As earlier translators of Durkheim have found, rendering the text in English requires interpretative treatment. Durkheim is often inclined to anthropomorphism, which is carried by the genders of French substantives. In English, fidelity to such liveliness would fail in its purpose and I have given such passages a more sober turn. Further, these Sorbonne lectures exist in the original only as Durkheim's personal Notes or working transcription of those Notes. The English version attempts to preserve a tone of the spoken word. And the repetitions of one or two passages have been left as found in the University of Istanbul publication. Where it has been possible to trace Durkheim's references (clearly for his own use in lecturing to his students) to volumes on his own library shelves, I have completed his mere indications to serve the English-speaking student. Finally, philosophic terms have been rendered as consistently as possible, after consultation with specialists in the various subjects discussed by the Author.
In regard to Professor Georges Davy's Introduction, there has been no escape for the translator in those abstruse excursions on to the high plateau of philosophic speculation. Here, fidelity has stood in the way of "plain" English.