (1900–​ 1901). In his 1901–​1902 course on “transformations de la morale,” the 19th and 20th lectures of February 1902 were devoted to “an outline of an ethical inter-​psychology.” Finally, in 1903–​1904, Tarde devoted both his Thursday and Saturday courses to “Elements of an inter-​ mental psychology” (cf. Milet 1970, 42–​47; Tarde 1909a). Apfelbaum (1981) elaborates on Tarde’s projected (1909a, 26)  collaboration during 1904 with psychologist Alfred Binet on a series of “études et d’enquêtes inter-​psychologiques notamment sur l’inter­psychologie des enfants a l’école.” But these plans ended with Tarde’s death that year. An article on “l’interpsychologie infantile” appeared posthumously (Tarde 1909b). Tarde’s plans to publish a systematic work on “l’inter-​psychologie” were never to be realized. In January 1901, he had in fact penned a note to himself questioning: “Pourquoi ne pas faire un volume composé de mon cours de psychologie intermentale suivi de la valeur sociale, esquisse d’une sociologie générale.” Several articles based on these courses did appear (Tarde 1901b, 1903, 1904b) and one of these appeared in English (Tarde 1901b) after US sociologist F. Giddings had persistently sought Tarde’s assistance with contributions for the International Quarterly Magazine. But the bulk of Tarde’s interpsychology has not seen print. As late as 1909, there were still plans to publish the work (Tarde 1909a: 26) but these did not materialize. Some of the interpsychology system is to be found as the theoretical basis for Tarde’s Psychologie économique (1902a). In Volume 1, Tarde begins with a consideration of society as a tissue of inter-​mental action. He discusses adaptation and repetition, value and the social sciences, and then provides a historical overview stressing the importance of psychology, and especially interpsychology, for political economy. He discusses economic repetition, including the economic roles of desire and belief, and includes chapters on needs, work, money and capital. In Volume 2, he discusses prices (theory of value), including the notion of the “idea of a fair price,” conflicts (external and interpersonal); crises (acute conflicts); rhythms (opposition of successive elements); economic adaptation; economic imagination and its development; property; exchange; association and population. In the avant-​propos to this work, he noted: “La vie sociale m’a paru relever avant tout de l’inter-​psychologie, qui étudie ses rapports élémentaires. J’ai pensé cependant qu’il était inutile d’intituler cet ouvrage ‘Cours d’inter-​psychologie économique,’ titre qui eût été peut-​être plus exact, mais moins clair et moins simple” (Tarde 1902, i). But for a variety of reasons. most critics did not perceive the interpsychological base of this work. One reaction in France came, from sociologist Gaston

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Richard (1902, 640). “La psychologie économique de M. Tarde, intéresse, à la fois l’économie politique et la psychologie sociale[,]‌” but Richard criticizes the thrust of Tarde’s “idée directrice de l’œuvre que toute association est sortie du cerveau d’un homme et que chacune d’elles vaut ce que vaut l’idée de son fondateur” (Tarde 1902 vol. II, 408). Richard continues: “Qui ne verrait là la négation de la psychologie sociale et son absorption dans la psychologie individuelle? […] Au fond de sa psychologie sociale, nous retrouvons toujours l’idée contestable empruntée par lui à Taine: c’est qu’une société d’hommes ou d’animaux normaux, n’est qu’un hôpital d’aliénés ou d’hystériques et que la relation de l’hypnotiseur et de l’hypnotisé est le type et l’origine de la relation intermentale. Cette conception hyperaristocratique […] aura affecté l’œuvre entière de M. Tarde et la psychologie économique plus peut-​être que toutes ses autres branches (Richard 1902, 646–​647). Earlier, E. d’Eichthal (1902) had criticized the work from an economic perspective, while at L’Année sociologique, Simiand balanced his praise of “un certain nombre de vues ingénieuses et de relations suggestives dont on pourra tirer profit” against the criticism that “l’information de fait ou de doctrine laisse, en plus d’un endroit, fort à désirer” (Simiand 1903, 461). L’Année psychologique listed the work as being published but did not review it. Durkheim (1905) eventually reviewed a paper on interpsychologie (Tarde 1903a) but was strongly critical of the formulation. Throughout the last ten years of his life, Tarde labored to create a systematic interpsychology. He died shortly after teaching a course on this subject, but before a book could be published. Neither the few published fragments of this system, nor the application of interpsychology in his last major work (Psychologie économique), were sufficient to disseminate this novel, interactive social psychology. Tardean social psychology after 1904 As discussed below, Tarde had neither students nor colleagues who could carry on his long-​standing task of both bridging sociology and psychology and creating an autonomous interpsychology. At the turn of the century there were a number of other French-​language authors working on idiosyncratic projects involving sociological psychology or psychological sociology or seeking to define a way to bridge the two evolving disciplines. Some examples, not all of which were extensive nor systematic, include works by Duprat (1898; 1901; 1903), Worms (1898), de la Grasserie (1898), Hamon (1895; 1904), Ribot (1901; 1905), Palante (1901), de Roberty (1897), Draghiesco (1907) and Tosti (1897; 1898). Although Tosti published primarily in English, he worked for a number of years on a book on social psychology and sociology, which was announced would be published around 1902 by Alcan, with a preface by Tarde.

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No trace of the book however has been found to date. Finally, the sociologists at the L’Année sociologique helped also delineate what social psychology was to be, or not to be. One may consult, for example, Durkheim (1901), Fauconnet (1901) and Bouglé and David (1909) and the correspondence among various members of a subversive, social-​psychological “gang of four” at L’Année sociologique, always careful not to offend Durkheim—​ Paul Lapie (1898), Célestin Bouglé (1905a), Gaston Richard (1902), and Dominique Parodi (cf. Besnard 1979b; Vogt 1979; Cherkaoui 1979; Apfelbaum 1981). Parodi almost wrote the first textbook in social psychology in France. The publisher Octave Doin had wanted a social psychology textbook in the Encyclopédie scientifique series on psychology, edited by E. Toulouse. The textbook was originally contracted in 1900 to anarchist “social psychologist” Augustin Hamon (1894; 1895) Hamon had even submitted a two-​page outline, which mentioned Tarde. But Hamon was forced to renounce the project and, by 1905, social psychology (Lubek and Apfelbaum 1989). Parodi was then listed as author (between 1908 and 1919) for the series. While Parodi wrote several important books on philosophy and “la morale” at that time for publisher Alcan, including Le problème moral et la pensée contemporaine (Parodi 1910) and La philosophie contemporaine en France; essai de classification des doctrines (Parodi 1919), the publisher Doin, after waiting twenty years for the social psychology textbook, finally hired G. L. Duprat (1920) to finish it. Parodi (1928) would also go on to write Les bases psychologiques de la vie morale. One can only wonder how the definition and academic reception of social psychology in France after 1890 would have evolved differently, and more speedily, if Tarde’s original two-​volume “Psychologie sociale” had been published, or there had been a publication of the textbook by anarchist Hamon, or one from Parodi, based on “la morale.” Henri Mazel (1896) often reviewed Tarde’s work favorably at Mercury de France, where he was in charge of the “social sciences,” and perhaps could be considered a follower of Tarde’s. But from all of the other authors listed above, there came no continuation of Tarde’s social-​ psychological work. Essertier noted that while “il a déclenché un mouvement d’idées” and had “créé une science, la psychologie sociale […] Tarde n’a pas fait école” (1930, 207). Geiger (1975) also described Tarde as a scientific isolate without sociological organizations for institutional support of his ideas, “so that his approach to sociology became essentially moribund after his death” (1975, 244). Tarde may have been working on building a systematic paradigm/​exemplar or set of ideas, but there was no paradigm/​community to extend it and perpetuate it. With no doctorate, Tarde taught at non-​university institutions and thus trained no graduate students. Nor did he have a laboratory like Binet, nor a publishing enterprise like Durkheim’s L’Année sociologique, which could

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center collaborators around him. Rather, Tarde was a self-​taught sociologist, a member of a group of marginal and isolated figures, loosely grouped around Réné Worms and his Revue internationale de sociologie (founded in 1893), the Paris Sociological Society (for which Tarde had served as the first president in 1895), and the Institut International de Sociologie, which published its Annales, and held a number of Congresses (cf. Clark 1967; 1973). But these marginal sociological figures each seemed to be working on their own systems, and none stepped in to become a collaborator or disciple of Tarde’s. The task of continuing Tarde’s social-​psychological system was actually undertaken by his sons for a short period (1904–​1909). Alfred de Tarde (1880–​ 1925) had published his law thesis on L’idée du juste prix (1907), based in part on Tarde’s social-​psychological formulation in the Psychologie économique (1902a). He then founded with J. Teutsch, in June, 1907, La Revue de psychologie sociale, perhaps the world’s first journal devoted to “social psychology.”1 The eldest son Paul (1878–​1944), on duty in the foreign service in Indochina, contributed an article in September 1908, while the youngest son Guillaume (1885–​1989) contributed book reviews and major articles on Bergson’s “new metaphysics” (November 1907) and a review of Draghiesco’s social-​psychological formulations (July–​August 1907). In the first editorial, Alfred de Tarde and the other members of the editorial committee stressed two major·differences between this journal and the multiplicity of general sociology or specialized 1 The journal was under the patronage of sociologist-​psychologist A. Espinas, economist C.  Gide, E.  Dupré from medicine, historian of social sciences P.  Lacombe, psychologist and journal editor A. Binet, A. Darlu (Inspector General of Public Instruction and co-​founder of Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale in 1893), parliamentary deputy Th. Steeg, and J.  Maxwell, a legal-​medical figure writing on psychical phenomena, who wrote for Félix Alcan La psychologie Sociale Contemporaine (Maxwell 1911). Listed as collaborators in psychology were Guillaume de Tarde and J. Paulhan (son of psychologist F.  Paulhan) and, in sociology, G.  Palante, R.  Worms, D.  Draghiesco (from Bucharest), H. Mazel, and É. Waxweiller (from Brussels). Also added for legal medicine and psychiatry, Ch. Blondel, and for ethics, Année Sociologique contributor D. Parodi (who was unable to complete his contracted social psychology textbook for publisher Doin, between 1908 and 1919). Other categories covered by the journal included political and social economics, criminology, hygiene and physiology, legislation, science of education, social work, science of religions, literary and philological sciences and aesthetics (often handled by Alfred de Tarde). After the March 1908 re-​organization, publisher Louis Michaud added an art deco cover. The earlier format of articles and critical book reports accompanied by brief “current events” notes was modified, and the latter section was expanded greatly into a section called “The Month,” with social life abroad described by various foreign correspondents. Social psychologist Charles Ellwood was listed as the American correspondent. Alfred de Tarde was moving toward a literary career and became more involved in arts and esthetics as the journal, in 1908, turned increasingly in literary directions, away from social sciences.

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social science journals. Both in its framework and in its spirit, it would contain all the separate social science disciplines and domains of sociology, and would group specialists who all use the same method—​the method of psychological observation: “Notre méthode d’observation psychologique oppose les réalités vivantes et complètes aux abstractions, l’homme en société à l’homme individuel, tel que l’avait imaginé l’idéalisme du XVIIIe siècle. Elle vivifie et complète l’ancienne psychologie individuelle par l’étude de la psychologie sociale, c’est-​à-​dire de l’action combinée et réciproque des milieux et des forces individuelles” (Amar et al. 1907, 2). The editors vow to seek “derrière l’acte, l’individu, et derrière l’individu, le milieu […] Ainsi, qu’il s’agisse de l’activité humaine normale, ou pathologique, ou criminelle, le but à poursuivre est toujours l’étude double et complexe des milieux, pour laquelle ce ne sera pas trop des efforts associés des historiens, des moralistes, des psychiatres, des médecins, des économistes, et des juristes, etc.” (Amar et al. 1907, 2). The journal was not always able to attract contributions that fit closely with that definition. It was re-​organized in March 1908, as La vie contemporaine: Revue de psychologie sociale, but folded in October 1908. (See Lubek, 1981, Appendix 1 for a list of all articles published 1907–​8). After the demise of the journal, Alfred de Tarde teamed with H.  Massis (the editor-​in-​chief of la Revue universelle), and a series of articles highly critical of the Sorbonne and the Durkheimians was published under the joint pseudonym “Agathon” (1911; 1913). The 1913 study stresses some of the themes that had already appeared in the Revue de psychologie sociale in 1907 and 1908, and was an early systematic opinion survey. In 1909, final efforts were made by Guillaume and Alfred de Tarde to preserve their father’s social-​psychological ideas, before each moved on to other careers. They published a volume of eulogies and letters on the occasion of the unveiling of a statue in Sarlat honoring Tarde (Discours 1909), including a selection of their father’s work and biographical materials (Tarde 1909a). Several works continued Gabriel Tarde’s social-​psychological ideas after his death. Small (1906) describes a thesis by M.  M. Davis (1902; 1906) at Columbia University. Milet (1970) notes A. Dupont’s thesis at the Faculty of Law, University of Paris, in 1910, and A. Matagrin’s (1910) La psychologie sociale de Gabriel Tarde. Tarde’s work is also clearly described in chapters by C. Blondel (1928) and by G.  Dumas (1924a). Within his influential Traité de psychologie (1924b), Dumas himself supplied the chapter on interpsychologie, with support from Ribot (1914, xii). Dumas (1931; 1948) later began updating the Traité and eight volumes of the Nouveau traité de psychologie appeared between 1931 and 1948. Some of the chapters in Volume 8 were delayed by the war—­​­chapter 6 on inter­psychologie by Dumas, and ­chapter 7 on “sociologie et la psychologie sociale” by Davy, never appeared. Dumas died in 1946, and the Nouveau traité

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did not contain the planned discussion and update of Tarde’s interpsychologie. The next update of the handbook would be the nine-​volume Traité de Psychologie expérimentale edited by Paul Fraisse and Jean Piaget (1963–​1966), which contains no references to Tarde in the section on the history of psychology, nor in the volume dedicated to social psychology. In fact, there are no references to Tarde anywhere in the nine volumes and 2,050 pages. His work has thus progressively disappeared from the successive versions of the handbooks, which are designed to codify psychology’s past, and its present, for researchers, practitioners and students (Lubek and Apfelbaum 2000; Lubek 1993c). For the most part, then, little survives of Tarde’s interpsychological social psychology, although his name is still often linked to the psychology of imitation, resurrected in American developmental psychology in the behaviorist versions of Miller and Dollard (1941) and Bandura and Walters (1963).

Some Hypotheses about the Disappearance of Tarde’s Social-​Psychological Ideas Five overlapping hypotheses, by no means an exhaustive list, are sketched concerning the relative lack of influence of Tarde’s pioneering set of social-​ psychological ideas and their under-​impact within the discipline. Three of the hypotheses·involve two “neo-​Kuhnian” concepts—​“paradigm/​exemplar” and “paradigm/​community” (cf. Lubek and Apfelbaum 1979, 1987; Lubek 1980a). “Paradigm/​exemplar” refers to the internal Popperian, “logic-​of-​ science” elements (e.g., models, theories, accumulated data) which orient scientific work, while “paradigm/​community” indicates external, institutional, social-​psychological or sociological structures and processes (journals, invisible colleges, funding panels, editorial committees, disciplinary career competition), especially those which may be analyzed in terms of dyadic or small-​ group asymmetric power relations. These may be found in situations of editorial gate-​keeping; funding applications; tenure and promotion decisions; and research training, thesis supervision and teaching. Scientific progress may then be described in terms of harmonious or conflictual relations between the leaders of the paradigm/​community and the cumulative knowledge generated by the paradigm/​exemplar. The first hypothesis (1)  suggests that a clash of paradigm/​ exemplars took place as social psychology evolved, parallel to the development of academic sociology and psychology. This is exemplified in the debates in which Tarde’s individualistic “psychologisme” is defeated by Durkheim’s collective “sociologisme.” The second hypothesis (2) focuses on the size/​strength of paradigm/​communities. It suggests there was stronger institutional support for Durkheim’s paradigm/​exemplar, so that this system was carried on by other

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researchers, dominated the professional literature and was taught to students. A  Tardean paradigm/​examplar, with no paradigm/​community to support it, would wither away. The third hypothesis, (3)  emphasizes the more general climate of ideas and various socio-​political movements at the turn of the century, and asks whether the Tardean and/​or Durkheimian paradigm/​ exemplars were more in harmony with these broader intellectual currents. The fourth hypothesis, (4) compares the reception of the Tardean paradigm/​ exemplar in different countries and suggests that certain mechanisms of cultural and linguistic chauvinism may have kept Tarde’s social-​psychological ideas out of the burgeoning social science disciplines in America. The fifth hypothesis, (5)  confronts the contents of the paradigm/​exemplar itself and suggests that the failure of Tardean social psychology to take hold was related to its underlying philosophical foundations. Tarde’s dialectically interactive theory fell into an epistemological no-​person’s land, somewhere in-​between the positivistic versions of psychology and sociology, with neither of them claiming the interactive territory between individual and social context. Let us examine each of these hypotheses in turn. The debates between Tarde and Durkheim: Intellectual bifurcation of paradigm/​exemplars It was perhaps prescient of debates to come to note an early juxtaposition of Tarde’s and Durkheim’s ideas in the pages of Revue d’économie politique. Here Durkheim (1888) clarified and summarized Schaeffle’s socioeconomic programs that “veut combattre […] les tendances dispersives qui engendre la pratique de l’individualisme” (1888, 5). Tarde (1888) in the same volume noted that: “malgré le déluge socialiste qui se prépare, le libéralisme individualiste ne saurait périr et renaîtra finalement’’ (1888, 576). Later, during the last decade of his life, Tarde’s ideas were often juxtaposed against those of Durkheim. The two men debated frequently in the literature, and occasionally in person. Many historical accounts portray the debates as centering on the relative importance to be placed upon the individual/​psychological as opposed to the societal/​collective elements in an analysis of social behavior, but this debate was not just between perspectives of a psychologist and a sociologist. It also included deeper issues, for example, broader debates between the methods of science and history, and an often-​unstated dispute over the intellectual inheritance of Auguste Comte. Who in the evolving social sciences would intellectually clarify scientific positivism and project it forward? Who was the rightful continuator of Comte’s social theorizing? Tarde emphasized in his earliest writings the primacy of the individual, both normal and criminal. The shift toward a social-​psychological approach

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as he prepared Les lois de l’imitation and La logique sociale in the late 1880s did not immediately cause him to entirely drop his psychological or individualist perspective, entirely, it continuously appears in chapters of later books, especially when some of the chapters were based on articles first written in the 1880s (e.g., Psychologie économique, Tarde 1902). The debates, stretching from about 1893 to 1905, served rather different functions for Tarde and Durkheim. For one thing, they seemed to be focusing attention on the straw man of Tarde’s psychological individualism at precisely the time when he began to abandon this position and move toward an interactive, intermental social psychology. To contextualize the debate, let us look at the competing philosophical positions—​Comte versus Cournot, science versus history, political–​economic doctrines of individualism versus collectivism, and so forth. Benrubi (1933) showed Durkheim’s ideas evolving out of an empiricist positivist tradition, while Tarde is seen as coming from an epistemological and critical idealism stream which followed Renouvier, Claude Bernard, Cournot, and others into a critique of science. During their last public debate (Worms 1904), Tarde defined his own ideas as nominalism in contrast with Durkheim’s scholastic realism, which could lead to metaphysics. Durkheim refused to respond to this philosophical criticism. Yet Durkheim (1900) would criticize Tarde (and again in 1915) for his anti-​positivistic approach which he viewed as a reaction against science. Tarde accepted accidents and probabilities; Durkheim sought social patterns. Spontaneous individuals invented, according to Tarde; collectivities imposed Cartesian order and constraints, according to Durkheim (Milet 1970; Clark 1969). As well, there lurked in the background of this debate a series of discussions pitting history against the evolving social sciences for the right to analyse current social problems (cf. Lacombe, 1894; Seignobos 1901; Bouglé 1905b; Hauser 1903). In this debate, Tarde generally sided with the historians, although he was quick to defend himself from charges of not being scientific (Lukes 1973, 310). Tarde’s philosophy of history is detailed in Milet (1970). But before we caricature Tarde as a solid partisan of historical method (Clark 1980a, 513) to contrast with Durkheim’s scientific method, we should note Tarde’s eclectic empirical tastes for systematic data. Vaschide (1904, 672) recounts how Tarde “suivait avec une grande attention tous les courants et surtout les recherches expérimentales.” Among Tarde’s suggestions for making interpsychologie a more scientific enterprise were the creation of interpsychology laboratories, the use of statistics, and observation techniques. Milet quotes from Tarde’s 1903 lectures at Collège de France: “However, just as one has been able to specify the influence of the sensation of a colour or sound on muscular strength as measured by a dynamometer, […] could one not just as well measure, in the same manner, the effect produced on muscular force, or on blood circulation,

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etc., by the sight of an enemy or of a friend, by the applause or murmurs of an audience? Timidity, and the accompanying physiological modifications have been studied. The opposite of intimidation still must now be studied, i.e., the overexcitation provoked by the presence of a stimulating person” (Tarde 1903, cited by Milet 1970, 399). Tarde viewed statistics as “a kind of social psychophysics. Statistics is to social psychology what the recording instruments of the psychophysicists are for individual psychology” (ibid.). He lays heavy stress on direct observation of interaction effects:  “And if we want to study them methodically […] in the many and diverse social groups where they are visible to us, then we shall spend a long time before this mine will be exhausted” (ibid.). Tarde complained that beyond the crowd, there are other groupings to study: “perhaps even more instructive; a play-​yard in a primary or secondary school is a fruitful field of observation for the social psychologist. It is in the secondary school yard where it would be suitable to study the economic, political, juridical and artistic embryology of the human being” (see also Tarde (1902a vol. 1, 141–​2; vol. 2, 347–​349 for similar passages). Prior to discussing the details of the political climate with which Tarde and Durkheim stated and debated their positions, we can note Worms’s (1926) observation that at the heart of it all, there was a basic conflict between individualist and collectivist political philosophies. The debates were a complex, multifaceted series of discussions on philosophy of science, politics, method, as well as a dispute between a theory which was more closely linked to psychological roots and one more sociologically derived. There was a complicated dialectical process whereby Tarde’s original individual psychological formulation was now evolving toward an interactive social psychology, yet during the debates at the same time was being portrayed as psychologistic individualism. Durkheim’s arguments were more sharply polarized to further eliminate most psychological and social-​psychological concepts. Gaston Richard, formerly with L’Année sociologique and a part of the small “social psychology” clique, later diplomatically described Tarde’s role in the debate as trying: “à constituer entre la psychologie et la sociologie proprement dite une science intermédiaire, la psychologie intermentale, est une tentative combattue par l’étroitesse des successeurs d’Auguste Comte” (Richard 1902, 646–7). Although an occasional softening of Durkheim’s position was seen (e.g., Durkheim 1901), generally, during the period of the debates, no real movement toward a social-​psychological middle ground is visible. Rather, the critiques by Tarde against Durkheim’s sociologism seem to have polarized the latter toward a more radical sociological analysis. As Lukes (1973, 20)  suggested, Durkheim may have ultimately overstated his case for social realism and social facts. Charles Ellwood, who had explored social psychology

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at University of Chicago at the turn of the twentieth century, had also suggested that “Durkheim’s extreme social realism led him astray […] he was wrong in not taking psychology into account” (Ellwood 1938, 433). One contemporary reaction to Tarde’s ideas during the debates offers an example of the “psychologizing” representation given him. For example, Bouglé’s generally sympathetic treatment of Tarde’s work included a long discussion of his interpsychologie. Yet, by the end of this article, Tarde is being described as an individualistic sociologist. “Aucune sociologie ne se montre donc, en dernière analyse, plus individualiste que celle de Tarde […] À ses yeux, tout part de l’individuel, et tout y retourne: l’individu est la première et la dernière pierre de l’édifice. C’est l’alpha et l’oméga du système” (Bouglé 1905a, 313). But when Durkheim (1905) finally commented on Tarde’s “interpsychologie” a year after his death, he simply dismissed it as an arbitrary and confused formulation. Davy suggested that Tarde offered “un point de concentration et une idée directrice pour l’attaque que sans cesse l’individualisme, soit métaphysique soit psychologique, dirigera contre la sociologie” (1931, 2). Although Karpf (1932, 93–​94) and Clark (1969, 16–​18) manage to pinpoint the interactive quality of Tarde’s work, many others cast Tarde as a “methodological individualist” (Lukes 1973, 303), a “psychological determinist” (Hankins 1925, 319–​ 320), or as someone who centered on “the individual mind […] explained social phenomena as essentially psychic manifestations” (Eubank 1940, 55). Barnes (1938) described Tarde as “the most eminent protagonist in France of both psychologism and individualism” (1938, 850), but then mentions, as well, the “intermental activities of a group of associated persons.” Later, Barnes suggested that “Tarde’s sociology was almost entirely psychological” (1948, 472) and then summarizes the interconnections in Tarde’s system of beliefs, desires, socialization, intermental activity, repetition, opposition, and adaptation. Although Benoit-​Smullyan (1938) does not mention interpsychologie in his account of the Tarde-​Durkheim debate, he does see “an important non-​psychologistic aspect of Tarde’s thought[,]‌” which could use reinterpretation (1938, 857). Ellwood, in his doctoral dissertation (1901), had discussed Tarde’s work at length; much later, he vacillated in describing Tarde’s ideas as involving individualistic psychology, one moment, and interaction, the next (Ellwood 1938, 418–​421; 425–​426). Tarde’s interpsychologie was in fact discussed and given a favorable reception by Dumas (1924a) and Blondel (1928). Curiously, social psychologist Jean Stoetzel (1963, 343) mentions “des processus interpsychologiques généraux” without reference to Tarde. Tarde’s name is not included with Ross and MacDougall in a list of “les premiers psychologues sociaux” (342), nor is he listed among those such as Baldwin, Cooley and Mead, who helped social

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psychology “se constituer en science” (348). Two references are, however, made to Tarde’s contributions to an “ethnologie de la conversation” (1963, 346; 347). G.  L. Duprat (1925) also ignored Tarde’s interpsychologie but emphasized his individualism and imitation and then complained “que Tarde a fait beaucoup moins qu’on ne le suppose généralement pour une véritable psycho-​sociologie” (143). Tarde’s death in 1904 had ended the debates, and thereafter Durkheim’s position gathered momentum in French sociology. This, it has been suggested, helped retard the development of social psychology in France (Huteau and Roubertoux, 1976 150). The popular account—​ represented as a battle between a psychologist and sociologist—​does not capture all the dynamics of this confrontation, which lasted over a decade. At the beginning of the debates, in the early 1890s, it probably is safe to say that Tarde still fell back on his psychological formulations. But as his interpsychologie grew and matured, especially in the last debate (Worms 1904; Clark 1969, 136–​140), Tarde was clearly proposing an interpsychology alternative to Durkheim’s perspective. Any attempt to define the debate in terms of psychologism versus sociologism (Essertier 1927) obscures the evolution of Tarde’s social psychology. In the polemical duel between two paradigm/​exemplars, Tarde may have served as the psychological foil for Durkheim’s more aggressive and honed sociological sabre. The thrust of Tarde’s evolving interpsychologie got deflected in the heat of the intellectual fencing match. Institutional backing for the ideas of Tarde and Durkheim: Jobs and journals in the paradigm/​community With no academic or medical doctorate, Tarde was excluded from the university system, so he lectured at alternative institutions, beginning when E. Boutmy invited him in 1896 to give courses at l’École Libre des Sciences Politiques (Benoist 1909). There, he tried out ideas that would eventually be included in two works (Tarde 1899; 1902 vol. I). That same year, G. de Greef (letter to Tarde, July 19, 1896) invited him to give a lecture series at Université Nouvelle de Bruxelles, but there is no record of his having accepted the invitation. Beginning also in 1896, Tarde gave courses at the Collège Libre des Sciences Sociales. (May 1897). Dick May (a pseudonym of Mlle Jeanne Weill) had founded this alternative to the university, and several years later also created the École des Hautes Études Sociales, where Tarde debated Durkheim (1903) and lectured in 1904. Tarde also lectured occasionally (during 1902–​ 1903; 1903–​1904) at the École Russe des Hautes Études Sociales, founded in 1901 by M. Kovalevsky, E. de Roberty, and so forth, with assistance from Dick May (Verrier 1934). After January 1900, Tarde’s main audience was at

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Collège de France, where he was appointed to the chair of Modern Philosophy, replacing Nourisson. The college rebuffed Tarde’s attempt to transform the chair into one of social psychology, although they did choose him over Henri Bergson for the post. The final ballot gave him 18 of the 29 votes cast (7 went to Bergson, who was appointed to another chair one year later), 3 went to Manouvrier, 0 went to Thamin, while one blank vote was cast). This followed much unsuccessful behind-​the-​scenes activity, principally by Louis Liard (Directeur de l’enseignement supérieur) and Théodule Ribot, to get a chair of “Psychologie sociologique.” Ribot earlier created a section of “Psychologie sociologique” at the 4th Congrès International de Psychologie for Tarde’s “présidence” in 1900 (Letter to Tarde, June 13, 1898). Now he urged both Tarde and Liard (who was in direct touch with the minister) that the chair of Philosophie Moderne should be changed to “Psychologie sociologique” (Ribot, letter to Tarde, June 19, 1899a). After talking to Liard at Nourisson’s funeral, Ribot wrote a second letter that same day assuring Tarde that Liard seemed in agreement and “que le titre de ‘psychologie sociologique’ don’t je lui ai parlé paraît lui plaire” (Ribot, letter to Tarde, June 19, 1899). But institutionally, a chair in sociological psychology was not to be, and Tarde ended up appointed to the chair of Modern Philosophy, teaching courses in social and economic psychology. While Tarde had an enthusiastic audience, there were no graduate students, willing disciples, or collaborators to attach to the Tardean “school” of interpsychology. Tarde’s lecturing in non-​university settings left his paradigm/​community a one-​person show. Meanwhile, Durkheim, Bouglé and other L’Année sociologique members disseminated their ideas in the university system (Clark 1973) and had already been appearing in high school curricula. Thus when Binet (1908) surveyed the variety of sociological and psychological materials that were being presented to French lycée students at the time, he found that: “in sociology, the names cited are those of Spencer, Palante, Richard, sometimes Tarde and most often Durkheim. Our eminent colleague will no doubt be satisfied by the progress of his ideas in secondary teaching.” (210). Thanks to L’Année Sociologique collaborator Paul Lapie—​who was Director of Primary Education (1914–​25) and then rector of the University of Paris (1925–​1927)—​sociological ideas found their way into the curricula of the Écoles Normales Primaires and from here to philosophy classes in the high schools, where Durkheim’s ideas on ethics were taught in texts written for young readers (e.g., Deat 1925). (See Thibaudet 1927, 222; 121–​123; 139–​140; Clark 1973, 219–​222; Bourgin 1938, 225; Davy 1931, 23; Geiger 1979). The French system of education after 1900 seemed to be more permeable to Durkheimians and their ideas than to Tardean. The training of neo-​Durkheimians predominated within the university system, while at the

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alternative institutions—​even at the prestigious Collège de France—​there was no formal academic training of sociological and social-​psychological disciples, Tardean or otherwise. While sociology and psychology each separately fought their battles for a legitimate place in the French university system (Fraisse 1963; Huteau and Roubertoux 1976; Reuchlin 1965; Clark 1968b; Clark 1973), social psychology was limited to non-​university settings for its dissemination. Duprat (1925, 610)  blamed the confused state of social psychology on “l’absence d’une direction autorisée des recherches scientifiques en France où l’Université est loin de jouer le rôle que la psycho-​sociologie pourra précisément contribuer à lui assigner […] quand elle aura pleinement droit de cité parmi les vieilles disciplines.” If we consider journals, classrooms and graduate programs all as institutionalized channels by which a paradigm/​community disseminates its paradigm/​ exemplar, it becomes clear that while Tarde had access to the journals edited by his friends—​Th. Ribot (Revue philosophique), A. Lacassagne (Archives d’anthropologie criminelle, de criminologie et de psychologie normale et pathologique) and R. Worms (Revue internationale de sociologie)—​his articles were not concentrated and reinforced by the juxtaposed or parallel work of others in the same manner as Durkheim and colleagues published their sociological ideas at L’Année Sociologique or as Binet and his co-​researchers (and later Piéron) in their journal, L’Année psychologique. Durkheimian ideas continued to be disseminated by L’Année sociologique after the death of Durkheim in 1917, as well as in associated textbooks (Davy 1931, 23). Tardean ideas were not clearly focused in the short-​lived Revue de psychologie sociale, and no new research was forthcoming. The paradigm/​community supporting Durkheim’s ideas in the university, in the journals, and in the training of future teachers and social researchers proved ultimately stronger. Tarde’s paradigm/​ community evaporated when his sons left sociological writing (see also Geiger, l975). In one survey of 841 French psychology students, Durkheim was listed (with 91 others) as an important author in the discipline, while Tarde was not mentioned at all (Freixa i Baqué l980). The social and political climate in France Between the Dreyfus Affair in the 1890s and the beginning of World War I, France saw an upsurge of collectivist thought, from the rising syndicalist, trade union and cooperative movements to the increasingly important role played by the parliamentary socialists in French government. It may be argued that Durkheim’s sociological notions were less at variance with these movements, than was the early individualistic formulation of Tarde. Perhaps with deeper investigation, Tarde’s individualism could be linked to the belief system of the traditional Catholic upper-​middle class and the French salon society, in

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which Tarde became quite active after his arrival in Paris in 1894. This might be contrasted with the development of Durkheim’s sociological position in relation to his contact with socialist ideas, personalities and causes. Tarde, on a number of occasions in his writings and in private notes, expressed his basic disagreement with socialistic ideas (cf. Tarde’s 1904, “Letter to Casimir de Kelles-​Krauz” in the Archives d’anthropologie criminelle, de criminologie et de psychologie normale et pathologique. Lukes (1973, 304) describes him as “hostile to socialism and in favour of an intellectual aristocracy.” Thamin (1909, 26–​27) argued that Tarde’s individualism was closely connected to a philosophy of liberty and liberalism in politics, and suggested that, “against certain forms of biological and social determinism coming from across the Rhine, across the Channel, and across the mountains, his was a reaction of the old French individualism asserting itself ” (1909, 24). Tarde’s liberal politics also clashed with Augustin Hamon’s anarchist position during the 1890s when both independently began using the term “social psychology.” Hamon submitted his first empirical “social-​psychological” study in 1893 to the mainstream journal the Archives d’anthropologie criminelle, de criminologie et de psychologie normale et pathologique, which also published a monograph series. Hamon’s study dealt with how the military profession and hierarchy collectively produced violence in the individual soldier; as a methodology, Hamon used a systematic analysis of newspaper stories about violence in France. Lacassagne, the editor, asked Tarde to review Hamon’s article, and Tarde clearly enunciated their political and ideological differences in his rejection letter: “I am not at all an anarchist, as you see, but I understand, or at least am not too surprised, that you are one, looking at your handwriting which denotes, like your style, an unrelenting fighter pursuing directly his goal with the frankness and logic of a cannonball” (Letter, Tarde to Hamon, March 28, 1893). After publisher Félix Alcan also rejected the book-​length manuscript for its anti-​militarism, Hamon finally published it in Belgium as his first “Study of social psychology” (Hamon 1894). (See, further, Apfelbaum and Lubek 1989; Lubek and Apfelbaum 1987; Lubek 1995a). The 1890s in France witnessed a series of non-​ academic sociopolitical movements beginning with the polarizing split among persons initially for or against Captain Dreyfus. But broader ideas and movements came into play:  collectivism, solidarism, communalism, mutualism, syndicalism, socialism, communism, anarchism, co-​operativism, feminism, anti-​militarism, anti-​clericalism and anti-​Semitism. Many of these ideas were not consonant with the earlier individualistic analysis of laissez-​faire economics. Tarde’s early position as an individualist—​although he would migrate in his later years toward the intereactionist interpsychology—​and his staunch opposition to Durkheim’s sociological view put him out of tune with many Parisian

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academics and their students, as well as publicists, publishers and political activists. As a consequence, he and his social psychology may have gotten lost in the intellectual and ideological shuffle. Durkheim’s sociology may have made sense as a complementary positivistic, scientific counterpoint to the various versions of socialism then visible (Mauss 1928; Clark 1968, 82–​85; Bourgin 1938). Durkheim’s work addressed itself to many of the burning social questions of the day—​education, the organization of work, religion—​at a time when French society was going through these sociopolitical upheavals. These would include, before 1905, changes in Church–​state relations, reduction of the role of the military, rise of trade unions, the replacement of traditional Catholic education by universal lay education, the rise of socialism and its entry into mainstream governance, and the rise of anti-​Semitism (Hughes 1958; Coser 1971; Clark 1973). Although Durkheim may have had strong socialist sympathies, he largely restricted his activities to academia, while some of his collaborators (e.g., Simiand and Bouglé) actually played more direct roles in the socialist or radical movements (Bourgin 1938, 215–​220; Clark 1968b). Clark (1968a, 509) bluntly states that Tarde’s “reputation suffered because his work was out of harmony with the dominant intellectual temper of the time. Tarde was only mildly religious in an age of militant Catholic and anti-​Catholic sentiment; he was politically uninvolved in an age of engagement; he was neither a true positivist nor an anti-​positivist when most intellectuals were one or the other.” The academic themes of Durkheim and his collaborators were probably more resonant with the social realities of the day, attracted more attention, and became institutionalized in courses within the university milieu, much more so than the solitary work of Tarde, which ceased in 1904. Tarde’s partial reception in America: Cultural and linguistic barriers or preference for homegrown alternatives? It can be suggested that, by the 1970s and especially in social psychology, Tarde’s work had little impact and was scarcely remembered in North America. Hinkle (1960, 268)  claims that most American sociologists, with the exception of Giddings and Ross, ignored the Tarde–​Durkheim debate; in the early period of development of the discipline, 1890–​1917, “Durkheim never received the popularity and acceptance” awarded to other Europeans, including Tarde (273). Empirical support for this idea, for example, might involve a full-​scale citation analysis. Lubek (1981 Table  1, 367)  reported that Social Science Citation Index (1966–​1980) had 162 citations for the overfall œuvre of Tarde, 187 for Ross’s and 494 for McDougall’s. There are also other simpler indicators available to track Tarde’s reception in North American

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sociology and psychology. For example, in psychology, Tarde’s name is not included within the list of 75 outstanding contributors to psychological theory compiled by Coan and Zagona (1962) but neither are Durkheim nor Baldwin listed—​social psychologist William MacDougall ranked 30th. In a study of 538 important psychologists listed by Annin, Boring, and Watson (1968), Tarde’s name is rated at the 78th percentile, ahead of Durkheim at the 74th, with Baldwin at the 84th and McDougall above the 90th. Eugene Garfield founded the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) and invented “citation counting” and “journal impact factor calculations” when he created the Social Sciences Citation Index as a bibliometric tool for scholars. (Recently, a large commercial publisher took over ISI and now uses impact factor ratings to promote its own journals). But Garfield (1978) noted at the time that only Durkheim’s name appeared among the 100 most-​cited social science authors. In sociology, Hart (1927) found Tarde received a score of 16 (out of a possible 30) in his measure of visibility, tying with Darwin, and exceeded by only five sociologists and one Greek philosopher (Ward, Spencer, Aristotle, Comte, Giddings and Ross) out of 102 listed; Durkheim received a score of 4; Baldwin, 7. Finally, in 1979, in a classroom exercise by the author, student researchers were presented a list of 21 prominent psychologists and 1 French, 2 British and 11 American journals were then consulted to count a year’s citations at 10-​year intervals (1895–​1975). These 21 psychologists were cited a total of 2,466 times, or 2.16 percent of the total estimated number of citations (113, 996). Among the “social psychologists” in this group, MacDougall ranked 11th with 90 citations; Kurt Lewin ranked 15th with 70, Baldwin was 18th with 28, and Tarde ranked last (21st) with 10 citations (only 2 of them after 1925). (A more thorough analysis might discriminate references to “imitation” from those to his later interpsychologie). One may ask whether Tarde’s ideas were actually more in step with the American intellectual ethos at this time than the milieu in France. The “psychologistic” and “individualistic” formulation so sharply criticized in France may appear at first glance to be in harmony with dominant currents in American social thought. Tarde’s conception of imitation was indeed compatible with American social psychology as it was then evolving, but his interactive social psychology perhaps was not. A series of philosophic, religious, and sociopolitical currents of ideas provided context for sociology and psychology in turn-​of-​the-​century America. From the 1890s until World War I, a liberal individualist philosophy began to combine with pragmatic and functionalist psychology. Within social psychology, a biologically based instinct theory of the individual evolved, blending Spencer, James, and MacDougall, and seemed to be acceptable to psychologists, social Darwinists, progressivists, and rugged individualists. (In France, both Durkheim and Tarde had long struggled

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against various biologizing formulations). This formulation (cf. Dewey 1917; 1922) was rapidly altered, and the instinct portion dropped, when Watson’s behaviorism arrived after World War I  (cf. Allport 1924). Despite the very different philosophical context surrounding Tarde’s thought as it evolved in France (Benrubi 1933), the concept of imitation seems to have held its own in American psychology and was incorporated into the behavioristic orientation. But his social psychology or interpsychologie was not permeable, and in the last section of this chapter, epistemological problems encountered by interactionist theories will be discussed. In sociology and its evolving version of social psychology, Tardean ideas seemed on the surface to fit well with the tendency toward “voluntary nominalism” (Hinkle and Hinkle 1954). Small (1907, 643) had himself suggested that sociologists were “agreed that nothing is social which is not psychological.” The United States generally viewed collectivist thought as belonging to a small, unpopular minority—​the five-​time Socialist Party candidate for president, Eugene Debs, was imprisoned for sedition during the election campaign in 1920. While individualism—​especially “rugged individualism”—​was the order of the day, it was predictable that Durkheim’s thought should have a more difficult transatlantic crossing than Tarde’s (Hinkle 1960). Yet, Tarde’s social-​psychological system did not easily gain direct entrance into American sociology “by the front door.” There are several processes occurring within a dominant paradigm/​community, whether in sociology or psychology in America, which may have reduced the flow of Tarde’s social-​psychological ideas from France. These processes of linguistic and cultural chauvinism include (1)  journal gate-​keeping, (2)  promotion of neo-​Tardean ideas by American authors, and (3) control over the translation of Tarde’s ideas into English. Major psychology and sociology journals were open to social-​psychological thought between 1890 and 1910. At the Psychological Review (founded in 1894) and at the Psychological Bulletin (founded in 1904), James Mark Baldwin (and his Princeton colleague Howard G.  Waren) played dominant editorial roles. But Baldwin had become embroiled with Tarde in a scholarly dispute over priority of discovery of the principle of imitation. The Psychological Review’s summary of Tarde’s interpsychologie, as reflected in Psychologie économique, was prepared by Tufts (1903) who concluded that Tarde’s “actual success in analysis and interpretation does not meet the anticipations raised by the introduction” (1903, 180). Baldwin’s (1903) review of the English edition of Laws of Imitation is largely devoted to a critique of the quality of type used by the publishers (whom Baldwin himself had earlier hired for the project). The other major journal, American Journal of Psychology, run by E. B. Titchener at Cornell, generally ignored Tarde’s work.

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As for the entry of Tarde’s ideas into the sociology mainstream at the turn of the century, we must consider the role of the University of Chicago and its sociology department’s chairperson, A. W. Small, who also served as editor of the American Journal of Sociology, founded in 1894. Tarde’s ideas were not well-​liked by Small. In reviewing Les lois sociales, Small (1898, 397)  suggests that Tarde’s idea “that imitation tells the whole story is preposterous.” In reviewing Tarde’s massive Psychologie économique, Small (1902, 567)  devoted only eight lines to summarizing the two-​volume work, before turning his attention to a discussion of Durkheim. Small’s textbook was also somewhat oblivious to Tarde’s ideas (1905, 626). Finally, perhaps his real feelings came out in discussing a PhD student from Columbia—​M. M.  Davis. Davis had earlier found fault with Tarde’s Psychologie économique, concluding that “even his admirers must question whether these volumes will greatly add to his reputation” (1902, 542). Now Davis’s (1906) thesis was published and it was thereafter cited as an authoritative work on Tarde. Small (1906, 125)  finds in it “an assuring sign that the threatened Tardean obsession is no longer a menace to the immediate progress of sociology.” Small’s colleague, Vincent, in reviewing for American sociologists Tarde’s (1898) Études de psychologie sociale, concludes that the “volume does not, of course, rank with the more systematic works of the same author” (1899, 694). This was at about this same time that C. A. Ellwood was working on his dissertation at Chicago, “Some prolegomena to social psychology,” which was published in 1901 under Small’s direction. In the thesis and in articles based on the chapters of the thesis published at this time in American Journal of Sociology, much space was devoted to Tarde’s (and Baldwin’s) concept of imitation. Another Chicago faculty member, R. E. Park, knew Tarde’s work well while writing his thesis (Hughes 1961). Although his later classic sociology handbook (Park and Burgess 1921) had a heavy citation count for Tarde’s work (40), no selection of Trade’s work appears in the over 1,000 pages, despite a section on imitation. It is curious to see the door closed at Chicago to Tarde’s ideas when a number of persons there were struggling to define social psychology, offer courses in it, and so forth (e.g., Thomas, Mead, Small, Vincent, Dewey, Tufts, Ellwood). At the other major sociology graduate training facility, Columbia University, Tarde’s friend Franklin H.  Giddings suggested that the Les lois de l’imitation brings “a profound and original philosophical thinker to the notice of all students of psychology and gave a new direction to the study of sociology.” La logique sociale, although not as impressive as its predecessor, nonetheless was a “profoundly thoughtful and richly suggestive book” (1896, 348–​349). Giddings wrote to Tarde after receiving “your most interesting and instructive essays in social psychology. I  feel assured that sociology is more deeply indebted to you than to any other of your countrymen—​the creators of the science”

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(Giddings, letter to Tarde, May 23, 1899). See also Giddings’s appreciation of Tarde’s work in the introduction to The Laws of Imitation (1903). Although sympathetic to Tarde’s work in social psychology, Giddings did not have at his disposal a sociology journal for disseminating these ideas. One person, an outsider to both America and the psychology and sociology academic circles, did try to promote and insert Tarde’s ideas on social psychology into the mainstream journals. Gustavo Tosti, serving in New York as consul-​general of Italy while pursuing a medical degree, loyally championed Tardean theory (and, as well, attacked Durkheim’s ideas). Two major articles (Tosti 1897; 1898) put forward Tarde’s social psychology, despite some reservations by Tosti to certain metaphysical aspects of the Tardean formulation. Tosti’s efforts, however, even when coupled with those of Giddings, were not sufficient to gain easy admittance for Tarde’s interpsychologie into American mainstream literature. Despite Small’s habit of translating portions of the writings of European sociologists (e.g., Simmel), and Baldwin’s long-​standing knowledge of Tarde’s work and an active correspondence between the two, neither editor made efforts for Tarde’s ideas to appear, as articles, in their journals. All the secondary reviews that appeared were generally not enthusiastic proselytizers of the Tardean social psychology system. Elsewhere, Lubek and Apfelbaum (1979; 1980)  have analyzed in greater detail the social mechanisms whereby a dissident paradigm/​exemplar may be blocked from journal outlets by a dominant paradigm/​community, while members of that community, citing the dissident work, have access to the journals, their review committees, and so forth. Although Tarde’s ideas did not get direct exposure in the American journals, there was a certain amount of indirect borrowing by sociologists and psychologists whose views were more in tune with those of Small and Baldwin. It is through these intermediaries, I would argue, that one finds some evidence for the entry of Tardean ideas—​especially imitation—​ into the literature (Karpf 1932; Hinkle 1960). But these indigenous social thinkers, in acting as linguistic bridges for Tarde’s ideas, borrowed sometimes so freely that it was their neo-​Tardean ideas that were thereafter cited, instead of Tarde’s. And these “homegrown” social-​ psychological theorists—​ for example, Ellwood, Ross, Baldwin, Cooley—​generally neglected the mature Tardean interpsychological system.

Assimilation of Tarde’s Ideas by Others and Priority Disputes We can examine examples of the transcultural reprocessing of Tarde’s ideas. Perhaps the clearest example of the assimilation of Tarde’s ideas into the work of an American sociologist is the case of E. A. Ross, whose textbook, Social Psychology, appeared the same year as McDougall’s (1908) and provided

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a point of crystallization for the teaching of social psychology in American universities. Weinberg (1972) noted that Ross had begun thinking about social psychology as early as 1891. He had taught courses on social psychology both at Stanford and at summer sessions at Chicago. After Social Control appeared in 1901, Ross planned to write a book on social psychology: “I thought at one time of a book on the Psychology of Society […] The chief trouble is my vast indebtedness to Tarde. About half my book would be founded on him” (1908, viii). After Ross complained to Ward “about the disorganized state of the discipline and about having read a lot of difficult French” (Weinberg 1972, 106), he organized his social psychology course for the summer of 1896 at Chicago. Ross, as he freely acknowledged, relied heavily an Tardean ideas in three major works (Ross 1901; 1905; 1908) and in the articles that appeared prior to publication of each work in Small’s American Journal of Sociology. House (1936, 320) thought Ross’ s Social Control followed the original thought of Tarde so closely that it may be regarded, in part, as a free translation of passages from Tarde’s Laws of Imitation. Other American sociological formulations incorporated aspects of Tarde’s thought to varying degrees—​for example, Ellwood, Giddings, Mead, and Cooley (whose “looking glass self ” was deeply influenced by Baldwin’s psychology). A closer examination of the overlap of Baldwin’s’ ideas to those of Tarde’s may help us to conclude whether a linguistic bridging was accomplished for gaining recognition and admission of Tarde’s ideas into American psychology. For those Americans who preferred a “home-​grown” theory of genetic and social psychology, J. M. Baldwin supplied a somewhat individualistic, interactive, socialization theory, which included a “dialectic of personal growth” and heavy reliance on the concept of imitation. Baldwin’s first article on imitation (1891) contains no references to Tarde’s work; however, he soon became aware and critical of Tarde’s (1890) Les lois de l’imitation (Baldwin 1894). During the next few years, as Baldwin systematized his ideas and published his two major works on social and developmental psychology (1895; 1897), there was some discussion about the priority of discovery of the principles of imitation. At times, Baldwin was less than generous in crediting Tarde’s work, giving priority to either himself or to the Englishman W. Bagehot, who had sketched some ideas on imitation in the 1870s. (Compare, how Tarde’s role is discussed in the article “Sociology” in the influential Dictionary edited by Baldwin (1902, vol. II, 545), with the rather lukewarm notice of the publication of The Laws of Imitation in English (Baldwin 1903) and with the correct, but terse, introduction to Tarde’s Social Laws (Baldwin 1899)). Publicly, from 1897 to 1901, in a series of prefaces to new editions, footnotes added to text and so forth, each author recognized the work of the other. But examination correspondence from Baldwin to Tarde sheds light on the question of priority

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of discovery; additional insights are gained about the processes involved in transporting a set of ideas into another cultural and linguistic domain—​that is, the processes of “the social psychology (or inter-​psychology) of science” (Lubek 1993; 1995). Thus, for, example, in a letter to Tarde (January 24, 1896), Baldwin thanks him for his “letter in appreciation of my book, and all the more that you are willing to express yourself freely on the relationship of your work to mine. What you say meets my views—​and as to the matter of ‘priority,’ which as you say is ‘trifling,’ at the best—​and I fully endorse your remarks.” As to a solution for the question of priority, Baldwin goes on to propose: “Seeing that we both arrived at the principle of imitation as social phenomenon independently, and that we have added independent evidence from different points of view—​that we agree to call it the ‘Tarde–​Baldwin sociological principle,’ thus putting your name first to indicate your priority. On the other hand, as a psychologist writing (as you say) about ‘intra-​cerebral imitation,’ that is, considered as a psycho-​physical principle, the principle has been developed by me alone and should go by my name.” (Letter, Baldwin to Tarde, January 24, 1896). This priority dispute was being discussed at a time when Baldwin controlled the translation rights for Tarde’s Les lois de l’imitation, and in several letters Baldwin dealt with the priority issue, followed by a discussion of the progress in arranging for translation and publication of Tarde’s work in English. (We shall examine shortly the problems encountered by Tarde in having his ideas translated). But a third party was closely monitoring the priority dispute: Gustavo Tosti. He was well aware of the development of ideas in the works of both Tarde and Baldwin (cf. Tosti 1897, 1898, 1900a, 1900b), had met both men and maintained contact with each. In a letter to Science, Tosti (1902) came closest to calling Baldwin a plagiarist of Tarde’s ideas, after Baldwin (1902b; 1902c) became embroiled in a dispute over territoriality with Small and Giddings. Tosti wrote to Tarde, warning that if Baldwin dared offer a rebuttal to his letter—​Baldwin apparently refrained—​“Je vais répliquer en mettant les points sur les i, c’est-​à-​dire en indiquant les passages des ‘Lois’ et de ‘La logique sociale’ que Baldwin a simplement traduit en mauvais anglais dans son chef d’œuvre ‘Les Interprétations éthiques’ ” (Tosti, letter to Tarde, May 2, 1902, referring to Baldwin 1895, French translation 1897). Translation control:  In retrospect, it may appear that Baldwin may not have been the ideal “literary broker” to entrust with the task of introducing Tarde’s ideas into American psychology. In various ways, through editorial gatekeeping, delays in arranging translations, and in assimilating Tarde’s ideas into his own work, Baldwin may have dulled the impact of the Tardean paradigm/​exemplar. Arrangements for the translation of Tarde’s Lois de

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l’imitation dragged on from 1896 until 1903, one year prior to Tarde’s death. This delay in introducing the book to the American audience may, in part, be traced to Baldwin. On October 6, 1896, Baldwin wrote to Tarde seeking permission for a Princeton graduate student, J. W. Park, to translate the work, and arrange for publishers in England and America. At the same time, he reports reading Tarde’s Logique sociale—​prior to the appearance his own social-​ psychological book (Baldwin 1897), but says nothing about translating this. Shortly thereafter, Tarde’s publisher Alcan, received a letter (July 26,1897) from a B. C. Gruenberg asking about translation arrangements for the book. Alcan advised Tarde at this time to seek as “propriétaire de l’ouvrage” the sum of 500 francs. However, it appears that Tarde had already assigned the rights to Baldwin, just as their priority dispute about the concept of imitation ripened. On January 24,1898, Baldwin told Tarde in a letter that Holt and Co. would publish the work, but would not pay the translator; that Park would not work without a fee, and that Giddings at Columbia had found a volunteer translator. So, Baldwin announced that he would transfer the rights to Giddings. In a further note to Tarde (March 11, 1898), Baldwin assured him that “there will be no charge to you (and also I think no recompense); the publishers (éditeurs) meet all the costs.” It is not until May 23,1899, that Giddings formally approaches Tarde for permission to oversee the translation and write the introduction. The work finally appeared in 1903, translated by E. C. Parsons. In the meantime, Baldwin again wrote to Tarde (June 7, 1898) and asked permission for his wife to translate Les lois sociales mentioning that she had translated Binet’s Altérations de la personnalité. “I think such a resumé of your larger books will do you great service if put into English,” he argued. The book appeared a year later in English, translated in a professional manner, by Baldwin’s Princeton collaborator, H. G. Warren. Baldwin (1899) supplied a terse, but correct introductory note. It was Giddings who prodded Tarde to submit his article on “l’Interpsychologie” to the magazine International Quarterly (Tarde 1903b). Perhaps, however, it is unfair to blame Baldwin for the lack of a speedy translation. A more general comment might be that Tarde’s social-​psychological formulations were not easily available, during his lifetime, to an audience in America, where a linguistic isolation was shown in both psychology (Fernberger 1938) and social psychology (Finison and Whittemore 1975). Tarde’s social psychology was blocked and delayed in America by translation problems, luke-​warm reviews in some journals and the availability of “home-​ grown” variations such as Baldwin’s. As a result, by the 1970s, Tarde was not universally remembered in North American social psychology. Although Baldwin would outlive Tarde by 30  years, his career took a dramatic turn in 1908, when he resigned from his Johns Hopkins professorship and gave

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up editing journals, thus leaving his paradigm/​community. After some work in Mexico, by 1914 he had taken up permanent residence in Paris. With no more students, his earlier writings began to lose their audience (Wozniak 2004; Wozniak and Santiago-​Blay 2013).

Some Speculation about How Interaction Theories Fall into Epistemological Voids As Tarde’s social-​psychological formulations matured, they gravitated from an individualistic psychologism toward an interactive interpsychologie that examined relations between interacting persons as the basis for group and collective behavior. But at the time of Tarde’s shifting framework in the 1890s, psychology and sociology were each separately staking out disciplinary territories for themselves, focusing on the individual and the societal respectively. Tarde however was proposing a system that attempted to address the world in between the social and the individual. I would argue that there has long been an aversion to theories that focus too much attention on the processes and (inter-​)actions between persons, if we examine the slow acceptance of G. H. Mead’s symbolic interactionism over a fifty-​year period (Manis and Meltzer 1967) or of J. R. Kantor’s inter-​behavioral social psychology (1929), still under-​cited today (Smith 1973). The training of social psychologists in America in two different, and sometimes competing, academic disciplines may explain social psychology’s attachment to one of the “two parent” disciplines, and the avoidance of the creation of an autonomous social psychology (Good 2000). Did Tarde’s interpsychology fall into an interdisciplinary and epistemological abyss, reserved for autonomous, interactive social-​psychological systems? Karpf (1932) had earlier sought to address this issue, from the perspective of Chicago sociology, and relying heavily on secondary sources for her knowledge of Tarde’s work. She points to the role of “interaction social psychology” which is “distinctively and emphatically social-​psychological in its emphasis on interaction and not merely psychological or sociological” (1932, 419–​420). She perhaps exaggerates in her generalization that this interaction social psychology “defines so large a part of American social-​psychological thought that it may be said to establish its distinctive frame of reference” (1932, 421). Although Karpf has pinpointed the unique contribution that an interactionist perspective could contribute toward an autonomous social psychology, more careful research would be required to back her generalization about the degree of penetration of interactionist theories. In fact, Loy (1976, 86–​88) looked at three journals carrying social-​ psychological material from sociology, psychology and from an interdisciplinary perspective, sampling articles during the period

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1920–​1974. Her results suggest the relatively constant non-​popularity of interactionist articles in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, and a peaking of interest in interactionist articles in the American Journal of Sociology in the 1950s (followed by decline) and a decline within Sociometry from the high-​interest period of the 1940s. Perhaps interactionist theories that examine the processes at work in the physical and communicative spaces between persons, between the person and a larger social collectivity (or even between two “minds” or selves) have never been well-​received in social psychology, from Tarde’s interpsychologie onwards. Beginning in the 1960s, there has been a debate in the social-​psychological literature of various crises faced by the discipline (e.g., Strickland, Aboud, Gergen l976; Israel and Tajfel 1972; Larsen l980; Lubek 1987). Brewster Smith (1977) discussed various dialectical views of such crises. “The dialectical emphasis on self-​transforming interactive process is seen as highly appropriate to social psychology” (1977, 719). “Dialectics […] is simply a thoroughgoing, radical interactionism, an interactionism of developmental process” (1977, 720). Perhaps this linkage of the dialectical perspective and interactionism may offer an additional view back at Tarde’s interpsychologie. Was Tarde offering a dialectical account of the social world at a time when the intellectual world, especially in America, was turning toward science, positivism, behaviorism and so forth? Was Tarde’s interpsychologie an autonomous, dialectical position which became an academic outcast, foreign to both the positivistically evolving disciplines of sociology and psychology? Tarde’s notion of imitation has survived somewhat better than his interactive social psychology, perhaps because the former was assimilated into mainstream (especially developmental) psychology, while the latter fell into an epistemological void between the two disciplines. Neither sociology nor psychology wanted a dialectical interactionism, and there was no autonomous social-​psychological paradigm/​community ready to adopt interpsychologie and cut loose from the theorizing of its two distinct “parental” disciplines. This chapter has examined historically the several attempts by Gabriel Tarde to create a systematic social psychology, especially in the last twenty years of his life (1884–​1904). His most mature formulation, his interpsychologie, had little immediate impact in France or in North America. We considered several hypotheses concerning historical and institutional factors that contributed to the non-​dissemination and low impact of Tarde’s social-​psychological ideas, including the debates with Durkheim, an example of a clash of paradigm/​exemplars. We looked at the role of academic institutions such as the university and journals such as L’Année sociologique and discussed how, unlike for Durkheim, a paradigm/​ community was lacking to support Tardean ideas. We have examined two

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differing sociopolitical environments to gauge the (in)compatibility of Tardean thought with both the French and American intellectual ethos. We have looked at the role of editorial gate-​keeping, linguistic barriers affecting translation, and the preference for American social theorists in American journals. Finally, we have suggested that interactionist theories, per se, have a special metaphysical or epistemological status that may have made them unwelcome in the positivistic social sciences. In examining the lost social psychologies of Gabriel Tarde, we may have inadvertently touched on a more fundamental epistemological question, partially at the root of the modern “crises” in social psychology. The question of why Tarde’s interpsychologie was not accepted within social psychology may involve a long-​standing, and still unresolved, existential identity crisis for social psychology as a discipline—​are we some sort of sociology, psychology or something interactive and in between? This chapter offers some tentative guidelines for future research on Tarde, or for any other “lost social psychologist,” or more generally, any branch of a discipline that has “disappeared” from historical accounts. In recalling Samelson’s warning (1974) against the creation of origin myths, we must carefully evaluate the hypotheses and conclusions of other writers on Tarde, many of whom claim acknowledgement of Tarde as a social-​psychological pioneer (Allport 1968, 2; Baldwin 1899 vii; Bogardus 1955 395; Clark 1969; Essertier 1927 100; 1930 207; Karpf 1932 90; Matagrin 1910; Murphy 1930 291; 1949 402; Rocheblave-​Spenlé and Milet 1973; Small 1905 626). These claims can be evaluated against measures of the impact of Tarde’s ideas in the Social Sciences Citation Index, which for the period l966–​1975, showed only about 9.5 citations per year for Tarde—​better than Baldwin with 7.5, but below Durkheim’s score of 231.2. Tarde’s social psychology, if not lost, was under-​cited during the 1970s, recent scholarship and this volume, the Companion, notwithstanding!

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Larsen, K. S., ed. 1980. Social Psychology:  Crisis or Failure. Monmouth, OR:  Institute for Theoretical History. Leroux, R. 2011. Gabriel Tarde. Vie, œuvres, concepts. Paris: Ellipses Loy, P. H. 1976. “Trends in the History of Contemporary Social Psychology: A Quantitative Analysis,” Unpublished PhD Thesis: University of New Hampshire. Lubek, I. 1980. “The psychological establishment: Pressures to preserve paradigms, publish rather than perish, win funds, and influence students,” in K. Larsen, ed. Social Psychology: Crisis or Failure. Monmouth, OR: Institute for Theoretical History, 129–​157. —​—​—​. “Histoire de psychologies sociales perdues: le cas de Gabriel Tarde,” Revue française de sociologie, 22, 361–395. —​—​—​. 1990. “Interactionist theory and disciplinary interactions: Psychology, sociology, and social psychology in France,” in W. J. Baker, M. E. Hyland, R. van Hezewijk and S. Terwee, eds., Recent Trends in Theoretical Psychology, vol. 2. New York: Springer-​Verlag, 347–​358. —​—​—​. 1993a. “The view from ‘social psychology of science,’ ” in H. van Rappard, P. van Strien, L. Mos and W. Baker, eds., History and Theory: Annals of Theoretical Psychology, vol. 8. New York: Plenum Press, 249–​260. —​ —​ —​ . 1993b. “Social psychology textbooks:  An historical and social psychological analysis of conceptual filtering, consensus formation, career gatekeeping and conservatism in science,” in H. J. Stam, L. P. Mos, W. Thorngate and B. Kaplan, eds., Recent Trends in Theoretical Psychology, vol. 3. New York: Springer-​Verlag, 359–​378. —​ —​ —​ . 1993c. “Some reflections on various social psychologies, their histories and historiographies,” Sociétés contemporaines, 13, 33–​68. —​—​—​. 1995a. “A ‘social psychology of science’ approach:  Towards an inter-​personal history of social psychology,” in S. Jaeger, I. Staeuble, L. Sprung and H.-​P. Brauns, eds., Psychologie im soziokulturellen Wandel–​Kontinuitäten und Diskontinuitäten: Frankfurt, Peter Lang, 98–​114. —​—​—​. 1995b. “Towards an interactive ‘inter-​psychology’: The successive, but relatively unsuccessful, social psychological perspectives of Gabriel Tarde (and sons),” in M. Donzelli, ed., Folla e politica: Cultura filosofica, ideologia, scienze sociali in Italia e Francia a fine Ottocento. Naples: Liguori Editore, 129–​156. —​—​—​. 1997. “Reflexively recycling social psychology. A critical autobiographical account of an evolving critical, social psychological analysis of social psychology,” in T. Ibañez and L. Iñiguez, eds., Critical Social Psychology. London: Sage, 195–​228. Lubek, I. and E. Apfelbaum. 1979. “Analyse psycho-​sociologique et historique de l’emprise d’un paradigme:  l’apprentissage S-​ R, l’hypothèse frustration-​ agression, et l’effet Garcia,” Recherches de Psychologie Sociale, 1, 112–​119; 123–​157. —​—​—​. 1987. “Neo-​behaviorism and the Garcia effect:  A social psychology of science approach to the history of a paradigm clash,” in M. Ash and W. Woodward, eds., Psychology in Twentieth Century Thought and Society. Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 59–​91. (Reprinted, 1989; paperback) —​—​—​. 1989. “Les études de psychologie sociale de Augustin Hamon,” Hermès: Cognition, communication, politique, 5–​6, 67–​94. —​—​—​. 2000. “A critical gaze and wistful glance at Handbook histories of social psychology: Did the successive accounts by Gordon Allport and successors historiographically succeed?” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 36 (4), 319–​328. Lukes, S. 1973. Émile Durkheim:  His Life and Work:  A Historical and Critical Study. Allen Lane: Penguin Press.

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Manis, J. G. and B. N. Meltzer, eds., 1967. Symbolic Interaction. A Reader in Social Psychology. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Martindale, D. T. 1960. The Nature and Types of Sociological Theory. Boston:  Houghton Mifflin. Matagrin, A. 1910. La psychologie sociale de Gabriel Tarde. Paris: Alcan. Mauss, M. 1928. “Introduction,” in É. Durkheim, Le socialisme:  sa définition, ses débuts, la doctrine Saint-​Simonienne. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France (Reprinted 1971). Maxwell, J. 1911. La psychologie sociale contemporaine. Paris: Alcan. May, D. 1897. “Le collège libre des sciences sociales,” Revue Politique et parlementaire, 12, 384–​398. Mazel, H. 1896. La synergie sociale. Paris: Colin. —​—​—​. 1904. “A propos de Gabriel Tarde,” Mercure de France, 51, 89–​102. Milet, J. 1970. Gabriel Tarde et la philosophie de l’histoire. Paris: J. Vrin. Miller, N. E. and J. Dollard. 1941. Social Learning and Imitation. New Haven:  Yale University Press. Murphy, G. 1930. An Historical Introduction to Modern Psychology. New York: Harcourt Brace. Murphy, G. 1949. An Historical Introduction to Modern Psychology, rev. ed. New York: Harcourt/​ Brace and World. Palante, G. 1901. Précis de sociologie. Paris: Alcan. Park, R. E. and E.W. Burgess, eds. 1921. Introduction to the Science of Sociology, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Parodi, D. 1910. Le Problème moral et la pensée contemporaine. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​. 1919. La Philosophie contemporaine de la France:  essai de classification des doctrines. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​. 1928. Les bases psychologiques de la vie morale. Paris: Alcan. Reuchlin, M. 1965. “The historical background for national trends in psychology: France,” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 1, 115–​123. Ribot, Th. 1901. “La psychologie de 1896 à 1900,” in P. Janet, ed., IVe Congrès international de psychologie (Tenu à Paris du 20 au 26 Août, 1900). Compte rendu des séances et textes des mémoires. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​. 1905. La logique des sentiments. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​. 1914. Préface, in G. Dumas, ed., Traité de psychologie, Tome 1.  Paris:  Alcan, 1923, v–​xiv. Richard, G. 1902. Review of Gabriel Tarde: Psychologie Économique, Revue Philosophique, 54, 640–​648. Rocheblave-​ Spenlé, A. M. and J. G. Milet. 1973. Tarde:  Écrits de psychologie sociale. Toulouse: Privat. Ross, E. A. 1901. Social Control: A Survey of the Foundations of Order. New York: MacMillan. —​—​—​. 1905. Foundations of Sociology. New York: Macmillan. —​—​—​. 1908. Social Psychology: An Outline and Source Book. New York: Macmillan. —​—​—​. 1936. Seventy Years of It: An Autobiography. New York: D. Appleton­Century. Salmon, L. 2005. “Le fonds Gabriel Tarde au CHEVS,” Champ pénal/​Penal field [Online], XXXIVe Congrès français de criminologie, Les criminologiques de Tarde, uploaded September 15, 2005. Retrieved January 24, 2017. URL:  http://​champpenal.revues.org/​239; DOI: 10.4000/​champpenal.239. Samelson, F. 1974. “History, origin myth and ideology: Comte’s ‘discovery’ of social psychology,” Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 4, 217–​231. Seignobos, C. 1901. Méthode historique appliqué aux sciences sociales. Paris: Alcan.

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Simiand, F. 1903. Review of G.  Tarde, Psychologie économique, L’Année sociologique, 6, 459–​461. Small, A. W. 1898. Review of G.  Tarde Les Lois Sociales, American Journal of Sociology, 4, 395–​400. —​—​—​. 1902. Review of É. Durkheim De la Division du travail social and G. Tarde Psychologie Économique, American Journal of Sociology, 7, 566–​568. —​—​—​. 1905. General Sociology: An Exposition of the Main Development in Sociological Theory from Spencer to Ratzenhofer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. —​—​—​. 1906. Review of Michael M.  Davis, “Gabriel Tarde:  An essay in sociological theory,” American Journal of Sociology,12, 125–​126. —​—​—​. 1907. “Points of agreement among sociologists,” American Journal of Sociology, 12, 633–​649. Smith, M. B. 1977. “A dialectical social psychology? Comments on a symposium,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 3, 719–​724. Smith, N. W. 1973. “Interbehavioral psychology: Roots and branches,” Psychological Record, 23, 153–​167. Stoetzel, J. 1963. “La psychologie des relations interpersonnelles,” in G. Gurvich, ed., Traité de sociologie 2ème éd. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 339–​352. Strickland, L.H., F. E. Aboud and K. J. Gergen, eds. 1976. Social Psychology in Transition. New York: Plenum Press. Tarde, G. 1870. “La différence universelle.” (Texte inédit, cited by Milet, 1970, 16). —​—​—​. 1874a. “Les possibles.” (Texte inédit, cited by Milet, 1970, 17). —​—​—​. 1874b. “La répétition et l’évolution des phénomènes: Essai critique et théorique.” (Manuscrit inédit, cited by Milet, 1970, 17). —​—​—​. 1887. “Avant-​propos pour un livre intitulé Psychologie sociale.” (Texte inédit, mai, 1887). —​—​—​. 1888a. “Les deux sens de la valeur,” Revue d’économie politique, 2, 526–​540; 561–​576. —​—​—​. 1888b. “La dialectique sociale,” Revue Philosophique, 26, 20–​41; 148–​165. —​—​—​. 1890. Les lois d’imitation. Étude sociologique. Paris: Alcan. Translated by E. C. Parsons as The Laws of Imitation, Introduction by F. H. Giddings, New York: Holt, 1903. —​—​—​. 1895a. La logique sociale. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​. 1895b. Essais et mélanges sociologiques: Lyon: Stock and Masson. —​—​—​. 1896. “Fragment d’histoire future,” Revue Internationale de Sociologie, 4, 603–​654 (re-​ edited 1904,1905,1970, English translation, 1905). —​—​—​. 1898a. Études de psychologie sociale. Paris: Giard and Brière. —​—​—​. 1898b. Les lois sociales:  Esquisse d’une sociologie. Paris, Alcan. Translated by H. C. Warren, Introduction by J. M. Baldwin:  Social Laws:  An Outline of Sociology. New York: Macmillan. —​—​—​. 1899. Les transformations du pouvoir. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​. 1901. “La psychologie inter-​mentale,” Revue lnternationale de Sociologie, 9, 1–​13. —​—​—​. 1902. Psychologie économique, 2 vols. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​. 1903a. “L’inter-​psychologie,” Bulletin de l’Institut général psychologique, 3, 91–​118. —​—​—​. 1903b. “Inter-​psychology: The interplay of human minds,” International Quarterly, 7, 59–​84. —​—​—​. 1904a. “Lettre à G. L. Duprat,” Revue Universelle, 333. —​—​—​. 1904b. “L’interpsychologie,” Archives d’anthropologie criminelle, de criminologie, et de psychologie normale et pathologique, 19, 537–​564. —​—​—​. 1904c. “Lettre à Casimir de Kelles-​Krauz,” Archives d’anthropologie criminelle, de criminologie, et de psychologie normale et pathologique, 19, 901–​905.

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—​—​—​. 1909a. Gabriel Tarde: Introduction et pages choisies par ses fils. Paris: Louis Michaud. —​—​—​. 1909b. “L’interpsychologie infantile,” Archives d’anthropologie criminelle, de criminologie, et de psychologie normale et pathologique, 24, 161–​172. Tarde, A. de. 1907. L’idée du juste prix: Essai de Psychologie économique. Paris: Alcan. Thamin, M. 1909. “Discours de M. Thamin, Président,” in Discours, 21–​31. Thibaudet, A. 1927. La république des professeurs. Paris: Grasset. Tosti, G. 1897. “The sociological theories of Gabriel Tarde,” Political Science Quarterly, 12, 490–​511. —​—​—​. 1898. “Social psychology and sociology,” Psychological Review, 5, 347–​361. —​—​—​. 1900a. Review of G. Tarde Social Laws, Psychological Review, 7, 211–​213. —​—​—​. 1900b. Review of J.  M. Baldwin, Interprétation Sociale et Morale des principes du Développement Mental-​Étude de Psycho-​Sociologie, traduit par G. L. Duprat. Psychological Review, 7, 295. —​—​—​. 1902. “Baldwin’s social and ethical interpretations,” Science, (April 4), 15 (379), 551–​553. Tufts, J. H. 1903. Review of G. Tarde: Psychologie économique, Psychological Review, 10, 179–​180. Vaschide, N. 1904. “La psychologie de M.  Tarde,” Archives d’anthropologie criminelle, de criminologie, et de psychologie normale et pathologique,19, 661–​674. Verrier, R. 1934. Roberty: Le positivisme russe et la fondation de la sociologie. Paris: Alcan. Vogt, W. P. 1979. “Un durkheimien ambivalent: Célestin Bouglé,1870–​1940,” Revue française de Sociologie, 20, 123–​139. Weinberg, J. 1972. Edward Alsworth Ross and the Sociology of Progressivism. Madison:  State Historical Society of Wisconsin.· Weisz, G. 1979. “L’idéologie républicaine et les sciences sociales: Les durkheimiens et la chaire d’histoire d’économie sociale à la Sorbonne,” Revue française de Sociologie, 20, 83–​112. Worms, R. 1898. “Des rapports de la psychologie et de la sociologie,” Bulletin du Comité des Travaux historiques et scientifiques: Section des Sciences économiques et sociales. Congrès des Sociétés Savantes de 1898. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 67–​68. —​—​—​. 1904. “La sociologie et les sciences sociales (compte rendu des conférences de Durkheim et Tarde, Décembre, l903),” Revue Internationale de Sociologie, 12, 83–​87. —​—​—​. 1926. La sociologie, sa nature, son contenu, ses attaches. Paris: Giard. Wozniak, R. H. 2004. “Lost classics and forgotten contributors: James Mark Baldwin as a case study in the disappearance and rediscovery of ideas,” in T. C. Dalton and R. B. Evans, eds., The Life Cycle of Psychological Ideas. Understanding Prominence and the Dynamics of Intellectual Change. New York: Kluwer Academic/​Plenum Press, 33–​58. Wozniak, R. H. and J. A. Santiago-​Blay. 2013. “Trouble at Tyson Alley:  James Mark Baldwin’s arrest in a Baltimore bordello,” History of Psychology, 16 (4), 227–​248.

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Chapter 2 REDISCOVERING GABRIEL TARDE Elihu Katz

Gabriel Tarde is thought to have “lost” his debates with Durkheim by insisting that sociology ought to occupy itself with observable interpersonal processes. Given contemporary interest in such processes—​much abetted by the computer—​Tarde’s reputation is being rehabilitated. Terry Clark (1969) was first to notice that Tarde (1898) had anticipated Lazarzfeld’s two-​step flow of communication. Tarde’s work has bearing on social networks, interpersonal influence, diffusion of innovation and the aggregation of public opinion. During the oral exam on my doctoral thesis—​later to become Part  1 of Personal Influence—​Robert Merton asked me to name the scholar who debated Durkheim on the nature of sociology. It was the one question to which I had no answer. This failure is all the more embarrassing now, fifty years later, inasmuch as intellectual historians such as Terry Clark (1969) and Serge Moscovici (1985) pay homage to the French social psychologist, Gabriel Tarde, for having anticipated the “two-​step flow of communication” and other propositions in the classic Columbia voting studies by Lazarsfeld et al. (1944) and Berelson et  al. (1954) and in Personal Influence (Katz and Lazarsfeld 1955). At least in some measure, it accounts for my many years of ardent advocacy of Tarde’s all but forgotten work on opinion and communication. But penance aside, the rediscovery of this forefather—​not just by me—​has amply justified the effort. His renewed presence can enliven almost every aspect of current work on political communication, on diffusion of innovation, on social network theory, on public opinion, on collective behavior and on the deliberative democracy of the “public sphere.” Gabriel Tarde achieved renown in turn-​of-​the-​century France. To his professional training in the law, he added criminology, statistics and social psychology and moved from the provincial courtroom of his aristocratic forebears to the Collège de France. “Tarde held virtually every leader position open to a French social scientist out-​side the university system,” says Terry Clark

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(1969). While he published on a wide variety of sociological and philosophical issues in France, his best-​known work, The Laws of Imitation (1880), was translated into English only in 1903, a year before his death. In the first half of the new century, his ideas were rather well known and appreciated among American sociologists and anthropologists interested in questions of interaction, diffusion, crowds and publics. This is well documented in Clark (1969, 62–​69) and in Sorokin (1928; 1941).1 His reputation gradually faded, however, not only in the United States but in France as well. And yet, there are signs of revival in both countries.

Why Tarde’s Reputation Waned It is widely believed that Tarde’s debates with Durkheim in 1902 to 1904 were the beginning of his undoing. In a word (Lukes 1972; Clark 1969), Durkheim argued that sociology should be conceptualized on a level of its own, one that avoids reduction to individual-​level psychology. Tarde argued that society is made up of individuals, and that the social psychology of their interaction brings about social structures and change. Durkheim focused on the norms that constrain behavior, as if these were imposed from somewhere “outside,” while Tarde saw these norms as the products of interaction. Both Clark and Lukes remark that these two positions are not in necessary disagreement and, moreover, it is not at all clear that Tarde “lost” the debates. This is even more obvious nowadays when seething social networks are being uncovered everywhere—​in science, in bureaucracy, in politics—​thanks to microsociological theory and the wonders of the computer (e.g., Burt 1987). In this sense Tarde may rise again; at the very least, he deserves a retrial. A second explanation for the decline in Tarde’s popularity points a finger at his unfortunate use of the concept imitation, which, on the face of it, is strictly out of favor. It sounds altogether too mechanistic and unthinking, although it may well be that he had “influence—​a better word—​in mind. Moreover, and in spite of its mechanical sound, Tarde’s “imitation” seems to place rather heavy emphasis on voluntarism, especially after society became more egalitarian (Moscovici 1985). As in the debate with Durkheim, external constraints—​not only normative, but coercive—​are seemingly ignored in favor of follow-​the-​leader. This, as it happens, echoes one of the reasons for

1 Jaap van Ginneken (1992) includes a brilliant chapter on Tarde in his Crowds, Psychology and Politics. Its publication follows on the heels of a new French edition of L’opinion et la foule, with an introduction by Dominique Reynié.

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the ups and downs of diffusion research. Studies of diffusion have too often assigned the spread of change to individual decisions to “adopt.” Rightly or wrongly, Durkheim’s ostensible victory, together with the academically incorrect concept of “imitation”—​and the connection between the two—​help us understand, or at least to ponder, the reversal of Tarde’s scientific reputation. Sorokin (1928, 636)  feels that he was not scientific enough from the outset.

Why and Where Tarde Is Resurfacing Let me indicate several of the areas in which Tarde is being rediscovered and/​ or where he deserves rediscovery. I do so not only for the sake of tracking his DNA, but for the likely usefulness of his ideas. In doing so, I will draw on what I have learned from The Laws of Imitation and, especially, from his “Opinion and Conversation” (1898/​1989), which my students and I have been studying line by line (Katz et al. 1998).2 I am only casually acquainted with most of the rest of his writings, except for the translated excerpts and discussion in Clark (1969) and secondary sources. Mass communication To begin at my own beginning, let us revisit Paul Lazarsfeld’s Bureau of Applied Social Research at Columbia University. In The People’s Choice, Lazarsfeld et al. (1944) made the serendipitous discovery that personal influence was still a force to reckon with, even in the era of mass communication. In his study of how voters made up their minds in the 1940 presidential election, he found that respondents implicated their close associates—​family and friends—​in their decisions, no less, and perhaps more, than they attributed influence to the radio and to newspapers. In a further step, he discovered that these influentials—​he called them “opinion leaders”—​were themselves more exposed (and influenced?) by the media than were those whom they had influenced. He called this “the two-​ step flow of communication,” suggesting that the media may exert indirect influence via intermediaries who vet the messages they receive and selectively pass them along to their primary groups.

2 In addition to the large excerpts in Clark (1969), we have been working from a full translation by Ruth Morris, as yet unpublished, for which we owe thanks for financial support to Peter Clarke, former dean of the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California.

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As we know now, this is the role that Tarde (1898) assigned to conversation. Tarde was not so much interested in leading and following, but in the proposition that “if people did not talk, it would be futile to publish newspapers [… ;] they would exercise no durable or profound influence; they would be like a vibrating string without a sounding board” (in Clark 1969, 307). Lazarsfeld certainly had knowledge of Tarde—​I know this, as a student, despite my failings—​even though Lazarsfeld reported to Clark, in a personal communication, that he and his associates were unfamiliar with Tarde’s relevance “at the time” (Clark 1969, 69), presumably referring to the 1940 election study. This resonates with the explicit reference to Tarde in Voting (Berelson et al. 1954), the 1948 sequel. “When The People’s Choice was written,” according to the authors (300), “this side of Tarde’s ideas was not known to the authors […] He felt that careful empirical study of conversations was basic to sociology; and he suggested a large number of hypotheses as to who talked to whom about what and how much, and in terms of the social characteristics of the interlocutors and of variations in the historical scene.” Methodologically, the authors concluded, “the correct solution is to make the conversation—​the pair or group of interlocutors—​the unit of analysis. This brings us back, full circle, to thinking which parallels Tarde’s ideas.” And, indeed, in the Decatur study reported in Personal Influence, the role of conversation and the two-​step flow were investigated in realms of decision making other than voting. As pointed out in Part 1 of the book, this was a time when other areas of social research—​industrial sociology, military studies, psychotherapy—​were also discovering the persistence of primary groups in modern society, as Tarde never doubted. Thus did the Lazarsfeld studies carry the word of Tarde into the fertile field of network theory. Once sociometry could be incorporated into social surveys—​as the Decatur studies had begun to do—​it became possible to explore the flow of influence as a function of the interaction of individuals, social networks and mass media. Diffusion research One of the applications of burgeoning network theory is the study of diffusion of innovation. Tarde, like Simmel (1904/​1957), proposed that change—​in fashion, for example—​ followed a trickle-​ down pattern, progressing from higher to lower strata. In fact, the Decatur study found otherwise—​except, perhaps, in the political realm; recently, Diana Crane (1999, 2000) also found otherwise.

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Gradually, then, the methodology of Lazarsfeld’s decision studies could be transformed into full-​blown studies of the diffusion of innovation. Studies of the spread of fluoridation (Crain et al. 1969) and of the progress of a new antibiotic in communities of doctors (Coleman, Katz and Menzel 1966) could show the joint workings of mass media and personal influence—​Tarde’s conversation—​ in the context of public and private health. Network theorists and market researchers have replicated the drug study several times with varying results, of which Burt’s (l987) “structural equivalence”—​connecting diffusion research with research on social capital—​has evoked major interest. Granovetter’s (1973) “weak ties” was an early forerunner of these ideas. Duncan Watts’s (2003) newer work has only recently acknowledged this aspect of its heritage. Interest in patterns of diffusion may be said to characterize all of the social sciences and most of the humanities and some of the hard sciences as well—​ whether it is in the spread of disease, or children’s games, or of religions. Tarde and Sorokin (1928) were well aware of the similarities (and differences) among these problems, and of their centrality for the study of change. Rural sociology’s concern for the role of agricultural extension in the diffusion of new farm practices alludes to the paternity of Tarde. The late Everett Rogers’s (1995) exhaustive review of thousands of diffusion studies acknowledged the inspiration of Tarde; so does Kinnunen (1996). On the other hand, Stark’s (1997) masterful study of the diffusion of early Christianity, for example, showed no awareness of the tradition on which it built. Interpersonal influence Pondering the flow of influence in diffusion networks leads one to wonder whether Tarde’s “imitation” is as far off as it sounds. Of course, much of social psychology is about interpersonal influence, where the word imitation hardly figures. Yet, there is good reason to think of imitation as one of the forms that influence may take. Ironically, a flaw in the design of the Decatur study made this clear. Recall that the Decatur interviewers were instructed to confirm alleged episodes of interpersonal influence by interviewing both parties to the transaction (i.e., both influence and influential). Whenever one or the other failed to confirm his or her alleged role, the authors reported this failure, implicitly questioning whether influence had actually transpired. This protocol in the research design shut out the possibility that influence may occur without the knowledge of the influential, the influence, or both. Consider fashion decisions, for example, where an influence may imitate some piece of an influential’s attire or behavior without the influential’s knowledge. Indeed, social psychology is replete with examples of “identification”

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and other forms of following of which the “leader” may be unaware (e.g., Kelman 1958, 1961; Petty and Cacioppo 1986). There is a fourfold table lurking in these thoughts.3 Suppose that God knows that A  has influenced B. But does A know that he or she has been influential? Is B aware that he or she has been influenced? A has influenced B Is A aware that he or she has been influential? Is B aware that he or she has been influenced? Yes No

Yes Persuasion command Manipulation

No Imitation Contagion

The fruitfulness of this typology—​hardly even referenced in Personal Influence—​ is (a) in giving an operational definition to different aspects of influence, (b) in showing that the language is smarter than we are in providing different names for these different influence types, and (c)  in making clear that new methods are needed for the study of interpersonal influence inasmuch as one party to an influence transaction may be unaware of, or may deny, the role that he or she has actually played. Indeed, influence may have transpired even when both parties are unaware of their roles, as the table and the language make clear. We call this “contagion.” So do epidemiologists. And students of collective behavior. Public opinion Outside the laboratory, social research certainly has room for “imitation.” Elisabeth Noelle-​Neumann (1984), notably, has invoked Tarde explicitly in her assertion that people do not wish to be “alone” in their opinions, and while they may not jump onto the majority bandwagon, they will withdraw into silence and seeming conformity.4 3 Only after submitting the present paper for publication did I become aware that this typology appeared in print in a paper by my former associate, Herbert Hamilton (1971), giving due credit. It is reproduced here by permission of the Oxford University Press. It also appears in Gabriel Weimann (1994, 53). 4 Moscovici (1985, 38) cites an important passage from Tarde granting that, ostensibly, “there is nothing more intoxicating than the sense of freedom, of the non-​necessity of any submission to others [… . However] the truth is that for most men there is an irresistible sweetness inherent in obedience, credulity, and almost lover-​like servility.” Erich

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Tarde was interested in the manufacture of public opinion—​not its product, but its process. He saw opinion arising, initially, from the “conversation” between an individual and his or her newspaper, and then further refined in the fellowship of the coffee house or salon, and then gradually merging into one or two “public opinions.” Lord Bryce (DeFleur, 1988)  added the smoking car of commuter trains to these sites of opinion exchange and consolidation. What distinguished Tarde from other theorists was his interest in the aggregation of opinion. He did not solve this puzzle, but at least he recognized it as something different from foot in the door opinion polling. Public space It was in his later work that Tarde (Clark 1969, 277–​294) moved from trickle-​ down imitation to greater mutuality of influence, and from crowd to public. For Tarde, the public constituted a group that rallies round a shared identity and an issue—​much like a crowd. But whereas a heterogeneous crowd arises from momentary and single-​minded interaction around some event, the public is a more homogeneous, more contemplative product of a press that creates a union of readers around issues that are “sublimated around issues and passions […] and not around interests” (Clark 1969, 285). While he was fascinated by the idea of newspaper readers imagining their fellow readers reacting as they do, he allowed for their coming together for sociability around their “common information and enthusiasms.” In other words, Tarde credited the press for creating “the age of the public” and—​differing from Gustave Le Bon—​putting an end to the age of the crowd. Unlike Habermas (1989), Tarde was not explicitly concerned with the workings of a deliberative democracy. Yet, like Habermas—​but fifty years earlier—​Tarde analyzed the system of interacting components that define “public space.” The system consists of (a) press, (b) conversation, (c) opinion and (d) action. To the press, he assigned the role of creating a public—​even, like Anderson (1983), the role of creating a nation.5 The press, then, sets an agenda for the conversation of the cafes. Opinions are clarified and crystallized in these conversations and then translated into actions in the world of politics, fashion, consumer behavior and so forth. At the collective level, Fromm’s (1941) Escape from Freedom echoes this assertion in discussing how the newly emancipated masses spurned their freedom to choose. 5 Tarde argued that the press created not only the public but the nation, and in this he was followed by Anderson. He believed that the press overthrew the king by displacing his coordinating functions, and by making one nation out of separate regions it achieved majority rule in the parliament. These points are discussed in Katz (1998).

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these public opinions—​reincorporated into the press—​constitute a “brake on government.” Tarde’s deliberative democracy—​ though unintended, so to speak—​ fits Habermas pretty well. Unlike Habermas, however, Tarde’s ostensibly purposeless conversations were not necessarily political, although politics was one of their major latent functions. To enter Habermas’s public space, one has to divest oneself of status, power and identity and come equipped only with reasonableness and a commitment to the commonweal. Tarde’s public space is much more casual and only incidentally occupied with problem solving, even though this is one of its consequences. It is tempting to say that for Habermas, reason (which we all possess, potentially) is a prerequisite to conversation; for Tarde, reason is better thought of as a product of conversation, in the sense that participants in Tardean conversation emerge with more considered opinions than the ones with which they entered. But, however tantalizing this sounds, it is probably better to argue that the two men came to similar conclusions (Kim 1997). Following this model of public space, Kim, Wyatt and Katz (1999) attempted to test the propositions that (a)  frequency of media use increases frequency of conversation, (b)  conversation leads to more “considered opinion” and (c) holders of more considered opinions are more active in the political process. Unfortunately constrained by a one-​time survey, we tried these hypotheses, nevertheless, on a random sample of American adults. Findings suggested that all three hypotheses hold, even if we encountered considerable difficulty in finding a satisfactory measure of a “considered opinion,” one that could be shown to result from political talk. Consistency, for example, did not seem to follow from conversation. The best of our measures—​the one that best reflected the product of conversation—​was a respondent’s knowledgeability of opinions that go counter to his or her own. As far as we could tell, Tarde did well on this empirical test. In conclusion, canonic texts are classics that have persisted in their relevance, not only because they engender consensus but because they are still worth arguing over. Scientists are wary of canonizing texts for fear that they will stunt further growth. But we can show, I believe, that the loss of classic texts is the greater danger—​at least in social science.6 So, what are “forgotten classics”? These are once-​famous texts that have been superseded or discredited or have fallen out of fashion. Why, then, are they rediscovered? And how? Extrapolating from the present case—​ that is, from the essay on “Opinion and Conversation”—​it takes a mentor or a

6 See Katz et  al. (2004) for discussions of canonization in communications research, especially the paper by Illouz (2004).

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critic or a well-​wisher to point out to a prospective colleague that he or she is walking in the footsteps of, or standing on the shoulders of, an ancestor who might be worth rehabilitating. It helps to have a well-​informed loyalist, like Terry Clark, to serve as a medium.7 This works especially well when the newcomer and the forebear stand together on one side of the renewed outbreak of an argument. In the present case, the argument is over impersonal versus interpersonal influence—​or, better, how to relate the two.8 Of course, “forgotten texts” also have a Rip Van Winkle function. They allow us to ask what, if anything, do we know now that is different or better?

References Anderson, B. 1983. Imagined Communities:  Reflections on the Origin and Nature of Nationalism. London: Verso. Berelson, B., P. F. Lazarsfeld and W. N. McPhee. 1954. Voting: A Study of Opinion Formation in a Presidential Campaign. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Bryce, J. 1888. The American Commonwealth, rev. 2nd ed. New York: Macmillan. Burt, R. 1987. “Social contagion and innovation, cohesion vs. structural equivalence,” American Journal of Sociology, 92, 1287–​1335. Clark, T. N., ed. 1969. Gabriel Tarde on Communication and Social Influence. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Coleman, J. S., E. Katz and H. Menzel. 1966. Medical Innovation:  A Diffusion Study. Indianapolis: Bobbs-​Merrill. Crain, R., E. Katz and D. Rosenthal. 1969. The Politics of Community Conflict: The Fluoridation Decision. Indianapolis: Bobbs-​Merrill. Crane, D. 1999. “Diffusion models and fashion:  A reassessment,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 566, 13–​24. —​—​—​. 2000. Fashion and Its Social Agendas:  Class, Gender and Identity in Clothing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. DeFleur, M. H. 1998. “James Bryce’s 19th century theory of public opinion in the contemporary age of new communication technologies,” Mass Communication and Society, 1, 63–​84. Fromm, E. 1941. Escape from Freedom. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Granovetter, M. S. 1973. “The strength of weak ties,” American Journal of Sociology, 78, 1360–​1380. Habermas, J. 1989. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Hamilton, H. 1971. “Dimensions of self-​ designated opinion leadership and their correlates,” Public Opinion Quarterly, 35, 266–​274.

7 In their study of longevity of the reputations of artists, Lang and Lang (1990) discuss the advantages of having an advocate. 8 Mutz (1998) despairs of the salience of interpersonal influence in the political arena and believes that the media provide a better answer. Schudson (1997) despairs of both.

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Illouz, E. 2004. “Whose idols—​Lowenthal and the communications canon,” in E. Katz, J. Peters, T. Liebes and A. Orloff, eds., Canonic Texts in Media Research. Cambridge: Polity Press, 90–​103. Katz, E. 1998. “Mass media and participatory democracy,” in T. Inoguchi et al., eds., The Changing Nature of Democracy. Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 87–​100. Katz, E., S. Docter, J. Gusek, M. Metzger, J. O’Connell and J. Stokes. 1998. “Press-​ conversation, opinion-​action:  Gabriel Tarde’s public sphere,” in J. Lautman and B. Lécuyer, eds., Paul Lazarsfeld 1901–​1976. Paris: L’Harmattan. Katz, E., and P. Lazarsfeld. 1955. Personal Influence: The Part Played by People in the Flow of Mass Communications. Glencoe, IL: Free Press. Katz, E., J. D. Peters, T. Liebes and A. Orloff. 2004. Canonic Texts in Media Research: Are there Any? Should there Be? How about These? Cambridge: Polity Press. Kelman, H. C. 1958. “Three processes of opinion change: Compliance, identification, and internalization,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2, 51–​60. —​—​—​. 1961. “Processes of opinion change,” Public Opinion Quarterly, 25, 57–​78. Kim, J. 1997. “On the Interactions of News Media, Interpersonal Communication, Opinion Formation, and Participation:  Deliberative Democracy and the Public Sphere.” Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. Kim, J., R. Wyatt and E. Katz. 1999. “News, talk, opinion, participation: The part played by conversation in deliberative democracy.” Political Communication, 16, 361–​386. Kinnunen, J. 1996. “Gabriel Tarde as a founding father of innovation diffusion research,” Acta Sociologica, 39, 431–​441. Lang, G., and K. Lang. 1990. Etched in Memory: The Building and Survival of Artistic Reputation, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Lazarsfeld, P. F., B. Berelson and H. Gaudet. 1944. The People’s Choice. New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce. Lukes, S. 1972. Émile Durkheim: His Life and Work. New York: Harper. Moscovici, S. 1985. The Age of the Crowd:  A Historical Treatise on Mass Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mutz, D. C. 1998. Impersonal Influence: How Perceptions of Mass Collectives Affect Political Attitudes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Noelle-​ Neumann, E. 1984. The Spiral of Silence:  Public Opinion—​Our Social Skin. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Petty, R., and Cacioppo, J. 1986. Communication and Persuasion: The Central and Peripheral Routes to Attitude Change. New York: Springer-​Verlag. Rogers, E. 1995. Diffusion of Innovations, 4th ed. New York: Free Press. Schudson, M. 1997. “Why conversation is not the soul of democracy,” Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 14, 297–​309. Simmel, G. 1957 [1904]. “Fashion,” American Journal of Sociology, 62, 547–​558. Sorokin, P. A. 1928. Contemporary Sociological Theories: Through the First Quarter of the Twentieth Century. New York: Harper and Brothers. —​—​—​. 1941. Social and Cultural Mobility. New York: Free Press. Stark, R. 1997. The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries. New  York:  Harper and Collins. Tarde, G. 1903 [1880]. The Laws of Imitation. E., Parsons, trans. New York: Henry Holt.

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—​—​—​. 1989 [1898]. L’opinion et la foule. Introduction by Dominique Reynié. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Van Ginneken, J. 1992. Crowds, Psychology and Politics. Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press. Watts, D. 2003. Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age. New York: Norton. Weimann, G. 1994. The Influentials. Albany: SUNY Press.

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Chapter 3 TARDE AND THE MADDENING CROWD James B. Rule

We conveniently think of the Enlightenment as a single broad current of inspiration—​a mind-​set that has shaped the agenda of countless intellectual quests and specialties ever since. This is fair enough, as far as it goes, but it does not do justice to the complexities and antipathies coexisting among many schools and persuasions. Like a vast river opening into a delta of smaller channels, its branches often appeared to be taking opposite directions. The key idea that social and political life stood to be reordered—​and infinitely enriched—​by application of rational analysis to human affairs gave rise to sharply different interpretations. Here, Gabriel Tarde could no more escape taking sides than could any other heir of the Enlightenment. In its earliest and most optimistic manifestations, Enlightenment thinking foretold nothing short of a broad triumph of rationality in all domains of human affairs. Figures like Saint Simon, Comte and Condorcet placed their faith in new institutions and forms of authority based on scientific wisdom. Superstition and strife would give way to cooperation based on shared, rational understandings of the best forms of governance. Conflicts spawned arising from authority based on myth and superstition would give way cooperation based on universal respect for scientific understanding of human affairs. Politics, in Saint Simon’s famous slogan, would give way to administration. Against such uplifting visions of a brave new world, many nurtured far darker expectations. A  number of thinkers placed themselves outside the Enlightenment tradition altogether—​ de Maistre and Bonald, notably—​ recoiling from any notion of guidance for human affairs through reason. Others, less categorical than this, still found themselves unable to discern the workings of reason in much of France’s revolutionary history. The recurring sequences of popular violence, followed by change in governing institutions, seemed to offer as many disquieting examples of carnage and inhumanity as it did steady steps toward a more rational world. The works of Hippolyte Taine

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portrayed revolutionary events as bloodbaths animated by something akin to collective madness, where the overthrow of civilized restraint opened the way to sadism and destruction for its own sake. Such conflicting ideas inevitably fostered a certain tension. Students of human behavior and social process often saw themselves as heirs of the Enlightenment in their dedication to rational analysis and reasoning in the service of humanity. Yet many of them recoiled at what they considered the retreats from rationality embodied in the emerging popular politics of their day—​and especially in the actions of militant crowds. For one group of public intellectuals from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the response was to develop a highly elaborated theory that would serve to chart the non-​rational character of crowd action—​while also affirming their own positions as hard-​headed analysts. I call this group the Irrationalists. Besides Tarde, it consisted of his fellow Frenchman Gustave Le Bon (1841–​ 1931) and the Italian Scipio Sighele (1868–​1913). They developed a model of the principles underlying the actions of crowds, populist movements and issue-​oriented publics, linking these things to deep, non-​rational dynamics. Certainly, the three were anti-​progressive thinkers in relation to the militant left of their times. They positively did not share the conviction of their Marxist (or Saint Simonian) counterparts that all militant movements partook of evolution toward to a world without inequality or injustice. Yet the Irrationalists did not despair of democracy altogether regarding a role for reason in public affairs.

The unconscious in popular action: Freud and Pareto In fact, their theories drew on intellectual currents more extensive than we appreciate today. By the nineteenth century, a number of theories had gained currency that stressed the role in human action of motives and influences that were all the more potent for lying beneath the reach of conscious reflection. Beginning with the German student of hypnosis, Franz Mesmer (1734–​ 1815), a number of analysts saw in that state universal dynamics of cognition and behavior. Thought processes under hypnosis—​above all, credulity and suggestibility—​ were taken as somehow as more basic than the rational thinking of wakeful, civilized adults. Many psychologists and physicians saw these unconscious dynamics as more closely resembling those of animals, or not-​fully socialized human beings. By contrast, the thought-​ways of civilized adults, based on sharp division between desires and feelings, on the one hand, and realities revealed by critical thinking, on the other, appeared as precarious impositions on deeper forms of cognition. Among the key exponents of such views was the eminent Parisian neurologist Jean-​Martin Charcot

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(1825–​1893), who at the end of his career served as mentor to the young Sigmund Freud. “Others flirted with the unconscious, but I married her,” the founder of psychoanalysis is quoted as saying. For Freud, following in this line of inquiry, rational thinking was a rare and precarious achievement. Things like slips of the tongue, dreams, free associations and other everyday departures from rational thought remind us, he argued, of the dynamic, drive-​driven bases of personality. Human action always represented, at best, a compromise between the demands of civilization for reasoned acceptance of social constraint and the wishful thinking borne of our animal natures. These convictions left Freud skeptical about prospects for fully rational politics. Leaders who exercise the greatest power over their publics, for example, are always apt to owe much of their appeal to what psychoanalysts would call transference—​attribution of qualities fondly remembered or wishfully absent in one’s father or other key childhood figures. Whereas Freud hardly despaired completely of liberal models of enlightened choice in political directions, he held that, in politics as elsewhere, the prospects for rationality at the expense of more primitive, wishful thinking would always have severe limits. Vilfredo Pareto—​today better known for his economic writings than for his social psychology—​shared both Freud’s convictions on the importance of subconscious forces in social action and his skepticism on the limits of rationality in human affairs. The son of a mid-nineteenth-century Italian progressive, the young Pareto came to disdain liberal faith in the rise of a politics based on reason. The public ideologies of political movements—​as much on the left as on the right, Pareto held—​represented poor guides to the actual motives and directions of political action. The bases of such action lay not in the effort to maximize any high-​minded principles in non-​rational drives. These were the psychosexual drives of Freudian psychology, but more complicated appetites for specific forms of social action and social relations. Some political actors were endowed with instincts conferring appetites for, and skills at, the violent conquest of power; these were history’s revolutionaries, street fighters coup makers and the like. Other political actors responded to instincts inclining them to deal making, compromise, horse trading and clever fraud; these were the machine politicians, coalition builders and deal makers. Pareto understood that political activists may in some sense believe their own public pronouncements. But in all political action, the underlying motive was the quest for power. The professed doctrines of politicians, whether liberals or authoritarians, Pareto held, were ultimately shams and delusions. Their role was more like that of Freudian rationalizations than that of accurate guides to the ultimate aims of political action. In Paretian terms, they were derivations—​ public cheerleading codes that helped political activists bond with their

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followers and supporters, but which should never be taken at face value by any hard-​headed observer. Pareto insisted that scientific thinking about politics—​ above all, his own brand of cynical debunking of the pretentions of political actors—​began with dismissal of all political doctrines, much as a psychoanalyst must begin by identifying the defensive rationalizations of each patient. Freud held out hope that psychoanalytic patients might ultimately overcome unrealistic wishes or neurotic fears through careful confrontation of such symptoms with critical thinking under the guidance of a skilled psychoanalyst. For Pareto, the idea that political actors could ever be moved, in any significant numbers, to renounce the delusions of ideology and collective self-​ deception would only count as a utopian fantasy. The best hope for a role for rationality in public life, he held, was through the insights conveyed by a few detached, skeptical rationalists like himself. And the first fruit of such insights was simply not to take the claims of any political ideology at face value.

The Irrationalists Thus, Gabriel Tarde came of age in an intellectual world where much significance was attributed to unconscious mental processes, and where these processes were widely held to operate under the radar of rational thought and action. Against this background, Tarde, Le Bon and Sighele focused special attention on the dynamics of crowds as incubators of such processes. For them, crowd behavior represented a kind of collective regression, a manifestation of more elemental forms of cognition and behavior than in the critically censored patterns of everyday life. For all three authors, these ideas served as vehicles for deep anti-​populist sentiments—​resistance to the militant social movements of their times. Many observers of these movements wondered how the otherwise apparently reasonable workers and peasants they knew could turn into raging mobs on what appeared to be minimal provocation. The model of crowd-​ as-​ mental-​ regression provided an answer to such questions—​ along with a satisfying account of why the apparent aims of such crowds need not be taken too seriously. Le Bon, the most gifted publicist of the three, minced no words in casting crowds as manifestations of the least evolved, least civilized elements of the population. If put forward a century later, some of his more florid pronouncements would surely have limited his career options in the social sciences,: “Among the special characteristics of crowd there are several—​such as impulsiveness, irritability, incapacity to reason, the absence of judgment and the critical spirit, the exaggeration of the sentiments, and others besides—​ which are almost always observed in beings belonging to inferior forms of evolution—​in women, savages, and children, for instance” (1960, 35–​36).

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Tarde, more strictly academic than Le Bon, normally avoided such verbal bombast, but there can be no doubt that he embraced the underlying model of crowd behavior. He depicted crowds as a kind of malleable raw material for social action, capable of being directed (by shrewd leadership, in most cases) in almost any direction. Crowd action, he contended, is by no means always destructive; it can also entail acts of heroism or generosity (Tarde 1893, 350–​ 351). But crowds have no analytical powers beyond those conveyed to them by those who direct them (Tarde 1893, 351). The implication of this view for the French revolutionary tradition—​where history is reckoned by periodic regime changes resulting from crowd action—​is telling. In this view, crowd action opens the gates of social and political change by creating episodes of collective suggestibility and openness to change, as participants in revolutionary crowds abandon their normal interests and accept direction from activist elites. Pareto would have found this formulation eminently congenial. The examples of hypnosis and dreams were a salient inspiration for Tarde’s model of crowd action. The obedience of crowds and armies to their demagogues and captains is, at times, almost equally strange. And so is their credulity. It is a curious sight, says M. Charles Richet, “to see a somnambulist make gestures of distaste and nausea and experience real suffocation when an empty bottle is put under his nose and he is told that it contains ammonia” (1903, 81). Such powers of suggestion were even more pervasive in earlier, less civilized times: “We have a strange analogy in the artificial, absurd, and extravagant, but none the less deep, active, and obstinate, beliefs of ancient peoples […] Were not the most abominable monstrosities, Greek love, for example, deemed worthy of the songs of Anacreon and Theocritus and of the philosophy of Plato? Were not mysteries, metempsychoses, dogmas in absolute contradiction to the direct evidence of the senses, not to speak of such absurdities as the arts of augury, astrology, and sorcery, unanimously believed in?” And in a reference to the arts of Mesmerism, he continues:  “Civilised people flatter themselves with thinking that they have escaped from this dogmatic slumber. Their error can be explained. The oftener a person has been magnetized, the easier and quicker is it for him to be re-​magnetised […] As [societies] become civilized and, consequently, more and more imitative, they also become less and less aware that they are imitating” (1903, 81–​82). Thus, a rebuke to rationalist calls for life based on reasoned examination of all its elements. All civilization entails imitation, Tarde holds, since it requires encapsulation of the received knowledge of past generations. If the Irrationalists had anything at all good to say about crowd action, it was that such moments of uncritical openness afforded possibilities for new forms of imitation and hence new directions in social and political life.

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The Irrationalists after a hundred years of empirical inquiry Views of crowds as throwbacks to less evolved, less civilized forms of social action played the indispensable role of obviating the need for more searching accounts of the social conflicts of the day. They afforded the Irrationalists and their allies the opportunity to affirm their Enlightenment credentials as dispassionate analysts of social life, while dismissing the substance of the demands of militant movements. Yet despite their scientific self-​image, the Irrationalists did little to subject their views of crowds to potentially contrary evidence. Crowds are scarcely a rare phenomenon, after all, and it would hardly have been difficult to assemble empirical data on matters crucial to the Irrationalists’ theories—​the composition of crowds, the nature of their ends, the formulation of their objectives, the relations between their leaders and their rank-​and-​file members. But so far as I can determine, neither Tarde nor his two intellectual allies ever carried out such an analysis. Of course, the Irrationalists were hardly alone among social scientists of their time. Émile Durkheim’s theoretically driven empirical study of suicide was a bold step ahead in these respects. Nor should it have been difficult to formulate alternate explanations for the apparent madness of crowds. Perhaps, after all, crowd actors had not really taken leave of their senses—​or more exactly, of their deep interests. Perhaps the emerging conditions of crowd action—​momentary inability of the authorities to enforce order, for example, or accessibility of targets of opportunity—​simply left crowd members free to act on long-​standing interests that, in other circumstances, would be severely repressed. Perhaps crowd members, contra the Irrationalists, had real and enduring interests in plundering food supplies, or destroying the opposition party headquarters, or beating up strikebreakers. Perhaps the apparent bloodthirstiness of revolutionary crowds—​like that recorded by Taine—​really did serve authentic long-​term ends shared by the rioters. Such alternative possibilities afforded the inspiration for a sweeping (and ultimately successful) counter-​movement against the Irrationalists’ influence that has claimed center stage since the 1970s. Spokespeople for these views, now orthodoxy in studies of militant collective action, included George Rudé, E. J. Hobsbawm, E. P. Thompson, Charles Tilly, Doug McAdam and many others. The intellectual movement that they led emerged from a moral and intellectual stance almost diametrically opposite to that of the Irrationalists. Instead of unaccountable and uncomprehending, the new view presented crowds as well-​targeted representatives of the larger social groups with whom they identified. As a number of commentators have noted, this intellectual revolution stemmed from social scientists’ changed attitudes toward a quite different set

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of salient social movements. For the new wave of analysts, the salient cases were the civil rights movements, and progressive movements more generally. Thus, the old intellectual lens inherited from the Irrationalists, with its disparaging implications for the content of movement demands, simply would not do. Much to their credit, the proponents of this view generated much closer analysis of empirical materials than anything carried out by their predecessors. They distinguished themselves by tracing the evolution of specific forms and movements of protest and popular contention, showing how typical forms of action served to promote aims that were by any reasonable standard enduring and strategically calculated from the standpoint of the protestors. Charles Tilly, for example, pointed out that the Luddites succeeded in staving off the destruction of their livelihoods for perhaps a generation—​arguably quite a reasonable return on investment for the violent work of destroying machine equipment in early industrial England. Similarly, Doug McAdam’s studies of sit-​ins by civil rights activists showed close calculation of cost and benefits—​ buttressed often by documentary records of such calculative efforts by the accounts of participants themselves. What earlier researchers had classified as irrational suggestibility appeared to late-​twentieth-​century analysts as the imaginative ability to grasp possibilities for victory that had eluded earlier activists. In the course of this moral revision of social-​movement theory, as one might expect, the ideas of the Irrationalists suffered a cruel fate. Their views were pilloried as anxiety-​ridden expressions of anti-​liberal sentiment—​and poor guides to the realities of crowd process, to boot. Passages like those quoted above provided a target-​rich environment for these attacks. Most of this intellectual retribution was richly deserved. But every theoretical view is both a way of seeing and a way of not-​seeing. The generation of the revisionists quite properly established the continuity of much crowd action with long-​standing interests of the participants that the Irrationalists had willingly ignored. But did this new and well-​documented vision leave anything out? I think so. If the Irrationalists systematically ignored the purposefulness of much crowd action, late-​twentieth-​century antagonists seemed to ignore the aims of crowds that had no such instrumental character. Wide reading of the rich variety of first-​person accounts of militant crowd events reveals much strategic action, but also many scenarios marked by attacks that do not fit that description. The latter accounts are more consummatory than instrumental. They include actions that are celebratory, self-​ congratulatory, and sometimes apparently destructive for the sheer sake of destruction. Consider the following account from Rétif de la Bretonne, a populist observer of the events of the 1789 revolution from the streets of Paris:

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It was that morning that the Princesse de Lamballe was murdered in the rue St. Antoine outside the prison called La Force. She had been detained there since August 10. The princess was known and detested for being an intimate friend of Marie-​Antoinette. She had been in safety in England but had returned earlier that year to be with the Queen. Was her fate merited? Perhaps, but surely not the indignities inflicted on her body. It is hard to believe but the fact is incontestable that after her death her body was stripped, exposed to all, her head cut off and carried at the point of a pike, her genitals carved out of her corpse and stuck at the end of another, these two obscene trophies carried first to the Palais-​ Royal, then to the Temple, to frighten the Queen in case she should glance out the window of her prison. (1970, 243–​244)

This was, of course, the sort of incident that fed Taine’s accounts of the irrational bloodthirstiness of revolutionary crowds. Certainly, the victim of these crowd depredations suffered from representing something that the members had every reason to hate. But it would be hard to suggest that those who took such grotesque violence on her were furthering any strategic considerations by their actions. One finds such consummatory elements in countless other accounts of crowd action—​in situations ranging from prison riots to the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran in 1979, both of which of course also embody major strategic elements. The categorical idea that these actions represented a decisive break with the normal, “rational” processes of everyday life certainly needs to be set aside. But, unfortunately, notions of destruction and infliction of suffering as ends in themselves must also have their place in any theoretical approach to crowd action.

Conclusion Neither the Irrationalists nor their contemporary admirers saw themselves as abandoning values of rationalism and progress. The progress that they identified and sought to promote took the form of improved scientific understanding of the vagaries of social action. Tarde, especially, often seemed to “accentuate the positive” in his writings on crowds—​pointing to different types of crowds, with more and less positive features and speculating about the evolution of crowds into publics, whose potentials for beneficial social roles were supposedly greater still. Casting himself as a visionary au-​dessus de la mêlée, capable of drawing lessons at a distance from the irrationalities of the worst crowd behavior, he hardly gave up on the Enlightenment project altogether. Yet he did not expect thanks from the masses—​either for himself or for his like-​minded contemporaries. In a typically elitist statement in L’opinion et la foule, he sketched the precarious position that he ascribed to those, like himself,

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who would succeed in analyzing the dynamics of popular action without actually succumbing to their contagion: The danger of the new democracies lies in the difficulty of intellectuals facing the fascinating attraction of popular agitation. It is not easy to descend in a diving bell into a turbulent sea […] What prevents mountains from being flattened and transformed into arable fields, vineyards or pastures is hardly an appreciation of those natural water-​towers, but the sheer difficulty of leveling such weighty natural features. What will preserve intellectual and artistic giants from democratic leveling will not be, I fear, any force of gratitude that the world owes them, any just appreciation of their achievements. What will it be, then? I would like to believe that it will be their force of resistance. Woe betide them, should they lose that force! (1910, 61–​62)

References Le Bon, Gustave. 1960 [1896]. The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. New York: Viking Press. Rétif de la Bretonne, Nicolas Edme. 1970 [1789–​1794]. My Revolution: Promenades in Paris, 1989–​1794. New York: McGraw-​Hill. Tarde, Gabriel. 1893. “Foules et Sectes au point de vue criminel,” Revue des deux mondes, 63, no. 120, 15 novembre. —​—​—​. 1903 [1895]. The Laws of Imitation. New York: Henry Holt and Company. —​—​—​. 1910. L’opinion et la foule. Paris: Félix Alcan.

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Chapter 4 ON GABRIEL TARDE’S PSYCHOLOGIE ÉCONOMIQUE Bernard Valade

Gabriel Tarde’s Psychologie économique, the last work he published, in 1902, which was never translated into English, did not arouse as much interest or debate as his earlier Laws of Imitation, originally published in 1890. The various studies made since on the work of Gabriel Tarde do not dwell on its contents in any great depth, with the notable exception of a study published by Robert Leroux (2011), which gives an excellent account of its main thrust (75–​85). After a long period of apparent neglect, “rediscoveries” of Tarde’s last work have recently emerged—​for example, from Maurizio Lazzarato (2002), then from Bruno Latour and Vincent Antonin Lépinay (2008), who included it in an “anthology of economics.” The aim of this chapter is to review the different readings of the work, first of all, before returning to the text itself to discuss some of the main themes to which it owes its originality.

Different Readings of Tarde’s Last Work At the time of its publication, Tarde’s Psychologie économique, based on his lectures on Economic Psychology given in 1900–​1901 at the Collège de France, mainly drew comment in four articles. None was particularly complimentary: What value could there be in delving into the psychology of producers and consumers whose actions are rational? (Eugène D’Eichthal 1902); although “ingenious” views are expressed, the work as a whole is inadequately informed (Simiand 1903); Gaston Richard’s contribution (1902), although much more favorable, nevertheless expresses reservations prompted in particular by the idea of an overly psychological, or even psychiatric, vision of society; Ernest Mahaim (1903) made similar observations on “Mr. Tarde’s political economics.” After the death of the author of The Laws of Imitation, Célestin Bouglé (1905) was not particularly drawn to the ideas developed in the two volumes of the 1902

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text, any more than René Worms (1905) or Lionel Dauriac (1906). Alfred Espinas, in his Notice sur la vie et les œuvres de M. Gabriel de Tarde (1910), expressed more interest in those ideas, although he gives them only secondary importance in relation to Tarde’s previous works. The rather short shrift given to Tarde’s Psychologie économique at the time is evident from the first published work on “Gabriel Tarde’s social psychology” (1910). In his introduction, the author, Amédée Matagrin, lists the major works representing the “psycho-​sociological system” he intends to analyze—​but Tarde’s 1902 work is not among them. The sixth and final chapter, on “psychological considerations regarding particular phenomena and groupings,” begins with “political economics” (255–​261). The role of imitation having been entirely disregarded by this particular science, “Tarde believes that political economics are an eminently suitable field of application for his system as a whole.” In just a few pages, Matagrin explains these “applications” in terms of repetition, opposition and adaptation, laying particular stress on the role of invention (258–​259). Numerous references are made to Tarde’s Laws of Imitation, his Logique sociale, L’Opinion et la foule and L’opposition universelle, but Psychologie économique is cited only once in the remainder of the text. There was virtually no mention, in the same year (1910), of an essay by Auguste Dupont on the introduction of psychology in the field of economics (Gabriel Tarde et l’économie politique: un essai d’introduction du point de vue psychologique dans le domaine économique). This was a thesis written by the future president of the Lille cotton ginners union for an economics doctorate. The thesis gives an accurate account of Tarde’s approach, highlighting its originality without avoiding the problems raised by its “introduction” for the discipline in question. As the thesis did not earn its author an academic career with the usual citations, it was not surprisingly dropped from the bibliographies attached to studies on Tarde. Much more surprising is the virtually complete absence in the literature of a long study (92 pages) devoted to the same field—​ political economics—​which was published in two parts, in 1926, in the Revue d’histoire économique et sociale. Entitled Tarde et l’économie psychologique, this study is worth discussing, since its author, Maurice Roche-​Agussol, a PhD in Law and in Economic Sciences and a professor at the Montpellier Faculty of Law, had become a specialist in economic psychology. In 1920, Roche-​Agussol wrote an article for the same journal on “The Economic Psychology of Cournot.” He shows how Cournot, while asserting the authority wielded by social fact over individual behavior, attempted to identify the origins of collectiveness in mental interactions between individuals:  “[His theory] clearly points to the psycho-​sociological interpretation it would give, once fully developed, to the work of Gabriel Tarde.” The link between Cournot and Tarde, convincingly made by Espinas (1910,

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562–​570), is further strengthened here by numerous points of contact, such as the substitution of functional relationships and concomitant reciprocal variations for determination based on cause-​and-​effect, the identification of reciprocal responses from the various forces engaged in a common action or the use of inter-​psychological mechanisms to account for price formation. Roche-​Agussol places particular emphasis on the latter point:  to Cournot, “price is not the direct expression of desire […], but the result of contact between a multitude of desires, which form a characteristic pattern that defers individual value judgements”; price formation is “the repeated interaction of multiple transactions, which, in creating a new pattern from all the individual judgements formulated about the same asset, produce the quantitative social phenomenon of price” (Roche-​Agussol 1920, 190–​191). Thus was demonstrated the decisive role of the dedicatee of the Laws of Imitation in the advent of “the psychology of economics.” Six years later, the discussion would turn to the role of Gabriel Tarde. In his 1926 article, Roche-​Agussol uses the phrases économie psychologique (psychology of economics) and psychologie économique (economic psychology) interchangeably. The articles are divided into four sections, on “the reality of economics,” “conflicts between methods,” “theory of value” and “overview of the economic system.” The “main works and articles by Tarde on economics” are addressed from the start in a lengthy note on the overall aim, which is to incorporate the 1902 publication into the body of work contributing to the study of economic and social facts. Roche-​Agussol embarks on a detailed comparison between Tarde’s explanations for these facts and the “opposing method” used by Durkheim’s “new school of sociology”; this leads him to conclude in favor of a “consolidation of the psychological point of view.” Tarde considered that economists “have disproportionately increased the role of objective factors,” most especially in the area of price determination. His aim was to reduce their role, for which he was criticized by both Matagrin and Worms. In the conclusion, the author clearly specifies Gabriel Tarde’s contribution to the “ideas on economics movement,” and particularly the originality of his Psychologie économique: “In his thinking, he is not developing a work of didactics, a framework designed to exhaust even the merest hint of any problem, but rather introducing a new and fruitful facet of social analysis on the subject of economic facts” (Roche-​Agussol 1926, 317). There is little need for scholarly commentary on the documentary value of these two articles by Roche-​Agussol: their value clearly lies in opening up new avenues for comparison. The author elaborates on the substance of his main and secondary D.Litt theses, published in 1918 and 1919, respectively. In La Psychologie économique chez les Anglo  —​Américains and étude bibliographique des sources de la psychologie économique chez les Anglo-​américains, he reconstructs

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different schools of thought by identifying the areas of obvious conceptual convergence between Tarde and, mainly, James M. Baldwin, but also Franklin H. Giddings, John Dewey and many others. He also clearly discerns the affinities between the ideas of Tarde and those of Georg Simmel. However, few economists followed these research pathways, and the revival of interest in Tarde’s 1902 publication in the 1970s came from a different discipline, with the psychologist—​and sociologist—​Paul Albou (1974, 1984), who introduced it as the starting point of studies on economic psychology. He disagreed on this point with Pierre-​Louis Reynaud (1954, 1964), who saw the origins of these studies in those of “Karl Menger and his successors of the Austrian School of psychology” (1964, 14). At the start of the chapter on the psychology of economics, which he wrote for his Traité de psychologie appliquée (1974), P. Albou cites “the founding work” of Gabriel Tarde, which in his view is “true applied science,” that is, the science of economic behavior, in the sense that its aim is to study not the practical consequences of scientific discoveries, but “the application of scientific methods to resolving real and concrete problems.” While the few analyses of the 1902 text are mainly critical (D’Eichthal and Mahaim are cited as examples), Albou, in his two pages on the importance of imitation as an aspect of the “law of the world” that is repetition, delves no deeper. On this point, he cites the equivalences between repetition and production, opposition and proportionate interest, adaptation and innovation, property, and association. “Clearly,” he notes, “Tarde is ill served by an urge to systematize the observations he records to extremes.” Nevertheless, the efforts made to account for economic phenomena “deserve to be acknowledged with respect,” and “many of the suggestions formulated [by Tarde] are having a remarkable impact today.” The study by B.  Latour and V.  A. Lépinay, L’économie, science des intérêts passionnés, subtitled:  “An introduction to the economic anthropology of Gabriel Tarde,” is the most recent example of this posthumous impact. The main thrust of this study is that Tarde’s Psychologie économique overturns the total objectivity that economic science claims to identify with by transforming it into a set of inter-​subjective networks that are no longer governed by reason, but by passion. All the citations taken from Tarde’s work are marshalled to the defense of an argument of polemic intensity. All the aspects that Gabriel Tarde more than glimpsed—​including the central role of invention well before Joseph Alois Schumpeter attributed the role that we know to innovation—​fall within a line of thought exemplified by studies published later than 1902, from Karl Polanyi to Gilles Deleuze. This stimulating idea has, however, the disadvantage of detaching the thinking we are concerned with from its intellectual context, which prompts us to return to the text itself in order to identify, in all

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modesty, the conceptual advances it reveals and the new themes it introduced into the social sciences at the turn of the twentieth century.

Discussion of the 1902 Text Gabriel Tarde’s Psychologie économique returns to, enriches and summarizes the analyses he developed in his earlier works and articles. Essentially, these are contained in c­ hapters 5–7 of the Laws of Imitation (1890), in ­chapter 8 of La logique sociale (1895a), in ­chapter 7 of L’opposition universelle (1897, an essay on the “theory of opposites”) and in three studies on “Psychology in political economics” (1881), “Natural and social Darwinism” (1884) and “the two meanings of value (1888), to which should be added his review of a “history of economic doctrines” by A. Espinas (Tarde 1895b). The latter article together with the chapter on political economics in La logique sociale make up the best preface to the two volumes (PE 1, PE 2) published in 1902. “The little that [economists] have discovered, or believe they have discovered, compared to the immensity of centuries of effort” immediately illustrates the severity of d’Espinas’s observations. What pearls can be found in this “mass of literature “? We find the law of demand and supply, Malthus’s theory of population—​“a fine example of contagious and widespread mathematical hallucination”—​ Ricardo’s law of rent or Say’s law of markets. None of these authors have understood “the impossibility of thinking usefully on economic questions without attaching them to the social sciences as a whole.” In fact, and contrary to the thinking of Espinas, political economics is not distinct from sociology; as an art, it is a branch of applied sociology, and as a theory, it is “a branch of pure sociology” (1895b, 229). Tarde’s criticism of political economics is even more virulent in La logique sociale. He denounces the “profound and manifest” gaps in the science (1895a, 345 and following): it ignores the role of imitation in the realities it addresses, gives little consideration to invention as the “mother of both faith and desire,” does not see that work is only one of the many branches of imitation. Crowned by “the celebrated, but oh so vague and hollow law of demand and supply,” it is founded on divisions—​production, distribution, consumption—​that merely “usurp” reality. After declaring that economists, “the precursors of sociologists […] have produced no more than an individual teleology that they pass off as a teleology of society,” Tarde embarks on a demonstration to show that economic questions are matter of “faith and desire.” Value, invention, competition, prices and association are shifted away from economics to psycho-​sociology, where every concept and idea takes on new dimensions that are effectively legitimized by general trends:  “with the economic progress of societies, the importance of our psychological point of view is constantly increasing,” he

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observes, giving as an example the increasing role of forecasting combined with the quest for security (Tarde 1895a, 372). In the appendix to ­chapter  8 of La logique sociale added for the second edition (Tarde 1897, 461–​462), Tarde notes that his conception of political economics “has upset a number of economists,” but does not see this as a cause for concern: he is content with and supported by the approval received from Charles Gide and Paul Leroy-​Beaulieu. Nevertheless, Leroy-​Beaulieu believed that the method whereby every economic problem can be taken as a matter of “weighing up desires and beliefs” was not new and had already been applied to political economics for a decade. Which brought Tarde to point out that this method was in fact his own, as published in his articles in 1881, 1884 and 1888, and which he had “reason to believe had not gone unnoticed,” in Germany, Austria, England and other countries besides. He would return to this point, which was not a trivial one, in his 1900–​1901 course of lectures, placing it in the context of his undertaking to overhaul the foundations of the social sciences. Echoes of his lectures can be discerned in La Psychologie économique, which incorporates these themes. “Let us talk about the economic side of our societies, since it is the special topic of this lecture,” writes Tarde (1902, PE 1, 17), who mentions in the Preface that he could have given his book the title of “lectures on the inter-​psychology of economics” (Cours d’interpsychologie économique). When considered under all its different aspects, including production, life in society seems to be “first and foremost a matter of inter-​psychology,” which is the result of his conception of society as “a web of inter-​actions between minds, of mental states acting upon one another.” Before turning to the “special theme of this treatise” (1), he summarizes his main ideas, of which the most important is imitation and the spread of imitation as an elementary social relationship, followed by the universal laws of repetition, adaptation and opposition. Only through these “principles” is it possible to gain an overall understanding of how society functions. But these principles have not entered the field of political economics, which therefore cannot claim to provide an accurate representation of social phenomena. Tarde dwells at length on the way political economics makes over-​simplistic and unduly exclusive use of the ideas on which it is structured. The idea of value, for example, is considered purely in terms of material wealth, with no concern for its other possible meanings, in the areas of knowledge, celebrity, fame, etc. If “credit is what makes a person’s value,” the credit in question is financial, not moral; on the subject of variation in current value, there is no consideration of scientific, ethical or artistic values. Nor is currency the exclusive domain of economists: the idea of gain and loss can also be applied to knowledge, while the ideas of property, work and association can be exported

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just as easily to fields other than political economics. He then criticizes the artificial divisions made in political economics between production, circulation, distribution and consumption, for which it substitutes a narrative that centers on “economic repetition” (definition on 100), accompanied by adaptation and opposition. Within this new framework, political economics can longer be criticized as “narrow and dry” and shows “its true face:  psychological, logical, living and rational” (106). “Bringing political economics out of its majestic and unsatisfying isolation,” such is the aim of Gabriel Tarde. But achieving this aim requires a “complete overhaul” of the theory of wealth, doing away with the idea of a Homo oeconomicus cut adrift from any roots in society, abandoning the objective foundations all too conveniently provided by currency and finance. Until then, political economics had been no more than “a kind of unconscious and incomplete sociology.” Its practitioners had essentially only studied the material aspects of production, ignoring the producers to focus only on the product, with no regard for the passions aroused by the interests involved. “What is needed is to return to their rightful place, in other words the first place, all the aspects [of the economic system] that are rooted in sentiment.” But economists are not all equally guilty of ignoring the fact that “the entire social problem is made up of psychological problems.” Although many are guilty of substituting mathematical deductions based on cold theorems, such as Ricardo’s, for “passionate interests,” a number of “interesting insights from the point of view of the psychology of economics” are to be found in the works of C.-​H. Carey, John Stuart Mill, F. Bastiat, J.-​G. Courcelle-​Seneuil and many others. This “point of view” had indeed emerged among the founders of political economics. Adam Smith, for example, was the first to outline “the lineaments of inter-​psychology” in his studies on sympathy. Neither did the subjective aspect of economic phenomena escape J.-​F. Melon, whose reflections on luxury are mentioned (138). But there is no mention of “collective psychology,” either in Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), or in his Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations of 1776. And their immediate successors dispensed with the few mentions of “individualistic psychology” contained in their writings. In the nineteenth century, the socialist schools, both French and German, signaled a turning point: by “injecting passion into political economics, they released it from its frigidity,” without, however, reassessing its foundations and maintaining, if not accentuating, its claims to objectivity. “In the last 15 years,” writes Tarde in conclusion to these preliminary considerations, “schools have emerged in Germany and Austria under the banner of the psychology of economics, with Schmoller, Wagner and Menger as its leading exponents” (142). Tarde did not read German, but from what he knew of their work, he saw that

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none, except Schmoller, “give any consideration to inter-​psychology.” He had already mentioned (109) that “certain foreign schools” seemed to have shed some light on the subjective aspect of their object of study, “but always incompletely; it is always viewed as the underside of economic science, rather than the upper side.” At the same time as his concern to distinguish his line of thinking from “foreign schools of thought”—​whose “application of psychology to political economics is by no means identical to my own” (142)—​Tarde wished to specify the place and the status of the discipline in question. In his view, political economics is no more than a “branch” of the social sciences, which are “eminently psychological in nature” (110). More generally, it is “merely a branch of social teleology, or, if one prefers, of the logic of action applied to societies.” The theoretical aim of this “general science, which together with social logic proper covers virtually everything that is sociology (only aesthetics being excluded)” (151), is to study “the relationship, in general, between social means and social goals,” while its practical aim is to indicate “the means that are best suited to the best goals according to time and place” (ibid.). In the chapter on currency, “an economic concept par excellence”—​which by its definition also defines political economics, since an economist is, “above all, a financier”—​this distinction is supported by the opposition between the “theory of wealth,” a theory that touches on everything to which trade gives a price, and the “theory of enlightenment,” which refers to a body of “liberal knowledge,” a “science as yet unnamed” where the goal is to achieve, in the realm of the mind, what political economics can accomplish for material things by seeking the laws that govern the creation and distribution of wealth. “If we describe this theory of enlightenment as social logic, it becomes clear that it stands in contrast to social teleology,” of which political economics is here again said to be the most extensive expression (296–​297). Given this configuration, Tarde’s Psychologie économique, rather than rebuilding the foundations of political economics, seems to be giving a new direction to the entire body of themes on which it is founded. In each chapter of the work, in which the author systematically approaches the market as a category of society, the mass of documentation he calls on and the variety of examples he gives show G.  Tarde as a thinker with an acute sense of the issues and the sciences of his time, not only economics but also across the entire spectrum of the humanities and social sciences:  sociology with W. Bagehot, C. Bouglé, F. H. Giddings, L. Gumplowicz, F. Le Play, H.  Spencer, S.  R. Steinmetz, E.  Westermarck and others; history, with an outstanding international palette of thinkers including W. Ashley, K. Bücher, G. Fagnez, H. Hauser, E. Levasseur, P. Milioukov, Th. Mommsen and many others; psychology and philosophy with F. Paulhan, Th. Ribot and E. Souriau

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in particular. He salutes the contributions of Le Play and the School of Social Sciences, naming several of its members (54), but also points out its obvious limits (144, 265, PE2, 212). Cournot’s philosophy of history is cited in the preamble (30–​47), without the author being named; his ideas on evolution concur with those of Tarde (10), but there is obvious disagreement over “the efforts he makes […] to consider economic facts from their mathematical angle, taken to extremes since then by Léon Walras” (141). In fact, “the tendency on the one hand to mathematise and on the other hand to psychologise economics, rather than seeming irreconcilable, should in our eyes be mutually supportive” (ibid.). Among these many references, one in particular—​to Charles Fourier—​ deserves attention. Fourier, we are told, “was the first to apply psychology to a wide array of economic problems.” But the psychology applied, however original it may seem, was the psychology of the eighteenth century, and “purely individual and voluptuous.” Furthermore, “Fourier is a Utopian above all, a dreamer of the most ingenious kind” and is cited “purely for the record” (139). Yet he is cited again on the subject of reducing boredom at work, and how this could be done. “Could Fourier’s process be the answer, an interleaving of multiple kinds of occupations?” But this is for children: “for adults, the need is for variation in the same occupation, much more than for a variety of occupations” (234–​235). Among the two, he analyses the role of desire, and delves into the question of happiness. What is this “exceedingly vague concept,” in reality? “It is not exactly the assuaging of our desires, but rather a day-​to-​day rotation of a chain of desires that periodically re-​emerge, are satisfied again only to re-​emerge once more” (155–​156). Beyond the mobility of other “irregular” desires, this other, elusive as a butterfly, is clearly at work.

Opening Up New Avenues From the opening chapters, Tarde’s questions, and his answers, are startling in their modernity (Tome I, “Economic repetition”), whether the subject is desire, belief or need. Desires that unfold in a sequence regular enough to be predictable, the constant increase in desires that would be better described as “whims”: what are the “objects of desire” of a society, a class, an age? The opening and closing of the “curve of desire,” the importance and social differentiation of “expectations,” the “intermittence” of desires and the “persistence” of beliefs:  along with “advertisements,” “conversation” plays an important role in a decision to make a purchase; faith, trust and confidence are all psychological quantities. The rage for novelty—​“philoneism” as he calls it (202)—​and how it spreads are links in the chain of “needs” formed by the combination of desires and beliefs, which should be cross-​analyzed with “misoneism” or V. Pareto’s “neophobia.”

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Many themes are introduced that were initially specialized sociological or psycho-​sociological topics. Leisure, in which economists took little interest, raises problems that Tarde examines several times in Psychologie économique: the increase in free time, the varied ways of using it, the growing numbers and diversification of gentlemen of leisure, changing consumption patterns and their increasing effect on “the psychology of workers” (119–​123). People have more time for collective recreation and amusement along with their work. He clearly identifies the periodical nature of leisure, and discusses the relatively new “institution” of the holiday. (278–​280). Leisure, associated with “a certain degree of ease,” reappears in his explanation of discoveries and inventions:  these are attributed to the “leisure enjoyed by the free men of Antiquity and the modern ‘bourgeois’ ”—​“leisure, which fathered the pleasure they took in discovering and inventing” (350). On this subject, he remarks that the levelling of knowledge combined with the levelling of wealth has adverse consequences for economic progress:  it is therefore important to “over-​cultivate the intellectual elite” (351). Elements of a sociology of professions are found (243–​268) in the chapter (5) on work. These concern the honor attached to ends and means in professional activities and the esteem attracted by each:  “A profession is held in higher esteem when its members are recruited from higher social classes, and vice versa” (245). While there is nothing humiliating in working for the public, working for a private individual will always connote with servility. The professions held in the most esteem are those involving command, teaching and “causing the senses to vibrate,” in other words those requiring “the most extensive or deepest interactions of minds.” With the growing equality of rank between different professions, the recent promotion of engineers and doctors is correlated with discoveries and inventions. The growing esteem for journalists, who were previously recruited from the lowest classes, is also mentioned. For what reasons does such and such a category of work, or professions, become universally esteemed at a given time? What are the reasons why “the elite of a nation will all rush to enter some careers rather than others” (267)? How can the fluctuating degree of esteem or scorn for a given profession be accounted for? “This subject has barely been explored and requires lengthy research,” warns Tarde (253), whose words are echoed in E. Goblot’s La barrière et le niveau. On money, Tarde’s analyses in Psychologie économique bear comparison with the long study recently published by G. Simmel. They reach far beyond demonstrating what, in the nature of money, is “purely subjective.” Together with Power and Law, Money—​a “virtuality which is exchanged”—​is one of three categories of virtuality that are “social forces par excellence.” Money functions through hope, desire and trust, while the two others function through fear;

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its scope is international, and not limited to a single nation. In the chapter (6)  on money—​while it is an objective measure of value, the substance of money is nevertheless subjective—​it is linked to the process of mathematization and monetization that has made everything quantifiable and tradable. Using the terms “money,” “currency,” “wealth” and “gold” interchangeably, Tarde discusses the consequences of monetization at some length. As well as social, political and legal, the consequences are economic, with money becoming a substitute for land and payments in kind, and psychological, with the appearance of new sentiments and vices, and reactions ranging from a mystical love of poverty to the hatred of socialists for capitalism:  “precious metals have been ploughed into the human soul” (312). Money is a means of emancipation that destroys personal relationships and breaks down the natural harmony of rural societies. As it spreads, it substitutes “plutocratic democracy” for “landed democracy,” replaces laws based on land with laws disconnected from it, transforms the freedom of the land into the freedom of money. With the former, desire was merely a matter of need, while the latter cultivates and complexifies desires. From Rousseau to Tolstoy, resistance emerged, but in vain: “Money has broken down the walls that fenced in desire” (317). The triumphant march of money, as it scatters wonders and disasters in its wake, should not mask its true face. “Gold has a false air of freedom”; in reality, it brings invisible forms of servitude; it has “false air of equality”; it “merely levels, invisibly creating inequalities that are immeasurably greater and more unjustifiable than inequalities arising from land, which are plain to see” (320). The comparison that follows, between money that makes everything tradable and language that makes everything expressible, is not without interest: “Does this not suggest, in fine, a currency, a language, which if not unique is at least universal?” (324). The discussion on capital is symptomatic of the weight that Tarde gives to non-​material factors in the way an economy functions. Inventions are “essential” capital. “Auxiliary” capital is formed by the products born from inventions that serve to create other products. The former, fathered by genius and ingenuity, is “germ capital.” The second, “cotyledon capital,” results from work and savings. These names have been considered bizarre, just as in later years, Pareto’s residues and by-​products were thought strange. Tarde points out the difference between intellectual and material capital throughout the chapter (7) where, as the mental toolkit underlying the social toolkit begins to emerge, the original characteristics of invention capital are brought to light—​ against a backdrop of praise for free engagement in scientific activity—​and the machines successively constructed are presented as “the external projection and often prodigious amplification” of talents, and of the organs through which these talents are exercised (354).

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His criticism of the “obsession” with taking only the objective aspect of phenomena into account, “on the pretext of treating them scientifically,” appears again in Book II (on “economic opposition”) and Book III (on “economic adaptation”), which make up the second volume (PE2) of his Psychologie économique. From the outset (1), the author posits that “the social is no more than psychology multiplied and reciprocated.” He introduces a psychological theory of price (­chapter 2) which holds that the number of “competitors” is less important than the sharpening of desire, in each competitor, “by the contagion of the desires of others.” The mechanics of buying and selling are linked to “continual and invisible shifts in states of mind,” to a constant “exchange of persuasion and stimulus” during transactions between customers and traders. The role of sentiment is just as strong in studies of “battles,” without prejudice to the debate on free trade versus protectionism. The sentiments here are to do with rivalry, solidarity, envy and hate—​because the development of desires causes figures of hate to multiply. In competition, two mental faculties are at work: “creative imagination,” which is the source of invention, and “calculating intelligence,” which exploits inventions. The economic battles they arouse do not prompt an apology of conflict, but the remark that the more intense the conflict, “the closer it moves to its final outcome of lasting and universal agreement” (88). On “consumption for the sake of vanity” and shifting class divisions, Tarde anticipates on the theory of mimetic desire. Among people from the lower classes emerges “envy of what was previously admired, and a desire […] to copy, in order to appropriate, what was previously the exclusive prerogative of the patrician” (121). But the members of the upper classes they now presume to equal have an unbeatable line of defense: “to confound the parvenu, the snob […], the socialite takes care to change his fashions frequently, together with his virtually Masonic signs of recognition, so that his imitators are always outmoded” (122). On crises, which he subtly classifies into those entailing “war” and those entailing a “fall,” but which are all of the same nature when “seen from the psychological angle,” Tarde explains that here, the “interaction of minds” truly comes into its own: passions are unleashed, expectations deceived or “surpassed,” “disappointment felt by all.” He subscribes to the descriptions put forward by C. Juglar: a crisis is “a moral illness as much as it is economic” (166). “Rhythms”—​“alternating oscillations”—​in other words, economic fluctuations, also prompt him to quote Juglar. But the swing of the pendulum between “feverish delusions” and “collective depression” does not only affect the economy: is there not an “approximate synchronicity between these alternating periods […], in literature, in politics, in art” as well as in the economic domain? (208) “Economic adaptation” is presented, finally, as a resolution of the problems previously addressed. It occurs in many different forms as the market

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expands: information and advertising agencies emerge, along with forecasting instruments, statistical processing, and so on. Adaptation is accomplished through the organization of work and the organization of needs, on a basis that combines psychology, morality and sociology. Fame, domination, pleasure and wealth are all goals that have given direction to morality. Implicit here is the Augustinian typology of vices and virtues, with which Albert O.  Hirschman began his work, The Passions and the Interests. Today, “everything is economics.” Therefore, social harmony can only be achieved through adjustments, adaptations among and between individuals in order to satisfy the “predominant passion,” which is that of Homo oeconomicus; but “whether the object is work or need […], subjective individual harmony is the cause and the explanation of objective social harmony” (218)—​internal harmony being obtained through the dual process of creative invention and purifying criticism. The “psychology of imaginative man” is outlined in the comments and clarifications called for by the idea of “economic imagination” and the discussions thereof (­chapters  2 and 3). It refers to the “sub-​self,” “what is improperly known as the subconscious” (236). It is linked to the sociology of invention—​the daughter of leisure and study in the affluent classes—​and to criticism of the so-​called laws of evolution, which ignore the essential role of individual invention. Rather than seeking out those laws, would it not be of greater value to ask how new models in a given field are invented—​such as women’s fashions, as investigated by P. du Maroussen—​to see how they spread from the capital to provincial towns and from urban areas to the countryside? In fact, the nature of inventions is “at once rational and accidental, deductive and unpredictable” (253). Social change is thus dominated by “a series of happy accidents” inserted into one another; it “proceeds by successive insertions” (284). Inventions and their propagation by imitation are fundamental facts that drive progress in production and trade and contribute to the increase and transformation of “spiritual capital.” The final chapters of Psychologie économique, mainly those on “Property,” “Trade” and “Association,” abound with observations and judgments that also deserve attention. Tarde celebrates individual and hereditary property; he praises people’s attachment to their native soil as “the sentiment most fundamental to the life of a nation”; he discusses the ideas of A.  Landry and K. Kautsky on industrial property, agrarian collectivism and the socialization of capital. He notes, especially, that “peasants are losing their sense of the land,” that their psychology has been “revolutionized” (337) and that their condition may be expected to change profoundly, against a background of antagonism that will be resolved by the “urbanization of rural people” (345). Trade is also “on a march to destruction.” After demonstrating the persistence of the characteristic traits of primitive trade, the intermingling of business and pleasure

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throughout history, the continued fascination exerted by crowds and fairs—​ periodically forming “feverish, transient, magical towns” (368), Tarde explains how we are moving “towards a future dominated by the giving from which [trade] emerged.” “Economic progress and adaptation,” he believes, “consists of increasingly putting the dead and physical forces to work for the benefit of the living” (382), whose every need will be satisfied and who will no longer need to work for each other. In Tarde’s view, the exploitation of the ideas of the dead and of the forces harnessed by those ideas will increase “the proportion of free goods” to the point where, in some future society, “everything will be universally free.” This presupposes the universal practice of association, of which the different types (411 and following) would be of less importance than the recognition of the interdependence of economic questions and the “political question”—​which is itself inseparable from the intellectual, scientific and religious problem (416 and following). The latter is the problem of forging a consensus between convictions and strong passions “that contribute to a common ideal” to establish a “society of high morality” shared by all—​an aspiration manifested in socialism. There is, similarly, an urgent need for “high-​level regulation of all production and consumption,” because we have moved from numerous closed markets to a “single and total market described as global.” The future of the economic system itself is at stake: “Will we seek […] to substitute the external market with a much larger internal market, by multiplying needs even further together with inventions capable of satisfying them?” His review of the issues, among which just one may well remain—​a “grandiose plan to reorganize society”—​does not distract Tarde from the possible future of the spirit of association. “As patterns of association multiply and diversify, what we will see is the individualisation of association, so to speak, in the sense that for each individual, there will be a particular set of overlapping associations, embodied in that individual alone” (421). Does this “future regime of association” not foreshadow today’s “networked society”? And is the “overlapping” he speaks of not comparable to Simmel’s concept of overlapping “circles of belonging”? It should be noted that, on this point, Tarde was expressing views prompted by “the spectacle given to us by Germany.” “This book […] confirms some general views that I have been expressing for many years,” warns Tarde in his preface. He would eventually draw these ideas together into the “inter-​psychology” to which he devoted one of his final works (1904). These ideas are at variance with Durkheim’s principles, and Tarde returns to this divergence to point out once again, “once and for all” (PE2, 220–​221), that he is not denying social reality: “In my view, as in the view of my opponents, society alone realises the virtualities contained in individuals, and which cannot be realised by each individual in isolation”; however, these

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virtualities are “the ideas and the will of individuals, which are undetermined and should be placed within the mind instead of being placed nowhere at all.” These ideas, as we have seen, were not well received when applied to political economics. A matter of form, perhaps: François Simiand, in the review already quoted, criticizes the “very free,” “very whimsical,” manner in which their substance is expounded, without regard for the conventions and with no coherent plan. But he also criticizes the substance:  this is not “an objective and duly substantiated study.” The ambivalence of its disciplinary standing was undoubtedly damaging to this particular work, but what should be seen as a pioneering contribution to interdisciplinary research in the humanities and social sciences deserves better than the single line, in an end-​of-​page footnote, by which it is mentioned by Joseph Schumpeter in his History of Economic Analysis. This contribution, as Simiand recognized at least, contains a wealth of “suggestive links that could be explored to advantage.” These are original links drawn between social phenomena, social states and mental states, and which today are music to the ears of those who, in the economic, political and social sciences, are now reaching beyond disciplinary boundaries and ideological straitjackets to understand why humans act as they do. Translated from French by Ilona Bossanyi.

References Albou, P. 1974. “La psychologie économique,” Traité de psychologie appliquée (M. Reuchlin dir.), 10, La psychologie appliquée à la vie quotidienne. Paris: P.U.F., 1–​106. Bouglé, C. 1905. “Un psychologue individualiste—​Gabriel Tarde,” Revue de Paris, 294–​316. Dauriac, L. 1906. “La philosophie de Gabriel Tarde,” L’Année philosophique, XVI, 149–​169. Dupont, A. 1910. Un essai d’introduction du point de vue psychologique dans le domaine économique. Paris: Jouve. Eichthal, E. d’. 1902. “La psychologie économique,” Revue philosophique, 523–​532. Espinas, A. 1891. Histoire des doctrines économique. Paris: A. Colin. —​—​—​. 1910. “Notice sur la vie et les œuvres de M. Gabriel de Tarde,” Actes de l’ASMP—​ Séances et Travaux. Paris: Firmin-​Didot, 309–​422. Goblot, E. 1967 [1925]. La barrière et le niveau. Paris: P.U.F. Hirschman, A. O. 1980 [1977]. Les passions et les intérêts. Paris: P.U.F. Latour, B., and V. A. Lepinay. 2008. L’économie, science des intérêts passionnés. Paris:  La Découverte. Lazzarato, M. 1902. Puissance de l’invention: la « psychologie économique » de Gabriel Tarde. Paris: Le Empêcheurs de tourner en rond. Leroux, R. 2011. Gabriel Tarde—​Vie, œuvres, concepts. Paris: Ellipses. Lubek, I. 1981. “Histoire de psychologies sociales perdues—​Le cas de Gabriel Tarde,” Revue française de sociologie, 361–​395. Mahaim, E. 1903. “L’économie politique de M. Tarde,” Revue d’économie politique, 1–​34. Matagrin, A. 1910. La Psychologie sociale de Gabriel Tarde. Paris: Alcan. Reynaud, P.-​L. 1954 La Psychologie économique. Paris: Rivière.

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—​—​—​. 1964 La psychologie économique. Paris, P.U.F. Richard, G. 1902. “G. Tarde: psychologie économique,” Revue philosophique, 640–​648. Roche-​Agussol, M. 1918. La Psychologie économique chez les Anglo-​Américains. Montpellier et Paris: Darsac, Sirey. —​—​—​. 1919 Étude bibliographique des sources de la psychologie économique chez les Anglo-​Américains. Montpellier et Paris: Darsac, Sirey. —​—​—​. 1920 “La psychologie économique chez Cournot,” Revue d’Histoire économique et sociale, 179–​198. —​—​—​. 1926. “Tarde et l’économie psychologique,” Revue d’Histoire économique et sociale, 68–​114, 273–​319. Simiand, F. 1903. “G. Tarde: Psychologie économique,” L’Année sociologique, VI, 459–​461. Simmel, G. 1987 [1900]. Philosophie de l’argent. Paris: P.U.F. Tarde, G. 1881. “La psychologie en économie politique,” Revue philosophique, 232–​250; 401–​418. —​—​—​. 1884. “Darwinisme naturel et darwinisme social,” Revue philosophique, 607–​637. —​—​—​. 1888. “Les deux sens de la valeur,” Revue d’économie politique, 526–​540; 561–​575. —​—​—​ 1890. Les lois de l’imitation. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​ 1895a. La logique sociale. Paris: Alcan, 1895. —​—​—​. 1895b. Histoire des doctrines économiques, Essais et mélanges sociologiques. Paris: Maloine. —​—​—​. 1897. L’Opposition universelle. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​. 1902. Psychologie économique, 2 vols. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​. 1904. “L’interpsychologie,” Archives d’anthropologie criminelle, 558–​589. Worms, R. 1905. “La philosophie sociale de Tarde,” Revue philosophique, 121–​156.

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Chapter 5 GABRIEL TARDE’S SOCIOLOGY OF POWER Massimo Borlandi

At a time when the sciences of politics were studying the state, Gabriel Tarde made power the subject of a nascent “political sociology,” most notably in a work published in 1899, Les transformations du pouvoir, a book based on two series of lectures that combined the quite unsystematic approach characteristic of their author with an excessive taste for digressions. These very features have perplexed the few sociologists who have discussed that book (Favre 1983). In the present contribution, I intend to summarize its content into a limited set of consistent claims. I will then show to what extent Tarde’s sociology of power helps clarifying a neglected aspect of his thought. Finally, I will ascertain the three tenets that enable one to draw that sociology closer to the sociology of institutional power developed during the twentieth century.

The Means, Sources and Modes of Constitution of Power Power, at once circumscribed as “political power,” is, according to Tarde, an unevenly distributed capacity akin to privilege: “the privilege of being obeyed” enjoyed by “public authorities” (Tarde 1899, 15).1 Everywhere, public authorities represent “social superiorities,” or “social prestiges” (prestiges sociaux). Any aristocratic body, the army and the Church, according to circumstances, are examples of such social superiorities, but even wealth (property), knowledge (education) and the mere fact of living in the city rather than in the country might turn out to be prestigious (ibid., chaps. 5–​6). The way in which public authorities can be said to be representative of social superiorities is twofold. It consists both in the exercise of an office and a resemblance, according to the 1 The definition of sociology as the discipline that studies power is to be found on page 116.

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following logic: authorities act as substitutes for the superiorities the status of which they partake in. They are a section, specific and specialized, of these very same groups. Simultaneously, and in accordance with common usage, Tarde denotes by the term “power” the holders of that kind of privilege, as when one says that “power demands” or that such and such event “suits power.” As a consequence, the transformations of power considered by Tarde result from the fact that authorities and, primarily, the prestiges from which they derive, change over time.2 There are two types of authorities, “official” and “extra-​official” (or “indefinite”) ones. The former are those that rule. In contemporary societies, they are the governmental parties. Together with the legislatures (the opposition parties) and bureaucracy, they constitute the state. Extra-​official authorities are “the leaders of the public spirit, of the public heart: apostles, artists, publicists, famous men. In brief, those who use their influence or, as it were, intellectuals” (Tarde 1899, 15–​21). Official authorities resort to four means, or resources, in order to be obeyed. The first and foremost is the very social basis on which they are established. If a power is the expression of prestige, the effects of the latter must be manifest, and they are manifested by the respect—​the “admiration”—​they are paid. In a way, an authority is by definition prestigious. The other means on which official authorities rely are force (be it used or merely invoked), the arguments they use to address the governed and the interest that the latter have in following them, that is, the benefits they derive or that they think they derive from their submission. Extra-​official authorities can only count on their prestige and their arguments (Tarde 1899, 11; 14; 19; 47; 53; 218–​219; 230–​238). These authorities compete with one another, as was illustrated at the time by the struggle that opposed the various parties, which only turned out to be more manifest than the one that opposes them to the influential figures who want to be part of them and make a difference, to the extent that “every one of the various forms […] of indefinite authority […] seeks and succeeds in […] ranking among the forms of official authority” (15). The fiercer the competition between authorities, the stronger the questioning of social authorities, which means that there is none (or no longer one) of them that prevails. They 2 Les transformations du pouvoir echoes the title of Les transformations du droit (Tarde 1894 [1893]). But the analogy between the two works goes no further, for want of a comparison to be drawn between their respective topics. Law, conceived as a mode of social regulation, undergoes genuine modifications (from common law to statute law and from criminal law to the law of persons and property, according to Tarde), whereas power, understood as the capacity of enforcing one’s will, remains identical.

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have become numerous, some declining whilst others are on the rise. The rule according to which “every one [of] the great social prestiges […] generates governments appropriate to them” requires to be supplemented by an analysis of the conditions through which some prestiges and their governments last longer than others. Such an analysis draws on the distinction between the “sources” of power and its “channels.” The former are the cause of the fact that it keeps on producing itself. The latter are the modes of its constitution:  once through dynastic succession, now by popular mandate, election (Tarde 1899, 22; 33). A psychological source opens the way for historical sources. The psychological source is the “pleasure of being protected and of being led,” which reflects a disposition towards submission and obedience—​ something akin to an “irresistible softness”—​only individuals with a strong personality can escape. It is among those, a minority, that the protectors and the leaders are recruited (Tarde 1899, 24). The historical sources of power are the sites where the tendency to submission is refined through education. There, obedience is learned as a virtue. Family is the first of these sites, starting with the primitive or “social” family, that is, a group united by commensalism—​kinship was not yet the rationale of that kind of association—​progressively bound by the cult of an ancestor, which both provides the first figure of a leader and the habit of conforming to its will, for the family owes its existence to the initiative of an individual more gifted than the rest (Tarde 1899, 25–​29). The church, the military barrack, the school and the workshop are the other historical sources of power (Tarde 1899, 31–​33; 35). With the development of civilization, the pleasure of being protected and of being led manifests itself through the need to have one’s goods protected or to be directed towards the acquisition of those one desires; and since the fear of being deprived from things one owns also corresponds to a desire, there is no doubt as to the traits characteristic of the authorities to which individuals submit themselves so readily: “Men […] tend to submit themselves to those they believe the best able to protect the goods they most wish to keep, to guide them towards the goods they most wish to acquire” (Tarde 1899, 35–​36). Behind this belief in the ability of the rulers to fulfill the desires of the governed lurks another. Indeed, one normally believes in values. Then, one believes that somebody personifies these values in the best possible way, and it is only after having identified that somebody as the trustee of our values that one puts trust in her capacities (Tarde 1899, 38–​39). One must not conflate that belief with the fact that the desires of the governed are really satisfied, for at least two reasons: because that belief (like any other belief) may endure for quite a while even in the absence of a proof

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that its content is true (there are many examples of poor rulers who are nonetheless acclaimed); and because the desires of the governed can be satisfied by the rulers without the latter enjoying a massive approval from their subjects (i.e., being neither respected nor loved). This happens, although temporarily, every time the non-​disobedience of the governed is rewarded by benefits (Tarde 1899, 42–​43). One finds here again the difference between prestige and interest conceived as resources for power, with its implications made clear: “Supported […] by a profound and general trust, [authority] is cloaked in a noble, lofty, legitimate air […]. Supported almost exclusively by public desire, it appears somewhat base, materialistic, tyrannical in the ancient meaning of the Greek word.” (Tarde 1899, 44). Yet, in the long run, no power can dispense with some kind of recognition, and since any power must, sooner or later, demonstrate its efficiency (show what it does best), one may claim that a power is stable in proportion to its ability to fulfill the desires whose objects are compatible with the values on which rests the belief in its capacities (Tarde 1899, 188). On the other hand, a social prestige and its government start declining, before sinking, when the following facts take place (one or the other, or both): (1) the diffusion of values that corrode the belief in the abilities of the ruling authorities; (2) collective desires that aim at new goods, which prompt the governed to look for new leaders (meneurs) who will know how to provide them with. Values and desires change in the wake of innovations. More precisely:  values change in the wake of discoveries and desires in the wake of inventions. Discoveries are pieces of knowledge, most notably scientific in nature, that “suggest new conceptions […] of the end of life, of the rationale of social institutions.” (Tarde 1899, 47). By demanding, since the Renaissance, that faith agrees with reason, advancements in the sciences have obtained that power justifies its claims otherwise than by invoking tradition. Inventions, that is, lately, the technologies applied to the work carried out in factories and to war, have furthered the development of capital at the expense of land rent, imperial expansionism and spread the thirst for money, which has become more attractive than the coat of arms (Tarde 1899, 52–​53). Now, innovations (discoveries and inventions) do not happen and propagate by themselves. Behind them, and behind their exploitation, there are extraordinary individuals. Innovators indeed belong to the minority that eludes the gregarious tendency to submission, which is also a tendency to perpetuate what exists, so that the explanation of the transformations of power is the same as that of its formation: one or two individuals appear and things change. The more numerous they will be, the faster power will change hands. “The more

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innovations there are, in a social group, the greater […] the political agitation” (Tarde 1899, 36; 187–​191). Considered together with discoveries and inventions, the modes of constitution of power, that is, inheritance and election, only play a limited part in these transformations. They can either hasten or hinder them, but they can never induce nor stop them. They hasten them to the extent that the appointment of the prevailing authorities goes together with the perception that forces transcending the present circumstances have imparted their mission to them. The modes of constitution of power hinder transformations insofar as the appointment of the previous authorities went together with that very same perception, since “the most enduring powers Earth has ever known are not those that came out of a ballot box […], but indeed of an imaginary and mystic election,” an election by “a divine will authenticated by such a ceremony as an ordination or a consecration.” (Tarde 1899, 33; 45). It is up to the leaders to convince by way of sound arguments that they indeed are in such a state of grace, presenting themselves as appointed by the “superstitions, prejudices and received ideas” of their time (Tarde 1899, 118; 211–​213). The better they will know how to do this, other things being equal, the longer they will remain in power. Once that capacity of authorities to generate trust in their abilities is acknowledged, it appears that public opinion, which, as it has been repeatedly claimed, would reward or condemn rulers (“one does not govern against public opinion”), does not exist. Public opinion has always been dependent on inspirational figures that inform it by shaping the conscience of individuals. Formerly, such was the role of orators and preachers. Nowadays, it lies with journalists (“either committed to the cause or bought”) (Tarde 1899, 13–​14; 217–​221). Furthered by the decreasing weight of religion (secularization) and by the Industrial Revolution, implied by administrative centralization, the great transformation of power in Europe occurred simultaneously with the transfer of the prestige of nobilities to capital cities, the centers from which emanate the values and aspirations of modern times. Everything that takes place there is an object of admiration that transcends borders. Authorities are increasingly composed of those who inhabit them (Tarde 1899, 54; 77–​93; 106–​109; 193; 202–​204). Besides the transformations of power, one must also consider the displacements it gives rise to, that is, the fact that sections of the very same social stratum (expressions of the same prestige) take over one another in the exercise of government. As far as individuals are concerned, transformations are either advancements or downfalls. Displacements are changes in roles, not levels (Tarde 1899, 40–​41).

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Now, the extent to which power, as previously defined by its means, sources and modes of constitution, is “political” remains to be clarified. It is political with respect to the consequences it brings about: temporary social pacification, that is, the resolution of conflicts, for politics is the attempt to solve social conflicts (Tarde 1899, 4; 8–​9). Societies are mired in endless struggles and controversies. All these antagonisms end when an injunction issued by the prevailing power confirms the existing power balance that gave rise to it and transforms a de facto situation in a de jure status; and only power can achieve such a result. It does not matter whether the solution enforced benefits someone in particular, or even power itself. What matters is that, over the years, it becomes a way of behaving transmitted from one generation to the next, so much so that “everything that is merely social started by being political”; “social life is the sediment slowly deposited by the stream of political life” (Tarde 1899, 9–​10).

From Power to Elites Tarde presents his sociology of power as an application of his general sociology, which is built around the following four ideas:  (1) Beliefs and desires are the motives of human conduct; (2) at the origin of any social phenomena, there is the distinct initiative of one or several inventive individuals who set an example; (3) any social phenomenon is the result of the combination of series of repeated examples, the repetition of examples being labeled “imitation.” B, who is close to initiator A, repeats what he has seen/​heard being done by A. C repeats B’s action, and so forth, which means that B imitates A whilst C imitates B; (4) the series of repetitions of examples (imitations) combine in the following manner: a series of repetitions clashes with another or with other series until a synthesis or an adaption put an end to their opposition. At that stage, new series, prompted by new examples, may begin. The first idea is not really a distinctive feature of Tarde’s sociology:  let us just call to mind the “separation” drawn by Comte between opinion and desires at the beginning of the century (Comte 1929 [1819]) or the numerous explanations of social phenomena formulated in terms of needs, preferences and inclinations prior to 1880.3 What is problematic in that idea is the way in which Tarde uses the word “belief,” for that concept enables him to refer to two different, although connected, objects: on the one hand, a proposition one subscribes to (a conviction) and, on the other, the normative attitude on which the latter rests and that in fact consists in a disposition to act. 3 Which is the date of publication of the article (“Belief and Desire”) Tarde considers the starting point of his thought (cf. Tarde 1880).

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The second idea, by contrast, provides Tarde’s system with its real foundation. It conjoins two statements: (1) Society is only made up of individuals (collective entities are fictions); (2)  individuals are not equal with respect to their abilities. Whatever the sector of activity considered, some are more capable than others. The nature of the attributes that constitute the excellence of an individual are specified in a key passage of Les Lois de l’imitation: those are the “bodily qualities,” “muscular” or “nervous” depending on the case (Tarde 1895 [1890], 254–​257). Society has almost nothing to do with their distribution. The third idea is an answer to the question as to “how society is possible” if it only consists in individuals who are physically and intellectually unequal. Society is possible because its members establish between themselves relations of interdependence that are characterized by the fact that each individual borrows something from others (each individual both, at one and the same time, provides a model for others and imitates them), based on n initial (mythical) moments during which manifestations of force or intelligence become objects of admiration, with people trying to repeat them. This third idea is Tarde’s true legacy, although its novelty is generally misunderstood (or perhaps is it misunderstood just because of its novelty). One might summarize the originality of that idea in two points: (1) Tarde puts on a par the repetition of an act performed by somebody else, deriving from a deliberation and carried out with the intention of benefiting from it, that is, voluntary imitation, and the repetition of the act performed by somebody else and carried out automatically under the influence of impressions, that is, involuntary imitation; (2) he puts together two contrary explanations of involuntary imitation, by way of suggestion and by way of contagion, turning these phenomena, in that very order, into the two necessary paths for the diffusion of any cultural trait. Suggestion is a means of vertical transmission of examples that entails a differential in prestige between the model and her imitator. B admires A, the latter mesmerizing the former. Contagion is a means of horizontal transmission between two individuals or more that are already in contact. By itself, contiguity is able to convey the example. The laws according to which imitation flows down from the superior to the inferior and appears alternatively as custom (the past providing the examples) or as fashion (they are coming from abroad) crown that construction, which results in a hyperbole: everything is imitated in society, except for innovations. Finally, the fourth idea is a concession Tarde makes to the positivist dream of a unification of the various sciences. Accordingly, repetition, opposition and adaptation are regarded as general generative processes taking place both in the social and natural worlds (Tarde 1898b).

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These four ideas unquestionably come up in Les transformations du pouvoir, although each one is elaborated in a different manner. With respect to the first (beliefs and desires as motives of human conduct), the problem raised by the duality inherent in Tarde’s notion of belief, which denotes both an assent and a normative orientation, is solved by the emphasis put on the fact that rulers only succeed in awakening the trust in their abilities by supporting the values of the governed. For a belief to endure or change, the unconditioned principles on which it rests must also either endure or change. That is the reason why leaders invoke the superstitions and prejudices of their time (cf. also Tarde 1901, 14–​17). As for the second idea (at the origin of any social phenomenon, there is the action of inventive individuals who set an example), it is indeed fully corroborated. Power is the prerogative of groups built around pioneers or their legacy. In several occasions, although not systematically, Tarde also characterizes these groups as “elites,”4 a term that was to become increasingly frequent in the vocabulary of French-​speaking politics and social sciences. Of course, vocabulary is a matter of convention, but, insofar as Tarde uses that word to describe aggregates of individuals abundantly endowed with rare material and symbolic goods, one must rather prefer “elites” to its synonyms (social superiorities or social prestiges), in the light of the future events that would subsume under the category “sociology of the elites” the study of the minorities that, everywhere, monopolize definite privileges, including power. Tarde’s contemporaries saw clearly that, according to him, elites are the agents of history (Bourdeau 1905, 32–​38), not “crowds,” which are inert and mesmerized. As is well known, the theories of elites (whatever the field) hover between two poles: either one belongs to an elite on account of one’s personal capacities and therefore inclusion and exclusion are inevitable facts; or one belongs to an elite because one inherits a social position or because one is coopted into it, since minorities, whatever the way they are formed, tend to reproduce themselves. Tarde’s theory is of the former kind. The abilities that make people different and unequal appear at birth. The properly “social” inequalities derive from these original inequalities. What needs to be emphasized is the increasing predominance of nervous bodily qualities over muscular bodily ones, as prestige migrates from nobilities towards capital cities (Tarde 1895 [1890], 258–​259). With respect to the third idea (every social phenomenon results from the combination of series of repeated examples), Tarde resubmits it with the 4 Les Lois de l’imitation (Tarde 1895 [1890], XVI; 223–​224; 239; 242); La logique sociale (Tarde 1898 [1895], 64; 170–​171; 186–​188; 219; 253; 273; 281)  ; L’opinion et la foule (Tarde 1901, 4, 8; 64–​65; 73; 83–​84; 105; 121–​124; 186).

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perseverance required by the promotion of a lifelong idea. Actually, only the theory of imitation as an involuntary behavior ends up being corroborated by that sociology of power, and it could not be otherwise since the concept of imitation only finds its place within sociology (and psychology, by the way) if it designates the unreflective repetition of somebody else’s action. Beyond these limits, the imitationist solution impinges on facts already explained exhaustively and differently, so much so that, in Tarde, the extension of the concept of imitation is vague, that is, it applies to an unlimited number of phenomena, that the claims argued for in the Les transformations du pouvoir can be easily summarized, as is the case here, without ever mentioning the word “imitation.” For, if everything is imitation, nothing is anymore. In Les transformations du pouvoir, explanations in terms of involuntary repetition essentially boil down to two kinds: the former, to which most attention is paid, operates via suggestion, the latter via contagion. The explanation by way of suggestion bears on the transmission of injunctions, the beliefs in which they result and the desires they suggest: (1) from rulers, and most notably official authorities, to the governed (Tarde 1899, 16); (2)  from influential foreigners to the parties defending fashions; (3) from those who manufacture opinion to the “public-​parties.” The parties that support fashions, which import their political program and which are generally progressive, thwart the ambitions of the parties that protect customs, which are more oriented towards tradition and, to that extent, conservative (Tarde 1899, 143). Public-​parties represent the last stage of the evolution of parties. Formed by millions of dispersed individuals “whose only spiritual bond is made of suggestions issued daily at a distance […] by publicists”—​ that is, formed by individuals exposed to the same issuer—​they leave behind them “crowd-​parties,” whose main characteristic is that they are constituted by “gatherings in which […] people act personally on one another” (Tarde 1899, 158–​159).5 Authorities, influential foreigners, opinion makers owe their success to the fact that, being located at the top of the social pyramid, they seduce those who are positioned at lower levels. The explanation by way of contagion relates to the intensification of divisions within a society once discoveries and inventions have created controversies about either values (beliefs) or interests (desires). The former are generally fiercer than the latter (Tarde 1899, 154, 157), as evidenced by the fact that individuals get more engaged in them. But they get involved insofar as the mutual influence they exert on one another, within the various spaces in which their engagement takes places (assemblies, squares, roads), magnifies their passions, which is what contagion consists in. 5 See Tarde 1895 [1890], 313–​316; 1901, chap. I.

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With regard to the fourth idea (the series of repetitions of examples combine together according to a transparent logic), Tarde has no difficulty assimilating the temporary social cohesion achieved by power to an adaptation. One is therefore faced with a circular motion: the aristocracies, which are at the origin of conflicts sparked by their innovations or by their exploitation of innovations, also take upon themselves to stop them. Two causes account for the disappearance of Tarde as a theoretician of elites. The first is a major amnesia, that which is associated with the endless debate as to the part played by the individual (by “personality,” by “great men”) in the genesis of social phenomena. Initiated by Thomas Carlyle’s book on heroes (1841) and furthered by psychological inquiries on genius (is it hereditary, as claimed by Francis Galton?) and the mechanisms of innovation understood as a synthetic function of mental life, that controversy paves the way for classic elitism. The Schumpeterian theory of the entrepreneur-​ innovator, considered as the engine of economic development (1912), which remains quite influential nowadays, also originates from it. The second cause of Tarde’s disappearance is that the sociology of elites quickly turned to the study of their reproduction and of the qualifications (the acquired traits) that allow enrolment among them, thereby neglecting their alleged innate abilities (cf. Coenen-​Huther 2004, chap. 5). Yet, up to Vilfredo Pareto, pride of place was given to the claim according to which nature plays its part in the selection of the minorities that rule the world. The “opening” of the part of the Treatise on General Sociology dedicated to the elites and their circulation seems to fit Tarde’s sociology: “Whether certain theorists like it or not, the fact is that human society is not a homogeneous thing; that individuals are physically, morally, and intellectually different” (Pareto, 1968 [1916], § 2025).

Tarde’s Sociology of Power in Perspective The institutionalization of the sociology of power during the twentieth century took place in between two dates and was based on two widely shared assumptions, with particular attention being paid to three questions. The two dates coincide with the publication of Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (1922), a posthumous work by Max Weber, and that of Talcott Parsons’ paper entitled “On the Concept of Political Power” (1963). Very little has been added ever since. The two assumptions consist in the claims that, on the one hand, power must be considered as a relation (during the interaction that unites them, B comes to modify her behavior in a way that benefits A), and, on the other, that this relation allows both intentional (A wants to modify B’s behavior to her advantage, and succeeds in doing so) and unintentional modalities (B modifies her behavior in a way that benefits A, without A wanting it).

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The three questions around which the institutionalization of the sociology of power revolved were the following: (1) How many modalities of power are there? (2)  What is the specificity? and (3)  the degree of autonomy of political power with respect to the other powers, that is, economic and religious powers, the power of organized groups and that of associations? It might be useful to compare contemporary answers to theses questions, which have stood the test of empirical research, to those one encounters in Tarde’s Transformations. It seems to be the most direct way of establishing to what extent this work can be integrated into the construction of the sociology of power. Such a comparison is made easier by the fact that the analysis of the phenomenon of power never ceased to take into account the means by which A  obtains B’s submission or by which the latter ends up being caused; and there is no way to do without this criterion. A distinction must be drawn between five different intentional modalities of power: coercion, incitation, persuasion, manipulation and conditioning.6 In coercion, be it physical or psychological, A threatens B with a punishment or a negative sanction and, if need be, enforces it. Tarde mentions that modality just in passing, as something taken for granted, as it is actually the case. As for incitation, A  “buys” B’s submission with rewards and positive sanctions: money and distinctions. Tarde, as I already emphasized, considers that modality to be the weakest. A power that only calls on interest, that relies only on the satisfaction of desires, has no future. With regard to persuasion, as is also the case with manipulation, A resorts to arguments, but of a different kind. The arguments used in persuasion exclude the occultation and deformation of facts. That is the reason why it is generally branded “rational.” By contrast, the arguments used in manipulation amount to lying: B is led to conform on the basis of information that is, as one might say, false and biased. Whereas he ignores persuasion, Tarde pays attention to manipulation, if one considers only the arguments used by power he analyses in his account of the mechanisms, set up by leaders and the press, through which public opinion is oriented and collective beliefs are stimulated. All these mechanisms would then be categorized as characteristically manipulative and made part of propaganda. Finally, with respect to conditioning, which is not considered by Tarde, A  targets the situation in which B finds herself. To modify it amounts to 6 On this classification, see: “Du pouvoir en général au pouvoir politique” (Braud, 1985; Pouvoir (Chazel 1992); Power and Society, a Framework for Political Inquiry (Lasswell, Kaplan 1952 [1950]); “On the concept of political power” (Parsons 1963); Potere e teoria politica (Stoppino 1995); Power: Its Form, Bases, and Uses, Transaction Publishers (Wrong 1995 [1979]).

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compelling B to alter her conduct. No specific resource is associated with that modality, but all of them might be used since, in order to intervene on B’s situation, A must act on C, D, and E. Tarde neither considers the first of the two unintentional modalities of power: the probabilistic “rule” of “anticipated reactions” formulated by Carl Friedrich as early as 1937 (cf. Friedrich 1963, 203–​206). B knows or thinks she knows how A will react to her action. She then behaves accordingly. The means on which A relies here is her reputation, that is, her notoriety: if she is allegedly capable of sanctioning positively or negatively somebody, that is because she has already done it or that she does it routinely. Such is not the case if one looks for the second unintentional modality in Tarde. It is described as follows by Percy Partridge: “B repeatedly imitates A, adopts his opinions, or his style, acts as he acts, and so on. We may say that A has the power over B in the sense that he, albeit unconsciously, decides for B” (Partridge 1963, 114). Tarde is not quoted here, and it is not to be expected that he would be mentioned every time the topic of imitation is addressed, especially in the Anglophone world.7 Yet, that modality of power is the one to which Tarde devotes most time, granted that one adds that B’s behavior benefits A  (her imitation might indeed turn out to have no effect on A  or, worse, be detrimental to her). Such a modality is fascination, that is, enthusiasm considered from B’s perspective, and its resource is prestige. It is akin to suggestion with respect to the psychological mechanism by which it is caused. Tarde’s contribution to the sociology of power lies almost exclusively in his emphasis on the role played by fascination in social interaction, for that element transforms the relation between two individuals into a relation of dependence, that is, of sheer power. It is a very limited (no longer than half a page in a sociology or social psychology textbook) but definite contribution. Its implications boil down to two claims, as the analysis proceeds from simple relations (master-​disciple) to more complex ones (chief-​followers; sovereign-​ subjects): (1) any power weakens and collapses sooner or later if its original dominance fades away; (2) whatever the modality of power, apart from fascination, one considers, it is most efficient when combined with a significant amount of fascination. Since it is a corroborated fact that part of the assent given to those who are in power draws on their personal abilities (sometimes, somebody is obeyed on account of who she is, not of what she asks for), it is easy to see how many topics overlap with Tarde’s contribution. The notion of fascination needs to be contrasted with that of influence, whose extraordinary success during the twentieth century was characterized by the two following features: that notion ended up being absorbed by at least 7 Where the classic reference with regard to imitation is James M. Baldwin.

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four modalities of power, namely fascination, anticipated reactions, manipulation and persuasion; and it has been found a father (less uncertain than the others) with Tarde, so much so that, more and more, Tarde means influence and influence means Tarde.8 The following remarks are in order:  (1) Between fascination on the one hand, and anticipated reactions, manipulation and persuasion on the other, there exists an absolute heterogeneity. Fascination depends on the alleged disposition of individuals (or of some of them, or of a great number of them in certain conditions, it varies) to act mechanically, to react automatically to an external stimulus. Such a reaction, which actually amounts to passivity, is typical of somebody who acts and speaks in a hypnotic state. There is nothing similar to that in the other modalities of power. (2) Tarde only theorized fascination to the extent that, beyond what he says about it, he elaborates a thoughtful conception of human conduct. That conception has it that one acts under the effect of examples, and the higher the source of these examples, the stronger the fascination. By contrast, there is no proper “Tardian” view that supports what the author of the Lois de l’imitation maintains with regard to the fact that power also pursues its goals by other means. Let us turn to the second topic that enables one to draw Tarde’s sociology of power closer to its contemporary counterpart:  the determination of the specificity of political power. That specificity lies in the fact that this power operates within a given territory via the use of force, the ultimate means it legitimately owns according to the Weberian definition of the State, the relation between political power and State being the following:  the former promotes itself by way of an administrative machinery, which remains basic within primitive societies. The element emphasized by Tarde in his definition of what is “political,” that is, conflict resolution (social pacification) must be considered secondary, although not optional. Social contract philosophers gave it pride of place. It remains central in all the theories that endow political power with an integrative function.9 Finally, as to the issue of the autonomy of political power, the third and last point available for a comparative assessment of Tarde’s sociology of power, Tarde’s claim that “public authorities” share the fate of the “social

8 The text that has most emphasized the importance of Tarde as a theoretician of influence is undoubtedly Terry Clark’s (1969). 9 I have indicated previously that Tarde conceives of the legitimacy of power, a very ancient category, as a belief in the abilities of leaders (cf. also Tarde 1899: 44). Since that belief derives from another ability of the leaders themselves, that of knowing how to awaken it, which, in turn and eventually, derives from their ability to seduce, the Weberian charismatic type of legitimacy and the one mentioned by Tarde are similar.

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superiorities” from which they derive actually leads him to the conclusion that political power is subordinated to the other’s powers; and this is the most outdated aspect of Transformations. For it is indeed the case that the sociology of power genuinely improved when it started conceiving the relations between powers in terms of complementarity, outlining the cases in which political power emancipates itself from its social basis and becomes a factor of change on its own. It is through the book of an Italian interpret of Karl Marx (Loria 1893) that Tarde considers the most widespread version of the common view according to which political power always extends another major, preferably concealed, power. The remarks he made in order to explain that political power is not directly linked to wealth, that it is connected to it only through prestige, with wealth deriving from inventions, prove that such was indeed his view on the matter (Tarde 1899, 63–​65).

References Bourdeau, J. 1905. Socialistes et sociologues. Paris: Alcan. Braud, Ph. 1985. Du pouvoir en général au pouvoir politique, in M. Grawitz et J. Leca eds., Traité de science politique. Paris: PUF, 1, 335–​393. Chazel, F. 1992. Pouvoir, in R. Boudon (dir.), Traité de sociologie. Paris: PUF: 195–​226. Partially republished in F. Chazel, Du pouvoir à la contestation. Paris: LGDJ, 2003, 21–​37; 67–​73. Clark, T. N. 1969. Introduction, in Gabriel Tarde, On Communication and Social Influence. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1–​69. Coenen-​Huther, J. 2004. Sociologie des élites. Paris: Colin. Comte, A. 1819. “Séparation générale entre les opinions et les desires,” in Système de politique positive. Paris: Au Siège de la Société positiviste, 1929, 4 [1854], App. gén., 1–​3. Favre, P. 1983. Gabriel Tarde et la mauvaise fortune d’un “baptême sociologique” de la science politique, Revue française de sociologie, 24 (1), 3–​30. Republished in P. Favre, Naissances de la science politique en France (1870–​1914). Paris: Fayard, 1989, 145–​169. Friedrich, C. J. 1963. Man and His Government; An Empirical Theory of Politics. New York: McGraw-​Hill. Lasswell, H. D. and A. Kaplan. 1952 [1950]. Power and Society, a Framework for Political Inquiry. London: Routledge and K. Paul. Loria, A., 1893, Les bases économiques de la constitution sociale: Paris. Alcan. Pareto, V. 1968 [1916]. Traité de sociologie générale. Genève:  Droz Œuvres complètes de V. Pareto, XII; translated in English as The Mind and Society, edited by A. Livingston. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1935. Parsons, T. 1963. “On the concept of political power,” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 107 (3), 232–​ 262. Republished in T. Parsons, Politics and Social Structure. New York: The Free Press, 1969, 352–​404. Partridge, P. H. 1963. “Some notes on the concept of power,” Political Studies, 11 (2), 107–​125. Stoppino, M., 1995. Potere e teoria politica. Milan: Giuffrè.

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Tarde, G. 1880. “La croyance et le désir,” Revue philosophique, 10 (2–​3), 150–​180; 264–​283. Republished in G. Tarde, Essais et mélanges sociologiques. Lyon: Storck; and Paris: Masson. 1895, 235–​308. —​—​—​. 1894 [1893]. Les transformations du droit. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​. 1895 [1890]. Les lois de l’imitation. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​. 1898a [1895]. La logique sociale. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​. 1898b. Les lois sociales. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​. 1899. Les transformations du pouvoir. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​. 1901. L’opinion et la foule. Paris: Alcan. Wrong, D. 1995 [1979]. Power: Its Forms, Bases, and Uses. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

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Chapter 6 GABRIEL TARDE: THE “SWALLOW” OF FRENCH CRIMINOLOGY Marc Renneville

The beginning of the Third Republic in France in 1870 was marked by a striking series of events, including the brutal repression of the Paris Commune; the arrival of parliamentary politics; the establishment of compulsory State education; Divorce Law reform; the development of the railways; and the growing availability of affordable daily newspapers. In addition, from the 1880s onwards, these were joined by the onset of economic recession, and a heated debate about scientific progress. Crime and criminal justice were also widely discussed during this period, against a backdrop of what would soon become known as “the crisis of crime” (crise de la répression). One of the apparent symptoms of this “crisis” was a persistent rise in recidivism, a trend revealed by the government statistics published each year by the Compte général de l’administration de la justice criminelle. Political initiatives promising solutions to this “curse” abounded. In 1872, for example, a parliamentary committee was set up to investigate the prison system, and in particular the conditions in which juvenile criminals were detained. The committee’s report drew an alarming picture and recommended as a matter of urgency the separate confinement of inmates. Between 1872 and 1885, a number of laws were passed aimed at tackling the apparent rise in crime. These included laws on public drunkenness (1873); the official adoption of the principle of separate confinement in France’s county prisons (1875); the transportation of recidivists (1885); the creation of parole (1885); and of the suspended sentence (1891). Finally, in 1877, two years after the passage of the legislation giving official sanction to the generalization of separate confinement in France’s prisons, the Société générale des Prisons was created, with the aim of generating “parliamentary initiatives” in this area. Accorded charitable status in 1889, this learned society would remain, in the period to 1914, an important focus of reflection and debate as well as legislative proposals in the field of French penal policy.

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During the same period, many scientists and other experts in the criminal justice field became convinced that in order to tackle crime successfully, it was essential to possess an objective, scientific understanding of what made criminals tick. Some of this group would be drawn into research involving the application of natural science paradigms to social questions, which in some cases led them to the conclusion that the solution to the political and judicial problem of recidivism lay in the creation of anthropological knowledge about the criminal. In short, that what was needed was to establish the characteristics of a “criminal type.” This, it was reasoned, would make it possible to differentiate scientifically the “veritable” criminal from the criminally insane; an important issue, since the latter were not considered legally responsible for their actions, and thus exempt from incarceration. By the 1850s, the phrenology of Franz Joseph Gall (1758–​1828) was considered by most to be beyond the pale of legitimate science, but other scientific approaches emerged in an attempt to find answers to these questions. It was the era of the “great examination” (grand examen) of the French prison population. Doctors and anthropologists were no longer content to palpate the heads of wrongdoers; they now turned their attention to examining carefully every last detail and square centimeter of their subjects’ bodies. Prehistory and physical anthropology acquired an institutional structure in this period, borrowing their techniques from the natural sciences. In the field of psychiatry, the theory of “degeneration,” developed by Bénédict-​Augustin Morel (1809–​ 1873), gradually replaced earlier theories of moral insanity. The autonomy of mind and body, and the role of introspection, principles cherished by an earlier generation of “spiritual” psychologists, was now considered to be a fundamentally flawed concept. With the publication in 1876 of L’Uomo Delinquente or “Criminal Man” by Cesare Lombroso (1835–​1909), the idea quickly gained ground that there existed a category of criminals marked by distinctive physical and mental traits and carrying in their bodies and brains the “stigmata” of prehistoric men, moral imbeciles and epileptics. Such “born criminals” were predestined to a life of crime by bodies and minds that were ill-​adapted to the conditions of modern civilized life. The criminological reflections and writings of Gabriel Tarde need to be seen in this context. In turn magistrate, head of the Statistical Service at the French Ministry of Justice (1894–​1900), professor at the Collège de France (1900) and member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences (1900), Tarde is one of the major figures in late nineteenth-​century French criminology. His work and thought have been regularly forgotten, rediscovered and then forgotten again over the years. When his contribution is acknowledged, it tends to be for his sociological work on imitation and his clashes with his more famous compatriot, Émile Durkheim (1858–​1917). However, it is important

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to recognize that Tarde also played a key role in the first French school of criminology. He was also one of the first to elaborate a sustained critique of Lombroso’s theory of the born criminal; and he also developed original theories of his own on the origins of criminal behavior and on the subject of criminal responsibility. Gabriel Tarde was born in 1843 into one of the oldest families of the Périgord region of south-​west France, and counted among his ancestors the celebrated astronomer Canon Jean Tarde (1561–​1636). He remained fond of the town of Sarlat and in particular the nearby village of Roque-​Gageac. It was here that was located the family manor house, perched halfway up a rocky outcrop, with spectacular views over the Dordogne, and Tarde maintained a study and library in the house throughout his life. As a young man, he had been expected to enter one of the scientific professions, but recurring bouts of ophthalmia forced him to revise his plans. He was an avid reader of Maine de Biran, Cournot, Hegel and the Stoic philosophers, but it was the Law that he chose to study when he travelled to Paris to attend university. Between 1875 and 1893, he worked as an examining magistrate, attached to the court at Sarlat. His literary output during these years was also considerable and varied, including tales and verse, as well as copious private correspondence and reading notes. In addition, from the 1880s, he was a regular contributor to the Revue Philosophique, a leading philosophical journal of the period. In 1886, this as yet little-​known provincial magistrate published a work of comparative criminology, La criminalité comparée. The book was not Tarde’s first; in 1879 he had published a collection of juvenile verse, and then thought better of it and had withdrawn the work from the market. There is no indication in these years that he had been influenced by Durkheim’s early work, or had given any thought—​until now—​to making a contribution to the social sciences. The main focus of his work continued to be his magistrate’s post in his native town of Sarlat. He had participated, however, in an academic conference in 1876 in the town of Périgeux, and given a paper on Maine de Biran. He had also written a dozen or so articles between 1880 and 1885 for the Revue philosophique, edited by Théodule Ribot (1839–​1916). Five of the pieces published during the period 1883–​1885 concern the subject of crime. Since 1883, Tarde had also been in contact with a group of Italian jurists (including Filippo Turati, Napoleone Colajanni, Achille Loria and Enrico Ferri), whose work he presented to the readers of the Revue philosophique. Massimo Borlandi’s study of this unpublished correspondence has shown how, between 1883 and 1888–​1889, Tarde’s position shifted from being an ally of Lombrosian criminal anthropology to an implacable foe (Borlandi 2000). The beginnings of that estrangement from the theses of L’Uomo Delinquente can already be detected in Tarde’s 1886 book, La criminalité comparée, notably on the issue of

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the criminal type (­chapter  1). By this point, he had also come to different conclusions than his Italian correspondents in other areas. Thus he parted company with Poletti on the question of the relationship between rising crime and social change (­chapter 2), and with Ferri and Morselli on the question of the law of compensation linking murder and suicide (­chapter 4). Tarde’s first criminological work was widely reviewed and debated at some length. Although comprised essentially of previously published articles, La criminalité comparée would establish its author’s reputation as one of the leading specialists in the field, and is worth considering in some detail. The book is comprised of four chapters of unequal length. The first, an extended critical discussion of Lombroso’s criminal type, had been written in December 1884, and appeared in the Revue philosophique the following year. In this chapter, Tarde rejected the suggestion that there existed an anthropological criminal type, arguing that Lombroso had confused the criminal, the madman and the savage. Drawing on the published literature on the subject, he examined the anatomical, physiological, psychological and sociological characteristics of the born criminal, and in each respect found Lombroso’s theories wanting. While Tarde stated that the Italian School had overestimated the importance of the biological basis of crime, he was careful to add that his criticism related “only to the interpretation given by Lombroso to physical or other traits frequently found among offenders. This is not to suggest that the criminal type has no objective reality” (Tarde 2004, 50). In Tarde’s view, the criminal type is not so much anthropological as social, or to use his term, a “professional type.” He argues that this type derived not from inherited biological characteristics, but rather from characteristics unique to the members of a particular profession. Certain of these traits, of a general character, are “present at birth” as he puts it, but others are the result of apprenticeship, shared slang or imitation. Tattoos fall into the latter category for they are seen as a form of imitative behavior, not self-​expression. For Tarde therefore, “criminals at birth” need to be placed in a particular social context, for every individual can be, according to the rules of the society in question, considered as a “born criminal” (Tarde 2004, 29, 58). The characteristics of these “criminals at birth” thus vary in time and space, and Tarde makes it clear that they are not, as a group, to be considered as physically or mentally defective: “With the exception of a few monomaniacal arsonists, murderers, or certain kleptomaniacs, who should not be confused with born criminals, nobody is predestined at birth to kill, burn, or steal from his fellow man” (Tarde 2004, 58). In his second chapter, Tarde turns to the question of criminal statistics, and draws on the 1880 edition of the official French crime figures (Compte général de l’administration de la justice criminelle en France). This edition was the first to contain a retrospective analysis of the years 1826–​1880. It had already been

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the subject of an article by Alexandre Lacassagne in 1881, published in the Revue scientifique. The report was signed by the then minister of justice, Gustave Amédée Humbert, but was in fact the work of the head of the ministry’s statistical service, Émile Yvernes (1830–​1899). Indeed, it was the very same post that Tarde himself would occupy from 1891–​1896, and in that capacity he would, like his predecessor, be charged with the analysis of the annual crime figures. In his book, Tarde emphasizes the difficulty of extrapolating crime trends from official statistics. According to the latter, it appeared that during the previous half century, a period that had seen the population rise by 10 percent, rates of serious crime (crimes) had fallen by a half, whereas misdemeanors (délits) had tripled. Tarde argued that the figures did not reflect the underlying social reality. The apparent fall in serious crime was in large measure due to definitional changes, notably the relabeling of certain offences as misdemeanors (aggravated theft, infanticide, rape and indecent assault). This process of official redefinition (correctionalization), which grew in importance from the middle of the 1850s, was intended to remove from the jurisdiction of the assize courts certain cases where it was felt that juries might be inclined to inappropriate clemency. By redefining such offences as serious crimes, it meant that they would be heard before a court comprised uniquely of professional magistrates. Tarde shared official concern about the functioning of the jury system (introduced in the wake of the French Revolution), but there was something else that drew his attention in the crime figures: the rise in the level of reoffending among convicted criminals. How did this magistrate-​cum-​sociologist view recidivism? It was, he stated, the consequence of “a propensity [of the criminal] to develop habits through mimicry […] over-​excited by the propensity to copy his own kind in order to resemble him even more; influenced by social causes, or by growing tendency for wrongdoers to establish contacts and social relationships, thanks to the development of transport networks, the Press and the Post Office” (Tarde 2004, 82). The real danger for the criminal justice system, he argued, was not the born criminal, but rather the “contagious imitation” characteristic of this “antisocial club,” composed of professional criminals, and which was extending its nefarious influence over the country’s poor and idle. Crime had become an attractive career in the modern world, he went on, because the quantity of goods to steal was rising; because prisons had been “continuously improved and fresh air brought in”; because the courts were “more and more lenient”; and because “the concept of extenuating circumstances was now being extended to the most atrocious kinds of crime, and thus the death sentence [was] gradually being transformed into a stuffed dummy armed with a rusty old gun that has not been fired in ages” (Tarde 2004, 82–​85). What was to be done? Since it was not possible to reduce the

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ill-​gotten gains available to the criminal, it was necessary to make the personal cost of committing crime greater, by putting in place a more punitive criminal justice system, and by improving the measures for tracking offenders once they were released. Tarde had little faith in the positive effects claimed for the transportation of recidivists, though it was a policy defended by Lacassagne and indeed would soon receive official sanction with the Law of May 27th, 1885. Tarde preferred to emphasize the fact that prison conditions were too comfortable and escape too easy (see also Tarde 1892c, 514). On the question of the potentially positive effects of greater penal severity, Tarde drew the attention of his readers to the example of Belgium, where crimes of all kinds were falling, thanks to the widespread use of separate confinement and the work of charitable organizations. That being said, Tarde was wary about the generalized use of separation in France’s prisons. All it did, he argued, was to make the depraved into idiots (Tarde 1892c, 513). His own view was that France needed a political sea-​change, in order to bring “stable and firm government, and pacify or at least contain the revolutionary elements in society” (Tarde 2004, 90). The third chapter of La criminalité comparée is devoted to “Problems in Criminal Law.” It includes a brief and original discussion of the issue of evidence in criminal trials, considering how judges arrive at a decision, and of the question of criminal responsibility. On the first point, Tarde draws on the work of Antoine Augustin Cournot (1801–​1877) and above all on the concept of “non-​hypnotic suggestion,” developed by the physician Charles Richet (1850–​1935). Tarde argued that it was principally by this unconscious process of suggestion that judges arrived at a conviction of guilt or innocence; a novel way of applying the findings of clinical psychology to the study of judicial decision making. It shows once again the importance he attached to imitation. When the judge had become convinced of the guilt of the defendant, according to what criteria was he to consider the prisoner legally responsible for his actions? And if he was responsible, why punish him? Tarde replies to these various questions by stating that it would be unwise to limit discussion to the issue of the “free will” of the defendant, and to the expiatory character of the sentence, since the modern human sciences now considered both concepts highly problematic. Drawing on research by his contemporaries on hypnotic suggestion, he argues, by analogy, that all social life is characterized by suggestion and “suggestive whims.” If we follow this argument, Tarde goes on, “it could be argued that the only difference between the suggestive behavior of a sleepwalker and that of ordinary behavior is as follows: that the suggestions to which Man ordinarily responds at every instant are more numerous and less external to him. The two aspects are linked, and it is their joint action which creates an illusion of autonomy.” Thus, “the conscious motivation for

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our actions is hardly ever the veritable cause of them” (Tarde 2004, 135–​137). However, this suggestibility is not ineluctable; a suggestion experienced by an individual can be indeterminate and is not necessarily irresistible. The fact that within the mind coexist simultaneously a range of suggestions more or less compatible with each other produces a network of constraints, some more powerful than others, which allows the individual a degree of free-​will. It is possible to see here a central tenet of Catholic theology: the more an individual is able to resist his base propensities, the stronger will be his system of moral values. It is upon these foundations that Tarde builds his conception of criminal responsibility. Although it will be presented in more detail in his later work, notably La philosophie pénale (1890), its basic tenets are already present in this earlier work. Punishment, according to Tarde, functions as “social medicine” and as such can only address the moral and social causes of crime, not its physical and physiological ones. If it could be demonstrated that the only causal link between the criminal act and its perpetrator is a physiological one, then a penal sanction would have no value. This is the case, Tarde observes, for individuals suffering from mental illness which leaves them no control over their actions. This long-​standing principle in French law, according to which the insane were not subject to punishment, was recognized in Article 64 of the country’s penal code at the time he was writing (1886). In his view, social causes of crime are entirely external to the individual. This would be the case for someone who is entirely under the control of a hypnotist. However, the more external suggestions are internalized by individuals, and become the motivations of their actions, the more those individuals may then be considered responsible for those actions. The social cause of a criminal act can thus be linked to the agency of an individual actor. In this way, criminal responsibility is detached from the moral notion of “liberty,” and the social cause is the only one that can be established between actor and action. This relationship is complex, however. Tarde observes that while in the nineteenth century the individual actor is the basis of every calculation of criminal responsibility, it has not always been thus. In the past, the Law considered “social” responsibility to be based on “the group, indistinguishable from the family or the tribe,” whereas in modern society, things have evolved so that the individual has become the unique entity considered socially (and legally) responsible for an action. Tarde wondered if this evolution had come to an end. He worried that science could define new sites of responsibility, such as the brain, thus dissociating the individual from the social responsibility for his or her actions. Tarde had little time for such reductionism. If criminals’ brains rather than the criminals themselves were to be considered responsible for their wrongdoing, then the State, he argued, should retain the right to execute

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the individual who was carrying that brain around (Tarde 2004, 145–​146). In his view, it remained important, however, to distinguish between offenders who had internalized the motives of their actions, and those whose free will was entirely absent for reasons of insanity. Tarde returns to the subject of imitation to illustrate this point. The actions of the insane are not the result of a deliberate choice, and are not therefore susceptible to be imitated, while voluntary action always results from a deliberate choice, whether entirely a free one or not, and thus can be imitated. It follows then that the former action, if criminal, cannot be punished, while the latter involves personal criminal responsibility, though this may be only partial (Tarde 2004,148). The last chapter of Tarde’s book, entitled “The Crime Problem,” had appeared in full some weeks earlier in the Revue philosophique. In it, Tarde had discussed “criminal geography,” adopting a stance, once again, diametrically opposed to that of the Italian School. This time, he argued that there was no direct link between crime and climate. The statistics appeared to show that violent crime was more common in warm countries, while property crime was more prevalent in cooler climes. Tarde was skeptical. He observed first of all that the crime figures for France did not fit either prediction. Moreover, he went on, it was important to look behind this apparent crime/​climate correlation and seek more fundamental—​and essentially social—​causes of criminal behavior. He argued that the North of Europe had become more civilized thanks to a process of “imitative propagation.” The fall in murder rates in the north of the continent was thus the positive result of a civilizing process among the region’s races, considered “less delicate and more robust, less emotive and more muscular” than their southern cousins, the latter being the products of a civilization that was older, but lacking in vitality (Tarde 2004, 151–​153; 164). The next study in the chapter contests the inverse relationship claimed by Ferri between suicide and homicide rates. Tarde expresses doubts about the pervasiveness of this statistical law, when the figures from different European countries are compared. He gives more credence to an alternative correlation, between divorce and suicide, established by French statistician Jacques Bertillon (1851–​1922), older brother of criminologist Alphonse Bertillon (1853–​1914). Tarde underlines once again the importance of social causes in the increase in suicide rates, and rules out any link with trends in criminal behavior. The last two studies in this series deal with the broader relationship between crime and modern society. What does the future hold for crime? How can society fight against its depredations? Does culture play a moralizing role? While behavior had become more civilized, Tarde argued, this was not because Man had improved, but because of the spread of morality; a process that involved “the continuous spread of imitation among Men, and the slow assimilation that results, thereby creating new friendships” (Tarde 2004, 188).

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So, culture does indeed, in this sense, play a moralizing role. However, for it to succeed in eliminating criminal behavior entirely, there would need to exist a single, unchallenged set of cultural rules, accepted and followed by all; one that would effectively remove any dissention, even of a trivial kind. The origins of crime are thus to be sought, not in the early history of a civilization, but rather in the early signs of individual opposition within an environment where conformism prevails. Invention, vital to a healthy society, could be considered a form of non-​imitative dissent, and in some societies be labelled a “crime.” Thus, according to Tarde, immorality and opposition will only disappear when there exists on Earth “a single and unique State, and a single and unique culture” (Tarde 2004, 191–​195). That day seemed to him a long way off, since the rise in property crime indicated “a general decline in truth and good faith.” Unlike crimes of violence, Tarde argues, cerebral crime (theft, fraud, breach of trust, etc.) and crimes against decency have in common a resort to untruthfulness as a prelude to crime. Someone who refuses to lie will not be tempted. But can a society exist without lies? It is highly doubtful in Tarde’s view, for lies serve a vital social function: they are both necessary and universal, for we need fictions, be they religious or political, to maintain the authority of the State. “Official historians are necessary to re-​write the past, journalists are necessary to distort facts, and multiple actors are necessary to participate with success in the suffrage game, whether restricted or universal, and to receive from the public the orders and compliments that have been dictated to them” (Tarde 2004, 204–​205). This “social need for illusion” is also what causes and allows “a logical agreement”; that “set of converging judgments and intentions” necessary for life in society. However, while that agreement is easy to obtain on an individual level, it is much more difficult to create in a society where individuals possess diverging judgments (Tarde 2004, 205–​210). Science is of no help in this respect. What is needed rather is that science loses its force so that a new “captivating” ideal is born, allowing a return to pure, honest moral values of the kind found in certain primitive societies (Tarde 2004, 196, 212). Tarde seems to hold out little hope that such a society is around the corner. The link between the four chapters is clear, even if Tarde does not make it explicit in his preface: it is the “social importance of imitation” (Tarde 2004, 84). The concept plays a key explanatory role in Tarde’s thinking, from this first work onwards. It is imitation in the form of repetition that enables the object of scientific observation to be constituted. The official crime statistics revealed a fifty-​year upward trend, while breaches of civil law were stable, and those in the commercial sector falling. According to Tarde, the first trend was indicative of the nefarious effect of imitation; the second trend the absence of any effect; and the third one its salutary influence (Tarde 2004, 109). This is not

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the place to examine in more detail this concept of “imitation,” nor its place in Tarde’s thought, but it is clear that the notion is both central and omnipresent in La criminalité comparée, even if it is not the subject of an extended treatment. The book was widely debated in scholarly circles, and the reviews were overwhelmingly positive (Renneville 2004). Émile Durkheim himself praised the new science of criminology, referring to the “outstanding articles” on the subject written by Tarde (Durkheim 1886, 80). Those reviewers who gave an opinion on Tarde’s ideas tended to concentrate on their penological and political applications. There was some negative comment, however. In the Revue de la réforme judiciaire et législative, edited by Victor Jeanvrot, for example, the reviewer argued that Tarde had abandoned “the calm moderation and serene impartiality of the philosopher” in his chapter devoted to criminal statistics. He had, it was suggested, “exaggerated” the gravity of the situation concerning crime, seemingly carried away by his “systemic mind” to conclusions that were “excessively pessimistic.” While the suggestion to set up criminal laboratories in Law faculties met with approval, some of Tarde’s other statements were criticized for their “impertinence.” These included notably his points about the difficulty of resisting the influence of voters since the return of “parliamentary government”; his comment that the death penalty ““had “not killed anything much for some time”; and last but not least, his insistence on the need for a political change involving greater firmness in government: “Always the panacea of strong government! But that’s a rusty old gun that has never frightened criminals” (Anonymous 1889, 151). Tarde’s conservative stance was also picked up by the academic journals. In La revue d’anthropologie, Paul Mougeolle expressed his regret that Tarde’s underlying theory had not been expressed with clarity. Crimes and misdemeanors were “determined by social causes,” and “by adopting this sociological point of view, Mr. Tarde differentiates himself from the Italian School.” The work was indeed “among the most highly suggestive; he is one of the small number of authors who give food for thought” and are “of the greatest interest to the social sciences.” However, Mongeolle challenged the idea that the decline in the number of murders and the rise in that of lesser offences was the result of social transformations and “revolutionary agitation.” According to the reviewer, those trends were to be explained rather in terms of the process of urbanization and the development of the large cities (Mougeolle 1886). The following year, the same journal published a piece on the definition of criminal anthropology, penned by Paul Topinard (Topinard 1887).1 A follower of Paul Broca, Paul Topinard (1830–​1911) argued that like Lombroso, Tarde believed in the existence of an anthropological criminal type; a belief that 1 On this point, see Renneville 1994: 199–​202.

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in his (Topinard’s) view had no basis in the facts of anthropological science. Strictly speaking, he went on, “criminal anthropology” was a logical impossibility, and he criticized Alexandre Lacassagne for having used the term for the title of his journal, it is obvious that we are in complete accord,” agreeing that the existence of a secondary “professional type” was a probability if not a certainty according to the laws of anthropological science. It should be noted in this context that the concept of the “professional type” was a commonplace in French scientific and literary circles in this period (Renneville 2003, 248–​261). Topinard went on to suggest to his correspondent that he write a review of two recent publications on the subject, which would offer him the launch in 1886. The Lyons professor would have been wiser to use the term “criminal sociology” in his journal, Topinard claimed, and to recognize that in making proposals in the criminal justice field, what he was doing should be termed “criminalogie.” Topinard was defending here a purely physical conception of anthropology. He rejected the use of the term “criminal anthropology” to describe the approach of the Italians and the French (including Lacassagne, Tarde, and Manouvrier), because of its social and judicial connotations. A veritable “criminal anthropology,” in this conception, would be confined to a purely anatomical study of the individual criminal. With Topinard having, as it were, tarred Tarde with the Lombrosian brush, the Sarlat magistrate was moved to write an irate letter to the editor of the journal. Topinard subsequently admitted his mistake and replied to Tarde that “opportunity of responding in print to the anthropologist’s remarks.2 Tarde’s review appeared in 1888. While noting that, like Topinard, he considered Lombroso’s born criminal type “an exaggeration,” Tarde nevertheless reiterated his conviction that he did not rule the existence of criminal types per se: “[Topinard] does not accept that thieves or murderers have typical anatomical or physiological characteristics, and he explains the origins of the criminal act above all by social causes. However, he does not deny that criminals’ brains have numerous structural anomalies. It seems to me that he gives too little weight to these organic defects—​the microbe generated by the culture medium, to use the highly appropriate expression of Dr. Lacassagne—​and wrongly locates them solely in the brain. In fact, the face—​not at rest like in a photograph, but in movement—​the way the body moves, along with gestures; all of these provide vital clues to the trained eye that the criminal virus had infected the cells of the brain” (Tarde 1888, 522). Tarde did however make common cause with Topinard in rejecting the name chosen for the new science; though he also considered that “criminology” should equally be ruled out for its associations 2 P. Topinard to G.  Tarde, manuscript letter of April 21, 1888. Fonds Tarde. Correspondance. Archives du CHEVS.

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with the penal philosophy of Garafalo. In fact, his own preferred option for naming the new science bringing together research on the criminal was “criminal psychology.” In 1889, in a belated review of La criminalité comparée, the Revue de la réforme judiciaire stated that “there is no need to add to the praise that has already been heaped on this work. In learned circles, it already enjoys a reputation that combines esteem and authority and has earned a distinguished place for its author among contemporary philosophers.” 3 Judging by the number and tone of the reviews, Tarde’s first “sociology book” was a clear success. It gave Tarde a national reputation, facilitated contacts for him with other specialists in the field, and allowed him to gain further influence with the publication of articles in scholarly journals such as the Archives de l’anthropologie criminelle, the Revue d’anthropologie, and the Revue scientifique. He also continued to publish regularly in the Revue philosophique, and indeed would maintain the connection with this journal for the rest of his life. In his second work on criminal matters, La Philosophie pénale (1890), Tarde developed his theory of criminal responsibility, seen as a half-​way house between the concept of free-​will dear to the Classical School, and the determinism of the positivists. In Tarde’s view, “liberty” could not constitute the basis of criminal responsibility because it was a metaphysical concept, which by definition was taken to be the underlying cause of action. Instead, responsibility should be based on the psychological and social concepts of “personal identity” and “social similarity.” In order for a defendant to be judged responsible for his actions, he needs to possess a certain consciousness of his personal identity, and his action has to lead to a feeling of culpability linked to his membership of society. Personal identity can be destabilized by insanity, drunkenness, hypnotism or old age, while social similarity relies on the proximate relationship between the offender and the society that judges him. It is because the desires and beliefs of the wrongdoer match those of the broader social group that he is susceptible to feelings of guilt. This question of responsibility, whether criminal, moral or social, constitutes the second key debate among criminal anthropologists after that of the criminal type. One of the interesting features of this debate, as far as Tarde was concerned, was that it addressed a major judicial problem: how to establish responsibility in the case of crimes involving multiple offenders. Given that a particular action may be considered as a crime at a particular period and in a particular social group, while in different circumstances the same action might be considered as an act of virtuous bravery, or even heroism, how were 3 “La criminalité comparée” Revue de la réforme judiciaire et législative, no. 2, 5e année, 15 mars 1889, 150.

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collective crimes to be judged? “Is it not the case,” he writes, “that the actions of each are justified by the participation of all? That each community has a tendency to make its own laws, its own distinctive moral code, and thus that the idea of collective guilt is a contradiction in terms? Can we imagine a national crime, a crime committed by a whole nation?” (Tarde 1892a, 378) This theory of criminal responsibility would not have any practical judicial applications. The idea of identity and the permanence of the self would be rejected, notably by von Liszt in 1897 (Léauté 1972, 252). Nevertheless, Tarde’s highly original ideas on the subject provide a further example of the wide-​ranging debates throughout Europe in this period concerning the individualization of punishment.4 Although familiar with individual legal cases from his work as an examining magistrate, Gabriel Tarde rarely ventured into print on the subject, preferring to leave it to his fellow criminologists and the press. He was a regular contributor to the Archives de l’anthropologie criminelle, founded by his friend, Alexandre Lacassagne, but only wrote three articles on this subject, dealing with four cases: those involving Chambige, Wladimiroff, Achet and Weiss. These three studies were published together in 1892 in his book, Études Pénales et Sociales under the title: “Four Crimes of Passion” (Quatre crimes passionnels). In the introduction to this chapter, Tarde described his fascination for this type of case; a fascination derived, he stated, “both from the reaction provoked among the members of the public, and for the way they generally raise the question of the moral responsibility of their perpetrators” (Tarde 1892b, 151). In reality, only the Chambige case, with its double suicide, seems to have genuinely fascinated him, though with no lasting consequences in terms of his theoretical work (Carroy and Renneville 2005). From 1893 onwards, Tarde co-​ edited with Lacassagne the Archives d’anthropologie criminelle, the first French criminological journal, now available to researchers in digital form (https://​criminocorpus.org/​bibliotheque/​ collections/​1/​). In 1894, he left Sarlat for Paris, becoming head of the Statistical Service at the French Ministry of Justice. As noted earlier, Tarde was given responsibility for the annual statistical reports produced by the ministry, covering the years 1891–​1894. His analysis revealed a halt in the previous—​ seemingly inexorable—​rise in the level of recidivism. Tarde explained this welcome turnaround as a consequence of the Loi Bérenger (1891), introducing the suspended sentence, rather than the law governing the transportation of recidivists (1885); a measure which—​unlike his friend Lacassagne—​he had never supported (Tarde, 1898, VI). Tarde never felt much enthusiasm for such 4 This theory was, however, praised by French psychoanalysts Michel Cénac and Jacques Lacan in their seminar of 1950 (Lacan 1999, 138).

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painstaking statistical comparisons. He derived more pleasure from the social life of the capital, his lectures at the École libre des sciences politiques and his talks at the Collège libre des sciences sociales. He was also an active member of a number of learned societies, such as the Société générale des prisons and the Société de sociologie de Paris, and took part in a number of international congresses on criminal anthropology, sociology, and prison reform. Tarde’s ideas would attract criticism from Émile Durkheim, despite the latter’s positive remarks cited earlier. Durkheim considered that society was an organic whole, governing the lives of its members by external constraints, while for Tarde, society was the result of social interactions between individuals, leading to imitation, opposition and invention. Durkheim argued that crime was an inherently normal social phenomenon, because it was to be found in all societies; it only became “pathological” when it reached a level such that that social life was threatened. Tarde disagreed, claiming that crime was a necessarily abnormal phenomenon, indicating that offenders were ill-​equipped to follow the communal rules of society. Although Gabriel Tarde may be considered an important figure in late nineteenth-​century French sociology, it was above all in the field of criminology that he chose to apply his social theories:  by commenting on criminal statistics; by participating in the birth of the study of crowd psychology; by suggesting criteria for the use of evidence in the trial setting; and, finally, by developing a distinctive theory of criminal aetiology and punishment. His work as an examining magistrate (1869–​1894), and as a statistician for the Ministry of Justice (1894–​1900), and also the variety of his interests make Gabriel Tarde a distinctive member of the criminological fraternity of late nineteenth-​century Europe. A jurist by training, he was also fascinated by the debates and preoccupations of his era in both natural and social science, and his thinking bears the unmistakable stamp of that influence. His first academic work is good example of these myriad influences, and he clearly thought highly of La criminalité comparée himself, for it featured at the top of the list of works he submitted as part of his application for a chair in modern philosophy at the Collège de France. Finally, in 1902 and 1903, Tarde prepared a last series of lectures on criminal matters. Curiously, the word “criminology” was missing from the title he chose for this series; he preferred that of “criminalistics.” Probably, he considered that “criminology” remained too closely associated with what he considered to be the excesses of the Italian School. It needs to be acknowledged, however, that the renown he gained as a “criminologist” during his lifetime has not stood the test of time. One of the reasons for this, no doubt, resides in his œuvre itself. His books are composed of collections of often disparate articles, which makes it difficult for the reader

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to gain a clear picture of their author’s theoretical stance (in clear contrast, for example, with his contemporary and adversary Cesare Lombroso). In addition, Tarde himself admitted that there was a tension in his work between his literary interests and the demands of scientific method. An articulate and experienced practitioner, recognized by his peers, but isolated from them, the philosopher–​magistrate from Sarlat never drew to himself a group of like-​ minded followers. There would be no “Tardian school of criminology.” This does not mean that the study of the thought of Gabriel Tarde has no contemporary resonance. Tarde himself had the habit of annotating his own readings in the field with a series of marginal symbols for a swallow—​a bird that had fascinated him since his poetical musings as a young man—​to indicate passages that deserved further attention. In the same way, the modern researcher can find in Tarde’s work a number of themes and questions similar to those that preoccupy criminologists today. It must be admitted, however, that those linkages between Tarde and the modern field of criminology are more potential than practical, and thus far his thought has been of interest above all to historians of the discipline. There are no more self-​declared “Tardians” in our era than in his own. Many reasons have been suggested for this state of affairs, but one of the most relevant has no doubt to do with the author’s style—​itself a reflection of his epistemological choices. Sociology was born in the late nineteenth century out of an attempt to resolve the tension between literary and scientific methods and came down categorically in favor of the latter. From the point of view of the history of science, Tarde made the “mistake” of considering that the priorities of the moment did not justify such a choice.5 What might appear like epistemological indecision on his part is thus in fact the result of a conscious choice, one shared by certain of his contemporaries (albeit one that would subsequently peter out), to attempt a synthesis of literary and scientific discourse (Carroy 1993). Tarde’s thought may not on its own have heralded the spring of criminology, but it could be argued that France’s criminological “swallow” made a vitally significant contribution to that process. Translated from French by Neil Davie

References Anonymous. 1889. “La criminalité comparée,” Revue de la réforme judiciaire et législative, n2, 5e année, 15 mars, 149–​151.

5 Tarde continued to publish short literary works (tales and one-​act plays) up until 1896. On the broader question, see Wolf Lepenies (1991).

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Borlandi, Massimo. 2000. “Tarde et les criminologues italiens de son temps (à partir de sa correspondance inédite ou retrouvée),” Revue d’histoire des sciences humaines, no. 3, 7–​56. Carroy, Jacqueline. 1993. Les personnalités doubles. Entre science et fiction. Paris: PUF. Carroy, Jacqueline and Marc Renneville. 2005. “Une cause passionnelle passionnante: Tarde et l’affaire Chambige [1889],” Champ pénal/​Penal field [Online], XXXIVe Congrès français de criminologie, Les criminologiques de Tarde, URL:  http://​champpenal. revues.org/​260;DOI: 10.4000/​champpenal.260. Durkheim, Émile. 1886. “Les études de sciences sociales,” Revue philosophique, 22, 61–​80. Léauté, Jacques. 1972. Criminologie et science pénitentiaire. Paris: PUF. Lepenies, Wolf. 1991. Les trois cultures. Entre science et littérature l’avènement de la sociologie. Paris: MSH. Mougeolle, Paul. 1886. “G. Tarde. La criminalité comparée,” Revue d’anthropologie, 346–​350. Renneville, Marc. 1994. “L’anthropologie du criminel en France,” Criminologie, vol. 27, no. 2, 185–​209. —​—​—​. 2003. Crime et folie. Deux siècles d’enquêtes médicales et judiciaires. Paris: Fayard. —​ —​ —​ . 2004. Préface and postface, in Tarde, Gabriel, La criminalité comparée. Paris: Empêcheurs de penser en rond (1st ed. 1886). —​—​—​. 2014. “Exploring the History of French Criminology (1885–​1939): The Case of the Archives de l’Anthropologie Criminelle,” Criminocorpus, Histoire de la criminologie, 1. La revue et ses hommes. URL: http://​criminocorpus.revues.org/​2753. Saleilles, Robert. 1898. L’individualisation de la peine, preface by G. Tarde. Paris: F. Alcan. Salmon, Louise (dir.). 2014. Le laboratoire de Gabriel Tarde. Des manuscrits et une bibliothèque pour les sciences sociales. Paris: CNRS Éditions. Tarde, Gabriel. 1879. “À l’hirondelle” in Contes et poèmes. Paris: Calmann Lévy, 214. —​—​—​. 1888. “La criminologie,” Revue d’anthropologie, 521–​533. —​—​—​. 1892a. “Les crimes des foules,” Archives de l’anthropologie criminelle et des sciences pénales, 353–​386. —​—​—​. 1892b. Études pénales et sociales. Lyon-​Paris: Storck-​Masson. —​—​—​. 1892c. “Henri Joly. Le combat contre le crime,” Revue philosophique, t. 34, 510–​516. —​—​—​. 2004. La Criminalité comparée. Paris: Empêcheurs de penser en rond (1st ed. 1886) Topinard, Paul. 1887. “L’anthropologie criminelle,” Revue d’anthropologie, 658–​691.

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Chapter 7 TARDE AND DURKHEIMIAN SOCIOLOGY Robert Leroux

Various philosophers and sociologists of the nineteenth century entertained the idea that history has a direction, that it is part of an irresistible movement whereby in effect social bonds crumble in favor of a supposedly rising individualism. They believed that individuals, hitherto homogeneous, were now destined to become more heterogeneous one from the other. This was the viewpoint, for example, of Herbert Spencer and of Émile Durkheim. For his part, Tarde arrived at a completely opposite stance. Thus, he writes in Les Lois de l’imitation that “heterogeneity and not homogeneity is at the core of things.” If Tarde was not strictly speaking a determinist, in that he did not subscribe to the idea that history has a purpose, he believed nevertheless that history has a meaning that is characterized by personal decisions and intentions. That is why we must “renounce once and for all these contrived differences which the philosophy of history established between successive peoples, each of which, like the protagonists of a single immense drama, had its own predetermined role to play” (Tarde 1898a, 42). Tarde thus seeks to identify “social laws” on the basis of three principles:  imitation, logic and opposition. Tarde’s sociology, as we shall see, was on a collision course with Durkheim and his main collaborators.

A Theory of Imitation Les Lois de l’imitation represents, we may say, the culmination of Tarde’s career, a kind of synthesis that condenses his theoretical views, which he had developed in a series of articles published for the most part in the Revue philosophique. Situated chronologically and intellectually at the center of his life’s work, this book offers some essential keys for understanding his previous writings, many

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of which had been devoted to criminology. At the same time, it lays out a program of original research. Tarde opens this classic tome with some epistemological observations. He concludes that sociology is clearly lagging behind the natural sciences. Sociology, he says, has failed in its repeated attempts to define itself as a science and therefore new solutions must be found. To do so, he says, we must look to individual facts to arrive at a scientific explanation of the social fact. But Tarde is not thinking here of some kind of atomism, nor does he try to reduce the social fact to individual manifestations. What interests him about individual facts is their repetition. That is why he argues that we must begin with “initiatives at renewal which, by bringing into the world both new needs and new ways of satisfying them, will then propagate or tend to propagate themselves by imitation, whether forced or spontaneous, deliberate or unconscious, slowly or swiftly but at a steady pace.” Here we recognize the influence of Antoine Augustin Cournot. As Gabriel Tarde sees things, it is only because of similarities that the social world can be explained in general terms. If everything always marked a new beginning, generality would be impossible, and history would be merely a confusing mass of facts without any real consistency. But, he goes on to say, the social element transmits itself contagiously, and imitation becomes from this viewpoint “the very soul of social life” (1890a, 213). What was in the beginning heterogeneous, apparently chaotic, thus has a tendency to generalize itself or, to put it another way, to become homogeneous. It is in this way that societies have historically been constituted. History allows us to explain the role of imitation over time, and this is where “the sociologist must yield the floor to the psychologist” (1890a, 82). This dialogue between psychology and sociology is at the heart of Tarde’s thinking. In reading his work, we are far from certain whether man is always completely rational and whether his actions are always the outcome of intentions, for the act of imitation is in a way conditioned by habit and by memory. At first glance, imitation seems wholly passive. But the individual—​ the imitative individual—​can eventually become an example: in other words, a hypnotized person can in turn be the object of imitative behavior on the part of someone else. Imitation does not stem from constraint, as Durkheim would later argue. Quite the contrary:  people imitate, Tarde insists, because they admire a great personage or a particular practice. Imitation then becomes a kind of sleepwalking. The individual is not always aware of it, and his behavior will pass through two phases: one in which he obediently imitates the models of his surroundings, and the other in which he becomes creative and goes beyond the established rules. Tarde, who had read Hegel, sees in this movement an irresistible dialectic. Thus, societies organize themselves on the

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basis of agreements and disagreements among individuals. It is in this way that they improve themselves. There are two tendencies at work here: a creative tendency and a critical tendency. In other words, the social player has the choice of imitating or rejecting what is proposed to him. As Tarde formulates it, then, a logical duel takes shape. This logical duel consists of an affirmation and a negation. From this perspective, a social phenomenon can be explained only on the basis of two ideas: “the idea or intent of the individual as prototype (individu-​modèle) and the idea or intent of the individual as a copy (individu-​copie)” (1890a, 188). Discoveries and inventions compete, and one may be replaced by another, but—​and this is the meaning of historical evolution—​they may also accumulate and complement each other. This is what Tarde calls “logical union” (1890a: 195), an expression that was later replaced by “social logic.” The progress of homogeneity gives a kind of meaning or direction to history. But Tarde points out that imitation may be conscious or unconscious, considered or spontaneous. He notes that “imitation moves from within man outward” (1890a, 224–​225). This move means that “the imitation of ideas precedes that of their expression” and that “the imitation of ends precedes that of their means. Ends and ideas are internal, while means or expressions are external” (1890a, 233). From imitation flow social inequalities, a term used here in quite a different language from that of the Marxists, in the sense that it is the most prestigious things that are the best propagated. A kind of top-​down leveling thus takes place. What is superior becomes a model that evokes admiration at the lower level, which seeks to emulate it—​hence its essentially imitative behavior. But Tarde considers that imitation has in a way favored equality, or indeed “uniformity,” a term that he also uses, and which may perhaps be nearer the mark. In what way, then, does change come from on high? Taking the history of France, Tarde gives the following example: “The apparent paradox may therefore be safely advanced that the real preparatory work in behalf of modern equality was carried on in the past, not by the middle classes, but by the nobility […] The supposedly superior individual is copied in all respects. He appears to copy no one below himself, and this is approximately true. The relation of the model to the copy is, consequently, almost one-​sided” (Tarde 1890, 231–​232). Imitation, he insists sternly, always follows the same path: it starts from above and descends below. In the tradition of Cournot, Tarde seeks to show this by citing various examples to be found in other works, including La logique sociale: language, religion, government, usage and customs, and so forth. With respect to languages, he remarks that when individuals come together as a group they must of necessity abandon their local tongue in order to speak a common one: conquered

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peoples will generally learn the language of the conqueror. He notes, rather prophetically, that English is tending to become generalized, and in this way to become the mother tongue of a growing number of individuals. It is clear from this example that Tarde places great importance on language as a leveling factor. But this process is not unique to language—​the same holds for religions, which are always initially closed and become open only little by little. This is what happened with ancestor worship, the most primitive form of religion. There is no denying its spread. Tarde here dismisses in advance the Durkheimian notion that the first and most primitive religion was totemism. Rather than treat religion as a constraining force that bends individuals to submit, Tarde seeks to show that religion, and above all primitive religion, is transmitted by filiation, that is, by imitation. Here the family once played a primordial role—​it was originally the principal social grouping, but its importance has steadily declined.

The Logic of Social Action In La logique sociale, Tarde sets out to define a discipline that he calls “interpsychology,”1 one that would be the target of sharp criticism by Durkheim and most of his followers. Tarde takes issue with the purely objective nature that Durkheim seeks to give sociology, one that “dismisses us, as the scholastics would.” But Tarde’s complaint is more serious yet: “I wonder,” he writes, “what advantage there might be, under the pretext of purifying sociology, in emptying it of its psychological and living contents” (1893, 63). For Tarde, in fact, the notion of contract or constraint always stems from imitation. “Hence the advantage, or rather the obligation, of turning to psychology, and certainly not to biology, to supply the key to sociology” (1893, 65). Sociology can only begin with psychology. Evidently the tone has changed from that of the Lois de l’imitation published some years earlier—​Durkheim’s arrival on the intellectual scene obliged Tarde (who had until then been engaged primarily in doing battle with the criminologists of the Italian school) to spell out his position more clearly vis-​à-​vis the author of Suicide. La logique sociale can then be seen as a response to Durkheimian “sociologism.” Logic, Tarde argues, has much more to do with psychology, that is, with the psychic forces that are based on beliefs and desires. But the logic of which Tarde speaks makes reference to the use of the judgments, reasonings and 1 Dauriac considered that, thanks to interpsychology, “the name of Tarde will be forever famous, even if the sociologists in their majority refuse to hail him as one of their masters” (1906, 160).

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deductions that the individual mobilizes within a particular social setting. On this basis, it is important to expand the meaning of the word logic “to the point where it even embraces the illogical” (1893, 90). Tarde seeks above all to examine a phenomenon in light of two contradictory aspects. Thus, “by virtue of quite similar needs, the social group, in seeking to form itself, is obliged to create new objects towards which to guide, not the feelings and appetites of a single individual, but the thoughts and intents of different individuals which separately have been agreed […] but which are now clashing in contradiction. A chaos of heterogeneous feelings and impulses that collide and conflict with each other: what we have here is the brain of the newborn” (1893, 183). The analogy with psychology is striking. “Just as the first seed of the mental order was supplied to the newborn brain by the emergence of the self, so the first seed of the social order was given to primitive society by the appearance of the chief. The chief is the social self, destined for endless development and transformation” (1893, 185). The same thing happens with language, where “each word expresses a notion, an arbitrary slice of reality, imposed by society” (1893, 192). These analogies between mental life and social life are valuable, inasmuch as they indicate that, for Tarde, these two worlds, despite their differences, presuppose and indeed superimpose themselves, one upon the other. But when he speaks of “social consciousness,” he is not trying—​in contrast to Durkheim—​to make this consciousness an object in itself, irreducible to individual consciousnesses. Quite the contrary, this social consciousness, throughout its development, is the object of invention, of opposition, and of imitation. This is the point where history intervenes. Lurking behind the disorder and the chaos revealed by a multitude of heterogeneous facts, a certain logic can be discerned. Yet in contrast to Comte, Tarde does not believe in a philosophy of history, conceived in a general way and capable of embracing the past, the present and the future all at once. To Tarde, history appears rather as a mixture of contingencies and necessity. Historical events succeed each other, he says, but they do not resemble each other: “They clash together rather than explain each other, and it is to neither the preceding nor the following event that each of them is attached by a truly logical link, but to one or rather several series of regular repetitions, vital or social, of which it is the highest meeting point. They force themselves upon each other as successive states of awareness of the individual mind” (1893, 250). This example, taken from historical material, allows Tarde to feed his sociological model. “All in all, society is or daily becomes merely a great collective brain of which the tiny individual brains are the cells” (1893, 218). But this social logic does not appear straightaway:  it is forged and fortified over the course of history by a multitude of heterogeneous designs and

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intentions. Social progress can be explained only by this meeting of opposing elements. At this point, a certain equilibrium sets in, but it can only be temporary. “Statistically, social logic has achieved its goal when the contradiction of individual to individual is suppressed at a given moment. And it is only then that it can dynamically seek to satisfy itself by ensuring as far as possible that the successive stages of a society—​which is united in each stage taken separately—​ will not be mutually contradictory. However, this last contradiction, and never the other, is often demanded by the obstinate and persevering pursuit of the social goal” (1893, 249). While the language used here may hark back to Comte, it is nonetheless true that Tarde is fundamentally opposed to a rigid determinism such as that of the founder of positivism, which obscures individual behavior. Like Antoine Augustin Cournot, Tarde believes, rather, that history is ceaselessly making and remaking itself (Martin 1996). In fact, he rejects evolutionism, as much the kind that evokes the necessity of moving from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous as that which starts from the inverse. Thus, “suppressing contradictions usually means simply displacing them” (1893, 252). And he adds, “to conceive of evolution, in whatever order of facts, as a single series of phases exclusively linked to each other, as a cycle that repeats itself indefinitely without any important change, is like admitting that a single and same direction of movements in space reduces somehow to a single dimension” (1893, 262). If, as Cournot had amply demonstrated, we want to explain the genesis of an invention, we must take into account both the genius of the individual and the external causes that stimulated it. External causes are of two kinds: vital and social: “vital: these are the causes that, through a series of happy encounters, have produced the genius itself, this supreme accident […]; social: these are the religious, economic, political, aesthetic, linguistic and other influences, all born of imitative contagions that operate in accordance with the Laws of Imitation” (1893, 265). As to the internal causes, they rely on the beliefs and desires, the principles and ends, the knowledge and the different desires that the inventor has received, it is true, for the most part from the surrounding society, but which, after meeting and crossing there in barren sterility, unite in the inventor for the first time and form a fertile union” (1893, 271). Here again Tarde is starting from methodological principles that are diametrically opposed to those of Durkheim.

Opposition The idea of opposition is reciprocally related to that of imitation. From the meeting of imitation and opposition, perfectly heterogeneous things are bound to form a homogeneous whole. This phenomenon can be observed, first, in the world of nature:  “Acid and base are opposites in

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that they neutralize each other; colors said to be complementary can also be opposites when they cancel each other to produce gray, or a colorless hue” (1897, 58). But this process is not unique to the world of nature: it can also be observed in the phenomena that stem from psychosociological analysis. “It seems to me then without doubt,” writes Tarde, “that the sole source of all opposing phenomena is the possibility of a reciprocal neutralization of similar actions” (1897, 60). Tarde then presents a series of oppositions: mathematical and physical oppositions, psychological and sociological oppositions. It is worthwhile here to look more closely at the last two oppositions, which play a particularly important role in the development of Tarde’s sociological thinking. The point of departure for any serious psychological analysis, Tarde insists, is to sort out “from the countless combinations of heterogeneous elements that it offers us, the presence of two irreducible qualities, which you may call what you wish, but which I call belief and desire” (1897, 180). These two qualities or elements can only be understood if psychophysiology and psychosociology are closely intertwined. Thus, feelings, judgments, which are rooted in the individual consciousness, also have a social character that often escapes psychologists. “Physical pleasure and pain become joy and sadness only through our relationship with other people. Even loneliness is social, for it attests to the lack of a sympathetic society of which we would have no idea if we had not already tasted its sweetness” (1897, 229). Here is proof that these various sentiments of individual origin cannot be satisfactorily explained without resort to a contextual analysis. For the principal characteristic of these sentiments is that they vary from one time and place to another. This analysis does not however lead to what today is called relativism. In fact, Tarde claims to observe the same tendency that the best sociologists have brought to light, that is, there is an “improvement of mores” which, to take up a theme developed further in other works, is characterized by the decline of repressive penalties. The same holds for the evolution of the sciences, which is generally marked by an irreversible progress. Systems of thought will of course wither and die but, according to the law of progress, they will be replaced by others that are more robust. “With apparent persistence, social institutions undergo continuous changes, which consist above all in what we might call a shift of their emphasis” (1897, 300). The relationship of order to progress that Tarde refers to here confirms the subordination of opposition to change. “Order, in effect, social conservatism, often comes from a balancing or equilibrium of contrary trends, hence the constancy of statistical averages; progress, on the contrary, the accumulation of successful and mutually agreed initiatives, results from a series of asymmetrical forces” (1897, 310–​311). In fact, “progress is due to the intermittent rupture of a conservative equilibrium” (1897, 312). From

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this viewpoint, then, progress cannot be explained simply by the struggle of antagonistic forces. Tarde takes the opportunity to criticize political economy by showing in particular that its practitioners are wrong in making competition the principal element of economic progress. “Competition is the clash of interests; by itself, then, it is a denial of that natural harmony of interests proclaimed by the Bastiat school. We may then be surprised to see these economists hailing both this accord and the clash that contradicts it” (1897, 348). The analyses offered by Tarde, however, are not so far removed as he may have thought from those proposed by Pareto, for example, with respect to the idea of “natural harmony.” Now the object of sociology takes shape, primarily through the concept of “social quantity” which, Tarde writes, “is not only of extended psychology […]; it is above all of externalized psychology, used in a superior manner and transcendent. The social quantities […] are composed of psychological quantities, but they are different, first because they presuppose and affirm the homogeneity of beliefs and desires of the distinct individuals of which they are the living body; next, because what characterizes them is the communicability of these beliefs and these desires from brain to brain. The truth can be nothing else” (1897, 321). Here, truth becomes a combination of psychological quantities. And so: “The real social problem is to bring together a great number of infinitely diverse beliefs and desires, many of them contradictory, and make them coexist and live together; to offset this opposition or to end it, or to convert it into higher-​level collaboration” (1897, 400).

Are There Any Social Laws? Tarde was aware that his sociological theories deserved some further explanation that would perhaps make his intentions better understood. In publishing La logique sociale, which he presents somewhat pompously as “the quintessence” of his works, he seeks to give some order to his own ideas while presenting the core ideas of a sociology considered as a science. To do so, he defines first what he means by science. “There can be no science of the individual as such; there is only a science of the general, in other words of the individual considered as repeated or susceptible of being repeated indefinitely” (1893, 8). This definition is perfectly consistent with the Aristotelian principle whereby the general is the condition sine qua non of the scientific approach, but Tarde takes care to add—​in the second part of the sentence, which is of capital importance—​that the general is in itself nothing and must therefore be seen as a result of individual facts that are repeated. The repetition of phenomena, then, is all that matters to science; destruction is just as fundamental. In this sense, science is

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interested in “the balance of forces and the symmetry of forms, in the struggles of living organisms, in the combats of all beings.” But Tarde goes further and adds that science must also “address the adaptations of phenomena, their relationships of truly creative co-​production” (1893, 9–​10). Repetition, opposition and adaptation are thus the three fundamental aspects inherent in any scientific approach. The question is whether sociology conforms to this definition of science. After a cursory review of the origins of sociology and the social sciences, Tarde arrives at a severe initial judgment: those who sought to found these sciences, he says, have not produced a psychosociology but merely an individual or physiological psychology. From this perspective Tarde—​ like Durkheim, but in a fundamentally different way—​attempts to identify what is specific about social phenomena by highlighting the role of imitation. “Thus,” he writes, “the constant nature of a social fact, whatever it is, is surely that it is imitative. And this nature is exclusive to social phenomena” (1893, 37). Tarde considers that sociology, as a scientific discipline, must renounce the overly simplistic generalities offered by the philosophies of history of his day, which lead merely to one form or another of determinism. That is why he banishes from his vocabulary such expressions, current at the time, as “the spirit of a people or a race” or “the spirit of a language or a religion.” “These collective spirits, entities or metaphysical idols were accorded an imaginary originality that was moreover poorly defined” (1893, 43). Hence this recommendation: “In the end, we must open our eyes to the evidence and recognize that the spirit of a people or of a race is not the dominant factor, superior to the individual spirits that are supposed to be its offspring and its fleeting manifestations, but is simply a convenient label, the anonymous synthesis of these personal originalities” (1893, 44). Lastly, Tarde maintains that the notion of social organicism leads inevitably to an impasse: “it is not through comparison of societies with organisms that sociology has already made such great steps forward, and will make even greater progress, it is by comparing societies among themselves […], it is above all by paying attention to these imitations of one person by another, which provide the analytical explanation of the overall facts” (1893, 51). This critique is important—​it can in fact be leveled, mutatis mutandis, at Durkheim. Tarde versus Durkheim The debate between Tarde and Durkheim has evoked much commentary in recent years.2 Suffice it here to indicate the principal issues by presenting the 2 See: Karsenti 2007, 234–​235; 420–​425, 537–​540; Milet 1970, 247–​257; Clark 1981, 373–​377; Lukes 1973, 302–​319.

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position of these two authors. In 1911, the philosopher and historian Henri Berr took an interest in this debate and concluded that there was a need to treat Tarde and Durkheim as complementary to each other. In 1893, Tarde published in the Revue philosophique an article entitled Questions sociales, which was in fact a summary of three sociological works that had just appeared:  Durkheim, De la division du travail social; Gumplowicz, La lutte des races; and Novicov, La lutte entre les sociétés. The commentaries that Tarde addressed to Durkheim are important in that they lay bare the entire scope of the disagreement between these two sociologists, which was to become more acute in subsequent years.3 This passage offers a first inkling: “Mr. Durkheim, a tenacious dreamer happy in his excesses, an imperturbable logician, more profound than fair, fallacious to the point of fooling himself into believing that his priori constructions are observed truths, readily imagines the outward continuity of logical progression and calm development that he feels within himself ” (Tarde 1895a, 182). But Tarde does not confine himself to this personal attack. He goes further yet by stressing that, for Durkheim, progress has taken place smoothly without setbacks or interruptions. With Durkheim, he writes, “there are no wars, no massacres, no brutal annexations. It would seem from reading him that the river of progress has flowed on a bed of moss, with no whitewater or perilous rapids, and that humanity, ever tranquil, has over the course of the ages moved gently from a state of uniform peace founded on the juxtaposition of similar and inoffensive clans or tribes to a yet more profound state of multi-​form peace, guaranteed by the reciprocity of services among categories of workers who are more and more specialized and at the same time bound to each other by solidarity” (Tarde 1895a, 187). In Tarde’s view, Durkheim’s greatest error was to leave no place for the accidental and the irrational, the individual and the mind, and to let himself be carried away by moral concerns. According to Tarde, it is wrong to say, as Durkheim does, that “number” and “volume” encourage the specialization of tasks: the case of China or India will give the lie to that theory, for in these two countries, heavily and densely populated as they are, the division of labor remains at a rudimentary stage. The reason, according to Tarde, is that these societies are generally not very inventive. In 1895, when Durkheim published Les Règles de la méthode sociologique, Tarde again took it upon himself to offer a lengthy summary in the Revue 3 In 1898 Tarde writes: “I do not believe that there are any sociological truths so worthy of study as the errors of Mr. Durkheim, however obvious they may be, and we must thank him for having expressed them so boldly and clearly. They were lurking in the ether, waiting to incarnate themselves in a logical and vigorous mind—​it is fortunate that it was his mind they found” (Tarde 1898, 74).

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philosophique. His comments this time focused not on the overall thesis of the work, but essentially on the question of crime. At the outset, Tarde criticizes the author’s method. Durkheim, he says, “is striving to build—​in the air, as I see it—​a kind of sociology in and for itself which, purged of all psychology and also of all biology, could hardly remain standing without the remarkable talent of its builder” (Tarde 1895, 148). In this train of thought, Tarde objects to the Durkheimian thesis according to which crime is a normal phenomenon. For the author of Les Lois de l’imitation, Durkheim’s error lies in his distinction between the normal and the pathological, which leads to the idea that “normality” is relative to a particular context and place. “When the conditions of a society’s existence begin to change, what was normal until then […] becomes abnormal despite its persistent generality” (Tarde 1895b: 159). Tarde is trying, then, to untangle the notion of normality from that of generality, which Durkheim seems to have confused. On this point, he raises a profound question: “Where did the Stoics learn to appreciate the abnormal nature of the slavery of their time, despite its generality, its universality? They learned it by listening not to the geometricians nor the astronomers nor the physicians of their day, but to their own heart, with its soul, with its imagination even, and not only with its reason. Once the heart is silenced, slavery is justified for them as for Aristotle” (Tarde 1895b, 161). It is in Le Suicide that Durkheim responds to Tarde. In an impressive chapter devoted to the literature on suicide, he rejects out of hand what he calls “extra-​ social factors,” including imitation. “While it is true that suicide is contagious from individual to individual, we never see it spread by imitation in a way that would affect the suicide rate” (Durkheim 1897, 135). In a draft that went unpublished at the time, Tarde admits privately that Durkheim’s work “seems to be directed against me” (Tarde 2000, 219).4 The dispute between Tarde and Durkheim amounted to all-​out war (Milet 1970, 247). Indeed, we find traces of this quarrel, sometimes implicit, in most of the writings of Tarde dating from the years following publication of Durkheim’s first book in 1893. In the eyes of Raymond Boudon, this opposition can be explained on the basis of methodological arguments. While Tarde proposes a diachronic analysis, Durkheim prefers a synchronic approach. “The contrast between the synchronic analysis championed by Durkheim and the diachronic analysis of Tarde reflects to some extent the contrast between the two personalities […]. Durkheim followed the classic professorial career […] Tarde for his part came from the magistracy and entered into teaching only via the Collège de

4 Durkheim had however begun to write about suicide well before 1897 (1888, 446–​463).

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France. We can see, then, that they both measured their field of action and conceived the practical scope of sociology on the basis of their experience, their future career or, in short, their situation, with the parameters of that situation inspiring them to pursue different projects. These reasons no doubt explain in part why Durkheim was interested in the social causes of crime and suicide, while Tarde focused more on the effectiveness of judicial institutions” (Boudon 2000, 253). Gabriel Tarde and the members of the Durkheimian school

The work of Tarde was the object of much debate not only on the part of Durkheim but also among the principal members of the French school of sociology. By the tone of some authors’ analyses, we can appreciate their vision of Durkheim’s methodological and theoretical principles. For example Bouglé, who has quite rightly been called an ambivalent Durkheimian, was perhaps the most receptive to Tarde’s ideas, even if he was quick to criticize them (Vogt 1979). Similarly, François Simiand rejects the works of the author of Les Lois de l’imitation. Having an interest, like Tarde, in economic questions, he penned a highly schematic summary of Tarde’s Psychologie économique, which he ends with a serious critique: “the arrangement of subject matter (in Tarde’s book) is very free, unconsciously so, I believe, and very eccentric.” Overall, the theoretical framework is weak and inconsistent (Simiand 1905, 461). Of all the Durkheimians, Simiand was no doubt the least open to Tarde’s ideas. Thus, in his summary of Suicide he questions the importance that Durkheim gives to discussing Tarde’s theory. “Whatever the reputation of Mr. Tarde,” he writes, “it is an exaggeration to maintain that any sociological study must devote a chapter to showing why imitation is not the universal principle of sociological explanation—​that goes without saying, if the study is a serious one” (Simiand 1898). Rare are the volumes of L’Année sociologique where the name of Tarde is not mentioned. For the most part it is Bouglé who takes it upon himself to summarize the writings of Tarde. In the very first issue of L’Année sociologique, Bouglé takes a particularly severe stance against Tarde. “Those who hope for the constitution of a truly scientific sociology will find no comfort in this seductive mishmash of ideas and dreams that characterizes L’Opposition universelle” (Bouglé 1898, 116). Yet, according to Bouglé, Tarde has the merit of showing clearly how social facts distinguish themselves from individual facts, and from biological facts in particular. It remains true that, for the sociologist from Sarlat, “the individual is the alpha and the omega of his system” (Bouglé 1899, 150). However, Bouglé observes, in science one starts from the general to arrive at the particular, and not the reverse. For that reason it is difficult to justify this “ultra-​individualistic” sociology (Bouglé 1899, 151).

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For his part Paul Lapie, in writing about Tarde’s work Les transformations du pouvoir (which he admits contains some “ingenious ideas”), takes Tarde to task for not drawing a strict distinction between psychology and sociology (Lapie 1900, 360), and for thereby suggesting that “the social is merely the psychological propagated by imitation” (Lapie 1900, 358). In 1896, Célestin Bouglé published his first book, entitled Les sciences sociales en Allemagne (The Social Sciences in Germany). The authors—​von Jhering, Wagner, Lazarus, Simmel—​whose works he discusses there are not, he tells us, “either pure philosophers or pure historians” (1896, 142)  and, despite their divergences, they have all made a great effort to specify the role of psychology. On this basis, Bouglé thinks that French sociology can draw some lessons from the German case. In France, positivism had sought to detach sociology from psychology, which “was suspect:  it was accused of not providing positive facts […]. There was a fear that, if it were left in the system of sciences, it would open the door to spiritualist metaphysics” (1896, 143). Using biological analogies, Gustave Le Bon had merely described and classified human groupings—​he was not sufficiently interested in their psychology. This was not the case with Tarde, who was constantly trying to link psychology to sociology, in which attempt he attracted fierce criticism from the Durkheimians. “His psychology will lead him to recognize, as do most German authors, the provisional and external nature of biological comparisons” (1896, 146). For Gabriel Tarde, societies are explained not by laws of evolution but by a series of interactions. “What is called evolution is usually no more than the propagation of imitations or an outcome of inventions” (Bouglé 1896, 147). In this way Tarde stands in opposition to Durkheim, for whom an objective sociology must necessarily banish psychology, which belongs to the field of the subjective. Célestin Bouglé opposes this vision of things and takes the side of Tarde. For Durkheim, he explains, “the essential nature of the social fact, which is to be a constraint, prevents us from reducing it to the individual facts of consciousness. Society is not just a certain state of mind. But where, one may then ask, does that society exist? We must recognize that Mr. Durkheim’s method seems at first glance to bring us back to realism, and it is natural that his critics have compared it to the method of the scholastics” (1896, 150–​151). Here, Bouglé is much closer to Tarde than to Durkheim. “Without psychological life, there can be no social life” (1896, 151). In contrast to Tarde, Durkheim sees everything as happening according to a mechanical necessity. He thus denies any place for desire and individual action. He claims that “the division of labor cannot be explained by the action of a desire, such as the desire for happiness, but shows us that in fact men are not, indeed cannot be, any happier” (Bouglé 1896, 154). He contents himself with saying that the division of labor is

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explained by the growing volume and density of societies. Bouglé rejects this mechanistic explanation and reiterates, following Tarde, that volume and density are always born of human needs and desires. We may wonder then, Bouglé says, whether “by treating social phenomena as external things we are not missing their very essence” (1896, 155–​156). Bouglé is however in agreement with Durkheim when he seeks to discard “the sentimental suggestions of scientific research” (1896, 165). After Tarde’s death in 1904, Bouglé paid homage to him the following year in the Revue de Paris. He begins by retracing the broad stages of Tarde’s life, stressing his importance in the development of sociology. In contrast to Durkheim, Tarde had little sympathy for Comte and was more drawn to Cournot (Bouglé 1905, 200). He applies to the social world two ideas that he borrows from medicine: the idea of contagion and the idea of suggestion. “Modern medicine seizes upon contagion to explain an ever-​g rowing number of phenomena. We used to represent diseases as lurking within the organism, which carried the germs with it; it took only an external stimulus for them to develop spontaneously. Today we know that most diseases are imported: they penetrate our bodies from the outside; after wandering about for some time, the germs are transmitted to the healthy organism from an organism that is already sick. In epidemics themselves the physician again sees the effect of propagation: he traces the invisible agent which passes from body to body. In an analogous manner, Tarde seeks to account for all social phenomena by ideas that circulate from mind to mind” (Bouglé 1905, 297–​298). A better summary of Tarde’s thinking would be hard to find. In the competition between Durkheimian sociology and that of Tarde, each claimed a monopoly in explaining social phenomena through the example of the natural sciences. But there cannot be only one sociology (Boudon 2000). This conflict reveals one of the dilemmas of sociology which, since its birth, has swung between an individualist approach and a collectivist approach which, thanks to the Durkheimian school, was triumphant. The history of the sciences shows, however, that a theoretical program will not always disappear completely from a discipline just because it has been refuted; it does not die, and it may well reappear. The work of Gabriel Tarde provides a striking example of this possibility.

References Aubin, A. 1903. Review of G.  Tarde, La réalité sociale, L’Année sociologique (1901–​1902) 4, 130–​132. Berr, H. 1953 [1911]. La synthèse en histoire:  son rapport avec la synthèse générale. Paris:  Albin Michel.

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Boudon, R. 2000. Études sur les sociologues classiques, II. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 247–​272. Bouglé, C. 1898. Review of G. Tarde, L’Opposition universelle, L’Année sociologique (1896–​1897) 1, 111–​116. —​—​—​1899. Review of G.  Tarde, Les Lois sociales, L’Année sociologique (1897–​1898) 2, 147–​152. —​—​—​ 1904. La Démocratie devant la science:  études critiques sur l’hérédité, la concurrence et la différenciation. Paris: Félix Alcan. —​—​—​1905. “Un sociologue individualiste: Gabriel Tarde,” Revue de Paris, 3, 294–​316. Clark, T. N. 1969. Gabriel Tarde: On Communication and Social Influence. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Dauriac, L. 1906. “La philosophie de Gabriel Tarde,” L’Année philosophique, 16, 149–​169. Durkheim, É. 1888. “Suicide et natalité. Étude de statistique morale,” Revue philosophique, 26, 446–​463. —​—​—​. 1906. Review of G.  Tarde, L’Interpsychologie, L’Année sociologique ( 1904–​1905) 7, 133–​135. —​—​—​. 1969 [1897]. Le Suicide. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Fournier, M. 2007. Émile Durkheim (1858–​1917). Paris: Fayard. Karsenti, B. 2003. “L’imitation. Retour sur le débat entre Tarde et Durkheim,” in C. Chauvire et A. Ogien (dir.), La Régularité. Habitude, disposition et savoir-​faire. Paris: EHESS, 183–​205. Lapie, P. 1900. Review of G. Tarde, Les transformations du pouvoir, L’Année sociologique (1898–​ 1899) 3, 356–​362. Lubek, I. 1981. “Histoire de psychologies sociales perdues: le cas de Gabriel Tarde,” Revue française de sociologie, 22, 373–​377. Lukes, S. 1973. Émile Durkheim, His Life and Work: A Historical and Critical Study. London: Penguin. Martin, T. 1996. Probabilités et critique philosophique selon Cournot. Paris: Vrin. Milet, J. 1970. Gabriel Tarde et la philosophie de l’histoire. Paris: Vrin. Simiand, F. 1898. Review of É. Durkheim, Le Suicide, Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale, 641–​645. —​—​—​. 1905. Review of G. Tarde, Psychologie économique, L’Année sociologique ( 1903–​1904) 6, 459–​461. Tarde, G. 1894. Les transformations du droit: étude sociologique. Paris: Félix Alcan. —​—​—​. 1895a. Essais et mélanges sociologiques. Lyon and Paris: Storck/​Masson. —​—​—​. 1895b. “Criminalité et santé sociale,” Revue philosophique, 39, 148–​162. —​—​—​. 1898a. Études de psychologie sociale. Paris: Giard et Brière. —​—​—​. 1898b. Les lois sociales: esquisse d’une sociologie. Paris: Félix Alcan. —​—​—​. 1899. Les transformations du pouvoir. Paris: Félix Alcan. —​—​—​. 1901. L’opinion et la foule. Paris: Félix Alcan. —​—​—​. 1902. Psychologie économique, 2 tomes. Paris: Félix Alcan. —​—​—​. 1904 [1879]. Fragments d’histoire future. Lyon: Storck. —​—​—​. 1902 [1886]. La criminalité comparée. Paris: Félix Alcan. —​—​—​. 1903 [1890a]. La philosophie pénale. Paris: A. Maloine. —​—​—​. 1962 [1890b]. The Laws of Imitation. Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith. —​—​—​. 1999a [1893]. La logique sociale. Paris:  Institut Synthélabo:  Les empêcheurs de tourner en rond. —​—​—​. 1999b [1897]. L’opposition universelle. Paris: Institut Synthélabo, Les empêcheurs de tourner en rond.

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—​—​—​. 2000. “Contre Durkheim,” texte inédit et présenté par P. Besnard et M. Borlandi, in M. Borlandi et M. Cherkaoui, Le Suicide, un siècle après Durkheim. Paris:  Presses Universitaires de France. —​—​—​. 2002. Philosophie de l’histoire et science sociale:  la philosophie de Cournot, édition et présentation de Thierry Martin. Paris: Institut Synthélabo, Les empêcheurs de penser en rond/​Le Seuil. Vogt, P. 1979. “Un durkheimien ambivalent: Célestin Bouglé,” Revue française de sociologie, 20 (1), 123–​139.

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Chapter 8 FROM THE PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY TO SOCIAL SCIENCE: GABRIEL TARDE, READER OF COURNOT Thierry Martin

Gabriel Tarde nurtured a special relationship with the work of Antoine Augustin Cournot. Tarde’s writings testify not only to his detailed knowledge and profound admiration for the work of the philosopher, but also to his interest in Cournot’s mathematical writings and economic research. When he published Les lois de l’imitation in 1890, Tarde dedicated the book to Cournot, specifying that he was not his pupil, nor even his disciple. As a matter of fact, he never actually met him. Observing that Cournot was little known during his lifetime—​and hardly any better known after his death—​he explained his dedication by describing Cournot as “this Sainte-​Beuve of the philosophical critique, this mind that was as original as it was judicious, as encyclopaedic and comprehensive as it was perceptive, this profound geometrician, this outstanding logician, this avant-​garde economist, little-​known precursor of the new economists; in a word, this clear-​cut, concentrated, refined version of Auguste Comte” (Tarde 1890, XXIV). This is, of course, a condensed expression of Tarde’s opinion of Cournot, but the apparently excessive nature of the phrase and the eulogistic style are nevertheless astonishing. And it may seem equally surprising, at first glance, that Tarde should pay such emphatic homage to Cournot and refer so constantly to his thinking, given the distance between them. Not only does the sociologist from Sarlat often choose different subjects of study to the philosopher from Franche-​Comté, but above all, the orientations of their thinking are fundamentally divergent. On the other hand, however laudatory Tarde’s different appraisals of Cournot’s work may be, they are clearly not the product of blind admiration; they are accompanied by reservations and criticisms, which give them more precision and depth.

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The problem then arises of understanding the foundation of Tarde’s admiration for the philosophy of Cournot, not with regard to any one particular aspect of his doctrine, but his philosophy as a whole, in its principles and approach. And at the same time, we must endeavor to reveal the basis of Tarde’s reservations and criticisms. In seeking to comprehend Tarde’s relation to Cournot in this way, not as Jean Milet or Amédée Matagrin have done in the fields of the philosophy of history (Milet 1970, ch.2) and social psychology (Matagrin 1910), respectively, but from a global perspective, we can draw on a particularly appropriate resource. Elected to the Chair of Philosophy of the Collège de France in 1900, Tarde gave lectures between December 6, 1902, and April 4, 1903, in which he developed an analysis of Cournot’s philosophical ideas. Several of these lectures were published in the form of separate articles between 1903 and 1905,1 but the course in its entirety was only published in 2003, under the title Philosophie de l’histoire et science sociale (Tarde 2003). Our commentary on this course, which Tarde considered publishing as a book, according to his son Alfred, will be the guiding thread for our analysis of Tarde’s reading of Cournot. The course provides us with information not only about how Tarde understood Cournot’s philosophy but also about his interpretation of the philosophical movement of the nineteenth century—​notably the thinking of Auguste Comte, which he compared with that of Cournot—​ and about his representation of scientific development, mainly in the social sciences. Tarde praised the range and precision of Cournot’s scientific culture. Thus, he affirmed (Tarde 2003, 85) that Cournot’s Traité of 1861 and the Essai de critique générale by Renouvier were the only two works of the time to encompass in an encyclopaedic manner “all of the natural sciences and social sciences.” But in Tarde’s view, what sets Cournot apart is not so much the wealth of his knowledge as the originality of his thinking. He indicated this from the very first page of his lecture course, the object of which, he said, was to study “the result of his long, solitary and independent meditations,” the fruit of his “free and strong thinking.” He argued that the originality of Cournot’s thought allowed him to escape from a double subordination to the philosophies that dominated the French philosophical landscape at that time: first, the eclectic philosophy of Victor Cousin; second, and above all, the positivism of Auguste 1 The following four articles were published separately: (1) “Augustin Cournot” Annales de l’Institut international de sociologie, X, 1903, 87–​104; (2)  “La notion de hasard chez Cournot,” Revue de philosophie, Paris, 1904, 497–​515; (3)  “La philosophie sociale de Cournot,” Bulletin de la société française de philosophie, August 1903, 207–​230; (4) “L’accident et le rationnel en histoire,” Revue de métaphysique et de morale, May 1905, n3, 319–​347.

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Comte. “His doctrine,” wrote Tarde (Tarde 2003, 3), “is the only one that, in the date of its formation and in its very nature, can be considered independent from that of the great French sociologist.” This originality and independence stem from the intellectual acuity of Cournot, revealed by the pertinence of his opinions and the wisdom of his criticism. According to Tarde, Cournot displayed a soundness of judgment that enabled him to perceive sociopolitical evolutions or future scientific developments long before their actual appearance. This was the case in biology, where Cournot anticipated Darwinism in some ways (Tarde 2003, 30; 95–​96). In this text, Tarde repeated an interpretation that he had previously developed in Monadologie et sociologie, where he remarked that the idea of evolution through sudden change, or evolution “by leaps and bounds,” as he called it, had already been “indicated and predicted, many years ago, in the perspicacious writings of Cournot” (Tarde 1893, 320). This was also the case, of course, in economics, where it must be noted that this perspicacity is not limited to the use of mathematics (Tarde 2003, 182; 130); in teaching, where, wrote Tarde, Cournot “probes, with admirable sagacity, with a lucid intuition of the difficulties with which we are struggling, the relations between science and religion, between the State and the Church, in terms of education, and the causes of their conflicts” (Tarde 2003, 7–​8), and above all in psychology (Tarde 2003, 44–​45) and sociology where, according to Tarde, Cournot had, through the concept of “training,” foreseen the social role of imitation (Tarde 2003, 106) and where his philosophy of history was an embryonic form of sociology (Tarde 2003, 100–​101). Tarde designated this acuity by means of an expression that he used repeatedly to describe Cournot:  he had a penetrative mind. He had already made this observation in 1880 in the article “La croyance et le désir” (“Belief and desire”), where he asserted that Cournot was “infinitely more penetrative than conclusive, more skillful at handling the scales of justice than the sword” (Tarde 1893, 285) and again in 1886 in La criminalité comparée (Tarde 1907, 62), where he paid homage to the perspicacity of “Cournot, the penetrative critic” who had recognized as early as 1838, when he published “Mémoire sur les applications du calcul des chances à la statistique judiciaire,” the future fruitfulness of criminal statistics. This was a point on which Tarde placed more particular emphasis: “Cournot, who had more of a critical than an organising mind, who was more inclined to luminous and penetrating analysis than ambitious synthesis, never felt the need to dogmatize science or to elevate his doctrine into a cult” (Tarde 2003, 7). Tarde took up this contrast between a dogmatic, synthetic approach and an analytic, critical approach when he considered the respective attitudes of Comte and Cournot toward metaphysics, or more precisely with respect to

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the analysis of the foundations of our knowledge: “In one respect,” he wrote (Tarde 2003, 2), “metaphysics is the critical analysis of the fundamental ideas of the sciences, of their tools; in another respect, it is a hypothetical synthesis of scientific theories, a systematic imagination. Now, Comte was a metaphysician in the second sense; he overflowed with the synthetic faculty, which is relatively weak in Cournot; but on the other hand, Comte never criticised the concepts he used, and Cournot did more than anyone else, to my knowledge, to advance this criticism, this necessary analysis.” Tarde focused particularly on one remarkable manner of using this critical faculty, namely the fact that Cournot systematically accompanied the formulation of a hypothesis by an assessment of its limitations or its probability. Thus, when presenting Cournot as a pioneer in psychology (Tarde 2003, 47), he wrote: “What I admire most in this pioneer is his wisdom, for he is as circumspect as he is imaginative. He does not expect any more from psychological physiology than it can provide.” Applying this critical rigor to the very concepts with which he built his ideas, Cournot avoided dogmatism, not by opting for a position of compromise, hesitating endlessly between opposing theses without ever reaching a firm conclusion, but more subtly because, as noted above, he indicated the degree of admissibility of ideas at the very moment he used them. So, Tarde wrote (Tarde 2003, 2), “It is impossible to take any greater care than he does in expressing with strict exactitude not only his thought but also the degree of confidence that can be attached to it.” Once again, this is an attitude to which Tarde returned on several occasions. Thus, in La logique sociale, he observed that Cournot was one of the few philosophers who “do not limit themselves to the precise expression of their thoughts, but who endeavor to suggest to the reader the exact level of confidence that they have in those thoughts” (Tarde 1895, 33). And he had already expressed this idea in 1880 in “La croyance et le désir,” where he described the endeavor to specify not only “the precise nuance of one’s thought, but also the level of confidence one has in it” (Tarde 1893, 269) as a rare brand of philosophical integrity. In this Cournot approached the style of thinking of Renan and Sainte-​Beuve, but he differed from them in the rigor of his judgment. The originality of Cournot’s thinking is demonstrated, Tarde affirmed, in the way he succeeded in following a middle path between the dogmatism of Comte and the “soft positivism” of Renan and Sainte-​Beuve: “In contrast to the soft, boneless positivism of Renan and Sainte-​Beuve stands the dogmatic, rigid positivism of Auguste Comte. Cournot was able to combine the subtle flexibility, the shimmering thought of the first two with the structural solidity of a Comte” (Tarde 2003, 8). In brief, Cournot’s thought avoids the opposing pitfalls that Tarde did not fail to condemn: the simplistic dogmatism of a Comte or a Spencer (Tarde 2003, 120) and the hesitant skepticism of a Renan or a Sainte-​Beuve.

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After presenting what one might call the appearance of Cournot’s thought and its general orientation, Tarde undertook to describe the contents and identify the key concepts governing it. One of the fundamental concepts of Cournot’s philosophy is that of the “reason of things” (raison des choses), a concept drawn from his analysis of statistics (Tarde 2003, 33) and necessary for understanding his theory of chance. According to Cournot, it is a matter of distinguishing between the concepts of cause and reason. The cause produces an effect, it generates an outcome, and its explanatory significance goes no further than this relation of production. Attributing a cause to a phenomenon does not mean explaining the nature and the necessity of the link between them, but only affirming that the presence of one leads to the presence of the other. By causality, one identifies the source, not the mode of production. The reason of things, on the other hand, cannot be reduced to the driving force or productive cause; as its name suggests, it is that which gives reason, that is, the principle that explains the order and sequence of the objects in question, whether they be ideas or phenomena, in other words whether one considers the field of intellectual truths or that of perceptible objects. And bringing to light this principle requires a rational analysis, which goes beyond simple observation of the empirical facts, but cannot be reduced to a classification based on more or less arbitrary principles. Analysis of the reason of things consists, on the contrary, in discovering the effective relations of subordination and dependence between different phenomena. In Cournot’s terms, the purpose of this analysis is to identify the rational order, which must be distinguished from a simply logical order. The former reproduces the interconnections of reality, whereas the latter constitutes an artificial ordering performed for the sake of simplification and in keeping with the discursive requirements of our understanding. However, Tarde remarked, if discovering the reason of things means providing the explanation for them, this concept involves the relation between the explaining and the explained, and this relation is liable to receive various different forms:  relation of belonging, causal relation, chain of deduction, or relation of the means to the end, to such an extent that there is not one rationality, but several reasons of things. When one speaks of the reason of things instead of precisely identifying the explanatory relation involved, one is therefore limiting oneself to a global, indistinct view, either voluntarily or by necessity. Thus, wrote Tarde, “in those many cases where we cannot specify the nature of the relation that connects two sorts of events […], we are nevertheless permitted to say that one of these events considered en bloc gives the reason of the others” (Tarde 2003, 32–​33). The concept of the reason of things, drawn, as we have seen, from statistical analysis, illustrates the ambivalence of Cournot’s perspicacity: it did enable

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him to foresee the explanatory power of methods that only later revealed their full significance, but for Tarde, it also prevented him from paying sufficient attention to the singularity of phenomena, which is the real site of the exercise of causality. Thus, Tarde explained, Cournot “was one of the first to sense the immense significance of statistics, that is to say arithmetic applied to social events, and to interpret the results. This method, which is indeed productive when restricted to its own domain, was detrimental in that it diverted him from seeking, in the detail of events, the elegant formulas, the specious laws that he believed should emerge from the masses of events confusedly jumbled together by the statistician, by virtue of the law of large numbers” (Tarde 2003, 108). For Tarde, Cournot was certainly aware of this shortcoming in his conception of the reason of things (p. 88). Nevertheless, by invoking a rational dependence, we run the risk of falsely attributing to reality characteristics that derive solely from that globalizing and generalizing perspective from which our minds apprehend it. Cournot, then, carried away by his “Leibnizian idealism” (Tarde 2003, 32), was unable to avoid this pitfall, the consequences of which were to be found throughout his philosophy. Like Leibniz, Cournot attached to the idea of continuity over that of discontinuity. “Continuity is the rule,” Cournot wrote, “and discontinuity the exception, in the intellectual and moral order as well as the physical order” (Cournot 1975, 243). However, Tarde objected that continuity is no more than the misleading appearance presented by phenomena, which are in reality discontinuous, when they are observed from far away. Thus, he wrote, “Sociology, like biology, started with vague and vast conceptions, the panoramas of philosophers of history, which, like all panoramas, lend a false air of continuity to human groups perceived from afar and en masse” (Tarde 2003, 64). Refusing to descend into the “detail of events,” that is to say to the level of individual causes (which are the only real causes), the philosophy of history preferred to speak of those “continuous and schematic curves that are called general trends, inevitability, the current of progress, etc.” (Tarde 2003, 65). “But,” according to Tarde, “I have the well-​founded hope that as it progresses, social science will rid itself of these provisional notions, useful for a time but now burdensome, and that it will focus increasingly on explanations drawn from individual initiatives and from the inter-​mental actions through which those initiatives are propagated. Seen from a distance, this imitative propagation of a set of inventions that have transformed a science or an art may give the impression of something homogeneous that spreads with continuity; seen from close up, it turns into the distinct actions of original agents, each with their own specific face and physiognomy.” According to Tarde, the idea of continuity has a psychological origin, because it is based on the

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continuity of time, which is, he specified, “the external projection of the self through the variations of its successive states” (Tarde 2003, 70). The predominance that he attributed to discontinuity over continuity derived partly from recent developments in physical chemistry and psychology which, according to Tarde, operated in favor of this reversal, and partly from the metaphysical assumption that identifies continuity with uniformity on the one side, and discontinuity with variety on the other—​continuity being the form in which identical repetition manifests itself, and discontinuity marking, on the contrary, diversity and wealth:  “Continuity means uniformity, homogeneity” (Tarde 2003, 60), because “diversity, not uniformity, lies at the heart of things.” One might then say that continuity is a sign of death and discontinuity a sign of life. This is where the fundamental divergence between Tarde and Cournot appears. If one accepts Tarde’s interpretation of the concept of the reason of things, it can no longer denote, as Cournot intended, the product of the intellectual operation by which reason gains access to the order of reality that organizes the relations between things; it is the make-​do solution by which, in the absence of the appropriate conceptual instruments, the pre-​scientific mind attempts to comprehend these relations. As a consequence, the way that Tarde conceived the distinction between science and philosophy cannot be reconciled with that of Cournot. For Cournot, philosophy, endeavoring to bring to light the reason of things, investigates the significance of the hypotheses and results produced by the sciences, and thus evaluates their relation to reality, so that philosophy and the sciences are closely and necessarily tied together. For Tarde, on the contrary, the answers that philosophy provides to the questions it raises are incomplete and provisional solutions, destined to give way to scientific explanations when these latter reach maturity. Tarde’s representation is expressed particularly clearly on the subject of the transition from what was still a philosophy of history, in Cournot’s work, to what had become sociology in Tarde’s time. As long as we only consider the overall relations between masses of events when we are trying to explain how some of them give the reason of the others, there is not, according to Tarde, “the least germ of a social science in the strict sense of the term, and Cournot felt this so strongly that he never pronounced the word sociology and never claimed to be anything other than what he really was, and with incomparable ingenuity: a philosopher of history. But these vague and complex glimpses are only really good for giving methodical, truly positive minds the taste for descending into the detail of social events; and if, once they are there, they manage to lay their hands on general laws that govern the repetition of these innumerable minor events, which are reproduced regularly under the action of precise causes, then these laws will dispense with those considerations, these causes will take the place of those reasons, and the social science will be born” (Tarde 2003,

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54, see also, 138).2 In Tarde’s view, the main mistake committed by Cournot in sociology was to believe that structural conditions or “general trends” could produce a result on their own, whereas the only causal power lies at the level of individual wills:  “Cournot shared, […]—​while marking it with his own originality—​the error, at the same time banal and distinguished, of believing that languages, religions, social institutions in general, are eminently impersonal works that cannot be explained solely as the effect of individual ideas, of individual wills, or as the very result of accumulated individual initiatives” (Tarde 2003, 104). However, Cournot was well aware that one or another form of explanation may be necessary, depending on the case considered, since he emphasized, on the contrary, the plurality of explanatory keys and levels of penetration of reality, with a given concept or explanatory principle being appropriate for one phenomenon, but not for another.3 But according to Cournot, the explanation must always try to bring to light the rational order, over and above the logical order; in other words it must seek to attain something that does not derive from a particular disposition of our ability to know, but from the very nature of things. Behind this divergence of interpretation looms the opposition between the probabilistic realism or what has been called the “critical realism”4 of Cournot, for whom the explanation is generally to be sought in the domain of the structure, for example in the philosophy of history where it is a question, he specified, of updating not the cause of events, but their reason, namely “the usually passive resistance, the conditions of structure and form that prevail, over the long term and in all events, over the causes in the strict sense of the term, which come into play with the mode of activity that is specific to them, in the production of each particular event” (Cournot 1973, 15–​16) and the psychological conception of Tarde, for whom the real causes are situated at the level of individuals and their personal initiatives, at the level of the “profound and fleeting singularity of people.” The distinction between the concepts of cause and reason is necessary to the construction of the theory of chance, because for Cournot, an event is fortuitous when it is without reason, but not without cause. Events are most often produced by several causes, themselves produced by other causes, thus 2 Tarde had already made this distinction in 1890 (14):  “Social science must concern itself exclusively, like any other science, on multiple, similar facts, carefully hidden by the historians; new, dissimilar facts—​historical facts in the strict sense of the term—​are the domain reserved for social philosophy.” 3 On this point, see Saint-​Sernin, 1998, ch. VIII. 4 See De la Harpe, 1936.

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organized into a network of causal series. The event will be considered fortuitous if the combined causes of its production are not connected, and therefore if the action of one cause does not have its reason in the action of another. In the opposite case, the causes are connected with each other essentially and not accidentally. In other words, the relation that connects them is a necessary relation. It was therefore, as Tarde said, the idea of universal interconnectedness that Cournot was contesting, rather than determinism, because chance is the opposite of necessity, not of causality. This representation does not, despite what its critics have claimed, entail the actual existence of strictly independent causal series, but only the absence of full determinism that freezes all phenomena within an absolute necessitarianism.5 Doubtless, everything in the universe is connected, or as Cournot put it, “the natural phenomena, tied to each other, form a network of which all the parts adhere to each other, but,” he added, “neither in the same manner nor to the same degree” (Cournot 1975, 81). Consequently, an event will be more or less fortuitous according to the share of accident involved in its production. Thenceforth, if we agree with Cournot that phenomena are not all tied by necessary relations in such a way that all the movements occurring in the universe can in theory, if not in practice, be deduced from one single theorem, then we must recognize the existence of objective chance, operating at the level of the phenomena themselves and compatible with the scientifically necessary affirmation of determinism. Now, it is precisely this objectivity which, in Tarde’s view, causes difficulty. Taking up the criticism developed by Henri Piéron in an article in the Revue de métaphysique et de morale in 1902 (Piéron 1902), he sought to introduce into the definition of chance an element of subjective finality that Cournot, on the contrary, had endeavored to expunge. Tarde did not deny the existence of causes or causal series that are relatively or even absolutely independent. On the contrary, he believed that this was the essential contribution of Cournot’s theory of chance, although he shied away from the consequences implied by this theory. But for Tarde, this accidentality is not sufficient to define chance. It is also necessary for the accident to come, as if despite itself, and satisfy or thwart a desire or wish. Chance, he wrote, is “the involuntary simulating the voluntary” (Tarde 2003, 41). Here, Tarde was following in a long tradition that reaches back at least as far as Aristotle, and which attributes two characteristics of a psychological nature to chance: surprise and agreement or disagreement with our intentions. In this perspective, chance only exists for an event which, although unintentional, either furthers or impedes our designs. Considered in this way, chance is a blind force presenting itself under the guise of purpose, and consequently provoking our surprise. 5 See Martin 1996, ch. IV.

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We can now see more clearly that behind his analysis of the Cournotian concept of the reason of things and behind his analysis of chance, Tarde’s criticisms were motivated by the same orientation of thought. The distinction between accidental and essential, he wrote, “amounts to that between variation and repetition” (Tarde 2003, 38). If Tarde took up the Cournotian idea of the independence of causal series, it was because he saw it as the necessary condition for the development of variations, of the differences that constitute the wealth and diversity of reality. And if he criticized the abstraction of the concept of the reason of things, it was in the name of this same variety of modes of relation between phenomena, of course, but also and above all between individuals. Finally, the most fertile source of this wealth and constant newness lies in the diversity of individuals and their creative power. Thus, in 1899, Tarde affirmed that although Cournot had clearly defined history as a mixture of rational elements and accidental elements, “he did not say what these accidental elements consisted in; he was unaware of their specific nature, which is that of being individual initiatives” (Tarde 1899, IX). This helps to explain why Tarde contested the biological metaphor used by Cournot to consider social phenomena—​although he did acknowledge that as such, this metaphor was well thought out by Cournot, and used in an unexaggerated manner—​a psychological type of explanation. For example, to mark the distinction between the organic development followed by art and the cumulative progression specific to science and industry, Cournot contrasted living things, which undergo birth, life and death, on the one hand, and everything that benefits from indefinite progress and duration on the other. But for Tarde, Cournot did not know the real difference between these two movements, which lies between evolution by individual invention, by the creativity of genius, and development by imitation, which results from instruction (Tarde 2003, 135). We can also understand why Tarde did not share Cournot’s representation of the movement of history, in which history displays a general trend towards increasing rationalization, and therefore increasing fossilization. According to this theory, history is the product of a tension between the living (and therefore mortal) forces of the social organisms that are local and regional particularities, customs and traditions, the strictly historical data on the one hand, and the factors of rational, uniform, fixed organization on the other, stemming from the development of science and industry and forming what Cournot called “civilisation in the strict sense of the term,” which he distinguished from civilizations. Since the living forces decline and the elements of civilization benefit from indefinite duration and progress, societies tend towards a state of relative stability “where the elements of civilisation in the strict sense of the term, having gained a dominant influence over the other elements of human nature

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with respect to the organisation of societies […], all the original distinctions tend to fade, the very influence of historical precedents tends to weaken, and the society tends to organise itself, like a beehive, following almost geometrical conditions” (Cournot 1982, 484). Tarde could not accept this theory for two reasons. First, he saw it as a difficulty, or even a contradiction, within Cournot’s thought, because it conflicted with his representation of historical chance, and second, because in the face of social problems, Tarde believed that “it is up to the accidental, the individual, the ingenious to choose” (Tarde 2003, 146). It is not that history, for Tarde, can be reduced to a chaotic succession of vagaries out of which no order, and therefore no intelligibility, could emerge. But where Cournot thought he detected a movement of weakening of the vital forces, leading social existence to a post-​historic phase of relative stability, one should rather, Tarde explained, perceive the action of the social logic (Tarde 2003, 175–​180) which “works to harmonise the social elements” by means of imitative similarity, and the orientation of which he summarised thus: “just as the individual mind always seeks […], without always succeeding, to move from a less logical state to a more logical state, from a more changeable and inconsistent state to a more harmonious and stable state—​so what we might call the collective mind, that is to say the group of minds gathered together in a society, also and ceaselessly endeavours to move from a state of relative conflict to a state of relative agreement. And it is, in the same way, through a series of logical duels or couplings that this social trend occurs” (Tarde 2003, 176). But first, this phase of relative equilibrium is not a final state; it is a transitory stage to which the emergence of new problems or conflicts is sure to put an end, and, second, it cannot be taken as the triumph of reason over chance—​ even if, for Cournot, there is nothing glorious or joyful about this triumph6—​ but its real, that is to say psychological, significance varies according to the particular problems and solutions that the social logic has had to contend with to achieve this evolution (Tarde 2003, 181). Does this movement from Cournot to Tarde lead, as the latter would have it, from the philosophy of history to social science? This question requires more detailed examination. One might argue, like Robert Leroux, that Cournot’s reflection on social phenomena is already that of a sociologist 6 Cournot specified in the Traité (Cournot 1982, 304) that “what is strictly called a progressive civilisation is not, as has often been said, the triumph of mind over matter […], but rather the triumph of the rational and general principles of things over the energy and qualities specific to the living organism, which has many drawbacks alongside many advantages,” which is why, he was to write in Cournot 1979, III, § 1, if society is governed “more rationally,” it is in no way governed “more reasonably.”

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(Leroux 2004). And it cannot be denied that Cournot and Tarde are both authentic philosophers. Mistrusting all simplistic dogmatism, they shared the same exacting requirement, both epistemological and ethical, for truth. And it is this shared desire to address the complexity of reality without imposing a simplifying framework on it that brings them together. More than a relationship of spiritual paternity or of master and disciple, the two thinkers are thus connected by a bond of fraternity.

References Cournot, A.-​A. 1838. “Mémoire sur les applications du calcul des chances à la statistique judiciaire,” Journal de Mathématiques pures et appliquées, III, 257–​334. —​—​—​. 1973. Considérations sur la marche des idées et des événements dans les temps modernes (1872). Paris: Vrin. —​—​—​. 1975. Essai sur les fondements de nos connaissances et sur les caractères de la critique philosophique (1851). Paris: Vrin. —​—​—​. 1979. Matérialisme, vitalisme, rationalisme. Études sur l’emploi des données de la science en philosophie (1875). Paris: Hachette. —​—​—​. 1982. Traité de l’enchaînement des idées fondamentales dans les sciences et dans l’histoire (1861). Paris: Vrin. De la Harpe, J. 1936. De l’ordre et du hasard. Le réalisme critique d’Antoine Augustin Cournot. Neuchâtel: Mémoires de l’Université de Neuchâtel. Leroux, R. 2004. Cournot sociologue. Paris: PUF. Martin, T. 1996. Probabilités et critique philosophique selon Cournot. Paris: Vrin. Matagrin, A. 1910. La psychologie sociale de Gabriel Tarde. Paris: Alcan. Milet, J. 1970. Gabriel Tarde et la philosophie de l’histoire. Paris: Vrin. Piéron, H. 1902. “Essai sur le hasard. La psychologie d’un concept,” Revue de métaphysique et de morale, 682–​695. Saint-​Sernin, B. 1998. Cournot. Le réalisme. Paris: Vrin. Tarde, G. 1880. “La croyance et le désir,” Revue philosophique de la France et de l’Étranger, 150–​ 180; 264–​283. —​—​—​. 1890. Les lois de l’imitation. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​. 1893. Essais et mélanges sociologiques. Lyon: A. Storck. —​—​—​. 1895. La logique sociale. Paris: Félix Alcan. —​—​—​. 1899. Les transformations du pouvoir. Paris, Félix Alcan. —​—​—​. 1903a. “Augustin Cournot,” Annales de l’Institut International de Sociologie, X, 87–​104. —​—​—​. 1903b. “La philosophie sociale de Cournot,” Bulletin de la Société Française de Philosophie, 207–​230. —​—​—​. 1904. “La notion de hasard chez Cournot,” Revue de philosophie, 497–​515. —​—​—​. 1905. “L’accident et le rationnel en histoire,” Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale, 3, 319–​347. —​—​—​. 1907. La criminalité compare, 6th ed. (1886). Paris: Félix Alcan. —​—​—​. 2003. Philosophie de l’histoire et science sociale. La philosophie de Cournot, T. Martin, ed. Paris: Les empêcheurs de penser en rond.

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Chapter 9 TARDE AND SIMMEL ON SOCIABILITY AND UNSOCIABILITY David Toews

I should only like to bring out for my contemporaries, who might very well fail to notice them (for we barely observe what we have always before our eyes), the distinctive and original features of this modern civilisation of which we are so justly proud […] Secluded from every influence of the natural milieu into which it was hitherto plunged and confined, the social milieu was for the first time able to reveal and display its true virtues. (Brereton and Tarde 2010)

At the height of fashion for anxiety about modern life Gabriel Tarde publishes a short fictional entry, Underground Man. The sun, that great image of external benevolence and illumination, is gone. Society fearfully at first passes into a new era of troglodytism. Finding their illusion of dependence upon natural resources dissipated, the new cave-​dwellers discover that the problem of survival has been transformed. The people are finally confronted with invention as “pure social experiment”: creativity in the service only of how to get along with each other without excuses, without alibis, and especially without the crutch of exploiting or sacrificing nature. The key to modern life has become both simpler and more complex, as it now revolves less around the enablements and constraints brought by our power to extend our actions over against nature symbolized by the term technology, and more around the dynamics and vicissitudes of sociability, a “strange ideal” to “touch one another at each and every instant through multiple communications” (Tarde quoted in Lazzarato 2006, 181; see also Clark 1969, 57, in Tarde 2011; Toews 2013). I intend to bring Tarde’s theoretical perspective and his theory of modern sociability—​one of the keys to his thought—​into sharper relief by contrasting him specifically with Simmel. Simmel’s article, “Sociability’ ” is seminal in sociology and sets a standard against which to illuminate Tarde’s contribution.

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The two thinkers were contemporaries, aware of and responsive to each other’s work. I will draw widely from the relevant works of both thinkers as I will demonstrate the centrality of sociability for both thinkers and draw a fundamental contrast in order to highlight what is specifically significant about Tarde’s view of this phenomenon. As we shall see, Simmel views sociability as a mechanism with essentially one purpose, that of unifying people through behaviors modelled on art and play. Culture in a wider sense is for Simmel a product of the social psychology of modern life that is guided by the ideal of human civilization, the surpassing of nature via technology. Sociability goes some of the way (along with other profoundly unifying forms of interaction, he argues, such as conflict) toward counter-​acting the tragedy of the alienation of modern individuals from their cultural systems of meaning-​making. In contrast, Tarde’s idea of the modern shift is more radical: “civilization,” laudable as the idea may have been, ought to “disappear for the benefit of mankind” (21). The new civilization of modernity involves technology shifting to the service of sociability in a direct way so as to forge a way of being together that is not dependent on dominating nature. It evinces a continuous tactical necessity for actors to be flexible in adopting multiple attitudes towards multiple others. He thus incorporates both sociability and unsociability into the meaning of modernity, emphasizing engagement and avoidance as both needed by actors, frequently simultaneously. I will conclude by pointing out the close relevance of Tarde’s conception for the complex dynamics introduced by the incorporation of social media in today’s social life. Simmel’s essay “Sociability” is a seminal work in sociology. In it, Simmel defines the problem as the extent of self-​regulation necessary for an individual to have agency amidst the pressures of “all the with-​one-​another, for-​one-​ another, in-​one-​another, against-​one-​another, and through-​one-​another” that sway a person in social life (Simmel, 1972, 127; 130). All these forms of association Simmel describes as motivated by definite interests. In gymnastics, a man is interested in performing a routine without mistakes. In the corporate world, a woman’s interest lies in making a profit, and so on. These individuals’ interests keep them on a track of concentration that forms a restraint over them akin to what Giddens calls recursive social practices (1991). Their only route to having their practices translate into agency lies in associating in a manner that conforms to concentration-​inducing practices within recognizable parameters. There are, as Simmel sees it, however, plenty of occasions when this business-​like association of people acting on definite interests is on hiatus, at which point “this restraint is wanting” (1972, 130). At any point in time where the interests of established practices for whatever reason cease to lay a general claim to the actor’s practices—​that is, when concentration lapses for various reasons—​sociability can be the principal mainspring of practices.

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In Simmel’s view, sociability involves an opportunity to use available appropriate times and spaces to play and to have spontaneous conversation and association primarily for fun, for style and personal development. There are not exactly rules here, though there is order. According to Simmel for sociable association to take place and be maintained it is necessary that actors lay value “on form, good form” (129). Because “no outer or directly egoistic interests provide regulation” what kicks in, as Simmel sees it, is a tact that “guides the self-​regulation of the individual” (130). Moreover, this tact or good form both requires, and is furthered by, a sociability-​inducing environment; appropriate times and spaces are essential for such qualities to develop. Thus, in Simmel’s conception, contrary to common misperceptions, sociability by no means leads to chaos and regression. Despite—​perhaps even because of—​the utterly trivial content of sociable conversations, sociability is, in his formula, the “play-​form of association” (130). The liminality and provisionality of its form of order can lead to significant personal growth. It is as if people who are all business and never sociable cannot experience such development. The realism and closed concentration of business and the art and openness of play form the poles of everyday social experience. Sociability has the important function of revealing their synthesis: “the impulse to sociability distils, as it were, out of the realities of social life the pure essence of association” (128). Sociability in Simmel’s conception is meant to provide for an anti-​dote to the solitariness of a modern life that is often bound up with competition and interests, frequently economic ones. His conception, though, is only made possible by a paradox: attributing to sociability both the principle of play and the principle of social unity. It perhaps may be asked if this is a true paradox, or a theoretical leap, evincing a pure baseline of social action necessary for preserving the theme of tragedy in Simmel’s conception of modernity. The symmetry of Simmel’s worldview seems to require that through some alchemy play and form are conjoined but not conflated. Sociability must have the power to transcend people’s ordinary lives and make possible a sense of style in conversation and self-​presentation, and in so doing, unify and replenish through the fulcrum of its play all the energies of modern life. For Simmel, then, there are rhythms in modern life, appropriate times for serious practice and other times for conviviality. To reserve oneself too much during what ought to be sociable time is to maintain an unhealthy, unbalanced approach to life. However, problems with his theory emerge when one considers some of the sociable activities Simmel envisions. For example, the wearing of fashions is a part of sociable activity. Yet Simmel admits that there is a dynamic of innovation and imitation in the area of fashion that is related to class interests. He avoids the potential contradiction here of “interested sociability” by positing a cyclical movement based on the notion that modern

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preoccupations with style and fashion are indicative of a desire for social differentiation. Social differentiation as conceived by Simmel is not a sustained frenzy. It works within a model in which a fundamental need for social integration is posited. This model requires him, in a manner akin to Bourdieu’s notion of habitus, to portray sociability and pursuits of fashion as a matter of participation, that is, as schemas suggested by the social conditions of class but ultimately as voluntary choices. Of course, here one of the problems that crops up is that to leave an impression of fashion choices as voluntary choices under circumstances in which capitalism forces people to spend most of their energies on productive practices is, of course, to neglect the charge that consumer culture is as intrinsic to capitalism as alienation. And an even more serious charge could here be levelled: that not only is there more of a structural force of capitalism impinging on these dynamics of everyday life than Simmel accounts for, but Simmel’s model locates in sociability in quite an essentialist manner—​as both the play and the form of any association or interaction between people—​the central path to social unity. Rather than pursue these criticisms, I will limit myself here to the aspects of Simmel’s work that illuminate Tarde’s work by contrast. As we shall see, what is relevant in this light is that despite the fact that Simmel attributes something he calls good form and social unity to sociability it remains primarily a spontaneous, voluntary activity in contrast to the obligatory actions one must perform in one’s regular, interested practices. A dichotomy of voluntary versus obligatory characterizes his view of social life and leads to a purist view of sociability as “good form.” Unsociability, by implication, is deviant and chaotic, a fault to be attributed to individuals. This view is reinforced by Simmel’s reliance on neo-​Kantian frames of meaning in his theoretical orientation, particularly his tendency to employ means-​end analyses. Practices are a means to an end. Sociability is an end it itself. This language is mapped directly onto his language of interests: an action that is an end in itself must be a disinterested action. Such language all the more ties Simmel to a principle of strictly exclusive spatio-​temporal separation, and in theoretical terms produces a binary opposition, between sociability and unsociability. The fact that Simmel creates such a dichotomy would be tolerable if he showed an intention to go beyond it. I mention this since elsewhere he makes clear that he was entranced by the fact of boundaries in human life. He elevated them to an almost mystical level. As he put it, “We have boundaries everywhere and always, so accordingly we are boundaries” (1972, 354; author’s emphases). Our striving to transgress and create boundaries manifests our “inner unity of vital action” (1972, 354) as life comes to signify “a continual reaching out beyond itself ” (362). There is thus at least a theoretical possibility

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of seeing the boundary between sociability and unsociability as internalized in subjects, and of breaking this boundary as the ineluctable task of the modern person. Yet the movement he sees seems to be quite the opposite. In his essay “Subordination and Personal Fulfillment” Simmel reiterates a claim he frequently makes, that in modern times we see a splitting of subjective and objective aspects of life, such that “the individual feeling of life grows more psychologically independent of external activity” (341). He claims, in the realm of power, the modern tendency is for hierarchy to be “preserved as a technical-​organizational value which has no personally and internally depressing and degrading consequences” (341). The undecidability of life, I fear, instead of describing a fecund liminality rather describes a fundamental aporia in Simmel’s thought, as in some moments he is the sociologist of definite, separate subjective and objective forms of life, and in others the philosopher of vital transcendence and becoming (Pyyhtinen 2010). When we turn to Tarde’s texts, we can see, at first glance, a similar division of association into voluntary and obligatory forms. Yet, as we shall see, Tarde has no problem including sociable acts in both categories, and thus produces a conception of sociability with much more of a sense of actuality in its traversal of this divide, and unsociability as an ineliminable principle of differentiation among such traversals. For Tarde, social bonds between members of a society do not, as his junior colleague Émile Durkheim wanted to insist, precede associations among individuals and groups, imposing formative constraints upon them (2010). On this question, Tarde’s position is prototypical for an interactionist stance: it is through the interaction of association that people assimilate from each other ways of acting, thinking and feeling. People move from being strangers to being associates inasmuch as they realize that over time and through interaction they have come to share common norms. Tarde’s sociological interest is focused on the fact that because social norms are contingent upon the vagaries of performances of interaction and communication, the obligation to follow social norms fundamentally fluctuates in “force and extent” (2011, 97). Social norms are fundamentally contingent. There is always room for individual and group actors to suspend their interactions, disagree and resist each other, be unsociable, and even, from time to time, invent a different idea to guide their own actions which is drawn from sources—​sometimes from far across geographies, time periods, and cultures—​that are radically different from those that have given rise to the more immediately available norms. Social norms express contingent social unities. Social relations are not, a priori, pre-​disposed with an innate tendency to be unified by social norms. Tarde’s thought departs from a key sociological principle:  social norms are meant to be specified and explained, never generalized and assumed. On the other hand, Tarde’s thought conflicts with Simmel’s. One consequence

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of Tarde’s strict adherence to the principles of specificity and explanation is that sociability may be understood as a form of association, but it cannot, as Simmel would have it, at the same time be construed as constituting an essential, transcendental dynamic, that is, his “play-​form of association.” The term “association” assumes a moment in interaction has arrived when actors have at least some awareness of sharing certain ways of acting, thinking and feeling. But in the Tardian perspective, such a coming to awareness may just as easily lead to dissociation. It may be a moment of either relative unification or relative separation. Social norms are always rising and falling and swaying human actions, but association is not privileged in these processes; association and dissociation are relative terms. It is possible for some actors to see a similarity in themselves and as a consequence be repulsed from each other. In such instances they will typically still maintain a connection based upon any number of other ways they have imitated each other or common models. Formations of norms do not hinge on the presence, and certainly not the purity, of associations. Movements to unite or to separate are contingent: symptoms, not causes. Social bonds can be placed at no greater a level than the content of interactions, how that content is interpreted, and what it means to the actors depending on the sets of beliefs and desires they have. For Tarde, the distinction between form and content is strictly analytical. Contrary to the Kantian method, for him a “form” does not have an existence in any sense independent of, a priori, or more essential than its “content.” In the Tardian perspective, this means that when one analyses sociability one must analyze a specific form of sociability that has meaningful content. Moreover, the significance of the content must be justified in terms of how it produces significant, contingent effects of sociality. Here an example may be illustrative. The key theme of sociality for both Tarde and Simmel is modernity. The modernity of social life for Tarde is a term that describes a vast, gradual change in social relations that has produced new norms. National life, for example, he tells us, is an important, relatively new, modern social norm. In Tarde’s analysis, national life rests in large part upon public opinion. Public opinion colors and informs all modern institutions. It was made possible and eventually became controlled to a large extent, in his day, by the newsprint media. Modern, national public opinion has come to have a powerful influence over everyday social life. Yet Tarde sees such a statement as one that establishes only the context and the conditions of a phenomenon. At such a juncture one must ask a series of important questions, such as, what is its source in terms that ordinary modern actors can recognize as being a part of and being able to have an influence upon? What is the agency of ordinary people in a highly mediatized society? In what way are ordinary people involved in sharing the opinions that feed

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into the “public opinion” that is daily in the newspapers the target of manipulation by elite actors? Here, Tarde does not place the bar too high. He does not insist, for example, that people must have a polished set of communication skills in order to provide opinions that are ready-​made for print in the papers. His preoccupation is not with a Platonic vision of literacy or education, but rather with the actuality of various forms and degrees of sociability. One key focus, for example, is on conversation. At first glance his definition of conversation resembles that of Simmel. Tarde defines conversation as both lacking in business-​like seriousness as well as imbued with a sense of good form: “By conversation I mean any dialogue without direct and immediate utility, in which one talks primarily to talk, for pleasure, as a game, out of politeness” (2011, 308). However, the point for Tarde is not to maintain conversation as a preserve of pure sociability. Rather, he relates conversation to the maintenance of public opinion observing that “if no one conversed, the newspapers would appear to no avail—​in which case one cannot conceive of their publication—​because they would exercise no profound influence on any minds” (2011, 307). Conversations are essential for the dissemination of ideas. However, newspapers are not essential for conversation. Nor are they essential for civil society, despite their close association with the latter. Tarde put it forward that if one imagines newspapers removed from modern society conversations among people could, at least hypothetically, “take over to a certain extent the social role of […] the press as formers of opinion” (2011, 308). Thus, he allows conversation an autonomy as expression and at the same time acknowledges its role in the order and maintenance of modern society, arguing that the media (i.e., newspapers) both extends and furnishes topics for us to talk about. Conversation goes to a more fundamental place than just what gets represented in terms of certain standards of literacy and media at any given time. It both spreads the influence of the media as well as checks its interests. Moreover, unsociability plays a key role in this dynamic. “If no one conversed” is more than a thought-​experiment. It represents a potential reaction of ordinary people to modern conditions of mediatized life and should not be excluded from consideration of its value in everyday life for a priori theoretical reasons. Importantly, it shows that Tarde’s form of analysis can accept sociable and unsociable behavior as inclusive. Both sociability and unsociability are central to how social influence gets created, controlled and resisted. Such an analysis requires maintaining the voluntary and obligatory nature of sociability as the perspectives of control and resistance are inextricably intertwined. The nature of sociability and unsociability as a spectrum of behavior is arguably more suited to our times than a dichotomy with only “good and bad” boundary crossings conceivable. The question should not be, how can

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we isolate pure sociability, but rather, how can there can be degrees of value of sociable expression? Simmel defines modern sociality, as many do, as an axis of private versus public practices, of interested versus disinterested behaviors, which are always in flux (1972, 127). At the same time, organizations have always required hierarchies in order to efficiently get things done (1972, 342). He sees this tension of sociality and organization as resolved by turn-​ taking. The key to the transition to modernity is to “transform the synchronous combination of superordination and subordination into their temporal alternation” (1972, 343). An ideal organization would be one “in which A is superordinate to B in one respect or at one time…but in another respect or at another time, B is superordinate to A” (1972, 342). This fits together with his vision of sociability as disinterested time. In this view, there is an appropriate time and place for holding a position at work and another appropriate time and place for stepping back to let someone else perform the job; if this downtime can be a period of leisure and recreation when the benefits of sociability can accrue to the members of society so much the better. The “democratic” alteration or turn-​taking of super-​subordination marks a time perception that is structured as “my time will come” (1972, 343). Simmel paints a picture of members of modern societies who maintain power interests but who accept the contingency of such interests and the need to alternate between holding power and sociably engaging in building the public. Simmel merely assumes that actors would like to have their personal goals fulfilled and he pays little attention to actualities that can be said to symbolize or hold out for actors an attraction that promises such fulfillment to them. From a Tardian perspective he thus assumes what needs to be explained, namely, how desires give rise to attractions and attractions further produce desires in a manner that creates difference. For Simmel social differentiation is effectively reduced to the time and space of unity-​and character-​building sociability. In contrast, what Tarde sees are actors who are modern inasmuch as they have severed their beliefs and desires from dogmas and instead direct them at anything in their social environment that constitutes an inspiration or attraction. In refusing to compartmentalize the time and space of attraction as consumerism and separate it from the time and space of more “serious” activities such as work or production, Tarde comes closer to the preoccupations of today’s theories of prosumerism. At this point, some commentators who wish to re-​introduce the question of power shift to an analysis of the correlation between attractions (or desires) and identities (see, e.g., Featherstone 2000). I will show how a Tardian approach maintains the focus on sociability. The question of sociability in this approach asks:  why are people attracted to this rather than that? Most assume that such an approach has to represent an uncritical acceptance of consumer culture and a marketer’s zeal for

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directing energies to this or that profit-​making scheme. I will show that this is quite wrong: Tarde’s question of how sociability is involved in the selection of attractions highlights practices of unsociability I will characterize as tactical reserve.

Interests and Attractions A key point of departure of Tarde from Simmel, then, is what I want to term a distinction between interests and attractions. Considered from an interactionist perspective that examines everyday life, an interest is a problematic stance. The interests that can be associated with a given actor are not predetermined by his worldview; they require a performance of the concentration of the minds and actions of several actors in concert and take shape as the creation and maintenance of certain practices that are meant to achieve some specific private purpose or gain. For example, patriarchal shibboleths about how white male actors are supposed to act are, as is well known, generally produced over a very long duration by the intersections of several ideological dimensions. The actor is influenced by such ideologies and can be said to occupy a position in such an intersection. However, our ability to point to such an actor’s actions being led by an interest he has in the outcome of a given specific situation is a reflection not merely of his position in this intersection, nor purely a function of the unique contours of the situation itself, but rather involves a process of the definition of the situation which involves himself and other relevant actors in the situation and which will require a rough and ready gathering and focusing of all of their experiences, a work of selective and collective memory and identity. The “interested” actor we can say is the one who faces a problem of how to key his action to situational requirements that arise from certain confluences of his and others’ experiences and memories, typically, alignments with influential, or breaks with feared, others. Interests are ways of narrowing experiences and memories to those that the actor can recognize as providing some kind of comfort zone or beneficial identity for the actor—​a place in the sun, even if the sun is not very warm. Generally, they provide a means of deference to a situationally dominant symbolic system such as a certain legal process, business practice, or academic syllabus. An “economic interest,” for example, is a definition of the situation of certain exchange interactions that provides a safe and emotionally reliable interpretation but is by no means the only or the most crucial or illuminating one. Interests are essentially correlated, one might say, with the lowest common denominator of the possibilities of actions. Like interests, attractions focus attention and gather energies around certain possibilities of action. Attractions are usually considered more superficial and less sustaining of action than interests; the persistence of interests seems more

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“viable.” However, attractions will often have left an impression on actors that informs subsequent choices, making attractions a key focus for the study of the genesis of new behaviors. To be attracted to someone or something is to risk revealing one’s desires in a potentially direct manner that acting on interests can never do. Interests generally reveal little about specific persons and specific actions. In contrast, actors are in principle always free to extricate themselves from the action surrounding attractions, though the event may well create or bring to light social relations that henceforth require careful navigation. Always open to movement to and fro, attractions gain their power from being suggestive. Because actors are more free to act spontaneously in relation to attractions, attractions work to gather together possibilities for action in a manner that has the potential of stitching together conscious and unconscious states of mind. Attractions begin around a word, a look, a noise, a feeling, an event, an intersection, though to become attractions properly speaking they must attract the attention of more than one actor. They are indeed in part products of the selection of multiple actors. Developing a theory of sociability, then, from a notion of disinterested action could never be more than only a very basic starting point. A disinterested stance does not necessarily imply a suspension of the actor’s interests for the sake of some other kind of activity, it is simply a temporary and tentative openness to experiences that an actor has yet to test in a situation. When we ask questions concerning sociability, in contrast, we want to know such things as: Why and how do sociable actors engage in specific conversations and other interactions with each other, with animals, and with objects in their worlds of meaning? Another way of putting it is: How is sociability involved in the selection of attractions? And what is the role of tactical reserve, as described by Tarde? It is not wrong for Simmel to point out that actors sometimes pause their activities for sociable time, but he neglects to notice that sociable interaction is often sustained by a topic of mutual attraction. Attraction is the content of sociable interaction that for the sake of which sociable interaction generally exists. In this way, we can say that the content of sociable interaction effects the creation and maintenance of its form. The form does not have a deeper social meaning, fulfilling a deep need to be sociably involved. It is only meaningful inasmuch as it presents a shape of events that has meaning for a certain set of others, and these others will always vary in their level of attention and devotion to it. It is also true to point out that when two people at work talk about the soccer game or the weather, they are speaking of those objects in a manner that is notwithstanding any real interest they may have in them—​and this is a marked and interesting fact of the suspension of their interests. But this interaction takes place not merely out of an excuse to get together and talk, either, for not any old topics of conversation

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will do! Rather, certain topics are selected, not out of interest or investment in the particular topic, nor out of the mere potential for a connection with each other, but out of an attraction to that topic. This is because (a)  it is a playing field as it fits the range of topics perceived as appropriate to the area of common identities held between the participants. And (b) it gives them a chance to discover themselves as not only interested in those topics, since the context (the workplace) importantly communicates this self-​difference from the topic. But this social distance created from the topic is not universally commuted into a feeling of unity with the other, as Simmel suggests. Rather, it is merely created in order to enable further interaction. That is the nature of an object or topic that is an attraction, like something that can be lent and borrowed:  “Borrowing is a social act in which the value of social relations must be explicit and discussed as a chain linking people to each other through things and to things” (Sykes 2010, 75). Borrowing and lending evince a more conscious social meaning of imitation than is usually appreciated when the latter term is invoked. There is a chance that one sociable interaction surrounding an attraction may lead to more, or to others, and such an involvement in the world is felt as fun, exciting and/​or stimulating. Getting outside the self and one’s usual interests, sure, not to be merely “disinterested” but rather to create more interests, is to resist taken-​for-​granted assumptions and expectations about others, akin to what anthropologists have called “the creative work of valuing social relations” (Sykes 2010, 76).

The Attractive Unsociability of Cities Crucial for placing their theories in context is an understanding of their analyses of the social environment in which modern sociability emerges. Simmel and Tarde see sociability as a modern phenomenon and particularly as a product of urban life. They agree that the complexity of modern life as found in concentrated form in big cities is a key challenge for ordinary people (Borch 2010). Echoing Baudelaire, they see the urban scene as filled with people and attractions that suggest ideas and moods. In particular, for Simmel and Tarde, crowds are the stimulus to which the peculiarities of modern life are the response; they both fundamentally proceed from Tarde’s basic formula that the problem consists in “psychic connections produced essentially by physical contacts” (2011, 278). Yet, anticipating Canetti’s notion that a crowd above all wishes to grow (Brighenti 2010, 303), Tarde argues cities not only stimulate a new urban awareness but also develop like a snowball, attracting “to themselves from all directions the most active brains and the most nervous organisms” (Laws 228). Cities, particularly capitals, form central points from which radiate imitations of urban ways of life throughout the countries they

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enfold. Though this leads to imitation becoming the foremost mode of social relations, to this Tarde links the social phenomena of creativity and inventiveness. He redefines an invention as a creative imitation of certain aspects of things. The inventor is one who perceives what can be imitated in a way that is useful or even revolutionary. As imitation thus grows in scope and complexity as a kind of master method of modern social life, so too does invention. The roots of economy and society take root in the “passionate interests” of ordinary people (Latour 1993). The social field is widened to include vast, unlimited micro repetitions and differences. Despite the globalizing tendencies of these phenomena, the stimulus, though, remains the crowd. It is thus natural for Tarde, despite his critical view, to ultimately hold that “crowds—​ gatherings, get-​togethers, exchanges—​are much more beneficial than harmful in displaying sociability” (Distinktion, 2013, 233). Modernity as an ideology emerges as “democracy” and “even progress toward equality” are effected by these rays of urban imitations. It is within this primarily urban social context that one discovers the dynamics and problems encountered in sociable behavior. In Simmel’s view, the key is to study how these “infinitely many and infinitely small effects” influence “thousands of person-​to-​person performances, momentary or enduring, conscious or not, fleeting or momentous relationships [that] continuously tie us together” (2009, 34). His stress is on social unity as a product of urban complexity through its heightened opportunities for sociability. Yet one wonders if in his mind this unity is actually more of an ideal and less of a reality. Ever concerned with the gap between the subjective life world and industrialized culture, Simmel frequently portrays the modern, urban social setting as overflowing with people and the cacophony of their expressions. The volume and density of the population presents a danger, particularly to personal development. Such neighborhoods become scenes of random diversions and ineluctable hostilities. A constant sense of impending conflicts, a push here, a slight there, breeds a colorless, heavy, depressive mood. To cover this anxiety stemming from the constant close proximity of multitudes of others city dwellers adopt blasé attitudes. Though I argue that Simmel and Tarde differ on the latter question of social cohesion, ultimately both thinkers believe a central aim of sociology ought to be to illuminate a new “practical power” of “the masses” (2009, 19) and one of its key consequences: the overwhelmed, socially reserved individual. The effects on the individual and the individual’s agency in relation to modern social life are an important focus of interest for both Simmel and Tarde. Yet they differ in their analysis of the social reserve that is produced in response to the crowd stimulus. For the most part their differences here can be traced to their view of crowds. For Simmel, the “tumult of the metropolis”

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(2011, 526)  encapsulates the modern experience. For Tarde, it makes little sense to try to essentialize modernity, which, if anything stands for difference (Latour 1993; Toews 2013). If anything, modernity signifies the awareness of the possibility created through the multiplication of various technological assemblages that experiences, like perspectives, can now be multiple. Tarde is not in the German idealist tradition that stresses the unity of phenomena in subjective perception. He rather sees these experiences-​perspectives according to a monadological scheme adapted from Leibniz: they are autonomous multiple beings (Tarde 2012; Toews 2013). They are not merely broken fragments of one essential experience. Tarde lacks a notion of the crowd as a phenomenon with the power to overwhelm and subsume all of our individual thoughts and emotions that colleagues such as Durkheim maintained (Durkheim 2001). Durkheim and others are part of a tradition in which crowds are felt to be demonic producers of overwhelming hot and dangerous emotions and spontaneous irrational collective behaviours (Borch 2012). Yet for Tarde, as we shall see, the attraction of cities is in some sense bound up with their being places of intense moments of unsociability. Tarde, like Simmel, takes a cool approach to crowds. Simmel’s idea is that exposure to too many crowds over time cools a person completely, changing one into a socially reserved automaton. In what sense, then, for Tarde, is a crowd a stimulus that produces a social reserve if not in this sense? A key contrast with Simmel is that Tarde does not arrange the stimulus of crowds as a force directly in opposition to an individual psyche as Simmel does on the model of a full-​on unavoidable confrontation between individual and society. Tarde sees the action of the crowd as a germ, a kernel of a contagion, an affect of enthusiasm. As a consequence, the line of causality for him is not linear. This is also partly because an enthusiasm or emotionality of city life is locatable in the crowd as it is for Simmel but, as a germ, it is not completely contingent upon one form such as the crowd form; it does not spread in terms of a “crowd psychology” such as that described by Le Bon (2002). Rather, we shall see that it involves a dynamic of connection and disconnection from crowds, a taking and transmuting of energy from them that boosts individuals and gives crowds a meaning beyond the moment. It is not rooted in practices of stoking and exploiting the pressure that can develop within crowds, transcending all meaning and turning them from a culturally significant attraction into an explosive situation, as when some football crowds turn into mobs of hooligans. The fetishizers of the existence of crowds and “mobs” as formed objects with their own autonomous purposes, with their themes of vicious oscillation of attachment and repulsion and their flirtations with regimes of propaganda, are anathema to Tarde. For Tarde, crowds, after all, are ephemeral, while a collective imaginary of the city is persistent. For Tarde, the city affect—​what

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people often describe as the vibrancy or intensity of city life—​transforms into a public discourse. It is in this manner extended far beyond what it could have reached in crowd terms. For Tarde (2011), public discourse is typically undertaken in the media where interaction is at a distance, and where rationality rises in importance for communication and organization. Public discourse is another kind of germ of social life. The modern individual in Freud and much of the critical theory that followed his lead is often associated with the characteristic of cool rationality, with a constant attempt to master one’s emotions. Tarde’s analysis shows that this rational modern individual is in fact the same individual who at the same time is capable of living another existence simultaneously in a comparatively irrational crowd mode. In an essay on crowds and publics (2011) he acknowledges that public discourses in the media always appear more rational (and distant) than the enthusiasm that one garners from the heat (and close proximity) of a crowded event. But Tarde shows that such rationality is not affect-​less. To the contrary, it depends upon and extends the affects that flow in the so-​called urban jungle. When the free-​flowing elective passions of great swathes of different people in the modern urban setting gather together crowds are created. The term crowd merely denotes a process in which otherwise indeterminable passions have congealed through the assembly of their elements into a mass. The social reserve that the crowd and the public stimulate then is not psychologized in Tarde in terms of isolated persons experiencing a common malaise. Rather, social reserve occurs in order to make possible different lines of action within multiple co-​existing social environments. The mass or crowd form permits certain half-​conceived ideas, notions, and activities to constitute attractions in their own right. These attractions form destinations, or poles of avoidance, for these lines of action. A contrast between Simmel and Tarde on this point shows that while Simmel attributes to proximity a socially originary status and sees distant atomized individuals as an inevitable logical outcome to a zero-​sum confrontation, Tarde, lacking an a priori commitment to the principle of social cohesion instead tends to describe social relations more directly in terms of their assembled elements and their dynamics. A crowd for him is a multiplicity of fractals, and as such is capable of including both the perspectives of proximity and distance at the same time. For him—​he elucidates in his debate with Durkheim (Tarde and Durkheim 2010)—​there is no reason to elevate cohesion to the status of a key criteria of how such an assemblage is ordered. Beneath appearances of overall cohesion lie more fundamental relations in which each fractal suggests the appearances and meanings of the others—​ the questions are how and why? In maintaining the quantitative multiplicity

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of intensive relations, Tarde’s analysis of crowds in fact is less committed to crowds per se and really constitutes a more general inquiry into social relations (cf. Barry and Thrift 2007). His distinction between crowds and publics is meant to illuminate social relations in general. For Tarde, the “crowd” properly speaking is not a solid or clearly bounded collection of individuals. It is a term merely denoting the fact that a certain attraction has formed to some event or personality or thing that would otherwise go unnoticed as many things do in a busy city. Such attractions—​that one can hardly call investments of knowledge and understanding—​of course die out quickly in the streets. But the speech-​acts and other expressions of rough and ready awareness of the shared event they had permitted to become concentrated and amplified may then become sampled, extended, refined, and mediated by media technologies. In the days of Simmel and Tarde the focus of such reportage was upon newspapers. The function of the media, Tarde (2011) holds, is to synchronize consciousnesses around events. They thus become stories. These events-​stories begin in a fledgling state dependent upon the immediate and fickle energies of observers and passers-​by, but nonetheless, taken all together and represented in media outlets, end up producing a fecund sense of the many things going on at once that individual city dwellers can feel a part of. It should also be noted that this occurs without any requirement of some form of unity being super-​imposed upon the multiple stories that get printed. The relative randomness versus cohesiveness of collections of stories in the media, barring any extreme homogenization, is not a primary variable in Tarde’s analysis. Because modern social life produces energies much greater than can be cognitively and emotionally processed by the individual, it highlights for both thinkers the significance of social reserve. For Simmel this reserve is an unavoidable defensive and passive subjective response to relatively solid and persistent objective social conditions. In contrast, for Tarde those conditions are more like a kaleidoscope of attractions and social reserve makes room for an active, tactical response within the milieux of modern life. Tarde’s social reserve thus demarcates an individual social self that is in a positive relationship with multiple simultaneities of other things, events, and people. Rather than take social unity—​Simmel’s criteria—​as the key to a comparative discussion of their views on sociability, I  have instead begun by comparing and contrasting their views on the urban social environment that they both see as giving vital impetus to social interaction. This discussion has resulted in demonstrating the centrality of the phenomenon of social reserve that provides a key contrast between Tarde and Simmel. With less dependence on the sociological shibboleth of social unity, we are more free, as a result, to discover the relation between sociability and unsociability. What is

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this relation, then, and what clues does it afford us for defining sociability, along with unsociability, in a fuller sense as operating within the modern urban environment? Tarde maintains the interpretive dimensions of sociability as inextricably intertwined with the everyday instantiation of its formal institutional dimensions, refuses to see the problem through the lenses of a wishful thought of social unity, and insists on analyzing specific genres of sociability such as conversation. Contrary to Simmel’s image of sociability as the essence of disinterested socialization, the example of conversation shows that sociability is complicit in power relations. It is not that conversations are voluntary, or obligatory, or both. Such language ultimately refers one to social environmental conditions that make actors perceive their actions as voluntary/​obligatory. The social environment, for example, the technology of communication, or the relations of social location, it is said, are enabling and constraining. But the more one attempts to explain sociable and unsociable behavior by means of these enabling and constraining “social factors” the more one places the question of power of sociability onto these other, apparently more serious factors. That whole form of analysis maintains an assumed contrast of surface versus depth, trivial versus serious, expression versus structure. In contrast, I would claim that the true import of Tarde’s ability to recognize degrees of sociability is that his framework enables us to frame a new kind of question: are some forms of sociability more valuable than others? Simmel would have to answer no: sociability entails getting your mind off work. It is for him a social condition of value, not something that can itself be valued. In recent times we have seen the explosion of what has come to be called social media—​the use of the Internet for playful communication that includes both trivial and serious purposes. With millions of subscribers and an increasing multiplicity of communication platforms and complexity of networked sociality ever on the horizon, the world seems no longer willing or able to divide sociable time and unsociable, work time into separate compartments. A sociology like Simmel’s—​based precisely on that division—​has become unworkable. Whereas Tarde’s viewpoint has gained in stock, precisely because of his refusal to devolve sociality to “explanatory conditions.” He shows us sociality in the making. Every social gesture, every communication, however imitative, fundamentally makes a difference. Our choice to be involved in the sociability of social media today involves a letting go of the notion that our thoughts and actions have deep meanings fixed by an eternal war against nature. Social media—​like Tarde’s thought—​requires an embrace of social contingency. We cannot turn it off; our agency as ordinary people depends not on pursuing a complete avoidance, but rather to cultivate the ability to maintain a tactical social reserve.

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References Barry, Andrew and Nigel Thrift. 2007. “Gabriel Tarde: Imitation, Invention and Economy,” Economy and Society 36 (4), 509. doi:10.1080/​03085140701589497. Borch, Christian. 2010. “Between Destructiveness and Vitalism:  Simmel’s Sociology of Crowds,” Conserveries Mémorielles. Revue Transdisciplinaire de Jeunes Chercheurs, no. 8 (September). URL: http://​cm.revues.org/​744. —​—​—​. 2012. The Politics of Crowds: An Alternative History of Sociology, 1st ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Brereton, Cloudesley Shovell Henry, and Gabriel Tarde. 2010. Underground Man. Nabu Press. Durkheim, Émile. 2001. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Oxford:  Oxford University Press. Featherstone, Mike. 2000. “Lifestyle and Consumer Culture,” in Lee, Martyn J., ed., The Consumer Society Reader. Malden, MA: Wiley-​Blackwell, 92–​106. Giddens, Anthony. 1991. The Consequences of Modernity, 1st ed. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Latour, Bruno. 1993. We Have Never Been Modern, 1st edition. Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press. Lazzarato, Maurizio. 2006. “The Concepts of Life and the Living in the Societies of Control,” in Deleuze and the Social, edited by Martin Fuglsang and Bent Sørensen. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Le Bon, Gustave. 2002. The Crowd:  A Study of the Popular Mind. Reprint ed. Mineola, NY: Dover. Pyyhtinen, Olli. 2010. Simmel and “the Social.” Basingstoke and New  York:  Palgrave Macmillan. Simmel, Georg. 1972. Georg Simmel on Individuality and Social Forms. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. —​—​—​, David Frisby and Charles Lemert. 2011. The Philosophy of Money. Reprint ed. Abingdon, Oxon and New York: Routledge. Sykes, Karen. 2010. “The Value of a Beautiful Memory: Imitation as Borrowing in Serious Play at Making Mortuary Sculptures in New Zealand,” in Matei Candea, ed., The Social after Gabriel Tarde: Debates and Assessments, 62–​79. CRESC Series on Culture, Economy and the Social. London and New York: Routledge. Tarde, Gabriel. 2011. Gabriel Tarde on Communication and Social Influence: Selected Papers, edited by Terry N. Clark. Reprint. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. —​—​—​. 2012. Monadology and Sociology. Translated by Theo Lorenc. —​—​—​and Émile Durkheim. 2010. “The Debate,” in Matei Candea, ed., The Social after Gabriel Tarde: Debates and Assessments, edited by Eduardo Viana Vargas, Bruno Karsenti and Frederique Ait-​Touati; translated by Amaleena Damle and Matei Candea; CRESC Series on Culture, Economy and the Social. London and New York: Routledge. Toews, David. 2009. Sociology: Inquiries into the Construction of Social Forms, 2 vols., translated by Georg Simmel, Anthony J. Blasi, Anton K. Jacobs and Mathew Kanjirathinkal, and with an introduction by Horst J. Helle. Leiden and Boston: Brill. —​—​—​. 2013. “Tarde’s Sociology of Difference:  Its Classical Roots and Contemporary Meanings,” Journal of Classical Sociology 13 (3), 393–​401.

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Chapter 10 BABYLONIAN “SOCIALISM” VERSUS TROGLODYTE “COMMUNISM”: TWO UTOPIAS OF GABRIEL TARDE Efraim Podoksik

Introduction In the early 1880s Gabriel Tarde wrote a piece of futuristic fiction that was first published in 1896 under the title “Fragment of Future History,”1 and several years later translated into English as Underground Man, with a preface by H. G. Wells.2 The gist of the story is this: the sun is extinguished and most of humanity perishes. The survivors descend underground taking with them all the treasures of human art and knowledge. There they build a new and happy society, a kind of utopia. Out of sensitivity to the particular literary context in which Tarde wrote this work, knowledgeable commentators sometimes call it “uchronia.” This neologism was first coined by Charles Renouvier in 1857. Whereas “utopia” literally means “no place,” “uchronia” accordingly means “no time.” The term is familiar today mainly to the fans of a very peculiar genre:  alternative history. Renouvier’s book (see Renouvier 1876) was indeed a piece of 1 Tarde 1896. Alfred Espinas suggested in 1910 that the text had been written as early as 1879. Jean Milet (1970, 21) disagreed; while conceding that the first version might have been written then, he claimed that the definitive version was prepared in early 1884. More recently François Vatin (2000, 128 n.) suggested that the text must have been reedited prior to publication and much later than 1884 since it includes some details that had not existed then, such as the Eiffel Tower, erected in 1889, and the term “cinématographie” first used in 1895. Tarde himself (1896: 654) says in the afternote to the first publication that he made a few small alterations, mentioning specifically cinematography, so it appears that the revisions to the 1884 draft were relatively minor. 2 Tarde 1905. I cite from this translation. Where, in my opinion, the translator takes too much liberty, or where the translation is too archaic, I have added the original French text in square brackets.

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alternative history, telling us what course European history might have taken had the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius been succeeded, not by his son Commodus, but by Avidius Cassius. Tarde’s text, however, is not about a non-​ actualized past but about a distant future. And dreams about an ideal society in such a future are generally called utopia. But there is a more important issue: Is Tarde’s text a genuine example of such a dream? Is it completely utopia or does it also include components of anti-​utopia? Commentators differ on this question. Some consider Fragment to be a classical social utopia, pure and simple (e.g., Bouglé 1905). Others draw attention to more disconcerting aspects of the text, which include Tarde’s supposedly critical description of the highly developed civilization prior to the catastrophe, which I will call “Babylon,” and the story of the cataclysm itself. The more radical among them even deny the character of utopia to the post-​ cataclysm civilization, which I will call “Troglodyte,” finding in it much that is imperfect or even wrong. My own view is that Fragment should be considered as a work of classical utopia. But in order to substantiate this interpretation one needs to go beyond those places in the text that praise the Troglodyte society. One should take note of the complexity of the Tardean story, which opens the way for rival interpretations. The role of the rather detailed description of Babylonian civilization is especially important. Contrary to the conventional view I  do not consider the story of that civilization as a critique; rather, it seems to be just another utopia. That is, Tarde’s text is a double utopia that includes descriptions of two different societies—​ Babylon and Troglodytes—​ each happy in its own way, although the happiness of the latter appears to be the more exciting of the two. These two utopias represent, in my view, two different utopian dispositions characterizing nineteenth-​century European moral and social thought. And if one looks even further back, it emerges that these two dispositions are related to an old philosophical dilemma regarding the “proper” way to overcome or abolish the separateness of the self. By juxtaposing them, Tarde’s text sheds light on an important issue in the history of social and moral philosophy, which is continuously present there but rarely formulated in clear terms.

The Plot Let us start with the story itself. It is narrated by an historian living in a distant future who writes a panegyric for his own society, describing for his readers the circumstances that led to its formation and enumerating its virtues. The story consists of three stages: in the first, human civilization reaches its peak;

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then the global catastrophe occurs; and afterwards, the survivors build a new civilization.3 The account of the way in which the pre-​cataclysmic civilization reached the zenith of its prosperity (which lasted 50 years and is called “superficial and frivolous” (Tarde 1905, 23) is Tardean at its core. In Tarde’s view, historical progress proceeds by means of the expansion of the social field and continuous imitation. In the course of this enlargement, conflicts also become more global and violent, but each time a higher-​level state of harmony emerges, and imitation becomes even more extensive. It took the advanced civilization about one hundred and fifty years to arrive at its final stage, and those years were marked by ferocious and global wars. But this terrible blood-​letting brought about the formation of a new global state, “the great Asiatic-​American-​European confederacy,” with its “indubitable supremacy over what was still left, here and there, in Oceania and central Africa of barbarous tribes incapable of assimilation [barbarie inassimilable]” (ibid.). This political unification was accompanied by a linguistic one:  Greek won a long struggle for supremacy with English and Spanish after “the break-​up of the British Empire and the recapture of Constantinople by the Graeco-​Russian Empire” (ibid., 28).4 This notion of war as a vehicle of progress is quite common in social thought. Less common is Tarde’s description of the main positive effect of those last wars. Normally one would expect it to be technological advancement. And Tarde is certainly fond of outlining the kinds of advanced weaponry used in these wars as well as the technological achievements of the peace era that followed them. Yet these achievements are not mentioned among the direct effects of the wars. Their main impact, according to the author, was eugenic: “The military selection committees had broken with the blind routine of the past and made it a practice to pick out carefully the strongest and best made among the young men, in order to exempt them from the burden of military service, which had become purely mechanical [automatique], and to send to the depôt all the weaklings who were good enough to fulfil the

3 The story must have been written at the end of the thirty-​first century because the cataclysm takes place at the end of the twenty-​fifth century, and the author situates himself in the year 596 of the new era. 4 The reference to the “Graeco-​Russian Empire” in this context may puzzle the modern reader for whom the modern and ancient Greek cultures are two different things. Yet one should consider the widespread philhellenism of the nineteenth century, which looked at modern Greece through the prism of its hope of revival of the ancient Greek civilization. The language revived in Tarde’s story is obviously ancient Greek, as the citizens of the federation speak and easily understand the language of Homer and Sophocles.

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sorely diminished functions of the soldier and even of the non-​commissioned [inférieur] officer” (ibid., 26). Thanks to this innovation, “an incomparable beauty of the human race [genre humain]” gradually developed (ibid., 25–​26). This beautiful humankind was healthy, thanks to the eradication of diseases by advances in medicine, and it enjoyed the benefits of leisure, since technological developments made most manual labor redundant. Art and new inventions spread among the masses. This state of things nullified the most common sources of quarrel among people, such as the scarcity of material resources or jealousy in love, which had previously proliferated due to the uneven distribution of beauty. But human nature being what it is, quarrelling in itself did not disappear, as desire turned toward the only path in which there still remained room for competition: political power. As the global state required an ever-​growing degree of centralization, the result of this political feuding was “not, as had been prophesied, a vast democratic republic,” but “a new throne” (ibid., 36–​37), more glorious and mighty, supplemented by the system of election that emptied universal suffrage from its democratic meaning. The increase in the size of electoral districts (an inevitable consequence of the immense population growth) turned the deputies into seigniors rather than servants. Elections became de facto coronations, which eventually led to the reconstitution of the monarchy. Several successive types of monarchs ruled that state. Initially, as the author reports in an ironic reference to Plato, “the learned [des savants] wore this cosmic crown, following the prophecy of an ancient philosopher” (ibid., 39). Yet they could not keep it because knowledge became both widely disseminated and simplified. Prestige attached itself to other fields, such as the arts, and so the dynasty of physicians and geometricians was replaced by that of artists. The most famous of this dynasty was an architect who initiated gigantic projects, such as moving the capital from Constantinople to the site of ancient Babylon. The net result of their artistic extravagance was recurring bankruptcies until there emerged a new type of king: “a philosophical financier” (ibid., 44). Having first put the finances in order, he rearranged the state, by taking away from political power any semblance of luxury and brilliance so that things began to look gray, boring and unappealing. The criterion for his legislative proposal and appointments was to choose “the most useful and the best among the most unattractive [les plus laids]” (ibid., 46). He equated government with a stomach rather than a head, and “caused to be erected, at the expense of the state, a statue of Louis Philippe in wrought aluminum, in the middle of a public garden planted with common laurels and cauliflowers” (ibid., 48). As the work of government thus came to be associated with boredom and

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monotony, people turned their attention to other pursuits. By de-​politicizing itself, the society at last attained its peaceful happiness. “The Universe breathed again. It yawned a little no doubt, but it reveled for the first time in the fullness of peace, in the almost gratuitous abundance of every kind of wealth. It burst into the most brilliant efflorescence, or rather display of poetry and art, but especially of luxury, that the world had as yet seen” (ibid., 48–​9). It is at this stage that there appeared signs of an approaching cataclysm, noticed first by astronomical observations “made on the tower of Babel, which had been rebuilt as an Eiffel Tower on an enlarged scale” (ibid., 49). The sun began to cool quickly. The world froze, and most living creatures perished. A few thousand surviving humans found temporary refuge in the regions of Arabia and Sahara. The Babylonian civilization died. Then the savior appeared: a man called Militades, named like the general who saved the Greeks from the Persian invasion. Something of a wild oat in the enervated civilization who molded himself into a hero in an age that needed no heroes, and on that account almost proclaimed mad, he was exactly the man that the remnants of humankind were looking for in their time of crisis: someone full of imagination, initiative and charisma. He came up with a neo-​Troglodyte solution: that humanity should descend beneath the surface of the earth. There the earth’s heat would provide a comfortable atmosphere and serve as an inexhaustible source of energy for the machines of subterranean civilization. Ice would provide water, and the frozen animals would become the source of meat until synthetic food was invented. The only thing that the survivors would take with them was their cultural heritage: works of art, books, films, and so forth. Those would be stored in vast underground libraries and museums to serve as a repository for the generations to come. This plan was accepted, and soon tunnels and halls were dug, items of art and science collected, and the survivors went underground. There they lived in beautiful catacombs illuminated by myriad electric lamps. As their population grew, new cities and colonies were established. Like every human civilization, this one did not attain perfection immediately. On the contrary, its beginning was marked by terrible bloodshed and disorder. The author mentions three stages that preceded the subterranean utopia: first, a general lawlessness caused mainly by the forced proximity of the inhabitants; second, the war between industrial (centralist) and artistic (federalist) cities, in which the latter prevailed; and, finally, the war between those artistic cities (called “liberal’), which espoused free love, and those (called “cellular’), which advocated regulated love, mainly on the grounds that it was necessary to control the population size, because of the relatively limited storage of food. The cellular cities won, and Militades, having joined the liberal cities, was killed. It is only then that the new civilization acquired its final shape.

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What thus emerged was a decentralized society in which everyone was free to pursue their artistic or intellectual inclinations; crime was almost nonexistent, and social control was maintained mainly by social approbation and ostracism. But this was not a free society in the liberal sense, for it did not subscribe to the principle of “freedom of thought [la liberté de l’esprit]” (ibid., 123); on the contrary, what unfolded was the autocratic government of opinion: not the anarchical freedom of minds, but the joy of certainty based on consensus on all essential matters. Three main dogmas came to constitute the basis of that society: a devotion to beauty, a belief in the supreme power of love, and a certain doctrine about immortality. It is under these headings that Tarde’s description of the main features of that society can be summarized. First, the aesthetic realm is the foundation of its life and institutions. As the utilitarian aspect has been reduced to the minimum, partly as a result of advanced technology but mainly due to the sharply reduced “wants,” energies are redirected to aesthetic and intellectual pursuits. The social bond has been transformed. It is not the reciprocity of service that brings people together, but mutual delight:  the activities of producing works of art and admiring them. Society is divided not into nations but into cities with different aesthetic and intellectual occupations, and everyone can choose to which city he or she wants to belong. The politics of passions has been eliminated, and the regime that developed can be described as a geniocratic republic based on admiration. One is judged and praised according to the quality of one’s scientific or aesthetic production. The supreme magistrate is elected by senators who are leaders of the schools they themselves created. Political power is thus granted on the basis of aesthetic judgement. Second, this society worships a kind of platonic love, which is described as purified affection springing from aesthetic admiration. Hoping to earn women’s admiration, artists try hard to excel in their pursuits. Sexual intercourse becomes rare and is strictly regulated. It serves as a reward for those whose work is unanimously acclaimed:  “The right to have children is the monopoly and supreme recompense of genius. It is besides a powerful lever for the uplifting and exaltation of the race. Furthermore, a man can only exercise it exactly the same number of times as he produces works worthy of a master [œuvres magistrales]” (ibid., 153–​154). This is a harsh regime. The ecstasy of love causes many couples to commit suicide, as they rise to the earth’s surface and immediately freeze to death. Occasionally, thanks to compassion, even mediocre works are acclaimed in order to let those who produced them consummate their love. There are ways to circumvent the law, which the author does not specify. But direct violation of the law is severely punished, and those who twice indulge in forbidden intercourse are thrown into a lake of petroleum.

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Finally, science has been transformed into the disinterested pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, since the greatest part of accumulated knowledge has turned out to be either deductive or impractical as one could no longer observe the sky or nature. Two exceptions though—​chemistry and psychology—​take on an important practical significance by providing consolation to the human race. Both are based on a kind of monadology, which in one case applies to inorganic nature, and in the other to human beings. While chemistry reveals the inner life of molecules, their ideas and desires, psychology postulates the atomic theory of the self, conceived as a hierarchy of consciousness, a “feudal System of vassal souls [féodalité d’âmes vassales], of which our personality is the summit” (ibid., 169). The former shows the humans that they are not alone in the world, whereas the latter reconciles them with death, regarded as “a dethronement that leads to freedom [un détrônement libérateur]” (ibid., 171). Since personality is merely a system consisting of myriad conscious elements on various levels, death should be seen as the retreat of the abdicated self into its inner consciousness. These are, then, the main features of the subterranean civilization, which is perceived by the narrator as offering the happiest form of life available to humanity. This does not mean that its emergence was inevitable. The narrator is too good a Tardean to be unaware of the role of contingency in history and therefore to believe that the salvation itself or the specific course it has taken were predetermined. Alternatives did exist. In fact, at some point the Troglodytes discover that the Chinese also established an underground civilization. Yet since it did not occur to them to take with them the treasures of their civilization, they quickly degenerated into savagery, feeding on the meat of their dead ancestors and leading a life of promiscuity, greed and robbery (ibid., 157–​159). Nor should this neo-​Troglodyte civilization be seen as immortal or free of problems. It has its share of malcontents who experience a strange nostalgia for a life surrounded by nature. This nostalgia is especially noticeable in the spring. Moreover, as the author notes, there has been a certain relaxation in morals and an increase in population of late. He hopes that this trend will soon abate (ibid., 191). But if the story of the dying sun teaches anything, it is that nothing in this world is eternal.

The Pure Social State Tarde published Fragment in a scholarly sociological journal at the peak of his fame; the choice of journal suggests that he considered this text to be, first and foremost, a work of social philosophy albeit in the guise of pleasing fiction. If that is so, its main message does not appear very difficult to unravel. In fact,

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it is outlined explicitly in the chapter “Regeneration” in which the narrator offers an account of the most essential characteristics of the subterranean society. According to him, they consist: “in the complete elimination of living nature,5 whether animal or vegetable, man only excepted. That has produced, so to say, a purification of society. Secluded thus from every influence of the natural milieu into which it was hitherto plunged and confined, the social milieu was for the first time able to reveal and display its true virtues, and the real social bond appeared in all its vigor and purity. It might be said that destiny had desired to make in our case an extended sociological experiment for its own edification by placing us in such extraordinarily unique conditions. The problem, in a way, was to learn what would social man become if committed to his own keeping, yet left to himself—​furnished with all the intellectual acquisitions accumulated through a remote past by human geniuses, but deprived of the assistance of all other living beings, nay, even of those beings half endowed with life, that we call rivers and seas and stars, and thrown back on the conquered, yet passive forces of chemical, inorganic and lifeless Nature, which is separated from man by too deep a chasm to exercise on him any action from the social point of view” (ibid., 111–​112). In other words, what we have here is a thought experiment regarding the meaning of social life per se, when it is detached to the greatest possible degree from the non-​social environment, whether biological or material. This was indeed one of the central questions of Tarde’s entire intellectual project, tackled by him from many different angles: theoretically when he presented his aim as extricating the purely social side of human facts (Tarde 1962, ix), or empirically when, for example, he suggested that an army is the human institution that most explicitly incarnates the “pure social principle” (Tarde 1899, 172), placing man outside of his normal environment with its mixture of social and non-​social elements, and bringing him under artificial or even artistic conditions. If an army is an exemplification of pure sociality, the imaginary society of neo-​Troglodytes is its apotheosis. Sociality, displayed there in its most complete and pure form, reveals itself as an uninterrupted aesthetic intercourse. Take the organic nature away from man and you get art. Art does not equal artificiality or artisanship. Most artefacts are utilitarian, whereas art transcends utilitarianism. In a certain sense, art is also nature, but of a higher order. For Tarde, therefore, the aesthetic is the essence of social life. In this he resembles his German contemporary Georg Simmel (1950), who suggested that at the heart of sociality there is a play, the aesthetical. Or, if one goes back, Friedrich Schiller similarly conceived good society as, first and foremost, a beautiful 5 Italics are in the original French text.

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polite society immersed in aesthetic intercourse. As Schiller sees it, the beautiful helps to civilize the savage. Yet favorable extraneous conditions are necessary for this mission. The tender blossom of beauty will never unfold “where man hides himself, a troglodyte, in caves, eternally an isolated unit, never finding humanity outside himself […] but only there, where, in his own hut, he discourses silently with himself and, from the moment he steps out of it, with all the rest of his kind” (Schiller 1982, 191). In Tarde’s society, too, man discourses peacefully with the whole race, and out of this conversation the tender flower of the beautiful unfolds. Yet this conversation, ironically, takes place not in huts or open nature but in the caves where new Troglodytes, instead of leading the life of solitude, engage in the most intense social intercourse. Tarde’s dream is stranger than Schiller’s, but for him it is a happy dream. The subterranean society appears as a bizarre aestheticist utopia.

The Discontents of the Subterranean Society But is this utopia in the full sense? In recent decades some commentators voiced doubts about this, placing Tarde’s text in the contexts of cultural pessimism and modernistic social critique, represented by figures such as Baudelaire and Nietzsche (Schérer 1998, 10), and of the literary genre of science fiction (Williams 1982, 387).6 As this genre normally requires action and conflict, it paints even genuine utopia in darker colors than it is depicted in the corresponding social theories. Therefore, when Fragment is approached as a piece of science fiction rather than as a work of social philosophy, some of the traits of the future society described in it begin to appear in an ambiguous or even ominous light.7 The most radical reinterpretation was attempted by François Vatin who argued (2000, 128) that Fragment should be read as a cryptic text, the meaning of which is not revealed at first reading. Tarde could not possibly seriously mean that the society he was describing was a utopia; to suggest such a thing would be “abusive” (ibid., 144). The text is profoundly pessimistic and should be read ironically. Vatin uses two main lines of argument to buttress this claim. First, he points to the disconcerting features of the future society mentioned in the text, which may suggest that Tarde did not identify with the self-​congratulatory tone of the fictitious historian from the future. Should we really believe that 6 Rosalind Williams, for example, points to the ennui of the malcontent and the subconscious fear that there is no life in other extinct stars, despite what Tarde would like to believe. 7 On Tarde in the literary context of his time, see, for example, Williams 2008, chs. 4–​5.

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the de-​biologization of society really appealed to Tarde, given what we know about his nostalgia for the rural world, his interest in botany and his love of the singing of birds? Was not the emergence of the subterranean civilization marked by conflicts and wars; and after those stopped did it not turn into a policed society, especially in respect of procreation? Could Tarde really be happy about “radical eugenism” adopted as the solution to the demographic problem, given that he himself was “the great adversary of Lombroso’s criminological theories” (ibid., 151)? Second, Vatin points to the contextual influences on Tarde’s work, which may suggest a more pessimistic reading. The most important of these influences is the philosophy of history of Antoine Augustin Cournot, whom Tarde saw as his spiritual teacher. Tarde’s pessimism with regard to the Babylonian civilization can be easily traced to Cournot who espoused the view, according to which the history of humankind starts at a primitive biological stage and ends at the mechanical stage. The technologically superior Babylonian civilization can be seen as symbolizing that final stage of development. And taking into account that toward the second half of the nineteenth century, strong negative connotations normally attached themselves to the vocabulary of “mechanical,” signifying the repressive mechanisms of rationalized and monotonous life, one should evaluate the Babylonian civilization accordingly. It is a bored society that can be revitalized only by a catastrophe. Furthermore, in Vatin’s view, Cournot’s critique is also relevant to the Troglodyte civilization that emerged from the cataclysm. Cournot viewed with sorrow the growing disassociation of man from nature in the modern world. If Tarde followed Cournot, must he not have felt similarly about the subterranean society, which is conceived as the peak of such disassociation? One might also consider the impact of the theory of entropy, formulated in 1865 by the physicist Rudolf Clausius (ibid., 155). Instead of optimism and progress, it makes one think about the world in terms of continuous disintegration, of dissolution of elements. And this is precisely how the inhabitants of the subterranean society are taught to perceive death—​that it is nothing other than the dissolution of the sovereign self into a multitude of previously vassal selves. Entropy is also intimated in the philosophical belief attributed by the narrator to “the chief of the fashionable school in sociology” (Tarde 1905, 175). According to it, the intensifying cooling of the planet will push humankind down, level by level, toward the center of the earth, with the world’s population diminishing at each level and the intensity of civilization correspondingly increasing, until the sole survivor, “happy as a god because he is omniscient and omnipotent, because he has just discovered the true answer of the Great Enigma, yet dying because he cannot survive humanity,” blows up the globe, “in order to sow the immensity of space with the last remnants of

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mankind [ensemencer l’immensité des débris de l’homme]” (ibid., 177). When all this is considered, Tarde’s book, according to Vatin (2000, 130 n.), may be seen as turning away from the genre of traditional utopia toward the apocalyptic “utopia,” characteristic of H.  G. Wells and the twentieth-​century science fiction that follows him. Furthermore, this so-​called utopia is more realistic than it looks, for many of its features remind us of what is today called post-​industrial society, or society of leisure (Vatin 2000, 144). Seeing it this way also reveals its inner contradictions, which remain hidden if it is depicted as a futuristic ideal. This idea was posited recently by Patrick Cingolani (2013). Unlike Vatin, Cingolani does not attribute to Tarde overly critical intentions, but he argues that the increasing dominance in the modern world of the features that characterize the subterranean society (such as the urban disconnect from nature, the preeminence of communication, and the emphasis on aesthetic self-​expression), instead of leading to the harmonious equality of all, results in a modified form of capitalist exploitation. These interpretations are indeed a welcome correction to the somewhat one-​sided traditional approaches that take Tarde’s text as a classical utopia, often ignoring the inconvenient moments in the story. Jean Milet (1970), for example, does not even mention the wars that characterize the first period in the life of the subterranean society. The problem with these interpretations, however, is that there is little in the text that could support them, and so they often draw their inferences from conjectures regarding Tarde’s intentions or from intertextual extrapolations. It is noted, for example, that Tarde’s texts do not always display unreserved idealism with regard to the future, and this is right. Tarde (1892) once even penned what can be seen as a description of anti-​utopia: a short story entitled “Bald Giants.” There humankind is transformed by scientific invention into the race of geniuses. This transformation, however, very soon makes humankind extinct, for the improved humans are punished not only aesthetically (a bump implanted in their heads causes baldness), but also biologically, as their function of procreation is impaired. This story is a warning rather than a promise. It is a tragedy in the proper sense of the word, because what makes humanity great also carries in it the seeds of its destruction. Nothing of this kind happens in Fragment. On the contrary, both societies—​the Babylonian and Troglodyte—​are stable, self-​sufficient and can potentially last forever. Or, Tarde’s irony is taken as an indication of his ambiguous attitude to the future society. But ironical detachment does not always presuppose critique. In a sophisticated culture irony is often a mark of detached contemplation and reconciliation with finality. Tarde’s irony is never bitter, and it may imply affirmation no less than rejection. The mentioning of the statue of Louis-​Philippe,

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for example, could of course signify a critique of Babylonian society as boringly utilitarian and bent mainly on self-​enrichment and sensual pleasures, but it could equally signify the mature realization that boring government is a necessary even if unappealing condition for the maintenance of a somewhat less boring life in all other respects. The tragedies that took place in the course of the foundation of both societies and the existence of malcontent also do not need to be taken as signs of melancholy. Tarde considers himself a scientist who does not intend to turn utopia into a fairy tale. In describing an imaginary society, it is important for him to explain how it could have emerged, and since his view of progress presupposes bloody wars, he cannot avoid bringing them into the story. Or, since nothing is free of shortcomings or lasts forever, he must mention those shortcomings and point to the causes of potential decline. The future society is utopia not because it is faultless, but because it attains the highest degree of inner satisfaction available to man. Nor is Tarde’s personal love of nature an indication that he would find life devoid of nature to be inferior. In fact, the text implies the opposite conclusion. One day a false rumor spread that the sun was coming back to life and the ice was melting, which caused a certain revolutionary fermentation, raising hopes of return to the surface of the earth. A scientist put paid to this unsettling development. He invented a technique of recreating sounds from archival photos and films,8 and once the people heard the sounds from the past they were greatly disappointed. “The song of the nightingale above all provoked a most unpleasant surprise. We were all angry with it for showing itself so inferior to its reputation. Assuredly the worst of our concerts is more musical than this so-​called symphony of nature with full orchestral accompaniment” (Tarde 1905, 190). This is of course a piece of irony. Yet it may also suggest that Tarde genuinely imagined the possibility of something even more beautiful and sublime than living nature. If the sounds of nature, which are so pleasing to us, fade in comparison with the artificial sounds in the subterranean world, then life in such a world must be really exciting. But perhaps the most important argument for rejecting the anti-​utopian interpretation of Tarde is that his text is devoid of one of the central features of literary or social anti-​utopia: unmasking. The starting point of anti-​utopia is usually a utopia that turns out to be mere illusion, once the dark side of its perceived happiness is revealed. Nietzsche’s social criticism refers to the allegedly happy condition of Christian virtuousness, which is then unmasked as 8 It is strange that Tarde does not seem to be aware of the technology of sound recording, although gramophone technology had already spread toward the late 1880s. Could this passage be an ironic reference to the low quality of early sound recording?

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the other side of inward hatred and malice; Wells’s island of Doctor Moreau turns out to be a sadistic hell rather than a happy paradise; and Orwell’s 1984 is the apotheosis of unmasking and re-​masking. Nothing of this kind happens in Tarde, for nothing is concealed. The happiness of this life is genuine. The tragic moments, being its necessary counterpart, are reported sincerely and without equivocation. There is nothing sinister in them, for every life, even the happiest one, has its share of tragic moments.

Two Utopias in Tarde and Beyond Tarde’s work is thus a genuine utopia, the main idea of which is to examine what pure social life might look like. But this cannot be the only idea of the text; for it would leave unexplained why the Babylonian civilization, which does not represent the state of pure sociality, is depicted in such detail. One could suggest that Tarde engages here in a critique of the superficiality of advanced civilization by means of the contrast with an imaginary subterranean utopia. But this does not appear to be the case, for one would expect such a critique to consist, at least in part, in showing the way in which such a society brings its own demise. No such lesson is taught here. The Babylonian society is not like the emasculated late Roman Empire, easily falling into the hands of barbarian hordes. It dies because of a completely unrelated cosmic cataclysm that could happen to anyone: the virtuous and the vicious alike. Moreover, the Babylonian and Troglodyte societies are less dissimilar than they first appear. They are both populated by beautiful people who appreciate beauty: the beauty of the inhabitants of the underworld is the consequence of the eugenic selection that took place long before the cataclysm. It would be wrong to describe the former as predominantly utilitarian. It is an aesthetic society too, and its utilitarian approach to government only reinforces its overall aesthetic character, for the boring machine of government is what enables the citizens to focus on cultivating their tastes. In the final stage of material and social progress, the aesthetic and intellectual to a large degree replace the utilitarian and mechanical. It is true that, unlike in the subterranean society, the aesthetic life in Babylon is that of aesthetic consumers rather than producers, the life of display rather than efflorescence, but it is nevertheless a life with a strong emphasis on the beautiful. My guess as to why Tarde includes the depiction of the Babylonian society in his narrative is that he wants to present and compare two different utopias. It is true that the first appears to him to be less exciting than the second, and some passages regarding it sound critical and ironic. But then the second utopia gets its share of critical irony, too. In neither case does irony indicate

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rejection or dismissal, and even if the account of the Babylonian society appears less enthusiastic, it nevertheless remains sympathetic. This juxtaposition of two different utopias is what makes Tarde’s text so peculiar. For separately both visions were not unfamiliar to nineteenth-​century readers. They represent two utopian projects often found in the social thought of that time. But if they are not examined together, it is not easy to put a finger on the moments that set them apart. It is their juxtaposition by Tarde that helps us to see their differences more clearly. As I  see it, the general difference between the two utopian projects is as follows. One is based on the prediction of huge material and social progress that creates the condition of general well-​being, out of which great social and moral transformation naturally follows, enabling the redirection of human attention toward higher forms of leisure. This outlook is found in many standard nineteenth-​century comprehensive theories of social progress. Let us have a look at two of them:  Karl Marx’s and Herbert Spencer’s. Although one of these thinkers was a revolutionary collectivist and the other a liberal individualist, their systems are strikingly similar in their essential points. Both envisioned progress through struggle and competition; both attributed tremendous importance to the development of technology; both predicted industrial affluence at the latest stage of historical development; and both postulated the disappearance of social conflict and the emergence of the harmony of human desires at that stage. For both, the final transformation was supposed to be qualitative rather than quantitative: they envisioned the qualitative gap between the progressing society and the one that in the end emerges from it. The principal outcome of the massive unfolding of productive forces is supposed to be a decline in the importance attached to the material factor with attention being redirected to what one would call today “post-​industrial” values. Marx, for example, who prophesized “the free development of each” as “the condition for the free developments of all” (Marx and Engels 1983, 228), was influenced by the humanistic discourse of German Idealism, and thought, as Philip Kain (1982, 124) puts it, that “real freedom takes place outside of material production, in free time. It requires the shortening of the work day. This is freedom on the aesthetic model, the realm in which man finds the sort of activity that is an end in itself.” Nor did Spencer think that contemporary liberal society, called by him “industrial,” represents the highest possible social type. He suggested (1898, 575)  the possibility of a “future social type […] which, having a sustaining system more fully developed than any we know at present, will use the products of industry neither for maintaining a militant organization nor exclusively for material aggrandizement; but will devote them to the carrying on of higher activities.” In such a society the belief that life is for work will be replaced by

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the belief that work is for life. Its sign will be “the multiplication of institutions and appliances for intellectual and aesthetic culture, and for kindred activities not of a directly life-​sustaining kind but of a kind having gratification for their immediate purpose.” The aesthetic ideal is therefore embedded in both theories. At the same time, it never becomes fully autonomous. Neither of the two thinkers spends much time outlining the particulars of the future society; it is the path to such a society that preoccupies them. And since this basically means theorizing contemporary society, they both deal with well-​being in the context of its vulgar utilitarian or materialist aspects. The aesthetic element is an addition to the utilitarian one and is never disentangled from it. Aesthetics is dependent on ethics, and the beauty of perfect human intercourse is predicated on altruistic mutual assistance. Consider, for example, the ambiguity implicit in the following statement by Spencer (1893, 433): “the highest ambition of the beneficent will be to have a share in ‘the making of man.’ Experience occasionally shows that there may arise extreme interest in pursuing entirely unselfish ends; and, as time goes on, there will be more and more of those whose unselfish end will be the further evolution of Humanity.” The evolution of humanity may mean two different things: either, like in Nietzsche, it is the evolution of human beings into aesthetic exemplars, that is, “the making of man” regardless of the moral cost of the production of such exemplars; or it signifies a widespread moral altruism, mutual “unselfishness.” Both ideals are mixed in these great schemes of social progress. Neither Marx nor Spencer formulates a purely aesthetic theory of social happiness. But there is another form of social utopia, one in which aesthetic matters acquire clear preeminence over utilitarian ones. This presupposes a larger gap between utopia and human life as we know it, and therefore those who espouse this view generally tend to concentrate not so much on the description of historical events leading to the utopia as on its postulates. This outlook too may have different starting points, such as revolutionary collectivism or liberal individualism. An example of the former is the view of the young Richard Wagner. In his famous essay “Art and Revolution” (1849), he predicated human happiness upon artistic communism: “When human fellowship has once developed its manly beauty and nobility—​in such a way as we shall not attain, however, by the influence of our art alone, but as we must hope and strive for by union with the great and inevitably approaching social revolution—​then will theatrical performances be the first associate undertaking from which the idea of wage or gain shall disappear entirely. For when, under the above conditions, our education more and more becomes an artistic one, then shall we be ourselves all thus far artists: that we can join together in free and common service for the one great cause of art, in its special manifestment, abandoning each

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sidelong glance at gain […] if we reach the right, then all our future social bearing cannot but be of pure artistic nature, such as alone befits the noble faculties of man” (Goldman and Sprinchorn, 1970, 68). Wagner’s views in those years were clearly influenced by the proponents of social revolution. But he modified their ideas, making art rather than prosperity or freedom into the true purpose of the revolution. The ideal society is going to be based on pure artistic creativity devoid of any lower material concerns. An example of the latter is the ethical theory of G. E. Moore, who argued (1922 [1903], 188)  that the most valuable things we know or can imagine are “certain states of consciousness, which may be roughly described as the pleasures of human intercourse and the enjoyment of beautiful objects.” It is only for the sake of these things “that anyone can be justified in performing any public or private duty,” and it is they “that form the rational ultimate end of human action and the sole criterion of social progress” (ibid., 189). Moore’s approach signified the Edwardian turn toward aestheticism as a reaction to Victorian “moralism,” generally associated with the Bloomsbury Group, for which Moore’s Principia Ethica became a sort of founding document. One should not of course caricaturize the Victorians: their ethical positions were more nuanced than their Edwardian critics suggested. As we have just seen, Spencer (like many of his contemporaries) was well aware of the shortcomings of ethical positions that do not accommodate aesthetic interests. Yet he never postulated the aesthetical as the sole or principal criterion of moral and social progress, and this is where the dividing line between the two visions seems to lie. These are then two major utopian ideals of the nineteenth century. One presupposes an immanent course of civilization that leads to an aesthetical society strongly embedded in the conditions of material well-​being and moral altruism. The other postulates a condition of human and social happiness that is not necessarily derived from the preceding course of events, and in which the aesthetic element is predominant and sui generis.

Two Kinds of Sharing Now let us take things one step further. It appears that every utopian vision presupposes the ideal of life in common. We do not usually regard the ideal of happy solitude as utopia. And if utopia is about shared life, then utopian projects can be regarded as a particular way to answer the old philosophical question of how an individual self may forge an authentic community with others. Or, in its most radical formulation, the question is how the self melts away within the totality of other selves or a higher self.

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The drive at the heart of this question—​ the striving toward self-​ overcoming—​is not the only or main tendency in European thought. It has always been accompanied by its opposite: the striving toward self-​affirmation and autonomy. This other drive tends to attract more attention, for it is the tendency to self-​affirmation, which is generally taken to be the unusual if not unique aspect of European civilization. One need only consider the vast amount of scholarly literature dedicated to the elucidation of the notion of individuality in European thought. Yet it is not the existence of the ideal of individuality as such that shapes the physiognomy of European culture, but rather its coexistence with the opposite ideal. The history of European thought is marked by the perpetual tension between two basic drives: toward and away from individuality. With Christianity, if not earlier, this tension is in full force, as in it two seemingly opposite ideas of salvation are usually combined: that of the salvation of the soul as a unique individuality and that of the absorption of the soul in God and the community of saints. In the Western Christianity, at least, this tension between personality and its abdication marks almost every kind of theology, including the opposite extremes, such as Augustine’s (1984) pessimism and Pico della Mirandola’s (1956) ecstatic humanism. In both thinkers the emphasis on individual autonomy is accompanied by yearning for the abolition of the self ’s separateness through immersion into the highest totality. That is, in the Christian vision of individuality, Pascal’s dictum (1941, 75) –​ “We are fools to depend upon the society of our fellow-​men […] we shall die alone”—​always coexists with the saying of Paul in the letter to Romans (14:7): “none of us lives to himself, and no man dies to himself.” But then the question is: What things can be shared? One answer is that true sharing takes place only in the realm of the spirit, for the self—​the soul—​ is a spirit. This does not need to be regarded as an exclusively religious view. With growing secularization, the sphere of spirit (mind, intellect) distanced itself more and more from religion and began to be associated with other spheres of life, especially beauty. Aesthetic sensibility appears to epitomize in the modern world the spirituality that previously fully belonged to the domain of religion. Be that as it may, the important moment here is that it is the spiritual aspect of our selves that is often perceived as especially conducive to the integration with other selves. Consider Augustine, for example. In one of his dialogues he draws a distinction between two different kinds of senses. One kind, which includes senses such as seeing and hearing, enables different people to perceive one and the same thing: “Although one sense is mine and the other is yours, it can happen that what we see is not one thing as mine and another as yours, but instead a single thing in front of each of us, seen simultaneously by each of

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us” (Augustine 2010, 43–​44). Other senses, such as taste and touch, do not allow a shared experience, for “although we breathe one air and take one food to taste, I nevertheless do not breathe the same part of the air as you, nor do I take the same part of the food as you” (ibid., 44). With some exceptions this distinction corresponds to another: between the senses the involvement of which transforms or consumes the thing and those who leave the thing as it was. In the former case, the thing so transformed or consumed is a “private property’; in the latter, the thing unaffected is a “common public property” (ibid., 46). And thus, according to this view, the noblest things, that is, things of the mind, such as wisdom and eternal truth, belong to the category of common property. As I see it, this view represents the tradition of what can be termed “spiritual” or, in its secular version, “aesthetic communism.” The notion of common property with regard to material things usually appears to its proponents as a philosophical oxymoron, for a piece of matter must occupy exclusively a certain place at a certain time, and it cannot be present in two places simultaneously (unless the miracle of transubstantiation is presupposed). This aesthetic communism often limits itself to a secluded community of the chosen. For it is usually assumed that only a few people are capable of freeing themselves from the despotism of the material and fully committing themselves to the integration of their spiritual lives. This is true of Plato’s very small community of philosophers–​rulers; of the mediaeval monastic life that puts itself apart from society; of Montaigne’s notion of ideal friendship as a very rare event; or even of Tönnies’s idea of community (Gemeinschaft) with its union of hearts relegated either to the past or to small islands of communitarianism within the modern world, and contrasted with the contractual individualist society (Gesellschaft) (Plato 2007; Montaigne 2003; Tönnies 2001). The twentieth-​century experience of totalitarianism, apart from casting suspicion on any utopian vision of history, also ingrained the stereotype that the spiritual is an intimate and individualistic category deeply hostile to outside intervention. The most eloquent expression of this view in its secular version can be found in the Nobel lecture of the Russian poet Joseph Brodsky (1987), in which he referred to the mission of art and poetry in the following way:  “If art teaches anything (to the artist, in the first place), it is the privateness of the human condition. Being the most ancient as well as the most literal form of private enterprise, it fosters in a man, knowingly or unwittingly, a sense of his uniqueness, of individuality, of separateness—​thus turning him from a social animal into an autonomous ‘I’. Lots of things can be shared: a bed, a piece of bread, convictions, a mistress, but not a poem by, say, Rainer Maria Rilke. A work of art, of literature especially, and a poem in particular,

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addresses a man tete-​a-​tete, entering with him into direct—​free of any go-​ betweens—​relations” (Brodsky, 1987). Whatever the emotional appeal and ethical truth of this statement, it is far from being the predominant conviction in European thought. The opposite view—​that only spiritual phenomena can be truly shared, whereas material things need to be exclusively owned—​appears to have been more widespread. Yet the view that refers to sharing mainly in terms of the common possession of material goods is not altogether unrepresented in European intellectual history. Consider Plato’s notion of common property, when he is in his less contemplative and more social–​practical mood, describing the social elite that includes the second class of the guardians, and not only the philosophers–​ rulers; Thomas More’s Utopia; John Locke’s humanity at the dawn of creation; or the Marxian proletarian paradise (Plato 2007, 158; More 2002; Locke 1988, 285–​286; Marx and Engels 1983). The difference between this and the other view may be attributed to the difference in the scope of their respective social dreams. Unlike “aesthetic communism,” which is usually based on seclusion, materialistic sharing tends to be inclusive. Whenever a broader social aim is presupposed, “sharing” becomes the moral imperative of the society as a whole, and since it is assumed that the majority among the people has no access to the world of pure spirituality, the idea of “common property” is “vulgarized” by including in it also material things. Interestingly, in the first edition of his Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft Tönnies (1887) referred to community as communism and to contractual society as socialism. If we adopt for a moment this unusual terminology, we could say that the historical utopias in the sense of Marx and Spencer can reach only the stage of “socialism,” with the only difference being that Marx’s is collectivistic socialism and Spencer’s is individualistic. Whatever the degrees of aesthetic sensibility in their societies, the selves in them remain separate, and their concerns predominantly utilitarian, even if those take the form of moral altruism. As a contrast to this, one could speak about collectivistic communism of the young Wagner and the individualistic communism of G.  E. Moore. Here the very distinction between the self and other selves is overcome by means of shared aesthetic experience, the ecstasy of the beautiful. What Wagner is to Marx, or Moore to Spencer, Tarde is to Tarde. He lived before the coming of the totalitarian age and was brought up in the Catholic tradition. His intellectual world was one in which utopia and self-​ abnegation were respectable options. But utopia could present itself in two different forms: the sublime aesthetical and vulgar half-​aesthetical (for again, the difference here is not between the fully materialistic utopia and aesthetic utopia, but between a relative aesthetic utopia that has not detached itself from the material, and the absolute aesthetic utopia). And it seems to me that

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in Fragment he simply depicted these two utopian options. Cingolani (2013) speaks about “aesthetic communism” in the context of Tarde’s text.9 If one adds here Tönnies’s terminology, one could say that Tarde contrasts the aesthetic communism of the Troglodyte society with the aesthetic socialism of the Babylonian society. This does not mean that the Babylonian utopia is an imperfect society. In its own way it is complete. Just like two sorts of trees, one naturally higher than the other, there are two kinds of utopia, one with the higher (or, shall we say, deeper?) potential of aesthetic growth. In Babylon aesthetic life is conducted for the sake of one’s own personal pleasure, and since nothing triggers aesthetic creativity in this society, it remains a society of epigones (Tarde 1905, 68–​69). But it is nevertheless a happy society. The subterranean society, by contrast, is that of true creators, in which the trigger for creativity is the yearning for absolute sharing, which is epitomized in the worship of Platonic love. The second utopia is an exciting or ecstatic utopia.

Afterword One commentator referred to the Tardean subterranean civilization as “inverse Platonism” (Schérer 1998, 27). Platonic philosophers break away from the cave and move upwards to partake of the light of ideas, of which the summit—​the idea of goodness—​is likened to the sun. Tarde’s humanity, by contrast, descends to caves and, no longer seeing the sunlight, discovers within itself quintessential beauty, goodness and truth. But in my opinion, the reversal of movement does not indicate the reversal of the ideal. Utopia does not turn into anti-​utopia. On the contrary, in the most essential points Tarde’s myth appears to be parallel to Plato’s, and not only in respect of Platonic love (cf., Schérer 1998, 30–3​1). For like Tarde’s Fragment, Plato’s Republic consists of two utopias. The first—​a purely utilitarian happy society of equals—​is referred to as a city of pigs (Plato 2007, 60). And like in Tarde, there is nothing in it to conclude that it carries in itself the seeds of its own destruction. It does not disintegrate from within; it is simply brushed off by the interlocutors as unappealing; similarly, the happy Babylonian civilization vanishes not because of its faults but because of the global cataclysm. What emerges in both cases is the happy life of disinterested delight. In Plato it 9 Cingolani perceptively suggests that “the aesthetic community promises more of equality and its actualisation than the community of labour.” But, as I  argued, aesthetic equality tends to be the equality of the chosen, and it should not be overlooked that Tarde’s absolute aesthetic utopia is a utopia of the chosen in disguise: the great majority simply perishes.

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is experienced in the fullest only by ten rulers who dedicate most of their time to the life of philosophy. The rest of the population is made up of second-​class citizens enjoying that degree of happiness that is available to them on account of their natural aptitudes. The philosophers are obliged to spend a tenth of their time at the less appealing task of governing the general population. In Tarde, everything is simpler, for most are just dead and those remaining do not need to be distracted by the duties of governing low-​rank utilitarian minds. Interestingly, if one compares the proportion of the number of Platonic philosophers–​rulers (together with the apprentices destined to become future rulers) with the city population of several thousands, one gets more or less the same proportion as between the population of Tarde’s Babylon (billions) and the upper limit of the population size of the subterranean society: fifty million (Tarde 1905, 37; 150). Tarde’s work is indeed marked by a great deal of irony, which is not the case in Plato. The thinker who lived in refined nineteenth-​century civilization would naturally possess a greater degree of cultural self-​awareness than the one who lived at the dawn of human reflection. But Tarde’s ironic utopia is a utopia nonetheless, and its yearning for happy aesthetic life is genuine.

References Augustine. 1984. The City of God, translated by Henry Bettenson. London: Penguin. Augustine. 2010. “On the Free Choice of the Will,” in On the Free Choice of the Will, on Grace and Free Choice and Other Writings, translated by Peter King. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 3–​126. Bouglé, Célestin. 1905. “La société sous la terre (Une utopie de G. Tarde),” Revue bleue 5/​ III, no. 11, 333–​336. Brodsky, Joseph. 1987. “Nobel Lecture December 8, 1987.” URL: http://​www.nobelprize. org/​nobel_​prizes/​literature/​laureates/​1987/​brodsky-​lecture.html. Cingolani, Patrick. 2013. “Tarde:  fictions et fragments du XXIe siècle.” Variations:  Revue internationale de théorie critique 18. Online. Goldman, Albert and Evert Sprinchorn, eds. 1970. Wagner on Music and Drama: A Selection from Richard Wagner’s Prose Works, translated by H. Ashton Ellis. London: Victor Gollancz. Kain, Philip J. 1982. Schiller, Hegel, and Marx: State, Society and the Aesthetic Ideal of Ancient Greece. Montreal–​Kingston: McGill-​Queen’s University Press. Lazzarato, Maurizio. 2004. “Introduction,” in Gabriel Tarde, Underground (Fragments of Future Histories). Brussels: Les maîtres de forme contemporains, 9–​19. Locke, John. 1988. The Second Treatise of Government, in Two Treatises of Government. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels. 1983. “Manifesto of the Communist Party,” in The Portable Karl Marx, edited by Eugene Kamenka. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 203–​241. Milet, Jean. 1970. Gabriel Tarde et la philosophie de l’histoire. Paris: Vrin. Montaigne, Michel de. 2003. “On Affectionate Relationships,” in The Complete Essays, translated by M. A. Screech. London: Penguin, 205–​219. Moore, George Edward. 1922 [1903]. Principia Ethica. Cambridge: University Press.

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More, Thomas. 2002. Utopia, translated by Robert M. Adams, Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press. Pascal, Blaise. 1941. Pensées, in Pensées, The Provincial Letters, translated by W. F. Trotter, 1–​ 321. New York: The Modern Library. Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni. 1956. Oration on the Dignity of Man, translated by A. Robert Caponigri. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing. Plato. 2007. The Republic, translated by Desmond Lee. London: Penguin. Renouvier, Charles Bernard. 1876. Uchronie: l’utopie dans l’histoire. Paris: Bureau de la critique philosophique. Schérer, René. 1998. “Préface:  Fin de siècle—​une utopie esthétique,” in Gabriel Tarde, Fragment d’histoire future. Biarritz: Séguier, 7–​37. Schiller, Friedrich. 1982. On the Aesthetical Education of Man, translated by Elisabeth M. Wilkinson and L. A. Willoughby. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Simmel, Georg. 1950. “Sociability,” in The Sociology of Georg Simmel, edited by Kurt H. Wolff. New York: The Free Press, 40–​57. Spencer, Herbert. 1893. The Principles of Ethics, vol. 2. New York: D. Appleton. —​—​—​. 1898. The Principles of Sociology, vol. 1. New York: D. Appleton. Tarde, Gabriel. 1892. “Les géants chauves: conte.” Revue bleue 50, no. 20, 611–​619. —​—​—​. 1896. “Fragment d’histoire future.” Revue internationale de sociologie 4, nos. 8–​9, 603–​654. —​—​—​. 1899. Les transformations du pouvoir. Paris: F. Alcan. —​—​—​. 1905. Underground Man, translated by Cloudesley Brereton, London: Duckworth. —​—​—​. 1962. The Laws of Imitation, translated by Elsie Clews Parsons. Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith. Tönnies, Ferdinand. 1887. Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft: Abhandlung des Communismus und des Socialismus als empirischer Kulturformen. Leipzig: Fues. —​—​—​. 2001. Community and the Civil Society, translated by Jose Harris and Margaret Hollis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Vatin, François. 2000. “Tarde, Cournot et la fin des temps,” L’Homme et la société, 136–​137, 127–​156. Williams, Rosalind H. 1982. Dream Worlds: Mass Consumption in Late Nineteenth-​Century France. Berkeley: University of California Press. —​—​—​. 2008. Notes on the Underground:  An Essay on Technology, Society, and the Imagination. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

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Chapter 11 GABRIEL TARDE’S MANUSCRIPTS AND LIBRARY: CONSTRUCTION AND USES OF DATABASE AT THE END OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY Louise Salmon

For two decades, social scientists seem to be rediscovering Tarde after having “forgotten”1 him throughout the twentieth century. Sociology, social psychology, philosophy and criminology are emerging as the exclusive favorite fields by which to address Gabriel Tarde’s thought, risking understanding him from a single “discipline” point of view—​not yet existing disciplines as such in the late nineteenth century. While Gabriel Tarde’s thought tends to be exploited by academic quarrels against structuralism and reduced to its conflict with Durkheim—​to the point that Mucchielli (2000) spoke of “tardomania” when the new edition of Tarde’s complete works was published—​Tarde’s collections (manuscripts and library) reveal a contradiction between the character through his archives and the character through his legacy. But Gabriel Tarde goes well beyond controversy. Both the manuscript collections and the library collections invite reconsideration of the published work. They highlight the process of scientific work upstream of the printed end product. According to Tarde’s principle, This study is a resumption of a part of the long critical introduction to the publication of inventories of the manuscripts of Gabriel Tarde published in 2014 with the CNRS Édition (Salmon 2014a). 1 “Gabriel Tarde est le grand oublié de la sociologie française,” Jannoud (1999). In reality, Tarde has never been “forgotten” in France. It is interesting to note a regular practice of reprint linked to the initiative of a personality recognized in the scientific community throughout the twentieth century until the reissue of the complete works with the Empêcheurs de penser en rond under the direction of Eric Alliez from 1999. These editorial initiatives seem to argue in favor of a more relative marginality as an oversight of Gabriel Tarde.

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the whole is different from the sum of its parts, each part—​however small it may be—​exists in itself while participating in a whole. Following Tarde, the infraordinary, the infinitesimal, the Monad, is significant in itself. In the human sciences, this rehabilitation of the small ordinary has been already experienced since Georges Perec (1989), in literature up to Carlo Ginzburg (1980) or Alain Corbin (1998) in history. Making this raw material significant, revealing the document as a source makes us refer to multiple traces of life as many completed or aborted possibles. Tarde’s collections (manuscripts and library) retrace the route from his earliest writings in Sarlat in 1860 until his death in 1904 in Paris, doing so through very dense and diverse documentary material:  books and reading notes, manuscripts, poems and plays, diaries, correspondence, manuscripts of articles and books. This documentary material, such a real library with printed and handwritten materials, plunges us into an archeology of Tarde’s thought from his early readings and writings to its classification, proofreading and rewriting practices at the genesis of his works. Serving the enunciation of his thought system, Tarde established a classification system and a working method that are proving to be a real database, a “cerveau extérieur.”

The Documentary Material, the Genesis of the Work Author, producer, and architect of the manuscript collections, Tarde leaves us, through this documentary material, multiple traces of his life in the process of happening, of his work in the process of being elaborated. Since Tarde’s death in 1904, these manuscripts and library lay much as the owner had left them in the family mansion of La Roque Gageac, in Dordogne (France). Jean Milet was one of the first researchers to work there. He appreciated them in situ: “At the center, a large black office; all around the room, rows of books amounted to assault the walls to the ceiling, tightly packed on sturdy shelves. An old stove, a few chairs, a cupboard-​library compose an atmosphere of studious intimacy”2 (Milet 1970, n. 21, 66). The manuscripts If private archives are often victims of the vagaries of loss or disposal, whether by their producer or by ownership changes, these manuscripts’ Tarde collection 2 “Au centre, un large bureau noir; tout autour de la pièce, des rangées de livres montent à l’assaut des murs, jusqu’au plafond, bien tassés sur de robustes rayons. Un vieux poêle, quelques fauteuils, un placard-​bibliothèque composent une atmosphère d’intimité studieuse.”

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is remarkable in itself for its metric importance, its diversity of nature and the supposed physical integrity of its documents (Salmon 2014a). The manuscripts lie in 99 boxes.3 Just over half consist of study (GTA 1–GTA 51) written between the 1860s and 1904. Products of intense intellectual activity, they bear witness to the free curiosity that underlies all Tarde’s thought. References are rich and varied. Just as legal, philosophical, economic, sociological and psychological and literary, artistic, historical, botanical, biological, physical and mathematical, study manuscripts feed Tarde’s inspiration and are the reservoir of his analogies. so abundantly present in all his work. The other half of the collection is made up of documents of a more heterogeneous nature. Working notes, manuscripts of articles, conferences, intimate writings, literary drafts, printouts, letters. Each corresponds to periods and stages in a lifetime of writing, seizing the moment or expanding it into something long lasting. Working papers from the Department of Justice (GTA 52–GTA 53)  are filed as Tarde’s chief bureau of judicial statistics from January 1894 to January 1899. Responsible for synthesizing important legal developments in France since 1891, he assembled material from 13 volumes of General Accounts of the Administration of Criminal Justice, Civil and Commercial, preceded by Reports commenting on statistical data. The Minister of Justice put his official signature on these texts, as usual, but was Gabriel Tarde who wrote them. Tarde even claimed them while applying to the chair of Modern Philosophy at the Collège de France in 1900, and again for the Académie des Sciences morales et politiques: “Writing reports preceding the thirteen volumes of judicial statistics (criminal, civil and commercial), published by the Ministry of Justice since January 1894 and relating to the years 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896 and 1897 (stat. crim.).”4 Manuscripts of articles and reports (GTA 74–GTA 78)  written and published between 1878 and 1904, the manuscripts of works (GTA 68–GTA 3 Thanks to the intermediary of Italian sociologist Massimo Borlandi, Françoise Bergeret, daughter of Guillaume de Tarde and granddaughter of Gabriel Tarde, deposited the manuscript collection, in accord with a donation agreement, in the Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po (Archives of CHSP) of the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques in Paris (France) in June 2001. Led by Dominique Parcollet, the archives are kept at 56 rue Jacob in the sixth arrondissement of Paris. They are open to consultation for researchers. A registration form is available on their website. 4 “Rédaction de rapports qui précèdent les treize volumes de statistique judiciaire (criminelle, civile et commerciale), publiés par le Ministère de la Justice depuis janvier 1894 et qui concernent les années 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896 et 1897 (stat. crim.).” Centre de Ressources sur l’Histoire des Crimes et des Peines (CRHCP). Gabriel Tarde Médiathèque. Tarde fund. Titres de candidature à l’Académie des sciences morales et politiques en remplacement de M. Paul Janet presented by Gabriel Tarde.

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73)  written and published between 1890 and 1904, as well as courses and conferences (GTA 54–GTA 57) held at the École libre des Sciences politiques in 1896 and the Collège de France between 1900 and 1904, identify his dense scientific activity. A  contributor to the Revue Philosophique and Archives d’Anthropologie Criminelle in the section on legal science and sociology, of which he became director in 1893, Tarde was published in many other Parisian magazines, such as Xavier Léon’s Revue de métaphysique et de morale, René Worms’s Revue internationale de sociologie, the Revue d’économie politique, the Revue internationale de l’enseignement, the Revue d’Anthropologie, and the Revue scientifique (Revue rose), the Revue politique et littéraire (Revue Bleue), the Revue des deux Mondes, the Revue de Paris. Just as his study manuscripts were the raw material of his theory books, the courses and conferences he organized were the laboratory of the publications Transformations of Power and Economic Psychology. Both publications largely stem from lecture series: the first consists of interventions made at the École libre des Sciences politiques on “Elements of political sociology” in 1896 and the Collège libre des Sciences Sociales on “Principles of political sociology” in 1898; the second consists of the course entitled “Economic Psychology” given at the Collège de France in 1900–​1901 and the École libre des Sciences politiques in 1902. A prolific author, as demonstrated by his publications, Gabriel Tarde is also a socialite linked to many learned societies,5 educational institutions6 and social circles of the capital. The 13 correspondence boxes (GTA 85–GTA 98), composed of letters and cards sent to Tarde from the 1860s to his death, allow us to better understand the connections and networks in which he participated and evolved. He assiduously frequented the salons, from those of provincial notables to the influential Parisian life. Much appreciated, he was welcomed with great favor and considered an outstanding personality. If we view the correspondence as an exchange, a written communication exchange, this implies the existence of a sender and a recipient. Tarde’s correspondence is incomplete: it presents the perspective of the sender, his correspondent. It is characterized as a passive correspondence collection. With few exceptions, it lacks most of the letters written and sent by Tarde, that is, its active correspondence. We can overcome this lack by identifying Tarde’s letters in archives of his contemporaries. We were able to reconstruct the epistolary exchange between Tarde and Ludovic Halévy, Mrs Hermann Raffalovich, George Renard, 5 Société historique et archéologique du Périgord, Société des Statistiques, Société générale des Prisons, l’Institut international de Sociologie (1893) and the Société de Sociologie (1895), Société de Philosophie. 6 Collège libre des Sciences sociales, École libre des Sciences politiques, École russe des Hautes Études sociales (from 1900).

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Ferdinand Brunetière, Louis Havet, Ernest Lavisse, Ossip Lourié, Eugène Müntz, Gaston Paris, Lionel Dauriac, Xavier Léon and Eugène Fournière, whose collections are deposited in Parisian libraries and institutions—​between Tarde and Alexandre Lacassagne, whose archives are accessible through the public library of Lyon (France); at least, between Tarde and Ferdinand Tönnies (Bonn), Napoleone Colajanni (Palermo), Achille Loria (Turin), and Filippo Turati (Amsterdam) (Blanckaert, Borlandi, Mucchielli 2000). Literary writings (GTA 58–GTA 63) by Gabriel Tarde from 1850 to 1890—​ kept in the form of drafts, of interim versions and, some of them, as published versions—​remind us that the first publication tardienne was a collection, Tales and Poems, published by Calmann-​Lévy in 1879. The following year, Tarde bought back the whole edition. It is therefore now quite difficult to find a copy other than in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. Throughout his life, he continued to write poems and comedies, some of which were published in local newspapers such as Le Sarladais or Le Glaneur (Sarlat), or in the Revue de Bordeaux or the Revue du siècle (Lyon). A utopian novelist in his spare time, he enjoyed writing uchronies, among which was Fragment of Future History (Tarde 1896a and 1896b).7 Scientific writing, literary writing, epistolary writing—​ the manuscripts have another kind of writing: the diary he kept. “Étude sociologique sur moi-​ même” (GTA 64–GTA 67) are 19 personal diaries written more or less regularly between 1862 and 1897 (Salmon 2005), between the ages of 19 and 54  years. Spurred on by this practice of intimate writing, he maintained a “nocturnal” between March 1870 and September 1872 (Carroy, Salmon 2010) as well as travel notebooks between 1877 and 1901. Boxes of articles (GTA 79–GTA 84) are composed of paper. Corresponding to a selection-​and-​clipping practice that distinguishes them from articles in periodicals, the newspaper clips are the product of a very specific activity, which may therefore resemble the archive. The conditions of these documents highlight the biased nature of corpus, which was related to reading and revising requirements specified by the subscriber. They reflect Tarde’s contemporary concerns. To develop this last point more concretely:  the practice of reading the press—​understood in a broad sense—​seems to fit into an utilitarian function:  through the Argus Press, Tarde could measure his visibility in the press, identify the reception of his publications as well as have the appreciation of his contemporaries and thus better assess his 7 The neologism “uchronie” used by Charles Renouvier (Uchronie:  L’utopie dans l’histoire): esquisse historique apocryphe du développement de la civilisation européenne tel qu’il n’a pas été, tel qu’il aurait pu être […] (Paris, Bureau de la Critique philosophique, revised and expanded second edition) which probably inspired Tarde to write a fictional and divergent story.

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position and his inclusion in the society of his time. Tarde was not satisfied with the French press, which also enabled him to track his name in the international press. The result is an inventory of clippings of many articles quoting his works, his ideas, his interventions in the public sphere (conferences, public letters). From another point of view—​which does not rule out the previous one and may even add to it—​the Argus can be a way for gripping the multiple glints of this time, opinion currents of the French society in the late nineteenth century (Salmon 2014b, 2009). The last box of the collection contains Gabriel Tarde’s personal papers (GTA 99). It is essentially composed of documents dealing with current business (invoices, account books, subscriptions and contributions) and social and scientific life (menus, invitations and notices, appointment at the Collège de France and at the Institut de France). Like the object of a study, the materials that make up a corpus of documents must be contextualized. This requirement of the historicization has significant merit to bring out shadows, silences, absences—​and remember that the archives do not tell everything. From the manuscripts, some absences and silences appeared. Their occultations of Tarde’s papers are even more paradoxical in that they do not coincide with their constant physical presence beside Gabriel Tarde in the case of his wife, Marthe Bardy-​Delisle, and their three sons, Paul (1878–​1948), Alfred (1880–​1925) and Guillaume (1885–​1989), or with their temporal importance in the case of his childhood, or of his law studies in Toulouse and Paris, or his professional practice as an investigating judge (Salmon and Renneville, expected to be published in 2018; Salmon 2014c). The last silence is remarkable in itself because it omits thirty years of his life, between September 1869 and February 1900. These years were spent as a senior official in the administration of justice. Except for years of a practice at the Ministry of Justice, the manuscript collection brings no knowledge of the functions he held as a judge from 1869 to 1894. Given the abundance of study manuscripts, the absence of documents on his professional activity could very well go unnoticed and skew the approach to our figure for this period. As important as it is, however, this lack can be explained. As a magistrate, Gabriel Tarde is bound by professional secrecy. All acts of criminal investigation—​among other criminal transporting reports, witness auditions, seizure of evidentiary items, all that make up the elements of the criminal case file established by the judge instruction—​are protected and belong to the Department of Justice in France. Produced, received and processed by Tarde while he was in a public service mission, these documents have a public archive status. They were kept in their local administration, and it was not until 1926 that the documents were released from the “justice de paix,” the Trial Courts and the Courts of Appeal became mandatory, with a hundred

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years retroactivity. But where the task becomes more difficult for the historian is when public records are themselves incomplete. The absence of Tarde’s career file in the Archives nationales de France (Paris) as well as the absence of procedural issues in the justice series of the Archives départementales de Périgueux do not allow us to fill in the gaps of Tarde’s collection. The library’s Tarde collection Initiated by Roger Chartier (2001, 1993, 1992, 1987), the historian’s works on libraries, particularly on the uses of reading, have demonstrated that libraries were sources of great importance to cultural history and intellectual history. An exceptional collection of Gabriel Tarde’s library includes more than 3,000 physical documents. Out of this total, 1,634 were catalogued according to thematics brought by the Centre de Ressources sur l’Histoire des Crimes et des Peines (CRHCP)8. We can find many collections in this place (Salmon 2014a):  history of crime, justice and prisons and particularly the prison administration (political, institutions, prison population), criminology (theories, surveys), psychiatry (institutions, forensic examinations, treatments) representations of crime and criminal (press, literature, iconography, audiovisual) (Renneville 2004) out of these 1,634 references, 1,480 are specialized works (i.e., 90.6% of the collection), and 154 are titles of scientific journals (i.e., 9.4% of the manuscript). Finally, out of the 1,480 books, 36 were Tarde’s writings (i.e., 2.4% of the items). A source of information and ideas that Tarde could draw on at will, his library is comprised of Greek and Latin “classical” authors as well as French, German and English writers and philosophers of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As evidence of his legal training and practice as a magistrate, we find on the shelves particularly abundant legal documentation comprised of manuals, law treaties and many writings of contemporary lawyers or criminologists. Outcome resulting of problematics he felt concerned about but also of an intellectual curiosity hungry for knowledge, his library also holds books describing the latest research and advances in French and foreign contemporary works, both in the field of human sciences (sociology, psychology, history) and in natural,

8 Under the leadership of Marc Renneville, criminal sciences historian, Gabriel Tarde’s library was placed under a donation agreement in February 2002 to the Centre de Ressources sur l’Histoire des Crimes et des Peines (CRHCP), the historical collection of the mediatheque at the École Nationale d’Administration Pénitentiaire in Agen (France). 440 Avenue Michel Serres CS 10028–​47916 Agen cedex 9.  Led by Jack Garçon, the CRHCP is open to consultation. The booklet of the Center is online at ENAP.

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physical, chemical and mathematical sciences. Given the completeness of titles compiled by Tarde on topics discussed in his time, Milet noted, “When Tarde had to think about a problem, his first concern was to procure immediately all possible documentation on this issue”9 (Milet 1970, 65–​66). Some documents are autographed by their authors, and some are annotated by the hand of Gabriel Tarde. In terms of proportion, 25 percent of the books (i.e., 416 references) are autographed by the author or presented as a tribute to Tarde, and 30 per cent (i.e., 493 references) are annotated by the hand of Tarde. Thus, out of 416 autographed books, only nine were certainly read by Tarde. This brings us to the limitations of libraries as objects of scientific study. The presence of a book in the racks does not imply it has been read, or even bought by Tarde. The published titles without value that could constitute his more frequent readings are ignored. They belong to these “common things”10 (Perec 1989, 11) omnipresent in everyday life but which, paradoxically, are not recollected and thus leave no trace. Finally, all the books from the public library or from exchanges between people of the good society do not appear in the library. Appointed in January 1894 at the Ministry of Justice in Paris, Gabriel Tarde moved to Paris from Sarlat. What did happen to the La Roque Gageac library? Sharing his time between his home in Paris Rue Saint-​Placide, then Avenue de La Bourdonnaye from 1900, and the family manor in La Roque Gageac, presumably he had a Parisian working library—​at worst composed only of books sent and at best of books purchased with the likings of his research and reflections. The relatively low presence of sociology literature, although not representative of the emergence of this new science of society and interest that Tarde brought to it, may reinforce the hypothesis of a “Parisian library.” At Tarde’s death on May 12, 1904, his sons were able to recover his library for their personal use and integrate it into their own libraries. In the event that this potential Parisian library was moved just after the death of Tarde and incorporated in the “La Roque Gageac library,” it is very difficult to distinguish today these hypothetical additions in the current library filed in CRHCP. Only the publishing date may turn out to be a relevant filter. So all the books published from 1894 have been sent and/​or purchased by Tarde in Paris and composed this virtual Parisian library. Related to his compulsive reading and writing practice Tarde produced a very dense documentary material out of which particularly emerge the 9 “Lorsque Tarde avait à réfléchir sur un problème, sa première préoccupation était de se procurer immédiatement toute la documentation possible concernant ce problème.” 10 “Chooses communes.”

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first scripture of his system of thought. In order to best mobilize these data, Tarde gradually developed a system of classification and a working method to recover all the considerations and information stored in connection with a theme or a particular problem. Very structured (thematically and chronologically) and localized in one place (in the office of the tower of the Manor of La Roque Gageac), the printed and manuscript library proves to be a real database, an “external brain.”11

Handwritten Library and Printed Library, the Tarde Database The manuscripts and library allow us to understand Gabriel Tarde not merely through his finished work but from the genesis of his thought. We can now trace his first readings and his early writings, the first enunciations of his system of thought. Also does reveal itself the gradual establishment of a working method to get in shape, to classify and to resume ceaselessly his study manuscripts stemming from his readings and personal considerations. Early readings, early writings His first handwritten notes are “readings residues—​or rather thoughts after reading” and are dated December 1861.12 Chronologically, they coincide within a few years with his notes in 1860 on the Cicero “Traité De Officiis,”13 with his first poems, among which are “detached thoughts of 1864–​1868” and “mixed thoughts (of my 23rd year but two pieces of my 18th year),”14 with his “first quire, (June 1862–​August 1862)” of his “Étude psychologique sur moi-​même,”15 and finally with a “Chronique théâtrale” first paper published in 1862 or in 1863 in a local newspaper—​probably Le Glaneur. Early readings, early writings. Reading and writing practices intertwining, the presence of handwritten notes and attached documents in books of Tarde’s library put this collection on the border between the printout and the manuscript. During his long hours of reading, Tarde wrote directly in his books, annotating and commenting 11 “Cerveau extérieur.” “Ma bibliothèque est mon cerveau extérieur,” novembre 1881, Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde collection. 12 “Résidus de lectures –​ou plutôt de réflexions après lectures.” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 49. 13 Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 1. 14 “Des pensées détachées 1864–​1868,” “des pensées mêlées (de ma 23e année, sauf deux morceaux de ma 18e année),” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 59. 15 Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 64.

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in the margins passages that got his attention. Located in the margins, in the introductory pages or on separate slips, these annotations usually consist in “swallows” or terse remarks. Blank pages at the end of the book are mobilized to the comment of note with a reminder of the page. On rare occasions, they are used for the establishment of a thematic index with a systematic referral to the relevant pages. More than a source of inspiration and knowledge, the book becomes a support to rational writing that indexes at the end of the book the themes held to the rhythm of reading. The first edition of Durkheim’s Suicide is a striking example (Borlandi, Cherkaoui 2000). In the case of inclusion of slips in the books, it is essentially working manuscripts, notes or drawings, and sometimes letters. One should note that Tarde’s annotations are not the exclusive guarantees of a playback volume. Tarde could have read a book without annotating it. The confrontation to the manuscript collection turns out to be another effective way to capture the reading action. Products of Tarde’s considerations and readings, study manuscripts then become witnesses of the works ingested by Tarde: these first “readings residues” become “reading notes” in February 1867, followed by “reading notes” from July 1867, and finally the “notes scattered readings” from October 1867 until December 1871.16 With these slips, Tarde produced notebooks that he bound himself with white yarn. From February 1867 to December 1871 he wrote 13 bound notebooks of notes and considerations stemming from his readings. From the second notebook, the title page and dating are formalized: “III notes scattered readings, October 1867–​February 1868.”17 Complementing these “reading notes” in the same period of the 1860s, we find in the thematic classification of the study manuscripts operated by Tarde three folders:  “Philosophical notes,”18 “Psychological notes”19 and “Miscellaneous notes.”20 Gabriel Tarde set these records by assembling slips of notes in small annotated and dated folders. Tarde’s “mingled thoughts” are disentangled slowly and are organized more systematically. With method (files and folders) and accuracy (systematic dating), they are gradually structured according to different themes. By overlapping the chronologic and thematic classification, four categories of Tarde’s early writings are distinguished: literary writing, which came from his poems; introspective writing, which is

16 “Résidus de lectures,” “notes de lectures,” “notes sur lectures,” “notes sur lectures éparses.” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde collection, GTA 49. 17 “III Notes sur lectures éparses, octobre 1867-​février 1868.” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 49. 18 “Notes philosophiques,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 41. 19 “Notes psychologiques,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 45. 20 “Notes diverses,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 47.

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from his quires (“Psychological studies on myself ”) and scholarly compiled writing, which came from his readings, and finally philosophical writing from personal considerations. These four writing practices are distinct from one another until the late 1860s. However, scholarly writing and compilatrice philosophical writing tend to merge, since Tarde permanently interrupts his “notes on readings” and merges them with his personal reflections in his study manuscripts. Now he organizes them by themes. The headings specify more explicitly his thought: “Sociology,”21 “Space and time (relates to monadology and opposition) 1872–​1879,”22 “Philosophical notes on possibles, about God, the conservation of force,”23 “Philosophical Notes. My new-​monadology,”24 “Faith and desire. Quantity in the soul,”25 “Study on Maine de Biran,” “Observations on dreams.” Mixtures and philosophical,”26 “Philosophical Notes. Social Science,”27 “Psychological notes,”28 “On Herbert Spencer,”29 “The meaning of law and duty”30 and so forth. These exchanges between printouts and manuscripts provide information about the function of the library as a database for its owner. Self-​taught, Tarde imagines his printed and manuscript library both as a showcase of the scientific world in the late nineteenth century that feeds him conscientiously, but also as a work tool, an “external brain” demonstrating a willingly appropriation of this scientific world. Tarde noted in July 1873 that “to arrive to a new idea, true or false, moreover, a scholar, a philosopher must first feed on all the ideas and all the discovered facts before him.”31 The annotated books and the study manuscripts produced by his practice of accumulation and compilation 21 “Sociologie,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 36. 22 “Espace et temps (se rattache à ma monadologie et à l’opposition) 1872–​1879,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 37. 23 “Notes philosophiques sur les possibles, sur Dieu, la conservation de la force,Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 38. 24 “Notes philosophiques. Ma néo-​monadologie,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 39. 25 “Foi et désir. Quantité dans l’âme,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 40. 26 “Étude sur Maine de Biran. Observations sur les rêves. Et mélanges philosophiques,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 43. 27 “Notes philosophiques. Science Sociale,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 44. 28 “Notes psychologiques,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 45. 29 “Sur Herbert Spencer,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 46. 30 “Analyse des notions de Droit et de Devoir,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 50. 31 “Que, pour arriver à une idée nouvelle, vraie ou fausse d’ailleurs, un savant, un philosophe doit préalablement se nourrir de toutes les idées et de tous les faits découverts

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surely attest to this laborious process of digestion inherent in formulating a system of thought. Early utterances of Tarde’s thought system In reading the writings on Maine de Biran and Cournot, Spencer and Taine, Stuart Mill, Kant, Bentham, and Darwin—​all present on the shelves of his library, as well as through the writings of his diary and his study manuscripts—​ Gabriel Tarde formulated his main ideas at the opposite of intellectual circles (Salmon 2014a). “There is a shack in a rock near Sarlat, in front of a wonderful view, where I tasted the purest joys of troglodytic life. My best ideas are born there […] In fact, my main ideas were formed long before their publication. One of my former colleagues, Ruffec, remembers very well that I have often explained to him, in 1874 or 1875, what he has read afterwards more developed in my books […] between twenty and thirty years old, my system of ideas has taken shape”32 (Tarde 1904). At an early stage of his life, Tarde expressed the will to develop a system of thought. Manuscripts have titles such as: “Essential to the basics of the system,”33 or “Notes on the foundations of the system, from July to August 1878.”34 Between 1875 and 1880, Tarde formulated his triad repeat-​opposition-​adaptation: “The foliage is to flower what imitation is to invention. The flower is an invention, a plant discovery, accomplished by the union and agreement of these long and many periodic repetitions called leaves, January 1876.”35 And by 1880, some topics related to imitation appear in articles. The term imitation especially appears in 1882.

avant lui,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 2 “Essentiel pour les bases du système,” juillet 1873. 32 “Il y a près de Sarlat une masure dans un rocher, en face d’une vue délicieuse, où j’ai goûté les plus pures joies de la vie troglodytique. Mes meilleures idées sont nées là-​bas […] De fait, mes idées principales se sont formées bien longtemps avant leur publication. Un de mes anciens collègues de Ruffec se souvient très bien que je lui ai souvent exposé, dès 1874 ou 1875, ce qu’il a lu depuis plus développé dans mes ouvrages […] entre vingt et trente ans, mon système d’idées a pris corps.” 33 “Essentiel pour les bases du système,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 2. 34 “Notes sur les fondements du système, juillet-​août 1878,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 39, “Notes sur les fondements du système, juillet-​août 1878.” 35 “Le feuillage est à la fleur ce que l’imitation est à l’invention. La fleur est une invention, une découverte végétale, accomplie par l’union et l’accord de ces longues et nombreuses répétitions périodiques qu’on appelle les feuilles, janvier 1876.” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 2, “Sur la Répétition (1879 surtout).”

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Tarde was thinking about the resumption of some written from the perspective of a publication, as indicated in this note:  “To be attached to the transformation in a chapter of my articles on archaeology and statistics become Laws of Imitation.”36 Although conceived early, the book appeared 18  years later. Ian Lubek (1981) underlines this point and the solution on which Tarde and Felix Alcan, the publisher, agreed.37 To resolve issues of financing and distribution to the public, Alcan suggested publication of the book in two parts:  the first under the title “Social Psychology Essay on the Science of Societies.”38 The Laws of Imitation was published in 1890 with the success that we know. The Social Logic appeared in 1895 with less success (Lubek 1981). From August to September 1887, the correspondence between Gabriel Tarde, Théodule Ribot and Félix Alcan describes the steps in this decision. A letter to Xavier Léon in 1893, confirming Tarde’s desire to associate The Laws of Imitation and The Social Logic in the same reflexive dynamics, reveals him compelled to hasten the writing to publish his second part: “Indeed, when I thought of publishing my Laws of Imitation, I first was proposing to publish at the same time, as the second volume, my social logic, of which I have since printed fragments. Right now, I work to join and complement this, but the difficulty of the task, coupled with delays caused by my professional work and my unstable health, always makes me move back the prospect of the end of this toil. I’ll finish, I believe, by underlying simple volume fragments, sort of building in dry stone. And yet I do not know if I would dare?”39 According to author’s words, anterior publication of passages and the fragmentary composition of the book may tend to explain the diminished welcome with which The Social Logic was received. 36 “À joindre à la transformation en chapitre de mes articles sur l’archéologie et la statistique devenus lois de l’imitation.” 37 “Je suis tout à fait de votre avis ; il vaut mieux publier un premier volume avec titre distinct et faire suivre le second, comme un ouvrage indépendant et sous un titre différent,” lettre d’Alcan à Tarde, Paris, 19 août 1887, Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 44. 38 “La psychologie sociale, essai sur la science des sociétés, autre titre les Lois de l’imitation.” 39 “À vrai dire, quand j’ai songé à publier mes Lois de l’Imitation, je me proposais d’abord de publier en même temps, comme second volume, ma logique sociale, dont j’ai fait, depuis, imprimer des fragments. En ce moment, je travaille à rejoindre et à compléter cela, mais la difficulté de la tâche, jointe aux retards causés par mon travail professionnel ou ma santé instable, me fait toujours reculer la perspective du terme de ce labeur. Je finirai, je crois, par composer un simple volume de fragments, sorte de bâtisse à pierres sèches. Et encore ne sais-​je si je l’oserais ?” Victor Cousin library. Panthéon-​Sorbonne. FB791/​410–​411, letter of September 13, 1893 written in La Roque-​Gageac and addressed to Xavier Leon.

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Both these study manuscripts, which gradually merge compilated scholarly writing and philosophical writing, and this correspondence between the different actors who participated in the publication of two major works of Gabriel Tarde, teach us about Tarde’s working methods. By observing the ranking and the composing folders system operated by Tarde, we can also identify practices of rereading and rewriting old notes. Ranking, rereading and rewriting practices Composed throughout a lifetime, such a database is probably related to the strong desire of the owner to collect, standardize, preserve and use documentary material in one place. Take the example of study manuscripts. Representing a significant share of collection, they bear the clear imprint of a grading and shaping by Tarde. The concordance between the study manuscripts and the small folders, or files, established for collecting them thematically well attests of that original internal organization. Concretely, this classification consists of multiple small free or double slips annotated and dated in a half-​“format écolier.” Then these slips are classified and grouped in handmade folders of the same format. These are usually titled with an indication of the time limits of the time of writing—​“Space and time (belongs to my monadology and opposition) 1872–​1879.”40 Finally, those folders are stored and labeled with the name of the developed theme—​“Philosophical notes,” “Sociology notes,” “Psychological notes.”41 Of this ranking system of his study manuscripts, the result is a considerable mass of unpublished documents collected and kept by Gabriel Tarde from 1860s until the end of his life. In addition to the date and title of the contents of folders, annotations appear on some of these: “used,” “used in major part,” “much to use,” “to use again” “classify,” “unused.”42 Literally, they therefore specify whether the notes were used in a work or not, whether there are still ideas to extract, or to classify in another folder. On a folder named “Mingled thoughts” that can be dated from 1866, one can read an annotation indicating that Tarde regularly reread his notes, not hesitating to return to his first writings: “(of my 23rd year, but two pieces of my 18th year) (There are in there a lot to review and well worth

40 “Espace et temps (se rattache à ma monadologie et à l’opposition) 1872–​1879,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 37. 41 “Notes philosophiques,” “Notes de sociologie,” “Notes psychologiques.” 42 “Utilisée,” “utilisée en majeur partie,” “beaucoup à utiliser encore,” “à utiliser encore,” “à classer,” “non-​utilisée.”

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what I have done since).”43 Tarde wrote in a note from 1865: “Providentially, today September 29, 1898, I came across this note written 33 years ago and which deals with a subject that I have extensively treated during these holidays.”44 This topic which Tarde had “extensively treated” is the conversation as a social fact. He published it as an article in the Revue de Paris (Tarde 1899). Not surprisingly, we find the metaphor of fire (Tarde 1989, 126, 132), which he had initially made in his 1865 notes: “In the heat of the conversation, some are logs, other flames. Some people, not the least, deserving the mere role of tweezers. They fan, stir, bring order, avoid the fire.”45 In a letter to Xavier Léon, Tarde describes his method: “Dear Sir, I assure you, as soon as I can, I  will be pleased to send you an article for the Revue. I’ll see if any part of my course may be used for this. But maybe I will decide to send a very old job I have found a few months ago (the nature of causality) and that I never had the opportunity to publish.”46 “Application of my ideas to the policy, 1899,”47 which brings together notes for Les transformations du pouvoir, was published in 1899. From his library to his manuscripts, Tarde’s scholarly activity results of a continuous back-​and-​forth between an assiduous practice of reading the classics and the works of his contemporaries, and in compulsive writing practice generating his many study manuscripts. Manuscript library and printed 43 “Pensées mêlées,” “(de ma 23e année, sauf deux morceaux de ma 18e année) (Il y a là-​ dedans beaucoup de choses à revoir et qui valent bien ce que j’ai fait depuis),” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 58. 44 “Le hasard fait qu’aujourd’hui 29 septembre 1898, je tombe sur cette note écrite il y a 33 ans et qui traite d’un sujet que je viens de traiter abondamment ces vacances,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 58, Poèmes “pensées-​ mêlées” “pensées détachées” 1864–​1868. 45 “Dans le feu de la conversation, les uns sont bûches, les autres flammes. Quelques personnes, non les moins méritantes se contentent de rôle de pincettes. Elles atisent [sic], remuent, mettent de l’ordre, empêche l’incendie,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 58, Poèmes “pensées-​mêlées” “pensées détachées” 1864–​1868. 46 “Cher Monsieur, je vous assure que, dès que cela me sera possible j’aurai grand plaisir à vous envoyer un article pour la Revue. Je verrai si quelque partie de mon cours pourra être utilisée pour cela. Mais peut-​être me déciderai-​je à vous envoyer un très ancien travail que j’ai retrouvé il y a quelques mois (sur la nature de la causalité) et que je n’ai jamais eu l’occasion de publier.” The italicized words are underlined by Tarde. Victor Cousin library. Pantheon-​Sorbonne. FB791/​420, letter dated 16 September 1900 written in La Roque-​Gajac and addressed to Xavier Leon. Written in 1874, “L’Action des faits futurs” was in fact published in the Review of Leon under the same title and slightly modified (Tarde 1901a). 47 “Application de mes idées à la politique 1899,” Archives of the CHSP, Gabriel Tarde fund, GTA 22–​23.

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library are, however, only the imperfect reflection of Tarde’s work practices if they are analyzed separately from each other. Neither manuscripts nor printouts are enough. One must confront each other. Indicator of reading and intensive writing practices, database constituted by Tarde allows us to trace the source of an enunciation process of scientific work and to highlight Tarde’s episteme (Foucault 1969, 1966). In moving from the private sphere to the public sphere, Tarde collections rehabilitate the documents of the preliminary work that is too often forgotten because it is too often considered in relation to the published works such as unfinished and as no-​scientific. Traces of the work in the process of being, they enrich the knowledge of the published work. But it is not only to examine the conditions of production and of use of the materials involved in the production of knowledge, especially criminological knowledge and sociological knowledge by isolating a priori the only figure of Gabriel Tarde, but also to apprehend it in a broader context, which was that of France and of the world in the late nineteenth century. Thus, the thoughts and acts as well as Tarde’s relations with his environment enable us to experience the living science in the tangle of social logics that participated in its construction.

References Bert, Jean-​François. 2012. L’atelier de Marcel Mauss. Un anthropologue paradoxal. Paris: CNRS Éditions. Blanckaert, Claude, Massimo Borlandi and Laurent Mucchielli. 2000. “Gabriel Tarde et la criminologie au tournant du siècle,” Revue d’histoire des sciences humaines, 3. Borlandi, Massimo, and Mohammed Cherkaoui. 2000. Le suicide, un siècle après Durkheim. Paris: PUF. Carroy, Jacqueline, and Louise Salmon. 2010. Gabriel Tarde. Sur le sommeil ou plutôt sur les rêves, et autres écrits, 1870–​1873. Lausanne: Bibliothèque d’histoire de la médecine et de la santé. Chartier, Roger. 1987. Lectures et lecteurs dans la France d’Ancien Régime. Paris: Seuil. —​—​—​. 1992. L’Ordre des livres. Lecteurs, auteurs, bibliothèques en Europe entre xive et xviiie siècle. Aix-​en-​Provence: Alinea. —​—​—​ (dir.). 1993. Pratiques de la lecture. Paris: Payot. Chartier, Roger, and Guglielmo Cavallo. 2001 [1997]. Histoire de la lecture dans le monde occidental, Paris: Seuil. Corbin, Alain. 1998. Le monde retrouvé de Louis-​François Pinagot, sur les traces d’un inconnu (1798–​ 1876). Paris: Champs Flammarion. Ginzburg, Carlo. 1980. Le fromage et les vers: l’univers d’un meunier du XVIe siècle. Paris: Aubier. Foucault, Michel. 1966. Les mots et les choses. Une archéologie des sciences humaines. Paris: Gallimard. —​—​—​. 1969. L’Archéologie du savoir. Paris: Gallimard. Jacob, Christian (dir.). 2011. Lieux de savoirs. Tome 2 Les mains de l’intellect. Paris: Albin Michel. Jannoud, Claude. 1999. “Le plus métaphysique des sociologues,” Figaro littéraire, 4 février 1999.

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Latour, Bruno. 1995. La science en action. Introduction à la sociologie des sciences. Paris: Gallimard. —​—​—​. 2002. La fabrique du droit. Une ethnographie du Conseil d’État. Paris: La Découverte. —​—​—​. 2006. Changer de société. Refaire de la sociologie. Paris: La Découverte. Latour, Bruno, and Steve Woolgar. 1988. La vie de laboratoire. La production des faits scientifiques. Paris: La Découverte. Lubek, Ian. 1981. “Histoire de psychologies sociales perdues:  le cas de Gabriel Tarde,” Revue Française de Sociologie, 22, 361–​395. Milet, Jean. 1970. Gabriel Tarde et la philosophie de l’histoire. Paris: Vrin. Mucchielli, Laurent. 2000. “Tardomania? Réflexions sur les usages contemporains de Tarde, Revue d’Histoire des Sciences Humaines, 3, 161–​184. Pérec, Georges. 1989 [1973]. L’infra-​ordinaire. Paris: Le Seuil. Renneville, Marc. 2004. “Pour la création d’un centre national de ressources historiques sur les crimes et les peines,” Champ pénal/​Penal field [online], Vie de la recherche. URL: http://​champpenal.revues.org/​36; DOI: 10.4000/​champpenal.36/​. Renouvier, Charles. 1876. Uchronie (L’utopie dans l’histoire):  esquisse historique apocryphe du développement de la civilisation européenne tel qu’il n’a pas été, tel qu’il aurait pu être. Paris: Bureau de la Critique philosophique. Salmon, Louise. 2005. “Gabriel Tarde et la société à la fin du XIXe siècle: ‘rapides moments de vie sociale,’ ” Revue d’Histoire des Sciences humaines, 13, 127–​182. —​—​—​. 2009 [2005]. “Gabriel Tarde and the Dreyfus Affair. Reflections on the engagement of an intellectual,” Champ pénal/​Penal field [online], vol. II. URL: http://​champpenal. revues.org/​7185; DOI: 10.4000/​champpenal.7185. —​—​—​ (dir.). 2014a. Le Laboratoire de Gabriel Tarde. Des manuscrits et une bibliothèque pour les sciences sociales. Paris: CNRS Éditions. —​—​—​. 2014b. “The commitments of a social observer: A biographical note on Gabriel Tarde,” in Katz, Elihu, Ali, Christopher and Kim, Joohan (dir.), Echoes of Gabriel Tarde. What We Know Better or Different 100 Years Later. Los Angeles: University of Southern California’s Annenberg Press, 241–​259. —​—​—​. 2014c. “Comment saisir le crime? Vol et voleur face au juge d’instruction et criminologue Gabriel Tarde,” in Frédéric Chauvaud and Arnaud-​Dominique Houte (dir.), Au voleur!. Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 283–​296. Salmon, Louise, and Marc Renneville. (Expected to be published in 2018). “À la croisée des chemins. Le droit et la sociologie chez Gabriel Tarde,” in Mélanie Plouviez and Frédéric Audren (dir.), Droit et Sociologie (1860–​1939). Moment juridique de la sociologie ou moment sociologique du droit?. Paris: Classiques Garnier collection Bibliothèque des sciences sociales, dirigée par Steiner, Ph. et Vatin, F. Tarde, Gabriel. 1896a. “Fragment d’histoire future,” Revue internationale de sociologie. Paris: Giard et Brière, 4, 603–​654. —​—​—​. 1896b. Fragment d’histoire future. Paris: Giard et Brière. —​—​—​. 1899. “L’Opinion et la conversation,” Revue de Paris, 15 août, 689–​719 et 1er septembre, 91–​116. —​—​—​. 1901a. “L’Action des faits futurs,” Revue de métaphysique et de morale, 2, 119–​137. —​—​—​. 1901b. L’Opinion et la foule. Paris: Alcan. —​—​—​. 1904. “Nécrologie. Gabriel Tarde,” Revue universelle, Paris: Larousse, 112, 333. —​—​—​. 1989 [1901]. L’Opinion et la foule. Paris: PUF.

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CONTRIBUTORS Massimo Borlandi was a professor of sociology at the University of Turin. He has worked extensively on the history of French social thought. He is the editor of the Revue européenne des sciences sociales. Elihu Katz is trustee professor of communication at the Annenberg School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is also professor emeritus of sociology and communication at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Katz has received honorary degrees from eight universities, as well as the UNESCO–​Canada McLuhan Prize and the Israel Prize. Together with Chris Ali and Joohan Kim, Katz is presently preparing a hyper-​text edition of Tarde’s Opinion and Conversation. Robert Leroux is a professor of sociology at the University of Ottawa. He has published many books, most notably, Histoire et sociologie en France—​De l’histoire-​science à la sociologie durkheimienne, Cournot sociologue, (Paris: PUF, 2004), Lire Bastiat, Aux fondements de l’industrialisme (Paris:  Hermann, 2015). Leroux’s book on Bastiat was awarded the Du Hamel Dubreuil Charles Dupin Prize by the Académie des Sciences Sociales (Paris). Ian Lubek is a professor of psychology at University of Guelph (Canada), visiting professorial fellow at the National Centre in HIV Social Research, University of New South Wales (Australia), a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, and a frequent visiting researcher in Europe (IRESCO/CNRS in Paris; University Leiden, NL). Research interests have included theory, meta-theory and epistemology; gender issues in scientific mentoring and career productivity; the social psychology of science; violence and media; the history of social psychology. Thierry Martin is professor of philosophy at l’Université de Franche-​Comté. His main research interests are the history and philosophy of probabilities and statistics. Martin is the author of Probabilités et critique philosophique selon Cournot. Efraim Podoksik is senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he teaches political thought and

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intellectual history. One major area of Podoksik’s research is the social philosophy of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, in which he currently focuses on the ideas of Georg Simmel and Ferdinand Tönnies. He is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Oakeshott (2012) and author of In Defence of Modernity: Vision and Philosophy in Michael Oakeshott (2003) and numerous articles in academic journals such as Journal of the History of Ideas, Modern Intellectual History, Journal of Political Philosophy, Political Studies, and History of Political Thought. Marc Renneville is a research supervisor at the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and director of CLAMOR (Center for Digital Humanities and History of Justice, UMS 3726). He is also author of Le Langage des crânes: Une histoire de la phrénologie (2000) and Crime et folie: Deux siècles d’enquêtes médicales et judiciaires (2003). James B.  Rule was born in California and educated at the University of California, Brandeis University and Harvard University. He has previously held teaching and research appointments at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Nuffield College, Oxford; the Université de Bordeaux; Clare Hall, Cambridge; and the State University of New York, Stony Brook. Rule is currently at the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley. He has written widely on privacy and surveillance; the causes of civil violence; the role of social science in improvement of social conditions; and progress and cumulation in social thought. Louise Salmon is a PhD candidate at the Center of Nineteenth-​Century History associated with the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-​Sorbonne and the University of Paris 4 Sorbonne. She studies Gabriel Tarde’s work from the perspective of writing a history of science in the nineteenth century. Salmon is more particularly interested in the anthropology of the practices of the scientific research: practices of reading, practices of writing, practices of sociability in the production process of a scientific work. She has published Le Laboratoire de Gabriel Tarde. Des manuscrits et une bibliothèque pour les sciences sociales and, with Jacqueline Carroy, Gabriel Tarde, Sur le Sommeil ou plutôt sur les rêves, et autres écrits, 1870–​1873. David Toews received his PhD in philosophy from the Univerity of Warwick, England. An assistant-​winning teacher and major research grant recipient in the area of sociology, he has been a faculty member in several universities. Bernard Valade is an emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Paris-​ Sorbonne. He has published many books and articles on the history of social sciences. Valade is notably the author of an important book on Vilfredo Pareto.

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INDEX Aboud, F. E. 38, 48 Albou, P. 74, 85 Allport, F. H. 31, 39, 44 Apfelbaum, E. 5–​8, 15, 17, 20 Amar, J. 19, 39 Anderson, B. 55, 57 Aron, R. 2 Ashley, W. 78 Aubin, A. 132

Bourdeau, J. 94, 100 Bourdieu, P. 150 Bourgeois, L. 7 Bourgin, H. 26, 29, 41 Braud, P. 97, 100 Broca, P. 112 Brunetière, F. 191 Burgess, E. 32, 45 Burt, R. 50, 53, 57

Bagehot, W. 34, 78 Baldwin, J. M. 13, 24, 30–​36, 39, 40, 46, 47, 74, 98 Bardy-​Delisle, M. 192 Barry, A. 6, 40, 161, 163 Bastiat, F. 77, 126 Benoit-​Smullyan 24 Benrubi, J. 11, 22, 31, 40 Berelson, B. 49, 52, 57, 58 Bergeret, F. 189 Bergson, H. 9, 18, 26, 40 Bernheim, H. 10 Bernard, C. 22 Berr, H. 128, 132 Bertillon, J. 110 Besnard, P. 6, 17, 40, 134 Binet, A. 15, 17, 18, 26, 27, 36, 40 Biran, P. M. de 105, 197, 198 Blanckaert, C. 191, 202 Blondel, C. 18, 19, 24, 41 Bonald, L.-​G.-​A. 61 Borch, C.157, 159, 163 Borlandi, M. 118, 134, 189, 191, 196, 202 Boudon, R. 2, 3, 100, 129, 130, 132, 133 Bouglé, C. 7, 8, 17, 22, 24, 26, 29, 41, 47, 71, 78, 85, 130–​34, 166, 185

Cacioppo, J. 54, 58 Campeano, M. 7 Carey, C. H. 77 Carroy, J. 115, 117, 118, 191 Carlyle, T. 96 Charcot, J.-​M. 62 Chartier, R. 193, 202 Chasles, P. 6, 7, 41 Chazel, F. 97, 100 Cherkaoui, M. 17, 41, 134, 196, 202 Clark, T. N. 2, 3, 8, 11, 22, 24, 27 Coan, R. W. 30, 41 Coenen-​Hunter, J. 96, 100 Colajanni, N. 105, 191 Coleman, J. 53, 57 Comte, A. 1, 10, 22, 23, 30, 42, 45, 61, 92, 100, 123, 124, 132, 135, 138 Condorcet 61 Cooley, C. 24, 33, 34 Corbin, A. 188, 202 Coser, L. 29, 41 Courcelle-​Seneuil, J.-​G. 77 Cournot, A.-​A. 1, 22, 41, 72, 73, 79, 86, 105, 108, 120, 121, 124, 132, 133, 146, 174, 186, 198 Crane, D. 52, 57

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Dauriac, L. 2, 3, 72, 85, 122, 133, 191 David, M. 17, 141 Davis, M. 19, 32, 41, 46 Davy, G. 19, 24, 26, 27, 41 De Fleur, M. H. 55, 57 De Greef, É. 7, 25 De la Harpe, J. 142, 146 Deleuze, G. 74 Dewey, J. 31, 32, 41, 74 Draghicesco, D. 7, 16, 18, 41 Dumas, G. 9, 24, 42, 45 Duprat, G. L. 6, 8, 16, 17, 25, 27, 40, 42, 46, 47 Dupré, E. 18 Durkheim, É. 1–​3, 5, 6, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19–​32, 38–​40, 42–​47, 49–​51, 58, 66, 73, 84, 104, 105, 112, 116, 118, 119–​134, 151, 159, 160, 163, 187, 196, 202 Elchtal, E. 16, 42, 71, 74, 85 Ellwood, C. 18, 23, 24, 32–​34, 42 Espinas, A. 1, 18, 72, 75, 85, 165 Eubank, E. E. 24, 41 Fagnez, F. 78 Faucounnet, P. 17, 42 Favre, P. 87, 100 Feathersrone, M. 154, 163 Fernberger, S. W. 36, 42 Ferri, E. 105, 106, 110 Finison, L. J. 36, 42 Foucault, M. 202 Fouillée, A. 7 Fourier, C. 79 Fournier, M. 133 Fraisse, P. 20, 27, 42 Friedrich, C. J. 98, 100 Freud, S. 62, 63, 64, 160 Fromm, E. 55, 57 Gall, F. J. 104 Galton, F. 96 Garfield, G. 12, 30, 42 Geiger, R. L. 17, 26, 27, 43 Giddings, F. 14, 15, 29, 30, 32–​36, 43, 46, 74, 78 Gide, C. 18, 76

Ginzberg, C. 168, 202 Goblot, E. 80, 85 Good, M. M. 37, 43 Granovetter, M. 53, 57 Grasserie de la, R. G. 7, 16, 41 Gundlach, H. 7, 43 Guy-​Grand, G. 8, 11, 43 Habermas, J. 55, 57 Halévy, L. 190 Hamilton, H. 54, 57 Hamon, A. 6, 7, 16, 17, 28, 40, 43, 44 Hart, H. 30, 43 Havet, L. 191 Hauser, H. 22, 43, 78 Hinkle, G. J. 12, 29, 31, 33, 43 Hirshman, A. O. 83, 85 Hughes, E. C. 29, 32, 43 Huteau, M. 25, 27, 43 Hobsbawm, E. J. 66 Janet, P. 45, 189 Juglar, C. 82 Jehring von, 131 Kaplan, A. 44, 97, 100 Kantor, J. R. 37, 43 Karpf, F. 24, 33, 37, 39, 43 Karsenti, B. 127, 133, 163 Katz, E. 203 Kelles-​Krauz, C. 28, 46 Kelman, H. C. 54, 58 Kim, J. 56, 58, 203 Kovalevsky, M. 26 Lacassagne, A. 8, 27, 28, 43, 107, 108, 113, 191 Lacombe, P. 18, 22, 43 Landry, A. 83 Lang, G. 57, 58 Lang, K. 57, 58 Lapie, P. 7, 17, 26, 41, 43, 131, 133 Lasswell, H. D. 97, 100 Latour, B. 71, 74, 85, 158, 159, 163, 203 Lavisse, E. 191 Lazarsfeld, P. 49, 51–​53, 57, 58 Lazzarto, M. 71, 85, 147, 163, 185 Léauté, J. 115, 118

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Index Leibniz 140, 159 Le Bon, G. 7, 62, 64, 65, 163 Léon, X. 190, 191, 199, 201 Lepinay, V. A. 71, 74, 85 Le Play, F. 79 Leroux, R. 6, 44, 71, 85, 145, 146 Leroy-​Beaulieu, P. 76 Létourneau, C. 7 Levasseur, E. 78 Lewin, K. 30 Liard, L. 26 Lombroso, C. 104–​6, 112, 113, 117, 174 Lorenz 11 Loria, A. 100, 105, 191 Lourié, O. 191 Loy, P. H. 37, 44 Lubek, I. 2, 85, 133, 199, 203 Lukes, S. 3, 22–​24, 28, 44, 50, 58, 127, 133 Mahaim 71, 74, 85 Maistre de, J. 61 Malthus, R. 75 Maroussen du, P. 83 Martin, T. 1, 124, 133, 134 Marx, K. 62, 100, 121, 178, 179, 183 Massis, H. 19, 39 Matagrin, A. 8, 19, 39, 45, 72, 73, 85, 136, 146 Maxwell, J. 7, 18, 45 Mazel, H. 7, 8, 17, 18, 45 McDougall, W. 12, 20, 30, 33 Mead, G. H. 24, 32, 34, 37 McAdam, D. 66, 67 Melon, J. F. 77 Menger, K. 74, 77 Merton, R. K. 49 Mesmer, F.62 Milet, J. 1, 3, 6, 8, 11, 15, 19, 22, 23, 39, 45, 46, 127, 129, 133, 136, 146, 165, 175, 185, 188, 194, 203 Milioukov, P. 78 Morel, B. A. 104 Moscovici, S. 49, 50, 54, 58 Mougeolle, P. 112, 118 Mucchielli, L. 178, 191, 202, 203 Murphy, G. 12, 39, 45 Mutz, D. C. 57, 58

Noelle-​Neumann, E. 54, 58 Palante, A. 6, 16, 18, 26, 45 Pareto, V. 62–​65, 79, 81, 96, 100, 126 Parodi, D. 7, 17, 18, 45 Parsons, E. C. 11, 36, 46, 58 Parsons. T. 96, 97, 100 Partridge, P. H. 98, 100 Paulhan, F. 18, 78 Petty, R. 54, 58 Polanyi, K. 74 Piaget, J. 20, 42 Piéron, H. 27, 143, 146 Renan, E. Renard, G. 138 Renneville, M. 192, 193, 203 Renouvier, C. 22, 136, 165, 186, 191, 203 Rétif de la Bretonne, N. E. 67, 69 Reuchlin, M. 27, 45, 85 Reynaud, P.-​L. 74, 85 Reynié, D. 50, 59 Ribot, T. 11, 16, 19, 26, 27, 45, 71, 86 Ricardo, D. 75, 77 Richard, G. 16, 17, 23, 26, 45  71, 86 Richet, C. 65, 108 Roberty de, E. 7, 16, 25, 41, 47 Roche-​Agussol, M. 72, 73, 86 Rocheblave-​Spenlé, A. M. 39, 45 Rogers, E. 53, 58 Ross, E. A. 12, 13, 24, 29, 30, 33, 34, 45, 47 Rousseau, J.-​J. 81 Roubertoux, P. 25, 27, 43 Rudé, G. 66 Saint-​Sernin, B. 142, 146 Sainte-​Beuve, C.-​A. 135, 138 Salmon, L. 5, 6, 45, 118 Santiago-​Blay, J. A. 37, 47 Schiller, F. 172, 173, 186 Schudson, M. 57, 58 Schumpeter, J. A. 74, 85, 96 Small, A. W. 19, 31–​35, 39, 46 Samelson, F. 6, 39, 45

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Sévigny, Mme de 10 Sighele, S. 62, 64 Simmel, G. 33, 52, 58, 74, 80, 84, 86, 131–​47, 172, 186 Simiand, F. 16, 29, 45, 71, 85, 86, 130, 133 Smith, A. 77 Smith, A. B. 37, 38, 46 Solvay 7 Sorokin, P. 50, 51, 53, 58 Souriau, E. 78 Spencer, H. 10, 26, 30, 78, 119, 178–​80, 183, 186, 197, 198 Steinmetz, S. R. 78 Stoetzel, J. 24, 46 Stoppino, M. 97, 100 Strickland, L. H. Sykes, K. 157, 163 Tarde, A. de 18, 19, 136, 192 Tarde, G. de 18, 19, 189, 192 Teutsch, J. 18, 39 Thamin, M. 26, 28, 47 Thomas, I. T. 32 Thompson, E. P. 66 Tilly, C. 66, 67 Tolstoy, L. 81 Tönnies, F. 182–​84, 186, 191 Topinard, P. 112, 113, 118

Tosti, G. 16, 33, 35, 47 Turati, F. 105, 191 Valade, B. 1, 3 Van Ginneken, J. 50, 59, 72 Van Winkle, R. 57 Vaschide, N. 22, 47 Vatin, F. 165, 173–​75, 186, 203 Vogt, P. 17, 47, 130, 134 Ward, L. F. 30, 34 Walras, L. 79 Warren, G. 36, 46 Watson, J. B. 30, 31, 39 Watts, D. 53, 59 Weber, M. 96, 99 Weill, J. 25 Weinberg, J. 12, 34, 47 Wells, H. G. 9, 165, 175 Westermarck, E. 78 Whittmore, C. L. 36, 42 Worms, R. 1, 9, 14, 18, 22, 23, 25, 27, 41, 47, 72, 73, 86, 190 Wozniac, R. H. 37, 47 Wrong, D. 101 Yvernes, E. 107 Zagnona, S. V. 30, 41