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Metaphysical Elements in Sociology.

I
Author(s): Philip H. Fogel
Source: American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Nov., 1904), pp. 354-381
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2762236
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METAPHYSICAL

ELEMENTS

JN SOCIOLOGY.

I.
EVER sincetheappearanceof theCoursde philosophie
positive
of AugusteComte,and the Principlesof Sociology of Herbert
Spencer,the scientific
mindhas been consciousof the presence
of a bodyof phenomenawhichneededan explanationpeculiarto
themselves.Some aspectof thisbodyhad,of course,beentreated
in theworksof Plato and Aristotle,and in laterpoliticalphilosophies. But theawakeningof thespiritof scientific
investigation
broughtwithit the demnand
that,just as thephenomenaof consciousnessin individualswere being consideredaccordingto
scientific
principles,
so the phenomenawhichwere the objective
resultsof theactivitiesof thoseconsciousindividualsshouldalso
be sttudied.Psychologywas fora long timesimplya partof a
philosoplhy.Modernthoug'ht,
in securingforpsychology
a place
in scientific
research,has beenable to makeit a definite
branchof
learning,occupying
a placein thehierarchy
ofknowledgebetween
thephysicalsciencesand philosophy,
witha methodof investigationall itsown. Sociologyseemsat presentto be undergoing
the
formative
periodwhichpsychologyhas undergone;it seemsto
be slowlyworkingout its place in the realmof thought. Much
has been said concerningthe relationshipof sociologyto the
variousscieilces,btutlittleconcerningitS relationto philosophy.
In view of theuniqueplace whichpsychology
holds in reference
to philosophical
thought,
and in viewof theveryvitalrelationship
betweenthematerialwithwhichthetwo scienceshave to deal, it
mightproveto be worthour whileto look intotherelationship
of
sociologyto philosophy;to ask whetherthereis a metaphysical
elementin sociology,and,in case thereshouldbe one,to ask what
it is, and whetherit is a necessaryone,or whetherit can be successfully
eliminated.
In the considerationof the relationof sociologyto metaphysicswe are calledupon at theoutsetto considertheprovince
354

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M4ETAPHYSICAL ELEMENTS

IN SOCIOLOGY

35 5

of metaphysics,
and thedata uponwhichit is based; thento ask
ourselvesthe same questionwithreferenceto sociology. With
thatbeforeus, we are readyto pass to an attemptto establisha
relationship
betweenthetwo disciplines,
in reference
bothto the
contentinvolvedand thepointof viewtakenbytheknowingsubject in hisrelationto thatcontent.
Metaphysicsdeals with what is or exists. It startsfronm
sincein any investigation
experience,
we muststartwithlwlhatis
nearestand bestknownto us. Its problem,then,is to attemptto
findout the nature,meaning,and, more specifically,
the final
significance
of reality. These are considerations
whichfromthe
of sciencedo notemerge; forscienceis contentsimply
standpoint
withtakingthe phenomenathemselves. Metaphysics,
however,
whenit looksintothenatureof reality,seeksto findout theform
thatrealitytakes,whetherit be material,conscious,and so on.
But thisis merelyone partof themetaphysical
problem. Science
triesto get a generalizedlaw of the behaviorof things,but it
does notconcernitselfwiththequestionof how and whythislaw
of behaviorcame to be what it is. Metaphysicstakes up the
searchat this pointand seeks some innerprinciplefromwhich
thislaw ofbehaviorsprings.This is thesearchforthemeaningof
reality;thatis, e. g., certainactionsof an individualare understoodonlywhenwe knowwhatsortof a manhe is, of whatsort
thecharacteris whichregulatesthoseactions. When we inquire
intothefinalsignificance
of reality,we tryto get,not alone the
springof all things,but also theirfinalgoal reducedto unity;
in otherwords,to understandrealityin the lightof some allcomprehending
unity.
Does experiencegive us reality?is thefirstquestion; and an
examinationwill lead to the conclusionthat we are confronted
if we hold thatbehindphenomenathereis a
by a contradiction
realitywhichis entirely
simpleand unrelated;forsucha simple,
unrelatedrealitycouldgive itselfno manifestation,
and therefore
therewouldbe no phenomena. If the real cannotbe simpleand
thenwe musthold thatthereal mustbe thoughtof as
unrelated,
internally
complex; and not onlythat,but thatit is of its very
natureto manifestitselfin phenomena,
and so becomethe con-

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356

THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY

world
tentof experience. Thus the realityof the phenonmenal
and of our experiencemaybe established;and notalone this,but
it is also shownthat thleworld of realitylhasan innernature
whichcan be conceivedof afterthe analogiesof experience. It
follow,however,thatrealitymustbe thought
does notnecessarily
forthatwouldlead to the
withfiniteexperience,
of as coextensive
denialof muchwhich,on othergrounds,we shallfindwe are constrainedto assertas real.1
Having fixedthepoilntof departureand aim of metaphysical
mustnext determinethe point
thought,any such investigation
whichis inseparaofviewfromwhichitproceeds,and itsmnethod,
bly connectedwithit. eMtaphysicsarisesout of a fundamental
demandon the part of the subject for explanationdeeperthan
thatgiven by science,and is foundto culminatein makingits
centralprincipleone otherthan thatof science. The individual
may look at his worldas entirelyexternalto himself,and so he
thangeneraliof events;buthe cannotget farther
seesa plurality
directmodeof
zationand causal reference.The otherand mnore
approachis throughappreciation. By appreciationI mean a
identification
of the subjector individualwiththe
sympathetic
worldin whichthe individualsees himselfas an agentrealizing
his worldin an experiencewhichis individualforhilmself.He
of theworld-process,
and so
thinkshimselfas partof thestreanm
looks at the restof thisstreamas like himselfin thatit can be
realizedby him just as he realizeshis own experience;or, in
otherwords,he is at fellowshipwiththe world,so thatthe distinctionbetweensubjectand objectis no longeran absoluteone.
In science this distinctionis fundamental.This appreciative
analogousto the indiexperiencemightbe said to be somnewhat
in thathe feelsthathe is
vidual'ssenseof his own individuality
and thatthereis something
aboutthatexperiencewhich
himself,
to othersby puttingit into terms,but
he cannotcommunicate
realto him,and to himand forhim
whichexperienceis intensely
only. It involvesa feelingof unity,or ratherof correlationof
purpose,in himselfand the world.As faras the place of appreof the objectiveworldis concerned,
ciationin the interpretation
1 ORMOND, Foundations of Knowledge, Part I, chap.

2.

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METAPHYSICAL

ELEMENTS

IN SOCIOLOGY

357

can giveno meaningat all, forit can give


mechanism
naturalistic
of related,inertatomswhichare both
multiplicity
onlyan infinite
centerlessand aimless.2 Therefore,teleologyand real meaning
in the world of objectiveexperienceare gottenonly through
appreciation.Appreciationgrasps unities,not particulars. An
idealizedand greatlyextendedexampleof thisis givenby Proof spiritualbeings
fessorRoycewhenhe speaksof a community
"who wereso awareof theircomonrelationto thetrueSelf that
so
theirlife togetherwas one of intimatespiritualcommunion,
thatthe experienceof each was an openbook forall of them."3
themostintimateexperience
In sucha suppositiousenvironment
or at will,the
ofanyone of theindividualswouldbe immediately,
experienceof anyotherindividual,withoutusinganymediumof
butalso to
thiswouldapply,notonlyto present,
comnmunication;
past experienceas well.
fromthe side
The nextquestionis to fixour starting-point
of sociology. We must firstask ourselveswhat constitutes
answershavebeengivento thisquestion; and
society. Different
whethersocietyis or is not an organism,or some otherthing,
does not concerntus here. What we want now is the notion
" society"reducedto its simplestterms. Societyimplieshuman
individualsinteracting.This interactionof humanindividuals
conceptionof consciouswills,on
demandsthe moreelementary
on
bothphysicaland psychical,
theone hand,and an environment
the other. Now, the provinceof sociologyis to studythe pheof these consciouswills
nomenaresultingfromthe interaction
It musttryto get at
and
the
environment.
on
bothon each other
and notmerely
theinfluences
whichbringaboutthesephenomena,
-for thatwould be onlya
describethemthroughgeneralization
shorthand
registerof events- but,as faras possible,to interpret
themas a whole. Since societaryphenomenaare verycomplex,
as it
witha problemof great intricacy,
sociologyis confronted
mustseekto arriveat some unitaryview of society. This complexityseemsto makeit necessaryto makesociologysuperiorto
varioussubsidiaryand specialsocial scienceswhoseprovinceit is
2WARD,

Naturalism and Agnosticism,Vol. II, pp.

134 ff.

'Spirit of Modern PJlilosophy,pp. 395, 396.

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THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY

to investigate
a particular
classor portionof societaryphenomena,
and formulatecertainconclusions,empiricallyderived,which
shallbe of tuseto sociologyproperin comingto someexplanatory
principlefor societyas a whole. What is meanthere may be
broughtout by a more or less concretecase. Sociologymust
unifytheresultsof thesespecialsocialsciences,butit mayhappen
that extremespecializationwill distortthe perspectiveof the
investigator;or it mightbe that certainphenomenamightbe
assignedby some special social scienceto groundswhich sociologywouldsee to be inaccurate;e. g., ascribingcertainphenomena to racialgrounds,whichphenomena,
however,are by another
one of thespecialsocialsciencesfoundto occurin mobswhichare
as far as race is concerned. Thereforeit is the
heterogeneous
further
businessof sociologyto resolvesuch inconsistencies
and
to correlatetheresultsof the specialscienceswithreference
to a
fundamental
unity. Justas biologyincludesmorphology,
zoology, embryology,
and others,so must sociologyembracethe
specialsocial sciences,as, e. g., thegeneralgroupof thepolitical
sciencesincludingpoliticaleconomy,the philosophyof law, the
theoryof the state; or the group includingarchaeology,
comparativephilology,and the comparativestudyof religions; or
such sciencesas criminology,
etc. That sociologyhas a very
extensiveand complexfieldto studyis further
shownby examining recentworks on sociology and noting what the various
authorshave made out to be the centralprinciplein sociology.
Each of thesewritershas made out a strongcase for his own
- so strong,
in fact,thatone conclusionthatcan surelybe
theory
drawnis, thattheseprinciples,even if inadequate,are of such
importalnce
that an adequate sociologicaltheorymust include
themas moments. Some of thesetheorieshave put down sociologyas:
i. Philosophyof History (P. Barth,Die Philosophieder Geschichteals
Sociologie).
2. An Applicationof Biology (Schiiffle,
Bau und Leben des socialen
Karpers; Lilienfeld,Gedanken iiber die Socialwissenschaftder Zukunft;
Rene Worms,Organismeet sociefte).
3. Consistingin the Descriptionof Social Facts (by statistics: Quetelet,

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METAPHYSICAL

ELEMENTS

IN SOCIOLOGY

359

Sur Fhomtmte
de ses facultes,ou essai de physiquesociale;
et developpement
De Greef,Introduction
a la sociologic; Galton,InquiriesintoHuman Faculty
and its Development; Pearson, Grammaar
of Science).

to
Or theyhave made the principlewhich should be sufficient
explainsocial phenomena:
Association(Izoulet, La cite moderne).
Divisionof Labor (Durkheim,De la divisiondu travailsocial).
3. Imitation(Tarde, Les lois de l'imitation).
4. Struggleof the Races (Gumplowicz,Der Rassenkampf).
5. Consciousnessof Kind (Giddings,Priisciplesof Sociology).
i.

2.

we are preparedfor Mr. LesterWard's stateConsequently


mentof whatis involvedin sociologicalinvestigation.He says:

of the phenomenaand laws


By pure sociology,then,is meanta treatment
of societyas it is, an explanationof the processby which social phenomena
take place,a searchforthe antecedentconditionsby whichthe observedfacts
have beenbroughtintoexistence,and an aetiologicaldiagnosisthatshall reach
back as faras the stateof humanknowledgewill permit,intothe psychologic,
biologic,and cosmiccauses of the existingsocial state of man.4

He thengoes on to say thatpure sociologymustconfineitself


exclusivelyto whatis, and not to whatoughtto be, whichlatter
is theprovinceof appliedsociology. This latterpartmaynotbe
neglectedany morethanpuresociology(since it necessarilyputs
the value-judgmentcentral,it is very vitallyconnectedwith
appreciation). Comparethis with ProfessorGiddings'sstatementwhenhe saysthatsociology
is a science that tries to conceiveof societyin its unity,and attemptsto
explainit in termsof cosmiccause and law. To accomplishsuch explanation
it must work a subjectiveinterpretation
in termsof physicalprocess.....
The subjectiveprocessand theobjectivemustbe shownto be inseparable,each
beingat all timesconditionedby the other.'

It will now be our problemto considera numberof the conceptionsemployedin sociologicaldiscussion,and to examinethem
to findout whethertheyinvolveanythingthatis philosophical,
eitherin contentor in pointof view. Mr. Bosanquethas pointed
out with great clearnessthatphilosophyhas been dealingwith
sociologicalproblemsin that it has investigatedthe state and
otherof thehighermanifestations
of theselfin its relationto its
4 Pure

Sociology, p. 4.

5 Principles

of Sociology,

p.

i6.

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TIIE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY

environment;and so has soughtto get ratherthe highercapabilitiesand possibilitiesof the self,its real innernature,thanto
findout its particularstate of manifestation
at any particular
timne.Sociology,on theotherhand,has busieditselfwithfactsas
theycamebeforeits observation,
and withcorrelating
themwith
stages of associationthatare commonlycalled lower.6 Justas
in psychology
you cannotexplainthehigherprocessesby exactly
the same termsused in explainingthe lower,and as "chemistrycan say somethingof all materialsubstancesbut it can
say less in proportion,as of those which have biological significance,"
so sociology,havinglargelygivenits attentionto the
lowerforms,has fallenshortof themarkwhenit comesto treat
in a complex
of the higher,more complexself-manifestations
and thushas failedto achievetheunitysoughtfor.
environment,
On thesegrounds,maywe notconcludeforour purposeherethat
theunitythatsociologyseekscan be achievedonlywhenwe take
intoaccounttheelementof possibleself-development,
and so the
ideal? This would,of course,introducephilosophydirectlyinto
themiddleof our searchforthesocial desideratum,
viz.,unity.
The work of Messrs. Giddings,Ward, Tarde, and Baldwin
has shownveryconclusively
thatthepsychological,
and therefore
subjective,factoris of primeimportance
in sociologicalinvestigation; so thatpresentappearancesseemto warranttheopinionthat
themostfruitful
fieldforthesearchfortheunifying
principleof
societaryphenomenais to be just this. It is significant
to note
M. Tarde's buildingall sociologicalexplanationaroundtheprinand thatProfessorGiddingsmakesconsciouscipleof imitation,
nessof kindcentral.
Let us takeup,in thefirstplace,theprimary
unitsof societary
phenomnena,
viz., consciousindividuals. Now, to understand
the
phenomenaarisingfromtheinteraction
of theseindividuals(for
thatis the problemof sociology) we mustunderstandthe individuals. To enterintosucha discussionfullywould takeus too
far afield,and we will confineourselvesto severalof the more
evidentpoints. A consciousindividualis a vastlymorecomplex
unitthantheatomor themoleculewhichis the unitof physical
6Mind, N. S., Vol. VI, pp.

ff.

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ME,TAPHYSICAL

ELEMENTS

36I

IN SOCIOLOGY

science,in thatit is a regularmicrocosmof thoughts,feelings,


and volitions;and the miotives
fromwhichit acts can veryseldom,or at least not always,be detectedfromthe actionsthemselves.
Some sociologistshold that the only valid sociologyis one
whichtreatsthesubject-matter
exactlyas thedata of thephysical
sciencesare treated. But ProfessorBaldwinhas pointedout that
social progress takes place according to a dual lawv- habit and

accommodation;withtheresultthatwhenwe are studyingsocial


progress,in orderto get the law of thatdevelopment,
we must
rememberthat when any advance (accommodation)has taken
place,and habitsetsin,thebasis forthenextdevelopment
is not
thesameas servedforthelast stages; and so to understand
social
progress,the investigator
maynot confinehimselfmerelyto the
barefunctional
buthe mustconsiderhow thechange
phenomena,
in thematterof theprocessrnodifies
thefunction.Then,in turn,
function
the
modifiesthe matter,and thus by this dialectical
movementsocial progresstakesplace.7 This pointsout clearly
thatthemethodswhichobtainforphysicalprocessesare notadequate fortheinterpretation
of phenomenaof thissort. Furtherin
more, view of the above, we can say thatthe merelaws of
physicalscienceare insufficient,
sincethe situationto be investigated is so complex. M. Tarde, in his chapteron " Archxeology
and Statistics,"pointsout thatstatisticscan deal onlywithimitationsand theirregularity,
but thatit cannotbe appliedto the
"' which must precedethe imitationsand without
"inventions
whichtheimitations,
wouldnotexist (p. I37).
" Onlyimitation,
and notinvention,
is subjectto law in thetruesenseof theword"
It is notas thoughyou had matteractingaccordingto
(p. I42).
thelaw of motion,as physicswouldhold; whatyoureallyhave is
consciousselvesactingaccordingto teleologicallaw.8 Perhaps
it is possiblefortheseunitsto be endowedwitha certaincapriciousness,a certainindividuality
of theirown in reacting. Thus
by this very nature of theirs-

since they are wills-they

make

an extremely
complexsituation,and at the same timean inde7Social and Ethical Interpretations,3d ed., p. 494.
8 GIDDINGS, Elements of Sociology, p. 350.

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362

THE AMIERICAN JOURNVALOF SOCIOLOGY

scribableone; forwe cannotget at thoseunitsentirely,


sincethey
each have theirindividualdescriptionsand appreciations,
and,
sincewe cannotget at thoseappreciations
furthermore,
descriptively. But as theseappreciations
are an essentialand determining elementin the make-upof theseunits,a real explanationof
somesocialprocesses,or,in theextreme,
of all societary
processes,
goes beyonddescription
and into appreciation. The reason for
thisappearswhenwe cometo considerthe real natureof social
in thelastanalysis,theydo
phenomena
and ask ourselveswhetlher
not all go back,fortheirexplanation,to a sense of value, to a
worth-attitude
out of whichthe actionarose. Take even such
empiricalconceptsas thoseof economics;e. g., What is it that
regulatesvalues? Some willsay it is demand. What,then,regulates demand? Demand has, of course,manypurelyobjective
determinations;
butwhenwe getto thosewhichare final,we find
thatwe are on theplaneof values. Or again, M. Tarde's discussion comesto theconclusionthatimitations
are theimitations
of
some inventions;thatimitationpresupposesan inventionas its
temporalprius. But in thelast analysistheinventionrestsupon
a worth-attitude,9
forwithoutthattherewouldbe no incentiveto
invention;invention
wouldnotexist. All socialactionsin which
thereare ethicalor aesthetic
momentshave thisworth-ingredient.
Similarexamplesmightbe multiplied.We mightthensay that
whenI interpret
yoursocial acts,whatI reallydo is to interpret
thosein termsof yourworth-consciousness
whichI attributeto
you on thebasis of myown experience,
and whichI conceiveof
as beinglikemyown in itsgeneralmake-up. WhenI, therefore,
putthisintotermswhichshallbe sociallyavailable,whenI tryto
explainsuchactions,to interpret
themin a scientific
way,whatI
am constrainedto do is to use appreciatively
descriptiveterms.
ProfessorJamesdoes thisconstantly
in describing
theexperience
of religiousenthusiasts.There can be no doubtthatthe worthcontentis appreciative,
since it is always purposive. Professor
Urban,whohas beendoingconsiderable
workin thisfield- i. e.,
the consciousnessof value-holds that appreciativedescription
is distinguishedfrom scientific
of feelingor worth-attitudes
9For our purpose, the terms " worth" and "value " are synonymous.

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AIETAPHYSICAL ELEMENTS

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363

modidescription
by its purpose. While thelatterdifferentiates
fications
of feelingin orderto connectthemcausallywithcorrein sensationand ideal content,and comspondingdifferences
municatesthemonly indirectlythroughthese connections,the
their meanings,and communicatesthese
formerdiscriminates
in termsof projectedidealswhichare commonto the
differences
consciousnesswithwhichthe individualcommunicates.'0This
elementat theheart
would,of course,place a strongappreciative
of such a science,and involveit in a considerabledebtto metaofthereality
physics. ProfessorRoycethinksthatourperception
sincewe canof anotherselfis in no wise gottenby description,
not describewhat it is that gives us the sense of realitywith
reference
to his ideals,his aims,etc. The answerthathe givesto
the questionof how we get the sense of the realitywhich we
attributeto a friend,the genuine externalexistencethat we
attributeto the appreciationof the existenceof our fellows,is
that" all thisis unintelligible
exceptin so faras we recognizethat
we seeminglyisolatedand momentary
beings do share in the
Thereis, however,a genuine"comorganiclifeof one Self."
munionof spirits,"and upon thisis foundeddescription.
An objectormay protestagainst the term "matter" used
above. But this will not alter the situation; for analyze that
matterintowhateveryou will,whetherit be vorticesof motion
you are
or what inot; by the verynatureof your investigation
cut out fromcallingthemmind,and consequently
theyare still
and so cannotbe thesubjectof appreciation,
withthe
describable,
in method-or, in otherwords,between
resultthatthedifference
the appreciativeand the descriptivepoints of view- is still
unresolved.
Or, lookingat the questionfromanotherside, we have seen
thattheseindividualswhichare the social unitsare, in the last
analysis,consciouswills. Now, a sociologyworkingon the
basis of physicalcausationwould say thatthesewills,and consequentlythe societaryphenomenaresultingfrom them,are
10This is taken froma personal letterto the presentwriter.
11Spirit of Modern Philosophy,pp. 405-8.

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THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY

364

entirelythe resultof mechanicalcausation.12 But our ordinary


experience-upon which a physical science is based-

would say

bothsides
thatthosewillsare free. Here thereis a contradiction,
of whicharisingeitherfromordinaryexperiencegeneralized,or
withtheresultthatwe are
else fromordinaryexperiencedirectly,
involvedin themetaphysical
questionof freedom. In fact,some
mentionof the questionin bookson sociologyhas veryrecently
comeunderthewriter'sobservation.
Afterholdingthatphilosophly
is insightand wisdomrather
that philosophyseeks an
than knowledgeand understanding,
of things,and thatitsprogressis measured
insightintoprinciples
by the depthof the insight,Mr. Mackenziesays that scientific
investigation
is often"too narrowand too wide" to be adequate.
He [the scientist]limitshimselfto particularaspectsof thingswhichare
meaninglessapart fromtheir relationto the whole, as if its nature were
of theseparticularaspects."3
exhaustedby the treatment

This is in directline withMr. Bosanquet'scontentionthat the


view
themselves
to theextremescientific
sociologistswho confine
have busied themof the provinceand metlhod
of investigation
of theself,and have
selvesentirely
withthelowermanifestations
entirelyneglectedits possibilities,and so the fieldwhere the
this is
desiredunityis most likelyto be found. Furthermore,
suipported
by Hegel's contentionthat anything,in orderto be
mustbe conceivedof as beingrelatedto its " other."
understood,
In fact,it is of the verynatureof phenomenafor themto be
relative. In the above contentionMr. Mackenziehas largely
pointedout the generaldefectwhichappliesin particularto the
sortofsociologywhichwantsto makethesubjectentirely
positive
and exact: the defectsof the sociologywhichthinksits whole
and generalization.Take one of these
functionis classification
sociologies,grantthemeventhattheycan give a causal explanawithoutbeinginconsistent
tionof societaryphenomena
withtheir
and letus see how fartheyget.
postulateof methodof procedure,
Let us see how farsocial forcesreproduceexactlyphysicalforces.
The firstglance revealsthe fact that social forcedoes not act
Vide GIDDINGS, Principles of Sociology, PP. 365, 366.
"Introduction to Social Philosophy,p. 45.

12

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MLUETAPHYSICALELEMENTS

IN SOCIOLOGY

365

exclusivelyin an internalmanner,but that,just as soon as you


qualitaitself,its effectis different
have social forcemanifesting
has been added from
tivelyfromthe cause,in thatan increment
theinnerstoreof theunititself,viz.,theselfwhichis actedupon.
This is nothingmorethanthe psychologicaldoctrineof apperception. Now, it can be asked: Does thisnot violateconservation of energystrictlyinterpreted?Moreover,the same social
forcedoes notproducethesame social effectin everysocial unit.
True, in the long run, it is foundthat individualsaffectedby
will probablyreactin thesame
practically
the same environment
of individualreactions
generalzway. Does not this difference
sociologicalreactionswe cannotconindicatethatto understand
to the mechanicalmethodsof physical
fineourselvesexclisivelzy
science? The presentwriterdoes not proposeto hold thatsociology is a philosophy; but what is maintainedhere is that
of the term,a
sociology,whilebeing,in the generalsignificance
science,is in realitya teleologicalscience,or one that needs
to supplement
teleologicalmethods,or themethodof philosophy,
themechanicalso thathighersynthesis
maybe reached.
In reference
to thecausationinvolvedin societaryphenomena,
Mr. Bosanquetpointsout thatsocial causation,and thebringing
are verydifferent
of socialfactsunderlaw and rationalcoherence,
fromnaturalcausation. In the formercase it is largelymotived
cause.
The distinctionbetweendetermination
by the
by law and determination
presentationof law, and the relationof a consciousmotiveembodiedin a
politicalorder to the facts and modes of behaviorexistingin natural surare stated with perfectbalance and
roundingsand economicarrangements,
of social
clearnessby Plato and Aristotle. Many one-sidedconstructions
causationmightnever have been attemptedhad due attentionbeen paid to
theirideas."4

upon,
It seems to me that a readingof, and a littlereflection
wouldbringaboutthe same result.'5
Schopelnbauer
"Mind, N. S., Vol 6, p. 7.
' World as WI and Idea, trans. by HALDANE AND KEMP, Books II and III;
Ueber die vierfache WNrzel des Satzes vom zureichendenGrunde, 3d ed., chaps.
4-7-

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366

THE AMiERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY

Let tis considerfora momentwhat a sociologisthas to say


about this. ProfessorGiddingsholdsthat
the sociologistdeals not onlv with causes that are not merelyphysical,but
also withmanythatare not merelypsychical. They are as much more complex than the merelypsychicalas the psychicalare more complexthan the
merelyphysical.

He calls themsociological. He makessocial causationdifferent


fromcerfromothercausationjust as "protoplasmis different
tain quantitiesof oxygen,hydrogen,nitrogen,and carbon."'6
Then, later,the most explicitstatementof his notionof social
causationis foundwhenhe says:
of social phenomenain terms
sociologyis an interpretation
Specifically,
of psychicalactivity,organicadjustment,naturalselection,and the conservationof energy.1'

Here, I takeit,he has givenwhathe considersto be thecomponent parts of this social causation; but I fail to see how this
its factors;and he
explainsit at all, forhe is simplyenumerating
betweensocial causationand
has said that just the difference
othercausationis thatbetweenproductsand factors,and cites
protoplasmas an example. He has contendedfornaturalcausaof energy; but here,by his own
tionaccordingto conservation
his analysisof social causationis not adequate,for
statement,
combining,
those elementsof oxygen,hydrogen,nitrogen,and
showingthatthereis
carbonartificially
will notgive protoplasm,
somethingadditionalpresent. When he leaves these chemical
he has leftchemistry
and is in
elementsand gets to protoplasm,
a higher
anotherscience-biology, a sciencewhichinvestigates
stageof cosmicevolutionthanchemistry.But just as thebiolobutcongistno longercaresdirectlyforthesechemicalelements,
cerns himselfwith the investigationof protoplasm,its movementsand theirresults,so hereProfessorGiddings,havingonce
realized the fact that the causation of the sociologistis not
physicalmerelynor psychicalmerely,but sociological,oughtto
keep to his assertionand workon the basis of that,insteadof
going back to physicalprocessesand forces. That he does go
in termsof pliysicalforcesis shownwhen
backto interpretation
he says:
nciplesof Sociology, pp.

4I6 ff.

1TIbid.,p. 419.

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If social will is conditionedby naturalselection,not less is the power


to convertwill into deed conditionedby the conservationof energy;18

and thengoes on to insistthatall social processis subjectto the


principleof conservation
of energy,as when,e. g., he says:
is wasted or in any way
If the available energyof the environment
diminished,the social activityalso must diminish. The evolutionof new
relationships
of consciousassociation,and the accompanying
developmentof
will be checked.
personality,

It is exactlyanalogousto a case in whichthe biologistshould


of
attemptto explainlife-movements
by callingthemmovements
them
oxygen,nitrogen,
hydrogen,
carbon,etc.,and bytranslating
of theseelements,
whichwouldbe an
intotermsof themovement
in scienceis
task as faras real advancement
altogetherfruitless
concerned.
ProfessorGiddingsdoes not seemto be self-consistent
here.
that sociologicalcausation is
We are entirelyready to admnit
somethingunique, that it involvesmore than purelyphysical
causation,just as protoplasminvolvesmore than the abovewe further
mentionedchemicalelements. And, consequently,
contendthat,since this sociologicalcausationis, so to speak,a
new product,themode of interpretation
whichit demandsmust
fromthat demandedby purelyphysicalcausation;
be different
in other words, that descriptionmust be supplemented
by a
momentof appreciation. Or, even admitting,for the sake of
argument,that ProfessorGiddings'ssecond diagnosisof social
causationas physicalprocessis a correctone,it in no wisevitiates
the presentcontentionthat in an explanatoryexanmination
of
social phenomenathere is a momentof appreciation. That
momentof appreciation,
we would hold,is stillpresentin what
" in termsof psychicalactivity;" forsome
he calls interpretation
of thefactorsentering
intosocialphenomenaare of sucha nature
as to requireappreciatively
descriptive
termsin orderthatthey
and so
may becomemorethanmerelyprivateinnerexperiences,
be usedat all in thedetermination
of thecausesof thephenomena
in whichtheyfigure.
Therel, i.sr% -nt lani
1S

n di.tin%tion

h tw i the i-n-vRsion+;-of

Ibid.

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368

THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY

sociologyand naturalcausation,butthereis also a distinction


to
be made between the various kinds of evolution
-cosmic,
organic,and social or mental(the latterincludingthe social).
of matterand thedissipaThe difference
betweentheintegration
tionof motion,on theone hand,and adaptationto environment,
comment.
on theother,is sufficiently
greatto warrantno further
The difference
betweenorganicand social evolutionis not so
obvious,althoughof primeimportance.Mr. Ward expressesthe
in a formulato thiseffect:" the environment
transdistinction
the environment;
"19
formsthe animal,while man transforms
meaningthat in organicevolutionthe animal is passive,while
so rigorouslyas to changeit, so
man reactson his environment
thatin the interaction
of the two thereis a constantspiraldiaand by his reaction
lectic. Man reactsupon his environment,
changesit; it, in turn,in its changedformreacts upon him,
bringingabout,notalone a changein him,butalso a reactionby
him; so that,througheveryactionof man,it is in so farchanged,
and so presentsan ever richerand more complexfront. ProfessorVenn,in somewhatdifferent
connectionand underdifferentcircumstances,
bringsout practically
the same pointwhenhe
says that when the objects under observationare conscious
individuals,any conclusionwhichpredictsfutureoccurrences
on
thebasis of generalizations
of past experiencewill be invalidated
just so soon as it is published,sinceby thatfactof publicationit
affectsthose individualson the basis of which it was made.20
The reasonforthiswouldbe thatjust as soon as theconclusionis
made and fallsintothe hands of some individualwhose actions
it discusses,thatveryconsciousness
of the uniformity
of actions
in one directionor anotherwill add anotheringredientto the
causal antecedents
of thataction. If it tellsthe individualthat
nineout of tenmnen
do a certainthing-a factthathe has never
beforeknown- it maylead him,byreasonof his desireto do the
conventional
thing,to performthataction; whenbeforeseeing
the statement
he would have been inclinedto do the opposite.
" type,he mayrefrain
Or, ifhe be an individualof the" contrary
" Pure Sociology, p. i6.

20EntpiricalLogic, pp. 575 ff.

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METAPHYSICAL

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369

fromthatactionsimplybecausethemajorityof menperformit.
in linewiththecontention
above (pp. 36I ff.) to
This is directly
the effectthatsocial processreactsupon and effectschangesin
social evolutionis spiritual
the social matter. Furthermore,
betweenspiritual
evolution;and we mustnoteanotherdifference
evolution,on theone hand,and cosmicand organicevolution,on
theother,on thegroundthatthelattertwo proceedby slow and
gradualaccretions,
withonlyslightvariationsarisingfornatural
selectionto workupon. But spiritualevolutionproceedsby leaps
and jumps, as historyveryconclusivelyshows, in so far that
social progresscannotbe accountedforwithoutconsideringthe
prophetsand geniuseswho werethe greatforerunners
of epochand
then
the
makingmovements,
slow approximationto their
standardson the partof the mass of the people; and, therefore,
not alone mustthe formulaforsocial evolutiontake thesefacts
intoaccount,but it showsalso thatwhenwe attacktheproblem
of social evolutionwe mustcometo it armedwithmorethanthe
evolutionaryformulacurrentin naturalscience,if we wish to
explainanythingin the societaryworld.
The position just taken that every individual'sreaction
changestheenvironmient
bringswithit anotherpoint. Examine
the principlewhichM. Tarde puts centralin all societaryphenomena- the principle of imitation-

and it must be conceived

of in internal,
and notin external,termsin orderto makeit valid.
Mr. Bosanquetsays:
Imitationis a bald and partial renderingof that complex reciprocal
reference
whichconstitutes
social co-operation.To say thatimitationis characteristicof societyis like sayingthat repetitionis the soul of design.'

Imitationcannotbe madea solelyexternalprocess; foritsnature


will notpermitit. To makeit suchwould be almostlikea man
holdinga hammeron a rivetand anotherstrikingit, and then
callingthatprocessimitation.22In societaryprocessesthiscontactmustbe statedin innerterms. What is meantby this will
be somewhatexplainedin the nextparagraphbut one.
'l

Mind, N. S., Vol. VI, p. 7.

22 For

a furtherconsiderationof this, see Part II, the discussion of Imitation.

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THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY

370

ProfessorGiddingssays:
[By consciousnessof kind] I mean a stateof consciousnessin whichany
being,whetherhigh or low in the scale of life,recognizesanotherconscious
beingas of like kindwithitself.23

It is about the subjectiveprinciple,he believes,that all social


phenomenainvolvingvolition,and so motives,arrangethemselves. Does not this bear a strikingresemblanceto that conbetweenthe self and its "other"
scious reciprocalrelationship
whichHegel so forciblypointedout in his LogikP24 In fact,
is recognizedby present-day
this ejective other-consciousness
of the selfpsychologyas a necessarystage in the development
notion.
When ProfessorSmiallsays that"subjectiveinterpretation25
maymeaneitherof twothings"- one of whichis: " thereading
of the interpreter's
personalequationintothe thingin question,
and that in this sense it deservesno furthernotice"26 I am
inclinedto takeissuewithhim,and forthlisreason: our problem
we cannotrestwith
is to explainsocialphenomena;consequiently
we must
meredescription.If we cannotrestwithdescription,
studythesephenomenamorein theirinternalnatureby reducing
themto theirelements. In the presentcase theseelementsare,
in the firstplace, consciousselves,and then theirinteractions
themostimportant
uponeach otherand upontheirenvironment;
of
however,beingthe interaction
factorin societaryphenomena,
theseselvesuponeach other. Now, whenwe deal withsuchconwills,we can no longer
scious phenomenainvolvinginteracting
attitude. For the experiences
assumethe external,independent
whichare theimmediate
antecedents
and causesof theseparticular
phenomenaare to be foundin the subjectiveexperienceof the
cannotget at
individualsinvolved. But I, as an investigator,
thosecauses directly,since,by reasonof each of us being indito me, nor
viduals, I cannothave his experiencestransferred
him.
mineto
Therefore,the only way for me to get at those
-

23Principles

25 In

of Sociology,

p.

7.

24Mind, N. S., Vol VI, p. 8.

his Elements of Sociology, PROFESSOR GIDDINGS uses the term " eject-

ive interpretation " in place of the present term, " subjective interpretation."
26

AMERICAN JOURNALOF SOCIOLOGY,Vol. V, p. 639.

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METAPHYSICAL

ELEMENTS

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371

and to be able to get any causal explanationat all, is


experiences,
to examinemy own consciousnesswhen it has led to similar
actions,and concludethathis innerexperienceleadingto those
actionswas similarto myown.
Thereis anotherway of gettingat thatexperiencewhichwas
the cause of the givenphenomena. The subjectof theseactions
his will
tellsme whyhe actedthus; whatit was thatinfluenced
intojust thatvolitionaldischarge. But just as soon as he tells
me,he has puthis experienceintowordswhichare merelymedia
of exchangeor coin of therealmof inner,subjectiveexperience,
and so those words are translatedback into inner subjective
and not scienexperienceby me (into appreciatively
descriptive,
tific,ternms)
way it is lookedat, thatnotion
,27 so that,whichever
of appreciative
or understanding
othersbyreading
interpretation,
myown experienceintothem,is indispensable.Consequently,
to
get at societaryfactit is a necessarypreliminary
thatthe subject
connecthimselfvitallywiththeworldof his investigation,
so that
he feelshimselfas partof thatworld,as havingfellowship
with
it. And lherewe are beyonddoubtin the worldof appreciation,
and so in thepreservesof metaphysics.Furthermore,
Professor
Small seemns
to put an unfairinterpretation
on ProfessorGiddings's statementwhen he calls this reading in of subjective
experiencethereadingin of thepersonalequation,sincetheterm
"personal equation" has acquireda bad meaning,owing to its
standingfora lackof scientific
exactness. Now, thismeaningof
the termis entirelyinapplicableto ProfessorGiddings'sterm
"subjectiveinterpretation."
The discussionwhich has gone beforemay be utilizedin
advancinganotherpoint,whichhas no doubtbecomeclearbythis
time,viz.,thattheinteraction
betweenindividualswhichfurnishes
thephenomenaforsociologyis in realityan internalinteraction,
and not simplyexternalcontact,such as is treatedby physical
science,and such as is requiredby physicalcausation. It was
pointedout above thatthecausationinvolvedin sociologyis of a
different
sortfromthatinvolvedin naturalcausation; thatthere
is an internalelementpresent. The formulaforsocial evolution
'7 For a characterizationof appreciativelydescriptiveterms see p. 356.

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THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY

was found to be vastly differentfromthat for cosmic evolution.


We saw that,in order to understandthe causes of social phenomena by going to individuals, we were required to get into terms
of fellowship with the object of our investigation,so that the
interactionfromthat point of view is found to be internal. The
conceptionthat all interactionis and must be internalhas been
currentin philosophysince Lotze.28 Professor Giddings realizes
the necessityof such a conceptionwhen he says:
I have never thoughtor spoken of mere contact,whetherhostile or
friendly,as constituting
associationor a society. It is associationif, and
onlyif, accompaniedby a consciousnesson the part of each of the creatures
implicatedthat the creatureswithwhichit comes in contactare like itself.2'

This involves a recognition,though not necessarilyconscious, of


certain appreciatively descriptive terms as descriptive symbols
whereby appreciative experiences are characterized, and only
after such recognitioncan these terms be used.
Professor Small says: " Thle social fact is the incessant relation betweenthreechief factors: nature,individuals, and institutions or m-odesof association betweenindividuals." 30 Now, what
is this more or less than the field of metaphysics? Metaphysics
investigates the nature, meaning, and final meaning of nature,
individuals, and the modes of association between individuals.
Now, if the social fact is the "incessant relation" between these
that relation-- and to underthree,then, in order to understatnd
stand that relation is the problem of sociology-we must first
understandwhat the innernatureof those threeis; for interaction
that is external is a conception that, as Lotze has pointed out,
involves all sorts of difficulties;leaving internal interactionas
the only tenable alternative. But since sociology deals with interaction, and interactiondemands the knowledgeof the innernature
of the things interacting,then this interaction,which is the object
of sociological investigation, cannot be understood unless we
have firstinvestigatedthe inner nature of the things interacting,
and which from our starting-pointare: nature and individuals.
28 LOTZE, Metaphysic,Book I.
29Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. V,
P. 750.
' AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY, Vol. V, p. 788.

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METAPHYSICAL

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373

is necessaryin orderto be able


Hence,metaphysical
investigation
trulyto get at the interrelations
which sociologyhas for its
province; forthoseinteractions
are such onlyby reasonof the
innernatureof thethingsconcerned.
Sociologydeals withselves,and these,in turn,lead us to conceive of the social situationas an interplayof wills.31 Now, if
thisis the case, thenthe ultimatetermin sociologicaldiscussion
is will. Taking the otherside,metaphysical
discussionleads to
of thingsmustbe conceivedof in
the outcomethatinteraction
termsof behavior;i. e., theexpressionof an inner,mightwe say,
motivityor activity,afterthe analogy of the self. But since
transeuntaction is impossible,alnd some internalspring is
demanded,this can be statedonly in termsof will. And so in
themetaphysical
sphereour ultimatetermis will. As to whether
thiswill is blind,or consciousand intelligent,
we are not called
uponto discuss. But,thataside,we have reducedour two fields
-viz.,
sociology and metaphysics- in the last analysis, to the
sameterms.
Now, having gotten to the same ground-principle
-or,
rather,our metaphysical
investigation
having broughtus analytically
to thisfundamental
term- it is itsbusinessto followout
this termor principlein its various manifestations.By this I
mean: an adequateinvestigation
cannotbe contentwithanalysis
to an ultimateprinciple.The analysis,if notaccompaniedby any
otherprocess,will leave us witlhan abstraction;and so one must
proceedto theverification
of theresultof theanalysisby tracing
the principlethus dissectedinto its phenomenalmanifestations,
and thereby
making" eineweitereErbrterung."
Applyingthisto the case at hanid,our metaphysical
analysis
has broughtus to a will-conception
as ultimate. Justas physics,
havinggottentheconception
of energy,proceedsto studyenergy
in manifestation,
and it is thislatterthatfurnishes
muchof the
subject-matter
of thescience-always bearingin mind,however,
thatthe originalconceptionof energymustnot be lost sightof,
and thatthe subject-matter
of the otherpart of the scienceis
simplytheworkingout of theprinciple
-just so here. We have
"I BALDWIN,

Social and Ethical Interpretations,3d ed., p.

27.

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THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY

gottenwill as our ultimateprinciple;and whenwe findtheprinciple most adequatelymanifestedin consciousindividualsand


theiractivities,we findout thatwe are in the fieldof sociology,
and havegottentherebyundertaking
a metaphysical
investigation
and not stoppingat mereanalysis,but by makingit a complete
and exhaustiveinvestigation.In otherwords,we have followed
out theprincipleof specification
as well as thatof homogeneity.
Now, takingthe problemthe otherway, we can startwith
sociologicalfactsand analyzethem,and we findthatthe stages
in theprocesswillbe: institutions,
individuals;and thatresolved
further
of consciouswills; and so we
willgive us theinteraction
have gottento the principlewhichwas foundto be primaryin
theothermethodof considering
theproblem.
not
Does
theverynatureof sociologicalinvestigation
demand
thepointof viewof appreciation
ratherthanobservation?Observation takes in mere cause-and-effect
relations. But in sociologicalinvestigation
thesecausesare,we have seen,of a different
sort; forwe cannotreallyunderstand
social phenomenaif we do
notread our own individualexperienceintothatof others.32So
thatthecontention
is: byreasonof itsmaterial,thepointof view
of observationunsupplemented
as a methodfor sociologywill
notbe adequate.
If you makeyourinvestigation
entirelyfromthe spectator's
pointof view,you will miss some of the richestelementsin the
contentof sociologicalstudy. To get an adequateand explanatorynotionof societaryphenomena,
a certainamountof appreciativepenetration
willbe necessary.Now, if you go on theview
of theindifference
of subjectand object,or thescientific
method,
thenthiscannotbe included. The metaphysical
method,however,
demandscommunity
anldfellowship;and so herethemetaphysical
methodis moreapplicablethanthe purelyscientific;and so the
knowledgeof sociologyis metaphysical
ratherthanphysical.
The outer manifestations
of societywhich the sociologist
classifies
of coursebelongto theworldof description.But when
we get to thereal studyof socialphenomena,
and wantto get the
innerspringsof sociality-or, to speak in a physicalanalogy,
32

GIDDINGs,

Elements of Sociology,pp.

341

ff.

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METAPHYSICAL

ELEMENTS

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375

- we mustgo to appreciation;for
the " energetics"of sociality
thatthosemotivesor innerspringswhichlead to
it seemsto mne
of consciouswills,and whichare suchan essential
theinteraction
part of humanlife and activity,are beyond
and self-expressive
thesphereof description.Theyare partof ourprivateselves,but
in thesearchforsocial causality.
are indispensable
of sociologyis human
Mr. Ward saysthatthlesubject-matter
theirnatureswork33
men
after
do
but
what
all,
is,
achievetnent;
ing themselvesout; so thatthe explanationcomes back to the
and so is appreciative.34It is a getting
selvesof theindividuals,
whathe says whenhe
behindphenomena;and thisis practically
holdsthatin puresociologytheobjectpursuedis theinnernature
of society.35Now, the innernatureof societyis, of course,the
individuals.
Justso soon as societyis morethana mereaggregateof inditheremustbe
viduals,just so soon as thereis someorganization,
somepurposeor aim of whichit is the fulfilment.Such an aim
in thelowerformsof organizationcan ariseon entirely
empirical
grounds;butwhenthecase of thehigherformscomesup,purely
and forexplanation
empiricalgroundswill be foundinsufficient,
we mustgo backto theinnernature38 of theindividualin whom,
potentially,this form has existed; and so we are again in
appreciation.
In the sphereof whatMr. Ward calls " practical' sociology,
or Dr. Stuckenberg
"sociologicalethics,"thejudgmentof value
of pure
assertsitselfverystrongly. In the lower departments
and so
and
generalizing,
there
was
muclh
classifying
sociology
exact description;but here descriptionbecomes inexact and
shades over into appreciation. This is, indeed,a verynormal
siimilar
to theshadingof the judgmentof truth
thought-process,
intothejudgmentofvalue. In thissideof thequestion,sociology
and so, on thebasis of an
takesin thepossibilities
of development,
83

Pure Sociology, p. I 5.

34For detailed argumentfor an appreciativemomentin the self see Part II

of this article.
35Op. ciA., p. 4.
36MACKENZIE, Inttrodaiction
to Social Philosophy,p. 34.

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are madeto approximateit. This is


assumedideal unity,efforts
a philosophical
procedure.
essentially
Mr. Bosanquetsays:
et de
The point of view taken by M. Bernes (Revue de metaphysique
morale,March, I895) seems to recognizea double tendencyin the body of
science,such thatthe purelyspeculative-or, in our language,the indifferent
findsits complementat the other extremeof the
-nature of mathematics
series in what for him is the practicalspiritof sociology; the intermediate
groupof the naturalsciencesbeing,as I understandhim,the chiefmeetinggroundof thesetwo tendencies.neitherof whichcan be whollyabsentin any
that M. Bernes's phrase
scientificendeavor. It is a detail of terminology
the philosophical
"practical" seems to me to approachin actual significance
expression"speculative." It means,as I read him,not the spiritof an art
devoted to immediateaction,but ratherthe spirit of a philosophywhich
divines,throughthe will no less than throughthe intellect,the impulseand
the indicaLionsof a partiallyunrealizedunityin the world which demands
realization.37

Mr. Bosanquethereadds that,if sociologyadmitsthevalidityof


such an impulse,and appliesitselfto the discoveryof laws and
forceswhichshall be capableof doingjusticeto this treatment,
betweenit and philosophy
thena greaterpart of the distinction
willbe doneaway.
Aftersayingthattheroleof mereobserverof factsis always
a humbleone,and thatthereallylivingelementin thesciencesis
what the mindputs into the observationand whichis not the
Mr. Mackenziesays:
objectof observation,
And if this is the case even with regard to those sciences which are
directedmostentirelyto phenomenathatare capable of beingexternallyperceived,it must hold to a much greaterextentwhen the object is not any
collectionof facts,but rathera streamof tendencyand aspiration. And when
to thisis added thatwe who observethe streamare ourselvesa portionof it,
of it maybecomea factorin the modification
and thatour modifications
of its
course,it becomes clear that a purelyempiricalstudy of society,however
useful and even indispensableit may be as an adjunct to other inquiries,
basis fora philosophyof life.38
cannotof itselfbe made a satisfactory

When he uses theterm"philosophyof life,"he seemsto mean


about the same thingthat Messrs.Ward, Giddings,and Small
mean whentheytalk of sociology- meaningan explanationof
societary
phenomena.
37Mind, N. S., Vol. VI, p. 4.

O"Op. cit., p.

I3.

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METAPHYSICAL

ELEMENTS

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377

Mr. WVard
on the part of the
argues fora wide perspective
is
since
the case analogous to that of a mountain
sociologist,
viewedfroma distance,whichis an exquisitepieceof symmetry,
but whenwe are climbingit we see nothingbut underbrush
and
fallenlogs. What the sociologistwants to and must do is to
view societaryphenomenaas a unity,so as to see the greatuniin it. These he cannotsee unlesshe
and progressions
formities
has a wideperspective.Now, it seemsto me thatphilosophy
does
just this. To inquireintotheparticularprocessesand phenomena
is the provinceof the specialphysicalsciences,just in the same
of particularsocietaryphenomenais the
way as theinvestigation
provinceof the special social sciences. Justso, as philosophy
goes beyondthespecialsciencesand looksintothegeneralmovementsof things- i. e., theunityand generalteleologicalflowof
things-so does sociologygo beyondthe particularsocial facts
and viewstheassociationof individualsin its greatrelationships
and trenidsof development. Now, it mightbe said: "Well
enough,butyou have notgottenbeyondSpencer'snotionof the
unification
of the sciences,and so where is your appreciative
method?" And so we shall have to examinethe natureof the
conceptof unitywhichsociologyso confidently
uses.
Unityis a principlewhichis feltratherthandescribed. We
can cognize identity,
but unitymustbe conceivedof afterthe
analogyof thesubject; thouglh
you mightcognitively
have a sort
of collocationwhichmightpass forunity. Whenyou have unity
you have thenotionof an organism,and thatis whatMr. Ward
is advocating. Unityis not altogetherappreciative,
but largely
so, and its essentialnatureis appreciative. When he says that
thisunityis gottenby generalization,
he does not mean exactly
whatis ordinarily
meantby theterm.
As intelligencedevelops,the abilityto generalizeincreases,and the stage
is at lengthreachedat whichthemindsees muchthatthe sensescannotapprehend. With the progressof science,this power is enormouslyenhancedand
the true interpretation
of naturebegins.39

Now, this true interpretation


of nature must be philosophy.
The ordinaryeventsof life go unnoticed,but there are certainevents
that are popularlyregardedas extraordinary,
notwithstanding
the fact that
"WARD, Pure Sociology, p. 52.

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the newspaperseveryday devotemore than half theirspace to them. One


would suppose that people would learn some time that fires,and railroad
accidents,atndminedisasters,and boilerexplosions,and robberies,
and defalcations,and murders,as well as elopements,
liaisons in high life,seductions,
and rape,were normalsocial phenomenaafterreadingof everyone of these
and a hundredsimilareventseveryday throughout
the course of a lifetime.
But this enormousmass of evidencehas no effectwhateverin dispellingthe
and the octogenarian
popular illusion that such events are extraordinary,
whose eyesightwill permitstillpores over the dailynews,as it is called,with
the same interestas when he was a youth. There is nothingnew in news
in the names. The eventsare the same. It is this that
excepta difference
Schopenhauermeantwhen he said that historyfurnishesnothingnew, but
of the same thingundernew names. And thisis
onlythe continualrepetition
meantwhenwe speakof generalization."

This is certainly
a searchfora unitaryprinciplewhichis more
thanwhatis ordinarilycalled generalization.Is not thisanalohimselfin variousways, but
gous to an individualmanifesting
alwaysremaininga unity,or viewingan individualfromvarious
anldunity
aspects? And whenthepersonfeelsthisindividuality
in thewholeof societaryphenomena,
is it not just as I perceive
myselfas a familyself,or as a collegeself,and all thetimeI feel
the generalunityover,above, and throughit all? Is not Mr.
Ward's society,whichis a unity,a large individualwhichthe
finiteperson appreciatesin the same way as my self of this
momentappreciatesmy individuality,so that, after all, the
so thatthe two are
subject-object
experienceis but transcended
feltas one? Mr. Ward callsthisthediscoveryof law in history;
but,as a matterof fact,is it notmorethanthis,thoughhe does
notadmitit? Does it nothave implications
thathe wouldhardly
liketo admit?
When the sociologistholdsthe theoryof a biologicalorganismas theanalogueof societyas a whole,has he not so farforth
departedfroma strictly
empiricalpointof view,and gonebeyond
his own descriptiveexperienceor the experienceof others?
Whenhe arguesfora viewof societyas a wholeas an organism,
he no longerconfines
himselfto individualsand institutions;and
his formof argumentis not one thatcan be called strictly
scienbutrestson rathervague analogies,so thatit rests
tificinduction,
" Ibid.. p. 55.

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METAPHYSICAL

ELEMENTS

IN SOCIOLOGY

379

and its test of


on probabilityratherthan on demonstration;
certitudeis no longera purelyfactualone, but one thatrestson
rationalprobability.This is all themorethecase whenM. Rene
Worms,in his Organisneet societe,arguesthatin the worldof
social factstheindividualis not theonlyreal; fortheindividual
is an aggregationof cells and stillhas reality;and so he argues
thatthe social organismis an individualand has reality. Now,
thisis essentially
a metaphysical
discussionand involvesa metaphysicalmethod. Mr. Spencer holds that the elementsin a
biologicalorganismare concrete,
butthoseof thesocialorganism
are discrete. But M. Worns holds that the continuity
of the
elementsin the biologicalorganismhas less of continuity
than
have the elementsof the social organism; since,when the biological elementsare separated,the organismperishes; but when
the elemnents
of social structureare separated,theytend to be
reunited,as e. g., the unification
of Italy. In comparison,the
spacesbetweenthecellsof thebiologicalorganismare no farther
separatedthanthe individualsin the social organism. He says
finallythat societyis a supra-organism
whichpossessesall the
characteristics
of the individualorganism,and morethan that.
This pointhelpsto give the foregoingdiscussiona moregeneral
as it showsthatthemetaphysical
application,
side is not confined
to a particularsort of sociologicalinvestigation,
since we have
shownthatthemorepsychological
typeof sociologists,like ProfessorGiddings,Mr. Ward, and others,are involvedin metaphysical conceptions,and here we see that the biological
sociologistsare also involvedin them. All thesetheories,especiallythoserestingon individualand collectivewill or socialwill,
etc., are supra-scientific
in that they seek the inner meaning
and ultimatenatureof societaryphenomenaratherthantracing
merelycausal relationships.
So our conclusionthusfarmightbe roughlystatedby saying
thatthetwo disciplinesare directlyrelatedin thatthe causality
and evolutionin sociologyare different
fromthatinvolvedin the
physicalsciences,and so requiredifferent
treatment.They are
relatednmore
particularly
since,in orderto understandthe units
and the interaction
in social phenomena,
we are directlyled into

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380

THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY

the metaphysicalmethod and point of view, viz., that of


appreciation.
Metaphysicshas for its provincethe nature,meaningand
finalmeaningof thecontentof experience. But,takingthevery
seemsto warrant,
broadviewof sociologywhichtheinvestigation
someonemay say thatthe outcomeof our argumentis a taking
and
betweensociologyand metaphysics,
away of the distinction
hopelessly
mixingup thetwo. 'Po thiswe replythattheobjector
fails to (listinguishbetweenall the data of experience,viewed
underone aspector fromone pointof view,on theone hand,and
thewholeof experience,
on theotherhand. For, it seemsto me,
and all thedata of experience(meaning
thewholeof experience,
the
by "data"
groundworkof experience),are not necessarily
we can acceptthevery
identical. On thebasis of thisdistinction
wideviewof sociology,and admitthatthebasicfactsof sociology
are: nature,individuals,and the modes of associationbetween
individuals; and can furtherdemandthat thereis involveda
as to thethreefactsmentioned.And
metaphysical
investigation
we could even,if it be necessary,admitthatthesethreefactors
mentionedare all the data of experience,withoutsurrendering
and not sociologyis the ultimate
our positionthatmetaphysics
sourceof ourexplanation;fortheseare all thedata of experience
viewedunderone aspect,fromone pointof view,viz., the sociological. But the metaphysicalinvestigationat the outset,or
duringthesociological,in no wise exhauststheprovinceof metadeals not only with the natureand
physics. For metapllysics
meaning,butalso withthefinalmeaning,of whatexists; and so
in thesociologicalconsiderssimply
themetap'hysical
investigation
thenatureand meaningof thesedata,whereasthefinalmeaning
can be determined
onlyat the end of the sociologicalinvestigathen,forevenwiththisbroadestviewof
tion; and notnecessarily
sociologyit embodiesall the data of experienceonlyunderone
aspect,namely,the sociological; and to get the finalmeaning,
-which
is thefurther
at thispoint,it must
problemof metaphysics
considerall thedata of experience,
notonlyunderthisaspect,but
undereverypossibleaspectthatexperiencecan suggest. What
sciencestakea selectedbodyof
is meanthereis this: The particular

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METAPHYSICAL

ELTEMENTS IN SOCIOLOGY

38I

phenomena,
someparticularportionof experience,
and tryto find
thelaws of its behavior. Metaphysics,
on the contrary,
may not
selectin thisway. It has theproblemof takingall thephenomena
in experience,and not nmerely
gettingthe law of theirbehavior,
but gettingthatlaw intotermsof some unitaryprinciplewhich
shall be adequate,not alone for each of the selectedgroupsof
phenomenaindividually,but also for any possiblecombination
of groupsas well as all the possiblegroupstakentogether. So
the metaphysical
all along the line,and the admisinvestigation
sion of theextremebreadthof sociology,in no wise weakenthe
necessityof the demandfora metaphysical
investigation
at the
end of thesociological;and notonlyat theend of thislatter,but
at the end of all the otherpossibleaspects; nor does it weaken
thenecessityfora distinction
betweenthetwo.
But the objector,whllomightbe a thinkerholding to the
narrowerviewof thefieldof sociology,miglht
say thatthisbroad
fieldof investigation
whichwe are speakingaboutis notsociology
at all. We in turnask: WVhat
is it then,if it is not sociology?
It certainly
is notmetaphysics,
nor is it citherchemistry,
physics,
or biology,psychology,
or anyothersciencewhichhas anyrecognizedstatus. Its field,and thedata fromwhichit starts,are certainlythe data of whathe calls sociology; onlythatherewe do
not restrictourselvesto arbitrarylimits,but take the natural
limits.
PHILIP
PRINCETON

H.

FOGEL.

UNIVERSITY.

[To be concluded.]

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