Today, we have held the second to last seminary on this 2014/2015 course. We have red two books about Gabriel Tarde, titled "Beliefs, Desires, Societies" and "Social Laws"; two of the basic manuals in order to understand the Tarde's work. We have highlighted two main concepts in their books: the microsociology, and the "public" concept. We also have commented the "Desire" and "Belief" concepts on this author.
Here is the key points and the summary:
- What is Belief in Tarde?
- What is Desire in Tarde?
- The "public" concept vs "multitude"
- Microsociology and ANT
For him, both Belief and Desire can be quantified. In his theory of value, which is based on the belief and desire, he tries to make science of the "individual", categorizing and quantifying the two powers of individuality, although in themselves are more artistic than scientific.
Thanks to Tarde, we can say that in the Social Sciences, it emerged a thing called Psychology, which comes from it the other ones as sociology, anthropology, and so on.
Latour owes much to Tarde. Latour says that to start thinking, it must be placed "in the middle" or center of anything. " Tarde, in this same sense he says: "the only way to clear up some sources of any material, is placed in media res". As the same Latour points out in the preface of the book, ANT is greatly influenced by Tarde's work in its view of whatever kind of sociology (not only human sociologies) as an association of several "micro" elements which constitute the macro-structure or the macro-actant.
How is introduced the novelty in Tarde?: throughout the "personal genius". The personal battle each one: every new idea arises in a private individual mind before the public. Individual is personal, but not singular. How does that monadic individual produces the novelty?
The "minimum measure" on Afternoon is the brain. The novelty comes from the individual, from the small, but is there creation and adaptation at intermediate levels (eg. The level of discourse introduces novelty in the set of discourses that is the next level), or is there creation only in the small level?
Tarde dares to break the distance between the micro / meso / macro. Instead, Moscovici said psychosocial facts by psychosocial facts, maintaining the distances between levels (contrary to Tarde and later, to ANT).
Multitude concept in Tarde and Negri: multitude is an emerging potential of a group. In Tarde, creative uniqueness is in the individual. The forces of beliefs and desires do not exist in Negri (nor other concepts). In this sense, public creation also introduces novelty.
Tarde also does the first attention to technology (before ANT) through the press, the newspaper ... when he says that through technology is the only way possible to create public.
Desire and belief are the "Konatus" and the "Apetitus" from Leibniz: Belief is the expression of a desire, if you have a desire, belief moves you to do something. Both are inseparable. They are the basic forces within the individual. As we all have beliefs and desires, it is something that goes beyond the individual:
"At the bottom of the internal phenomena," says Tarde, "[There are] three elements, belief, desire and its point of application, the pure feeling." "The first two terms," he continues, "are the constitutive and innate forms or forces of a subject; the molds where it receives the raw material of sensation", Thus, the trials and human actions are rooted in the beliefs and desires that each individual owns in his conscience".
Photo Credit: Flickr, User Eduardo Fonseca Arraes