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A.C. Armstrong & Co., Adam and Charles Black, Albert Fontemoing, Henry Holt & Co., Houghton, Mifflin & Co., the Macmillan Company, James Pott & Co., and Charles Scribner's Sons; also to the editors of the Political Science Quarterly, and of The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and to the following gentlemen : Professors Simon N. Patten, Lester F. Ward, Edward Van Dyke Robinson, and William Z. Ripley, and Messrs. A. Cleveland Hall and D. MacGregor Means.
He wishes also to acknowledge his indebtedness to many of his former students, whose interest and enthusiasm, whose criticisms and suggestions in the regular class-room discussions, and whose stimulating — often puzzling — questions, both within and without the class room, have been a guide in the selection of the material for this book.
T. N. CARVER
XIV. The Prolongation of Infancy, by John Fiske
XX. The Virtues of Stupidity, by Walter Bagehot.
XXIV. The Struggle for the Life of Others, by Henry Drum-
XXVIII. Male Sexual Selection, by Lester F. Ward
XXXV. The Boss, by “ Henry Champernowne
XXXVI. Of the Limits to the Authority of Society over the
Individual, by John Stuart Mill
SOCIOLOGY AND SOCIAL
It is only partially true that sociology is a new science. It is true that the name has only recently been applied to a definite body of knowledge, and it is still more recently that there has been a group of scholars devoting themselves exclusively to this subject and going by the name of sociologists. But it is not true that human society, the subject of sociological study, has only recently attracted the attention of students. On the contrary, it is one of the oldest subjects of inquiry and speculation. The philosopher, the theologian, the moralist, the man of science, and the economist have all devoted time to this subject, and each has made his contribution to it. Indeed, it is the opinion of many students in this field that some of the most significant contributions to our knowledge of society have been made not by writers who profess to be sociologists but by men who have turned their attention to those phases of social life which lie nearest their special fields of inquiry. Such writers have not occupied themselves with problems of nomenclature and classification, but have saved their energies for matters of more vital concern, whereas many of our formal treatises on sociology have been largely concerned with matters more formal than vital.
This is not to belittle the importance of the formalities of science. Classification, nomenclature, and description have their value ; nevertheless, the student of society is only incidentally interested in such matters. His knowledge is not materially
increased by aitempts to explain what society is like. He has a fairly definite idea already, though he may not be able to state his idea in specific terms. But, as Professor Marshall reminds us, our most familiar concepts are frequently the most difficult to define. It is very difficult to define a house, yet most of us have a fairly clear idea as to what a house is. One might add that, even if a house could be defined, the definition would add little or nothing to our knowledge. The same may be said of a definition of society. Since our science deals with a subject which is
a so familiar, at least in its superficial aspects, to every student of mature mind, its formalities are rather less important than those of some of the other sciences where the subject-matter lies outside the experience and observation of everyday life.
After all, the student of sociology is most vitally interested in gaining a knowledge of the social processes and the relations of cause and effect among social phenomena. This knowledge is absolutely essential to any intelligent effort at social improvement, and social improvement is the only worthy aim of the student. Even the early history of society and the origin of social institutions, interesting as these subjects are to the scientifically curious, derive their chief value from the light which they may throw on the problem of social improvement. But more valuable even than historical study is the analytical study of the social processes and the social forces which are at work in the society of the present, and which may be assumed to be shaping the society of the future. Any attempt to improve the society of the future must manifestly work in harmony with these forces.
It is probably safe to say that the economist is the only one of the various students of society who has accomplished much in the way of perfecting this analysis. On the purely economic side of social life considerable progress has been made in this direction, and it therefore seems probable that the method of sociology will be an expansion of the method of economics. The success with which the science of economics has been developed has been partly due to the fact that economists have strictly limited the scope of their inquiry. This was a necessary feature