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The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 42, 1998

Social Philosophy

Sandra Caponi
Pages 48-56

Lo Normal Como Categoría Sociológica

Building on criticism directed against August Comte by Georges Canguilhem, I analyze Émile Durkheim's usage of the "normality-pathology" typology and show that these concepts do not support the organicist metaphor or the analogy between the social and the individual body. Rather, as suggested by Ian Hacking, these concepts are linked to the use of statistics and the Quetelian media, tools which allow us to understand social phenomena on populational terms. Thus, from the application of biological and statistical categories to sociological analysis, a kind of speech is born which enjoys solidarity with strategies of administration and management of the masses. This Foucault called the "biopolitics of the population."

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