An Introduction to Taxonomic Leadership Analysis
New Horizons in Leadership Studies series
Chapter 3: Durkheim on the origins of knowledge and culture
After an initial overview of the French intellectual milieu in which Durkheim conducted his scholarly work, this chapter outlines the core concepts of Durkheim’s theory of social structures. Over time he increasingly emphasized religious rituals and myths because he considered them the building blocks of group identity and social activities. In particular, the chapter emphasizes the centrality of collective representations, rituals, myths, and the “cult of the individual” as the keys to understanding Durkheim on collective discourse and the future of human societies. As he explained in The Elementary Forms of Religion, Durkheim considered religious discourse the original cornerstone of collective knowledge; a better pathway for bridging the gap between individual perception and the discernment of truth than had been identified by Immanuel Kant or other thinkers before him.
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