Émile Durkheim on Contracts - Dictionary of Arguments
Habermas IV 122
Contracts/Law/Durkheim/Habermas: for the transfer of property, inheritance is historically the norm. The competing form of acquisition or divestiture is the contract that is considered a status change. The contract adds new relationships to existing relationships. The contract is therefore a source of variations, which presupposes an earlier legal basis with a different origin. The contract is preferably the instrument with which the changes are implemented. He himself cannot form the original and fundamental foundations on which the law is based. (1)
Problem: how can a contract bind the parties when the sacred basis of law has been removed?
Solution/Hobbes/Weber/Habermas: the standard answer since Hobbes and up to Max Weber is that modern law is compulsory law.
Habermas IV 123
DurkheimVsHobbes/DurkheimVsWeber/Habermas: Durkheim is not satisfied with that. Obedience must also have a moral core. The legal system is in fact a part of a political order with which it would fall if it could not claim legitimacy. (See Legitimacy/Durkheim).
Legitimacy/Civil Law/Durkheim/Habermas: Problem: a contract cannot contain its own bases of validity. The fact that the parties voluntarily enter into an agreement does not imply the binding nature of this agreement. The contract itself is only possible thanks to a regulation of social origin. (2)
1. E. Durkheim, Lecons de sociologie, Physique des moeurs et du droit. Paris 1969, S. 203f ; (engl. London 1957).
2. E. Durkheim, De la division du travail social, German: Über die Teilung der sozialen Arbeit, Frankfurt, 1977, S. 255._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
The Rules of Sociological Method - French: Les Règles de la Méthode Sociologique, Paris 1895
Die Regeln der soziologischen Methode Frankfurt/M. 1984
Der philosophische Diskurs der Moderne Frankfurt 1988
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. I Frankfurt/M. 1981
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. II Frankfurt/M. 1981