Models, metaphors, lamarckisms and the emergence of ‘scientific sociology’

Snait B. Gissis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The aim of this chapter is to answer the following question: ‘How and why were models, mechanisms, analogies, metaphors and assumptions that could be characterized as Lamarckian-Spencerian, neo-Lamarckian perceived to be especially congenial to an emerging sociology seeking to become a scientific discipline in the latter part of the nineteenth century, and even in the early twentieth century?’ In answering this question, I shall briefly address the following issues: determinism and plasticity, individuals and collectivities, heredity and inheritance, and deal primarily with Herbert Spencer and Émile Durkheim. This essay is dedicated to the memory of Silvan S. Schweber.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Biology and Society
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781137528797
ISBN (Print)9781137528780
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Models, metaphors, lamarckisms and the emergence of ‘scientific sociology’'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this