LET us NOW turn to Durkheim's political ideas, and especially to his conception of the relation between socialism and sociology. My only texts are three series of lectures which were published after his death, but since Durkheim had the good habit of carefully writing down his lectures, they express his thought precisely.
One of the three is entitled Le Socialisme and deals primarily with Saint-Simon; another, first published in 1950, is entitled Leçons de sociologie: physique des moeurs et du droit; and a third series deals with education.
As we know, Durkheim was a philosopher by training. He was a student at the École Normale Supérieure in the 1880's; and, like his classmates Lévy-Bruhl and Jaurès, he was passionately interested in what were known at the time as social questions, which seemed broader than mere political questions. When he began his research, he was formulating the problem whose study would result in De la division du travail social: in the abstract form, what is the relation between individualism and socialism?
His nephew, Marcel Mauss, in his preface to the series of lectures on socialism, recalls the theoretical starting point of Durkheim's research, namely, the relation between the two intellectual movements