Professor Frederick Neuhouser


On August 4, 2021, Frederick Neuhouser, the Viola Manderfeld Professor of German and Professor of Philosophy, published a chapter in the book Durkheim & Critique, titled “Anomie: On the Link Between Social Pathology and Social Ontology.” This chapter examines sociologist Émile Durkheim’s concept of anomie, or the absence of traditional social or ethical standards within an individual or group. Neuhouser explores anomie and its foundations in philosophy, as well as the concept of social pathology, which is the idea that many social issues can be understood as “analogous to illness.”

Professor Neuhouser also investigates Durkheim’s vision of “social ontology,” which explains the ways in which human societies are similar to and different from biological organisms. In interrogating Durkheim’s analogy of social issues as illnesses, Professor Neuhouser explores the relationship between anomie and more traditional critical theory.