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Title: Introduction to the Science of Sociology
Author: Park, Robert Ezra, 1864-1944, Burgess, E. W. (Ernest Watson), 1886-1966
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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All rights Reserved

Published September 1921

Transcriber's Note: Minor typos have been corrected. Footnotes have been
moved to the end of the chapters. Italicized letters, such as (_a_),
have been changed to unitalicized (a) for easier reading.


The materials upon which this book is based have been collected from a
wide range of sources and represent the observation and reflection of
men who have seen life from very different points of view. This was
necessary in order to bring into the perspective of a single volume the
whole wide range of social organization and human life which is the
subject-matter of a science of society.

At the same time an effort has been made to bring this material within
the limits of a very definite series of sociological conceptions which
suggest, at any rate, where they do not clearly exhibit, the fundamental
relations of the parts to one another and to the concepts and contents
of the volume as a whole.

The _Introduction to the Science of Sociology_ is not conceived as a
mere collection of materials, however, but as a systematic treatise. On
the other hand, the excerpts which make up the body of the book are not
to be regarded as mere illustrations. In the context in which they
appear, and with the headings which indicate their place in the volume,
they should enable the student to formulate for himself the principles
involved. An experience of some years, during which this book has been
in preparation, has demonstrated the value to the teacher of a body of
materials that are interesting in themselves and that appeal to the
experience of the student. If students are invited to take an active
part in the task of interpretation of the text, if they are encouraged
to use the references in order to extend their knowledge of the
subject-matter and to check and supplement classroom discussion by their
personal observation, their whole attitude becomes active rather than
passive. Students gain in this way a sense of dealing at first hand with
a subject-matter that is alive and with a science that is in the making.
Under these conditions sociology becomes a common enterprise in which
all members of the class participate; to which, by their observation and
investigation, they can and should make contributions.

The first thing that students in sociology need to learn is to observe
and record their own observations; to read, and then to select and
record the materials which are the fruits of their readings; to
organize and use, in short, their own experience. The whole organization
of this volume may be taken as an illustration of a method, at once
tentative and experimental, for the collection, classification, and
interpretation of materials, and should be used by students from the
very outset in all their reading and study.

Social questions have been endlessly discussed, and it is important that
they should be. What the student needs to learn, however, is how to get
facts rather than formulate opinions. The most important facts that
sociologists have to deal with are opinions (attitudes and sentiments),
but until students learn to deal with opinions as the biologists deal
with organisms, that is, to dissect them--reduce them to their component
elements, describe them, and define the situation (environment) to which
they are a response--we must not expect very great progress in
sociological science.

It will be noticed that every single chapter, except the first, falls
naturally into four parts; (1) the introduction, (2) the materials, (3)
investigations and problems, and (4) bibliography. The first two parts
of each chapter are intended to raise questions rather than to answer
them. The last two, on the other hand, should outline or suggest
problems for further study. The bibliographies have been selected mainly
to exhibit the recognized points of view with regard to the questions
raised, and to suggest the practical problems that grow out of, and are
related to, the subject of the chapter as a whole.

The bibliographies, which accompany the chapters, it needs to be said,
are intended to be representative rather than authoritative or complete.
An attempt has been made to bring together literature that would exhibit
the range, the divergence, the distinctive character of the writings and
points of view upon a single topic. The results are naturally subject to
criticism and revision.

A word should be said in regard to chapter i. It seemed necessary and
important, in view of the general vagueness and uncertainty in regard to
the place of sociology among the sciences and its relation to the other
social sciences, particularly to history, to state somewhere, clearly
and definitely, what, from the point of view of this volume, sociology
is. This resulted finally in the imposition of a rather formidable essay
upon what is in other respects, we trust, a relatively concrete and
intelligible book. Under these circumstances we suggest that, unless the
reader is specially interested in the matter, he begin with the chapter
on "Human Nature," and read the first chapter last.

The editors desire to express their indebtedness to Dr. W. I. Thomas for
the point of view and the scheme of organization of materials which have
been largely adopted in this book.[1] They are also under obligations to
their colleagues, Professor Albion W. Small, Professor Ellsworth Faris,
and Professor Leon C. Marshall, for constant stimulus, encouragement,
and assistance. They wish to acknowledge the co-operation and the
courtesy of their publishers, all the more appreciated because of the
difficult technical task involved in the preparation of this volume. In
preparing copy for publication and in reading proof, invaluable service
was rendered by Miss Roberta Burgess.

Finally the editors are bound to express their indebtedness to the
writers and publishers who have granted their permission to use the
materials from which this volume has been put together. Without the use
of these materials it would not have been possible to exhibit the many
and varied types of observation and reflection which have contributed to
present-day knowledge of social life. In order to give this volume a
systematic character it has been necessary to tear these excerpts from
their contexts and to put them, sometimes, into strange categories. In
doing this it will no doubt have happened that some false impressions
have been created. This was perhaps inevitable and to be expected. On
the other hand these brief excerpts offered here will serve, it is
hoped, as an introduction to the works from which they have been taken,
and, together with the bibliographies which accompany them, will serve
further to direct and stimulate the reading and research of students.
The co-operation of the following publishers, organizations and
journals, in giving, by special arrangement, permission to use
selections from copyright material, was therefore distinctly appreciated
by the editors:

D. Appleton & Co.; G. Bell & Sons; J. F. Bergmann; Columbia University
Press; George H. Doran Co.; Duncker und Humblot; Duffield & Co.;
Encyclopedia Americana Corporation; M. Giard et Cie; Ginn & Co.;
Harcourt, Brace & Co.; Paul B. Hoeber; Houghton Mifflin Co.; Henry Holt
& Co.; B. W. Huebsch; P. S. King & Son; T. W. Laurie, Ltd.; Longmans,
Green & Co.; John W. Luce & Co.; The Macmillan Co.; A. C. McClurg & Co.;
Methuen & Co.; John Murray; Martinus Nijhoff; Open Court Publishing Co.;
Oxford University Press; G. P. Putnam's Sons; Rütten und Loening;
Charles Scribner's Sons; Frederick A. Stokes & Co.; W. Thacker & Co.;
University of Chicago Press; University Tutorial Press, Ltd.;
Wagnerische Univ. Buchhandlung; Walter Scott Publishing Co.; Williams &
Norgate; Yale University Press; American Association for International
Conciliation; American Economic Association; American Sociological
Society; Carnegie Institution of Washington; _American Journal of
Psychology_; _American Journal of Sociology_; _Cornhill Magazine_;
_International Journal of Ethics_; _Journal of Abnormal Psychology_;
_Journal of Delinquency_; _Nature_; _Pedagogical Seminary_; _Popular
Science Monthly_; _Religious Education_; _Scientific Monthly_;
_Sociological Review_; _World's Work_; _Yale Review_.

June 18, 1921


I. Sociology and "Scientific" History                                     1

II. Historical and Sociological Facts                                     6

III. Human Nature and Law                                                12

IV. History, Natural History, and Sociology                              16

V. The Social Organism: Humanity or Leviathan?                           24

VI. Social Control and Schools of Thought                                27

VII. Social Control and the Collective Mind                              36

VIII. Sociology and Social Research                                      43

  _Representative Works in Systematic Sociology and Methods of
      Sociological Research_                                             57
  _Topics for Written Themes_                                            60
  _Questions for Discussion_                                             60


I. Introduction
    1. Human Interest in Human Nature                                    64
    2. Definition of Human Nature                                        65
    3. Classification of the Materials                                   68

II. Materials

  A. The Original Nature of Man
    1. Original Nature Defined. _Edward L. Thorndike_                    73
    2. Inventory of Original Tendencies. _Edward L. Thorndike_           75
    3. Man Not Born Human. _Robert E. Park_                              76
    4. The Natural Man. _Milicent W. Shinn_                              82
    5. Sex Differences. _Albert Moll_                                    85
    6. Racial Differences. _C. S. Myers_                                 89
    7. Individual Differences. _Edward L. Thorndike_                     92

  B. Human Nature and Social Life
    1. Human Nature and Its Remaking. _W. E. Hocking_                    95
    2. Human Nature, Folkways, and the Mores. _William G. Sumner_        97
    3. Habit and Custom, the Individual and the General Will.
       _Ferdinand Tönnies_                                              100
    4. The Law, Conscience, and the General Will. _Viscount Haldane_    102

  C. Personality and the Social Self
    1. The Organism as Personality. _Th. Ribot_                         108
    2. Personality as a Complex. _Morton Prince_                        110
    3. The Self as the Individual's Conception of His Rôle.
       _Alfred Binet_                                                   113
    4. The Natural Person versus the Social and Conventional Self.
       _L. G. Winston_                                                  117
    5. The Divided Self and Moral Consciousness. _William James_        119
    6. Personality of Individuals and of Peoples. _W. v. Bechterew_     123

  D. Biological and Social Heredity
    1. Nature and Nurture. _J. Arthur Thomson_                          126
    2. Inheritance of Original Nature. _C. B. Davenport_                128
    3. Inheritance of Acquired Nature: Tradition. _Albert G. Keller_    134
    4. Temperament, Tradition, and Nationality. _Robert E. Park_        135

III. Investigations and Problems

    1. Conceptions of Human Nature Implicit in Religious and
       Political Doctrines                                              139
    2. Literature and the Science of Human Nature                       141
    3. Research in the Field of Original Nature                         143
    4. The Investigation of Human Personality                           143
    5. The Measurement of Individual Differences                        145

  _Selected Bibliography_                                               147
  _Topics for Written Themes_                                           154
  _Questions for Discussion_                                            155


I. Introduction
    1. Society, the Community, and the Group                            159
    2. Classification of the Materials                                  162

II. Materials

  A. Society and Symbiosis
    1. Definition of Society. _Alfred Espinas_                          165
    2. Symbiosis (literally "living together"). _William M. Wheeler_    167
    3. The Taming and the Domestication of Animals.
       _P. Chalmers Mitchell_                                           170

  B. Plant Communities and Animal Societies
    1. Plant Communities. _Eugenius Warming_                            173
    2. Ant Society. _William E. Wheeler_                                180

  C. Human Society
    1. Social Life. _John Dewey_                                        182
    2. Behavior and Conduct. _Robert E. Park_                           185
    3. Instinct and Character. _L. T. Hobhouse_                         190
    4. Collective Representation and Intellectual Life.
       _Émile Durkheim_                                                 193

  D. The Social Group
    1. Definition of the Group. _Albion W. Small_                       196
    2. The Unity of the Social Group. _Robert E. Park_                  198
    3. Types of Social Groups.  _S. Sighele_                            200
    4. _Esprit de Corps_, Morale, and Collective Representations
       of Social Groups. _William E. Hocking_                           205

III. Investigations and Problems
    1. The Scientific Study of Societies                                210
    2. Surveys of Communities                                           211
    3. The Group as a Unit of Investigation                             212
    4. The Study of the Family                                          213

  _Selected Bibliography_                                               217
  _Topics for Written Themes_                                           223
  _Questions for Discussion_                                            224


I. Introduction
    1. Geological and Biological Conceptions of Isolation               226
    2. Isolation and Segregation                                        228
    3. Classification of the Materials                                  230

II. Materials

  A. Isolation and Personal Individuality
    1. Society and Solitude. _Francis Bacon_                            233
    2. Society in Solitude. _Jean Jacques Rousseau_                     234
    3. Prayer as a Form of Isolation. _George Albert Coe_.              235
    4. Isolation, Originality, and Erudition. _T. Sharper Knowlson_     237

  B. Isolation and Retardation
    1. Feral Men. _Maurice H. Small_                                    239
    2. From Solitude to Society. _Helen Keller_                         243
    3. Mental Effects of Solitude. _W. H. Hudson_                       245
    4. Isolation and the Rural Mind. _C. J. Galpin_                     247
    5. The Subtler Effects of Isolation. _W. I. Thomas_.                249

  C. Isolation and Segregation
    1. Segregation as a Process. _Robert E. Park_                       252
    2. Isolation as a Result of Segregation.
       _L. W. Crafts and E. A. Doll_                                    254

  D. Isolation and National Individuality
    1. Historical Races as Products of Isolation. _N. S. Shaler_        257
    2. Geographical Isolation and Maritime Contact. _George Grote_      260
    3. Isolation as an Explanation of National Differences.
       _William Z. Ripley_                                              264
    4. Natural versus Vicinal Location in National Development.
       _Ellen C. Semple_                                                268

III. Investigations and Problems
    1. Isolation in Anthropogeography and Biology                       269
    2. Isolation and Social Groups                                      270
    3. Isolation and Personality                                        271

  _Bibliography: Materials for the Study of Isolation_                  273
  _Topics for Written Themes_                                           277
  _Questions for Discussion_                                            278


I. Introduction
    1. Preliminary Notions of Social Contact                            280
    2. The Sociological Concept of Contact                              281
    3. Classification of the Materials                                  282

II. Materials

  A. Physical Contact and Social Contact
    1. The Frontiers of Social Contact. _Albion W. Small_               288
    2. The Land and the People. _Ellen C. Semple_                       289
    3. Touch and Social Contact. _Ernest Crawley_                       291

  B. Social Contact in Relation to Solidarity and to Mobility
    1. The In-Group and the Out-Group. _W. G. Sumner_.                  293
    2. Sympathetic Contacts versus Categoric Contacts. _N. S. Shaler_   294
    3. Historical Continuity and Civilization. _Friedrich Ratzel_       298
    4. Mobility and the Movement of Peoples. _Ellen C. Semple_          301

  C. Primary and Secondary Contacts
    1. Village Life in America (from _the Diary of a Young Girl_).
       _Caroline C. Richards_                                           305
    2. Secondary Contacts and City Life. _Robert E. Park_.              311
    3. Publicity as a Form of Secondary Contact. _Robert E. Park_       315
    4. From Sentimental to Rational Attitudes. _Werner Sombart_         317
    5. The Sociological Significance of the "Stranger." _Georg Simmel_  322

III. Investigations and Problems
    1. Physical Contacts                                                327
    2. Touch and the Primary Contacts of Intimacy                       329
    3. Primary Contacts of Acquaintanceship                             330
    4. Secondary Contacts                                               331

  _Bibliography: Materials for the Study of Social Contacts_            332
  _Topics for Written Themes_                                           336
  _Questions for Discussion_                                            336


I. Introduction
    1. The Concept of Interaction                                       339
    2. Classification of the Materials                                  341

II. Materials

  A. Society as Interaction
    1. The Mechanistic Interpretation of Society. _Ludwig Gumplowicz_   346
    2. Social Interaction as the Definition of the Group in Time
       and Space. _Georg Simmel_                                        348

  B. The Natural Forms of Communication
    1. Sociology of the Senses: Visual Interaction. _Georg Simmel_      356
    2. The Expression of the Emotions. _Charles Darwin_                 361
    3. Blushing. _Charles Darwin_                                       365
    4. Laughing. _L. Dugas_                                             370

  C. Language and the Communication of Ideas
    1. Intercommunication in the Lower Animals. _C. Lloyd Morgan_       375
    2. The Concept as the Medium of Human Communication.
       _F. Max Müller_                                                  379
    3. Writing as a Form of Communication. _Charles H. Judd_            381
    4. The Extension of Communication by Human Invention.
       _Carl Bücher_                                                    385

  D. Imitation
    1. Definition of Imitation. _Charles H. Judd_                       390
    2. Attention, Interest, and Imitation. _G. F. Stout_                391
    3. The Three Levels of Sympathy. _Th. Ribot_                        394
    4. Rational Sympathy. _Adam Smith_                                  397
    5. Art, Imitation, and Appreciation. _Yrjö Hirn_                    401

  E. Suggestion
    1. A Sociological Definition of Suggestion. _W. v. Bechterew_       408
    2. The Subtler Forms of Suggestion. _Albert Moll_                   412
    3. Social Suggestion and Mass or "Corporate" Action.
       _W. v. Bechterew_                                                415

III. Investigations and Problems
    1. The Process of Interaction                                       420
    2. Communication                                                    421
    3. Imitation                                                        423
    4. Suggestion                                                       424

  _Selected Bibliography_                                               425
  _Topics for Written Themes_                                           431
  _Questions for Discussion_                                            431


I. Introduction
    1. Sources of the Notion of Social Forces                           435
    2. History of the Concept of Social Forces                          436
    3. Classification of the Materials                                  437

II. Materials

  A. Trends, Tendencies, and Public Opinion
    1. Social Forces in American History. _A. M. Simons_                443
    2. Social Tendencies as Social Forces. _Richard T. Ely_             444
    3. Public Opinion and Legislation in England. _A. V. Dicey_         445

  B. Interests, Sentiments, and Attitudes
    1. Social Forces and Interaction. _Albion W. Small_                 451
    2. Interests. _Albion W. Small_                                     454
    3. Social Pressures. _Arthur F. Bentley_                            458
    4. Idea-Forces. _Alfred Fouillée_                                   461
    5. Sentiments. _William McDougall_                                  464
    6. Social Attitudes. _Robert E. Park_                               467

  C. The Four Wishes: A Classification of Social Forces
    1. The Wish, the Social Atom. _Edwin B. Holt_                       478
    2. The Freudian Wish. _John B. Watson_                              482
    3. The Person and His Wishes. _W. I. Thomas_                        488

III. Investigations and Problems
    1. Popular Notions of Social Forces                                 491
    2. Social Forces and History                                        493
    3. Interests, Sentiments, and Attitudes as Social Forces            494
    4. Wishes and Social Forces                                         497

  _Selected Bibliography_                                               498
  _Topics for Written Themes_                                           501
  _Questions for Discussion_                                            502


I. Introduction
    1. Popular Conceptions of Competition                               505
    2. Competition a Process of Interaction                             507
    3. Classification of the Materials                                  511

II. Materials

  A. The Struggle for Existence
    1. Different Forms of the Struggle for Existence.
       _J. Arthur Thomson_                                              513
    2. Competition and Natural Selection. _Charles Darwin_              515
    3. Competition, Specialization, and Organization. _Charles Darwin_  519
    4. Man: An Adaptive Mechanism. _George W. Crile_                    522

  B. Competition and Segregation
    1. Plant Migration, Competition, and Segregation. _F. E. Clements_  526
    2. Migration and Segregation. _Carl Bücher_                         529
    3. Demographic Segregation and Social Selection.
       _William Z. Ripley_                                              534
    4. Inter-racial Competition and Race Suicide. _Francis A. Walker_   539

  C. Economic Competition
    1. Changing Forms of Economic Competition. _John B. Clark_          544
    2. Competition and the Natural Harmony of Individual Interests.
       _Adam Smith_                                                     550
    3. Competition and Freedom. _Frédéric Bastiat_                      551
    4. Money and Freedom. _Georg Simmel_                                552

III. Investigations and Problems
    1. Biological Competition                                           553
    2. Economic Competition                                             554
    3. Competition and Human Ecology                                    558
    4. Competition and the "Inner Enemies": the Defectives, the
       Dependents, and the Delinquents                                  559

  _Selected Bibliography_                                               562
  _Topics for Written Themes_                                           562
  _Questions for Discussion_                                            563


I. Introduction
    1. The Concept of Conflict                                          574
    2. Classification of the Materials                                  576

II. Materials

  A. Conflict as Conscious Competition
    1. The Natural History of Conflict. _W. I. Thomas_                  579
    2. Conflict as a Type of Social Interaction. _Georg Simmel_         582
    3. Types of Conflict Situations. _Georg Simmel_                     586

  B. War, Instincts, and Ideals
    1. War and Human Nature. _William A. White_                         594
    2. War as a Form of Relaxation. _G. T. W. Patrick_                  598
    3. The Fighting Animal and the Great Society.
       _Henry Rutgers Marshall_                                         600

  C. Rivalry, Cultural Conflicts, and Social Organization

    1. Animal Rivalry. _William H. Hudson_                              604
    2. The Rivalry of Social Groups. _George E. Vincent_                605
    3. Cultural Conflicts and the Organization of Sects.
       _Franklin H. Giddings_                                           610

  D. Racial Conflicts
    1. Social Contacts and Race Conflict. _Robert E. Park_              616
    2. Conflict and Race Consciousness. _Robert E. Park_                623
    3. Conflict and Accommodation. _Alfred H. Stone_                    631

III. Investigations and Problems
    1. The Psychology and Sociology of Conflict, Conscious
       Competition, and Rivalry                                         638
    2. Types of Conflict                                                639
    3. The Literature of War                                            641
    4. Race Conflict                                                    642
    5. Conflict Groups                                                  643

  _Selected Bibliography_                                               645
  _Topics for Written Themes_                                           660
  _Questions for Discussion_                                            661


I. Introduction
    1. Adaptation and Accommodation                                     663
    2. Classification of the Materials                                  666

II. Materials

  A. Forms of Accommodation
    1. Acclimatization. _Daniel G. Brinton_                             671
    2. Slavery Defined. _H. J. Nieboer_                                 674
    3. Excerpts from the Journal of a West India Slave Owner.
       _Matthew G. Lewis_                                               677
    4. The Origin of Caste in India. _John C. Nesfield_                 681
    5. Caste and the Sentiments of Caste Reflected in Popular Speech.
       _Herbert Risley_                                                 684

  B. Subordination and Superordination
    1. The Psychology of Subordination and Superordination.
       _Hugo Münsterberg_                                               688
    2. Social Attitudes in Subordination: Memories of an Old Servant.
       _An Old Servant_                                                 692
    3. The Reciprocal Character of Subordination and Superordination.
       _Georg Simmel_                                                   695
    4. Three Types of Subordination and Superordination.
       _Georg Simmel_                                                   697

  C. Conflict and Accommodation
    1. War and Peace as Types of Conflict and Accommodation.
       _Georg Simmel_                                                   703
    2. Compromise and Accommodation. _Georg Simmel_                     706

  D. Competition, Status, and Social Solidarity
    1. Personal Competition, Social Selection, and Status.
       _Charles H. Cooley_                                              708
    2. Personal Competition and the Evolution of Individual Types.
       _Robert E. Park_                                                 712
    3. Division of Labor and Social Solidarity. _Émile Durkheim_        714

III. Investigations and Problems
    1. Forms of Accommodation                                           718
    2. Subordination and Superordination                                721
    3. Accommodation Groups                                             721
    4. Social Organization                                              723

  _Selected Bibliography_                                               725
  _Topics for Written Themes_                                           732
  _Questions for Discussion_                                            732


I. Introduction
    1. Popular Conceptions of Assimilation                              734
    2. The Sociology of Assimilation                                    735
    3. Classification of the Materials                                  737

II. Materials

  A. Biological Aspects of Assimilation
    1. Assimilation and Amalgamation. _Sarah E. Simons_                 740
    2. The Instinctive Basis of Assimilation. _W. Trotter_              742

  B. The Conflict and Fusion of Cultures
    1. The Analysis of Blended Cultures. _W. H. R. Rivers_              746
    2. The Extension of Roman Culture in Gaul. _John H. Cornyn_         751
    3. The Competition of the Cultural Languages. _E. H. Babbitt_       754
    4. The Assimilation of Races. _Robert E. Park_                      756

  C. Americanization as a Problem in Assimilation
    1. Americanization as Assimilation                                  762
    2. Language as a Means and a Product of Participation               763
    3. Assimilation and the Mediation of Individual Differences         766

III. Investigations and Problems
    1. Assimilation and Amalgamation                                    769
    2. The Conflict and Fusion of Cultures                              771
    3. Immigration and Americanization                                  772

  _Selected Bibliography_                                               775
  _Topics for Written Themes_                                           783
  _Questions for Discussion_                                            783


I. Introduction
    1. Social Control Defined                                           785
    2. Classification of the Materials                                  787

II. Materials

  A. Elementary Forms of Social Control
    1. Control in the Crowd and the Public. _Lieut. J. S. Smith_        800
    2. Ceremonial Control. _Herbert Spencer_                            805
    3. Prestige. _Lewis Leopold_                                        807
    4. Prestige and Status in South East Africa. _Maurice S. Evans_     811
    5. Taboo. _W. Robertson Smith_                                      812

  B. Public Opinion
    1. The Myth. _Georges Sorel_                                        816
    2. The Growth of a Legend. _Fernand van Langenhove_                 819
    3. Ritual, Myth, and Dogma. _W. Robertson Smith_                    822
    4. The Nature of Public Opinion. _A. Lawrence Lowell_               826
    5. Public Opinion and the Mores. _Robert E. Park_                   829
    6. News and Social Control. _Walter Lippmann_                       834
    7. The Psychology of Propaganda. _Raymond Dodge_                    837

  C. Institutions
    1. Institutions and the Mores. _W. G. Sumner_                       841
    2. Common Law and Statute Law. _Frederic J. Stimson_                843
    3. Religion and Social Control. _Charles A. Ellwood_                846

III. Investigations and Problems
    1. Social Control and Human Nature                                  848
    2. Elementary Forms of Social Control                               849
    3. Public Opinion and Social Control                                850
    4. Legal Institutions and Law                                       851

  _Selected Bibliography_                                               854
  _Topics for Written Themes_                                           862
  _Questions for Discussion_                                            862


I. Introduction
    1. Collective Behavior Defined                                      865
    2. Social Unrest and Collective Behavior                            866
    3. The Crowd and the Public                                         867
    4. Crowds and Sects                                                 870
    5. Sects and Institutions                                           872
    6. Classification of the Materials                                  874

II. Materials
  A. Social Contagion
    1. An Incident in a Lancashire Cotton Mill                          878
    2. The Dancing Mania of the Middle Ages. _J. F. C. Hecker_          879

  B. The Crowd
    1. The "Animal" Crowd                                               881
      a) The Flock. _Mary Austin_                                       881
      b) The Herd. _W. H. Hudson_                                       883
      c) The Pack. _Ernest Thompson Seton_                              886
    2. The Psychological Crowd. _Gustave Le Bon_                        887
    3. The Crowd Defined. _Robert E. Park_                              893

  C. Types of Mass Movements
    1. Crowd Excitements and Mass Movements: The Klondike Rush.
       _T. C. Down_                                                     895
    2. Mass Movements and the Mores: The Woman's Crusade.
       _Annie Wittenmyer_                                               898
    3. Mass Movements and Revolution
      a) The French Revolution. _Gustave Le Bon_                        905
      b) Bolshevism. _John Spargo_                                      909
    4. Mass Movements and Institutions: Methodism.
       _William E. H. Lecky_                                            915

III.   Investigations and Problems
    1. Social Unrest                                                    924
    2. Psychic Epidemics                                                926
    3. Mass Movements                                                   927
    4. Revivals, Religious and Linguistic                               929
    5. Fashion, Reform, and Revolution                                  933

  _Selected Bibliography_                                               934
  _Topics for Written Themes_                                           951
  _Questions for Discussion_                                            951


I. Introduction
    1. Popular Conceptions of Progress                                  953
    2. The Problem of Progress                                          956
    3. History of the Concept of Progress                               958
    4. Classification of the Materials                                  962

II. Materials

  A. The Concept of Progress
    1. The Earliest Conception of Progress. _F. S. Marvin_              965
    2. Progress and Organization. _Herbert Spencer_                     966
    3. The Stages of Progress. _Auguste Comte_                          968
    4. Progress and the Historical Process. _Leonard T. Hobhouse_       969

  B. Progress and Science
    1. Progress and Happiness. _Lester F. Ward_                         973
    2. Progress and Prevision. _John Dewey_                             975
    3. Progress and the Limits of Scientific Prevision.
       _Arthur J. Balfour_                                              977
    4. Eugenics as a Science of Progress. _Francis Galton_              979

  C. Progress and Human Nature
    1. The Nature of Man. _George Santayana_                            983
    2. Progress and the Mores. _W. G. Sumner_                           983
    3. War and Progress. _James Bryce_                                  984
    4. Progress and the Cosmic Urge
      a) The _Élan Vitale. Henri Bergson_                               989
      b) The _Dunkler Drang. Arthur Schopenhauer_                       994

III. Investigations and Problems
    1. Progress and Social Research                                    1000
    2. Indices of Progress                                             1002

  _Selected Bibliography_                                              1004
  _Topics for Written Themes_                                          1010
  _Questions for Discussion_                                           1010


[1] See _Source Book for Social Origins_. Ethnological materials,
psychological standpoint, classified and annotated bibliographies for
the interpretation of savage society (Chicago, 1909).




Sociology first gained recognition as an independent science with the
publication, between 1830 and 1842, of Auguste Comte's _Cours de
philosophie positive_. Comte did not, to be sure, create sociology. He
did give it a name, a program, and a place among the sciences.

Comte's program for the new science proposed an extension to politics
and to history of the positive methods of the natural sciences. Its
practical aim was to establish government on the secure foundation of an
exact science and give to the predictions of history something of the
precision of mathematical formulae.

     We have to contemplate social phenomena as susceptible of
     prevision, like all other classes, within the limits of
     exactness compatible with their higher complexity.
     Comprehending the three characteristics of political science
     which we have been examining, prevision of social phenomena
     supposes, first, that we have abandoned the region of
     metaphysical idealities, to assume the ground of observed
     realities by a systematic subordination of imagination to
     observation; secondly, that political conceptions have ceased
     to be absolute, and have become relative to the variable state
     of civilization, so that theories, following the natural course
     of facts, may admit of our foreseeing them; and, thirdly, that
     permanent political action is limited by determinate laws,
     since, if social events were always exposed to disturbance by
     the accidental intervention of the legislator, human or divine,
     no scientific prevision of them would be possible. Thus, we may
     concentrate the conditions of the spirit of positive social
     philosophy on this one great attribute of scientific

Comte proposed, in short, to make government a technical science and
politics a profession. He looked forward to a time when legislation,
based on a scientific study of human nature, would assume the character
of natural law. The earlier and more elementary sciences, particularly
physics and chemistry, had given man control over external nature; the
last science, sociology, was to give man control over himself.

     Men were long in learning that Man's power of modifying
     phenomena can result only from his knowledge of their natural
     laws; and in the infancy of each science, they believed
     themselves able to exert an unbounded influence over the
     phenomena of that science.... Social phenomena are, of course,
     from their extreme complexity, the last to be freed from this
     pretension: but it is therefore only the more necessary to
     remember that the pretension existed with regard to all the
     rest, in their earliest stage, and to anticipate therefore that
     social science will, in its turn, be emancipated from the
     delusion.... It [the existing social science] represents the
     social action of Man to be indefinite and arbitrary, as was
     once thought in regard to biological, chemical, physical, and
     even astronomical phenomena, in the earlier stages of their
     respective sciences.... The human race finds itself delivered
     over, without logical protection, to the ill-regulated
     experimentation of the various political schools, each one of
     which strives to set up, for all future time, its own immutable
     type of government. We have seen what are the chaotic results
     of such a strife; and we shall find that there is no chance of
     order and agreement but in subjecting social phenomena, like
     all others, to invariable natural laws, which shall, as a
     whole, prescribe for each period, with entire certainty, the
     limits and character of political action: in other words,
     introducing into the study of social phenomena the same
     positive spirit which has regenerated every other branch of
     human speculation.[4]

In the present anarchy of political opinion and parties, changes in the
existing social order inevitably assume, he urged, the character, at the
best, of a mere groping empiricism; at the worst, of a social convulsion
like that of the French Revolution. Under the direction of a positive,
in place of a speculative or, as Comte would have said, metaphysical
science of society, progress must assume the character of an orderly

It was to be expected, with the extension of exact methods of
investigation to other fields of knowledge, that the study of man and of
society would become, or seek to become, scientific in the sense in
which that word is used in the natural sciences. It is interesting, in
this connection, that Comte's first name for sociology was _social
physics_. It was not until he had reached the fourth volume of his
_Positive Philosophy_ that the word sociological is used for the first

Comte, if he was foremost, was not first in the search for a positive
science of society, which would give man that control over men that he
had over external nature. Montesquieu, in his _The Spirit of Laws_,
first published in 1747, had distinguished in the organization of
society, between form, "the particular structure," and the forces, "the
human passions which set it in motion." In his preface to this first
epoch-making essay in what Freeman calls "comparative politics,"
Montesquieu suggests that the uniformities, which he discovered beneath
the wide variety of positive law, were contributions not merely to a
science of law, but to a science of mankind.

     I have first of all considered mankind; and the result of my
     thoughts has been, that amidst such an infinite diversity of
     laws and manners, they are not solely conducted by the caprice
     of fancy.[5]

Hume, likewise, put politics among the natural sciences.[6] Condorcet
wanted to make history positive.[7] But there were, in the period
between 1815 and 1840 in France, conditions which made the need of a new
science of politics peculiarly urgent. The Revolution had failed and the
political philosophy, which had directed and justified it, was bankrupt.
France, between 1789 and 1815, had adopted, tried, and rejected no less
than ten different constitutions. But during this period, as Saint-Simon
noted, society, and the human beings who compose society, had not
changed. It was evident that government was not, in any such sense as
the philosophers had assumed, a mere artefact and legislative
construction. Civilization, as Saint-Simon conceived it, was a part of
nature. Social change was part of the whole cosmic process. He proposed,
therefore, to make politics a science as positive as physics. The
subject-matter of political science, as he conceived it, was not so
much political forms as social conditions. History had been literature.
It was destined to become a science.[8]

Comte called himself Saint-Simon's pupil. It is perhaps more correct to
say Saint-Simon formulated the problem for which Comte, in his _Positive
Philosophy_, sought a solution. It was Comte's notion that with the
arrival of sociology the distinction which had so long existed, and
still exists, between philosophy, in which men define their wishes, and
natural science, in which they describe the existing order of nature,
would disappear. In that case ideals would be defined in terms of
reality, and the tragic difference between what men want and what is
possible would be effaced. Comte's error was to mistake a theory of
progress for progress itself. It is certainly true that as men learn
what is, they will adjust their ideals to what is possible. But
knowledge grows slowly.

Man's knowledge of mankind has increased greatly since 1842. Sociology,
"the positive science of humanity," has moved steadily forward in the
direction that Comte's program indicated, but it has not yet replaced
history. Historians are still looking for methods of investigation which
will make history "scientific."

     No one who has watched the course of history during the last
     generation can have felt doubt of its tendency. Those of us who
     read Buckle's first volume when it appeared in 1857, and almost
     immediately afterwards, in 1859, read the _Origin of Species_
     and felt the violent impulse which Darwin gave to the study of
     natural laws, never doubted that historians would follow until
     they had exhausted every possible hypothesis to create a
     science of history. Year after year passed, and little progress
     has been made. Perhaps the mass of students are more skeptical
     now than they were thirty years ago of the possibility that
     such a science can be created. Yet almost every successful
     historian has been busy with it, adding here a new analysis, a
     new generalization there; a clear and definite connection where
     before the rupture of idea was absolute; and, above all,
     extending the field of study until it shall include all races,
     all countries, and all times. Like other branches of science,
     history is now encumbered and hampered by its own mass, but its
     tendency is always the same, and cannot be other than what it
     is. That the effort to make history a science may fail is
     possible, and perhaps probable; but that it should cease,
     unless for reasons that would cause all science to cease, is
     not within the range of experience. Historians will not, and
     even if they would they can not, abandon the attempt. Science
     itself would admit its own failure if it admitted that man, the
     most important of all its subjects, could not be brought within
     its range.[9]

Since Comte gave the new science of humanity a name and a point of view,
the area of historical investigation has vastly widened and a number of
new social sciences have come into existence--ethnology, archaeology,
folklore, the comparative studies of cultural materials, i.e., language,
mythology, religion, and law, and in connection with and closely related
with these, folk-psychology, social psychology, and the psychology of
crowds, which latter is, perhaps, the forerunner of a wider and more
elaborate political psychology. The historians have been very much
concerned with these new bodies of materials and with the new points of
view which they have introduced into the study of man and of society.
Under the influences of these sciences, history itself, as James Harvey
Robinson has pointed out, has had a history. But with the innovations
which the new history has introduced or attempted to introduce, it does
not appear that there have been any fundamental changes in method or
ideology in the science itself.

     Fifty years have elapsed since Buckle's book appeared, and I
     know of no historian who would venture to maintain that we had
     made any considerable advance toward the goal he set for
     himself. A systematic prosecution of the various branches of
     social science, especially political economy, sociology,
     anthropology, and psychology, is succeeding in explaining many
     things; but history must always remain, from the standpoint of
     the astronomer, physicist, or chemist, a highly inexact and
     fragmentary body of knowledge.... History can no doubt be
     pursued in a strictly scientific spirit, but the data we
     possess in regard to the past of mankind are not of a nature to
     lend themselves to organization into an exact science,
     although, as we shall see, they may yield truths of vital

History has not become, as Comte believed it must, an exact science, and
sociology has not taken its place in the social sciences. It is
important, however, for understanding the mutations which have taken
place in sociology since Comte to remember that it had its origin in an
effort to make history exact. This, with, to be sure, considerable
modifications, is still, as we shall see, an ambition of the science.


Sociology, as Comte conceived it, was not, as it has been characterized,
"a highly important point of view," but a fundamental science, i.e., a
method of investigation and "a body of discoveries about mankind."[11]
In the hierarchy of the sciences, sociology, the last in time, was first
in importance. The order was as follows: mathematics, astronomy,
physics, chemistry, biology including psychology, sociology. This order
represented a progression from the more elementary to the more complex.
It was because history and politics were concerned with the most complex
of natural phenomena that they were the last to achieve what Comte
called the positive character. They did this in sociology.

Many attempts have been made before and since Comte to find a
satisfactory classification of the sciences. The order and relation of
the sciences is still, in fact, one of the cardinal problems of
philosophy. In recent years the notion has gained recognition that the
difference between history and the natural sciences is not one of
degree, but of kind; not of subject-matter merely, but of method. This
difference in method is, however, fundamental. It is a difference not
merely in the interpretation but in the _logical character_ of facts.

Every historical fact, it is pointed out, is concerned with a unique
event. History never repeats itself. If nothing else, the mere
circumstance that every event has a _date_ and _location_ would give
historical facts an individuality that facts of the abstract sciences do
not possess. Because historical facts always are located and dated, and
cannot therefore be repeated, they are not subject to experiment and
verification. On the other hand, a fact not subject to verification is
not a fact for natural science. History, as distinguished from natural
history, deals with individuals, i.e., individual events, persons,
institutions. Natural science is concerned, not with individuals, but
with classes, types, species. All the assertions that are valid for
natural science concern classes. An illustration will make this
distinction clear.

Sometime in October, 1838, Charles Darwin happened to pick up and read
Malthus' book on _Population_. The facts of "the struggle for
existence," so strikingly presented in that now celebrated volume,
suggested an explanation of a problem which had long interested and
puzzled him, namely, the origin of species.

This is a statement of a historical fact, and the point is that it is
not subject to empirical verification. It cannot be stated, in other
words, in the form of a hypothesis, which further observation of other
men of the same type will either verify or discredit.

On the other hand, in his _Descent of Man_, Darwin, discussing the rôle
of sexual selection in evolution of the species, makes this observation:
"Naturalists are much divided with respect to the object of the singing
of birds. Few more careful observers ever lived than Montagu, and he
maintained that the 'males of songbirds and of many others do not in
general search for the female, but, on the contrary, their business in
spring is to perch on some conspicuous spot, breathing out their full
and amorous notes, which, by instinct, the female knows and repairs to
the spot to choose her mate.'"

This is a typical statement of a fact of natural history. It is not,
however, the rather vague generality of the statement that makes it
scientific. It is its representative character, the character which
makes it possible of verification by further observation which makes it
a scientific fact.

It is from facts of this kind, collected, compared, and classified,
irrespective of time or place, that the more general conclusions are
drawn, upon which Darwin based his theory of the "descent of man." This
theory, as Darwin conceived it, was not an _interpretation_ of the facts
but an _explanation_.

The relation between history and sociology, as well as the manner in
which the more abstract social sciences have risen out of the more
concrete, may be illustrated by a comparison between history and
geography. Geography as a science is concerned with the visible world,
the earth, its location in space, the distribution of the land masses,
and of the plants, animals, and peoples upon its surface. The order, at
least the fundamental order, which it seeks and finds among the objects
it investigates is _spatial_. As soon as the geographer begins to
compare and classify the plants, the animals, and the peoples with
which he comes in contact, geography passes over into the special
sciences, i.e., botany, zoölogy, and anthropology.

History, on the other hand, is concerned with a world of events. Not
everything that happened, to be sure, is history, but every event that
ever was or ever will be significant is history.

Geography attempts to reproduce for us the visible world as it exists in
space; history, on the contrary, seeks to re-create for us in the
present the significance of the past. As soon as historians seek to take
events out of their historical setting, that is to say, out of their
time and space relations, in order to compare them and classify them; as
soon as historians begin to emphasize the typical and representative
rather than the unique character of events, history ceases to be history
and becomes sociology.

The differences here indicated between history and sociology are based
upon a more fundamental distinction between the historical and the
natural sciences first clearly defined by Windelband, the historian of
philosophy, in an address to the faculty of the University of Strassburg
in 1894.

     The distinction between natural science and history begins at
     the point where we seek to convert facts into knowledge. Here
     again we observe that the one (natural science) seeks to
     formulate laws, the other (history) to portray events. In the
     one case thought proceeds from the description of particulars
     to the general relations. In the other case it clings to a
     genial depiction of the individual object or event. For the
     natural scientist the object of investigation which cannot be
     repeated never has, as such, scientific value. It serves his
     purpose only so far as it may be regarded as a type or as a
     special instance of a class from which the type may be deduced.
     The natural scientist considers the single case only so far as
     he can see in it the features which serve to throw light upon a
     general law. For the historian the problem is to revive and
     call up into the present, in all its particularity, an event in
     the past. His aim is to do for an actual event precisely what
     the artist seeks to do for the object of his imagination. It is
     just here that we discern the kinship between history and art,
     between the historian and the writer of literature. It is for
     this reason that natural science emphasized the abstract; the
     historian, on the other hand, is interested mainly in the

     The fact that natural science emphasizes the abstract and
     history the concrete will become clearer if we compare the
     results of the researches of the two sciences. However finespun
     the conceptions may be which the historical critic uses in
     working over his materials, the final goal of such study is
     always to create out of the mass of events a vivid portrait of
     the past. And what history offers us is pictures of men and of
     human life, with all the wealth of their individuality,
     reproduced in all their characteristic vivacity. Thus do the
     peoples and languages of the past, their forms and beliefs,
     their struggles for power and freedom, speak to us through the
     mouth of history.

     How different it is with the world which the natural sciences
     have created for us! However concrete the materials with which
     they started, the goal of these sciences is theories,
     eventually mathematical formulations of laws of change.
     Treating the individual, sensuous, changing objects as mere
     unsubstantial appearances (phenomena), scientific investigation
     becomes a search for the universal laws which rule the timeless
     changes of events. Out of this colorful world of the senses,
     science creates a system of abstract concepts, in which the
     true nature of things is conceived to exist--a world of
     colorless and soundless atoms, despoiled of all their earthly
     sensuous qualities. Such is the triumph of thought over
     perception. Indifferent to change, science casts her anchor in
     the eternal and unchangeable. Not the change as such but the
     unchanging form of change is what she seeks.

     This raises the question: What is the more valuable for the
     purposes of knowledge in general, a knowledge of law or a
     knowledge of events? As far as that is concerned, both
     scientific procedures may be equally justified. The knowledge
     of the universal laws has everywhere a practical value in so
     far as they make possible man's purposeful intervention in the
     natural processes. That is quite as true of the movements of
     the inner as of the outer world. In the latter case knowledge
     of nature's laws has made it possible to create those tools
     through which the control of mankind over external nature is
     steadily being extended.

     Not less for the purposes of the common life are we dependent
     upon the results of historical knowledge. Man is, to change the
     ancient form of the expression, the animal who has a history.
     His cultural life rests on the transmission from generation to
     generation of a constantly increasing body of historical
     memories. Whoever proposes to take an active part in this
     cultural process must have an understanding of history.
     Wherever the thread is once broken--as history itself
     proves--it must be painfully gathered up and knitted again into
     the historical fabric.

     It is, to be sure, true that it is an economy for human
     understanding to be able to reduce to a formula or a general
     concept the common characteristics of individuals. But the more
     man seeks to reduce facts to concepts and laws, the more he is
     obliged to sacrifice and neglect the individual. Men have, to
     be sure, sought, in characteristic modern fashion, "to make of
     history a natural science." This was the case with the
     so-called philosophy of history of positivism. What has been
     the net result of the laws of history which it has given us? A
     few trivial generalities which justify themselves only by the
     most careful consideration of their numerous exceptions.

     On the other hand it is certain that all interest and values of
     life are concerned with what is unique in men and events.
     Consider how quickly our appreciation is deadened as some
     object is multiplied or is regarded as one case in a thousand.
     "She is not the first" is one of the cruel passages in _Faust_.
     It is in the individuality and the uniqueness of an object that
     all our sense of value has its roots. It is upon this fact that
     Spinoza's doctrine of the conquest of the passions by knowledge
     rests, since for him knowledge is the submergence of the
     individual in the universal, the "once for all" into the

     The fact that all our livelier appreciations rest upon the
     unique character of the object is illustrated above all in our
     relations to persons. Is it not an unendurable thought, that a
     loved object, an adored person, should have existed at some
     other time in just the form in which it now exists for us? Is
     it not horrible and unthinkable that one of us, with just this
     same individuality should actually have existed in a second

     What is true of the individual man is quite as true of the
     whole historical process: it has value only when it is unique.
     This is the principle which the Christian doctrine successfully
     maintained, as over against Hellenism in the Patristic
     philosophy. The middle point of their conception of the world
     was the fall and the salvation of mankind as a unique event.
     That was the first and great perception of the inalienable
     metaphysical right of the historian to preserve for the memory
     of mankind, in all their uniqueness and individuality, the
     actual events of life.[12]

Like every other species of animal, man has a natural history.
Anthropology is the science of man considered as one of the animal
species, _Homo sapiens_. History and sociology, on the other hand, are
concerned with man as a person, as a "political animal," participating
with his fellows in a common fund of social traditions and cultural
ideals. Freeman, the English historian, said that history was "past
politics" and politics "present history." Freeman uses the word
politics in the large and liberal sense in which it was first used by
Aristotle. In that broad sense of the word, the political process, by
which men are controlled and states governed, and the cultural process,
by which man has been domesticated and human nature formed, are not, as
we ordinarily assume, different, but identical, procedures.

All this suggests the intimate relations which exist between history,
politics, and sociology. The important thing, however, is not the
identities but the distinctions. For, however much the various
disciplines may, in practice, overlap, it is necessary for the sake of
clear thinking to have their limits defined. As far as sociology and
history are concerned the differences may be summed up in a word. Both
history and sociology are concerned with the life of man as man.
History, however, seeks to reproduce and interpret concrete events as
they actually occurred in time and space. Sociology, on the other hand,
seeks to arrive at natural laws and generalizations in regard to human
nature and society, irrespective of time and of place.

In other words, history seeks to find out what actually happened and how
it all came about. Sociology, on the other hand, seeks to explain, on
the basis of a study of other instances, the nature of the process

By nature we mean just that aspect and character of things in regard to
which it is possible to make general statements and formulate laws. If
we say, in explanation of the peculiar behavior of some individual, that
it is natural or that it is after all "simply human nature," we are
simply saying that this behavior is what we have learned to expect of
this individual or of human beings in general. It is, in other words, a

Natural law, as the term is used here, is any statement which describes
the behavior of a class of objects or the character of a class of acts.
For example, the classic illustration of the so-called "universal
proposition" familiar to students of formal logic, "all men are mortal,"
is an assertion in regard to a class of objects we call men. This is, of
course, simply a more formal way of saying that "men die." Such general
statements and "laws" get meaning only when they are applied to
particular cases, or, to speak again in the terms of formal logic, when
they find a place in a syllogism, thus: "Men are mortal. This is a
man." But such syllogisms may always be stated in the form of a
hypothesis. If this is a man, he is mortal. If a is b, a is also
c. This statement, "Human nature is a product of social contact," is a
general assertion familiar to students of sociology. This law or, more
correctly, hypothesis, applied to an individual case explains the
so-called feral man. Wild men, in the proper sense of the word, are not
the so-called savages, but the men who have never been domesticated, of
which an individual example is now and then discovered.

To state a law in the form of a hypothesis serves to emphasize the fact
that laws--what we have called natural laws at any rate--are subject to
verification and restatement. Under the circumstances the exceptional
instance, which compels a restatement of the hypothesis, is more
important for the purposes of science than other instances which merely
confirm it.

Any science which operates with hypotheses and seeks to state facts in
such a way that they can be compared and verified by further observation
and experiment is, so far as method is concerned, a natural science.


One thing that makes the conception of natural history and natural law
important to the student of sociology is that in the field of the social
sciences the distinction between natural and moral law has from the
first been confused. Comte and the social philosophers in France after
the Revolution set out with the deliberate purpose of superseding
legislative enactments by laws of human nature, laws which were to be
positive and "scientific." As a matter of fact, sociology, in becoming
positive, so far from effacing, has rather emphasized the distinctions
that Comte sought to abolish. Natural law may be distinguished from all
other forms of law by the fact that it aims at nothing more than a
description of the behavior of certain types or classes of objects. A
description of the way in which a class, i.e., men, plants, animals, or
physical objects, may be expected under ordinary circumstances to
behave, tells us what we may in a general way expect of any individual
member of that class. If natural science seeks to predict, it is able to
do so simply because it operates with concepts or class names instead,
as is the case with history, with concrete facts and, to use a logical
phrase, "existential propositions."

     That the chief end of science is descriptive formulation has
     probably been clear to keen analytic minds since the time of
     Galileo, especially to the great discoverers in astronomy,
     mechanics, and dynamics. But as a definitely stated conception,
     corrective of misunderstandings, the view of science as
     essentially descriptive began to make itself felt about the
     beginning of the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and
     may be associated with the names of Kirchhoff and Mach. It was
     in 1876 that Kirchhoff defined the task of mechanics as that of
     "describing completely and in the simplest manner the motions
     which take place in nature." Widening this a little, we may say
     that the aim of science is to describe natural phenomena and
     occurrences as exactly as possible, as simply as possible, as
     completely as possible, as consistently as possible, and always
     in terms which are communicable and verifiable. This is a very
     different rôle from that of solving the riddles of the
     universe, and it is well expressed in what Newton said in
     regard to the law of gravitation: "So far I have accounted for
     the phenomena presented to us by the heavens and the sea by
     means of the force of gravity, but I have as yet assigned no
     cause to this gravity.... I have not been able to deduce from
     phenomena the _raison d'être_ of the properties of gravity and
     I have not set up hypotheses." (Newton, _Philosophiae naturalis
     principia Mathematica_, 1687.)

     "We must confess," said Prof. J. H. Poynting (1900, p. 616),
     "that physical laws have greatly fallen off in dignity. No long
     time ago they were quite commonly described as the Fixed Laws
     of Nature, and were supposed sufficient in themselves to govern
     the universe. Now we can only assign to them the humble rank of
     mere descriptions, often erroneous, of similarities which we
     believe we have observed.... A law of nature explains nothing,
     it has no governing power, it is but a descriptive formula
     which the careless have sometimes personified." It used to be
     said that "the laws of Nature are the thoughts of God"; now we
     say that they are the investigator's formulae summing up
     regularities of recurrence.[13]

If natural law aims at prediction it tells us what we can do. Moral
laws, on the other hand, tell us, not what we can, but what we ought to
do. The civil or municipal law, finally, tells us not what we can, nor
what we ought, but what we must do. It is very evident that these three
types of law may be very intimately related. We do not know what we
ought to do until we know what we can do; and we certainly should
consider what men can do before we pass laws prescribing what they must
do. There is, moreover, no likelihood that these distinctions will ever
be completely abolished. As long as the words "can," "ought," and "must"
continue to have any meaning for us the distinctions that they represent
will persist in science as well as in common sense.

The immense prestige which the methods of the natural sciences have
gained, particularly in their application to the phenomena of the
physical universe, has undoubtedly led scientific men to overestimate
the importance of mere conceptual and abstract knowledge. It has led
them to assume that history also must eventually become "scientific" in
the sense of the natural sciences. In the meantime the vast collections
of historical facts which the industry of historical students has
accumulated are regarded, sometimes even by historians themselves, as a
sort of raw material, the value of which can only be realized after it
has been worked over into some sort of historical generalization which
has the general character of scientific and ultimately, mathematical

"History," says Karl Pearson, "can never become science, can never be
anything but a catalogue of facts rehearsed in a more or less pleasing
language until these facts are seen to fall into sequences which can be
briefly resumed in scientific formulae."[14] And Henry Adams, in a
letter to the American Historical Association already referred to,
confesses that history has thus far been a fruitless quest for "the
secret which would transform these odds and ends of philosophy into one
self-evident, harmonious, and complete system."

     You may be sure that four out of five serious students of
     history who are living today have, in the course of their work,
     felt that they stood on the brink of a great generalization
     that would reduce all history under a law as clear as the laws
     which govern the material world. As the great writers of our
     time have touched one by one the separate fragments of admitted
     law by which society betrays its character as a subject for
     science, not one of them can have failed to feel an instant's
     hope that he might find the secret which would transform these
     odds and ends of philosophy into one self-evident, harmonious,
     and complete system. He has seemed to have it, as the Spanish
     say, in his inkstand. Scores of times he must have dropped his
     pen to think how one short step, one sudden inspiration, would
     show all human knowledge; how, in these thickset forests of
     history, one corner turned, one faint trail struck, would
     bring him on the highroad of science. Every professor who has
     tried to teach the doubtful facts which we now call history
     must have felt that sooner or later he or another would put
     order in the chaos and bring light into darkness. Not so much
     genius or favor was needed as patience and good luck. The law
     was certainly there, and as certainly was in places actually
     visible, to be touched and handled, as though it were a law of
     chemistry or physics. No teacher with a spark of imagination or
     with an idea of scientific method can have helped dreaming of
     the immortality that would be achieved by the man who should
     successfully apply Darwin's method to the facts of human

The truth is, however, that the concrete facts, in which history and
geography have sought to preserve the visible, tangible, and, generally
speaking, the experiential aspects of human life and the visible
universe, have a value irrespective of any generalization or ideal
constructions which may be inferred from or built up out of them. Just
as none of the investigations or generalizations of individual
psychology are ever likely to take the place of biography and
autobiography, so none of the conceptions of an abstract sociology, no
scientific descriptions of the social and cultural processes, and no
laws of progress are likely, in the near future at any rate, to
supersede the more concrete facts of history in which are preserved
those records of those unique and never fully comprehended aspects of
life which we call _events_.

It has been the dream of philosophers that theoretical and abstract
science could and some day perhaps would succeed in putting into
formulae and into general terms all that was significant in the concrete
facts of life. It has been the tragic mistake of the so-called
intellectuals, who have gained their knowledge from textbooks rather
than from observation and research, to assume that science had already
realized its dream. But there is no indication that science has begun to
exhaust the sources or significance of concrete experience. The infinite
variety of external nature and the inexhaustible wealth of personal
experience have thus far defied, and no doubt will continue to defy, the
industry of scientific classification, while, on the other hand, the
discoveries of science are constantly making accessible to us new and
larger areas of experience.

What has been said simply serves to emphasize the instrumental character
of the abstract sciences. History and geography, all of the concrete
sciences, can and do measurably enlarge our experience of life. Their
very purpose is to arouse new interests and create new sympathies; to
give mankind, in short, an environment so vast and varied as will call
out and activate all his instincts and capacities.

The more abstract sciences, just to the extent that they are abstract
and exact, like mathematics and logic, are merely methods and tools for
converting experience into knowledge and applying the knowledge so
gained to practical uses.


Although it is possible to draw clear distinctions in theory between the
purpose and methods of history and sociology, in practice the two forms
of knowledge pass over into one another by almost imperceptible

The sociological point of view makes its appearance in historical
investigation as soon as the historian turns from the study of "periods"
to the study of institutions. The history of institutions, that is to
say, the family, the church, economic institutions, political
institutions, etc., leads inevitably to comparison, classification, the
formation of class names or concepts, and eventually to the formulation
of law. In the process, history becomes natural history, and natural
history passes over into natural science. In short, history becomes

Westermarck's _History of Human Marriage_ is one of the earliest
attempts to write the natural history of a social institution. It is
based upon a comparison and classification of marriage customs of widely
scattered peoples, living under varied physical and social conditions.
What one gets from a survey of this kind is not so much history as a
study of human behavior. The history of marriage, as of any other
institution, is, in other words, not so much an account of what certain
individuals or groups of individuals did at certain times and certain
places, as it is a description of the responses of a few fundamental
human instincts to a variety of social situations. Westermarck calls
this kind of history sociology.[16]

     It is in the firm conviction that the history of human
     civilization should be made an object of as scientific a
     treatment as the history of organic nature that I write this
     book. Like the phenomena of physical and psychical life those
     of social life should be classified into certain groups and
     each group investigated with regard to its origin and
     development. Only when treated in this way can history lay
     claim to the rank and honour of a science in the highest sense
     of the term, as forming an important part of Sociology, the
     youngest of the principal branches of learning.

     Descriptive historiography has no higher object than that of
     offering materials to this science.[17]

Westermarck refers to the facts which he has collected in his history of
marriage as phenomena. For the explanation of these phenomena, however,
he looks to the more abstract sciences.

     The causes on which social phenomena are dependent fall within
     the domain of different sciences--Biology, Psychology, or
     Sociology. The reader will find that I put particular stress
     upon the psychological causes, which have often been deplorably
     overlooked, or only imperfectly touched upon. And more
     especially do I believe that the mere instincts have played a
     very important part in the origin of social institutions and

Westermarck derived most of his materials for the study of marriage from
ethnological materials. Ethnologists, students of folklore (German
_Völkerkunde_), and archaeology are less certain than the historians of
institutions whether their investigations are historical or

Jane Harrison, although she disclaims the title of sociologist, bases
her conception of the origin of Greek religion on a sociological theory,
the theory namely that "among primitive peoples religion reflects
collective feeling and collective thinking." Dionysius, the god of the
Greek mysteries, is according to her interpretation a product of the
group consciousness.

     The mystery-god arises out of those instincts, emotions,
     desires which attend and express life; but these emotions,
     desires, instincts, in so far as they are religious, are at the
     outset rather of a group than of individual consciousness....
     It is a necessary and most important corollary to this
     doctrine, that the form taken by the divinity reflects the
     social structure of the group to which the divinity belongs.
     Dionysius is the Son of his Mother because he issues from a
     matrilinear group.[19]

This whole study is, in fact, merely an application of Durkheim's
conception of "collective representations."

Robert H. Lowie, in his recent volume, _Primitive Society_, refers to
"ethnologists and other historians," but at the same time asks: "What
kind of an historian shall the ethnologist be?"

He answers the question by saying that, "If there are laws of social
evolution, he [the ethnologist] must assuredly discover them," but at
any rate, and first of all, "his duty is to ascertain the course
civilization has _actually_ followed.... To strive for the ideals of
another branch of knowledge may be positively pernicious, for it can
easily lead to that factitious simplification which means

In other words, ethnology, like history, seeks to tell what actually
happened. It is bound to avoid abstraction, "over-simplification," and
formulae, and these are the ideals of another kind of scientific
procedure. As a matter of fact, however, ethnology, even when it has
attempted nothing more than a description of the existing cultures of
primitive peoples, their present distribution and the order of their
succession, has not freed itself wholly from the influence of abstract
considerations. Theoretical problems inevitably arise for the solution
of which it is necessary to go to psychology and sociology. One of the
questions that has arisen in the study, particularly the comparative
study, of cultures is: how far any existing cultural trait is borrowed
and how far it is to be regarded as of independent origin.

     In the historical reconstruction of culture the phenomena of
     distribution play, indeed, an extraordinary part. If a trait
     occurs everywhere, it might veritably be the product of some
     universally operative social law. If it is found in a
     restricted number of cases, it may still have evolved through
     some such instrumentality acting under specific conditions that
     would then remain to be determined by analysis of the cultures
     in which the feature is embedded.... Finally, the sharers of a
     cultural trait may be of distinct lineage but through contact
     and borrowing have come to hold in common a portion of their

     Since, as a matter of fact, cultural resemblances abound
     between peoples of diverse stock, their interpretation commonly
     narrows to a choice between two alternatives. Either they are
     due to like causes, whether these can be determined or not; or
     they are the result of borrowing. A predilection for one or the
     other explanation has lain at the bottom of much ethnological
     discussion in the past; and at present influential schools both
     in England and in continental Europe clamorously insist that
     all cultural parallels are due to diffusion from a single
     center. It is inevitable to envisage this moot-problem at the
     start, since uncompromising championship of either alternative
     has far-reaching practical consequences. For if every parallel
     is due to borrowing, then sociological laws, which can be
     inferred only from independently developing likenesses, are
     barred. Then the history of religion or social life or
     technology consists exclusively in a statement of the place of
     origin of beliefs, customs and implements, and a recital of
     their travels to different parts of the globe. On the other
     hand, if borrowing covers only part of the observed parallels,
     an explanation from like causes becomes at least the ideal goal
     in an investigation of the remainder.[20]

An illustration will exhibit the manner in which problems originally
historical become psychological and sociological. Tyler in his _Early
History of Mankind_ has pointed out that the bellows used by the negro
blacksmiths of continental Africa are of a quite different type from
those used by natives of Madagascar. The bellows used by the Madagascar
blacksmiths, on the other hand, are exactly like those in use by the
Malays of Sumatra and in other parts of the Malay Archipelago. This
indication that the natives of Madagascar are of Malay origin is in
accordance with other anthropological and ethnological data in regard to
these peoples, which prove the fact, now well established, that they are
not of African origin.

Similarly Boas' study of the Raven cycle of American Indian mythology
indicated that these stories originated in the northern part of British
Columbia and traveled southward along the coast. One of the evidences
of the direction of this progress is the gradual diminution of
complexity in the stories as they traveled into regions farther removed
from the point of origin.

All this, in so far as it seeks to determine the point of origin,
direction, speed, and character of changes that take place in cultural
materials in the process of diffusion, is clearly history and ethnology.

Other questions, however, force themselves inevitably upon the attention
of the inquiring student. Why is it that certain cultural materials are
more widely and more rapidly diffused than others? Under what conditions
does this diffusion take place and why does it take place at all?
Finally, what is the ultimate source of customs, beliefs, languages,
religious practices, and all the varied technical devices which compose
the cultures of different peoples? What are the circumstances and what
are the processes by which cultural traits are independently created?
Under what conditions do cultural fusions take place and what is the
nature of this process?

These are all fundamentally problems of human nature, and as human
nature itself is now regarded as a product of social intercourse, they
are problems of sociology.

The cultural processes by which languages, myth, and religion have come
into existence among primitive peoples have given rise in Germany to a
special science. Folk-psychology (_Völkerpsychologie_) had its origin in
an attempt to answer in psychological terms the problems to which a
comparative study of cultural materials has given rise.

     From two different directions ideas of folk-psychology have
     found their way into modern science. First of all there was a
     demand from the different social sciences
     [_Geisteswissenschaften_] for a psychological explanation of
     the phenomena of social life and history, so far as they were
     products of social [_geistiger_] interaction. In the second
     place, psychology itself required, in order to escape the
     uncertainties and ambiguities of pure introspection, a body of
     objective materials.

     Among the social sciences the need for psychological
     interpretation first manifested itself in the studies of
     language and mythology. Both of these had already found outside
     the circle of the philological studies independent fields of
     investigation. As soon as they assumed the character of
     comparative sciences it was inevitable that they should be
     driven to recognize that in addition to the historical
     conditions, which everywhere determines the concrete form of
     these phenomena, there had been certain fundamental psychical
     forces at work in the development of language and myth.[21]

The aim of folk-psychology has been, on the whole, to explain the
genesis and development of certain cultural forms, i.e., language, myth,
and religion. The whole matter may, however, be regarded from a quite
different point of view. Gabriel Tarde, for example, has sought to
explain, not the genesis, but the transmission and diffusion of these
same cultural forms. For Tarde, communication (transmission of cultural
forms and traits) is the one central and significant fact of social
life. "Social" is just what can be transmitted by imitation. Social
groups are merely the centers from which new ideas and inventions are
transmitted. Imitation is the social process.

     There is not a word that you say, which is not the
     reproduction, now unconscious, but formerly conscious and
     voluntary, of verbal articulations reaching back to the most
     distant past, with some special accent due to your immediate
     surroundings. There is not a religious rite that you fulfil,
     such as praying, kissing the icon, or making the sign of the
     cross, which does not reproduce certain traditional gestures
     and expressions, established through imitation of your
     ancestors. There is not a military or civil requirement that
     you obey, nor an act that you perform in your business, which
     has not been taught you, and which you have not copied from
     some living model. There is not a stroke of the brush that you
     make, if you are a painter, nor a verse that you write, if you
     are a poet, which does not conform to the customs or the
     prosody of your school, and even your very originality itself
     is made up of accumulated commonplaces, and aspires to become
     commonplace in its turn.

     Thus, the unvarying characteristic of every social fact
     whatsoever is that it is imitative. And this characteristic
     belongs exclusively to social facts.[22]

Tarde's theory of transmission by imitation may be regarded, in some
sense, as complementary, if not supplementary, to Wundt's theory of
origins, since he puts the emphasis on the fact of transmission rather
than upon genesis. In a paper, "Tendencies in Comparative Philology,"
read at the Congress of Arts and Sciences at the St. Louis Exposition in
1904, Professor Hanns Oertel, of Yale University, refers to Tarde's
theory of imitation as an alternative explanation to that offered by
Wundt for "the striking uniformity of sound changes" which students of
language have discovered in the course of their investigation of
phonetic changes in widely different forms of speech.

     It seems hard to maintain that the change in a syntactical
     construction or in the meaning of a word owes its universality
     to a simultaneous and independent primary change in all the
     members of a speech-community. By adopting the theory of
     imitative spread, all linguistic changes may be viewed as one
     homogeneous whole. In the second place, the latter view seems
     to bring linguistic changes into line with the other social
     changes, such as modifications in institutions, beliefs, and
     customs. For is it not an essential characteristic of a social
     group that its members are not co-operative in the sense that
     each member actively participates in the production of every
     single element which goes to make up either language, or
     belief, or customs? Distinguishing thus between _primary_ and
     _secondary_ changes and between the _origin_ of a change and
     its _spread_, it behooves us to examine carefully into the
     causes which make the members of a social unit, either
     consciously or unconsciously, willing to accept the innovation.
     What is it that determines acceptance or rejection of a
     particular change? What limits one change to a small area,
     while it extends the area of another? Before a final decision
     can be reached in favor of the second theory of imitative
     spread it will be necessary to follow out in minute detail the
     mechanism of this process in a number of concrete instances; in
     other words to fill out the picture of which Tarde (_Les lois
     de l'imitation_) sketched the bare outlines. If his assumptions
     prove true, then we should have here a uniformity resting upon
     other causes than the physical uniformity that appears in the
     objects with which the natural sciences deal. It would enable
     us to establish a second group of uniform phenomena which is
     psycho-physical in its character and rests upon the basis of
     social suggestion. The uniformities in speech, belief, and
     institutions would belong to this second group.[23]

What is true of the comparative study of languages is true in every
other field in which a comparative study of cultural materials has been
made. As soon as these materials are studied from the point of view of
their similarities rather than from the point of view of their
historical connections, problems arise which can only be explained by
the more abstract sciences of psychology or sociology. Freeman begins
his lectures on _Comparative Politics_ with the statement that "the
comparative method of study has been the greatest intellectual
achievement of our time. It has carried light and order into whole
branches of human knowledge which before were shrouded in darkness and
confusion. It has brought a line of argument which reaches moral
certainty into a region which before was given over to random
guess-work. Into matters which are for the most part incapable of
strictly external proof it has brought a form of strictly internal proof
which is more convincing, more unerring."

Wherever the historian supplements _external_ by _internal_ proof, he is
in a way to substitute a sociological explanation for historical
interpretation. It is the very essence of the sociological method to be
comparative. When, therefore, Freeman uses, in speaking of comparative
politics, the following language he is speaking in sociological rather
than historical terms:

     For the purposes then of the study of Comparative Politics, a
     political constitution is a specimen to be studied, classified,
     and labelled, as a building or an animal is studied,
     classified, and labelled by those to whom buildings or animals
     are objects of study. We have to note the likenesses, striking
     and unexpected as those likenesses often are, between the
     political constitutions of remote times and places; and we
     have, as far as we can, to classify our specimens according to
     the probable causes of those likenesses.[24]

Historically sociology has had its origin in history. It owes its
existence as a science to the attempt to apply exact methods to the
explanation of historical facts. In the attempt to achieve this,
however, it has become something quite different from history. It has
become like psychology with which it is most intimately related, a
natural and relatively abstract science, and auxiliary to the study of
history, but not a substitute for it. The whole matter may be summed up
in this general statement: history interprets, natural science explains.
It is upon the interpretation of the facts of experience that we
formulate our creeds and found our faiths. Our explanations of
phenomena, on the other hand, are the basis for technique and practical
devices for controlling nature and human nature, man and the physical


After Comte the first great name in the history of sociology is Spencer.
It is evident in comparing the writings of these two men that, in
crossing the English Channel, sociology has suffered a sea change. In
spite of certain similarities in their points of view there are profound
and interesting differences. These differences exhibit themselves in the
different ways in which they use the term "social organism."

Comte calls society a "collective organism" and insists, as Spencer
does, upon the difference between an organism like a family, which is
made up of independent individuals, and an organism like a plant or an
animal, which is a physiological unit in which the different organs are
neither free nor conscious. But Spencer, if he points out the
differences between the social and the biological organisms, is
interested in the analogy. Comte, on the other hand, while he recognizes
the analogy, feels it important to emphasize the distinctions.

Society for Comte is not, as Lévy-Bruhl puts it, "a polyp." It has not
even the characteristics of an animal colony in which the individuals
are physically bound together, though physiologically independent. On
the contrary, "this 'immense organism' is especially distinguished from
other beings in that it is made up of separable elements of which each
one can feel its own co-operation, can will it, or even withhold it, so
long as it remains a direct one."[25]

On the other hand, Comte, although he characterized the social
_consensus_ and solidarity as "collective," nevertheless thought of the
relations existing between human beings in society--in the family, for
example, which he regards as the unit and model of all social
relations--as closer and more intimate than those which exist between
the organs of a plant or an animal. The individual, as Comte expressed
it, is an abstraction. Man exists as man only by participation in the
life of humanity, and "although the individual elements of society
appear to be more separable than those of a living being, the social
_consensus_ is still closer than the vital."[26]

Thus the individual man was, in spite of his freedom and independence,
in a very real sense "an organ of the Great Being" and the great being
was humanity. Under the title of humanity Comte included not merely all
living human beings, i.e., the human race, but he included all that body
of tradition, knowledge, custom, cultural ideas and ideals, which make
up the social inheritance of the race, an inheritance into which each of
us is born, to which we contribute, and which we inevitably hand on
through the processes of education and tradition to succeeding
generations. This is what Comte meant by the social organism.

If Comte thought of the social organism, the great being, somewhat
mystically as itself an individual and a person, Herbert Spencer, on the
other hand, thought of it realistically as a great animal, a leviathan,
as Hobbes called it, and a very low-order leviathan at that.[27]

Spencer's manner of looking at the social organism may be illustrated in
what he says about growth in "social aggregates."

     When we say that growth is common to social aggregates and
     organic aggregates, we do not thus entirely exclude community
     with inorganic aggregates. Some of these, as crystals, grow in
     a visible manner; and all of them on the hypothesis of
     evolution, have arisen by integration at some time or other.
     Nevertheless, compared with things we call inanimate, living
     bodies and societies so conspicuously exhibit augmentation of
     mass, that we may fairly regard this as characterizing them
     both. Many organisms grow throughout their lives; and the rest
     grow throughout considerable parts of their lives. Social
     growth usually continues either up to times when the societies
     divide, or up to times when they are overwhelmed.

     Here, then, is the first trait by which societies ally
     themselves with the organic world and substantially distinguish
     themselves from the inorganic world.[28]

In this same way, comparing the characteristic general features of
"social" and "living bodies," noting likeness and differences,
particularly with reference to complexity of structure, differentiation
of function, division of labor, etc., Spencer gives a perfectly
naturalistic account of the characteristic identities and differences
between societies and animals, between sociological and biological
organizations. It is in respect to the division of labor that the
analogy between societies and animals goes farthest and is most

     This division of labour, first dwelt upon by political
     economists as a social phenomenon, and thereupon recognized by
     biologists as a phenomenon of living bodies, which they called
     the "physiological division of labour," is that which in the
     society, as in the animal, makes it a living whole. Scarcely
     can I emphasize enough the truth that in respect of this
     fundamental trait, a social organism and an individual organism
     are entirely alike.[29]

The "social aggregate," although it is "discrete" instead of
"concrete"--that is to say, composed of spatially separated units--is
nevertheless, because of the mutual dependence of these units upon one
another as exhibited in the division of labor, to be regarded as a
living whole. It is "a living whole" in much the same way that the plant
and animal communities, of which the ecologists are now writing so
interestingly, are a living whole; not because of any intrinsic
relations between the individuals who compose them, but because each
individual member of the community, finds in the community as a whole, a
suitable milieu, an environment adapted to his needs and one to which he
is able to adapt himself.

Of such a society as this it may indeed be said, that it "exists for the
benefit of its members, not its members for the benefit of society. It
has ever to be remembered that great as may be the efforts made for the
prosperity of the body politic, yet the claims of the body politic are
nothing in themselves, and become something only in so far as they
embody the claims of its component individuals."[30]

In other words, the social organism, as Spencer sees it, exists not for
itself but for the benefit of the separate organs of which it is
composed, whereas, in the case of biological organism the situation is
reversed. There the parts manifestly exist for the whole and not the
whole for the parts.

Spencer explains this paradoxical conclusion by the reflection that in
social organisms sentience is not localized as it is in biological
organisms. This is, in fact, the cardinal difference between the two.
There is no _social sensorium_.

     In the one (the individual), consciousness is concentrated in a
     small part of the aggregate. In the other (society), it is
     diffused throughout the aggregate: all the units possess the
     capacities for happiness and misery, if not in equal degrees,
     still in degrees that approximate. As then, there is no social
     sensorium, the welfare of the aggregate, considered apart from
     that of the units, is not an end to be sought. The society
     exists for the benefit of its members; not its members for the
     benefit of the society.[31]

The point is that society, _as distinct from the individuals_ who
compose it, has no apparatus for feeling pain or pleasure. There are no
_social_ sensations. Perceptions and mental imagery are individual and
not social phenomena. Society lives, so to speak, only in its separate
organs or members, and each of these organs has its own brain and organ
of control which gives it, among other things, the power of independent
locomotion. This is what is meant when society is described as a


The fundamental problem which Spencer's paradox raises is that of social
control. How does a mere collection of individuals succeed in acting in
a corporate and consistent way? How in the case of specific types of
social group, for example an animal herd, a boys' gang, or a political
party, does the group control its individual members; the whole dominate
the parts? What are the specific _sociological_ differences between
plant and animal communities and human society? What kind of differences
are _sociological differences_, and what do we mean in general by the
expression "sociological" anyway?

Since Spencer's essay on the social organism was published in 1860,[32]
this problem and these questions, in one form or another, have largely
absorbed the theoretical interest of students of society. The attempts
to answer them may be said to have created the existing schools into
which sociologists are divided.

A certain school of writers, among them Paul Lilienfeld, Auguste
Schäffle, and René Worms, have sought to maintain, to extend, or modify
the biological analogy first advanced by Spencer. In doing so they have
succeeded sometimes in restating the problem but have not solved it.
René Worms has been particularly ingenious in discovering identities and
carrying out the parallelism between the social and the biological
organizations. As a result he has reached the conclusion that, as
between a social and a biological organism, there is no difference of
kind but only one of degree. Spencer, who could not find a "social
sensorium," said that society was conscious only in the individuals who
composed it. Worms, on the other hand, declares that we must assume the
existence of a social consciousness, even without a sensorium, because
we see everywhere the evidence of its existence.

     Force manifests itself by its effects. If there are certain
     phenomena that we can only make intelligible, provided we
     regard them as the products of collective social consciousness,
     then we are bound to assume the existence of such a
     consciousness. There are many illustrations ... the attitude
     for example, of a crowd in the presence of a crime. Here the
     sentiment of indignation is unanimous. A murderer, if taken in
     the act, will get summary justice from the ordinary crowd. That
     method of rendering justice, "lynch law," is deplorable, but it
     illustrates the intensity of the sentiment which, at the
     moment, takes possession of the social consciousness.

     Thus, always in the presence of great and common danger the
     collective consciousness of society is awakened; for example
     France of the Valois after the Treaty of Troyes, or modern
     France before the invasion of 1791 and before the German
     invasion in 1870; or Germany, herself, after the victories of
     Napoleon I. This sentiment of national unity, born of
     resistance to the stranger, goes so far that a large proportion
     of the members of society do not hesitate to give their lives
     for the safety and glory of the state, at such a moment the
     individual comprehends that he is only a small part of a large
     whole and that he belongs to the collectivity of which he is a
     member. The proof that he is entirely penetrated by the social
     consciousness is the fact that in order to maintain its
     existence he is willing to sacrifice his own.[33]

There is no question that the facts of crowd excitement, of class,
caste, race, and national consciousness, do show the way in which the
individual members of a group are, or seem to be, dominated, at certain
moments and under certain circumstances, by the group as a whole. Worms
gives to this fact, and the phenomena which accompany it, the title
"collective consciousness." This gives the problem a name, to be sure,
but not a solution. What the purpose of sociology requires is a
description and an explanation. Under what conditions, precisely, does
this phenomenon of collective consciousness arise? What are the
mechanisms--physical, physiological, and social--by which the group
imposes its control, or what seems to be control, upon the individual
members of the group?

This question had arisen and been answered by political philosophers, in
terms of political philosophy, long before sociology attempted to give
an objective account of the matter. Two classic phrases, Aristotle's
"Man is a political animal" and Hobbes's "War of each against all,"
_omnes bellum omnium_, measure the range and divergence of the schools
upon this topic.

According to Hobbes, the existing moral and political order--that is to
say the organization of control--is in any community a mere artefact, a
control resting on consent, supported by a prudent calculation of
consequences, and enforced by an external power. Aristotle, on the other
hand, taught that man was made for life in society just as the bee is
made for life in the hive. The relations between the sexes, as well as
those between mother and child, are manifestly predetermined in the
physiological organization of the individual man and woman. Furthermore,
man is, by his instincts and his inherited dispositions, predestined to
a social existence beyond the intimate family circle. Society must be
conceived, therefore, as a part of nature, like a beaver's dam or the
nests of birds.

As a matter of fact, man and society present themselves in a double
aspect. They are at the same time products of nature and of human
artifice. Just as a stone hammer in the hand of a savage may be regarded
as an artificial extension of the natural man, so tools, machinery,
technical and administrative devices, including the formal organization
of government and the informal "political machine," may be regarded as
more or less artificial extensions of the natural social group.

So far as this is true, the conflict between Hobbes and Aristotle is not
absolute. Society is a product both of nature and of design, of instinct
and of reason. If, in its formal aspect, society is therefore an
artefact, it is one which connects up with and has its roots in nature
and in human nature.

This does not explain social control but simplifies the problem of
corporate action. It makes clear, at any rate, that as members of
society, men act as they do elsewhere from motives they do not fully
comprehend, in order to fulfil aims of which they are but dimly or not
at all conscious. Men are activated, in short, not merely by interests,
in which they are conscious of the end they seek, but also by instincts
and sentiments, the source and meaning of which they do not clearly
comprehend. Men work for wages, but they will die to preserve their
status in society, or commit murder to resent an insult. When men act
thus instinctively, or under the influence of the mores, they are
usually quite unconscious of the sources of the impulses that animate
them or of the ends which are realized through their acts. Under the
influence of the mores men act typically, and so representatively, not
as individuals but as members of a group.

The simplest type of social group in which we may observe "social
control" is in a herd or a flock. The behavior of a herd of cattle is,
to be sure, not so uniform nor so simple a matter as it seems to the
casual observer, but it may be very properly taken as an illustration of
the sort of follow-the-leader uniformity that is more or less
characteristic of all social groups. We call the disposition to live in
the herd and to move in masses, gregariousness, and this gregariousness
is ordinarily regarded as an instinct and undoubtedly is pretty largely
determined in the original nature of gregarious animals.

There is a school of thought which seeks in the so-called gregarious
instincts an explanation of all that is characteristically social in the
behavior of human beings.

     The cardinal quality of the herd is homogeneity. It is clear
     that the great advantage of the social habit is to enable large
     numbers to act as one, whereby in the case of the hunting
     gregarious animal strength in pursuit and attack is at once
     increased to beyond that of the creatures preyed upon, and in
     protective socialism the sensitiveness of the new unit to
     alarms is greatly in excess of that of the individual member of
     the flock.

     To secure these advantages of homogeneity, it is evident that
     the members of the herd must possess sensitiveness to the
     behaviour of their fellows. The individual isolated will be of
     no meaning, the individual as a part of the herd will be
     capable of transmitting the most potent impulses. Each member
     of the flock tending to follow its neighbour and in turn to be
     followed, each is in some sense capable of leadership; but no
     lead will be followed that departs widely from normal
     behaviour. A lead will be followed only from its resemblance to
     the normal. If the leader go so far ahead as definitely to
     cease to be in the herd, he will necessarily be ignored.

     The original in conduct, that is to say, resistiveness to the
     voice of the herd, will be suppressed by natural selection; the
     wolf which does not follow the impulses of the herd will be
     starved; the sheep which does not respond to the flock will be

     Again, not only will the individual be responsive to impulses
     coming from the herd, but he will treat the herd as his normal
     environment. The impulse to be in and always to remain with the
     herd will have the strongest instinctive weight. Anything which
     tends to separate him from his fellows, as soon as it becomes
     perceptible as such, will be strongly resisted.[34]

According to sociologists of this school, public opinion, conscience,
and authority in the state rest upon the natural disposition of the
animal in the herd to conform to "the decrees of the herd."

     Conscience, then, and the feelings of guilt and of duty are the
     peculiar possessions of the gregarious animal. A dog and a cat
     caught in the commission of an offence will both recognize that
     punishment is coming; but the dog, moreover, knows that he has
     done _wrong_, and he will come to be punished, unwillingly it
     is true, and as if dragged along by some power outside him,
     while the cat's sole impulse is to escape. The rational
     recognition of the sequence of act and punishment is equally
     clear to the gregarious and to the solitary animal, but it is
     the former only who understands that he has committed a
     _crime_, who has, in fact, the _sense of sin_.[35]

The concepts upon which this explanation of society rests is
_homogeneity_. If animals or human beings act under all circumstances in
the same way, they will act or seem to act, as if they had a common
purpose. If everybody follows the crowd, if everyone wears the same
clothes, utters the same trite remarks, rallies to the same battles
cries and is everywhere dominated, even in his most characteristically
individual behavior, by an instinctive and passionate desire to conform
to an external model and to the wishes of the herd, then we have an
explanation of everything characteristic of society--except the
variants, the nonconformists, the idealists, and the rebels. The herd
instinct may be an explanation of conformity but it does not explain
variation. Variation is an important fact in society as it is in nature

Homogeneity and like-mindedness are, as explanations of the social
behavior of men and animals, very closely related concepts. In "like
response to like stimulus," we may discern the beginning of "concerted
action" and this, it is urged, is the fundamental social fact. This is
the "like-mindedness" theory of society which has been given wide
popularity in the United States through the writings of Professor
Franklin Henry Giddings. He describes it as a "developed form of the
instinct theory, dating back to Aristotle's aphorism that man is a
political animal."

     Any given stimulus may happen to be felt by more than one
     organism, at the same or at different times. Two or more
     organisms may respond to the same given stimulus simultaneously
     or at different times. They may respond to the same given
     stimulus in like or in unlike ways; in the same or in different
     degrees; with like or with unlike promptitude; with equal or
     with unequal persistence. I have attempted to show that in like
     response to the same given stimulus we have the beginning, the
     absolute origin, of all concerted activity--the inception of
     every conceivable form of co-operation; while in unlike
     response, and in unequal response, we have the beginning of all
     those processes of individuation, of differentiation, of
     competition, which in their endlessly varied relations to
     combination, to co-operation, bring about the infinite
     complexity of organized social life.[36]

Closely related, logically if not historically, to Giddings' conception
of "like-mindedness" is Gabriel Tarde's conception of "imitation." If
for Giddings "like response to like stimulus" is the fundamental social
fact, for Tarde "imitation" is the process through which alone society
exists. Society, said Tarde, exists in imitation. As a matter of fact,
Tarde's doctrine may be regarded as a corollary to Giddings'. Imitation
is the process by which that like-mindedness, by which Giddings explains
corporate action, is effected. Men are not born like-minded, they are
made so by imitation.

     This minute inter-agreement of minds and wills, which forms the
     basis of the social life, even in troublous times--this
     presence of so many common ideas, ends, and means, in the minds
     and wills of all members of the same society at any given
     moment--is not due, I maintain, to organic heredity, which
     insures the birth of men quite similar to one another, nor to
     mere identity of geographical environment, which offers very
     similar resources to talents that are nearly equal; it is
     rather the effect of that suggestion-imitation process which,
     starting from one primitive creature possessed of a single idea
     or act, passed this copy on to one of its neighbors, then to
     another, and so on. Organic needs and spiritual tendencies
     exist in us only as potentialities which are realizable under
     the most diverse forms, in spite of their primitive similarity;
     and, among all these possible realizations, the indications
     furnished by some first initiator who is imitated determine
     which one is actually chosen.[37]

In contrast with these schools, which interpret action in terms of the
herd and the flock--i.e., men act together because they act alike--is
the theory of Émile Durkheim who insists that the social group has real
corporate existence and that, in human societies at least, men act
together not because they have like purposes but a _common purpose_.
This common purpose imposes itself upon the individual members of a
society at the same time as an ideal, a wish and an obligation.
Conscience, the sense of obligation which members of a group feel only
when there is conflict between the wishes of the individual and the will
of the group, is a manifestation, _in_ the individual consciousness, of
the collective mind and the group will. The mere fact that in a panic or
a stampede, human beings will sometimes, like the Gadarene swine, rush
down a steep place into the sea, is a very positive indication of
like-mindedness but not an evidence of a common purpose. The difference
between an animal herd and a human crowd is that the crowd, what Le Bon
calls the "organized crowd," the crowd "in being" to use a nautical
term, is dominated by an impulse to achieve a purpose that is common to
every member of the group. Men in a state of panic, on the other hand,
although equally under the influence of the mass excitement, act not
corporately but individually, each individual wildly seeking to save his
own skin. Men in a state of panic have like purposes but no common
purpose. If the "organized crowd," "the psychological crowd," is a
society "in being," the panic and the stampede is a society "in

Durkheim does not use these illustrations nor does he express himself in
these terms. The conception of the "organized" or "psychological" crowd
is not his, but Le Bon's. The fact is that Durkheim does not think of a
society as a mere sum of particulars. Neither does he think of the
sentiments nor the opinions which dominate the social group as private
and subjective. When individuals come together _under certain
circumstances_, the opinions and sentiments which they held as
individuals are modified and changed under the influence of the new
contacts. Out of the fermentation which association breeds, a new
something (_autre chose_) is produced, an opinion and sentiment, in
other words, that is not the sum of, and not like, the sentiments and
opinions of the individuals from which it is derived. This new sentiment
and opinion is public, and social, and the evidence of this is the fact
that it imposes itself upon the individuals concerned as something more
or less external to them. They feel it either as an inspiration, a sense
of personal release and expansion, or as an obligation, a pressure and
an inhibition. The characteristic social phenomenon is just this control
by the group as a whole of the individuals that compose it. This fact of
control, then, is the fundamental social fact.

     Now society also gives the sensation of a perpetual dependence.
     Since it has a nature which is peculiar to itself and different
     from our individual nature, it pursues ends which are likewise
     special to it; but, as it cannot attain them except through our
     intermediacy; it imperiously demands our aid. It requires that,
     forgetful of our own interests, we make ourselves its
     servitors, and it submits us to every sort of inconvenience,
     privation, and sacrifice, without which social life would be
     impossible. It is because of this that at every instant we are
     obliged to submit ourselves to rules of conduct and of thought
     which we have neither made nor desired, and which are sometimes
     even contrary to our most fundamental inclinations and

     Even if society were unable to maintain these concessions and
     sacrifices from us except by a material constraint, it might
     awaken in us only the idea of a physical force to which we must
     give way of necessity, instead of that of a moral power such as
     religions adore. But as a matter of fact, the empire which it
     holds over consciences is due much less to the physical
     supremacy of which it has the privilege than to the moral
     authority with which it is invested. If we yield to its orders,
     it is not merely because it is strong enough to triumph over
     our resistance; it is primarily because it is the object of a
     venerable respect.

     Now the ways of action to which society is strongly enough
     attached to impose them upon its members, are, by that very
     fact, marked with a distinctive sign provocative of respect.
     Since they are elaborated in common, the vigour with which they
     have been thought of by each particular mind is retained in all
     the other minds, and reciprocally. The representations which
     express them within each of us have an intensity which no
     purely private states of consciousness could ever attain; for
     they have the strength of the innumerable individual
     representations which have served to form each of them. It is
     society who speaks through the mouths of those who affirm them
     in our presence; it is society whom we hear in hearing them;
     and the voice of all has an accent which that of one alone
     could never have. The very violence with which society reacts,
     by way of blame or material suppression, against every
     attempted dissidence, contributes to strengthening its empire
     by manifesting the common conviction through this burst of
     ardour. In a word, when something is the object of such a state
     of opinion, the representation which each individual has of it
     gains a power of action from its origins and the conditions in
     which it was born, which even those feel who do not submit
     themselves to it. It tends to repel the representations which
     contradict it, and it keeps them at a distance; on the other
     hand it commands those acts which will realize it, and it does
     so, not by a material coercion or by the perspective of
     something of this sort, but by the simple radiation of the
     mental energy which it contains.[38]

But the same social forces, which are found organized in public opinion,
in religious symbols, in social convention, in fashion, and in
science--for "if a people did not have faith in science all the
scientific demonstrations in the world would be without any influence
whatsoever over their minds"--are constantly re-creating the old order,
making new heroes, overthrowing old gods, creating new myths, and
imposing new ideals. And this is the nature of the cultural process of
which sociology is a description and an explanation.


Durkheim is sometimes referred to, in comparison with other contemporary
sociologists, as a realist. This is a reference to the controversy of
the medieval philosophers in regard to the nature of concepts. Those who
thought a concept a mere class-name applied to a group of objects
because of some common characteristics were called nominalists. Those
who thought the concept was _real_, and not the name of a mere
collection of individuals, were realists. In this sense Tarde and
Giddings and all those writers who think of society as a collection of
actually or potentially _like-minded_ persons would be nominalists,
while other writers like Simmel, Ratzenhofer, and Small, who think of
society in terms of interaction and social process may be called
realists. They are realist, at any rate, in so far as they think of the
members of a society as bound together in a system of mutual influences
which has sufficient character to be described as a process.

Naturally this process cannot be conceived of in terms of space or
physical proximity alone. Social contacts and social forces are of a
subtler sort but not less real than physical. We know, for example, that
vocations are largely determined by personal competition; that the
solidarity of what Sumner calls the "in" or "we" group is largely
determined by its conflict with the "out" or "other" groups. We know,
also, that the status and social position of any individual inside any
social group is determined by his relation to all other members of that
group and eventually of all other groups. These are illustrations of
what is meant concretely by social interaction and social process and it
is considerations of this kind which seem to justify certain writers in
thinking of individual persons as "parts" and of society as a "whole" in
some other sense than that in which a dust heap is a whole of which the
individual particles are parts.

     Society not only continues to exist _by_ transmission, _by_
     communication, but it may fairly be said to exist _in_
     transmission, _in_ communication. There is more than a verbal
     tie between the words common, community, and communication.[39]

Communication, if not identical with, is at least a form of, what has
been referred to here as social interaction. But communication as Dewey
has defined the term, is something more and different than what Tarde
calls "inter-stimulation." Communication is a process by which we
"transmit" an experience from an individual to another but it is also a
process by which these same individuals get a common experience.

     Try the experiment of communicating, with fullness and
     accuracy, some experience to another, especially if it be
     somewhat complicated, and you will find your own attitude
     toward your experience changing; otherwise you resort to
     expletives and ejaculations. Except in dealing with
     commonplaces and catch phrases one has to assimilate,
     imaginatively, something of another's experience in order to
     tell him intelligently of one's own experience. All
     communication is like art.[40]

Not only does communication involve the creation, out of experiences
that are individual and private, of an experience that is common and
public but such a common experience becomes the basis for a common and
public existence in which every individual, to greater or less extent,
participates and is himself a part. Furthermore, as a part of this
common life, there grows up a body of custom, convention, tradition,
ceremonial, language, social ritual, public opinion, in short all that
Sumner includes under the term "mores" and all that ethnologists include
under the term "culture."

The thing that characterizes Durkheim and his followers is their
insistence upon the fact that all cultural materials, and expressions,
including language, science, religion, public opinion, and law, since
they are the products of social intercourse and social interaction, are
bound to have an objective, public, and social character such as no
product of an individual mind either has or can have. Durkheim speaks of
these mental products, individual and social, as representations. The
characteristic product of the individual mind is the percept, or, as
Durkheim describes it, the "individual representation." The percept is,
and remains, a private and an individual matter. No one can reproduce,
or communicate to another, subjective impressions or the mental imagery
in the concrete form in which they come to the individual himself. My
neighbor may be able to read my "thoughts" and understand the motives
that impel me to action better than I understand myself, but he cannot
reproduce the images, with just the fringes of sense and feeling with
which they come to my mind.

The characteristic product of a group of individuals, in their efforts
to communicate is, on the other hand, something objective and
understood, that is, a gesture, a sign, a symbol, a word, or a concept
in which an experience or purpose that was private becomes public. This
gesture, sign, symbol, concept, or representation in which a common
object is not merely indicated, but in a sense created, Durkheim calls a
"collective representation."

Dewey's description of what takes place in communication may be taken as
a description of the process by which these collective representations
come into existence. "To formulate an experience," as Dewey says,
"requires getting outside of it, seeing it as another would see it,
considering what points of contact it has with the life of another so
that it may be gotten into such form that he can appreciate its
meaning." The result of such a conscious effort to communicate an
experience is to transform it. The experience, after it has been
communicated, is not the same for either party to the communication. To
publish or to give publicity to an event is to make of that event
something other than it was before publication. Furthermore, the event
as published is still something different from the event as reflected in
the minds of the individuals to whom the publication is addressed.

It will be evident upon reflection that public opinion is not the
opinion of all, nor even of a majority of the persons who compose a
public. As a matter of fact, what we ordinarily mean by public opinion
is never the opinion of anyone in particular. It is composite opinion,
representing a general tendency of the public as a whole. On the other
hand, we recognize that public opinion exists, even when we do not know
of any individual person, among those who compose the public, whose
private and personal opinion exactly coincides with that of the public
of which he or she is a part.

Nevertheless, the private and personal opinion of an individual who
participates in making public opinion is influenced by the opinions of
those around him, and by public opinion. In this sense every opinion is
public opinion.

Public opinion, in respect to the manner in which it is formed and the
manner in which it exists--that is to say relatively independent of the
individuals who co-operate to form it--has the characteristics of
collective representation in general. Collective representations are
objective, in just the sense that public opinion is objective, and they
impose themselves upon the individual as public opinion does, as
relatively but not wholly external forces--stabilizing, standardizing,
conventionalizing, as well as stimulating, extending, and generalizing
individual representations, percepts.

     The collective representations are exterior to the individual
     consciousness because they are not derived from the individuals
     taken in isolation but from their convergence and union
     (concours).... Doubtless, in the elaboration of the common
     result, each (individual) bears his due share; but the private
     sentiments do not become social except by combining under the
     action of the forces _sui generis_ which association develops.
     As a result of these combinations, and of the mutual
     alterations which result therefrom, they (the private
     sentiments) become something else (_autre chose_). A chemical
     synthesis results, which concentrates, unifies, the elements
     synthetized, and by that very process transforms them.... The
     resultant derived therefrom extends then beyond (_deborde_) the
     individual mind as the whole is greater than the part. To know
     really what it is, one must take the aggregate in its totality.
     It is this that thinks, that feels, that wills, although it may
     not be able to will, feel, or act save by the intermediation of
     individual consciousnesses.[41]

This, then, after nearly a century of criticism, is what remains of
Comte's conception of the social organism. If society is, as the
realists insist, anything more than a collection of like-minded
individuals, it is so because of the existence (1) of a social process
and (2) of a body of tradition and opinion--the products of this
process--which has a relatively objective character and imposes itself
upon the individual as a form of control, social control. This process
and its product are the social consciousness. The social consciousness,
in its double aspect as process and product, is the social organism. The
controversy between the realists and the nominalists reduces itself
apparently to this question of the objectivity of social tradition and
of public opinion. For the present we may let it rest there.

Meanwhile the conceptions of the social consciousness and the social
mind have been adopted by writers on social topics who are not at all
concerned with their philosophical implications or legitimacy. We are
just now seeing the first manifestations of two new types of sociology
which call themselves, the one rural and the other urban sociology.
Writers belonging to these two schools are making studies of what they
call the "rural" and the "urban" minds. In using these terms they are
not always quite certain whether the mind of which they are thinking is
a collective mind, in Durkheim's realistic sense of the word, or whether
it is the mind of the typical inhabitant of a rural or an urban
community, an instance of "like-mindedness," in the sense of Giddings
and the nominalists.

A similar usage of the word "mind," "the American mind," for example, is
common in describing characteristic differences in the attitudes of
different nations and their "nationals."

     The origin of the phrase, "the American mind," was political.
     Shortly after the middle of the eighteenth century, there began
     to be a distinctly American way of regarding the debatable
     question of British Imperial control. During the period of the
     Stamp Act agitation our colonial-bred politicians and statesmen
     made the discovery that there was a mode of thinking and
     feeling which was native--or had by that time become a second
     nature--to all the colonists. Jefferson, for example, employs
     those resonant and useful words "the American mind" to indicate
     that throughout the American colonies an essential unity of
     opinion had been developed as regards the chief political
     question of the day.[42]

Here again, it is not quite clear, whether the American mind is a name
for a characteristic uniformity in the minds of individual Americans;
whether the phrase refers rather to an "essential unity of opinion," or
whether, finally, it is intended to cover both the uniformity and the
unity characteristic of American opinion.

Students of labor problems and of the so-called class struggle, on the
other hand, use the term "psychology" in much the same way that the
students of rural and urban sociology use the term "mind." They speak of
the "psychology" of the laboring class, the "psychology" of the
capitalistic class, in cases where psychology seems to refer
indifferently either to the social attitudes of the members of a class,
or to attitude and morale of the class as a whole.

The terms "class-conscious" and "class-consciousness," "national" and
"racial" consciousness are now familiar terms to students although
they seem to have been used, first of all, by the so-called
"intelligentsia", who have been the leaders in the various types of mass
movement to which these terms apply. "Consciousness," in the sense in
which it is here used, has a similar, though somewhat different,
connotation than the word "mind" when applied to a group. It is a name
not merely for the attitudes characteristic of certain races or classes,
but for these attitudes when they are in the focus of attention of the
group, in the "fore-consciousness" to use a Freudian term. In this sense
"conscious" suggests not merely the submergence of the individual and
the consequent solidarity of the group, but it signifies a mental
mobilization and preparedness of the individual and of the group for
collective or corporate action. To be class-conscious is to be prepared
to act in the sense of that class.

There is implicit in this rather ambiguous popular usage of the terms
"social mind" and "social consciousness" a recognition of the dual
aspect of society and of social groups. Society may be regarded at the
same time from an individualistic and a collectivistic point of view.
Looking at it from the point of view of the individual, we regard as
social just that character of the individual which has been imparted to,
and impressed upon, him as a result of his participation in the life of
the group. Social psychology, from Baldwin's first studies of the
development of personality in the child to Ellwood's studies of the
society in its "psychological aspects" has been mainly concerned with
the investigation of the effects upon the individual of his contacts
with other individuals.[43]

On the other hand, we have had, in the description of the crowd and the
public by Le Bon, Tarde, Sighele, and their successors, the beginnings
of a study of collective behavior and "corporate action." In these two
points of view we seem to have again the contrast and the opposition,
already referred to, between the nominalistic and realistic conceptions
of society. Nominalism represented by social psychology emphasizes, or
seems to emphasize, the independence of the individual. Realism,
represented by collective psychology, emphasizes the control of the
group over the individual, of the whole over the part.

While it is true that society has this double aspect, the individual and
the collective, it is the assumption of this volume that the touchstone
of society, the thing that distinguishes a mere collection of
individuals from a society is not like-mindedness, but corporate action.
We may apply the term social to any group of individuals which is
capable of consistent action, that is to say, action, consciously or
unconsciously, directed to a common end. This existence of a common end
is perhaps all that can be legitimately included in the conception
"organic" as applied to society.

From this point of view social control is the central fact and the
central problem of society. Just as psychology may be regarded as an
account of the manner in which the individual organism, as a whole,
exercises control over its parts or rather of the manner in which the
parts co-operate together to carry on the corporate existence of the
whole, so sociology, speaking strictly, is a point of view and a method
for investigating the processes by which individuals are inducted into
and induced to co-operate in some sort of permanent corporate existence
which we call society.

To put this emphasis on corporate action is not to overlook the fact
that through this corporate action the individual member of society is
largely formed, not to say created. It recognized, however, that if
corporate action tends to make of the individual an instrument, as well
as an organic part, of the social group, it does not do this by making
him "like" merely; it may do so by making him "different." The division
of labor, in making possible an ever larger and wider co-operation among
men, has indirectly multiplied individual diversities. What
like-mindedness must eventually mean, if it is to mean anything, is the
existence of so much of a consensus among the individuals of a group as
will permit the group to act. This, then, is what is meant here by
society, the social organism and the social group.

Sociology, so far as it can be regarded as a fundamental science and not
mere congeries of social-welfare programs and practices, may be
described as the science of collective behavior. With this definition it
is possible to indicate in a general and schematic way its relation to
the other social sciences.

Historically, sociology has had its origin in history. History has been
and is the great mother science of all the social sciences. Of history
it may be said nothing human is foreign to it. Anthropology, ethnology,
folklore, and archaeology have grown up largely, if not wholly, to
complete the task which history began and answer the questions which
historical investigation first raised. In history and the sciences
associated with it, i.e., ethnology, folklore, and archaeology, we have
the concrete records of that human nature and experience which sociology
has sought to explain. In the same sense that history is the concrete,
sociology is the abstract, science of human experience and human nature.

[Illustration: FIG. 1]

On the other hand, the technical (applied) social sciences, that is,
politics, education, social service, and economics--so far as economics
may be regarded as the science of business--are related to sociology in
a different way. They are, to a greater or lesser extent, applications
of principles which it is the business of sociology and of psychology to
deal with explicitly. In so far as this is true, sociology may be
regarded as fundamental to the other social sciences.


Among the schools which, since Comte and Spencer, have divided
sociological thinking between them the realists have, on the whole,
maintained the tradition of Comte; the nominalists, on the other hand,
have preserved the style and manner, if not the substance, of Spencer's
thought. Later writers, however, realist as well as nominalist, have
directed their attention less to society than to societies, i.e., social
groups; they have been less interested in social progress than in
social process; more concerned with social problems than with social

This change marks the transformation of sociology from a philosophy of
history to a science of society. The steps in this transition are
periods in the history of the science, that is:

1. The period of Comte and Spencer; sociology, conceived in the grand
style, is a philosophy of history, a "science" of progress (evolution).

2. The period of the "schools"; sociological thought, dispersed among
the various schools, is absorbed in an effort to define its point of
view and to describe the kinds of facts that sociology must look for to
answer the questions that sociology asks.

3. The period of investigation and research, the period into which
sociology is just now entering.

Sociological research is at present (1921) in about the situation in
which psychology was before the introduction of laboratory methods, in
which medicine was before Pasteur and the germ theory of disease. A
great deal of social information has been collected merely for the
purpose of determining what to do in a given case. Facts have not been
collected to check social theories. Social problems have been defined in
terms of common sense, and facts have been collected, for the most part,
to support this or that doctrine, not to test it. In very few instances
have investigations been made, disinterestedly, to determine the
validity of a hypothesis.

Charles Booth's studies of poverty in London, which extended over
eighteen years and were finally embodied in seventeen volumes, is an
example of such a disinterested investigation. It is an attempt to put
to the test of fact the popular conception of the relation between wages
and welfare. He says:

     My object has been to attempt to show the numerical relation
     which poverty, misery, and depravity bear to regular earnings
     and comparative comfort, and to describe the general conditions
     under which each class lives.

     If the facts thus stated are of use in helping social reformers
     to find remedies for the evils which exist, or do anything to
     prevent the adoption of false remedies, my purpose is answered.
     It was not my intention to bring forward any suggestions of my
     own, and if I have ventured here and there, and especially in
     the concluding chapters, to go beyond my programme, it has been
     with much hesitation.

     With regard to the disadvantages under which the poor labour,
     and the evils of poverty, there is a great sense of
     helplessness: the wage earners are helpless to regulate their
     work and cannot obtain a fair equivalent for the labour they
     are willing to give; the manufacturer or dealer can only work
     within the limits of competition; the rich are helpless to
     relieve want without stimulating its sources. To relieve this
     helplessness a better stating of the problems involved is the
     first step.... In this direction must be sought the utility of
     my attempt to analyze the population of a part of London.[44]

This vast study did, indeed, throw great light, not only upon poverty in
London, but upon human nature in general. On the other hand, it raised
more questions than it settled and, if it demonstrated anything, it was
the necessity, as Booth suggests, for a restatement of the problem.

Sociology seems now, however, in a way to become, in some fashion or
other, an experimental science. It will become so as soon as it can
state existing problems in such a way that the results in one case will
demonstrate what can and should be done in another. Experiments are
going on in every field of social life, in industry, in politics, and in
religion. In all these fields men are guided by some implicit or
explicit theory of the situation, but this theory is not often stated in
the form of a hypothesis and subjected to a test of the negative
instances. We have, if it is permitted to make a distinction between
them, investigation rather than research.

What, then, in the sense in which the expression is here used, is social
research? A classification of problems will be a sort of first aid in
the search for an answer.

1. _Classification of social problems._--Every society and every social
group, _capable of consistent action_, may be regarded as an
organization of the wishes of its members. This means that society rests
on, and embodies, the appetites and natural desires of the individual
man; but it implies, also, that wishes, in becoming _organized_, are
necessarily disciplined and controlled in the interest of the group as a

Every such society or social group, even the most ephemeral, will
ordinarily have (a) some relatively formal method of defining its aim
and formulating its policies, making them explicit, and (b) some
machinery, functionary, or other arrangement for realizing its aim and
carrying its policies into effect. Even in the family there is
government, and this involves something that corresponds to legislation,
adjudication, and administration.

Social groups, however, maintain their organizations, agencies, and all
formal methods of behavior on a basis and in a setting of instinct, of
habit, and of tradition which we call human nature. Every social group
has, or tends to have, its own culture, what Sumner calls "folkways,"
and this culture, imposing its patterns upon the natural man, gives him
that particular individuality which characterizes the members of groups.
Not races merely but nationalities and classes have marks, manners, and
patterns of life by which we infallibly recognize and classify them.

Social problems may be conveniently classified with reference to these
three aspects of group life, that is to say, problems of (a)
organization and administration, (b) policy and polity (legislation),
and (c) human nature (culture).

a) Administrative problems are mainly practical and technical. Most
problems of government, of business and social welfare, are technical.
The investigations, i.e., social surveys, made in different parts of the
country by the Bureau of Municipal Research of New York City, are
studies of local administration made primarily for the purpose of
improving the efficiency of an existing administrative machine and its
personnel rather than of changing the policy or purpose of the
administration itself.

b) Problems of policy, in the sense in which that term is used here,
are political and legislative. Most social investigations in recent
years have been made in the interest of some legislative program or for
the purpose of creating a more intelligent public opinion in regard to
certain local problems. The social surveys conducted by the Sage
Foundation, as distinguished from those carried out by the New York
Bureau of Municipal Research, have been concerned with problems of
policy, i.e., with changing the character and policy of social
institutions rather than improving their efficiency. This distinction
between administration and policy is not always clear, but it is always
important. Attempts at reform usually begin with an effort to correct
administrative abuses, but eventually it turns out that reforms must go
deeper and change the character of the institutions themselves.

c) Problems of human nature are naturally fundamental to all other
social problems. Human nature, as we have begun to conceive it in recent
years, is largely a product of social intercourse; it is, therefore,
quite as much as society itself, a subject for sociological
investigation. Until recent years, what we are now calling the human
factor has been notoriously neglected in most social experiments. We
have been seeking to reform human nature while at the same time we
refused to reckon with it. It has been assumed that we could bring about
social changes by merely formulating our wishes, that is, by "arousing"
public opinion and formulating legislation. This is the "democratic"
method of effecting reforms. The older "autocratic" method merely
decreed social changes upon the authority of the monarch or the ruling
class. What reconciled men to it was that, like Christian Science, it
frequently worked.

     The oldest but most persistent form of social technique is that
     of "ordering-and-forbidding"--that is, meeting a crisis by an
     arbitrary act of will decreeing the disappearance of the
     undesirable or the appearance of the desirable phenomena, and
     the using arbitrary physical action to enforce the decree. This
     method corresponds exactly to the magical phase of natural
     technique. In both, the essential means of bringing a
     determined effect is more or less consciously thought to reside
     in the act of will itself by which the effect is decreed as
     desirable and of which the action is merely an indispensable
     vehicle or instrument; in both, the process by which the cause
     (act of will and physical action) is supposed to bring its
     effect to realization remains out of reach of investigation; in
     both, finally, if the result is not attained, some new act of
     will with new material accessories is introduced, instead of
     trying to find and remove the perturbing causes. A good
     instance of this in the social field is the typical legislative
     procedure of today.[45]

2. _Types of social group._--The varied interests, fields of
investigation, and practical programs which find at present a place
within the limits of the sociological discipline are united in having
one common object of reference, namely, _the concept of the social
group_. All social problems turn out finally to be problems of group
life, although each group and each type of group has its own
distinctive problems. Illustrations may be gathered from the most
widely separated fields to emphasize the truth of this assertion.[46]

Religious conversion may be interpreted from one point of view as a
change from one social group to another. To use the language of
religious sentiment, the convert "comes out of a life of sin and enters
into a life of grace." To be sure, this change involves profound
disturbances of the personality, but permanence of the change in the
individual is assured by the breaking up of the old and the
establishment of new associations. So the process by which the immigrant
makes the transition from the old country to the new involves profound
changes in thought and habit. In his case the change is likely to take
place slowly, but it is not less radical on that account.

The following paragraph from a recent social survey illustrates, from a
quite different point of view, the manner in which the group is involved
in changes in community life.

     In short, the greatest problem for the next few years in
     Stillwater is the development of a _community consciousness_.
     We must stop thinking in terms of city of Stillwater, and
     country outside of Stillwater, and think in terms of
     _Stillwater Community_. We must stop thinking in terms of small
     groups and think in terms of the entire community, no matter
     whether it is industry, health, education, recreation or
     religion. Anything which is good will benefit the entire
     community. Any weakness will be harmful to all. Community
     co-operation in all lines indicated in this report will make
     this, indeed, the Queen of the St. Croix.[47]

In this case the solution of the community problem was the creation of
"community consciousness." In the case of the professional criminal the
character of the problem is determined, if we accept the description of
a writer in the _Atlantic Monthly_, by the existence among professional
criminals of a primary group consciousness:

     The professional criminal is peculiar in the sense that he
     lives a very intense emotional life. He is isolated in the
     community. He is in it, but not of it. His social life--for all
     men are social--is narrow; but just because it is narrow, it is
     extremely tense. He lives a life of warfare and has the
     psychology of the warrior. He is at war with the whole
     community. Except his very few friends in crime he trusts no
     one and fears everyone. Suspicion, fear, hatred, danger,
     desperation and passion are present in a more tense form in his
     life than in that of the average individual. He is restless,
     ill-humored, easily roused and suspicious. He lives on the
     brink of a deep precipice. This helps to explain his passionate
     hatred, his brutality, his fear, and gives poignant
     significance to the adage that dead men tell no tales. He holds
     on to his few friends with a strength and passion rare among
     people who live a more normal existence. His friends stand
     between him and discovery. They are his hold upon life, his
     basis of security.

     Loyalty to one's group is the basic law in the underworld.
     Disloyalty is treason and punishable by death; for disloyalty
     may mean the destruction of one's friends; it may mean the
     hurling of the criminal over the precipice on which his whole
     life is built.

     To the community the criminal is aggressive. To the criminal
     his life is one of defense primarily. The greater part of his
     energy, of his hopes, and of his successes, centres around
     escapes, around successful flight, around proper covering-up of
     his tracks, and around having good, loyal, and trustworthy
     friends to participate in his activities, who will tell no
     tales and keep the rest of the community outside. The criminal
     is thus, from his own point of view--and I am speaking of
     professional criminals--living a life of defensive warfare with
     the community; and the odds are heavy against him. He therefore
     builds up a defensive psychology against it--a psychology of
     boldness, bravado, and self-justification. The good
     criminal--which means the successful one, he who has most
     successfully carried through a series of depradations against
     the enemy, the common enemy, the public--is a hero. He is
     recognized as such, toasted and feasted, trusted and obeyed.
     But always by a little group. They live in a world of their
     own, a life of their own, with ideals, habits, outlook,
     beliefs, and associations which are peculiarly fitted to
     maintain the morale of the group. Loyalty, fearlessness,
     generosity, willingness to sacrifice one's self, perseverance
     in the face of prosecution, hatred of the common enemy--these
     are the elements that maintain the morale, but all of them are
     pointed against the community as a whole.[48]

The manner in which the principle of the primary group was applied at
Sing Sing in dealing with the criminal within the prison walls is a
still more interesting illustration of the fact that social problems are
group problems.[49]

Assuming, then, that every social group may be presumed to have its own
(a) administrative, (b) legislative, and (c) human-nature
problems, these problems may be still further classified with reference
to the type of social group. Most social groups fall naturally into one
or the other of the following classes:

a) The family.

b) Language (racial) groups.

c) Local and territorial communities: (i) neighborhoods, (ii) rural
communities, (iii) urban communities.

d) Conflict groups: (i) nationalities, (ii) parties, (iii) sects, (iv)
labor organizations, (v) gangs, etc.

e) Accommodation groups: (i) classes, (ii) castes, (iii) vocational,
(iv) denominational groups.

The foregoing classification is not quite adequate nor wholly logical.
The first three classes are more closely related to one another than
they are to the last two, i.e., the so-called "accommodation" and
"conflict" groups. The distinction is far-reaching, but its general
character is indicated by the fact that the family, language, and local
groups are, or were originally, what are known as primary groups, that
is, groups organized on intimate, face-to-face relations. The conflict
and accommodation groups represent divisions which may, to be sure, have
arisen within the primary group, but which have usually arisen
historically by the imposition of one primary group upon another.

     Every state in history was or is a _state of classes_, a polity
     of superior and inferior social groups, based upon distinctions
     either of rank or of property. This phenomenon must, then, be
     called the "State."[50]

It is the existence at any rate of conflict and accommodation within the
limits of a larger group which distinguishes it from groups based on
primary relations, and gives it eventually the character described as

When a language group becomes militant and self-conscious, it assumes
the character of a nationality. It is perhaps true, also, that the
family which is large enough and independent enough to be
self-conscious, by that fact assumes the character of a clan. Important
in this connection is the fact that a group in becoming group-conscious
changes its character. External conflict has invariably reacted
powerfully upon the internal organization of social groups.

Group self-consciousness seems to be a common characteristic of conflict
and accommodation groups and distinguishes them from the more elementary
forms of society represented by the family and the local community.

3. _Organization and structure of social groups._--Having a general
scheme for the classification of social groups, it is in order to
discover methods of analysis that are applicable to the study of all
types of groups, from the family to the sect. Such a scheme of analysis
should reveal not only the organization and structure of typical groups,
but it should indicate the relation of this organization and structure
to those social problems that are actual and generally recognized. The
sort of facts which are now generally recognized as important in the
study, not merely of society, but the problems of society are:

a) Statistics: numbers, local distribution, mobility, incidence of
births, deaths, disease, and crime.

b) Institutions: local distribution, classification (i.e., (i)
industrial, (ii) religious, (iii) political, (iv) educational, (v)
welfare and mutual aid), communal organization.

c) Heritages: the customs and traditions transmitted by the group,
particularly in relation to religion, recreation and leisure time, and
social control (politics).

d) Organization of public opinion: parties, sects, cliques, and the

4. _Social process and social progress._--Social process is the name for
all changes which can be regarded as changes in the life of the group. A
group may be said to have a life when it has a history. Among social
processes we may distinguish (a) the historical, (b) the cultural,
(c) the political, and (d) the economic.

a) We describe as historical the processes by which the fund of social
tradition, which is the heritage of every permanent social group, is
accumulated and transmitted from one generation to another.

History plays the rôle in the group of memory in the individual. Without
history social groups would, no doubt, rise and decline, but they would
neither grow old nor make progress.

Immigrants, crossing the ocean, leave behind them much of their local
traditions. The result is that they lose, particularly in the second
generation, that control which the family and group tradition formerly
exercised over them; but they are, for that very reason, all the more
open to the influence of the traditions and customs of their adopted

b) If it is the function of the historical process to accumulate and
conserve the common fund of social experience, it is the function of the
cultural process to shape and define the social forms and the social
patterns which each preceding generation imposes upon its successors.

     The individual living in society has to fit into a pre-existing
     social world, to take part in the hedonistic, economic,
     political, religious, moral, aesthetic, intellectual activities
     of the group. For these activities the group has objective
     _systems_, more or less complex sets of schemes, organized
     either by traditional association or with a conscious regard to
     the greatest possible efficiency of the result, but with only a
     secondary, or even with no interest in the particular desires,
     abilities and experiences of the individuals who have to
     perform these activities.

     There is no pre-existing harmony whatever between the
     individual and the social factors of personal evolution, and
     the fundamental tendencies of the individual are always in some
     disaccordance with the fundamental tendencies of social
     control. Personal evolution is always a struggle between the
     individual and society--a struggle for self-expression on the
     part of the individual, for his subjection on the part of
     society--and it is in the total course of this struggle that
     the personality--not as a static "essence" but as a dynamic,
     continually evolving set of activities--manifests and
     constructs itself.[51]

c) In general, standards of behavior that are in the mores are not the
subject of discussion, except so far as discussion is necessary to
determine whether this or that act falls under one or the other of the
accepted social sanctions. The political as distinguished from the
cultural process is concerned with just those matters in regard to which
there is division and difference. Politics is concerned with issues.

The Negro, particularly in the southern states, is a constant theme of
popular discussion. Every time a Negro finds himself in a new situation,
or one in which the white population is unaccustomed to see him, the
thing provokes comment in both races. On the other hand, when a
southerner asks the question: "Would you want your daughter to marry a
Negro?" it is time for discussion to cease. Any questions of relations
between the races can always be immediately disposed of as soon as it is
seen to come, directly or indirectly, under the intolerable formula.
Political questions are matters of compromise and expediency.
Miscegenation, on the other hand, is contrary to the mores. As such the
rule against it is absolute.

The political process, by which a society or social group formulates its
wishes and enforces them, goes on within the limits of the mores and is
carried on by public discussion, legislation, and the adjudication of
the courts.

d) The economic process, so far as it can be distinguished from the
production and distribution of goods, is the process by which prices are
made and an exchange of values is effected. Most values, i.e., my
present social status, my hopes of the future, and memory of the past,
are personal and not values that can be exchanged. The economic process
is concerned with values that can be treated as commodities.

All these processes may, and do, arise within most but not every society
or social group. Commerce presupposes the freedom of the individual to
pursue his own profit, and commerce can take place only to the extent
and degree that this freedom is permitted. Freedom of commerce is,
however, limited on the one hand by the mores and on the other by formal
law, so that the economic process takes place ordinarily within
limitations that are defined by the cultural and the political
processes. It is only where there is neither a cultural nor a political
order that commerce is absolutely free.

The areas of (1) the cultural, (2) the political, (3) the economic
processes and their relations to one another may be represented by
concentric circles.

In this representation the area of widest cultural influences is
coterminous with the area of commerce, because commerce in its widest
extension is invariably carried on under some restraints of custom and
customary law. Otherwise it is not commerce at all, but something
predacious outside the law. But if the area of the economic process is
almost invariably coterminous with the widest areas of cultural
influence, it does not extend to the smaller social groups. As a rule
trade does not invade the family. Family interests are always personal
even when they are carried on under the forms of commerce. Primitive
society, within the limits of the village, is usually communistic. All
values are personal, and the relations of individuals to one another,
economic or otherwise, are preordained by custom and law.

The impersonal values, values for exchange, seem to be in any given
society or social group in inverse relation to the personal values.

The attempt to describe in this large way the historical, cultural,
political, and economic processes, is justified in so far as it enables
us to recognize that the aspects of social life, which are the
subject-matter of the special social sciences, i.e., history, political
science, and economics, are involved in specific forms of change that
can be viewed abstractly, formulated, compared, and related. The attempt
to view them in their interrelations is at the same time an effort to
distinguish and to see them as parts of one whole.

[Illustration: FIG. 2

a = area of most extended cultural influences and of commerce; b =
area of formal political control; c = area of purely personal
relationships, communism.]

In contrast with the types of social change referred to there are other
changes which are unilateral and progressive; changes which are
described popularly as "movements," mass movements. These are changes
which eventuate in new social organizations and institutions.

All more marked forms of social change are associated with certain
social manifestations that we call social unrest. Social unrest issues,
under ordinary conditions, as an incident of new social contacts, and is
an indication of a more lively tempo in the process of communication and

All social changes are preceded by a certain degree of social and
individual disorganization. This will be followed ordinarily under
normal conditions by a movement of reorganization. All progress implies
a certain amount of disorganization. In studying social changes,
therefore, that, if not progressive, are at least unilateral, we are
interested in:

(1) Disorganization: accelerated mobility, unrest, disease, and crime as
manifestations and measures of social disorganization.

(2) Social movements (reorganization) include: (a) crowd movements
(i.e., mobs, strikes, etc.); (b) cultural revivals, religious and
linguistic; (c) fashion (changes in dress, convention, and social
ritual); (d) reform (changes in social policy and administration);
(e) revolutions (changes in institutions and the mores).

5. _The individual and the person._--The person is an individual who has
status. We come into the world as individuals. We acquire status, and
become persons. Status means position in society. The individual
inevitably has some status in every social group of which he is a
member. In a given group the status of every member is determined by his
relation to every other member of that group. Every smaller group,
likewise, has a status in some larger group of which it is a part and
this is determined by its relation to all the other members of the
larger group.

The individual's self-consciousness--his conception of his rôle in
society, his "self," in short--while not identical with his personality
is an essential element in it. The individual's conception of himself,
however, is based on his status in the social group or groups of which
he is a member. The individual whose conception of himself does not
conform to his status is an isolated individual. The completely isolated
individual, whose conception of himself is in no sense an adequate
reflection of his status, is probably insane.

It follows from what is said that an individual may have many "selves"
according to the groups to which he belongs and the extent to which each
of these groups is isolated from the others. It is true, also, that the
individual is influenced in differing degrees and in a specific manner,
by the different types of group of which he is a member. This indicates
the manner in which the personality of the individual may be studied

Every individual comes into the world in possession of certain
characteristic and relatively fixed behavior patterns which we call
instincts. This is his racial inheritance which he shares with all
members of the species. He comes into the world, also, endowed with
certain undefined capacities for learning other forms of behavior,
capacities which vary greatly in different individuals. These individual
differences and the instincts are what is called original nature.[52]

Sociology is interested in "original nature" in so far as it supplies
the raw materials out of which individual personalities and the social
order are created. Both society and the persons who compose society are
the products of social processes working in and through the materials
which each new generation of men contributes to it.

Charles Cooley, who was the first to make the important distinction
between primary and secondary groups, has pointed out that the intimate,
face-to-face associations of primary groups, i.e., the family, the
neighborhood, and the village community, are fundamental in forming the
social nature and ideals of the individual.[53]

There is, however, an area of life in which the associations are more
intimate than those of the primary group as that group is ordinarily
conceived. Such are the relations between mother and child, particularly
in the period of infancy, and the relations between men and women under
the influence of the sexual instinct. These are the associations in
which the most lasting affections and the most violent antipathies are
formed. We may describe it as the area of touch relationships.

Finally, there is the area of secondary contacts, in which relationships
are relatively impersonal, formal, and conventional. It is in this
region of social life that the individual gains, at the same time, a
personal freedom and an opportunity for distinction that is denied him
in the primary group.

As a matter of fact, many, if not most, of our present social problems
have their source and origin in the transition of great masses of the
population--the immigrants, for example--out of a society based on
primary group relationships into the looser, freer, and less controlled
existence of life in great cities.

     The "moral unrest" so deeply penetrating all western societies,
     the growing vagueness and indecision of personalities, the
     almost complete disappearance of the "strong and steady
     character" of old times, in short, the rapid and general
     increase of Bohemianism and Bolshevism in all societies, is an
     effect of the fact that not only the early primary group
     controlling all interests of its members on the general social
     basis, not only the occupational group of the mediaeval type
     controlling most of the interests of its members on a
     professional basis, but even the special modern group dividing
     with many others the task of organizing permanently the
     attitudes of each of its members, is more and more losing
     ground. The pace of social evolution has become so rapid that
     special groups are ceasing to be permanent and stable enough to
     organize and maintain organized complexes of attitudes of their
     members which correspond to their common pursuits. In other
     words, society is gradually losing all its old machinery for
     the determination and stabilization of individual

Every social group tends to create, from the individuals that compose
it, its own type of character, and the characters thus formed become
component parts of the social structure in which they are incorporated.
All the problems of social life are thus problems of the individual; and
all problems of the individual are at the same time problems of the
group. This point of view is already recognized in preventive medicine,
and to some extent in psychiatry. It is not yet adequately recognized in
the technique of social case work.

Further advance in the application of social principles to social
practice awaits a more thoroughgoing study of the problems, systematic
social research, and an experimental social science.



(1) Comte, Auguste. _Cours de philosophie positive_, 5th ed. 6 vols.
Paris, 1892.

(2) ----. _Positive Philosophy._ Translated by Harriet Martineau, 3d ed.
London, 1893.

(3) Spencer, Herbert. _Principles of Sociology._ 3d ed. 3 vols. New
York, 1906.

(4) Schaeffle, Albert. _Bau und Leben des socialen Körpers._ 2d ed., 2
vols. Tuebingen, 1896.

(5) Lilienfeld, Paul von. _Gedanken über die Socialwissenschaft der
Zukunft._ 5 vols. Mitau, 1873-81.

(6) Ward, Lester F. _Dynamic Sociology._ 2 vols. New York, 1883.

(7) De Greef, Guillaume. _Introduction à la sociologie._ 3 vols. Paris,

(8) Worms, René. _Organisme et société._ Paris, 1896.


A. _Realists_

(1) Ratzenhofer, Gustav. _Die sociologische Erkenntnis._ Leipzig, 1898.

(2) Small, Albion W. _General Sociology._ Chicago, 1905.

(3) Durkheim, Émile. _De la Division du travail social._ Paris, 1893.

(4) Simmel, Georg. _Soziologie._ Untersuchungen über die Formen der
Vergesellschaftung. Leipzig, 1908.

(5) Cooley, Charles Horton. _Social Organization._ A study of the larger
mind. New York, 1909.

(6) Ellwood, Charles A. _Sociology and Its Psychological Aspects._ New
York and London, 1912.

B. _Nominalists_

(1) Tarde, Gabriel. _Les Lois de l'imitation._ Paris, 1895.

(2) Giddings, Franklin H. _The Principles of Sociology._ New York, 1896.

(3) Ross, Edward Alsworth. _The Principles of Sociology._ New York,

C. _Collective Behavior_

(1) Le Bon, Gustave. _The Crowd._ A study of the popular mind. New York,

(2) Sighele, Scipio. _Psychologie des sectes._ Paris, 1898.

(3) Tarde, Gabriel. _L'Opinion et la foule._ Paris, 1901.

(4) McDougall, William. _The Group Mind._ Cambridge, 1920.

(5) Vincent, George E. _The Social Mind and Education._ New York, 1897.


A. _Critical Observation on Methods of Research_

(1) Small, Albion W. _The Meaning of Social Science._ Chicago, 1910.

(2) Durkheim, Émile. _Les Règles de la méthode sociologique._ Paris,

(3) Thomas, W. I., and Znaniecki, F. _The Polish Peasant in Europe and
America._ "Methodological Note," I, 1-86. 5 vols. Boston, 1918-20.

B. _Studies of Communities_

(1) Booth, Charles. _Labour and Life of the People: London._ 2 vols.
London, 1891.

(2) ----. _Life and Labour of the People in London._ 9 vols. London,
1892-97. 8 additional vols. London, 1902.

(3) _The Pittsburgh Survey._ Edited by Paul U. Kellogg. 6 vols. Russell
Sage Foundation. New York, 1909-14.

(4) _The Springfield Survey._ Edited by Shelby M. Harrison. 3 vols.
Russell Sage Foundation. New York, 1918-20.

(5) _Americanization Studies of the Carnegie Corporation of New York._
Edited by Allen T. Burns. 10 vols. New York, 1920-21.

(6) Chapin, F. Stuart. _Field Work and Social Research._ New York, 1920.

C. _Studies of the Individual_

(1) Healy, William. _The Individual Delinquent._ Boston, 1915.

(2) Thomas, W. I., and Znaniecki, F. _The Polish Peasant in Europe and
America._ "Life Record of an Immigrant," Vol. III. Boston, 1919.

(3) Richmond, Mary. _Social Diagnosis._ Russell Sage Foundation. New
York, 1917.


(1) _American Journal of Sociology._ Chicago, University of Chicago
Press, 1896-.

(2) _American Sociological Society, Papers and Proceedings._ Chicago,
University of Chicago Press, 1907-.

(3) _Annales de l'institut international de sociologie._ Paris, M. Giard
et Cie., 1895.

(4) _L'Année sociologique._ Paris, F. Alcan, 1898-1912.

(5) _The Indian Journal of Sociology._ Baroda, India, The College,

(6) _Kölner Vierteljahrshefte für Sozialwissenschaften._ Leipzig and
München, Duncker und Humblot, 1921-.

(7) _Rivista italiana di sociologia._ Roma, Fratelli Bocca, 1897-.

(8) _Revue del'institut de sociologie._ Bruxelles, l'Institut de
Sociologie, 1920-. [Successor to _Bulletin del'institut de sociologie
Solvay_. Bruxelles, 1910-14.]

(9) _Revue internationale de sociologie._ Paris, M. Giard et Cie.,

(10) _The Sociological Review._ Manchester, Sherratt and Hughes, 1908-.
[Preceded by Sociological Papers, Sociological Society, London, 1905-7.]

(11) _Schmollers Jahrbuch für Gesetzgebung, Verwaltung und
Volkswirtschaft im deutschen Reiche._ Leipzig, Duncker und Humblot,

(12) _Zeitschrift für Sozialwissenschaft._ Berlin, G. Reimer, 1898-.


1. Comte's Conception of Humanity

2. Herbert Spencer on the Social Organism

3. The Social Process as Defined by Small

4. Imitation and Like-mindedness as Fundamental Social Facts

5. Social Control as a Sociological Problem

6. Group Consciousness and the Group Mind

7. Investigation and Research as Illustrated by the Pittsburgh Survey
and the Carnegie Americanization Studies

8. The Concept of the Group in Sociology

9. The Person, Personality, and Status

10. Sociology in Its Relation to Economics and to Politics


1. What do you understand was Comte's purpose in demanding for sociology
a place among the sciences?

2. Are social phenomena susceptible to scientific prevision? Compare
with physical phenomena.

3. What is Comte's order of the sciences? What is your explanation for
the late appearance of sociology in the series?

4. What do you understand by the term "positive" when applied to the
social sciences?

5. Can sociology become positive without becoming experimental?

6. "Natural science emphasizes the abstract, the historian is interested
in the concrete." Discuss.

7. How do you distinguish between the historical method and the method
of natural science in dealing with the following phenomena: (a)
electricity, (b) plants, (c) cattle, (d) cities?

8. Distinguish between history, natural history, and natural science.

9. Is Westermarck's _Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas_ history,
natural history, or sociology? Why?

10. "History is past politics, politics is present history." Do you
agree? Elaborate your position.

11. What is the value of history to the person?

12. Classify the following formulas of behavior under either (a)
natural law (social law in the scientific sense), and (b) moral law
(customary sanction, ethical principles), (c) civil law: "birds of a
feather flock together"; "thou shalt not kill"; an ordinance against
speeding; "honesty is the best policy"; monogamy; imitation tends to
spread in geometric ratio; "women first"; the Golden Rule; "walk in the
trodden paths"; the federal child-labor statute.

13. Give an illustration of a sociological hypothesis.

14. Of the following statements of fact, which are historical and which

Auguste Comte suffered from myopia.

"Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains."

"Science works not at all for nationality or its spirit. It makes
entirely for cosmopolitanism."

15. How would you verify each of the foregoing statements? Distinguish
between the sociological and historical methods of verification.

16. Is the use of the comparative method that of history or that of
natural science?

17. "The social organism: humanity or Leviathan?" What is your reaction
to this alternative? Why?

18. What was the difference in the conception of the social organism
held by Comte and that held by Spencer?

19. "How does a mere collection of individuals succeed in acting in a
corporate and consistent way?" What was the answer to this question
given by Hobbes, Aristotle, Worms?

20. "Man and society are at the same time products of nature and of
human artifice." Explain.

21. What are the values and limitations of the following explanations of
the control of the group over the behavior of its members: (a)
homogeneity, (b) like-mindedness, (c) imitation, (d) common

22. What bearing have the facts of a panic or a stampede upon the
theories of like-mindedness, imitation, and common purpose as
explanations of group behavior?

23. "The characteristic social phenomenon is just this control by the
group as a whole of the individuals which compose it. This fact of
control is the fundamental social fact." Give an illustration of the
control of the group over its members.

24. What is the difference between group mind and group consciousness as
indicated in current usage in the phrases "urban mind," "rural mind,"
"public mind," "race consciousness," "national consciousness," "class

25. What do you understand by "a group in being"? Compare with the
nautical expression "a fleet in being." Is "a fleet in being" a social
organism? Has it a "social mind" and "social consciousness" in the sense
that we speak of "race consciousness", for example, or "group

26. In what sense is public opinion objective? Analyze a selected case
where the opinion of the group as a whole is different from the opinion
of its members as individuals.

27. For what reason was the fact of "social control" interpreted in
terms of "the collective mind"?

28. Which is the social reality (a) that society is a collection of
like-minded persons, or (b) that society is a process and a product of
interaction? What is the bearing upon this point of the quotation from
Dewey: "Society may fairly be said to exist in transmission"?

29. What three steps were taken in the transformation of sociology from
a philosophy of history to a science of society?

30. What value do you perceive in a classification of social problems?

31. Classify the following studies under (a) administrative problems
or (b) problems of policy or (c) problems of human nature: a survey
to determine the feasibility of health insurance to meet the problem of
sickness; an investigation of the police force; a study of attitudes
toward war; a survey of the contacts of racial groups; an investigation
for the purpose of improving the technique of workers in a social
agency; a study of the experiments in self-government among prisoners in
penal institutions.

32. Is the description of great cities as "social laboratories" metaphor
or fact?

33. What do you understand by the statement: Sociology will become an
experimental science as soon as it can state its problems in such a way
that the results in one instance show what can be done in another?

34. What would be the effect upon political life if sociology were able
to predict with some precision the effects of political action, for
example, the effect of prohibition?

35. Would you favor turning over the government to control of experts as
soon as sociology became a positive science? Explain.

36. How far may the politician who makes a profession of controlling
elections be regarded as a practicing sociologist?

37. What is the distinction between sociology as an art and as a

38. Distinguish between research and investigation as the terms are used
in the text.

39. What illustrations in American society occur to you of the (a)
autocratic and (b) democratic methods of social change?

40. "All social problems turn out finally to be problems of group life."
Are there any exceptions?

41. Select twelve groups at random and enter under the heads in the
classification of social groups. What groups are difficult to classify?

42. Study the organization and structure of one of the foregoing groups
in terms of (a) statistical facts about it; (b) its institutional
aspect; (c) its heritages; and (d) its collective opinion.

43. "All progress implies a certain amount of disorganization." Explain.

44. What do you understand to be the differences between the various
social processes: (a) historical, (b) cultural, (c) economic,
(d) political?

45. What is the significance of the relative diameters of the areas of
the cultural, political, and economic processes?

46. "The person is an individual who has status." Does an animal have

47. "In a given group the status of every member is determined by his
relation to every other member of that group." Give an illustration.

48. Why are the problems of the person, problems of the group as well?

49. What does the organization of the bibliography and the sequence of
the volumes referred to suggest in regard to the development of
sociological science?

50. How far does it seem to you that the emphasis upon process rather
than progress accounts for the changes which have taken place in the
sociological theory and point of view?


[2] From Robert E. Park, "Sociology and the Social Sciences," _American
Journal of Sociology_, XXVI (1920-21), 401-24; XXVII (1921-22), 1-21;

[3] Harriet Martineau, _The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte_,
freely translated and condensed (London, 1893), II, 61.

[4] Harriet Martineau, _op. cit._, II, 59-61.

[5] Montesquieu, Baron M. de Secondat, _The Spirit of Laws_, translated
by Thomas Nugent (Cincinnati, 1873), I, xxxi.

[6] David Hume, _Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding_, Part II, sec.

[7] Condorcet, _Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progrès de l'esprit
humain_ (1795), 292. See Paul Barth, _Die Philosophie der Geschichte als
Sociologie_ (Leipzig, 1897), Part I, pp. 21-23.

[8] _Oeuvres de Saint-Simon et d'Enfantin_ (Paris, 1865-78), XVII, 228.
Paul Barth, _op. cit._, Part I, p. 23.

[9] Henry Adams, _The Degradation of the Democratic Dogma_ (New York,
1919), p. 126.

[10] James Harvey Robinson, _The New History, Essays Illustrating the
Modern Historical Outlook_ (New York, 1912), pp. 54-55.

[11] James Harvey Robinson, _op. cit._, p. 83.

[12] Wilhelm Windelband, _Geschichte und Naturwissenschaft, Rede zum
Antritt des Rectorats der Kaiser-Wilhelms Universität Strassburg_
(Strassburg, 1900). The logical principle outlined by Windelband has
been further elaborated by Heinrich Rickert in _Die Grenzen der
naturwissenschaftlichen Begriffsbildung, eine logische Einleitung in die
historischen Wissenschaften_ (Tübingen u. Leipzig, 1902). See also
Georg Simmel, _Die Probleme der Geschichtsphilosophie, eine
erkenntnistheoretische Studie_ (2d ed., Leipzig, 1915).

[13] J. Arthur Thomson, _The System of Animate Nature_ (New York, 1920),
pp. 8-9. See also Karl Pearson, _The Grammar of Science_ (2d ed.;
London, 1900), chap. iii, "The Scientific Law."

[14] Karl Pearson, _op. cit._, p. 359.

[15] Henry Adams, _op. cit._, p. 127.

[16] Professor Robertson Smith (_Nature_, XLIV, 270), criticizing
Westermarck's _History of Human Marriage_, complains that the author has
confused history with natural history. "The history of an institution,"
he writes, "which is controlled by public opinion and regulated by law
is not natural history. The true history of marriage begins where the
natural history of pairing ends.... To treat these topics (polyandry,
kinship through the female only, infanticide, exogamy) as essentially a
part of the natural history of pairing involves a tacit assumption that
the laws of society are at bottom mere formulated instincts, and this
assumption really underlies all our author's theories. His fundamental
position compels him, if he will be consistent with himself, to hold
that every institution connected with marriage that has universal
validity, or forms an integral part of the main line of development, is
rooted in instinct, and that institutions which are not based on
instinct are necessarily exceptional and unimportant for scientific

[17] Edward Westermarck, _The History of Human Marriage_ (London, 1901),
p. 1.

[18] _Ibid._, p. 5.

[19] Jane Ellen Harrison, _Themis_, _A Study of the Social Origins of
Greek Religion_ (Cambridge, 1912), p. ix.

[20] Robert H. Lowie, _Primitive Society_ (New York, 1920), pp. 7-8.

[21] Wilhelm Wundt, _Völkerpsychologie, eine Untersuchung der
Entwicklungsgesetze von Sprache, Mythus und Sitte_. Erster Band, _Die
Sprache_, Erster Theil (Leipzig, 1900), p. 13. The name folk-psychology
was first used by Lazarus and Steinthal, _Zeitschrift für
Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft_, I, 1860. Wundt's
folk-psychology is a continuation of the tradition of these earlier

[22] G. Tarde, _Social Laws, An Outline of Sociology_, translated from
the French by Howard C. Warren (New York, 1899), pp. 40-41.

[23] Hanns Oertel, "Some Present Problems and Tendencies in Comparative
Philology," _Congress of Arts and Science, Universal Exposition, St.
Louis, 1904_ (Boston, 1906), III, 59.

[24] Edward A. Freeman, _Comparative Politics_ (London, 1873), p. 23.

[25] L. Lévy-Bruhl, _The Philosophy of Auguste Comte_, authorized
translation; an Introduction by Frederic Harrison (New York, 1903), p.

[26] _Ibid._, p. 234.

[27] Hobbes's statement is as follows: "For by art is created that great
_Leviathan_ called a _Commonwealth_, or _State_, in Latin _Civitas_,
which is but an artificial man; though of greater stature and strength
than the natural, for whose protection and defence it was intended; and
in which the _sovereignty_ is an artificial _soul_, as giving life and
motion to the whole body; the _magistrates_, and other _officers_ of
judicature, artificial _joints_; _reward_ and _punishment_, by which
fastened to the seat of the sovereignty every joint and member is moved
to perform his duty, are the _nerves_, that do the same in the body
natural." Spencer criticizes this conception of Hobbes as representing
society as a "factitious" and artificial rather than a "natural"
product. Herbert Spencer, _The Principles of Sociology_ (London, 1893),
I, 437, 579-80. See also chap. iii, "Social Growth," pp. 453-58.

[28] Herbert Spencer, _op. cit._, I, 437.

[29] _Ibid._, p. 440.

[30] _Ibid._, p. 450.

[31] _Ibid._, pp. 449-50.

[32] _Westminster Review_, January, 1860.

[33] René Worms, _Organisme et Société_, "Bibliothèque Sociologique
Internationale" (Paris, 1896), pp. 210-13.

[34] W. Trotter, _Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War_ (New York,
1916), pp. 29-30.

[35] _Ibid._, pp. 40-41.

[36] Franklin Henry Giddings, _The Concepts and Methods of Sociology_,
Congress of Arts and Science, Universal Exposition (St. Louis, 1904),
pp. 789-90.

[37] G. Tarde, _op. cit._, pp. 38-39.

[38] Émile Durkheim, _Elementary Forms of Religious Life_ (New York,
1915), pp. 206-8.

[39] John Dewey, _Democracy and Education_ (New York, 1916), p. 5.

[40] _Ibid._, pp. 6-7.

[41] Émile Durkheim, "Représentations individuelles et représentations
collectives," _Revue métaphysique_, VI (1898), 295. Quoted and
translated by Charles Elmer Gehlke, "Émile Durkheim's Contributions to
Sociological Theory," _Studies in History, Economics, and Public Law_,
LXIII, 29-30.

[42] Bliss Perry, _The American Mind_ (Boston, 1912), p. 47.

[43] James Mark Baldwin, _Mental Development in the Child and the Race_
(New York and London, 1895); Charles A. Ellwood, _Sociology in Its
Psychological Aspects_ (New York and London, 1912).

[44] _Labour and Life of the People_ (London, 1889), I, pp. 6-7.

[45] Thomas and Znaniecki, _The Polish Peasant in Europe and America_
(Boston, 1918), I, 3.

[46] Walter B. Bodenhafer, "The Comparative Rôle of the Group Concept in
Ward's Dynamic Sociology and Contemporary American Sociology," _American
Journal of Sociology_, XXVI (1920-21), 273-314; 425-74; 588-600; 716-43.

[47] _Stillwater, the Queen of the St. Croix_, a report of a social
survey, published by The Community Service of Stillwater, Minnesota,
1920, p. 71.

[48] Frank Tannenbaum, "Prison Democracy," _Atlantic Monthly_, October,
1920, pp. 438-39. (Psychology of the criminal group.)

[49] _Ibid._, pp. 443-46.

[50] Franz Oppenheimer, _The State_ (Indianapolis, 1914), p. 5.

[51] Thomas and Znaniecki, _op. cit._, III, 34-36.

[52] Original nature in its relation to social welfare and human
progress has been made the subject-matter of a special science,
eugenics. For a criticism of the claims of eugenics as a social science
see Leonard T. Hobhouse, _Social Evolution and Political Theory_
(Columbia University Press, 1917).

[53] Charles H. Cooley, _Social Organization_, p. 28.

[54] Thomas and Znaniecki, _op. cit._, III, 63-64.




1. Human Interest in Human Nature

The human interest in human nature is proverbial. It is an original
tendency of man to be attentive to the behavior of other human beings.
Experience heightens this interest because of the dependence of the
individual upon other persons, not only for physical existence, but for
social life.

The literature of every people is to a large extent but the
crystallization of this persistent interest. Old saws and proverbs of
every people transmit from generation to generation shrewd
generalizations upon human behavior. In joke and in epigram, in
caricature and in burlesque, in farce and in comedy, men of all races
and times have enjoyed with keen relish the humor of the contrast
between the conventional and the natural motives in behavior. In Greek
mythology, individual traits of human nature are abstracted, idealized,
and personified into gods. The heroes of Norse sagas and Teutonic
legends are the gigantic symbols of primary emotions and sentiments.
Historical characters live in the social memory not alone because they
are identified with political, religious, or national movements but also
because they have come to typify human relationships. The loyalty of
Damon and Pythias, the grief of Rachel weeping for her children, the
cynical cruelty of the egocentric Nero, the perfidy of Benedict Arnold,
the comprehending sympathy of Abraham Lincoln, are proverbial, and as
such have become part of the common language of all the peoples who
participate in our occidental culture.

Poetry, drama, and the plastic arts are interesting and significant only
so far as they reveal in new and ever changing circumstances the
unchanging characteristics of a fundamental human nature. Illustrations
of this naïve and unreflecting interest in the study of mankind are
familiar enough in the experience and observation of any of us.
Intellectual interest in, and the scientific observation of, human
traits and human behavior have their origin in this natural interest and
unreflective observation by man of his fellows. History, ethnology,
folklore, all the comparative studies of single cultural traits, i.e.,
of language, of religion, and of law, are but the more systematic
pursuit of this universal interest of mankind in man.

2. Definition of Human Nature

The natural history of the expression "human nature" is interesting.
Usage has given it various shades of meaning. In defining the term more
precisely there is a tendency either unwarrantedly to narrow or unduly
to extend and overemphasize some one or another of the different senses
of the term. A survey of these varied uses reveals the common and
fundamental meaning of the phrase.

The use which common sense makes of the term human nature is
significant. It is used in varied contexts with the most divergent
implications but always by way of explanation of behavior that is
characteristically human. The phrase is sometimes employed with cynical
deprecation as, "Oh, that's human nature." Or as often, perhaps, as an
expression of approbation, "He's so human."

The weight of evidence as expressed in popular sayings is distinctly in
depreciation of man's nature.

    It's human natur', p'raps,--if so,
    Oh, isn't human natur' low,

are two lines from Gilbert's musical comedy "Babette's Love." "To err is
human, to forgive divine" reminds us of a familiar contrast. "Human
nature is like a bad clock; it might go right now and then, or be made
to strike the hour, but its inward frame is to go wrong," is a simile
that emphasizes the popular notion that man's behavior tends to the
perverse. An English divine settles the question with the statement,
"Human nature is a rogue and a scoundrel, or why would it perpetually
stand in need of laws and religion?"

Even those who see good in the natural man admit his native tendency to
err. Sir Thomas Browne asserts that "human nature knows naturally what
is good but naturally pursues what is evil." The Earl of Clarendon gives
the equivocal explanation that "if we did not take great pains to
corrupt our nature, our nature would never corrupt us." Addison, from
the detached position of an observer and critic of manners and men,
concludes that "as man is a creature made up of different extremes, he
has something in him very great and very mean."

The most commonly recognized distinction between man and the lower
animals lies in his possession of reason. Yet familiar sayings tend to
exclude the intellectual from the human attributes. Lord Bacon shrewdly
remarks that "there is in human nature, generally, more of the fool than
of the wise." The phrase "he is a child of nature" means that behavior
in social relations is impulsive, simple, and direct rather than
reflective, sophisticated, or consistent. Wordsworth depicts this human
type in his poem "She Was a Phantom of Delight":

    A creature not too bright or good
    For human nature's daily food;
    For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
    Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears and smiles.

The inconsistency between the rational professions and the impulsive
behavior of men is a matter of common observation. "That's not the
logic, reason, or philosophy of it, but it's the human nature of it." It
is now generally recognized that the older English conception of the
"economic man" and the "rational man," motivated by enlightened
self-interest, was far removed from the "natural man" impelled by
impulse, prejudice, and sentiment, in short, by human nature. Popular
criticism has been frequently directed against the reformer in politics,
the efficiency expert in industry, the formalist in religion and morals
on the ground that they overlook or neglect the so-called "human factor"
in the situation. Sir Arthur Helps says:

     No doubt hard work is a great police-agent; if everybody were
     worked from morning till night, and then carefully locked up,
     the register of crimes might be greatly diminished. But what
     would become of human nature? Where would be the room for
     growth in such a system of things? It is through sorrow and
     mirth, plenty and need, a variety of passions, circumstances,
     and temptations, even through sin and misery, that men's
     natures are developed.

Certain sayings already quoted imply that the nature of man is a fact to
be reckoned with in controlling his behavior. "There are limits to human
nature" which cannot lightly be overstepped. "Human nature," according
to Periander, "is hard to overcome." Yet we also recognize with Swift
that "it is the talent of human nature to run from one extreme to
another." Finally, nothing is more trite and familiar than the statement
that "human nature is the same all over the world." This fundamental
likeness of human nature, despite artificial and superficial cultural
differences, has found a classic expression in Kipling's line: "The
Colonel's Lady an' Judy O'Grady are sisters under their skins!"

Human nature, then, as distinct from the formal wishes of the individual
and the conventional order of society, is an aspect of human life that
must be reckoned with. Common sense has long recognized this, but until
recently no systematic attempt has been made to _isolate_, describe, and
explain the distinctively human factors in the life either of the
individual or of society.

Of all that has been written on this subject the most adequate statement
is that of Cooley. He has worked out with unusual penetration and
peculiar insight an interpretation of human nature as a product of group

     By human nature we may understand those sentiments and impulses
     that are human in being superior to those of lower animals, and
     also in the sense that they belong to mankind at large, and not
     to any particular race or time. It means, particularly,
     sympathy and the innumerable sentiments into which sympathy
     enters, such as love, resentment, ambition, vanity,
     hero-worship, and the feeling of social right and wrong.

     Human nature in this sense is justly regarded as a
     comparatively permanent element in society. Always and
     everywhere men seek honor and dread ridicule, defer to public
     opinion, cherish their goods and their children, and admire
     courage, generosity, and success. It is always safe to assume
     that people are and have been human.

     Human nature is not something existing separately in the
     individual, but a _group nature or primary phase of society_, a
     relatively simple and general condition of the social mind. It
     is something more, on the one hand, than the mere instinct that
     is born in us--though that enters into it--and something less,
     on the other, than the more elaborate development of ideas and
     sentiments that makes up institutions. It is the nature which
     is developed and expressed in those simple, face-to-face groups
     that are somewhat alike in all societies; groups of the family,
     the playground, and the neighborhood. In the essential
     similarity of these is to be found the basis, in experience,
     for similar ideas and sentiments in the human mind. In these,
     everywhere, human nature comes into existence. Man does not
     have it at birth; he cannot acquire it except through
     fellowship, and it decays in isolation.[55]

3. Classification of the Materials

With the tacit acceptance by biologists, psychologists, and sociologists
of human behavior as a natural phenomenon, materials upon human nature
have rapidly accumulated. The wealth and variety of these materials are
all the greater because of the diversity of the points of view from
which workers in this field have attacked the problem. The value of the
results of these investigations is enhanced when they are brought
together, classified, and compared.

The materials fall naturally into two divisions: (a) "The Original
Nature of Man" and (b) "Human Nature and Social Life." This division
is based upon a distinction between traits that are inborn and
characters socially acquired; a distinction found necessary by students
in this field. Selections under the third heading, "Personality and the
Social Self" indicate the manner in which the individual develops under
the social influences, from the raw material of "instinct" into the
social product "the person." Materials in the fourth division,
"Biological and Social Inheritance," contrast the method of the
transmission of original tendencies through the germ plasm with the
communication of the social heritage through education.

a) _The original nature of man._--No one has stated more clearly than
Thorndike that human nature is a product of two factors, (a)
tendencies to response rooted in original nature and (b) the
accumulated effects of the stimuli of the external and social
environment. At birth man is a bundle of random tendencies to respond.
Through experience, and by means of the mechanisms of habit and
character, control is secured over instinctive reactions. In other
words, the original nature of man is, as Comte said, an abstraction. It
exists only in the psychic vacuum of antenatal life, or perhaps only in
the potentiality of the germ plasm. The fact of observation is that the
structure of the response is irrevocably changed in the process of
reaction to the stimulus. The _Biography of a Baby_ gives a concrete
picture of the development of the plastic infant in the environment of
the social group.

The three papers on differences between sexes, races, and individuals
serve as an introduction into the problem of differentiating the aspects
of behavior which are in _original nature_ from those that are
_acquired_ through social experience. Are the apparent differences
between men and women, white and colored, John and James, those which
arise from differences in the germ plasm or from differences in
education and in cultural contacts? The selections must not be taken as
giving the final word upon the subject. At best they represent merely
the conclusions reached by three investigators. Attempts to arrive at
positive differences in favor either of original nature or of education
are frequently made in the interest of preconceived opinion. The
problem, as far as science is concerned, is to discover what limitations
original nature places upon response to social copies, and the ways in
which the inborn potentialities find expression or repression in
differing types of social environment.

b) _Human nature and social life._--Original nature is represented in
human responses in so far as they are determined by the _innate
structure of the individual organism_. The materials assembled under
this head treat of inborn reactions as influenced, modified, and
reconstructed by the _structure of the social organization_.

The actual reorganization of human nature takes place in response to the
folkways and mores, the traditions and conventions, of the group. So
potentially fitted for social life is the natural man, however, so
manifold are the expressions that the plastic original tendencies may
take, that instinct is replaced by habit, precedent, personal taboo, and
good form. This remade structure of human nature, this objective mind,
as Hegel called it, is fixed and transmitted in the folkways and mores,
social ritual, i.e., _Sittlichkeit_, to use the German word, and

c) _Personality and the social self._--The selections upon
"Personality and the Social Self" bring together and compare the
different definitions of the term. These definitions fall under three

(1) _The organism as personality:_ This is a biological statement,
satisfactory as a definition only as preparatory to further analysis.

(2) _Personality as a complex:_ Personality defined in terms of the
unity of mental life is a conception that has grown up in the recent
"individual psychology," so called. Personality includes, in this case,
not only the memories of the individual and his stream of
consciousness, but also the characteristic organization of mental
complexes and trends which may be thought of as a supercomplex. The
phenomena of double and multiple personalities occur when this unity
becomes disorganized. Disorganization in releasing groups of complexes
from control may even permit the formation of independent organizations.
Morton Prince's book _The Dissociation of a Personality_ is a classic
case study of multiple personality. The selections upon "The Natural
Person versus the Social and Conventional Person" and "The Divided Self
and the Moral Consciousness" indicate the more usual and less extreme
conflicts of opposing sentiments and interests within the organization
of personality.

(3) _Personality as the rôle of the individual in the group:_ The word
personality is derived from the Latin _persona_, a mask used by actors.
The etymology of the term suggests that its meaning is to be found in
the rôle of the individual in the social group. By usage, personality
carries the implication of the social expression of behavior.
Personality may then be defined as the sum and organization of those
traits which determine the rôle of the individual in the group. The
following is a classification of the characteristics of the person which
affect his social status and efficiency:

    (a) physical traits, as physique, physiognomy, etc.;
    (b) temperament;
    (c) character;
    (d) social expression, as by facial expression, gesture, manner,
    speech, writing, etc.;
    (e) prestige, as by birth, past success, status, etc.;
    (f) the individual's conception of his rôle.

The significance of these traits consists in the way in which they enter
into the rôle of the individual in his social milieu. Chief among these
may be considered the individual's conception of the part which he plays
among his fellows. Cooley's discriminating description of "the
looking-glass self" offers a picture of the process by which the person
conceives himself in terms of the attitudes of others toward him.

     The reflected or looking-glass self seems to have three
     principal elements: the imagination of our appearance to the
     other person; the imagination of his judgment of that
     appearance; and some sort of self-feeling, such as pride or
     mortification. The comparison with a looking-glass self hardly
     suggests the second element, the imagined judgment, which is
     quite essential. The thing that moves us to pride or shame is
     not the mere mechanical reflection of ourselves, but an imputed
     sentiment, the imagined effect of this reflection upon
     another's mind. This is evident from the fact that the
     character and weight of that other, in whose mind we see
     ourselves, makes all the difference with our feeling.[56]

Veblen has made a subtle analysis of the way in which conduct is
controlled by the individual's conception of his social rôle in his
analysis of "invidious comparison" and "conspicuous expenditure."[57]

d) _Biological and social inheritance._--The distinction between
biological and social inheritance is sharply made by the noted
biologist, J. Arthur Thomson, in the selection entitled "Nature and
Nurture." The so-called "acquired characters" or modifications of
original nature through experience, he points out, are transmitted not
through the germ plasm but through communication.

Thorndike's "Inventory of Original Tendencies" offers a detailed
classification of the traits transmitted biologically. Since there
exists no corresponding specific analysis of acquired traits, the
following brief inventory of types of social heritages is offered.


    (a) means of communication, as language, gesture, etc.;
    (b) social attitudes, habits, wishes, etc.;
    (c) character;
    (d) social patterns, as folkways, mores, conventions, ideals,
    (e) technique;
    (f) culture (as distinguished from technique, formal organization,
    and machinery);
    (g) social organization (primary group life, institutions, sects,
    secondary groups, etc.).

On the basis of the work of Mendel, biologists have made marked progress
in determining the inheritance of specific traits of original nature.
The selection from a foremost American student of heredity and eugenics,
C. B. Davenport, entitled "Inheritance of Original Nature" indicates the
precision and accuracy with which the prediction of the inheritance of
individual innate traits is made.

The mechanism of the transmission of social heritages, while more open
to observation than biological inheritance, has not been subjected to as
intensive study. The transmission of the social heritage takes place by
communication, as Keller points out, through the medium of the various
senses. The various types of the social heritages are transmitted in two
ways: (a) by tradition, as from generation to generation, and (b) by
acculturation, as from group to group.

In the communication of the social heritages, either by tradition or by
acculturation, two aspects of the process may be distinguished: (a)
Because of temperament, interest, and run of attention of the members of
the group, the heritage, whether a word, an act of skill, or a social
attitude, may be selected, appropriated, and incorporated into its
culture. This is communication by _imitation_. (b) On the other hand,
the heritage may be imposed upon the members of the group through
authority and routine, by tabu and repression. This is communication by
_inculcation_. In any concrete situation the transmission of a social
heritage may combine varying elements of both processes. Education, as
the etymology of the term suggests, denotes culture of original
tendencies; yet the routine of a school system is frequently organized
about formal discipline rather than around interest, aptitude, and

Historically, the scientific interest in the question of biological and
social inheritance has concerned itself with the rather sterile problem
of the weight to be attached on the one hand to physical heredity and on
the other to social heritage. The selection, "Temperament, Tradition,
and Nationality" suggests that a more important inquiry is to determine
how the behavior patterns and the culture of a racial group or a social
class are determined by the interaction of original nature and the
social tradition. According to this conception, racial temperament is an
active selective agency, determining interest and the direction of
attention. The group heritages on the other hand represent a detached
external social environment, a complex of stimuli, effective only in so
far as they call forth responses. The culture of a group is the sum
total and organization of the social heritages which have acquired a
social meaning because of racial temperament and of the historical life
of the group.



1. Original Nature Defined[58]

A man's nature and the changes that take place in it may be described in
terms of the responses--of thought, feeling, action, and attitude--which
he makes, and of the bonds by which these are connected with the
situations which life offers. Any fact of intellect, character, or skill
means a tendency to respond in a certain way to a certain
situation--involves a _situation_ or state of affairs influencing the
man, a _response_ or state of affairs in the man, and a _connection_ or
bond whereby the latter is the result of the former.

Any man possesses at the very start of his life--that is, at the moment
when the ovum and spermatozoön which are to produce him have
united--numerous well-defined tendencies to future behavior. Between the
situations which he will meet and the responses which he will make to
them, pre-formed bonds exist. It is already determined by the
constitution of these two germs that under certain circumstances he will
see and hear and feel and act in certain ways. His intellect and morals,
as well as his bodily organs and movements, are in part the consequence
of the nature of the embryo in the first moment of its life. What a man
is and does throughout life is a result of whatever constitution he has
at the start and of the forces that act upon it before and after birth.
I shall use the term "original nature" for the former and "environment"
for the latter. His original nature is thus a name for the nature of the
combined germ-cells from which he springs, and his environment is a name
for the rest of the universe, so far as it may, directly or indirectly,
influence him.

Three terms, reflexes, instincts, and inborn capacities, divide the work
of naming these unlearned tendencies. When the tendency concerns a very
definite and uniform response to a very simple sensory situation, and
when the connection between the situation and the response is very hard
to modify and is also very strong so that it is almost inevitable, the
connection or response to which it leads is called a reflex. Thus the
knee-jerk is a very definite and uniform response to the simple
sense-stimulus of sudden hard pressure against a certain spot.

When the response is more indefinite, the situation more complex, and
the connection more modifiable, instinct becomes the customary term.
Thus one's misery at being scorned is too indefinite a response to too
complex a situation and is too easily modifiable to be called a reflex.
When the tendency is to an extremely indefinite response or set of
responses to a very complex situation, as when the connection's final
degree of strength is commonly due to very large contributions from
training, it has seemed more appropriate to replace reflex and instinct
by some term like capacity, or tendency, or potentiality. Thus an
original tendency to respond to the circumstances of school education by
achievement in learning the arts and sciences is called the capacity for

There is, of course, no gap between reflexes and instincts, or between
instincts and the still less easily describable original tendencies. The
fact is that original tendencies range with respect to the nature of the
responses from such as are single, simple, definite, uniform within the
individual and only slightly variable amongst individuals, to responses
that are highly compound, complex, vague, and variable within one
individual's life and amongst individuals.

A typical reflex, or instinct, or capacity, as a whole, includes the
ability to be sensitive to a certain situation, the ability to make a
certain response, and the existence of a bond or connection whereby that
response is made to that situation. For instance, the young chick is
sensitive to the absence of other members of his species, is able to
peep, and is so organized that the absence of other members of the
species makes him peep. But the tendency to be sensitive to a certain
situation may exist without the existence of a connection therewith of
any further exclusive response, and the tendency to make a certain
response may exist without the existence of a connection limiting that
response exclusively to any single situation. The three-year-old child
is by inborn nature markedly sensitive to the presence and acts of other
human beings, but the exact nature of his response varies. The original
tendency to cry is very strong, but there is no one situation to which
it is exclusively bound. Original nature seems to decide that the
individual will respond somehow to certain situations more often than it
decides just what he will do, and to decide that he will make certain
responses more often than it decides just when he will make them. So,
for convenience in thinking about man's unlearned equipment, this
appearance of _multiple response_ to one same situation and _multiple
causation_ of one same response may be taken roughly as the fact.

2. Inventory of Original Tendencies[59]

I. _Sensory capacities_

II. _Original attentiveness_

III. _Gross bodily control_

IV. _Food getting and habitation_
  A. Food getting
    1. Eating. 2. Reaching, grasping, putting into the mouth.
    3. Acquisition and possession. 4. Hunting (a) a small
    escaping object, (b) a small or moderate-sized object not of
    offensive mien, moving away from or past him. 5. Possible
    specialized tendencies. 6. Collecting and hoarding.
    7. Avoidance and repulsion. 8. Rivalry and co-operation
  B. Habitation
    1. Responses to confinement. 2. Migration and domesticity

V. _Fear, fighting, and anger_
  A. Fear
    1. Unpleasant expectation and dread. 2. Anxiety and
    worry. 3. Dislike and avoidance. 4. Shock. 5. Flight,
    paralysis, etc.
  B. Fighting
    1. Escape from restraint. 2. Overcoming a moving obstacle.
    3. Counter-attack. 4. Irrational response to pain.
    5. Combat in rivalry. 6. Resentment of presence of other
    males in courtship. 7. Angry behavior at persistent
  C. Anger

VI. _Responses to the behavior of other human beings_
  A. Motherly behavior
  B. Filial behavior
  C. Responses to presence, approval, and scorn of men
    1. Gregariousness. 2. Attention to human beings. 3. Attention-getting.
    4. Responses to approval and scorn.
    5. Responses by approval and scorn
  D. Mastering and submissive behavior
    1. Display. 2. Shyness. 3. Self-conscious behavior
  E. Other social instincts
    1. Sex behavior. 2. Secretiveness. 3. Rivalry. 4. Co-operation.
    5. Suggestibility and opposition. 6. Envious
    and jealous behavior. 7. Greed. 8. Ownership. 9. Kindliness.
    10. Teasing, tormenting, and bullying
  F. Imitation
    1. General imitativeness. 2. Imitation of particular forms
    of behavior

VII. _Original satisfiers and annoyers_

VIII. _Minor bodily movements and cerebral connections_
  A. Vocalization
  B. Visual exploration
  C. Manipulation
  D. Other possible specializations
    1. Constructiveness. 2. Cleanliness. 3. Adornment and art
  E. Curiosity and mental control
    1. Curiosity. 2. The instinct of multiform mental activity.
    3. The instinct of multiform physical activity.
    4. The instinct of workmanship and the desire for excellence
  F. Play

IX. _The emotions and their expression_

X. _Consciousness, learning, and remembering_

3. Man Not Born Human[60]

Man is not born human. It is only slowly and laboriously, in fruitful
contact, co-operation, and conflict with his fellows, that he attains
the distinctive qualities of human nature. In the course of his prenatal
life he has already passed roughly through, or, as the biologists say,
"recapitulated," the whole history of his animal ancestors. He brings
with him at birth a multitude of instincts and tendencies, many of which
persist during life and many of which are only what G. Stanley Hall
calls "vestigial traces" of his brute ancestry, as is shown by the fact
that they are no longer useful and soon disappear.

     These non-volitional movements of earliest infancy and of later
     childhood (such as licking things, clicking with the tongue,
     grinding the teeth, biting the nails, shrugging corrugations,
     pulling buttons, or twisting garments, strings, etc., twirling
     pencils, etc.) are relics of past forms of utilities now
     essentially obsolete. Ancient modes of locomotion, prehension,
     balancing, defense, attack, sensuality, etc., are all
     rehearsed, some quite fully and some only by the faintest
     mimetic suggestion, flitting spasmodic tensions, gestures, or
     facial expressions.

Human nature may therefore be regarded on the whole as a superstructure
founded on instincts, dispositions, and tendencies, inherited from a
long line of human and animal ancestors. It consists mainly in a higher
organization of forces, a more subtle distillation of potencies latent
in what Thorndike calls "the original nature of man."

     The original nature of man is roughly what is common to all men
     minus all adaptations to tools, houses, clothes, furniture,
     words, beliefs, religions, laws, science, the arts, and to
     whatever in other men's behavior is due to adaptations to them.
     From human nature as we find it, take away, first, all that is
     in the European but not in the Chinaman, all that is in the
     Fiji Islander but not in the Esquimaux, all that is local or
     temporary. Then take away also the effects of all products of
     human art. What is left of human intellect and character is
     largely original--not wholly, for all those elements of
     knowledge which we call ideas and judgments must be subtracted
     from his responses. Man originally possesses only capacities
     which, after a given amount of education, will produce ideas
     and judgments.

Such, in general, is the nature of human beings before that nature has
been modified by experience and formed by the education and the
discipline of contact and intercourse with their fellows.

Several writers, among them William James, have attempted to make a
rough inventory of the special instinctive tendencies with which human
beings are equipped at birth. First of all there are the simpler
reflexes such as "crying, sneezing, snoring, coughing, sighing,
sobbing, gagging, vomiting, hiccuping, starting, moving the limb in
response to its being tickled, touched or blown upon, spreading the toes
in response to its being touched, tickled, or stroked on the sole of the
foot, extending and raising the arms at any sudden sensory stimulus, or
the quick pulsation of the eyelid."

Then there are the more complex original tendencies such as sucking,
chewing, sitting up, and gurgling. Among the more general unlearned
responses of children are fear, anger, pugnacity, envy, jealousy,
curiosity, constructiveness, love of festivities, ceremonies and
ordeals, sociability and shyness, secretiveness, etc. Thorndike, who
quotes this list at length, has sought to give definiteness to its
descriptions by clearly defining and distinguishing the character of the
situation to which the behavior cited is a response. For example, to the
situation, "strange man or animal, to solitude, black things, dark
places, holes and corners, a human corpse," the native and unlearned
response is fear. The original response of man to being alone is an
experience of discomfort, to perceiving a crowd, "a tendency to join
them and do what they are doing and an unwillingness to leave off and go
home." It is part of man's original nature when he is in love to conceal
his love affairs, and so forth.

It is evident from this list that what is meant by original nature is
not confined to the behavior which manifests itself at birth, but
includes man's spontaneous and unlearned responses to situations as they
arise in the experience of the individual.

The widespread interest in the study of children has inspired in recent
years a considerable literature bearing upon the original and inherited
tendencies of human nature. The difficulty of distinguishing between
what is original and what is acquired among the forms of behavior
reported upon, and the further difficulty of obtaining accurate
descriptions of the situations to which the behavior described was a
response, has made much of this literature of doubtful value for
scientific purposes. These studies have, nevertheless, contributed to a
radical change in our conceptions of human nature. They have shown that
the distinction between the mind of man and that of the lower animals is
not so wide nor so profound as was once supposed. They have emphasized
the fact that human nature rests on animal nature, and the transition
from one to the other, in spite of the contrast in their separate
achievements, has been made by imperceptible gradations. In the same
way they have revealed, beneath differences in culture and individual
achievement, the outlines of a pervasive and relatively unchanging human
nature in which all races and individuals have a common share.

The study of human nature begins with description, but it goes on from
that point to explanation. If the descriptions which we have thus far
had of human nature are imperfect and lacking in precision, it is
equally true that the explanations thus far invented have, on the whole,
been inadequate. One reason for this has been the difficulty of the
task. The mechanisms which control human behavior are, as might be
expected, tremendously complicated, and the problem of analyzing them
into their elementary forms and reducing their varied manifestations to
precise and lucid formulas is both intricate and perplexing.

The foundation for the explanation of human nature has been laid,
however, by the studies of behavior in animals and the comparative study
of the physiology of the nervous system. Progress has been made, on the
one hand, by seeking for the precise psycho-chemical process involved in
the nervous reactions, and on the other, by reducing all higher mental
processes to elementary forms represented by the tropisms and reflex

In this, science has made a considerable advance upon common sense in
its interpretations of human behavior, but has introduced no new
principle; it has simply made its statements more detailed and exact.
For example, common sense has observed that "the burnt child shuns the
fire," that "the moth seeks the flame." These are both statements of
truths of undoubted generality. In order to give them the validity of
scientific truth, however, we need to know what there is in the nature
of the processes involved that makes it inevitable that the child should
shun the fire and the moth should seek the flame. It is not sufficient
to say that the action in one case is instinctive and in the other
intelligent, unless we are able to give precise and definite meanings to
those terms; unless, in short, we are able to point out the precise
mechanisms through which these reactions are carried out. The following
illustration from Loeb's volume on the comparative physiology of the
brain will illustrate the distinction between the common sense and the
more precise scientific explanation of the behavior in man and the lower

     It is a well-known fact that if an ant be removed from a nest
     and afterward put back it will not be attacked, while almost
     invariably an ant belonging to another nest will be attacked.
     It has been customary to use the words memory, enmity,
     friendship, in describing this fact. Now Bethe made the
     following experiment: an ant was placed in the liquids (blood
     and lymph) squeezed out from the bodies of nest companions and
     was then put back into its nest; it was not attacked. It was
     then put in the juice taken from the inmates of a "hostile"
     nest and was at once attacked and killed. Bethe was able to
     prove by special experiments that these reactions of ants are
     not learned by experience, but are inherited. The "knowing" of
     "friend and foe" among ants is thus reduced to different
     reactions, depending upon the nature of the chemical stimulus
     and in no way depending upon memory.

Here, again, there is no essential difference between the common sense
and the scientific explanation of the behavior of the ant except so far
as the scientific explanation is more accurate, defining the precise
mechanisms by which the recognition of "friend and foe" is effected, and
the limitations to which it is subject.

Another result of the study of the comparative behavior of man and the
lower animals has been to convince students that there is no fundamental
difference between what was formerly called intelligent and instinctive
behavior; that they may rather be reduced, as has been said, to the
elementary form of reaction represented by the simple reflex in animals
and the tropism in plants. Thus Loeb says:

     A prominent psychologist has maintained that reflexes are to be
     considered as the mechanical effects of acts of volition of
     past generations. The ganglion-cell seems the only place where
     such mechanical effects could be stored up. It has therefore
     been considered the most essential element of the reflex
     mechanism, the nerve-fibers being regarded, and probably
     correctly, merely as conductors.

     Both the authors who emphasize the purposefulness of the reflex
     act, and those who see in it only a physical process, have
     invariably looked upon the ganglion-cell as the principal
     bearer of the structures for the complex co-ordinated movements
     in reflex action.

     I should have been as little inclined as any other physiologist
     to doubt the correctness of this conception had not the
     establishment of the identity of the reactions of animals and
     plants to light proved the untenability of this view and at the
     same time offered a different conception of reflexes. The
     flight of the moth into the flame is a typical reflex process.
     The light stimulates the peripheral sense organs, the stimulus
     passes to the central nervous system, and from there to the
     muscles of the wings, and the moth is caused to fly into the
     flame. This reflex process agrees in every point with the
     heliotropic effects of light on plant organs. Since plants
     possess no nerves, this identity of animal with plant
     heliotropism can offer but one inference--these heliotropic
     effects must depend upon conditions which are common to both
     animals and plants.

On the other hand, Watson, in his _Introduction to Comparative
Psychology_, defines the reflex as "a unit of analysis of instinct," and
this means that instinctive actions in man and in animals may be
regarded as combinations of simple reflex actions, that is to say of
"fairly definite and generally predictable but unlearned responses of
lower and higher organisms to stimuli." Many of these reflex responses
are not fixed, as they were formerly supposed to be, but "highly
unstable and indefinite." This fact makes possible the formation of
habits, by combination and fixation of these inherited responses.

These views in the radical form in which they are expressed by Loeb and
Watson have naturally enough been the subject of considerable
controversy, both on scientific and sentimental grounds. They seem to
reduce human behavior to a system of chemical and physical reactions,
and rob life of all its spiritual values. On the other hand, it must be
remembered that human beings, like other forms of nature, have this
mechanical aspect and it is precisely the business of natural science to
discover and lay them bare. It is only thus that we are able to gain
control over ourselves and of others. It is a matter of common
experience that we do form habits and that education and social control
are largely dependent upon our ability to establish habits in ourselves
and in others. Habit is, in fact, a characteristic example of just what
is meant by "mechanism," in the sense in which it is here used. It is
through the fixation of habit that we gain that control over our
"original nature," which lifts us above the brutes and gives human
nature its distinctive character as human. Character is nothing more
than the sum and co-ordination of those mechanisms which we call habit
and which are formed on the basis of the inherited and instinctive
tendencies and dispositions which we share in so large a measure with
the lower animals.

4. The Natural Man[61]

"Its first act is a cry, not of wrath, as Kant said, nor a shout of joy,
as Schwartz thought, but a snuffling, and then a long, thin, tearless
á-á, with the timbre of a Scotch bagpipe, purely automatic, but of
discomfort. With this monotonous and dismal cry, with its red,
shriveled, parboiled skin (for the child commonly loses weight the first
few days), squinting, cross-eyed, pot-bellied, and bow-legged, it is not
strange that, if the mother has not followed Froebel's exhortations and
come to love her child before birth, there is a brief interval
occasionally dangerous to the child before the maternal instinct is
fully aroused."

The most curious of all the monkey traits shown by the new-born baby is
the one investigated by Dr. Louis Robinson. It was suggested by _The
Luck of Roaring Camp_. The question was raised in conversation whether a
limp and molluscous baby, unable so much as to hold up its head on its
helpless little neck, could do anything so positive as to "rastle with"
Kentuck's finger; and the more knowing persons present insisted that a
young baby does, as a matter of fact, have a good firm hand-clasp. It
occurred to Dr. Robinson that if this was true it was a beautiful
Darwinian point, for clinging and swinging by the arms would naturally
have been a specialty with our ancestors if they ever lived a
monkey-like life in the trees. The baby that could cling best to its
mother as she used hands, feet, and tail to flee in the best time over
the trees, or to get at the more inaccessible fruits and eggs in time of
scarcity, would be the baby that lived to bequeath his traits to his
descendants; so that to this day our housed and cradled human babies
would keep in their clinging powers a reminiscence of our wild treetop

There is another class of movements, often confused with the
reflex--that is, instinctive movements. Real grasping (as distinguished
from reflex grasping), biting, standing, walking, are examples of this
class. They are race movements, the habits of the species to which the
animal belongs, and every normal member of the species is bound to come
to them; yet they are not so fixed in the bodily mechanism as the reflex

The one instinct the human baby always brings into the world already
developed is half a mere reflex act--that of sucking. It is started as a
reflex would be, by the touch of some object--pencil, finger, or nipple,
it may be--between the lips; but it does not act like a reflex after
that. It continues and ceases without reference to this external
stimulus, and a little later often begins without it, or fails to begin
when the stimulus is given. If it has originally a reflex character,
that character fades out and leaves it a pure instinct.

My little niece evidently felt a difference between light and darkness
from the first hour, for she stopped crying when her face was exposed to
gentle light. Two or three report also a turning of the head toward the
light within the first week. The nurse, who was intelligent and exact,
thought she saw this in the case of my niece. I did not, but I saw
instead a constant turning of the eyes toward a person coming near
her--that is, toward a large dark mass that interrupted the light. No
other sign of vision appeared in the little one during the first
fortnight. The eyes were directed to nothing, fixed on nothing. They did
not wink if one made a pass at them. There was no change of focus for
near or distant seeing.

The baby showed no sign of hearing anything until the third day, when
she started violently at the sound of tearing paper, some eight feet
from her. After that, occasional harsh or sudden sounds--oftener the
rustling of paper than anything else--could make her start or cry. It is
well established by the careful tests of several physiologists that
babies are deaf for a period lasting from several hours to several days
after birth.

Taste and smell were senses that the baby gave no sign of owning till
much later. The satisfaction of hunger was quite enough to account for
the contentment she showed in nursing; and when she was not hungry she
would suck the most tasteless object as cheerfully as any other.

Our baby showed from the first that she was aware when she was touched.
She stopped crying when she was cuddled or patted. She showed comfort in
the bath, which may have been in part due to freedom from the contact of
clothes, and to liking for the soft touches of the water. She responded
with sucking motions to the first touch of the nipple on her lips.

Our baby showed temperament--luckily of the easy-going and cheerful
kind--from her first day, though we could hardly see this except by
looking backward. On the twenty-fifth day, toward evening, when the baby
was lying on her grandmother's knee by the fire, in a condition of high
well-being and content, gazing at her grandmother's face with an
expression of attention, I came and sat down close by, leaning over the
baby, so that my face must have come within the indirect range of her
vision. At that she turned her eyes to my face and gazed at it with the
same appearance of attention, and even of some effort, shown by the
slight tension of brows and lips, then turned her eyes back to her
grandmother's face, and again to mine, and so several times. The last
time she seemed to catch sight of my shoulder, on which a high light
struck from the lamp, and not only moved her eyes but threw her head far
back to see it better, and gazed for some time with a new expression on
her face--"a sort of dim and rudimentary eagerness," says my note. She
no longer stared, but really looked.

The baby's increased interest in seeing centered especially on the faces
about her, at which she gazed with rapt interest. Even during the period
of mere staring, faces had oftenest held her eyes, probably because they
were oftener brought within the range of her clearest seeing than other
light surfaces. The large, light, moving patch of the human face (as
Preyer has pointed out) coming and going in the field of vision, and
oftener chancing to hover at the point of clearest seeing than any other
object, embellished with a play of high lights on cheeks, teeth, and
eyes, is calculated to excite the highest degree of attention a baby is
capable of at a month old. So from the very first--before the baby has
yet really seen his mother--her face and that of his other nearest
friends become the most active agents in his development and the most
interesting things in his experience.

Our baby was at this time in a way aware of the difference between
companionship and solitude. In the latter days of the first month she
would lie contentedly in the room with people near by, but would fret if
left alone. But by the end of the month she was apt to fret when she was
laid down on a chair or lounge, and to become content only when taken
into the lap. This was not yet distinct memory and desire, but it showed
that associations of pleasure had been formed with the lap, and that
she felt a vague discomfort in the absence of these.

Nature has provided an educational appliance almost ideally adapted to
the child's sense condition, in the mother's face, hovering close above
him, smiling, laughing, nodding, with all manner of delightful changes
in the high lights; in the thousand little meaningless caressing sounds,
the singing, talking, calling, that proceed from it; the patting,
cuddling, lifting, and all the ministrations that the baby feels while
gazing at it, and associates with it, till finally they group together
and round out into the idea of his mother as a whole.

Our baby's mother rather resented the idea of being to her baby only a
collection of detached phenomena, instead of a mamma; but the more you
think of it, the more flattering it is to be thus, as it were, dissolved
into your elements and incorporated item by item into the very
foundations of your baby's mental life. Herein is hinted much of the
philosophy of personality; and Professor Baldwin has written a solid
book, mainly to show from the development of babies and little children
that all other people are part of each of us, and each of us is part of
all other people, and so there is really no separate personality, but we
are all one spirit, if we did but know it.

5. Sex Differences[62]

As children become physically differentiated in respect of sex, so also
does a mental differentiation ensue. Differences are observed in the
matter of occupation, of games, of movements, and numerous other
details. Since man is to play the active part in life, boys rejoice
especially in rough outdoor games. Girls, on the other hand, prefer such
games as correspond to their future occupations. Hence their inclination
to mother smaller children, and to play with dolls. Watch how a little
girl takes care of her doll, washes it, dresses and undresses it. When
only six or seven years of age she is often an excellent nurse. Her need
to occupy herself in such activities is often so great that she pretends
that her doll is ill.

In all kinds of ways, we see the little girl occupying herself in the
activities and inclinations of her future existence. She practices house
work; she has a little kitchen, in which she cooks for herself and her
doll. She is fond of needlework. The care of her own person, and more
especially its adornment, is not forgotten. I remember seeing a girl of
three who kept on interrupting her elders' conversation by crying out,
"New clothes!" and would not keep quiet until these latter had been duly
admired. The love of self-adornment is almost peculiar to female
children; boys, on the other hand, prefer rough outdoor games, in which
their muscles are actively employed, robber-games, soldier-games, and
the like. And whereas, in early childhood, both sexes are fond of very
noisy games, the fondness for these disappears earlier in girls than in

Differences between the sexes have been established also by means of
experimental psychology, based upon the examination of a very large
number of instances. Berthold Hartmann has studied the childish circle
of thought, by means of a series of experiments. Schoolboys to the
number of 660 and schoolgirls to the number of 652, at ages between five
and three-fourths and six and three-fourths years, were subjected to
examination. It was very remarkable to see how, in respect to certain
ideas, such as those of the triangle, cube, and circle, the girls
greatly excelled the boys; whereas in respect of animals, minerals, and
social ideas, the boys were better informed than the girls.
Characteristic of the differences between the sexes, according to
Meumann, from whom I take these details and some of those that follow,
is the fact that the idea of "marriage" was known to only 70 boys as
compared to 227 girls; whilst the idea of "infant baptism" was known to
180 boys as compared to 220 girls. The idea of "pleasure" was also much
better understood by girls than by boys. Examination of the memory has
also established the existence of differences between the sexes in
childhood. In boys the memory for objects appears to be at first the
best developed; to this succeeds the memory for words with a visual
content; in the case of girls, the reverse of this was observed. In
respect of numerous details, however, the authorities conflict. Very
striking is the fact, one upon which a very large number of
investigators are agreed, that girls have a superior knowledge of

There are additional psychological data relating to the differences
between the sexes in childhood. I may recall Stern's investigations
concerning the psychology of evidence, which showed that girls were much
more inaccurate than boys.

It has been widely assumed that these psychical differences between the
sexes result from education, and are not inborn. Others, however, assume
that the psychical characteristics by which the sexes are differentiated
result solely from individual differences in education. Stern believes
that in the case of one differential character, at least, he can prove
that for many centuries there has been no difference between the sexes
in the matter of education; this character is the capacity for drawing.
Kerschensteiner has studied the development of this gift, and considers
that his results have established beyond dispute that girls are greatly
inferior in this respect to boys of like age. Stern points out that
there can be no question here of cultivation leading to a sexual
differentiation of faculty, since there is no attempt at a general and
systematic teaching of draughtsmanship to the members of one sex to the
exclusion of members of the other.

I believe that we are justified in asserting that at the present time
the sexual differentiation manifested in respect of quite a number of
psychical qualities is the result of direct inheritance. It would be
quite wrong to assume that all these differences arise in each
individual in consequence of education. It does, indeed, appear to me to
be true that inherited tendencies may be increased or diminished by
individual education; and further, that when the inherited tendency is
not a very powerful one, it may in this way even be suppressed.

We must not forget the frequent intimate association between structure
and function. Rough outdoor games and wrestling thus correspond to the
physical constitution of the boy. So, also, it is by no means improbable
that the little girl, whose pelvis and hips have already begun to
indicate by their development their adaption for the supreme functions
of the sexually mature woman, should experience obscurely a certain
impulsion toward her predestined maternal occupation, and that her
inclinations and amusements should in this way be determined. Many,
indeed, and above all the extreme advocates of women's rights, prefer to
maintain that such sexually differentiated inclinations result solely
from differences in individual education: if the boy has no enduring
taste for dolls and cooking, this is because his mother and others have
told him, perhaps with mockery, that such amusements are unsuited to a
boy; whilst in a similar way the girl is dissuaded from the rough
sports of boyhood. Such an assumption is the expression of that general
psychological and educational tendency, which ascribes to the activity
of the will an overwhelmingly powerful influence upon the development of
the organs subserving the intellect, and secondarily also upon that of
the other organs of the body. We cannot dispute the fact that in such a
way the activity of the will may, within certain limits, be effective,
especially in cases in which the inherited tendency thus counteracted is
comparatively weak; but only within certain limits. Thus we can
understand how it is that in some cases, by means of education, a child
is impressed with characteristics normally foreign to its sex; qualities
and tendencies are thus developed which ordinarily appear only in a
child of the opposite sex. But even though we must admit that the
activity of the individual may operate in this way, none the less we are
compelled to assume that certain tendencies are inborn. The failure of
innumerable attempts to counteract such inborn tendencies by means of
education throws a strong light upon the limitations of the activity of
the individual will; and the same must be said of a large number of
other experiences.

Criminological experiences appear also to confirm the notion of an
inherited sexual differentiation, in children as well as in adults.
According to various statistics, embracing not only the period of
childhood, but including as well the period of youth, we learn that
girls constitute one-fifth only of the total number of youthful
criminals. A number of different explanations have been offered to
account for this disproportion. Thus, for instance, attention has been
drawn to the fact that a girl's physical weakness renders her incapable
of attempting violent assaults upon the person, and this would suffice
to explain why it is that girls so rarely commit such crimes. In the
case of offenses for which bodily strength is less requisite, such as
fraud, theft, etc., the number of youthful female offenders is
proportionately larger, although here also they are less numerous than
males of corresponding age charged with the like offenses. It has been
asserted that in the law courts girls find more sympathy than boys, and
that for this reason the former receive milder sentences than the
latter; hence it results that in appearance merely the criminality of
girls is less than that of boys. Others, again, refer the differences in
respect of criminality between the youthful members of the two sexes to
the influences of education and general environment. Morrison, however,
maintains that all these influences combined are yet insufficient to
account for the great disproportion between the sexes, and insists that
there exists in youth as well as in adult life a specific sexual
differentiation, based, for the most part, upon biological differences
of a mental and physical character.

Such a marked differentiation as there is between the adult man and the
adult woman certainly does not exist in childhood. Similarly in respect
of many other qualities, alike bodily and mental, in respect of many
inclinations and numerous activities, we find that in childhood sexual
differentiation is less marked than it is in adult life. None the less,
a number of sexual differences can be shown to exist even in childhood;
and as regards many other differences, though they are not yet apparent,
we are nevertheless compelled to assume that they already exist
potentially in the organs of the child.

6. Racial Differences[63]

The results of the Cambridge expedition to the Torres Straits have shown
that in acuteness of vision, hearing, smell, etc., these peoples are not
noticeably different from our own. We conclude that the remarkable tales
adduced to the contrary by various travelers are to be explained, not by
the acuteness of sensation, but by the acuteness of interpretation of
primitive peoples. Take the savage into the streets of a busy city and
see what a number of sights and sounds he will neglect because of their
meaninglessness to him. Take the sailor whose powers of discerning a
ship on the horizon appear to the landsman so extraordinary, and set him
to detect micro-organisms in the field of a microscope. Is it then
surprising that primitive man should be able to draw inferences which to
the stranger appear marvelous, from the merest specks in the far
distance or from the faintest sounds, odors, or tracks in the jungle?
Such behavior serves only to attest the extraordinary powers of
observation in primitive man with respect to things which are of use and
hence of interest to him. The same powers are shown in the vast number
of words he will coin to denote the same object, say a certain tree at
different stages of its growth.

We concluded, then, that no fundamental difference in powers of sensory
acuity, nor, indeed, in sensory discrimination, exists between primitive
and civilized communities. Further, there is no proof of any difference
in memory between them, save, perhaps, in a greater tendency for
primitive folk to use and to excel in mere mechanical learning, in
preference to rational learning. But this surely is also the
characteristic of the European peasant. He will never commit things to
memory by thinking of their meaning, if he can learn them by rote.

In temperament we meet with just the same variations in primitive as in
civilized communities. In every primitive society is to be found the
flighty, the staid, the energetic, the indolent, the cheerful, the
morose, the even-, the hot-tempered, the unthinking, the philosophical
individual. At the same time, the average differences between different
primitive peoples are as striking as those between the average German
and the average Italian.

It is a common but manifest error to suppose that primitive man is
distinguished from the civilized peasant in that he is freer and that
his conduct is less under control. On the contrary, the savage is
probably far more hidebound than we are by social regulations. His life
is one round of adherence to the demands of custom. For instance, he may
be compelled even to hand over his own children at their birth to
others; he may be prohibited from speaking to certain of his relatives;
his choice of a wife may be very strictly limited by traditional laws;
at every turn there are ceremonies to be performed and presents to be
made by him so that misfortune may be safely averted. As to the control
which primitive folk exercise over their conduct, this varies enormously
among different peoples; but if desired, I could bring many instances of
self-control before you which would put to shame the members even of our
most civilized communities.

Now since in all these various mental characters no appreciable
difference exists between primitive and advanced communities, the
question arises, what is the most important difference between them? I
shall be told, in the capacity for logical and abstract thought. But by
how much logical and abstract thought is the European peasant superior
to his primitive brother? Study our country folklore, study the actual
practices in regard to healing and religion which prevail in every
European peasant community today, and what essential differences are
discoverable? Of course, it will be urged that these practices are
continued unthinkingly, that they are merely vestiges of a period when
once they were believed and were full of meaning. But this, I am
convinced, is far from being generally true, and it also certainly
applies to many of the ceremonies and customs of primitive peoples.

It will be said that although the European peasant may not in the main
think more logically and abstractly, he has, nevertheless, the
potentiality for such thought, should only the conditions for its
manifestations--education and the like--ever be given. From such as he
have been produced the geniuses of Europe--the long line of artists and
inventors who have risen from the lowest ranks.

I will consider this objection later. At present it is sufficient for my
purpose to have secured the admission that the peasants of Europe do not
as a whole use their mental powers in a much more logical or abstract
manner than do primitive people. I maintain that such superiority as
they have is due to differences (1) of environment and (2) of

We must remember that the European peasant grows up in a (more or less)
civilized environment; he learns a (more or less) well-developed and
written language, which serves as an easier instrument and a stronger
inducement for abstract thought; he is born into a (more or less)
advanced religion. All these advantages and the advantage of a more
complex education the European peasant owes to his superiors in ability
and civilization. Rob the peasant of these opportunities, plunge him
into the social environment of present primitive man, and what
difference in thinking power will be left between them?

The answer to this question brings me to the second point of difference
which I have mentioned--the difference in variability. I have already
alluded to the divergencies in temperament to be found among the members
of every primitive community. But well marked as are these and other
individual differences, I suspect that they are less prominent among
primitive than among more advanced peoples. This difference in
variability, if really existent, is probably the outcome of more
frequent racial admixture and more complex social environment in
civilized communities. In another sense, the variability of the savage
is indicated by the comparative data afforded by certain psychological
investigations. A civilized community may not differ much from a
primitive one in the mean or average of a given character, but the
extreme deviations which it shows from that mean will be more numerous
and more pronounced. This kind of variability has probably another
source. The members of a primitive community behave toward the applied
test in the simplest manner, by the use of a mental process which we
will call A, whereas those of a more advanced civilization employ other
mental processes, in addition to A, say B, C, D, or E, each individual
using them in different degrees for the performance of one and the same
test. Finally, there is in all likelihood a third kind of variability,
whose origin is ultimately environmental, which is manifested by
extremes of nervous instability. Probably the exceptionally defective
and the exceptional genius are more common among civilized than among
primitive peoples.

Similar features undoubtedly meet us in the study of sexual differences.
The average results of various tests of mental ability applied to men
and women are not, on the whole, very different for the two sexes, but
the men always show considerably greater individual variation than the
women. And here, at all events, the relation between the frequency of
mental deficiency and genius in the two sexes is unquestionable. Our
asylums contain a considerably greater number of males than of females,
as a compensation for which genius is decidedly less frequent in females
than in males.

7. Individual Differences[64]

The life of a man is a double series--a series of effects produced in
him by the rest of the world, and a series of effects produced in that
world by him. A man's make-up or nature equals his tendencies to be
influenced in certain ways by the world and to react in certain ways to

If we could thus adequately describe each of a million human beings--if,
for each one, we could prophesy just what the response would be to every
possible situation of life--the million men would be found to differ
widely. Probably no two out of the million would be so alike in mental
nature as to be indistinguishable by one who knew their entire natures.
Each has an individuality which marks him off from other men. We may
study a human being in respect to his common humanity, or in respect to
his individuality. In other words, we may study the features of
intellect and character which are common to all men, to man as a
species; or we may study the differences in intellect and character
which distinguish individual men.

Individuals are commonly considered as differing in respect to such
traits either quantitatively or qualitatively, either in degree or in
kind. A quantitative difference exists when the individuals have
different amounts of the same trait. Thus, "John is more attentive to
his teacher than James is"; "Mary loves dolls less than Lucy does"; "A
had greater devotion to his country than B had"; are reports of
quantitative differences, of differences in the amount of what is
assumed to be the same kind of thing. A qualitative difference exists
when some quality or trait possessed by one individual is lacking in the
other. Thus, "Tom knows German, Dick does not"; "A is artistic, B is
scientific"; "C is a man of thought, D is a man of action"; are reports
of the fact that Tom has some positive amount or degree of the trait
"knowledge of German" while Dick has none of it; that A has some
positive amount of ability and interest in art while B has zero; whereas
B has a positive amount of ability in science, of which A has none; and
so on.

A qualitative difference in intellect or character is thus really a
quantitative difference wherein one term is zero, or a compound of two
or more quantitative differences. All intelligible differences are
ultimately quantitative. The difference between any two individuals, if
describable at all, is described by comparing the amounts which A
possesses of various traits with the amounts which B possesses of the
same traits. In intellect and character, differences of kind between one
individual and another turn out to be definable, if defined at all, as
compound differences of degree.

If we could list all the traits, each representing some one
characteristic of human nature, and measure the amount of each of them
possessed by a man, we could represent his nature--read his
character--in a great equation. John Smith would equal so many units of
this, plus so many units of that, and so on. Such a mental inventory
would express his individuality conceivably in its entirety and with
great exactitude. No such list has been made for any man, much less have
the exact amounts of each trait possessed by him been measured. But in
certain of the traits, many individuals have been measured; and certain
individuals have been measured, each in a large number of traits.

It is useless to recount the traits in which men have been found to
differ. For there is no trait in which they do not differ. Of course, if
the scale by which individuals are measured is very coarsely divided,
their differences may be hidden. If, for example, ability to learn is
measured on a scale with only two divisions, (1) "ability to learn less
than the average kitten can" and (2) "ability to learn more than the
average kitten can," all men may be put in class two, just as if their
heights were measured on a scale of one yard, two yards, or three yards,
nearly all men would alike be called two yards high. But whenever the
scale of measurement is made fine enough, differences at once appear.
Their existence is indubitable to any impartial observer. The early
psychologists neglected or failed to see them precisely because the
early psychology was partial. It believed in a typical or pattern mind,
after the manner of which all minds were created, and from whom they
differed only by rare accidents. It studied "the mind," and neglected
individual minds. It studied "the will" of "man," neglecting the
interests, impulses, and habits of actual men.

The differences exist at birth and commonly increase with progress
toward maturity. Individuality is already clearly manifest in children
of school age. The same situation evokes widely differing responses; the
same task is done at differing speeds and with different degrees of
success; the same treatment produces differing results. There can be
little doubt that of a thousand ten-year-olds taken at random, some will
be four times as energetic, industrious, quick, courageous, or honest as
others, or will possess four times as much refinement, knowledge of
arithmetic, power of self-control, sympathy, or the like. It has been
found that among children of the same age and, in essential respects, of
the same home training and school advantages, some do in the same time
six times as much, or do the same amount with only one-tenth as many


1. Human Nature and Its Remaking[65]

Human beings as we find them are artificial products; and for better or
for worse they must always be such. Nature has made us: social action
and our own efforts must continually remake us. Any attempt to reject
art for "nature" can only result in an artificial naturalness which is
far less genuine and less pleasing than the natural work of art.

Further, as self-consciousness varies, the amount or degree of this
remaking activity will vary. Among the extremely few respects in which
human history shows unquestionable growth we must include the degree and
range of self-consciousness. The gradual development of psychology as a
science and the persistent advance of the subjective or introspective
element in literature and in all fine art are tokens of this change. And
as a further indication and result, the art of human reshaping has taken
definite character, has left its incidental beginnings far behind, has
become an institution, a group of institutions.

Wherever a language exists, as a magazine of established meanings, there
will be found a repertoire of epithets of praise and blame, at once
results and implements of this social process. The simple existence of
such a vocabulary acts as a persistent force; but the effect of current
ideals is redoubled when a coherent agency, such as public religion,
assumes protection of the most searching social maxims and lends to them
the weight of all time, all space, all wonder, and all fear. For many
centuries religion held within itself the ripening self-knowledge and
self-discipline of the human mind. Now, beside this original agency we
have its offshoots, politics, education, legislation, the penal art. And
the philosophical sciences, including psychology and ethics, are the
especial servants of these arts.

As to structure, human nature is undoubtedly the most plastic part of
the living world, the most adaptable, the most educable. Of all animals,
it is man in whom heredity counts for least, and conscious building
forces for most. Consider that his infancy is longest, his instincts
least fixed, his brain most unfinished at birth, his powers of
habit-making and habit-changing most marked, his susceptibility to
social impressions keenest; and it becomes clear that in every way
nature, as a prescriptive power, has provided in him for her own
displacement. His major instincts and passions first appear on the
scene, not as controlling forces, but as elements of _play_, in a
prolonged life of play. Other creatures nature could largely finish: the
human creature must finish himself.

And as to history, it cannot be said that the results of man's attempts
at self-modeling appear to belie the liberty thus promised in his
constitution. If he has retired his natural integument in favor of a
device called clothing, capable of expressing endless nuances, not alone
of status and wealth, but of temper and taste as well--conservatism or
venturesomeness, solemnity, gaiety, profusion, color, dignity,
carelessness or whim, he has not failed to fashion his inner self into
equally various modes of character and custom. That is a hazardous
refutation of socialism which consists in pointing out that its success
would require a change in human nature. Under the spell of particular
ideas monastic communities have flourished, in comparison with whose
demands upon human nature the change required by socialism--so far as it
calls for purer altruism and not pure economic folly--is trivial. To any
one who asserts as a dogma that "human nature never changes," it is fair
to reply, "It is human nature to change itself."

When one reflects to what extent racial and national traits are manners
of the mind, fixed by social rather than by physical heredity, while the
bodily characters themselves may be due in no small measure to sexual
choices at first experimental, then imitative, then habitual, one is not
disposed to think lightly of the human capacity for self-modification.
But it is still possible to be skeptical as to the depth and permanence
of any changes which are genuinely voluntary. There are few maxims of
conduct, and few laws so contrary to nature that they could not be put
into momentary effect by individuals or by communities. Plato's Republic
has never been fairly tried; but fragments of this and other Utopias
have been common enough in history. No one presumes to limit what men
can _attempt_; one only inquires what the silent forces are which
determine what can _last_.

What, to be explicit, is the possible future of measures dealing with
divorce, with war, with political corruption, with prostitution, with
superstition? Enthusiastic idealism is too precious an energy to be
wasted if we can spare it false efforts by recognizing those permanent
ingredients of our being indicated by the words pugnacity, greed, sex,
fear. Machiavelli was not inclined to make little of what an unhampered
ruler could do with his subjects; yet he saw in such passions as these a
fixed limit to the power of the Prince. "It makes him hated above all
things to be rapacious, and to be violator of the property and women of
his subjects, from both of which he must abstain." And if Machiavelli's
despotism meets its master in the undercurrents of human instinct,
governments of less determined stripe, whether of states or of persons,
would hardly do well to treat these ultimate data with less respect.

2. Human Nature, Folkways, and the Mores[66]

It is generally taken for granted that men inherited some guiding
instincts from their beast ancestry, and it may be true, although it has
never been proved. If there were such inheritances, they controlled and
aided the first efforts to satisfy needs. Analogy makes it easy to
assume that the ways of beasts had produced channels of habit and
predisposition along which dexterities and other psycho-physical
activities would run easily. Experiments with new born animals show that
in the absence of any experience of the relation of means to ends,
efforts to satisfy needs are clumsy and blundering. The method is that
of trial and failure, which produces repeated pain, loss, and
disappointments. Nevertheless, it is the method of rude experiment and
selection. The earliest efforts of men were of this kind. Need was the
impelling force. Pleasure and pain, on the one side and the other, were
the rude constraints which defined the line on which efforts must
proceed. The ability to distinguish between pleasure and pain is the
only psychical power which is to be assumed. Thus ways of doing things
were selected which were expedient. They answered the purpose better
than other ways, or with less toil and pain. Along the course on which
efforts were compelled to go, habit, routine, and skill were developed.
The struggle to maintain existence was carried on, not individually, but
in groups. Each profited by the other's experience; hence there was
concurrence toward that which proved to be most expedient.

All at last adopted the same way for the same purpose; hence the ways
turned into customs and became mass phenomena. Instincts were developed
in connection with them. In this way folkways arise. The young learn
them by tradition, imitation, and authority. The folkways, at a time,
provide for all the needs of life then and there. They are uniform,
universal in the group, imperative, and invariable.

The operation by which folkways are produced consists in the frequent
repetition of petty acts, often by great numbers acting in concert or,
at least, acting in the same way when face to face with the same need.
The immediate motive is interest. It produces habit in the individual
and custom in the group. It is, therefore, in the highest degree
original and primitive. Out of the unconscious experiment which every
repetition of the ways includes, there issues pleasure or pain, and
then, so far as the men are capable of reflection, convictions that the
ways are conducive to social welfare. When this conviction as to the
relation to welfare is added to the folkways, they are converted into
mores, and, by virtue of the philosophical and ethical element added to
them, they win utility and importance and become the source of the
science and the art of living.

It is of the first importance to notice that, from the first acts by
which men try to satisfy needs, each act stands by itself, and looks no
further than immediate satisfaction. From recurrent needs arise habits
for the individual and customs for the group, but these results are
consequences which were never conscious and never foreseen or intended.
They are not noticed until they have long existed, and it is still
longer before they are appreciated. Another long time must pass, and a
higher stage of mental development must be reached, before they can be
used as a basis from which to deduce rules for meeting, in the future,
problems whose pressure can be foreseen. The folkways, therefore, are
not creations of human purpose and wit. They are like products of
natural forces which men unconsciously set in operation, or they are
like the instinctive ways of animals, which are developed out of
experience, which reach a final form of maximum adaptation to an
interest, which are handed down by tradition and admit of no exception
or variation, yet change to meet new conditions, still within the same
limited methods, and without rational reflection or purpose. From this
it results that all the life of human beings, in all ages and stages of
culture, is primarily controlled by a vast mass of folkways handed down
from the earliest existence of the race, having the nature of the ways
of other animals, only the topmost layers of which are subject to change
and control, and have been somewhat modified by human philosophy,
ethics, and religion, or by other acts of intelligent reflection. We are
told of savages that "it is difficult to exhaust the customs and small
ceremonial usages of a savage people. Custom regulates the whole of a
man's actions--his bathing, washing, cutting his hair, eating, drinking,
and fasting. From his cradle to his grave he is the slave of ancient
usage. In his life there is nothing free, nothing original, nothing
spontaneous, no progress toward a higher and better life, and no attempt
to improve his condition, mentally, morally, or spiritually." All men
act in this way, with only a little wider margin of voluntary variation.

The folkways are, therefore: (1) subject to a strain of improvement
toward better adaptation of means to ends, as long as the adaptation is
so imperfect that pain is produced. They are also (2) subject to a
strain of consistency with each other, because they all answer their
several purposes with less friction and antagonism when they co-operate
and support each other. The forms of industry, the forms of the family,
the notions of property, the constructions of rights, and the types of
religion show the strain of consistency with each other through the
whole history of civilization. The two great cultural divisions of the
human race are the oriental and occidental. Each is consistent
throughout; each has its own philosophy and spirit; they are separated
from top to bottom by different mores, different standpoints, different
ways, and different notions of what societal arrangements are
advantageous. In their contrast they keep before our minds the possible
range of divergence in the solution of the great problems of human life,
and in the views of earthly existence by which life-policy may be
controlled. If two planets were joined in one, their inhabitants could
not differ more widely as to what things are best worth seeking, or what
ways are most expedient for well-living.

Custom is the product of concurrent action through time. We find it
existent and in control at the extreme reach of our investigations.
Whence does it begin, and how does it come to be? How can it give
guidance "at the outset"? All mass actions seem to begin because the
mass wants to act together. The less they know what it is right and
best to do, the more open they are to suggestion from an incident in
nature, or from a chance act of one, or from the current doctrines of
ghost fear. A concurrent drift begins which is subject to later
correction. That being so, it is evident that instinctive action, under
the guidance of traditional folkways, is an operation of the first
importance in all societal matters. Since the custom never can be
antecedent to all action, what we should desire most is to see it arise
out of the first actions, but, inasmuch as that is impossible, the
course of the action after it is started is our field of study. The
origin of primitive customs is always lost in mystery, because when the
action begins the men are never conscious of historical action or of the
historical importance of what they are doing. When they become conscious
of the historical importance of their acts, the origin is already far

3. Habit and Custom, the Individual and the General Will[67]

The term _Sitte_ (mores) is a synonym of habit and of usage, of
convention and tradition, but also of fashion, propriety, practise, and
the like. Those words which characterize the habitual are usually
regarded as having essentially unequivocal meanings. The truth is that
language, careless of the more fundamental distinctions, confuses widely
different connotations. For example, I find that custom--to return to
this most common expression--has a threefold significance, namely:

1. _The meaning of a simple objective matter of fact._--In this sense we
speak of the man with the habit of early rising, or of walking at a
particular time, or of taking an afternoon nap. By this we mean merely
that he is accustomed to do so, he does it regularly, it is a part of
his manner of life. It is easily understood how this meaning passes over
into the next:

2. _The meaning of a rule, of a norm which the man sets up for
himself._--For example, we say he has made this or that a custom, and in
a like meaning, he has made it a rule, or even a law; and we mean that
this habit works like a law or a precept. By it a person governs himself
and regards habit as an imperative command, a structure of subjective
kind, that, however, has objective form and recognition. The precept
will be formulated, the original will be copied. A rule may be presented
as enjoined, insisted upon, imposed as a command which brings up the
third meaning of habit:

3. _An expression for a thing willed, or a will._--This third meaning,
which is generally given the least consideration, is the most
significant. If, in truth, habit is the will of man, then this alone can
be his real will. In this sense the proverb is significant that habit is
called a second nature, and that man is a creature of habit. Habit is,
in fact, a psychic disposition, which drives and urges to a specific
act, and this is the will in its most outstanding form, as decision, or
as "fixed" purpose.

Imperceptibly, the habitual passes over into the instinctive and the
impulsive. What we are accustomed to do, that we do "automatically."
Likewise we automatically make gestures, movements of welcome and
aversion which we have never learned but which we do "naturally." They
have their springs of action in the instinct of self-preservation and in
the feelings connected with it. But what we are accustomed to do, we
must first have learned and practiced. It is just that practice, the
frequent repetition, that brings about the performance of the act "of
itself," like a reflex, rapidly and easily. The rope dancer is able to
walk the rope, because he is accustomed to it. Habit and practice are
also the reasons not only why a man can perform something but also why
he performs it with relatively less effort and attention. Habit is the
basis not only for our knowing something but also for our actually doing
it. Habit operates as a kind of stimulus, and, as may be said, as
necessity. The "power of habit" has often been described and often

As a rule, opinions (mental attitudes) are dependent upon habit, by
which they are conditioned and circumscribed. Yet, of course, opinions
can also detach themselves from habit, and rise above it, and this is
done successfully when they become general opinions, principles,
convictions. As such they gain strength which may even break down and
overcome habit. Faith, taken in the conventional religious sense of
assurance of things hoped for, is a primitive form of will. While in
general habit and opinion on the whole agree, there is nevertheless in
their relations the seeds of conflict and struggle. Thought continually
tends to become the dominating element of the mind, and man thereby
becomes the more human.

The same meaning that the will, in the usual individual sense, has for
individual man, the social will has for any community or society,
whether there be a mere loose relationship, or a formal union and
permanent association. And what is this meaning? I have pointed this out
in my discussion of habit, and present here the more general statement:
The social will is the general volition which serves for the government
and regulation of individual wills. Every general volition can be
conceived as corresponding to a "thou shalt," and in so far as an
individual or an association of individuals directs this "thou shalt" to
itself, we recognize the autonomy and freedom of this individual or of
this association. The necessary consequence of this is that the
individual against all opposing inclinations and opinions, the
association against opposing individuals, wherever their opposition
manifests itself, attempt, at least, to carry through their will so that
they work as a constraint and exert pressure. And this is essentially
independent of the means which are used to that end. These pressures
extend, at least in the social sense, from measures of persuasion, which
appeal to a sense of honor and of shame, to actual coercion and
punishment which may take the form of physical compulsion. _Sitte_
develops into the most unbending, overpowering force.

4. The Law, Conscience, and the General Will[68]

In the English language we have no name for it (_Sittlichkeit_), and
this is unfortunate, for the lack of a distinctive name has occasioned
confusion both of thought and of expression. _Sittlichkeit_ is the
system of habitual or customary conduct, ethical rather than legal,
which embraces all those obligations of the citizen which it is "bad
form" or "not the thing" to disregard. Indeed, regard for these
obligations is frequently enjoined merely by the social penalty of being
"cut" or looked on askance. And yet the system is so generally accepted
and is held in so high regard, that no one can venture to disregard it
without in some way suffering at the hands of his neighbors for so
doing. If a man maltreats his wife and children, or habitually jostles
his fellow-citizens in the street, or does things flagrantly selfish or
in bad taste, he is pretty sure to find himself in a minority and the
worse off in the end. But not only does it not pay to do these things,
but the decent man does not wish to do them. A feeling analogous to what
arises from the dictates of his more private and individual conscience
restrains him. He finds himself so restrained in the ordinary affairs of
daily life. But he is guided in his conduct by no mere inward feeling,
as in the case of conscience. Conscience and, for that matter, law,
overlap parts of the sphere of social obligation about which I am
speaking. A rule of conduct may, indeed, appear in more than one sphere,
and may consequently have a twofold sanction. But the guide to which the
citizen mostly looks is just the standard recognized by the community, a
community made up mainly of those fellow-citizens whose good opinion he
respects and desires to have. He has everywhere round him an
object-lesson in the conduct of decent people toward each other and
toward the community to which they belong. Without such conduct and the
restraints which it imposes there could be no tolerable social life, and
real freedom from interference would not be enjoyed. It is the
instinctive sense of what to do and what not to do in daily life and
behavior that is the source of liberty and ease. And it is this
instinctive sense of obligation that is the chief foundation of society.
Its reality takes objective shape and displays itself in family life and
in our other civic and social institutions. It is not limited to any one
form, and it is capable of manifesting itself in new forms and of
developing and changing old forms. Indeed, the civic community is more
than a political fabric. It includes all the social institutions in and
by which the individual life is influenced--such as are the family, the
school, the church, the legislature, and the executive. None of these
can subsist in isolation from the rest; together they and other
institutions of the kind form a single organic whole, the whole which is
known as the nation. The spirit and habit of life which this organic
entirety inspires and compels are what, for my present purpose, I mean
by _Sittlichkeit_.

_Sitte_ is the German for custom, and _Sittlichkeit_ implies custom and
a habit of mind and action. It also implies a little more. Fichte
defines it in words which are worth quoting, and which I will put into

     What, to begin with, does _Sitte_ signify, and in what sense do
     we use the word? It means for us, and means in every accurate
     reference we make of it, those principles of conduct which
     regulate people in their relations to each other, and which
     have become matter of habit and second nature at the stage of
     culture reached, and of which, therefore, we are not explicitly
     conscious. Principles, we call them, because we do not refer to
     the sort of conduct that is casual or is determined on casual
     grounds, but to the hidden and uniform ground of action which
     we assume to be present in the man whose action is not
     deflected and from which we can pretty certainly predict what
     he will do. Principles, we say, which have become a second
     nature and of which we are not explicitly conscious. We thus
     exclude all impulses and motives based on free individual
     choice, the inward aspect of _Sittlichkeit_, that is to say,
     morality, and also the outward side, or law, alike. For what a
     man has first to reflect over and then freely to resolve is not
     for him a habit in conduct; and in so far as habit in conduct
     is associated with a particular age, it is regarded as the
     unconscious instrument of the Time Spirit.

The system of ethical habit in a community is of a dominating character,
for the decision and influence of the whole community is embodied in
that social habit. Because such conduct is systematic and covers the
whole of the field of society, the individual will is closely related by
it to the will and the spirit of the community. And out of this relation
arises the power of adequately controlling the conduct of the
individual. If this power fails or becomes weak, the community
degenerates and may fall to pieces. Different nations excel in their
_Sittlichkeit_ in different fashions. The spirit of the community and
its ideals may vary greatly. There may be a low level of _Sittlichkeit_;
and we have the spectacle of nations which have even degenerated in this
respect. It may possibly conflict with law and morality, as in the case
of the duel. But when its level is high in a nation we admire the
system, for we see it not only guiding a people and binding them
together for national effort, but affording the greatest freedom of
thought and action for those who in daily life habitually act in harmony
with the General Will.

Thus we have in the case of a community, be it the city or be it the
state, an illustration of a sanction which is sufficient to compel
observance of a rule without any question of the application of force.
This kind of sanction may be of a highly compelling quality, and it
often extends so far as to make the individual prefer the good of the
community to his own. The development of many of our social
institutions, of our hospitals, of our universities, and of other
establishments of the kind, shows the extent to which it reaches and is
powerful. But it has yet higher forms in which it approaches very nearly
to the level of the obligation of conscience, although it is distinct
from that form of obligation. I will try to make clear what I mean by
illustrations. A man may be impelled to action of a high order by his
sense of unity with the society to which he belongs, action of which,
from the civic standpoint, all approve. What he does in such a case is
natural to him, and is done without thought of reward or punishment; but
it has reference to standards of conduct set up by society and accepted
just because society has set them up. There is a poem by the late Sir
Alfred Lyall which exemplifies the high level that may be reached in
such conduct. The poem is called _Theology in Extremis_, and it
describes the feelings of an Englishman who had been taken prisoner by
Mahometan rebels in the Indian Mutiny. He is face to face with a cruel
death. They offer him his life if he will repeat something from the
Koran. If he complies, no one is likely ever to hear of it, and he will
be free to return to England and to the woman he loves. Moreover, and
here is the real point, he is not a believer in Christianity, so that it
is no question of denying his Savior. What ought he to do? Deliverance
is easy, and the relief and advantage would be unspeakably great. But he
does not really hesitate, and every shadow of doubt disappears when he
hears his fellow-prisoner, a half-caste, pattering eagerly the words

I will take another example, this time from the literature of ancient
Greece. In one of the shortest but not least impressive of his
_Dialogues_, the "Crito," Plato tells us of the character of Socrates,
not as a philosopher, but as a good citizen. He has been unjustly
condemned by the Athenians as an enemy to the good of the state. Crito
comes to him in prison to persuade him to escape. He urges on him many
arguments, his duty to his children included. But Socrates refuses. He
chooses to follow, not what anyone in the crowd might do, but the
example which the ideal citizen should set. It would be a breach of his
duty to fly from the judgment duly passed in the Athens to which he
belongs, even though he thinks the decree should have been different.
For it is the decree of the established justice of his city state. He
will not "play truant." He hears the words, "Listen, Socrates, to us who
have brought you up"; and in reply he refuses to go away, in these
final sentences: "This is the voice which I seem to hear murmuring in my
ears, like the sound of the flute in the ears of the mystic; that voice,
I say, is murmuring in my ears, and prevents me from hearing any other.
And I know that anything more which you may say will be vain."

Why do men of this stamp act so, it may be when leading the battle line,
it may be at critical moments of quite other kinds? It is, I think,
because they are more than mere individuals. Individual they are, but
completely real, even as individual, only in their relation to organic
and social wholes in which they are members, such as the family, the
city, the state. There is in every truly organized community a Common
Will which is willed by those who compose that community, and who in so
willing are more than isolated men and women. It is not, indeed, as
unrelated atoms that they have lived. They have grown, from the
receptive days of childhood up to maturity, in an atmosphere of example
and general custom, and their lives have widened out from one little
world to other and higher worlds, so that, through occupying successive
stations in life, they more and more come to make their own the life of
the social whole in which they move and have their being. They cannot
mark off or define their own individualities without reference to the
individualities of others. And so they unconsciously find themselves as
in truth pulse-beats of the whole system, and themselves the whole
system. It is real in them and they in it. They are real only because
they are social. The notion that the individual is the highest form of
reality, and that the relationship of individuals is one of mere
contract, the notion of Hobbes and of Bentham and of Austin, turns out
to be quite inadequate. Even of an everyday contract, that of marriage,
it has been well said that it is a contract to pass out of the sphere of
contract, and that it is possible only because the contracting parties
are already beyond and above that sphere. As a modern writer, F. H.
Bradley of Oxford, to whose investigations in these regions we owe much,
has finely said: "The moral organism is not a mere animal organism. In
the latter the member is not aware of itself as such, while in the
former it knows itself, and therefore knows the whole in itself. The
narrow external function of the man is not the whole man. He has a life
which we cannot see with our eyes, and there is no duty so mean that it
is not the realization of this, and knowable as such. What counts is
not the visible outer work so much as the spirit in which it is done.
The breadth of my life is not measured by the multitude of my pursuits,
nor the space I take up amongst other men; but by the fulness of the
whole life which I know as mine. It is true that less now depends on
each of us as this or that man; it is not true that our individuality is
therefore lessened; that therefore we have less in us."

There is, according to this view, a General Will with which the will of
the good citizen is in accord. He feels that he would despise himself
were his private will not in harmony with it. The notion of the reality
of such a will is no new one. It is as old as the Greeks, for whom the
moral order and the city state were closely related; and we find it in
modern books in which we do not look for it. Jean Jacques Rousseau is
probably best known to the world by the famous words in which he begins
the first chapter of the _Social Contract_: "Man is born free, and
everywhere he is in chains. Those who think themselves to be the masters
of others cease not to be greater slaves than the people they govern."
He goes on in the next paragraph to tell us that if he were only to
consider force and the effects of it, he would say that if a nation was
constrained to obey and did obey, it did well, but that whenever it
could throw off its yoke and did throw it off, it acted better. His
words, written in 1762, became a text for the pioneers of the French
Revolution. But they would have done well to read further into the book.
As Rousseau goes on, we find a different conception. He passes from
considering the fiction of a social contract to a discussion of the
power over the individual of the General Will, by virtue of which a
people becomes a people. This General Will, the _Volonté Générale_, he
distinguishes from the Volonté de Tous, which is a mere numerical sum of
individual wills. These particular wills do not rise above themselves.
The General Will, on the other hand, represents what is greater than the
individual volition of those who compose the society of which it is the
will. On occasions, this higher will is more apparent than at other
times. But it may, if there is social slackness, be difficult to
distinguish from a mere aggregate of voices, from the will of a mob.
What is interesting is that Rousseau, so often associated with doctrine
of quite another kind, should finally recognize the bond of a General
Will as what really holds the community together. For him, as for those
who have had a yet clearer grasp of the principle, in willing the
General Will we not only realize our true selves but we may rise above
our ordinary habit of mind. We may reach heights which we could not
reach, or which at all events most of us could not reach, in isolation.
There are few observers who have not been impressed with the wonderful
unity and concentration of purpose which an entire nation may
display--above all, in a period of crisis. We see it in time of war,
when a nation is fighting for its life or for a great cause. We have
marvelled at the illustrations with which history abounds of the General
Will rising to heights of which but few of the individual citizens in
whom it is embodied have ever before been conscious even in their

By leadership a common ideal can be made to penetrate the soul of a
people and to take complete possession of it. The ideal may be very
high, or it may be of so ordinary a kind that we are not conscious of it
without the effort of reflection. But when it is there it influences and
guides daily conduct. Such idealism passes beyond the sphere of law,
which provides only what is necessary for mutual protection and liberty
of just action. It falls short, on the other hand, in quality of the
dictates of what Kant called the Categorical Imperative that rules the
private and individual conscience, but that alone, an Imperative which
therefore gives insufficient guidance for ordinary and daily social
life. Yet the ideal of which I speak is not the less binding; and it is
recognized as so binding that the conduct of all good men conforms to


1. The Organism as Personality[69]

The organism and the brain, as its highest representation, constitute
the real personality, containing in itself all that we have been, and
the possibility of all that we shall be. The complete individual
character is inscribed there with all its active and passive aptitudes,
sympathies, and antipathies; its genius, talents, or stupidity; its
virtues, vices, torpor, or activity. Of all these, what emerges and
actually reaches consciousness is only a small item compared with what
remains buried below, albeit still active. Conscious personality is
always but a feeble portion of physical personality.

The unity of the ego, consequently, is not that of the one-entity of
spiritualists which is dispersed into multiple phenomena, but the
co-ordination of a certain number of incessantly renascent states,
having for their support the vague sense of our bodies. This unity does
not pass from above to below, but from below to above; the unity of the
ego is not an initial, but a terminal point.

Does there really exist a perfect unity? Evidently not in the strict,
mathematical sense. In a relative sense it is met with, rarely and
incidentally. In a clever marksman in the act of taking aim, or in a
skilled surgeon performing a difficult operation all is found to
converge, both physically and mentally. Still, let us take note of the
result: in these conditions the awareness of real personality
disappears; the conscious individual is reduced to an idea; whence it
would follow that perfect unity of consciousness and the awareness of
personality exclude each other. By a different course we again reach the
same conclusion; the ego is a co-ordination. It oscillates between two
extreme points at which it ceases to exist: viz., perfect unity and
absolute inco-ordination. All the intermediate degrees are met with, in
fact, and without any line of demarcation between the healthy and the
morbid; the one encroaches upon the other.

Even in the normal state the co-ordination is often sufficiently loose
to allow several series to coexist separately. We can walk or perform
manual work with a vague and intermittent consciousness of the
movements, at the same time singing, musing; but if the activity of
thought increases, the singing will cease. With many people it is a kind
of substitute for intellectual activity, an intermediate state between
thinking and not-thinking.

The unity of the ego, in a psychological sense, is, therefore, the
cohesion, during a given time, of a certain number of clear states of
consciousness, accompanied by others less clear, and by a multitude of
physiological states which, without being accompanied by consciousness
like the others, yet operate as much as, and even more than, the former.
Unity, in fact, means co-ordination. The conclusion to be drawn from the
above remarks is namely this, that the consensus of consciousness being
subordinate to the consensus of the organism, the problem of the unity
of the ego is, in its ultimate form, a biological problem. To biology
pertains the task of explaining, if it can, the genesis of organisms and
the solidarity of their component parts. Psychological interpretation
can only follow in its wake.

2. Personality as a Complex[70]

Ideas, after being experienced in consciousness, become dormant
(conserved as physiological dispositions) and may or may not afterward
be reawakened in consciousness as memories. Many such ideas, under
conditions with some of which we are all familiar, tend to form part of
our voluntary or involuntary memories and many do not. But when such is
the case, the memories do not ordinarily include the whole of a given
mental experience, but only excerpts or abstracts of it. Hence one
reason for the fallibility of human memory and consequent testimony.

Now under special conditions, the ideas making up an experience at any
given moment tend to become organized into a system or complex, so that
when we later think of the experience or recall any of the ideas
belonging to it, the complex as a whole is revived. This is one of the
principles underlying the mechanism of memory. Thus it happens that
memory may, to a large extent, be made up of complexes. These complexes
may be very loosely organized in that the elementary ideas are weakly
bound together, in which case, when we try to recall the original
experience, only a part of it is recalled. Or a complex may be very
strongly organized, owing to the conditions under which it is formed,
and then a large part of the experience can be recalled. In this case,
any idea associated with some element in the complex may, by the law of
association, revive the whole original complex. If, for instance, we
have gone through a railroad accident involving exciting incidents, loss
of life, etc., the words "railroad," "accident," "death," or a sudden
crashing sound, or the sight of blood, or even riding in a railroad
train may recall the experience from beginning to end, or at least the
prominent features in it, i.e., so much as was organized. The memory of
the greater part of this experience is well organized, while the earlier
events and those succeeding the accident may have passed out of all
possibility of voluntary recall.

To take an instance commonplace enough but which happens to have just
come within my observation: A fireman was injured severely by being
thrown from a hose wagon rushing to a fire against a telegraph pole with
which the wagon collided. He narrowly escaped death. Although three
years have passed he still cannot ride on a wagon to a fire without the
memory of the whole accident rising in his mind. When he does so he
again lives through the accident, including the thoughts just previous
to the actual collision when, realizing his situation, he was overcome
with terror, and he again manifests all the organic physical expressions
of fear, viz.: perspiration, tremor, and muscular weakness. Here is a
well-organized and fairly limited complex.

Among the loosely organized complexes in many individuals, and possibly
in all of us, there are certain dispositions toward views of life which
represent natural inclinations, desires, and modes of activity which,
for one reason or another, we tend to suppress or are unable to give
full play to. Many individuals, for example, are compelled by the
exactions of their duties and responsibilities to lead serious lives, to
devote themselves to pursuits which demand all their energies and
thought and which, therefore, do not permit of indulgence in the lighter
enjoyments of life, and yet there may be a natural inclination to
partake of the pleasures which innately appeal to all mankind and which
many pursue. The longing for these recurs from time to time. The mind
dwells on them, the imagination is excited and weaves a fabric of
pictures, thoughts, and emotions which thus become associated into a
complex. There may be a rebellion and "kicking against the pricks" and
thereby a liberation of the emotional force that impresses a stronger
organization on the whole process. The recurrence of such a complex is
one form of what we call a "mood," which has a distinctly emotional tone
of its own. The revival of this feeling tone tends to revive the
associated ideas and vice versa. Such a feeling-idea complex is often
spoken of as "a side to one's character," to which a person may from
time to time give play. Or the converse of this may hold, and a person
who devotes his life to the lighter enjoyments may have aspirations and
longings for more serious pursuits, and in this respect the imagination
may similarly build up a complex which may express itself in a mood.
Thus a person is often said to have "many sides to his character," and
exhibits certain alternations of personality which may be regarded as
normal prototypes of those which occur as abnormal states.

Most of what has been said about the formation of complexes is a
statement of commonplace facts, and I would not repeat it here were it
not that, in certain abnormal conditions, disposition, subject, and
other complexes, though loosely organized, often play an important part.
This is not the place to enter into an explanation of dissociated
personality, but in such conditions we sometimes find that disposition
complexes, for instance, come to the surface and displace or substitute
themselves for the other complexes which make up a personality. A
complex which is only a mood or a "side of the character" of a normal
individual may, in conditions of dissociation, become the main, perhaps
sole, complex and chief characteristic of the new personality. In Miss
Beauchamp, for instance, the personality known as BI was made up almost
entirely of the religious and ethical ideas which formed one side of the
original self. In the personality known as Sally we had for the most
part the complex which represented the enjoyment of youthful pleasures
and sports, the freedom from conventionalities and artificial restraints
generally imposed by duties and responsibilities. In BIV the complex
represented the ambitions and activities of practical life. In Miss
Beauchamp as a whole, normal, without disintegration, it was easy to
recognize all three dispositions as "sides of her character," though
each was kept ordinarily within proper bounds by the correcting
influence of the others. It was only necessary to put her in an
environment which encouraged one or the other side, to associate her
with people who strongly suggested one or the other of her own
characteristics, whether religious, social, pleasure loving, or
intellectual, to see the characteristics of BI, Sally, or BIV stand out
in relief as the predominant personality. Then we had the alternating
play of these different sides of her character.

In fact, the total of our complexes, which, regarded as a whole and in
view of their reaction to the environment, their behavior under the
various conditions of social life, their aptitudes, feeling-tones,
"habits," and faculties, we term character and personality, are in large
part predetermined by the mental experiences of the past and the
vestiges of memory which have been left as residual from these
experiences. We are the offspring of our past.

The great mass of our ideas involve associations of the origin of which
we are unaware because the memories of the original experience have
become split and a large portion thus has become forgotten even if ever
fully appreciated. We all have our prejudices, our likes and dislikes,
our tastes and aversions; it would tax our ingenuity to give a
sufficient psychological account of their origin. They were born long
ago in educational, social, personal, and other experiences, the details
of which we have this many a year forgotten. It is the residua of these
experiences that have persisted and become associated into complexes
which are retained as traits of our personality.

3. The Self as the Individual's Conception of His Rôle[71]

Suggestion may have its end and aim in the creation of a new
personality. The experimenter then chooses the sort of personality he
wishes to induce and obliges the subject to realize it. Experiments of
this kind succeeding in a great many somnambulists, and usually
producing very curious results, have long been known and have been
repeated, one might say, almost to satiety within the last few years.

When we are awake and in full possession of all our faculties we can
imagine sensations different from those which we ordinarily experience.
For example, when I am sitting quietly at my table engaged in writing
this book, I can conceive the sensations that a soldier, a woman, an
artist, or an Englishman would experience in such and such a situation.
But, however fantastic the conceptions may be that we form, we do not
cease to be conscious withal of our own personal existence. Imagination
has taken flight fairly in space, but the memory of ourselves always
remains behind. Each of us knows that he is himself and not another,
that he did this yesterday, that he has just written a letter, that he
must write another such letter tomorrow, that he was out of Paris for a
week, etc. It is this memory of passed facts--a memory always present to
the mind--that constitutes the consciousness of our normal personality.

It is entirely different in the case of the two women, A---- and B----,
that M. Richet studied.

     Put to sleep and subjected to certain influences, A---- and
     B---- forget their identity; their age, their clothing, their
     sex, their social position, their nationality, the place and
     the time of their life--all this has entirely disappeared.
     Only a single idea remains--a single consciousness--it is the
     consciousness of the idea and of the new being that dawns upon
     their imagination.

     They have lost the idea of their late existence. They live,
     talk, and think exactly like the type that is suggested to
     them. With what tremendous intensity of life these types are
     realized, only those who have been present at these experiments
     can know. Description can only give a weak and imperfect idea
     of it.

     Instead of imagining a character simply, they realize it,
     objectify it. It is not like a hallucination, of which one
     witnesses the images unfolding before him, as a spectator
     would. He is rather like an actor who is seized with passion,
     imagines that the drama he plays is a reality, not a fiction,
     and that he has been transformed, body and soul, into the
     personality that he sets himself to play.

     In order to have this transformation of personality work it is
     sufficient to pronounce a word with some authority. I say to
     A----, "You are an old woman," she considers herself changed
     into an old woman, and her countenance, her bearing, her
     feelings, become those of an old woman. I say to B----, "You
     are a little girl," and she immediately assumes the language,
     games, and tastes of a little girl.

     Although the account of these scenes is quite dull and
     colorless compared with the sight of the astonishing and sudden
     transformations themselves, I shall attempt, nevertheless, to
     describe some of them. I quote some of M----'s

     _As a peasant._--She rubs her eyes and stretches herself. "What
     time is it? Four o'clock in the morning!" She walks as if she
     were dragging sabots. "Now, then, I must get up. Let us go to
     the stable. Come up, red one! come up, get about!" She seems to
     be milking a cow. "Let me alone, Gros-Jean, let me alone, I
     tell you. When I am through my work. You know well enough that
     I have not finished my work. Oh! yes, yes, later."

     _As an actress._--Her face took a smiling aspect instead of the
     dull and listless manner which she had just had. "You see my
     skirt? Well, my manager makes me wear it so long. These
     managers are too tiresome. As for me, the shorter the skirt the
     better I like it. There is always too much of it. A simple fig
     leaf! Mon Dieu, that is enough! You agree with me, don't you,
     my dear, that it is not necessary to have more than a fig leaf?
     Look then at this great dowdy Lucie--where are her legs, eh?"

     _As a priest._--She imagines that she is the Archbishop of
     Paris. Her face becomes very grave. Her voice is mildly sweet
     and drawling, which forms a great contrast with the harsh,
     blunt tone she had as a general. (Aside.) "But I must
     accomplish my charge." She leans her head on her hand and
     reflects. (Aloud.) "Ah! it is you, Monsieur Grand Vicar; what
     is your business with me? I do not wish to be disturbed. Yes,
     today is the first of January, and I must go to the cathedral.
     This throng of people is very respectful, don't you think so,
     monsieur? There is a great deal of religion in the people,
     whatever one does. Ah! a child! let him come to me to be
     blessed. There, my child." She holds out to him her imaginary
     bishop's ring to kiss. During this whole scene she is making
     gestures of benediction with her right hand on all sides. "Now
     I have a duty to perform. I must go and pay my respects to the
     president of the Republic. Ah! Mr. President, I come to offer
     you my allegiance. It is the wish of the church that you may
     have many years of life. She knows that she has nothing to
     fear, notwithstanding cruel attacks, while such an honorable
     man is at the head of the Republic." She is silent and seems to
     listen attentively. (Aside.) "Yes, fair promises. Now let us
     pray!" She kneels down.

     _As a religious sister._--She immediately kneels down and
     begins to say her prayers, making a great many signs of the
     cross; then she arises. "Now to the hospital. There is a
     wounded man in this ward. Well, my friend, you are a little
     better this morning, aren't you? Now, then, let me take off
     your bandage." She gestures as if she were unrolling a bandage.
     "I shall do it very gently; doesn't that relieve you? There! my
     poor friend, be as courageous before pain as you were before
     the enemy."

     I might cite other objectivations from A----'s case, in the
     character of old woman, little girl, young man, gay woman, etc.
     But the examples given seem sufficient to give some idea of the
     entire transformation of the personality into this or that
     imaginary type. It is not a simple dream, it is a _living

     The complete transformation of feelings is not the least
     curious phenomenon of these objectivations. A---- is timid, but
     she becomes very daring when she thinks herself a bold person.
     B---- is silent, she becomes talkative when she represents a
     talkative person. The disposition is thus completely changed.
     Old tastes disappear and give place to the new tastes that the
     new character represented is supposed to have.

In a more recent paper, prepared with the co-operation of M. Ferrari and
M. Hericourt, M. Richet has added a curious detail to the preceding
experiments. He has shown that the subject on whom a change of
personality is imposed not only adapts his speech, gestures, and
attitudes to the new personality, but that even his handwriting is
modified and brought into relation with the new ideas that absorb his
consciousness. This modification of handwriting is an especially
interesting discovery, since handwriting, according to current theories,
is nothing more than a sort of imitation. I cite some examples borrowed
from these authors.

It is suggested in succession to a young student that he is a sly and
crafty peasant, then a miser, and finally a very old man. While the
subject's features and behavior generally are modified and brought into
harmony with the idea of the personality suggested, we may observe also
that his handwriting undergoes similar modifications which are not less
marked. It has a special character peculiar to each of the new states of
personality. In short, the graphic movements change like the gestures

In a note on the handwriting of hysterical patients, I have shown that
under the influence of suggested emotions, or under the influence of
sensorial stimulations, the handwriting of a hysterical patient may be
modified. It gets larger, for example, in cases of dynamogenic

The characteristic of the suggestion that we have just studied is that
it does not bear exclusively on perception or movement--that is to say,
on a limited psychic element; but there are comprehensive suggestions.
They impose a topic on the subject that he is obliged to develop with
all the resources of his intellect and imagination, and if the
observations be carefully examined, it will also be seen that in these
suggestions the faculties of perception are affected and perverted by
the same standard as that of ideation. Thus the subject, under the
influence of his assumed personality, ceases to perceive the external
world as it exists. He has hallucinations in connection with his new
psychological personality. When a bishop, he thinks he is in Notre Dame,
and sees a host of the faithful. When a general, he thinks he is
surrounded by troops, etc. Things that harmonize with the suggestion are
conjured up. This systematic development of states of consciousness
belongs to all kinds of suggestions, but is perhaps nowhere else so
marked as in these transformations of personality.

On the other hand, everything that is inconsistent with the suggestion
gets inhibited and leaves the subject's consciousness. As has been said,
alterations of personality imply phenomena of amnesia. In order that the
subject may assume the fictitious personality he must begin by
forgetting his true personality. The infinite number of memories that
represent his past experience and constitute the basis of his normal ego
are for the time being effaced, because these memories are inconsistent
with the ideal of the suggestion.

4. The Natural Person versus the Social and Conventional Self[72]

Somewhat after the order of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde I seem to possess
two distinct personalities, being both at the same time but presenting
no such striking contrast as the Jekyll-Hyde combination. They are about
equally virtuous. Their main difference seems to be one of age, one
being a decade or so in advance of the other.

At times they work harmoniously together and again at cross-purposes. I
do not seem to have developed equally. Part of me sits humbly at the
feet of the other part of me and receives advice and instruction. Part
of me feels constrained to confess to the other part of me when it has
done wrong and meekly receives rebuke. Part of me tries to shock the
other part of me and to force the more dignified part to misbehave and
giggle and do things not considered correct in polite society.

My younger part delights to tease the older, to doubt her motives, to
interrupt her meditations. It wants to play, while my older self is more
seriously inclined. My younger self is only twelve years old. This is my
real self. To my own mind I am still a little girl with short dresses
and a bunch of curls. For some reason my idea of self has never advanced
beyond this point. The long dress and the hair piled high will never
seem natural. Sometimes I enjoy this duality and again I do not.
Sometimes the two parts mingle delightfully together, again they wrangle
atrociously, while I (there seems to be a third part of me) sit off and
watch the outcome.

The older part gets tired before the younger. The younger, still fresh
and in a good humor, undertakes to furnish amusement for the older. I
have often thrown myself on the bed wearied and exhausted and been made
to shake with laughter at the capers of the younger part of me. They are
capers indeed. On these occasions she will carry on conversations with
friends--real friends--fairly bristling with witticisms, and although
taking both parts herself, the parry and thrust is delightful.

Sometimes, however, the younger part of me seems to get up all awry. She
will carry on quarrels--heated quarrels--from morning to night, taking
both sides herself, with persons whom I (the combination) dearly love,
and against whom I have no grievance whatever. These are a great
distress to my older self.

On other days she seems to take the greatest delight in torturing me
with imaginary horrors. She cuts my throat, pulls my eyes out of their
sockets, removes tumors, and amputates limbs until I wonder that there
is anything left of me. She does it all without administering
anæsthetics and seems to enjoy my horror and disgust.

Again, some little jingle or tune will take her fancy and she will
repeat it to herself until I am almost driven to madness. Sometimes it
is only a word, but it seems to have a fascination for her and she rolls
it as a sweet morsel under her tongue until sleep puts an end to it.

Again, if I (the combination) fall ill, one part of me, I have never
discovered which, invariably hints that I am not ill at all but merely
pretending. So much so that it has become with me a recognized symptom
of incipient illness.

Moreover, the younger and older are never on the same side of any
question. One leans to wisdom, the other to fun. I am a house divided
against itself. The younger longs to dance, to go to the theater and to
play cards, all of which the older disapproves. The younger mocks the
older, calls her a hypocrite and the like until the older well-nigh
believes it herself and almost yields to her pleadings. The older
listens sedately to the sermon, while the younger plans her Easter suit
or makes fun of the preacher.

The older declares she will never marry, while the younger scouts the
idea of being an old maid. But even if she could gain the consent of the
older, it were but little better, they differ so as to their ideals.

In society the difference is more marked. I seem to be a combination
chaperone and protégée. The older appears at ease, the younger shy and
awkward--she has never made her début. If one addresses a remark to her
she is thrown into utter confusion until the older rushes to the rescue.
My sympathy is with the younger, however, for even to this day I, the
combination, can scarce resist the temptation to say nothing when there
is nothing to say.

There is something tragic to me in this Siamese-twins arrangement of two
so uncongenial. I am at one and the same time pupil and teacher,
offender and judge, performer and critic, chaperone and protégée, a
prim, precise, old maid and a rollicking schoolgirl, a tomboy and a
prude, a saint and sinner. What can result from such a combination? That
we get on tolerably is a wonder. Some days, however, we get on admirably
together, part of me paying compliments to the other part of me--whole
days being given to this--until each of us has such a good opinion of
herself and the other that we feel on equal terms and are at our

But how dreadful are the days when we turn against each other! There are
not words enough to express the contempt which we feel for ourselves. We
seem to set each other in the corner and the combination as a whole is
utterly miserable.

I can but wonder and enjoy and wait to see what Myself and I will make
of Me.

5. The Divided Self and Moral Consciousness[73]

Two ways of looking at life are characteristic respectively of what we
call the healthy-minded, who need to be born only once, and of the sick
souls, who must be twice-born in order to be happy. The result is two
different conceptions of the universe of our experience. In the religion
of the once-born the world is a sort of rectilineal or one-storied
affair, whose accounts are kept in one denomination, whose parts have
just the values which naturally they appear to have, and of which a
simple algebraic sum of pluses and minuses will give the total worth.
Happiness and religious peace consist in living on the plus side of the
account. In the religion of the twice-born, on the other hand, the world
is a double-storied mystery. Peace cannot be reached by the simple
addition of pluses and elimination of minuses from life. Natural good is
not simply insufficient in amount and transient; there lurks a falsity
in its very being. Cancelled as it all is by death, if not by earlier
enemies, it gives no final balance, and can never be the thing intended
for our lasting worship. It keeps us from our real good, rather; and
renunciation and despair of it are our first step in the direction of
the truth. There are two lives, the natural and the spiritual, and we
must lose the one before we can participate in the other.

In their extreme forms, of pure naturalism and pure salvationism, the
two types are violently contrasted; though here, as in most other
current classifications, the radical extremes are somewhat ideal
abstractions, and the concrete human beings whom we oftenest meet are
intermediate varieties and mixtures. Practically, however, you all
recognize the difference: you understand, for example, the disdain of
the Methodist convert for the mere sky-blue healthy-minded moralist; and
you likewise enter into the aversion of the latter to what seems to him
the diseased subjectivism of the Methodist, dying to live, as he calls
it, and making of paradox and the inversion of natural appearances the
essence of God's truth.

The psychological basis of the twice-born character seems to be a
certain discordancy or heterogeneity in the native temperament of the
subject, an incompletely unified moral and intellectual constitution.

"Homo duplex, homo duplex!" writes Alphonse Daudet. "The first time that
I perceived that I was two was at the death of my brother Henri, when my
father cried out so dramatically, 'He is dead, he is dead!' While my
first self wept, my second self thought, 'How truly given was that cry,
how fine it would be at the theater.' I was then fourteen years old.
This horrible duality has often given me matter for reflection. Oh, this
terrible second me, always seated whilst the other is on foot, acting,
living, suffering, bestirring itself. This second me that I have never
been able to intoxicate, to make shed tears, or put to sleep. And how it
sees into things, and how it mocks!"

Some persons are born with an inner constitution which is harmonious and
well balanced from the outset. Their impulses are consistent with one
another, their will follows without trouble the guidance of their
intellect, their passions are not excessive, and their lives are little
haunted by regrets. Others are oppositely constituted; and are so in
degrees which may vary from something so slight as to result in a merely
odd or whimsical inconsistency, to a discordancy of which the
consequences may be inconvenient in the extreme. Of the more innocent
kinds of heterogeneity I find a good example in Mrs. Annie Besant's

     I have ever been the queerest mixture of weakness and strength,
     and have paid heavily for the weakness. As a child I used to
     suffer tortures of shyness, and if my shoe-lace was untied
     would feel shamefacedly that every eye was fixed on the unlucky
     string; as a girl I would shrink away from strangers and think
     myself unwanted and unliked, so that I was full of eager
     gratitude to anyone who noticed me kindly; as the young
     mistress of a house I was afraid of my servants, and would let
     careless work pass rather than bear the pain of reproving the
     ill-doer; when I have been lecturing and debating with no lack
     of spirit on the platform, I have preferred to go without what
     I wanted at the hotel rather than to ring and make the waiter
     fetch it. Combative on the platform in defense of any cause I
     cared for, I shrink from quarrel or disapproval in the house,
     and am a coward at heart in private while a good fighter in
     public. How often have I passed unhappy quarters of an hour
     screwing up my courage to find fault with some subordinate whom
     my duty compelled me to reprove, and how often have I jeered at
     myself for a fraud as the doughty platform combatant, when
     shrinking from blaming some lad or lass for doing their work
     badly. An unkind look or word has availed to make me shrink
     myself as a snail into its shell, while, on the platform,
     opposition makes me speak my best.

This amount of inconsistency will only count as amiable weakness; but a
stronger degree of heterogeneity may make havoc of the subject's life.
There are persons whose existence is little more than a series of
zigzags, as now one tendency and now another gets the upper hand. Their
spirit wars with their flesh, they wish for incompatibles, wayward
impulses interrupt their most deliberate plans, and their lives are one
long drama of repentance and of effort to repair misdemeanors and

Whatever the cause of heterogeneous personality may be, we find the
extreme examples of it in the psychopathic temperament. All writers
about that temperament make the inner heterogeneity prominent in their
descriptions. Frequently, indeed, it is only this trait that leads us to
ascribe that temperament to a man at all. A _dégénéré supérieur_ is
simply a man of sensibility in many directions, who finds more
difficulty than is common in keeping his spiritual house in order and
running his furrow straight, because his feelings and impulses are too
keen and too discrepant mutually. In the haunting and insistent ideas,
in the irrational impulses, the morbid scruples, dreads, and inhibitions
which beset the psychopathic temperament when it is thoroughly
pronounced, we have exquisite examples of heterogeneous personality.
Bunyan had an obsession of the words, "Sell Christ for this, sell him
for that, sell him, sell him!" which would run through his mind a
hundred times together, until one day out of breath with retorting, "I
will not, I will not," he impulsively said, "Let him go if he will," and
this loss of the battle kept him in despair for over a year. The lives
of the saints are full of such blasphemous obsessions, ascribed
invariably to the direct agency of Satan.

St. Augustine's case is a classic example of discordant personality. You
all remember his half-pagan, half-Christian bringing up at Carthage, his
emigration to Rome and Milan, his adoption of Manicheism and subsequent
skepticism, and his restless search for truth and purity of life; and
finally how, distracted by the struggle between the two souls in his
breast, and ashamed of his own weakness of will when so many others whom
he knew and knew of had thrown off the shackles of sensuality and
dedicated themselves to chastity and the higher life, he heard a voice
in the garden say, "Sume, lege" (take and read), and opening the Bible
at random, saw the text, "not in chambering and wantonness," etc., which
seemed directly sent to his address, and laid the inner storm to rest
forever. Augustine's psychological genius has given an account of the
trouble of having a divided self which has never been surpassed.

     The new will which I began to have was not yet strong enough to
     overcome that other will, strengthened by long indulgence. So
     these two wills, one old, one new, one carnal, the other
     spiritual, contended with each other and disturbed my soul. I
     understood by my own experience what I had read, "Flesh lusteth
     against spirit, and spirit against flesh." It was myself indeed
     in both the wills, yet more myself in that which I approved in
     myself than in that which I disapproved in myself. Yet it was
     through myself that habit had obtained so fierce a mastery over
     me, because I had willingly come whither I willed not. Still
     bound to earth, I refused, O God, to fight on thy side, as much
     afraid to be freed from all bonds as I ought to have feared
     being trammeled by them.

     Thus the thoughts by which I meditated upon thee were like the
     efforts of one who would awake, but being overpowered with
     sleepiness is soon asleep again. Often does a man when heavy
     sleepiness is on his limbs defer to shake it off, and though
     not approving it, encourage it; even so I was sure it was
     better to surrender to thy love than to yield to my own lusts,
     yet, though the former course convinced me, the latter pleased
     and held me bound. There was naught in me to answer thy call,
     "Awake, thou sleeper," but only drawling, drowsy words,
     "Presently; yes, presently; wait a little while." But the
     "presently" had no "present," and the "little while" grew long.
     For I was afraid thou wouldst hear me too soon, and heal me at
     once of my disease of lust, which I wished to satiate rather
     than to see extinguished. With what lashes of words did I not
     scourge my own soul. Yet it shrank back; it refused, though it
     had no excuse to offer. I said within myself: "Come, let it be
     done now," and as I said it, I was on the point of the resolve.
     I all but did it, yet I did not do it. And I made another
     effort, and almost succeeded, yet I did not reach it, and did
     not grasp it, hesitating to die to death, and live to life; and
     the evil to which I was so wonted held me more than the better
     life I had not tried.

There could be no more perfect description of the divided will, when the
higher wishes lack just that last acuteness, that touch of explosive
intensity, of dynamogenic quality (to use the slang of the
psychologists), that enables them to burst their shell, and make
irruption efficaciously into life and quell the lower tendencies

6. Personality of Individuals and of Peoples[74]

In my opinion personality is not merely a unifying and directing
principle which controls thought and action, but one which, at the same
time, defines the relation of individuals to their fellows. The concept
of personality includes, in addition to inner unity and co-ordination of
the impulses, a definite attitude directed toward the outer world which
is determined by the manner in which the individual organizes his
external stimulations.

In this definition the objective aspect of personality is emphasized as
over against the subjective. We should not in psychological matters be
satisfied with subjective definitions. The mental life is not only a sum
of subjective experiences but manifests itself invariably also in a
definite series of objective expressions. These objective expressions
are the contributions which the personality makes to its external social
environment. More than that, only these objective expressions of
personality are accessible to external observation and they alone have
objective value.

According to Ribot, the real personality is an organism which is
represented at its highest in the brain. The brain embraces all our past
and the possibilities of our future. The individual character with all
its active and passive peculiarities, with all its antipathies, genius,
talents, stupidities, virtues, and vices, its inertia and its energy is
predetermined in the brain.

Personality, from the objective point of view, is the psychic individual
with all his original characters, an individual in free association with
his social _milieu_. Neither innate mental ability, nor creative energy,
nor what we call will, in and of themselves, constitutes personality.
Nothing less than the totality of psychical manifestations, all these
including idiosyncrasies which distinguish one man from another and
determine his positive individuality, may be said to characterize, from
the objective point of view, the human personality.

The intellectual horizon of persons on different cultural levels varies,
but no one, for that reason (because of intellectual inferiority), loses
the right to recognition as a person, provided that he maintains, over
against his environment, his integrity as an individual and remains a
self-determining person. It is the loss of this self-determined
individuality alone that renders man completely impersonal. When
individual spontaneity is feebly manifested, we speak of an ill-defined
or a "passive" personality. Personality is, in short, from the objective
point of view, a self-determining individual with a unique nature and a
definite status in the social world around him.

If now, on the basis of the preceding definition, we seek to define the
significance of personality in social and public life, it appears that
personality is the basis upon which all social institutions, movements,
and conditions, in short all the phenomena of social life, rest. The
people of our time are no more, as in the Golden Age, inarticulate
masses. They are a totality of more or less active personalities
connected by common interests, in part by racial origin, and by a
certain similarity of fundamental psychic traits. A people is a kind of
collective personality possessing particular ethnic and psychological
characteristics, animated by common political aspirations and political
traditions. The progress of peoples, their civilization, and their
culture naturally are determined by the advancement of the personalities
which compose them. Since the emancipation of mankind from a condition
of subjection, the life of peoples and of societies has rested upon the
active participation of each member of society in the common welfare
which represents the aim of all. The personality, considered as a
psychic self-determining individual, asserts itself the more
energetically in the general march of historical events, the farther a
people is removed from the condition of subjection in which the rights
of personality are denied.

In every field of activity, the more advanced personality "blazes a new
trail." The passive personality, born in subjection, is disposed merely
to imitate and to repeat. The sheer existence of modern states depends
less on the crude physical force and its personified agencies, than on
the moral cohesion of the personalities who constitute the nation.

Since the beginning of time, it is only the moral values that have
endured. Force can support the state only temporarily. When a nation
disregards the moral forces and seeks its salvation in the rude clash of
arms, it bears within itself the seeds of its own destruction. No army
in the world is strong enough to maintain a state, the moral basis of
which is shaken, for the strength of the army rests upon its morale.

The importance of personality in the historic life of peoples is
manifest in periods when social conditions accelerate the movement of
social life. Personality, like every other force, reaches its maximum
when it encounters resistance, in conflict and in rivalry--when it
fights--hence its great value in friendly rivalry of nations in industry
and culture, and especially in periods of natural calamities or of
enemies from without. Since the fruits of individual development
contribute to the common fund of social values, it is clear that
societies and peoples which, other things being equal, possess the most
advanced and active personalities contribute most to the enrichment of
civilization. It does not seem necessary to demonstrate that the pacific
competition of nations and their success depends on the development of
the personalities which compose them. A nation weak in the development
of individualities, of social units which compose it, could not defend
itself against the exploitation of nations composed of personalities
with a superior development.


1. Nature and Nurture[75]

We have seen that the scientific position in regard to the
transmissibility of modifications should be one of active scepticism,
that there seems to be no convincing evidence in support of the
affirmative position, and that there is strong presumption in favor of
the negative.

A modification is a definite change in the individual body, due to some
change in "nurture." There is no secure evidence that any such
individual gain or loss can be transmitted as such, or in any
representative degree. How does this affect our estimate of the value of
"nurture"? How should the sceptical or negative answer, which we believe
to be the scientific one, affect our practice in regard to education,
physical culture, amelioration of function, improvement of environment,
and so on? Let us give a practical point to what we have already said.

a) Every inheritance requires an appropriate nurture if it is to
realize itself in development. Nurture supplies the liberating stimuli
necessary for the full expression of the inheritance. A man's character
as well as his physique is a function of "nature" and of "nurture." In
the language of the old parable of the talents, what is given must be
traded with. A boy may be truly enough a chip of the old block, but how
far he shows himself such depends on "nurture." The conditions of
nurture determine whether the expression of the inheritance is to be
full or partial. It need hardly be said that the strength of an
(inherited) individuality may be such that it expresses itself almost in
the face of inappropriate nurture. History abounds in instances. As
Goethe said, "Man is always achieving the impossible." Corot was the son
of a successful milliner and prosperous tradesman, and he was thirty
before he left the draper's shop to study nature.

b) Although modifications do not seem to be transmitted as such, or in
any representative degree, there is no doubt that they or their
secondary results may in some cases affect the offspring. This is
especially the case in typical mammals, where there is before birth a
prolonged (placental) connection between the mother and the unborn
young. In such cases the offspring is for a time almost part of the
maternal body, and liable to be affected by modifications thereof, e.g.,
by good or bad nutritive conditions. In other cases, also, it may be
that deeply saturating parental modifications, such as the results of
alcoholic and other poisoning, affect the germ cells, and thus the
offspring. A disease may saturate the body with toxins and waste
products, and these may provoke prejudicial germinal variations.

c) Though modifications due to changed "nurture" do not seem to be
transmissible, they may be re-impressed on each generation. Thus
"nurture" becomes not less, but more, important in our eyes.

"Is my grandfather's environment not my heredity?" asks an American
author quaintly and pathetically. Well, if not, let us secure for
ourselves and for our children those factors in the "grandfather's
environment" that made for progressive evolution, and eschew those that
tended elsewhere.

Are modifications due to changed nurture not, as such, entailed on
offspring? Perhaps it is just as well, for we are novices at nurturing
even yet! Moreover, the non-transmissibility cuts both ways: if
individual modificational gains are not handed on, neither are the

Is the "nature"--the germinal constitution, to wit--all that passes from
generation to generation, the capital sum without the results of
individual usury; then we are freed, at least, from undue pessimism at
the thought of the many harmful functions and environments that
disfigure our civilization. Many detrimental acquired characters are to
be seen all around us, but if they are not transmissible, they need not

In the development of "character," much depends upon early nurture,
education, and surrounding influences generally, but how the individual
reacts to these must largely depend on his inheritance. Truly the
individual himself makes his own character, but he does so by his
habitual adjustment of his (hereditarily determined) constitution to
surrounding influences. Nurture supplies the stimulus for the expression
of the moral inheritance, and how far the inheritance can express itself
is limited by the nurture-stimuli available just as surely as the result
of nurture is conditioned by the hereditarily determined nature on which
it operates. It may be urged that character, being a product of habitual
modes of feeling, thinking, and acting, cannot be spoken of as
_inherited_, but bodily character is also a product dependent upon vital
experience. It seems to us as idle to deny that some children are "born
good" or "born bad," as it is to deny that some children are born strong
and others weak, some energetic and others "tired" or "old." It may be
difficult to tell how far the apparently hereditary goodness or badness
of disposition is due to the nutritive influences of the mother, both
before and after birth, and we must leave it to the reader's experience
and observation to decide whether we are right or wrong in our opinion
that quite apart from maternal nutritive influence there is a genuine
inheritance of kindly disposition, strong sympathy, good humor, and good
will. The further difficulty that the really organic character may be
half-concealed by nurture-effects, or inhibited by the external heritage
of custom and tradition, seems less serious, for the selfishness of an
acquired altruism is as familiar as honor among thieves.

It is entirely useless to boggle over the difficulty that we are unable
to conceive how dispositions for good or ill lie implicit within the
protoplasmic unit in which the individual life begins. The fact is
undoubted that the initiatives of moral character are in some degree
transmissible, though from the nature of the case the influences of
education, example, environment, and the like are here more potent than
in regard to structural features. We cannot make a silk purse out of a
sow's ear, though the plasticity of character under nurture is a fact
which gives us all hope. Explain it we cannot, but the transmission of
the raw material of character is a fact, and we must still say with Sir
Thomas Browne: "Bless not thyself that thou wert born in Athens; but,
among thy multiplied acknowledgments, lift up one hand to heaven that
thou wert born of honest parents, that modesty, humility, and veracity
_lay in the same egg_, and came into the world with thee."

2. Inheritance of Original Nature[76]

The principles of heredity (may be recapitulated as follows):

First of all, we find useful the principle of the unit-character.
According to this principle, characters are, for the most part,
inherited independently of each other, and each trait is inherited as a
unit or may be broken up into characters that are so inherited.

Next, it must be recognized that characters, as such, are not inherited.
Strictly, my son has not my nose, because I still have it; what was
transmitted was something that determined the shape of his nose, and
that is called in brief a "determiner." So the second principle is that
unit-characters are inherited through determiners in the germ cells.

And finally, it is recognized that there really is no inheritance from
parent to child, but that parent and child resemble each other because
they are derived from the same germ plasm, they are chips from the same
old block; and the son is the half-brother to his father, by another

These three principles are the three corner stones of heredity as we
know it today, the principles of the independent unit-characters each
derived from a determiner in the germ plasm.

How far are the known facts of heredity in man in accord with these
principles? No doubt all human traits are inherited in accordance with
these principles; but knowledge proceeds slowly in this field.

As a first illustration I may take the case of human eye color. The iris
is made up of a trestle-work of fibers, in which are suspended particles
that give the blue color. In addition, in many eyes much brown pigment
is formed which may be small in amount and gathered around the pupil or
so extensive as to suffuse the entire iris and make it all brown. It is
seen, then, that the brown iris is formed by something additional to the
blue. And brown iris may be spoken of as a _positive_ character,
depending on a determiner for brown pigment; and blue as a _negative_
character, depending on the absence of the determiner for brown.

Now when both parents have brown eyes and come from an ancestry with
brown eyes, it is probable that all of their germ cells contain the
determiner for brown iris pigmentation. So when these germ cells, both
carrying the determiner, unite, all of the progeny will receive the
determiner from both sides of the house; consequently the determiners
are double in their bodies and the resulting iris pigmentation may be
said to be _duplex_. When a character is duplex in an individual, that
means that when the germ cells ripen in the body of that individual
each contains a determiner. So that individual is capable, so far as he
is concerned, of transmitting his trait in undiminished intensity.

If a parent has pure blue eyes, that is evidence that in neither of the
united germ cells from which he arose was there a determiner for iris
pigmentation; consequently in respect to brown iris pigmentation such a
person may be said to be _nulliplex_. If, now, such a person marry an
individual duplex in eye color, in whom all of the germ cells contain
the determiner, each child will receive the determiner for iris
pigmentation from one side of the house only. This determiner will, of
course, induce pigmentation, but the pigmentation is simplex, being
induced by one determiner only. Consequently, the pigmentation is apt to
be weak. When a person whose pigment determiners have come from one side
of the house forms germ cells, half will have and half will lack the
determiner. If such a person marry a consort all of whose germ cells
contain the determiner for iris pigmentation, all of the children will,
of course, receive the iris pigmentation, but in half it will be duplex
and in the other half it will be simplex. If the two parents both be
simplex, so that, in each, half of the germ cells possess and half lack
the determiner in the union of germ cells, there are four events that
are equally apt to occur: (1) an egg _with_ the determiner unites with a
sperm _with_ the determiner; (2) an egg _with_ the determiner unites
with a sperm _without_ the determiner; (3) an egg _without_ the
determiner unites with a sperm _with_ the determiner; (4) an egg
_without_ the determiner unites with a sperm _without_ the determiner.
Thus the character is duplex in one case, simplex in two cases, and
nulliplex in one case; that is, one in four will have no brown pigment,
or will be blue eyed. If one parent be simplex, so that the germ cells
are equally with and without the determiner, while the other be
nulliplex, then half of the children will be simplex and half nulliplex
in eye pigment. Finally, if both parents be nulliplex in eye
pigmentation (that is, blue eyed), then none of their germ cells will
have the determiner, and all children will be nulliplex, or blue eyed.
The inheritance of eye color serves as a paradigm of the method of
inheritance of any unit-character.

Let us now consider some of the physical traits of man that follow the
same law as brown eye color, traits that are clearly positive, and due
to a definite determiner in the germ plasm.

Hair color is due either to a golden-brown pigment that looks black in
masses, or else to a red pigment. The lighter tints differ from the
darker by the absence of some pigment granules. If neither parent has
the capacity of producing a large quantity of pigment granules in the
hair, the children cannot have that capacity, that is, two flaxen-haired
parents have only flaxen-haired children. But a dark-haired parent may
be either simplex or duplex; and so two such parents _may_ produce
children with light hair; but not more than one out of four. In general,
the hair color of the children tends not to be darker than that of the
darker parent. Skin pigment follows a similar rule. It is really one of
the surprises of modern studies that skin pigment should be found to
follow the ordinary law of heredity; it was commonly thought to blend.
The inheritance of skin color is not dependent on race; two blonds never
have brunette offspring, but brunettes may have blondes. The extreme
case is that of albinos with no pigment in skin, hair, and iris. Two
albinos have only albino children, but albinos may come from two
pigmented parents.

Similarly, straight-haired parents lack curliness, and two such have
only straight-haired children. Also two tall parents have only tall
children. _Shortness_ is the trait: tallness is a negative character.
Also when both parents lack stoutness (are slender), all children tend
to lack it.

We may now consider briefly the inheritance of certain pathological or
abnormal states, to see in how far the foregoing principles hold for
them also. Sometimes the abnormal condition is positive, due to a new
trait; but sometimes, on the contrary, the normal condition is the
positive one and the trait is due to a defect.

Deaf-mutism is due to a defect; but the nature of the defect is
different in different cases. Deaf-mutism is so varied that frequently
two unrelated deaf mutes may have hearing children. But if the deaf-mute
parents are cousins, the chances that the deafness is due to the _same_
unit defect are increased and all of the children will probably be deaf.

From the studies of Dr. Goddard and others, it appears that when both
parents are feeble-minded all of the children will be so likewise; this
conclusion has been tested again and again. But if _one_ of the parents
be normal and of normal ancestry, all of the children may be normal;
whereas, if the normal person have defective germ cells, half of his
progeny by a feeble-minded woman will be defective.

Many criminals, especially those who offend against the person, are
feeble-minded, as is shown by the way they occur in fraternities with
feeble-mindedness, or have feeble-minded parents. The test of the mental
condition of relatives is one that may well be applied by judges in
deciding upon the responsibility of an aggressor.

Not only the condition of imperfect mental development, but also that of
inability to withstand stress upon the nervous system, may be inherited.
From the studies of Dr. Rosanoff and his collaborators, it appears that
if both parents be subject to manic depressive insanity or to dementia
precox, all children will be neuropathic also; that if one parent be
affected and come from a weak strain, half of the children are liable to
go insane; and that nervous breakdowns of these types never occur if
both parents be of sound stock.

Finally, a study of families with special abilities reveals a method of
inheritance quite like that of nervous defect. If both parents be color
artists or have a high grade of vocal ability or are littérateurs of
high grade, then all of their children tend to be of high grade also. If
one parent has high ability, while the other has low ability but has
ancestry with high ability, part of the children will have high ability
and part low. It seems like an extraordinary conclusion that high
ability is inherited as though due to the absence of a determiner in the
same way as feeble-mindedness and insanity are inherited. We are
reminded of the poet: "Great wits to madness sure are near allied."
Evidence for the relationship is given by pedigrees of men of genius
that often show the combination of ability and insanity. May it not be
that just that lack of control that permits "flights of the imagination"
is related to the flightiness characteristic of those with mental
weakness or defect?

These studies of inheritance of mental defect inevitably raise the
question how to eliminate the mentally defective. This is a matter of
great importance because, on the one hand, it is now coming to be
recognized that mental defect is at the bottom of most of our social
problems. Extreme alcoholism is usually a consequence of a mental
make-up in which self-control of the appetite for liquor is lacking.
Pauperism is a consequence of mental defects that make the pauper
incapable of holding his own in the world's competition. Sex immorality
in either sex is commonly due to a certain inability to appreciate
consequences, to visualize the inevitableness of cause and effect,
combined sometimes with a sex-hyperesthesia and lack of self-control.
Criminality in its worst forms is similarly due to a lack of
appreciation of or receptivity to moral ideas.

If we seek to know what is the origin of these defects, we must admit
that it is very ancient. They are probably derived from our ape-like
ancestors, in which they were _normal_ traits. There occurs in man a
strain that has not yet acquired those traits of inhibition that
characterized the more highly developed civilized persons. The evidence
for this is that, as far back as we go, we still trace back the black
thread of defective heredity.

We have now to answer the question as to the eugenical application of
the laws of inheritance of defects. First, it may be pointed out that
traits due to the absence of a determiner are characterized by their
usual sparseness in the pedigree, especially when the parents are
normal; by the fact that they frequently appear where cousin marriages
abound, because cousins tend to carry the same defects in their germ
plasm, though normal themselves; by the fact that two affected parents
have exclusively normal children, while two normal parents who belong to
the same strain, or who both belong to strains containing the same
defect, have some (about 25 per cent) defective children. But a
defective married to a pure normal will have no defective offspring.

The clear eugenical rule is then this: Let abnormals marry normals
without trace of the defect, and let their normal offspring marry in
turn into strong strains; thus the defect may never appear again.
Normals from the defective strain may marry normals of normal ancestry,
but must particularly avoid consanguineous marriages.

The sociological conclusion is: Prevent the feeble-minded, drunkards,
paupers, sex-offenders, and criminalistic from marrying their like or
cousins or any person belonging to a neuropathic strain. Practically it
might be well to segregate such persons during the reproductive period
for one generation. Then the crop of defectives will be reduced to
practically nothing.

3. Inheritance of Acquired Nature: Tradition[77]

The factor in societal evolution corresponding to heredity in organic
evolution is tradition; and the agency of transmission is the nervous
system by way of its various "senses" rather than the germ-plasm. The
organs of transmission are the eye, ear, tongue, etc., and not those of
sex. The term tradition, like variation and selection, is taken in the
broad sense. Variation in nature causes the offspring to differ from the
parents and from one another; variation in the folkways causes those of
one period (or place) to differ from their predecessors and to some
extent among themselves. It is the vital fact at the bottom of change.
Heredity in nature causes the offspring to resemble or repeat the
present type; tradition in societal evolution causes the mores of one
period to repeat those of the preceding period. Each is a stringent
conservator. Variation means diversity; heredity and tradition mean the
preservation of type. If there were no force of heredity or tradition,
there could be no system or classification of natural or of societal
forms; the creation hypothesis would be the only tenable one, for there
could be no basis for a theory of descent. If there were no variation,
all of nature and all human institutions would show a monotony as of the
desert sand. Heredity and tradition allow respectively of the
accumulation of organic or societal variations through repeated
selection, extending over generations, in this or that direction. In
short, what one can say of the general effects of heredity in the
organic realm he can say of tradition in the field of the folkways. That
the transmission is in the one case by way of the sex organs and the
germ-plasm, and in the other through the action of the vocal cords, the
auditory nerves, etc., would seem to be of small moment in comparison
with the essential identity in the functions discharged.

Tradition is, in a sense and if such a comparison were profitable, more
conservative than heredity. There is in the content of tradition an
invariability which could not exist if it were a dual composite, as is
the constitution of the germ-plasm. Here we must recall certain
essential qualities of the mores which we have hitherto viewed from
another angle. Tradition always looks to the folkways as constituting
the matter to be transmitted. But the folkways, after the concurrence
in their practice has been established, come to include a judgment that
they conduce to societal and, indeed, individual welfare. This is where
they come to be properly called mores. They become the prosperity-policy
of the group, and the young are reared up under their sway, looking to
the older as the repositories of precedent and convention. But presently
the older die, and in conformity with the ideas of the time, they become
beings of a higher power toward whom the living owe duty, and whose will
they do not wish to cross. The sanction of ghost-fear is thus extended
to the mores, which, as the prosperity-policy of the group, have already
taken on a stereotyped character. They thus become in an even higher
degree "uniform, universal in a group, imperative, invariable. As time
goes on, they become more and more arbitrary, positive, and imperative.
If asked why they act in a certain way in certain cases, primitive
people always answer that it is because they and their ancestors always
have done so." Thus the transmission of the mores comes to be a process
embodying the greatest conservatism and the least likelihood of change.
This situation represents an adaption of society to life-conditions; it
would seem that because of the rapidity of succession of variations
there is need of an intensely conserving force (like ethnocentrism or
religion) to preserve a certain balance and poise in the evolutionary

Transmission of the mores takes place through the agency of imitation or
of inculcation; through one or the other according as the initiative is
taken by the receiving or the giving party respectively. Inculcation
includes education in its broadest sense; but since that term implies in
general usage a certain, let us say protective, attitude taken by the
educator (as toward the young), the broader and more colorless
designation is chosen. Acculturation is the process by which one group
or people learns from another, whether the culture or civilization be
gotten by imitation or by inculcation. As there must be contact,
acculturation is sometimes ascribed to "contagion."

4. Temperament, Tradition, and Nationality[78]

The temperament of the Negro, as I conceive it, consists in a few
elementary but distinctive characteristics, determined by physical
organizations and transmitted biologically. These characteristics
manifest themselves in a genial, sunny, and social disposition, in an
interest and attachment to external, physical things rather than to
subjective states and objects of introspection, in a disposition for
expression rather than enterprise and action.

The changes which have taken place in the manifestations of this
temperament have been actuated by an inherent and natural impulse,
characteristic of all living beings, to persist and maintain itself in a
changed environment. Such changes have occurred as are likely to take
place in any organism in its struggle to live and to use its environment
to further and complete its own existence.

The result has been that this racial temperament has selected out of the
mass of cultural materials to which it had access, such technical,
mechanical, and intellectual devices as met its needs at a particular
period of its existence. It has clothed and enriched itself with such
new customs, habits, and cultural forms as it was able, or permitted to
use. It has put into these relatively external things, moreover, such
concrete meanings as its changing experience and its unchanging racial
individuality demanded. Everywhere and always it has been interested
rather in expression than in action; interested in life itself rather
than in its reconstruction or reformation. The Negro is, by natural
disposition, neither an intellectual nor an idealist, like the Jew; nor
a brooding introspective, like the East Indian; nor a pioneer and
frontiersman, like the Anglo-Saxon. He is primarily an artist, loving
life for its own sake. His _metier_ is expression rather than action. He
is, so to speak, the lady among the races.

In reviewing the fortunes of the Negro's temperament as it is manifested
in the external events of the Negro's life in America, our analysis
suggests that this racial character of the Negro has exhibited itself
everywhere in something like the rôle of the _wish_ in the Freudian
analysis of dream-life. The external cultural forms which he found here,
like the memories of the individual, have furnished the materials in
which the racial wish, i.e., the Negro temperament, has clothed itself.
The inner meaning, the sentiment, the emphasis, the emotional color,
which these forms assumed as the result of their transference from the
white man to the Negro, these have been the Negro's own. They have
represented his temperament--his temperament modified, however, by his
experience and the tradition which he has accumulated in this country.
The temperament is African, but the tradition is American.

If it is true that the Jew just because of his intellectuality is a
natural-born idealist, internationalist, doctrinaire, and revolutionist,
while the Negro, because of his natural attachment to known familiar
objects, places, and persons, is pre-adapted to conservatism and to
local and personal loyalties--if these things are true, we shall
eventually have to take account of them practically. It is certain that
the Negro has uniformly shown a disposition to loyalty during slavery to
his master and during freedom to the South and the country as a whole.
He has maintained this attitude of loyalty, too, under very discouraging
circumstances. I once heard Kelly Miller, the most philosophical of the
leaders and teachers of his race, say in a public speech that one of the
greatest hardships the Negro suffered in this country was due to the
fact that he was not permitted to be patriotic.

Of course all these alleged racial characteristics have a positive as
well as a negative significance. Every race, like every individual, has
the vices of its virtues. The question remains still to what extent
so-called racial characteristics are actually racial, i.e., biological,
and to what extent they are the effect of environmental conditions. The
thesis of this paper, to state it again, is: (1) that fundamental
temperamental qualities, which are the basis of interest and attention,
act as selective agencies and as such determine what elements in the
cultural environment each race will select; in what region it will seek
and find its vocation in the larger social organization; (2) that, on
the other hand, technique, science, machinery, tools, habits,
discipline, and all the intellectual and mechanical devices with which
the civilized man lives and works remain relatively external to the
inner core of significant attitudes and values which constitute what we
may call the will of the group. This racial will is, to be sure, largely
social, that is, modified by social experience, but it rests ultimately
upon a complex of inherited characteristics, which are racial.

The individual man is the bearer of a double inheritance. As a member of
a race, he transmits by interbreeding a biological inheritance. As a
member of society or a social group, on the other hand, he transmits by
communication a social inheritance. The particular complex of
inheritable characters which characterizes the individuals of a racial
group constitutes the racial temperament. The particular group of
habits, accommodations, sentiments, attitudes, and ideals transmitted by
communication and education constitutes a social tradition. Between this
temperament and this tradition there is, as has been generally
recognized, a very intimate relationship. My assumption is that
temperament is the basis of the interests; that as such it determines in
the long run the general run of attention, and this, eventually,
determines the selection in the case of an individual of his vocation,
in the case of the racial group of its culture. That is to say,
temperament determines what things the individual and the group will be
interested in; what elements of the general culture, to which they have
access, they will assimilate; what, to state it pedagogically, they will

It will be evident at once that where individuals of the same race and
hence the same temperament are associated, the temperamental interests
will tend to reinforce one another, and the attention of members of the
group will be more completely focused upon the specific objects and
values that correspond to the racial temperament. In this way racial
qualities become the basis for nationalities, a nationalistic group
being merely a cultural and, eventually, a political society founded on
the basis of racial inheritances.

On the other hand, when racial segregation is broken up and members of a
racial group are dispersed, the opposite effect will take place. This
explains the phenomena which have frequently been the subject of comment
and observation, that the racial characteristics manifest themselves in
an extraordinary way in large homogeneous gatherings. The contrast
between a mass meeting of one race and a similar meeting of another is
particularly striking. Under such circumstances characteristic racial
and temperamental differences appear that would otherwise pass entirely

When the physical unity of a group is perpetuated by the succession of
parents and children, the racial temperament, including fundamental
attitudes and values which rest in it, is preserved intact. When,
however, society grows and is perpetuated by immigration and adaptation,
there ensues, as a result of miscegenation, a breaking up of the complex
of the biologically inherited qualities which constitute the temperament
of the race. This again initiates changes in the mores, traditions, and
eventually in the institutions of the community. The changes which
proceed from modification in the racial temperament will, however,
modify but slightly the external forms of the social traditions, but
they will be likely to change profoundly their content and meaning. Of
course other factors, individual competition, the formation of classes,
and especially the increase of communication, all co-operate to
complicate the whole situation and to modify the effects which would be
produced by racial factors working in isolation.


1. Conceptions of Human Nature Implicit in Religious and Political

Although the systematic study of it is recent, there has always been a
certain amount of observation and a great deal of assumption in regard
to human nature. The earliest systematic treatises in jurisprudence,
history, theology, and politics necessarily proceeded from certain more
or less naïve assumptions in regard to the nature of man. In the
extension of Roman law over subject peoples the distinction was made
between _jus gentium_ and _jus naturae_, i.e., the laws peculiar to a
particular nation as contrasted with customs and laws common to all
nations and derived from the nature of mankind. Macauley writes of the
"principles of human nature" from which it is possible to deduce a
theory of government. Theologians, in devising a logical system of
thought concerning the ways of God to man, proceeded on the basis of
certain notions of human nature. The doctrines of original sin, the
innate depravity of man, the war of the natural man and the spiritual
man had a setting in the dogmas of the fall of man, redemption through
faith, and the probationary character of life on earth. In striking
contrast with the pessimistic attitude of theologians toward human
nature, social revolutionists like Rousseau have condemned social
institutions as inherently vicious and optimistically placed reliance
upon human nature as innately good.

In all these treatises the assumptions about human nature are either
preconceptions or rationalizations from experience incidental to the
legal, moral, religious, or political system of thought. There is in
these treatises consequently little or no analysis or detailed
description of the traits attributed to men. Certainly, there is no
evidence of an effort to arrive at an understanding of human behavior
from an objective study of its nature.

Historic assumptions in regard to human nature, no matter how fantastic
or unscientific, have exerted, nevertheless, a far-reaching influence
upon group action. Periods of social revolution are ushered in by
theorists who perceive only the evil in institutions and the good in
human nature. On the other hand, the "guardians of society," distrustful
of the impulses of human nature, place their reliance upon conventions
and upon existing forms of social organization. Communistic societies
have been organized upon certain ideas of human nature and have survived
as long as these beliefs which inspired them controlled the behavior of
members of the group.

Philosophers from the time of Socrates have invariably sought to justify
their moral and political theories upon a conception, if not a
definition, of the nature of man. Aristotle, in his _Politics_ and
Hobbes in his _Leviathan_, to refer to two classics, offer widely
divergent interpretations of human nature. Aristotle emphasized man's
altruistic traits, Hobbes stressed his egoistic disposition. These
opposite conceptions of human behavior are explicit and in each case
presented with a display of evidence. Yet students soon realize that
neither philosopher, in fashioning his conception, is entirely without
animus or ulterior motive. When these definitions are considered in the
context in which they occur, they seem less an outgrowth of an analysis
of human nature, than formulas devised in the interest of a political
theory. Aristotle was describing the ideal state; Hobbes was interested
in the security of an existing social order.

Still, the contribution made by social and political philosophers has
been real. Their descriptions of human behavior, if inadequate and
unscientific, at least recognized that an understanding of human nature
was a precondition to social reorganization. The fact that philosophical
conceptions and ideal constructions are themselves social forces and as
such frequently represent vested interests, has been an obstacle to
social as well as physical science.

Comte's notion that every scientific discipline must pass through a
theological and metaphysical stage before it assumed the character of a
positive science seems to be true as far as sociology is concerned.
Machiavelli shocked the moral sense of his time, if not the moralists of
all time, when he proposed to accept human nature as it is as a basis
for political science. Herbert Spencer insisted upon the futility of
expecting "golden conduct from leaden instincts." To the utopian social
reformers of his day he pointed out a series of welfare measures in
England in which the outcome was the direct opposite of the results

This negative criticism of preconceived notions and speculations about
human nature prepared the way for disinterested observation and
comparison. Certain modern tendencies and movements gave an impetus to
the detached study of human behavior. The ethnologists collected
objective descriptions of the behavior of primitive people. In
psychology interest developed in the study of the child and in the
comparative study of human and animal behavior. The psychiatrist, in
dealing with certain types of abnormal behavior like hysteria and
multiple personality, was forced to study human behavior objectively.
All this has prepared the way for a science of human nature and of
society based upon objective and disinterested observation.

2. Literature and the Science of Human Nature

The poets were the first to recognize that "the proper study of mankind
is man" as they were also the first to interpret it objectively. The
description and appreciation of human nature and personality by the poet
and artist preceded systematic and reflective analysis by the
psychologist and the sociologist. In recent years, moreover, there has
been a very conscious effort to make literature, as well as history,
"scientific." Georg Brandes in his _Main Currents in Nineteenth Century
Literature_ set himself the task to "trace first and foremost the
connection between literature and life." Taine's _History of English
Literature_ attempts to delineate British temperament and character as
mirrored in literary masterpieces.

The novel which emphasizes "_milieu_" and "character," as contrasted
with the novel which emphasizes "action" and "plot," is a literary
device for the analysis of human nature and society. Émile Zola in an
essay _The Experimental Novel_ has presented with characteristic
audacity the case for works of fiction as instruments for the scientific
dissection and explanation of human behavior.

     The novelist is equally an observer and an experimentalist. The
     observer in him gives the facts as he has observed them,
     suggests the points of departure, displays the solid earth on
     which his characters are to tread and the phenomena develop.
     Then the experimentalist appears and introduces an experiment,
     that is to say, sets his characters going in a certain story so
     as to show that the succession of facts will be such as the
     requirements of the determinism of the phenomena under
     examination call for. The novelist starts out in search of a
     truth. I will take as an example the character of the "Baron
     Hulot," in _Cousine Bette_, by Balzac. The general fact
     observed by Balzac is the ravages that the amorous temperament
     of a man makes in his home, in his family, and in society. As
     soon as he has chosen his subject he starts from known facts,
     then he makes his experiment and exposes Hulot to a series of
     trials, placing him among certain surroundings in order to
     exhibit how the complicated machinery of his passions works. It
     is then evident that there is not only observation there, but
     that there is also experiment, as Balzac does not remain
     satisfied with photographing the facts collected by him, but
     interferes in a direct way to place his characters in certain
     conditions, and of these he remains the master. The problem is
     to know what such a passion, acting in such surroundings and
     under such circumstances, would produce from the point of view
     of an individual and of society; and an experimental novel,
     _Cousine Bette_, for example, is simply the report of the
     experiment that the novelist conducts before the eyes of the
     public. In fact, the whole operation consists of taking facts
     in nature, then in studying the mechanism of these facts,
     acting upon them, by the modification of circumstances and
     surroundings, without deviating from the laws of nature.
     Finally, you possess knowledge of the man, scientific knowledge
     of him, in both his individual and social relations.[79]

After all that may be said for the experimental novel, however, its
primary aim, like that of history, is appreciation and understanding,
not generalization and abstract formulas. Insight and sympathy, the
mystical sense of human solidarity, expressed in the saying "to
comprehend all is to forgive all," this fiction has to give. And these
are materials which the sociologist cannot neglect. As yet there is no
autobiography or biography of an egocentric personality so convincing as
George Meredith's _The Egoist_. The miser is a social type; but there
are no case studies as sympathetic and discerning as George Eliot's
_Silas Marner_. Nowhere in social science has the technique of case
study developed farther than in criminology; yet Dostoévsky's
delineation of the self-analysis of the murderer in _Crime and
Punishment_ dwarfs all comparison outside of similar studies in
fiction. The function of the so-called psychological or sociological
novel stops, however, with its presentation of the individual incident
or case; it is satisfied by the test of its appeal to the experience of
the reader. The scientific study of human nature proceeds a step
farther; it seeks generalizations. From the case studies of history and
of literature it abstracts the laws and principles of human behavior.

3. Research in the Field of Original Nature

Valuable materials for the study of human nature have been accumulated
in archaeology, ethnology, and folklore. William G. Sumner, in his book
_Folkways_, worked through the ethnological data and made it available
for sociological use. By classification and comparison of the customs of
primitive peoples he showed that cultural differences were based on
variations in folkways and mores in adaptation to the environment,
rather than upon fundamental differences in human nature.

The interests of research have resulted in a division of labor between
the fields of original and acquired nature in man. The examination of
original tendencies has been quite properly connected with the study of
inheritance. For the history of research in this field, the student is
referred to treatises upon genetics and evolution and to the works of
Lamarck, Darwin, DeVries, Weismann, and Mendel. Recent discoveries in
regard to the mechanism of biological inheritance have led to the
organization of a new applied science, "eugenics." The new science
proposes a social program for the improvement of the racial traits based
upon the investigations of breeding and physical inheritance. Research
in eugenics has been fostered by the Galton Laboratory in England, and
by the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor in the United
States. Interest has centered in the study of the inheritance of
feeble-mindedness. Studies of feeble-minded families and groups, as _The
Kallikak Family_ by Goddard, _The Jukes_ by Dugdale, and _The Tribe of
Ishmael_ by M'Culloch, have shown how mental defect enters as a factor
into industrial inefficiency, poverty, prostitution, and crime.

4. The Investigation of Human Personality

The trend of research in human nature has been toward the study of
personality. Scientific inquiry into the problems of personality was
stimulated by the observation of abnormal behavior such as hysteria,
loss of memory, etc., where the cause was not organic and, therefore,
presumably psychic. A school of French psychiatrists and psychologists
represented by Charcot, Janet, and Ribot have made signal contributions
to an understanding of the maladies of personality. Investigation in
this field, invaluable for an understanding of the person, has been made
in the study of dual and multiple personality. The work of Freud, Jung,
Adler, and others in psychoanalysis has thrown light upon the rôle of
mental conflict, repression, and the wishes in the growth of

In sociology, personality is studied, not only from the subjective
standpoint of its organization, but even more in its objective aspects
and with reference to the rôle of the person in the group. One of the
earliest classifications of "kinds of conduct" has been ascribed by
tradition to a disciple of Aristotle, Theophrastus, who styled himself
"a student of human nature." _The Characters of Theophrastus_ is
composed of sketches--humorous and acute, if superficial--of types such
as "the flatterer," "the boor," "the coward," "the garrulous man." They
are as true to modern life as to the age of Alexander. Chief among the
modern imitators of Theophrastus is La Bruyère, who published in 1688
_Les caractères, ou les moeurs de ce siècle_, a series of essays on
the manners of his time, illustrated by portraits of his contemporaries.

Autobiography and biography provide source material for the study both
of the subjective life and of the social rôle of the person. Three great
autobiographies which have inspired the writing of personal narratives
are themselves representative of the different types: Caesar's
_Commentaries_, with his detached impersonal description of his great
exploits; the _Confessions of St. Augustine_, with his intimate
self-analysis and intense self-reproach, and the less well-known _De
Vita Propria Liber_ by Cardan. This latter is a serious attempt at
scientific self-examination. Recently, attention has been directed to
the accumulation of autobiographical and biographical materials which
are interpreted from the point of view of psychiatry and psychoanalysis.
The study _Der Fall Otto Weininger_ by Dr. Ferdinand Probst is a
representative monograph of this type. The outstanding example of this
method and its use for sociological interpretation is "Life Record of an
Immigrant" contained in the third volume of Thomas and Znaniecki, _The
Polish Peasant_. In connection with the _Recreation Survey_ of the
Cleveland Foundation and the _Americanization Studies of the Carnegie
Corporation_, the life-history has been developed as part of the
technique of investigation.

5. The Measurement of Individual Differences

With the growing sense of the importance of individual differences in
human nature, attempts at their measurement have been essayed. Tests for
physical and mental traits have now reached a stage of accuracy and
precision. The study of temperamental and social characteristics is
still in the preliminary stage.

The field of the measurement of physical traits is dignified by the name
"anthropometry." In the nineteenth century high hopes were widely held
of the significance of measurements of the cranium and of physiognomy
for an understanding of the mental and moral nature of the person. The
lead into phrenology sponsored by Gall and Spurzheim proved to be a
blind trail. The so-called "scientific school of criminology" founded by
Cesare Lombroso upon the identification of the criminal type by certain
abnormalities of physiognomy and physique was undermined by the
controlled study made by Charles Goring. At the present time the
consensus of expert opinion is that only for a small group may gross
abnormalities of physical development be associated with abnormal mental
and emotional reactions.

In 1905-11 Binet and Simon devised a series of tests for determining the
mental age of French school children. The purpose of the mental
measurements was to gauge innate mental capacity. Therefore the tests
excluded material which had to do with special social experience. With
their introduction into the United States certain revisions and
modifications, such as the Goddard Revision, the Terman Revision, the
Yerkes-Bridges Point Scale, were made in the interests of
standardization. The application of mental measurements to different
races and social classes raised the question of the extent to which
individual groups varied because of differences in social experience.
While it is not possible absolutely to separate original tendencies from
their expression in experience, it is practicable to devise tests which
will take account of divergent social environments.

The study of volitional traits and of temperament is still in its
infancy. Many recent attempts at classification of temperaments rest
upon as impressionistic a basis as the popular fourfold division into
sanguine, melancholic, choleric, and phlegmatic. Two of the efforts to
define temperamental differences rest, however, upon first-hand study of
cases. Dr. June E. Downey has devised a series of tests based upon
handwriting material for measuring will traits. In her pamphlet _The
Will Profile_ she presents an analysis of twelve volitional traits:
revision, perseverance, co-ordination of impulses, care for detail,
motor inhibition, resistance, assurance, motor impulsion, speed of
decision, flexibility, freedom from inertia, and speed of movement. From
a study of several hundred cases she defined certain will patterns which
apparently characterize types of individuals. In her experience she has
found the rating of the subject by the will test to have a distinct
value in supplementing the test for mentality.

Kraepelin, on the basis of his examination of abnormal mental states,
offers a classification of types of psychopathic personalities. He
distinguishes six groups: the excitable, the unstable, the psychopathic
trend, the eccentric, the anti-social, and the contentious. In
psychoanalysis a simpler twofold division is frequently made between the
_introverts_, or the "introspective" and the _extroverts_, or the
"objective" types of individual.

The study of social types is as yet an unworked field. Literature and
life surround us with increasing specializations in personalities, but
attempts at classification are still in the impressionistic stage. The
division suggested by Thomas into the Philistine, Bohemian, and Creative
types, while suggestive, is obviously too simple for an adequate
description of the rich and complex variety of personalities.

This survey indicates the present status of attempts to define and
measure differences in original and human nature. A knowledge of
individual differences is important in every field of social control. It
is significant that these tests have been devised to meet problems of
policies and of administration in medicine, in industry, in education,
and in penal and reformatory institutions. Job analysis, personnel
administration, ungraded rooms, classes for exceptional children,
vocational guidance, indicate fields made possible by the development of
tests for measuring individual differences.



A. _Racial Inheritance_

(1) Thomson, J. Arthur. _Heredity._ London and New York, 1908.

(2) Washburn, Margaret F. _The Animal Mind._ New York, 1908.

(3) Morgan, C. Lloyd. _Habit and Instinct._ London and New York, 1896.

(4) ----. _Instinct and Experience._ New York, 1912.

(5) Loeb, Jacques. _Comparative Physiology of the Brain and Comparative
Psychology._ New York, 1900.

(6) ----. _Forced Movements._ Philadelphia and London, 1918.

(7) Jennings, H. S. _Behavior of the Lower Organisms._ New York, 1906.

(8) Watson, John. _Behavior: an Introduction to Comparative Psychology._
New York, 1914.

(9) Thorndike, E. L. _The Original Nature of Man._ Vol. I of
"Educational Psychology." New York, 1913.

(10) Paton, Stewart. _Human Behavior._ In relation to the study of
educational, social, and ethical problems. New York, 1921.

(11) Faris, Ellsworth. "Are Instincts Data or Hypotheses?" _American
Journal of Sociology_, XXVII (Sept., 1921.)

B. _Heredity and Eugenics_

1. Systematic Treatises:

(1) Castle, W. E., Coulter, J. M., Davenport, C. B., East, E. M., and
Tower, W. L. _Heredity and Eugenics._ Chicago, 1912.

(2) Davenport, C. B. _Heredity in Relation to Eugenics._ New York, 1911.

(3) Goddard, Henry H. _Feeble-mindedness._ New York, 1914.

2. Inherited Inferiority of Families and Communities:

(1) Dugdale, Richard L. _The Jukes._ New York, 1877.

(2) M'Culloch, O. C. _The Tribe of Ishmael._ A study in social
degradation. National Conference of Charities and Correction, 1888,
154-59; 1889, 265; 1890, 435-37.

(3) Goddard, Henry H. _The Kallikak Family._ New York, 1912.

(4) Winship, A. E. _Jukes-Edwards._ A study in education and heredity.
Harrisburg, Pa., 1900.

(5) Estabrook, A. H., and Davenport, C. B. _The Nam Family._ A study in
cacogenics. Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., 1912.

(6) Danielson, F. H., and Davenport, C. B. _The Hill Folk._ Report on a
rural community of hereditary defectives. Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.,

(7) Kite, Elizabeth S. "The Pineys," _Survey_, XXXI (October 4, 1913),
7-13. 38-40.

(8) Gesell, A. L. "The Village of a Thousand Souls," _American
Magazine_, LXXVI (October, 1913), 11-13.

(9) Kostir, Mary S. _The Family of Sam Sixty._ Columbus, 1916.

(10) Finlayson, Anna W. _The Dack Family._ A study on hereditary lack of
emotional control. Cold Spring Harbor, N. Y., 1916.


A. _Human Traits_

(1) Cooley, Charles H. _Human Nature and the Social Order._ New York,

(2) Shaler, N. S. _The Individual._ New York, 1900.

(3) Hocking, W. E. _Human Nature and Its Remaking._ New Haven, 1918.

(4) Edman, Irwin. _Human Traits and Their Social Significance._ Boston,

(5) Wallas, Graham. _Human Nature in Politics._ London, 1908.

(6) Lippmann, Walter. _A Preface to Politics._ [A criticism of present
politics from the point of view of human-nature studies.] New York and
London, 1913.

(7) James, William. _The Varieties of Religious Experience._ A study in
human nature. London and New York, 1902.

(8) Ellis, Havelock. _Studies in the Psychology of Sex._ 6 vols.
Philadelphia, 1900-1905.

(9) Thomas, W. I. _Source Book for Social Origins._ Chicago, 1909.
[Contains extensive bibliographies.]

B. _The Mores_

1. Comparative Studies of Cultural Traits:

(1) Tylor, E. B. _Primitive Culture._ Researches into the development of
mythology, philosophy, religion, language, art, and custom. 4th ed. 2
vols. London, 1903.

(2) Sumner, W. G. _Folkways._ A study of the sociological importance of
usages, manners, customs, mores, and morals. Boston, 1906.

(3) Westermarck, E. A. _The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas._
London and New York, 1908.

(4) Ratzel, F. _History of Mankind._ Translated by A. J. Butler. London
and New York, 1898.

(5) Vierkandt, A. _Naturvölker und Kulturvölker._ Leipzig, 1896.

(6) Lippert, Julius. _Kulturgeschichte der Menschheit in ihrem
organischem Aufbau._ Stuttgart, 1886-87.

(7) Frazer, J. G. _The Golden Bough._ A study in magic and religion. 3d
ed., 12 vols. (Volume XII is a bibliography of the preceding volumes.)
London and New York, 1907-15.

(8) Dewey, John, and Tufts, James H. _Ethics._ New York, 1908.

2. Studies of Traits of Individual Peoples:

(1) Fouillée, A. _Psychologie du peuple français._ Paris, 1898.

(2) Rhys, J., and Brynmor-Jones, D. _The Welsh People._ London, 1900.

(3) Fishberg, M. _The Jews._ A study of race and environment. London and
New York, 1911.

(4) Strausz, A. _Die Bulgaren._ Ethnographische Studien. Leipzig, 1898.

(5) Stern, B. _Geschichtete der öffentlichen Sittlichkeit in Russland._
Kultur, Aberglaube, Sitten, und Gebraüche. Zwei Bände. Berlin, 1907-8.

(6) Krauss, F. S. _Sitte und Brauch der Südslaven._ Wien, 1885.

(7) Kidd, D. _The Essential Kafir._ London, 1904.

(8) Spencer, B., and Gillen, F. J. _The Native Tribes of Central
Australia._ London and New York, 1899.

C. _Human Nature and Industry_

(1) Taylor, F. W. _The Principles of Scientific Management._ New York,

(2) Tead, O., and Metcalf, H. C. _Personnel Administration; Its
Principles and Practice._ New York, 1920.

(3) Tead, O. _Instincts in Industry._ A study of working-class
psychology. Boston, 1918.

(4) Parker, C. H. _The Casual Laborer and Other Essays._ New York, 1920.

(5) Marot, Helen. _Creative Impulse in Industry; A Proposition for
Educators._ New York, 1918.

(6) Williams, Whiting. _What's on the Worker's Mind._ New York, 1920.

(7) Hollingworth, H. L. _Vocational Psychology; Its Problems and
Methods._ New York, 1916.


A. _The Genesis of Personality_

(1) Baldwin, J. M. _Mental Development in the Child and the Race:
Methods and Processes._ 3d rev. ed. New York and London, 1906.

(2) Baldwin, J. M. _Social and Ethical Interpretations in Mental
Developments._ Chap ii, "The Social Person," pp. 66-98. 3d ed., rev. and
enl. New York and London, 1902.

(3) Sully, J. _Studies of Childhood._ rev. ed. New York, 1903.

(4) King, I. _The Psychology of Child Development._ Chicago, 1903.

(5) Thorndike, E. L. _Notes on Child Study._ New York, 1903.

(6) Hall, G. S. _Adolescence._ Its psychology and its relations to
physiology, anthropology, sociology, sex, crime, religion, and
education. 2 vols.. New York, 1904.

(7) Shinn, Milicent W. _Notes on the Development of a Child._ University
of California Studies. Nos. 1-4. 1893-99.

(8) Kirkpatrick, E. A. _The Individual in the Making._ Boston and New
York, 1911.

B. _Psychology and Sociology of the Person_

(1) James, William. _The Principles of Psychology._ Chap, x,
"Consciousness of Self," I, 291-401. New York, 1890.

(2) Bekhterev, V. M. (Bechterew, W. v.) _Die Persönlichkeit und die
Bedingungen ihrer Entwicklung und Gesundheit._ "Grenzfragen des Nerven
und Seelenlebens," No. 45. Wiesbaden, 1906.

(3) Binet, A. _Alterations of Personality._ Translated by H. G. Baldwin.
New York, 1896.

(4) Ribot, T. A. _Diseases of Personality._ Authorized translation, 2d
rev. ed. Chicago, 1895.

(5) Adler, A. _The Neurotic Constitution._ New York, 1917.

(6) Prince, M. _The Dissociation of a Personality._ A biographical study
in abnormal psychology. 2d ed. New York, 1913.

(7) ----. _The Unconscious._ The fundamentals of human personality,
normal and abnormal. New York, 1914.

(8) Coblenz, Felix. _Ueber das betende Ich in den Psalmen._ Ein Beitrag
zur Erklaerung des Psalters. Frankfort, 1897.

(9) Royce, J. _Studies of Good and Evil._ A series of essays upon
problems of philosophy and life. Chap, viii, "Some Observations on the
Anomalies of Self-consciousness," pp. 169-97. A paper read before the
Medico-Psychological Association of Boston, March 21, 1894. New York,

(10) Stern, B. _Werden and Wesen der Persönlichkeit._ Biologische und
historische Untersuchungen über menschliche Individualität. Wien und
Leipzig, 1913.

(11) Shand, A. F. _The Foundations of Character._ Being a study of the
tendencies of the emotions and sentiments. London, 1914.

C. _Materials for the Study of the Person_

(1) Theophrastus. _The Characters of Theophrastus._ Translated from the
Greek by R. C. Jebb. London, 1870.

(2) La Bruyère, Jean de. _Les caractères, ou les moeurs de ce siècle._
Paris, 1916. _The "Characters" of Jean de La Bruyère._ Translated from
the French by Henri Van Laun. London, 1885.

(3) Augustinus, Aurelius. _The Confessions of St. Augustine._ Translated
from the Latin by E. B. Pusly. London, 1907.

(4) Wesley, John. _The Journal of the Rev. John Wesley._ New York and
London, 1907.

(5) Amiel, H. _Journal intime._ Translated by Mrs. Ward. London and New
York, 1885.

(6) Cellini, Benvenuto. _Memoirs of Benvenuto Cellini._ Translated from
the Italian by J. A. Symonds. New York, 1898.

(7) Woolman, John. _Journal of the Life, Gospel Labors, and Christian
Experiences of That Faithful Minister of Jesus Christ, John Woolman._
Dublin, 1794.

(8) Tolstoy, Count Leon. _My Confession._ Translated from the Russian.
Paris and New York, 1887. _My Religion._ Translated from the French. New
York, 1885.

(9) Riley, I. W. _The Founder of Mormonism._ A psychological study of
Joseph Smith, Jr. New York, 1902.

(10) Wilde, Oscar. _De Profundis._ New York and London, 1905.

(11) Keller, Helen. _The Story of My Life._ New York, 1903.

(12) Simmel, Georg. _Goethe._ Leipzig, 1913.

(13) Thomas, W. I., and Znaniecki, F. _The Polish Peasant in Europe and
America._ "Life-Record of an Immigrant," III, 89-400. Boston, 1919.

(14) Probst, Ferdinand. _Der Fall Otto Weininger._ "Grenzfragen des
Nerven- und Seelenlebens," No. 31. Wiesbaden, 1904.

(15) Anthony, Katherine. _Margaret Fuller._ A psychological biography.
New York, 1920.

(16) Willard, Josiah Flynt. _My Life._ New York, 1908.

(17) ----. _Tramping with Tramps._ New York, 1899.

(18) Cummings, B. F. _The Journal of a Disappointed Man_, by Barbellion,
W. N. P. [_pseud._] Introduction by H. G. Wells. New York, 1919.

(19) Audoux, Marguerite. _Marie Claire._ Introduction by Octave
Mirabeau. Translated from the French by J. N. Raphael. London and New
York, 1911.

(20) Clemens, Samuel L. _The Adventures of Tom Sawyer_, by Mark Twain
[_pseud._]. New York, 1903.

(21) Hapgood, Hutchins. _The Autobiography of a Thief._ New York, 1903.

(22) Johnson, James W. _The Autobiography of an ex-Colored Man._
Published anonymously. Boston, 1912.

(23) Washington, Booker T. _Up from Slavery._ An autobiography. New
York, 1901.

(24) Du Bois, W. E. B. _The Souls of Black Folk._ Chicago, 1903.

(25) Beers, C. W. _A Mind That Found Itself._ An autobiography. 4th rev.
ed. New York, 1917.


A. _The Nature of Individual Differences_

(1) Thorndike, E. L. _Individuality._ Boston, 1911.

(2) ----. "Individual Differences and Their Causes," _Educational
Psychology_, III, 141-388. New York, 1913-14.

(3) Stern, W. _Ueber Psychologie der individuellen Differenzen._
Leipzig, 1900.

(4) Hollingworth, Leta S. _The Psychology of Subnormal Children._ Chap.
i. "Individual Differences." New York, 1920.

B. _Mental Differences_

(1) Goddard, H. H. _Feeble-mindedness._ Its causes and consequences. New
York, 1914.

(2) Tredgold, A. F. _Mental Deficiency._ 2d ed. New York, 1916.

(3) Bronner, Augusta F. _The Psychology of Special Abilities and
Disabilities._ Boston, 1917.

(4) Healy, William. _Case Studies of Mentally and Morally Abnormal
Types._ Cambridge, Mass., 1912.

C. _Temperamental Differences_

1. Systematic Treatises:

(1) Fouillée, A. _Tempérament et caractère selon les individus, les
sexes et les races._ Paris, 1895.

(2) Hirt, Eduard. _Die Temperamente, ihr Wesen, ihre Bedeutung, für das
seelische Erleben und ihre besonderen Gestaltungen._ "Grenzfragen des
Nerven- und Seelenlebens," No. 40. Wiesbaden, 1905.

(3) Hoch, A., and Amsden, G. S. "A Guide to the Descriptive Study of
Personality," _Review of Neurology and Psychiatry_, (1913), pp. 577-87.

(4) Kraepelin, E. _Psychiatrie._ Ein Lehrbuch für Studierende und Ärzte.
Vol. IV, chap. xvi, pp. 1973-2116. 8th ed. 4 vols. Leipzig, 1909-15.

(5) Loewenfeld, L. _Ueber die geniale Geistesthätigkeit mit besonderer
Berücksichtigung des Genie's für bildende Kunst._ "Grenzfragen des
Nerven- und Seelenlebens," No. 21. Wiesbaden, 1903.

2. Temperamental Types:

(1) Lombroso, C. _The Man of Genius._ Translated from the Italian.
London and New York, 1891.

(2) ----. _L'uomo delinquente in rapporto all'antropologia, alla
giurisprudenza ed alle discipline carcerarie._ 3 vols. 5th ed. Torino,

(3) Goring, Charles. _The English Convict._ A statistical study. London,

(4) Wilmanns, Karl. _Psychopathologie des Landstreichers._ Leipzig,

(5) Downey, June E. "The Will Profile." A tentative scale for
measurement of the volitional pattern. _University of Wyoming Bulletin_,
Laramie, 1919.

(6) Pagnier, A. _Le vagabond._ Paris, 1910.

(7) Kowalewski, A. _Studien zur Psychologie der Pessimismus._
"Grenzfragen des Nerven- und Seelenlebens," No. 24. Wiesbaden, 1904.

D. _Sex Differences_

(1) Ellis, H. H. _Man and Woman._ A study of human secondary sexual
characters. 5th rev. ed. London and New York, 1914.

(2) Geddes, P., and Thomson, J. A. _The Evolution of Sex._ London, 1889.

(3) Thompson, Helen B. _The Mental Traits of Sex._ An experimental
investigation of the normal mind in men and women. Chicago, 1903.

(4) Montague, Helen, and Hollingworth, Leta S. "The Comparative
Variability of the Sexes at Birth," _American Journal of Sociology_, XX
(1914-15), 335-70.

(5) Thomas, W. I. _Sex and Society._ Chicago, 1907.

(6) Weidensall, C. J. _The Mentality of the Criminal Woman._ A
comparative study of the criminal woman, the working girl, and the
efficient working woman, in a series of mental and physical tests.
Baltimore, 1916.

(7) Hollingworth, Leta S. "Variability as Related to Sex Differences in
Achievement," _American Journal of Sociology_, XIX (1913-14), 510-30.

E. _Racial Differences_

(1) Boas, F. _The Mind of Primitive Man._ New York, 1911.

(2) _Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits._ 5 vols.
Cambridge, 1901-08.

(3) Le Bon, G. _The Psychology of Peoples._ Its influence on their
evolution. New York and London, 1898. [Translation.]

(4) Reuter, E. B. _The Mulatto in the United States._ Boston, 1918.

(5) Bruner, F. G. "Hearing of Primitive Peoples," _Archives of
Psychology_, No. 11. New York, 1908.

(6) Woodworth, R. S. "Racial Differences in Mental Traits," _Science_,
new series, XXI (1910), 171-86.

(7) Morse, Josiah. "A Comparison of White and Colored Children Measured
by the Binet-Simon Scale of Intelligence," _Popular Science Monthly_,
LXXXIVC (1914), 75-79.

(8) Ferguson, G. O., Jr. "The Psychology of the Negro, an Experimental
Study," _Archives of Psychology_, No. 36. New York, 1916.


1. Cooley's Conception of Human Nature

2. Human Nature and the Instincts

3. Human Nature and the Mores

4. Studies in the Evolution of the Mores; Prohibition, Birth Control,
the Social Status of Children

5. Labor Management as a Problem in Human Nature

6. Human Nature in Politics

7. Personality and the Self

8. Personality as a Sociological Concept

9. Temperament, Milieu, and Social Types; the Politician, Labor Leader,
Minister, Actor, Lawyer, Taxi Driver, Chorus Girl, etc.

10. Bohemian, Philistine, and Genius

11. The Beggar, Vagabond, and Hobo

12. Literature as Source Material for the Study of Character

13. Outstanding Personalities in a Selected Community

14. Autobiography as Source Material for the Study of Human Nature

15. Individual and Racial Differences Compared

16. The Man of Genius as a Biological and a Sociological Product

17. The Jukes and Kindred Studies of Inferior Groups

18. History of the Binet-Simon Tests

19. Mental Measurements and Vocational Guidance

20. Psychiatry and Juvenile Delinquency

21. Recent Studies of the Adolescent Girl

22. Mental Inferiority and Crime


1. Is human nature that which is fundamental and alike in all
individuals or is it those qualities which we recognize and appreciate
as human when we meet them in individuals?

2. What is the relation between original nature and the environment?

3. What is the basis for the distinction made by Thorndike between
reflexes, instincts, and inborn capacities?

4. Read carefully Thorndike's _Inventory of Original Tendencies_. What
illustrations of the different original traits occur to you?

5. What do you understand by Park's statement that man is not born

6. "Human nature is a superstructure." What value has this metaphor?
What are its limitations? Suggest a metaphor which more adequately
illustrates the relation of original nature to acquired nature.

7. In what sense can it be said that habit is a means of controlling
original nature?

8. What, according to Park, is the relation of character to instinct and
habit? Do you agree with him?

9. What do you understand by the statement that "original nature is

10. What relation has an ideal to (a) instinct and (b) group life?

11. In what sense may we speak of the infant as the "natural man"?

12. To what extent are racial differences (a) those of original
nature, (b) those acquired from experience?

13. What evidence is there for the position that sex differences in
mental traits are acquired rather than inborn?

14. How do you distinguish between mentality and temperament?

15. How do you account for the great differences in achievement between
the sexes?

16. What evidence is there of temperamental differences between the
sexes? between races?

17. In the future will women equal men in achievement?

18. What, in your judgment, is the range of individual differences? Is
it less or greater than that of racial and sex differences?

19. What do you understand is the distinction between racial inheritance
as represented by the instincts, and innate individual differences? Do
you think that both should be regarded as part of original nature?

20. What is the effect of education and the division of labor (a) upon
instincts and (b) upon individual differences?

21. Are individual differences or likenesses more important for society?

22. What do you understand to be the significance of individual
differences (a) for social life; (b) for education; (c) for

23. What do you understand by the remaking of human nature? What is the
importance of this principle for politics, industry, and social

24. Explain the proverbs: "Habit is ten times nature," "Habit is second

25. What is Cooley's definition of human nature? Do you agree or
disagree with him? Elaborate your position.

26. To what extent does human nature differ with race and geographic

27. How would you reinterpret Aristotle's and Hobbes's conception of
human nature in the light of this definition?

28. What illustrations of the difference between folkways and mores
would you suggest?

29. Classify the following forms of behavior under (a) folkways or
(b) mores: tipping the hat, saluting an officer, monogamy, attending
church, Sabbath observance, prohibition, immersion as a form of baptism,
the afternoon tea of the Englishman, the double standard of morals, the
Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, the Constitution of the United

30. What do you understand to be the relation of the mores to human

31. In what way is (a) habit related to will? (b) custom related to
the general will?

32. How do you distinguish the general will (a) from law, (b) from

33. Does any one of the following terms embody your conception of what
is expressed by _Sittlichkeit_: good form, decency, self-respect,
propriety, good breeding, convention?

34. Describe and analyze several concrete social situations where
_Sittlichkeit_ rather than conscience or law controlled the behavior of
the person or of the group.

35. What do you understand by convention? What is the relation of
convention to instinct? Is convention a part of human nature to the same
extent as loyalty, honor, etc.?

36. What is meant by the saying that mores, ritual, and convention are
in the words of Hegel "objective mind"?

37. "The organism, and the brain as its highest representative,
constitute the real personality." What characteristics of personality
are stressed in this definition?

38. Is there any significance to the fact that personality is derived
from the Latin word _persona_ (mask worn by actors)?

39. Is the conventional self a product of habit, or of _Sittlichkeit_,
or of law, or of conscience?

40. What is the importance of other people to the development of

41. Under what conditions does self-consciousness arise?

42. What do you understand by personality as a complex? As a total of
mental complexes?

43. What is the relation of memory to personality as illustrated in the
case of dual personality and of moods?

44. What do you understand Cooley to mean by the looking-glass self?

45. What illustration would you suggest to indicate that an individual's
sense of his personality depends upon his status in the group?

46. "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."
Is personality adequately defined in terms of a person's conception of
his rôle?

47. What is the sociological significance of the saying, "If you would
have a virtue, feign it"?

48. What, according to Bechterew, is the relation of personality to the
social _milieu_?

49. What do you understand by the personality of peoples? What is the
relation of the personality of peoples and the personalities of
individuals who constitute the peoples?

50. What do you understand by the difference between nature and nurture?

51. What are acquired characters? How are they transmitted?

52. What do you understand by the Mendelian principles of inheritance:
(a) the hypothesis of unit characters; (b) the law of dominance; and
(c) the law of segregation?

53. What illustrations of the differences between instinct and tradition
would you suggest?

54. What is the difference between the blue eye as a defect in
pigmentation, and of feeble-mindedness as a defective characteristic?

55. Should it be the policy of society to eliminate all members below a
certain mental level either by segregation or by more drastic measures?

56. What principles of treatment of practical value to parents and
teachers would you draw from the fact that feeble inhibition of temper
is a trait transmitted by biological inheritance?

57. Why is an understanding of the principles of biological inheritance
of importance to sociology?

58. In what two ways, according to Keller, are acquired characters
transmitted by tradition?

59. Make a list of the different types of things derived by the person
(a) from his biological inheritance, and (b) from his social

60. What traits, temperament, mentality, manner, or character, are
distinctive of members of your family? Which of these have been
inherited, which acquired?

61. What problems in society are due to defects in man's original

62. What problems are the result of defects in folkways and mores?

63. In what way do racial temperament and tradition determine national
characteristics? To what extent is the religious behavior of the negro
determined (a) by temperament, (b) by imitation of white culture?
How do you explain Scotch economy, Irish participation in politics, the
intellectuality of the Jew, etc.?


[55] Charles H. Cooley, _Social Organization_, pp. 28-30.

[56] Charles H. Cooley, _Human Nature and the Social Order_, pp. 152-53.

[57] _The Theory of the Leisure Class_ (New York, 1899).

[58] From Edward L. Thorndike, _The Original Nature of Man_, pp. 1-7.
(Teachers College, Columbia University, 1913. Author's copyright.)

[59] Compiled from Edward L. Thorndike, _The Original Nature of Man_,
pp. 43-194. (Teachers College, Columbia University, 1913. Author's

[60] From Robert E. Park, _Principles of Human Behavior_, pp. 9-16. (The
Zalaz Corporation, 1915.)

[61] Adapted from Milicent W. Shinn, _The Biography of a Baby_, pp.
20-77. (Houghton Mifflin Co., 1900. Author's copyright.)

[62] From Albert Moll, _Sexual Life of the Child_, pp. 38-49. Translated
from the German by Dr. Eden Paul. (Published by The Macmillan Co., 1902.
Reprinted by permission.)

[63] From C. S. Myers, "On the Permanence of Racial Differences," in
_Papers on Inter-racial Problems_, edited by G. Spiller, pp. 74-76. (P.
S. King & Son, 1911.)

[64] From Edward L. Thorndike, _Individuality_, pp. 1-8. (By permission
of and special arrangement with Houghton Mifflin Co., 1911.)

[65] From W. E. Hocking, _Human Nature and Its Remaking_, pp. 2-12.
(Yale University Press, 1918.)

[66] From William G. Sumner, _Folkways_, pp. 2-8. (Ginn & Co., 1906.)

[67] Translated and adapted from Ferdinand Tönnies, _Die Sitte_, pp.
7-14. (Literarische Anstalt, Rütten und Loening, 1909.)

[68] From Viscount Haldane, "Higher Nationality," in _International
Conciliation_, November, 1913, No. 72, pp. 4-12.

[69] From Th. Ribot, _The Diseases of Personality_, pp. 156-57.
Translated from the French. (The Open Court Publishing Co., 1891.)

[70] From Morton Prince, "The Unconscious," in the _Journal of Abnormal
Psychology_, III (1908-9), 277-96, 426.

[71] From Alfred Binet, _Alterations of Personality_, pp. 248-57. (D.
Appleton & Co., 1896.)

[72] From L. G. Winston, "Myself and I," in the _American Journal of
Psychology_, XIX (1908), 562-63.

[73] From William James, _The Varieties of Religious Experience_, pp.
166-73. (Longmans, Green & Co., 1902.)

[74] Translated from V. M. Bekhterev (W. v. Bechterew), _Die
Persönlichkeit und die Bedingungen ihrer Entwicklung und Gesundheit_,
pp. 3-5. (J. F. Bergmann, 1906.)

[75] From J. Arthur Thomson, _Heredity_, pp. 244-49. (G. P. Putnam's
Sons, 1908.)

[76] Adapted from C. B. Davenport, "The Method of Evolution," in Castle,
Coulter, Davenport, East, and Tower, _Heredity and Eugenics_, pp.
269-87. (The University of Chicago Press, 1912.)

[77] From Albert G. Keller, _Societal Evolution_, pp. 212-15. (Published
by The Macmillan Co., 1915. Reprinted by permission.)

[78] From Robert E. Park, "Education in Its Relation to the Conflict and
Fusion of Cultures," in the _Publications of the American Sociological
Society_, XIII (1918), 58-63.

[79] Émile Zola, _The Experimental Novel_ (New York, 1893), pp. 8-9.
Translated from the French by Belle M. Sherman.




1. Society, the Community, and the Group

Human nature and the person are products of society. This is the sum and
substance of the readings in the preceding chapter. But what, then, is
society--this web in which the lives of individuals are so inextricably
interwoven, and which seems at the same time so external and in a sense
alien to them? From the point of view of common sense, "society" is
sometimes conceived as the sum total of social institutions. The family,
the church, industry, the state, all taken together, constitute society.
In this use of the word, society is identified with social structure,
something more or less external to individuals.

In accordance with another customary use of the term, "society" denotes
a collection of persons. This is a vaguer notion but it at least
identifies society with individuals instead of setting it apart from
them. But this definition is manifestly superficial. Society is not a
collection of persons in the sense that a brick pile is a collection of
bricks. However we may conceive the relation of the parts of society to
the whole, society is not a mere physical aggregation and not a mere
mathematical or statistical unit.

Various explanations that strike deeper than surface observation have
been proposed as solutions for this cardinal problem of the social one
and the social many; of the relation of society to the individual.
Society has been described as a tool, an instrument, as it were, an
extension of the individual organism. The argument runs something like
this: The human hand, though indeed a part of the physical organism, may
be regarded as an instrument of the body as a whole. If, as by accident
it be lost, it is conceivable that a mechanical hand might be
substituted for it, which, though not a part of the body, would function
for all practical purposes as a hand of flesh and blood. A hoe may be
regarded as a highly specialized hand, so also logically, if less
figuratively, a plow. So the hand of another person if it does your
bidding may be regarded as your instrument, your hand. Language is
witness to the fact that employers speak of "the hands" which they
"work." Social institutions may likewise be thought of as tools of
individuals for accomplishing their purposes. Logically, therefore,
society, either as a sum of institutions or as a collection of persons,
may be conceived of as a sum total of instrumentalities, extensions of
the functions of the human organism which enable individuals to carry on
life-activities. From this standpoint society is an immense co-operative
concern of mutual services.

This latter is an aspect of society which economists have sought to
isolate and study. From this point of view the relations of individuals
are conceived as purely external to one another, like that of the plants
in a plant community. Co-operation, so far as it exists, is competitive
and "free."

In contrast with the view of society which regards social institutions
and the community itself as the mere instruments and tools of the
individuals who compose it, is that which conceives society as resting
upon biological adaptations, that is to say upon instincts,
gregariousness, for example, imitation, or like-mindedness. The classic
examples of societies based on instinct are the social insects, the
well-known bee and the celebrated ant. In human society the family, with
its characteristic differences and interdependences of the sexes and the
age groups, husband and wife, children and parents, most nearly realizes
this description of society. In so far as the organization of society is
predetermined by inherited or constitutional differences, as is the case
pre-eminently in the so-called animal societies, competition ceases and
the relations of its component individuals become, so to speak,
internal, and a permanent part of the structure of the group.

The social organization of human beings, on the other hand, the various
types of social groups, and the changes which take place in them at
different times under varying circumstances, are determined not merely
by instincts and by competition but by custom, tradition, public
opinion, and contract. In animal societies as herds, flocks, and packs,
collective behavior seems obviously to be explained in terms of instinct
and emotion. In the case of man, however, instincts are changed into
habits; emotions, into sentiments. Furthermore, all these forms of
behavior tend to become conventionalized and thus become relatively
independent of individuals and of instincts. The behavior of the person
is thus eventually controlled by the formal standards which, implicit in
the mores, are explicit in the laws. Society now may be defined as the
social heritage of _habit and sentiment_, _folkways and mores_,
_technique and culture_, all of which are incident or necessary to
collective human behavior.

Human society, then, unlike animal society is mainly a social heritage,
created in and transmitted by communication. The continuity and life of
a society depend upon its success in transmitting from one generation to
the next its folkways, mores, technique, and ideals. From the standpoint
of collective behavior these cultural traits may all be reduced to the
one term "consensus." Society viewed abstractly is an organization of
individuals; considered concretely it is a complex of organized habits,
sentiments, and social attitudes--in short, consensus.

The terms society, community, and social group are now used by students
with a certain difference of emphasis but with very little difference in
meaning. Society is the more abstract and inclusive term, and society is
made up of social groups, each possessing its own specific type of
organization but having at the same time all the general characteristics
of society in the abstract. Community is the term which is applied to
societies and social groups where they are considered from the point of
view of the geographical distribution of the individuals and
institutions of which they are composed. It follows that every community
is a society, but not every society is a community. An individual may
belong to many social groups but he will not ordinarily belong to more
than one community, except in so far as a smaller community of which he
is a member is included in a larger of which he is also a member.
However, an individual is not, at least from a sociological point of
view, a member of a community because he lives in it but rather because,
and to the extent that, he participates in the common life of the

The term social group has come into use with the attempts of students to
classify societies. Societies may be classified with reference to the
rôle which they play in the organization and life of larger social
groups or societies. The internal organization of any given social
group will be determined by its external relation to other groups in the
society of which it is a part as well as by the relations of individuals
within the group to one another. A boys' gang, a girls' clique, a
college class, or a neighborhood conforms to this definition quite as
much as a labor union, a business enterprise, a political party, or a
nation. One advantage of the term "group" lies in the fact that it may
be applied to the smallest as well as to the largest forms of human

2. Classification of the Materials

Society, in the most inclusive sense of that term, the Great Society, as
Graham Wallas described it, turns out upon analysis to be a
constellation of other smaller societies, that is to say races, peoples,
parties, factions, cliques, clubs, etc. The community, the
world-community, on the other hand, which is merely the Great Society
viewed from the standpoint of the territorial distribution of its
members, presents a different series of social groupings and the Great
Society in this aspect exhibits a totally different pattern. From the
point of view of the territorial distribution of the individuals that
constitute it, the world-community is composed of nations, colonies,
spheres of influence, cities, towns, local communities, neighborhoods,
and families.

These represent in a rough way the subject-matter of sociological
science. Their organization, interrelation, constituent elements, and
the characteristic changes (social processes) which take place in them
are the phenomena of sociological science.

Human beings as we meet them are mobile entities, variously distributed
through geographical space. What is the nature of the connection between
individuals which permits them at the same time to preserve their
distances and act corporately and consentiently--with a common purpose,
in short? These distances which separate individuals are not merely
spatial, they are psychical. Society exists where these distances have
been _relatively_ overcome. Society exists, in short, not merely where
there are people but where there is communication.

The materials in this chapter are intended to show (1) the fundamental
character of the relations which have been established between
individuals through communication; (2) the gradual evolution of these
relations in animal and human societies. On the basis of the principle
thus established it is possible to work out a rational classification of
social groups.

Espinas defines society in terms of corporate action. Wherever separate
individuals act together as a unit, where they co-operate as though they
were parts of the same organism, there he finds society. Society from
this standpoint is not confined to members of one species, but may be
composed of different members of species where there is permanent joint
activity. In the study of symbiosis among animals, it is significant to
note the presence of structural adaptations in one or both species. In
the taming and domestication of animals by man the effects of symbiosis
are manifest. Domestication, by the selection in breeding of traits
desired by man, changes the original nature of the animal. Taming is
achieved by control of habits in transferring to man the filial and
gregarious responses of the young naturally given to its parents and
members of its kind. Man may be thought of as domesticated through
natural social selection. Eugenics is a conscious program of further
domestication by the elimination of defective physical and mental racial
traits and by the improvement of the racial stock through the social
selection of superior traits. Taming has always been a function of human
society, but it is dignified by such denominations as "education,"
"social control," "punishment," and "reformation."

The plant community offers the simplest and least qualified example of
the community. Plant life, in fact, offers an illustration of a
_community_ which is _not a society_. It is not a society because it is
an organization of individuals whose relations, if not wholly external,
are, at any rate, "unsocial" in so far as there is no consensus. The
plant community is interesting, moreover, because it exhibits in the
barest abstraction, the character of _competitive co-operation_, the
aspect of social life which constitutes part of the special
subject-matter of economic science.

This struggle for existence, in some form or other, is in fact essential
to the existence of society. Competition, segregation, and accommodation
serve to maintain the social distances, to fix the status, and preserve
the independence of the individual in the social relation. A society in
which all distances, physical as well as psychical, had been abolished,
in which there was neither taboo, prejudice, nor reserve of any sort; a
society in which the intimacies were absolute, would be a society in
which there were neither persons nor freedom. The processes of
competition, segregation, and accommodation brought out in the
description of the plant community are quite comparable with the same
processes in animal and human communities. A village, town, city, or
nation may be studied from the standpoint of the adaptation, struggle
for existence, and survival of its individual members in the environment
created by the community as a whole.

Society, as Dewey points out, if based on instinct is an effect of
communication. _Consensus_ even more than _co-operation_ or _corporate
action_ is the distinctive mark of human society. Dewey, however, seems
to restrict the use of consensus to group decisions in which all the
members consciously and rationally participate. Tradition and sentiment
are, however, forms of consensus quite as much as constitutions, rules,
and elections.

Le Bon's classification of social groups into heterogeneous and
homogeneous crowds, while interesting and suggestive, is clearly
inadequate. Many groups familiar to all of us, as the family, the
play-group, the neighborhood, the public, find no place in his

Concrete descriptions of group behavior indicate three elements in the
consensus of the members of the group. The first is the characteristic
state of group feeling called _esprit de corps_. The enthusiasm of the
two sides in a football contest, the ecstasy of religious ceremonial,
the fellowship of members of a fraternity, the brotherhood of a monastic
band are all different manifestations of group spirit.

The second element in consensus has become familiar through the term
"morale." Morale may be defined as the collective will. Like the will of
the individual it represents an organization of behavior tendencies. The
discipline of the individual, his subordination to the group, lies in
his participation and reglementation in social activities.

The third element of consensus which makes for unified behavior of the
members of the group has been analyzed by Durkheim under the term
"collective representations." Collective representations are the
concepts which embody the objectives of group activity.

The totem of primitive man, the flag of a nation, a religious creed, the
number system, and Darwin's theory of the descent of man--all these are
collective representations. Every society and every social group has, or
tends to have, its own symbols and its own language. The language and
other symbolic devices by which a society carries on its collective
existence are collective representations. Animals do not possess them.



1. Definition of Society[81]

The idea of society is that of a permanent co-operation in which
separate living beings undertake to accomplish an identical act. These
beings may find themselves brought by their conditions to a point where
their co-operation forces them to group themselves in space in some
definite form, but it is by no means necessary that they should be in
juxtaposition for them to act together and thus to form a society. A
customary reciprocation of services among more or less independent
individualities is the characteristic feature of the social life, a
feature that contact or remoteness does not essentially modify, nor the
apparent disorder nor the regular disposition of the parties in space.

Two beings may then form what is to the eyes a single mass, and may
live, not only in contact with each other, but even in a state of mutual
penetration without constituting a society. It is enough in such a case
that one looks at them as entirely distinct, that their activities tend
to opposite or merely different ends. If their functions, instead of
co-operating, diverge; if the good of one is the evil of the other,
whatever the intimacy of their contact may be, no social bond unites

But the nature of the functions and the form of the organs are
inseparable. If two beings are endowed with functions that necessarily
combine, they are also endowed with organs, if not similar, at least
corresponding. And these beings with like or corresponding organs are
either of the same species or of very nearly the same species.

However, circumstances may be met where two beings with quite different
organs and belonging even to widely remote species may be accidentally
and at a single point useful to each other. A habitual relation may be
established between their activities, but only on this one point, and in
the time limits in which the usefulness exists. Such a case gives the
occasion, if not for a society, at least for an association; that is to
say, a union less necessary, less strict, less durable, may find its
origin in such a meeting. In other words, beside the normal societies
formed of elements specifically alike, which cannot exist without each
other, there will be room for more accidental groupings, formed of
elements more or less specifically unlike, which convenience unites and
not necessity. We will commence with a study of the latter.

To society the most alien relations of two living beings which can be
produced are those of the predator and his prey. In general, the
predator is bulkier than his prey, since he overcomes him and devours
him. Yet smaller ones sometimes attack larger creatures, consuming them,
however, by instalments, and letting them live that they themselves may
live on them as long as possible. In such a case they are forced to
remain for a longer or a shorter time attached to the body of their
victim, carried about by it wherever the vicissitudes of its life lead
them. Such animals have received the name of parasites. Parasitism forms
the line inside of which our subject begins; for if one can imagine that
the parasite, instead of feeding on the animal from whom he draws his
subsistence, is content to live on the remains of the other's meals, one
will find himself in the presence, not yet of an actual society, but of
half the conditions of a society; that is to say, a relation between two
beings such that, all antagonism ceasing, one of the two is useful to
the other. Such is commensalism. However, this association does not yet
offer the essential element of all society, co-operation. There is
co-operation when the commensal is not less useful to his host than the
latter is to the commensal himself, when the two are concerned in living
in a reciprocal relation and in developing their double activity in
corresponding ways toward a single and an identical goal. One has given
to this mode of activity the name of mutualism. Domestication is only
one form of it. Parasitism, commensalism, mutualism, exist with animals
among the different species.

2. Symbiosis (literally "living together")[82]

In gaining their wide and intimate acquaintance with the vegetable world
the ants have also become acquainted with a large number of insects that
obtain their nutriment directly from plants, either by sucking up their
juices or by feeding on their foliage. To the former group belong the
phytophthorous Homoptera, the plant lice, scale insects, or mealy bugs,
tree-hoppers, lantern flies, and jumping plant lice; to the latter
belong the caterpillars of the lycaenid butterflies, the "blues," or
"azures," as they are popularly called. All of these creatures excrete
liquids which are eagerly sought by the ants and constitute the whole,
or, at any rate, an important part of the food of certain species. In
return the Homoptera and caterpillars receive certain services from the
ants, so that the relations thus established between these widely
different insects may be regarded as a kind of symbiosis. These
relations are most apparent in the case of the aphids, and these insects
have been more often and more closely studied in Europe and America.

The consociation of the ants with the aphids is greatly facilitated by
the gregarious and rather sedentary habits of the latter, especially in
their younger, wingless stages, for the ants are thus enabled to obtain
a large amount of food without losing time and energy in ranging far
afield from their nests. Then, too, the ants may establish their nests
in the immediate vicinity of the aphid droves or actually keep them in
their nests or in "sheds" carefully constructed for the purpose.

Some ants obtain the honey-dew merely by licking the surface of the
leaves and stems on which it has fallen, but many species have learned
to stroke the aphids and induce them to void the liquid gradually so
that it can be imbibed directly. A drove of plant lice, especially when
it is stationed on young and succulent leaves or twigs, may produce
enough honey-dew to feed a whole colony of ants for a considerable

As the relations between ants and the various Homoptera have been
regarded as mutualistic, it may be well to marshal the facts which seem
to warrant this interpretation. The term "mutualism" as applied to these
cases means, of course, that the aphids, coccids, and membracids are of
service to the ants and in turn profit by the companionship of these
more active and aggressive insects. Among the modifications in structure
and behavior which may be regarded as indicating on the part of aphids
unmistakable evidence of adaptation to living with ants, the following
may be cited:

1. The aphids do not attempt to escape from the ants or to defend
themselves with their siphons, but accept the presence of these
attendants as a matter of course.

2. The aphids respond to the solicitations of the ants by extruding the
droplets of honey-dew gradually and not by throwing them off to a
distance with a sudden jerk, as they do in the absence of ants.

3. Many species of Aphididae that live habitually with ants have
developed a perianal circlet of stiff hairs which support the drop of
honey-dew till it can be imbibed by the ants. This circlet is lacking in
aphids that are rarely or never visited by ants.

4. Certain observations go to show that aphids, when visited by ants,
extract more of the plant juices than when unattended.

The adaptations on the part of the ants are, with a single doubtful
exception, all modifications in behavior and not in structure.

1. Ants do not seize and kill aphids as they do when they encounter
other sedentary defenseless insects.

2. The ants stroke the aphids in a particular manner in order to make
them excrete the honey-dew, and know exactly where to expect the
evacuated liquid.

3. The ants protect the aphids. Several observers have seen the ants
driving away predatory insects.

4. Many aphidicolous ants, when disturbed, at once seize and carry their
charges in their mandibles to a place of safety, showing very plainly
their sense of ownership and interest in these helpless creatures.

5. This is also exhibited by all ants that harbor root-aphids and
root-coccids in their nests. Not only are these insects kept in
confinement by the ants, but they are placed by them on the roots. In
order to do this the ants remove the earth from the surfaces of the
roots and construct galleries and chambers around them so that the
Homoptera may have easy access to their food and even move about at

6. Many ants construct, often at some distance from their nests, little
closed pavilions or sheds of earth, carton, or silk, as a protection for
their cattle and for themselves. The singular habit may be merely a more
recent development from the older and more general habit of excavating
tunnels and chambers about roots and subterranean stems.

7. The solicitude of the ants not only envelops the adult aphids and
coccids, but extends also to their eggs and young. Numerous observers
have observed ants in the autumn collecting and storing aphid eggs in
the chambers of their nests, caring for them through the winter and in
the spring placing the recently hatched plant lice on the stems and
roots of the plants.

In the foregoing I have discussed the ethological relations of ants to a
variety of other organisms. This, however, did not include an account of
some of the most interesting symbiotic relations, namely, those of the
ants to other species of their own taxonomic group and to termites. This
living together of colonies of different species may be properly
designated as social symbiosis, to distinguish it from the simple
symbiosis that obtains between individual organisms of different species
and the intermediate form of symbiosis exhibited by individual organisms
that live in ant or termite colonies.

The researches of the past forty years have brought to light a
remarkable array of instances of social symbiosis, varying so much in
intimacy and complexity that it is possible to construct a series
ranging from mere simultaneous occupancy of a very narrow ethological
station, or mere contiguity of domicile, to an actual fusion, involving
the vital dependence or parasitism of a colony of one species on that of
another. Such a series is, of course, purely conceptual and does not
represent the actual course of development in nature, where, as in the
animal and vegetable kingdoms in general, development has not followed a
simple linear course, but has branched out repeatedly and terminated in
the varied types at the present time.

It is convenient to follow the European writers, von Hagens, Forel,
Wasmann, and others, in grouping all the cases of social symbiosis under
two heads, the compound nests and the mixed colonies. Different species
of ants or of ants and termites are said to form compound nests when
their galleries are merely contiguous or actually interpenetrate and
open into one another, although the colonies which inhabit them bring
up their respective offspring in different apartments. In mixed
colonies, on the other hand, which, in a state of nature, can be formed
only by species of ants of close taxonomic affinities, the insects live
together in a single nest and bring up their young in common. Although
each of these categories comprises a number of dissimilar types of
social symbiosis, and although it is possible, under certain
circumstances, as will be shown in the sequel, to convert a compound
nest into a mixed colony, the distinction is nevertheless fundamental.
It must be admitted, however, that both types depend in last analysis on
the dependent, adoption-seeking instincts of the queen ant and on the
remarkable plasticity which enables allied species and genera to live in
very close proximity to one another. By a strange paradox these
peculiarities have been produced in the struggle for existence, although
this struggle is severer among different species of ants than between
ants and other organisms. As Forel says: "The greatest enemies of ants
are other ants, just as the greatest enemies of men are other men."

3. The Taming and the Domestication of Animals[83]

Primitive man was a hunter almost before he had the intelligence to use
weapons, and from the earliest times he must have learned something
about the habits of the wild animals he pursued for food or for
pleasure, or from which he had to escape. It was probably as a hunter
that he first came to adopt young animals which he found in the woods or
the plains, and made the surprising discovery that these were willing to
remain under his protection and were pleasing and useful. He passed
gradually from being a hunter to becoming a keeper of flocks and herds.
From these early days to the present time, the human race has taken an
interest in the lower animals, and yet extremely few have been really
domesticated. The living world would seem to offer an almost unlimited
range of creatures which might be turned to our profit and as
domesticated animals minister to our comfort or convenience. And yet it
seems as if there were some obstacle rooted in the nature of animals or
in the powers of man, for the date of the adoption by man of the few
domesticated species lies in remote, prehistoric antiquity. The surface
of the earth has been explored, the physiology of breeding and feeding
has been studied, our knowledge of the animal kingdom has been vastly
increased, and yet there is hardly a beast bred in the farm-yard today
with which the men who made stone weapons were not acquainted and which
they had not tamed. Most of the domestic animals of Europe, America, and
Asia came originally from Central Asia, and have spread thence in charge
of their masters, the primitive hunters who captured them.

No monkeys have been domesticated. Of the carnivores only the cat and
the dog are truly domesticated. Of the ungulates there are horses and
asses, pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, and reindeer. Among rodents there are
rabbits and guinea-pigs, and possibly some of the fancy breeds of rats
and mice should be included. Among birds there are pigeons, fowls,
peacocks, and guinea-fowl, and aquatic birds such as swans, geese, and
ducks, whilst the only really domesticated passerine bird is the canary.
Goldfish are domesticated, and the invertebrate bees and silk-moths must
not be forgotten. It is not very easy to draw a line between
domesticated animals and animals that are often bred in partial or
complete captivity. Such antelopes as elands, fallow-deer, roe-deer, and
the ostriches of ostrich farms are on the border-line of being

It is also difficult to be quite certain as to what is meant by a tame
animal. Cockroaches usually scuttle away when they are disturbed and
seem to have learnt that human beings have a just grievance against
them. But many people have no horror of them. A pretty girl, clean and
dainty in her ways, and devoted to all kinds of animals, used to like
sitting in a kitchen that was infested with these repulsive creatures,
and told me that when she was alone they would run over her dress and
were not in the least startled when she took them up. I have heard of a
butterfly which used to come and sip sugar from the hand of a lady; and
those who have kept spiders and ants declare that these intelligent
creatures learn to distinguish their friends. So also fish, like the
great carp in the garden of the palace of Fontainebleau, and many fishes
in aquaria and private ponds, learn to come to be fed. I do not think,
however, that these ought to be called tame animals. Most of the wild
animals in menageries very quickly learn to distinguish one person from
another, to obey the call of their keeper and to come to be fed,
although certainly they would be dangerous even to the keeper if he
were to enter their cages. To my mind, tameness is something more than
merely coming to be fed, and, in fact, many tame animals are least tame
when they are feeding. Young carnivores, for instance, which can be
handled freely and are affectionate, very seldom can be touched whilst
they are feeding. The real quality of tameness is that the tame animal
is not merely tolerant of the presence of man, not merely has learned to
associate him with food, but takes some kind of pleasure in human
company and shows some kind of affection.

On the other hand, we must not take our idea of tameness merely from the
domesticated animals. These have been bred for many generations, and
those that were most wild and that showed any resistance to man were
killed or allowed to escape. Dogs are always taken as the supreme
example of tameness, and sentimentalists have almost exhausted the
resources of language in praising them. Like most people, I am very fond
of dogs, but it is an affection without respect. Dogs breed freely in
captivity, and in the enormous period of time that has elapsed since the
first hunters adopted wild puppies there has been a constant selection
by man, and every dog that showed any independence of spirit has been
killed off. Man has tried to produce a purely subservient creature, and
has succeeded in his task. No doubt a dog is faithful and affectionate,
but he would be shot or drowned or ordered to be destroyed by the local
magistrate if he were otherwise. A small vestige of the original spirit
has been left in him, merely from the ambition of his owners to possess
an animal that will not bite them, but will bite anyone else. And even
this watch-dog trait is mechanical, for the guardian of the house will
worry the harmless, necessary postman, and welcome the bold burglar with
fawning delight. The dog is a slave, and the crowning evidence of his
docility, that he will fawn on the person who has beaten him, is the
result of his character having been bred out of him. The dog is an
engaging companion, an animated toy more diverting than the cleverest
piece of clockwork, but it is only our colossal vanity that makes us
take credit for the affection and faithfulness of our own particular
animal. The poor beast cannot help it; all else has been bred out of him
generations ago.

When wild animals become tame, they are really extending or transferring
to human beings the confidence and affection they naturally give their
mothers, and this view will be found to explain more facts about
tameness than any other. Every creature that would naturally enjoy
maternal, or it would be better to say parental, care, as the father
sometimes shares in or takes upon himself the duty of guarding the
young, is ready to transfer its devotion to other animals or to human
beings, if the way be made easy for it, and if it be treated without too
great violation of its natural instincts. The capacity to be tamed is
greatest in those animals that remain longest with their parents and
that are most intimately associated with them. The capacity to learn new
habits is greatest in those animals which naturally learn most from
their parents, and in which the period of youth is not merely a period
of growing, a period of the awakening of instincts, but a time in which
a real education takes place. These capacities of being tamed and of
learning new habits are greater in the higher mammals than in the lower
mammals, in mammals than in birds, and in birds than in reptiles. They
are very much greater in very young animals, where dependence on the
parents is greatest, than in older animals, and they gradually fade away
as the animal grows up, and are least of all in fully grown and
independent creatures of high intelligence.

Young animals born in captivity are no more easy to tame than those
which have been taken from the mother in her native haunts. If they
remain with the mother, they very often grow up even shyer and more
intolerant of man than the mothers themselves. There is no inherited
docility or tameness, and a general survey of the facts fully bears out
my belief that the process of taming is almost entirely a transference
to human beings of the confidence and affection that a young animal
would naturally give its mother. The process of domestication is
different, and requires breeding a race of animals in captivity for many
generations and gradually weeding out those in which youthful tameness
is replaced by the wild instinct of adult life, and so creating a strain
with new and abnormal instincts.


1. Plant Communities[84]

Certain species group themselves into natural associations, that is to
say, into communities which we meet with more or less frequently and
which exhibit the same combination of growth-forms and the same facies.
As examples in northern Europe may be cited a meadow with its grasses
and perennial herbs, or a beech forest with its beech trees and all the
species usually accompanying these. Species that form a community must
either practice the same economy, making approximately the same demands
on its environment (as regards nourishment, light, moisture, and so
forth), or one species present must be dependent for its existence upon
another species, sometimes to such an extent that the latter provides it
with what is necessary or even best suited to it (Oxalis Acetosella and
saprophytes which profit from the shade of the beech and from its humus
soil); a kind of symbiosis seems to prevail between such species. In
fact, one often finds, as in beech forests, that the plants growing
under the shade and protection of other species, and belonging to the
most diverse families, assume growth-forms that are very similar to one
another, but essentially different from those of the forest trees,
which, in their turn, often agree with one another.

The ecological analysis of a plant-community leads to the recognition of
the growth-forms composing it as its ultimate units. From what has just
been said in regard to growth-forms it follows that species of very
diverse physiognomy can very easily occur together in the same natural
community. But beyond this, as already indicated, species differing
widely, not only in physiognomy but also in their whole economy, may be
associated. We may therefore expect to find both great variety of form
and complexity of interrelations among the species composing a natural
community; as an example we may cite the richest of all types of
communities--the tropical rain-forest. It may also be noted that the
physiognomy of a community is not necessarily the same at all times of
the year, the distinction sometimes being caused by a rotation of

The different communities, it need hardly be stated, are scarcely ever
sharply marked off from one another. Just as soil, moisture, and other
external conditions are connected by the most gradual transitions, so
likewise are the plant-communities, especially in cultivated lands. In
addition, the same species often occur in several widely different
communities; for example, Linnaea borealis grows not only in coniferous
forests, but also in birch woods, and even high above the tree limit on
the mountains of Norway and on the fell-fields of Greenland. It appears
that different combinations of external factors can replace one another
and bring into existence approximately the same community, or at least
can satisfy equally well one and the same species, and that, for
instance, a moist climate often completely replaces the forest shade of
dry climates.

The term "community" implies a diversity but at the same time a certain
organized uniformity in the units. The units are the many individual
plants that occur in every community, whether this be a beech forest, a
meadow, or a heath. Uniformity is established when certain atmospheric,
terrestrial, and other factors are co-operative, and appears either
because a certain defined economy makes its impress on the community as
a whole, or because a number of different growth-forms are combined to
form a single aggregate which has a definite and constant guise.

The analysis of a plant-community usually reveals one or more of the
kinds of symbiosis as illustrated by parasites, saprophytes, epiphytes,
and the like. There is scarce a forest or a bushland where examples of
these forms of symbiosis are lacking; if, for instance, we investigate
the tropical rain-forest we are certain to find in it all conceivable
kinds of symbiosis. But the majority of individuals of a plant-community
are linked by bonds other than those mentioned--bonds that are best
described as _commensal_. The term _commensalism_ is due to Van Beneden,
who wrote, "Le commensal est simplement un compagnon de table"; but we
employ it in a somewhat different sense to denote the relationship
subsisting between species which share with one another the supply of
food-material contained in soil and air, and thus feed at the same

More detailed analysis of the plant-community reveals very considerable
distinctions among commensals. Some relationships are considered in the
succeeding paragraphs.

_Like commensals._--When a plant-community consists solely of
individuals belonging to one species--for example, solely of beech,
ling, or Aira flexuosa--then we have the purest example of like
commensals. These all make the same demands as regards nutriment, soil,
light, and other like conditions; as each species requires a certain
amount of space and as there is scarcely ever sufficient nutriment for
all the offspring, a struggle for food arises among the plants so soon
as the space is occupied by the definite numbers of individuals which,
according to the species, can develop thereon. The individuals lodged in
unfavorable places and the weaklings are vanquished and exterminated.
This competitive struggle takes place in all plant-communities, with
perhaps the sole exceptions of sub-glacial communities and in deserts.
In these _open communities_ the soil is very often or always so open and
so irregularly clothed that there is space for many more individuals
than are actually present; the cause for this is obviously to be sought
in the climatically unfavorable conditions of life, which either prevent
plants from producing seed and other propagative bodies in sufficient
numbers to clothe the ground or prevent the development of seedlings. On
such soil one can scarcely speak of a competitive struggle for
existence; in this case a struggle takes place between the plant and
inanimate nature, but to little or no extent between plant and plant.

That a congregation of individuals belonging to one species into one
community may be profitable to the species is evident; it may obviously
in several ways aid in maintaining the existence of the species, for
instance, by facilitating abundant and certain fertilization (especially
in anemophilous plants) and maturation of seeds; in addition, the social
mode of existence may confer other less-known advantages. But, on the
other hand, it brings with it greater danger of serious damage and
devastation wrought by parasites.

The bonds that hold like individuals to a like habitat are, as already
indicated, identical demands as regards existence, and these demands are
satisfied in their precise habitat to such an extent that the species
can maintain itself here against rivals. Natural unmixed associations of
forest trees are the result of struggles with other species. But there
are differences as regards the ease with which a community can arise and
establish itself. Some species are more social than others, that is to
say, better fitted to form communities. The causes for this are
biological, in that some species, like Phragmites, Scirpus lacustris,
Psamma (Ammophila) arenaria, Tussilago, Farfara, and Asperula odorata,
multiply very readily by means of stolons; or others, such as Cirsium
arvense, and Sonchus arvensis, produce buds from their roots; or yet
others produce numerous seeds which are easily dispersed and may remain
for a long time capable of germinating, as is the case with Calluna,
Picea excelsa, and Pinus; or still other species, such as beech and
spruce, have the power of enduring shade or even suppressing other
species by the shade they cast. A number of species, such as Pteris
aquilina, Acorus Calamus, Lemna minor, and Hypnum Schreberi, which are
social, and likewise very widely distributed, multiply nearly
exclusively by vegetative means, rarely or never producing fruit. On the
contrary, certain species, for example, many orchids and Umbelliferae,
nearly always grow singly.

In the case of many species certain geological conditions have favored
their grouping together into pure communities. The forests of northern
Europe are composed of few species, and are not mixed in the same sense
as are those in the tropics, or even those in Austria and other southern
parts of Europe: the cause for this may be that the soil is geologically
very recent, inasmuch as the time that has elapsed since the glacial
epoch swept it clear has been too short to permit the immigration of
many competitive species.

_Unlike commensals._--The case of a community consisting of individuals
belonging to one species is, strictly speaking, scarcely ever met with;
but the dominant individuals of a community may belong to a single
species, as in the case of a beech forest, spruce forest, or ling
heath--and only thus far does the case proceed. In general, many species
grow side by side, and many different growth-forms and types of
symbiosis, in the extended sense, are found collected in a community.
For even when one species occupies an area as completely as the nature
of the soil will permit, other species can find room and can grow
between its individuals; in fact, if the soil is to be completely
covered the vegetation must necessarily always be heterogeneous. The
greatest aggregate of existence arises where the greatest diversity
prevails. The kind of communal life resulting will depend upon the
nature of the demands made by the species in regard to conditions of
life. As in human communities, so in this case, the _struggle between
the like_ is the _most severe_, that is, between the species making more
or less the same demands and wanting the same dishes from the common
table. In a tropical mixed forest there are hundreds of species of trees
growing together in such profuse variety that the eye can scarce see at
one time two individuals of the same species, yet all of them
undoubtedly represent tolerable uniformity in the demands they make as
regards conditions of life, and in so far they are alike. And among them
a severe competition for food must be taking place. In those cases in
which certain species readily grow in each other's company--and cases of
this kind are familiar to florists--when, for instance, Isoetes, Lobelia
Dortmanna, and Litorella lacustris occur together--the common demands
made as regards external conditions obviously form the bond that unites
them. Between such species a competitive struggle must take place. Which
of the species shall be represented by the greatest number of
individuals certainly often depends upon casual conditions, a slight
change in one direction or the other doubtless often playing a decisive
rôle; but apart from this it appears that morphological and biological
features, for example, development at a different season, may change the
nature of the competition.

Yet there are in every plant-community numerous species which _differ
widely_ in the demands they make for light, heat, nutriment, and so on.
Between such species there is less competition, the greater the
disparity in their wants; the case is quite conceivable in which the
_one species should require exactly what the other would avoid_; the two
species would then be complementary to one another in their occupation
and utilization of the same soil.

There are also obvious cases in which different species are of service
to each other. The carpet of moss in a pine forest, for example,
protects the soil from desiccation and is thus useful to the pine; yet,
on the other hand, it profits from the shade cast by the latter.

As a rule, limited numbers of definite species are the most potent, and,
like absolute monarchs, can hold sway over the whole area; while other
species, though possibly present in far greater numbers than these, are
subordinate or even dependent on them. This is the case where
subordinate species only flourish in the shade or among the fallen
fragments of dominant species. Such is obviously the relationship
between trees and many plants growing on the ground of high forest, such
as mosses, fungi, and other saprophytes, ferns, Oxalis Acetosella, and
their associates. In this case, then, there is a commensalism in which
individuals feed at the same table but on different fare. An additional
factor steps in when species do not absorb their nutriment at the same
season of the year. Many spring plants--for instance, Galanthus nivalis,
Corydalis solida, and C. cava--have withered before the summer plants
commence properly to develop. Certain species of animals are likewise
confined to certain plant-communities. But one and the same tall plant
may, in different places or soils, have different species of lowly
plants as companions; the companion plants of high beech forests depend,
for instance, upon climate and upon the nature of the forest soil; Pinus
nigra, according to von Beck, can maintain under it in the different
parts of Europe a Pontic, a central European, or a Baltic vegetation.

There are certain points of resemblance between communities of plants
and those of human beings or animals; one of these is the competition
for food which takes place between similar individuals and causes the
weaker to be more or less suppressed. But far greater are the
distinctions. The plant-community is the lowest form; it is merely a
congregation of units, among which there is no co-operation for the
common weal, but rather a ceaseless struggle of all against all. Only in
a loose sense can we speak of certain individuals protecting others, as
for example, when the outermost and most exposed individuals of scrub
serve to shelter from the wind others, which consequently become taller
and finer; for they do not afford protection from any special motive,
such as is met with in some animal communities, nor are they in any way
specially adapted to act as guardians against a common foe. In the
plant-community egoism reigns supreme. The plant-community has no higher
units or personages in the sense employed in connection with human
communities, which have their own organizations and their members
co-operating, as prescribed by law, for the common good. In
plant-communities there is, it is true, often (or always) a certain
natural dependence or reciprocal influence of many species upon one
another; they give rise to definite organized units of a higher order;
but there is no thorough or organized division of labor such as is met
with in human and animal communities, where certain individuals or
groups of individuals work as organs, in the wide sense of the term, for
the benefit of the whole community.

Woodhead has suggested the term _complementary association_ to denote a
community of species that live together in harmony, because their
rhizomes occupy different depths in the soil; for example, he described
an "association" in which Holcus mollis is the "surface plant," Pteris
aquilina has deeper-seated rhizomes, and Scilla festalis buries its
bulbs at the greatest depth. The photophilous parts of these plants are
"seasonably complementary." The opposite extreme is provided by
_competitive associations_, composed of species that are battling with
each other.

2. Ant Society[85]

There is certainly a striking parallelism between the development of
human and ant societies. Some anthropologists, like Topinard,
distinguish in the development of human societies six different types or
stages, designated as the hunting, pastoral, agricultural, commercial,
industrial, and intellectual. The ants show stages corresponding to the
first three of these, as Lubbock has remarked.

     Some species, such as _Formica fusca_, live principally on the
     produce of the chase; for though they feed partially on the
     honey-dew of aphids, they have not domesticated these insects.
     These ants probably retain the habits once common to all ants.
     They resemble the lower races of men, who subsist mainly by
     hunting. Like them they frequent woods and wilds, live in
     comparatively small communities, as the instincts of collective
     action are but little developed among them. They hunt singly,
     and their battles are single combats, like those of Homeric
     heroes. Such species as _Lasius flavus_ represent a distinctly
     higher type of social life; they show more skill in
     architecture, may literally be said to have domesticated
     certain species of aphids, and may be compared to the pastoral
     stage of human progress--to the races which live on the
     products of their flocks and herds. Their communities are more
     numerous; they act much more in concert; their battles are not
     mere single combats, but they know how to act in combination. I
     am disposed to hazard the conjecture that they will gradually
     exterminate the mere hunting species, just as savages disappear
     before more advanced races. Lastly, the agricultural nations
     may be compared with the harvesting ants.

Granting the resemblances above mentioned between ant and human
societies, there are nevertheless three far-reaching differences between
insect and human organization and development to be constantly borne in

a) Ant societies are societies of females. The males really take no
part in the colonial activities, and in most species are present in the
nest only for the brief period requisite to secure the impregnation of
the young queens. The males take no part in building, provisioning, or
guarding the nest or in feeding the workers or the brood. They are in
every sense the _sexus sequior_. Hence the ants resemble certain
mythical human societies like the Amazons, but unlike these, all their
activities center in the multiplication and care of the coming

b) In human society, apart from the functions depending on sexual
dimorphism, and barring individual differences and deficiencies which
can be partially or wholly suppressed, equalized, or augmented by an
elaborate system of education, all individuals have the same natural
endowment. Each normal individual retains its various physiological and
psychological needs and powers intact, not necessarily sacrificing any
of them for the good of the community. In ants, however, the female
individuals, of which the society properly consists, are not all alike
but often very different, both in their structure (polymorphism) and in
their activities (physiological division of labor). Each member is
_visibly_ predestined to certain social activities to the exclusion of
others, not as a man through the education of some endowment common to
all the members of the society, but through the exigencies of structure,
fixed at the time of hatching, i.e., the moment the individual enters on
its life as an active member of the community.

c) Owing to this pre-established structure and the specialized
functions which it implies, ants are able to live in a condition of
anarchistic socialism, each individual instinctively fulfilling the
demands of social life without "guide, overseer, or ruler," as Solomon
correctly observed, but not without the imitation and suggestion
involved in an appreciation of the activities of its fellows.

An ant society, therefore, may be regarded as little more than an
expanded family, the members of which co-operate for the purpose of
still further expanding the family and detaching portions of itself to
found other families of the same kind. There is thus a striking analogy,
which has not escaped the philosophical biologist, between the ant
colony and the cell colony which constitutes the body of a Metazoan
animal; and many of the laws that control the cellular origin,
development, growth, reproduction, and decay of the individual Metazoan,
are seen to hold good also of the ant society regarded as an individual
of a higher order. As in the case of the individual animal, no further
purpose of the colony can be detected than that of maintaining itself
in the face of a constantly changing environment till it is able to
reproduce other colonies of a like constitution. The queen-mother of the
ant colony displays the generalized potentialities of all the
individuals, just as the Metazoan egg contains _in potentia_ all the
other cells of the body. And, continuing the analogy, we may say that
since the different castes of the ant colony are morphologically
specialized for the performance of different functions, they are truly
comparable with the differentiated tissues of the Metazoan body.


1. Social Life[86]

The most notable distinction between living and inanimate beings is that
the former maintain themselves by renewal. A stone when struck resists.
If its resistance is greater than the force of the blow struck, it
remains outwardly unchanged. Otherwise, it is shattered into smaller
bits. Never does the stone attempt to react in such a way that it may
maintain itself against the blow, much less so as to render the blow a
contributing factor to its own continued action. While the living thing
may easily be crushed by superior force, it none the less tries to turn
the energies which act upon it into means of its own further existence.
If it cannot do so, it does not just split into smaller pieces (at least
in the higher forms of life), but loses its identity as a living thing.

As long as it endures, it struggles to use surrounding energies in its
own behalf. It uses light, air, moisture, and the material of soil. To
say that it uses them is to say that it turns them into means of its own
conservation. As long as it is growing, the energy it expends in thus
turning the environment to account is more than compensated for by the
return it gets: it grows. Understanding the word "control" in this
sense, it may be said that a living being is one that subjugates and
controls for its own continued activity the energies that would
otherwise use it up. Life is a self-renewing process through action upon
the environment. Continuity of life means continual readaptation of the
environment to the needs of living organisms.

We have been speaking of life in its lowest terms--as a physical thing.
But we use the word "life" to denote the whole range of experience,
individual and racial. When we see a book called the _Life of Lincoln_
we do not expect to find within its covers a treatise on physiology. We
look for an account of social antecedents; a description of early
surroundings, of the conditions and occupation of the family; of the
chief episodes in the development of character; of signal struggles and
achievements; of the individual's hopes, tastes, joys, and sufferings.
In precisely similar fashion we speak of the life of a savage tribe, of
the Athenian people, of the American nation. "Life" covers customs,
institutions, beliefs, victories and defeats, recreations and

We employ the word "experience" in the same pregnant sense. And to it,
as well as to life in the bare physiological sense, the principle of
continuity through renewal applies. With the renewal of physical
existence goes, in the case of human beings, the re-creation of beliefs,
ideals, hopes, happiness, misery, and practices. The continuity of any
experience, through renewing of the social group, is a literal fact.
Education, in its broadest sense, is the means of this social continuity
of life. Every one of the constituent elements of a social group, in a
modern city as in a savage tribe, is born immature, helpless, without
language, beliefs, ideas, or social standards. Each individual, each
unit who is the carrier of the life-experience of his group, in time
passes away. Yet the life of the group goes on.

Society exists through a process of transmission, quite as much as
biological life. This transmission occurs by means of communication of
habits of doing, thinking, and feeling from the older to the younger.
Without this communication of ideals, hopes, expectations, standards,
opinions from those members of society who are passing out of the group
life to those who are coming into it, social life could not survive.

Society not only continues to exist _by_ transmission, _by_
communication, but it may fairly be said to exist _in_ transmission,
_in_ communication. There is more than a verbal tie between the words
common, community, and communication. Men live in a community in virtue
of the things which they have in common; and communication is the way in
which they come to possess things in common. What they must have in
common in order to form a community or society are aims, beliefs,
aspirations, knowledge--a common understanding--like-mindedness, as the
sociologists say. Such things cannot be passed physically from one to
another, like bricks; they cannot be shared as persons would share a pie
by dividing it into physical pieces. The communication which insures
participation in a common understanding is one which secures similar
emotional and intellectual dispositions--like ways of responding to
expectations and requirements.

Persons do not become a society by living in physical proximity any more
than a man ceases to be socially influenced by being so many feet or
miles removed from others. A book or a letter may institute a more
intimate association between human beings separated thousands of miles
from each other than exists between dwellers under the same roof.
Individuals do not even compose a social group because they all work for
a common end. The parts of a machine work with a maximum of
co-operativeness for a common result, but they do not form a community.
If, however, they were all cognizant of the common end and all
interested in it so that they regulated their specific activity in view
of it, then they would form a community. But this would involve
communication. Each would have to know what the other was about and
would have to have some way of keeping the other informed as to his own
purpose and progress. Consensus demands communications.

We are thus compelled to recognize that within even the most social
group there are many relations which are not as yet social. A large
number of human relationships in any social group are still upon the
machine-like plane. Individuals use one another so as to get desired
results, without reference to the emotional and intellectual disposition
and consent of those used. Such uses express physical superiority, or
superiority of position, skill, technical ability, and command of tools,
mechanical or fiscal. So far as the relations of parent and child,
teacher and pupil, employer and employee, governor and governed, remain
upon this level, they form no true social group, no matter how closely
their respective activities touch one another. Giving and taking of
orders modifies action and results, but does not of itself effect a
sharing of purposes, a communication of interests.

Not only is social life identical with communication, but all
communication (and hence all genuine social life) is educative. To be a
recipient of a communication is to have an enlarged and changed
experience. One shares in what another has thought and felt, and in so
far, meagerly or amply, has his own attitude modified. Nor is the one
who communicates left unaffected. Try the experiment of communicating,
with fulness and accuracy, some experience to another, especially if it
be somewhat complicated, and you will find your own attitude toward your
experience changing; otherwise you resort to expletives and
ejaculations. The experience has to be formulated in order to be
communicated. To formulate requires getting outside of it, seeing it as
another would see it, considering what points of contact it has with the
life of another so that it may be got into such form that he can
appreciate its meaning. Except in dealing with commonplaces and catch
phrases one has to assimilate, imaginatively, something of another's
experience in order to tell him intelligently of one's own experience.
All communication is like art. It may fairly be said, therefore, that
any social arrangement that remains vitally social, or vitally shared,
is educative to those who participate in it. Only when it becomes cast
in a mold and runs in a routine way does it lose its educative power.

In final account, then, not only does social life demand teaching and
learning for its own permanence, but the very process of living together
educates. It enlarges and enlightens experience; it stimulates and
enriches imagination; it creates responsibility for accuracy and
vividness of statement and thought. A man really living alone (alone
mentally as well as physically) would have little or no occasion to
reflect upon his past experience to extract its net meaning. The
inequality of achievement between the mature and the immature not only
necessitates teaching the young, but the necessity of this teaching
gives an immense stimulus to reducing experience to that order and form
which will render it most easily communicable and hence most usable.

2. Behavior and Conduct[87]

The word "behavior" is commonly used in an interesting variety of ways.
We speak of the behavior of ships at sea, of soldiers in battle, and of
little boys in Sunday school.

"The geologist," as Lloyd Morgan remarks, "tells us that a glacier
behaves in many respects like a river, and discusses how the crust of
the earth behaves under the stresses to which it is subjected.
Weatherwise people comment on the behavior of the mercury in the
barometer as a storm approaches. When Mary, the nurse maid, returns with
the little Miss Smiths from Master Brown's birthday party, she is
narrowly questioned as to their behavior."

In short, the word is familiar both to science and to common sense, and
is applied with equal propriety to the actions of physical objects and
to the manners of men. The abstract sciences, quite as much as the
concrete and descriptive, are equally concerned with behavior. "The
chemist and the physicist often speak of the behavior of the atoms and
the molecules, or of that of gas under changing conditions of
temperature and pressure." The fact is that every science is everywhere
seeking to describe and explain the movements, changes, and reactions,
that is to say the behavior, of some portion of the world about us.
Indeed, wherever we consciously set ourselves to observe and reflect
upon the changes going on about us, it is always behavior that we are
interested in. Science is simply a little more persistent in its
curiosity and a little nicer and more exact in its observation than
common sense. And this disposition to observe, to take a disinterested
view of things, is, by the way, one of the characteristics of human
nature which distinguishes it from the nature of all other animals.

Since every science has to do with some form of behavior, the first
question that arises is this: What do we mean by behavior in human
beings as distinguished from that in other animals? What is there
distinctive about the actions of human beings that marks them off and
distinguishes them from the actions of animals and plants with which
human beings have so much in common?

The problem is the more difficult because, in some one or other of its
aspects, human behavior involves processes which are characteristic of
almost every form of nature. We sometimes speak, for example, of the
human machine. Indeed, from one point of view human beings may be
regarded as psycho-physical mechanisms for carrying on the vital
processes of nutrition, reproduction, and movement. The human body is,
in fact, an immensely complicated machine, whose operations involve an
enormous number of chemical and physical reactions, all of which may be
regarded as forms of human behavior.

Human beings are, however, not wholly or merely machines; they are
living organisms and as such share with the plants and the lower animals
certain forms of behavior which it has not thus far, at any rate, been
possible to reduce to the exact and lucid formulas of either chemistry
or physics.

Human beings are, however, not merely organisms: they are the home and
the habitat of minuter organisms. The human body is, in a certain sense,
an organization--a sort of social organization--of the minute and simple
organisms of which it is composed, namely, the cells, each of which has
its own characteristic mode of behavior. In fact, the life of human
beings, just as the life of all other creatures above the simple
unicellular organisms, may be said to consist of the corporate life of
the smaller organisms of which it is composed. In human beings, as in
some great city, the division of labor among the minuter organisms has
been carried further, the interdependence of the individual parts is
more complete, and the corporate life of the whole more complex.

It is not strange, therefore, that Lloyd Morgan begins his studies of
animal behavior by a description of the behavior of the cells and
Thorndike in his volume, _The Original Nature of Man_, is led to the
conclusion that the original tendencies of man have their basis in the
neurones, or nerve cells, and in the changes which these cells and their
ancestors have undergone, as a result of the necessity of carrying on
common and corporate existences as integral parts of the human organism.
All acquired characteristics of men, everything that they learn, is due
to mutual stimulations and associations of the neurones, just as
sociologists are now disposed to explain civilization and progress as
phenomena due to the interaction and association of human beings, rather
than to any fundamental changes in human nature itself. In other words,
the difference between a savage and a civilized man is not due to any
fundamental differences in their brain cells but to the connections and
mutual stimulations which are established by experience and education
between those cells. In the savage those possibilities are not absent
but latent. In the same way the difference between the civilization of
Central Africa and that of Western Europe is due, not to the difference
in native abilities of the individuals and the peoples who have created
them, but rather to the form which the association and interaction
between those individuals and groups of individuals has taken. We
sometimes attribute the difference in culture which we meet among races
to the climate and physical conditions generally, but, in the long run,
the difference is determined by the way in which climate and physical
condition determine the contacts and communications of individuals.

So, too, in the corporate life of the individual man it is the
association of the nerve cells, their lines of connection and
communication, that is responsible for the most of the differences
between the ignorant and the educated, the savage and civilized man. The
neurone, however, is a little unicellular animal, like the amoeba or the
paramecium. Its life consists of: (1) eating, (2) excreting waste
products, (3) growing, (4) being sensitive, and (5) movement, and, as
Thorndike expresses it: "The safest provisional hypothesis about the
action of the neurones singly is that they retain the modes of behavior
common to unicellular animals, so far as consistent with the special
conditions of their life as an element of man's nervous system."

In the widest sense of the term, behavior may be said to include all the
chemical and physical changes that go on inside the organism, as well as
every response to stimulus either from within or from without the
organism. In recent studies of animal behavior, however, the word has
acquired a special and technical meaning in which it is applied
exclusively to those actions that have been, or may be, modified by
conscious experience. What the animal does in its efforts to find food
is behavior, but the processes of digestion are relegated to another
field of observation, namely, physiology.

In all the forms of behavior thus far referred to, human and animal
nature are not fundamentally distinguished. There are, however, ways of
acting that are peculiar to human nature, forms of behavior that man
does not share with the lower animals. One thing which seems to
distinguish man from the brute is self-consciousness. One of the
consequences of intercourse, as it exists among human beings, is that
they are led to reflect upon their own impulses and motives for action,
to set up standards by which they seek to govern themselves. The clock
is such a standard. We all know from experience that time moves more
slowly on dull days, when there is nothing doing, than in moments of
excitement. On the other hand, when life is active and stirring, time
flies. The clock standardizes our subjective tempos and we control
ourselves by the clock. An animal never looks at the clock and this is
typical of the different ways in which human beings and animals behave.

Human beings, so far as we have yet been able to learn, are the only
creatures who habitually pass judgment upon their own actions, or who
think of them as right or wrong. When these thoughts about our actions
or the actions of others get themselves formulated and expressed they
react back upon and control us. That is one reason we hang mottoes on
the wall. That is why one sees on the desk of a busy man the legend "Do
it now!" The brutes do not know these devices. They do not need them
perhaps. They have no aim in life. They do not work.

What distinguishes the action of men from animals may best be expressed
in the word "conduct." Conduct as it is ordinarily used is applied to
actions which may be regarded as right or wrong, moral or immoral. As
such it is hardly a descriptive term since there does not seem to be any
distinctive mark about the actions which men have at different times and
places called moral or immoral. I have used it here to distinguish the
sort of behavior which may be regarded as distinctively and exclusively
human, namely, that which is self-conscious and personal. In this sense
blushing may be regarded as a form of conduct, quite as much as the
manufacture of tools, trade and barter, conversation or prayer.

No doubt all these activities have their beginnings in, and are founded
upon, forms of behavior of which we may find the rudiments in the lower
animals. But there is in all distinctively human activities a
conventional, one might almost say a contractual, element which is
absent in action of other animals. Human actions are more often than not
controlled by a sense or understanding of what they look like or appear
to be to others. This sense and understanding gets itself embodied in
some custom or ceremonial observance. In this form it is transmitted
from generation to generation, becomes an object of sentimental respect,
gets itself embodied in definite formulas, is an object not only of
respect and reverence but of reflection and speculation as well. As such
it constitutes the mores, or moral customs, of a group and is no longer
to be regarded as an individual possession.

3. Instinct and Character[88]

In no part of the world, and at no period of time, do we find the
behavior of men left to unchartered freedom. Everywhere human life is in
a measure organized and directed by customs, laws, beliefs, ideals,
which shape its ends and guide its activities. As this guidance of life
by rule is universal in human society, so upon the whole it is peculiar
to humanity. There is no reason to think that any animal except man can
enunciate or apply general rules of conduct. Nevertheless, there is not
wanting something that we can call an organization of life in the animal
world. How much of intelligence underlies the social life of the higher
animals is indeed extremely hard to determine. In the aid which they
often render to one another, in their combined hunting, in their play,
in the use of warning cries, and the employment of "sentinels," which is
so frequent among birds and mammals, it would appear at first sight that
a considerable measure of _mutual understanding_ is implied, that we
find at least an analogue to human custom, to the assignment of
functions, the division of labor, which mutual reliance renders
possible. How far the analogy may be pressed, and whether terms like
"custom" and "mutual understanding," drawn from human experience, are
rightly applicable to animal societies, are questions on which we shall
touch presently. Let us observe first that as we descend the animal
scale the sphere of _intelligent activity_ is gradually narrowed down,
and yet behavior is still regulated. The lowest organisms have their
definite methods of action under given conditions. The amoeba shrinks
into itself at a touch, withdraws the pseudopodium that is roughly
handled, or makes its way round the small object which will serve it as
food. Given the conditions, it acts in the way best suited to avoid
danger or to secure nourishment. We are a long way from the intelligent
regulation of conduct by a general principle, but we still find action
adapted to the requirements of organic life.

When we come to human society we find the basis for a social
organization of life already laid in the animal nature of man. Like
others of the higher animals, man is a gregarious beast. His interests
lie in his relations to his fellows, in his love for wife and children,
in his companionship, possibly in his rivalry and striving with his
fellow-men. His loves and hates, his joys and sorrows, his pride, his
wrath, his gentleness, his boldness, his timidity--all these permanent
qualities, which run through humanity and vary only in degree, belong to
his inherited structure. Broadly speaking, they are of the nature of
instincts, but instincts which have become highly plastic in their mode
of operation and which need the stimulus of experience to call them
forth and give them definite shape.

The mechanical methods of reaction which are so prominent low down in
the animal scale fill quite a minor place in human life. The ordinary
operations of the body, indeed, go upon their way mechanically enough.
In walking or in running, in saving ourselves from a fall, in coughing,
sneezing, or swallowing, we react as mechanically as do the lower
animals; but in the distinctly human modes of behavior, the place taken
by the inherited structure is very different. Hunger and thirst no doubt
are of the nature of instincts, but the methods of satisfying hunger and
thirst are acquired by experience or by teaching. Love and the whole
family life have an instinctive basis, that is to say, they rest upon
tendencies inherited with the brain and nerve structure; but everything
that has to do with the satisfaction of these impulses is determined by
the experience of the individual, the laws and customs of the society in
which he lives, the woman whom he meets, the accidents of their
intercourse, and so forth. Instinct, already plastic and modifiable in
the higher animals, becomes in man a basis of character which determines
how he will take his experience, but without experience is a mere blank
form upon which nothing is yet written.

For example, it is an ingrained tendency of average human nature to be
moved by the opinion of our neighbors. This is a powerful motive in
conduct, but the kind of conduct to which it will incite clearly depends
on the kind of thing that our neighbors approve. In some parts of the
world ambition for renown will prompt a man to lie in wait for a woman
or child in order to add a fresh skull to his collection. In other parts
he may be urged by similar motives to pursue a science or paint a
picture. In all these cases the same hereditary or instinctive element
is at work, that quality of character which makes a man respond
sensitively to the feelings which others manifest toward him. But the
kind of conduct which this sensitiveness may dictate depends wholly on
the social environment in which the man finds himself. Similarly it is,
as the ordinary phrase quite justly puts it, "in human nature" to stand
up for one's rights. A man will strive, that is, to secure that which he
has counted on as his due. But as to what he counts upon, as to the
actual treatment which he expects under given circumstances, his views
are determined by the "custom of the country," by what he sees others
insisting on and obtaining, by what has been promised him, and so forth.
Even such an emotion as sexual jealousy, which seems deeply rooted in
the animal nature, is largely limited in its exercise and determined in
the form it takes by custom. A hospitable savage, who will lend his wife
to a guest, would kill her for acting in the same way on her own motion.
In the one case he exercises his rights of proprietorship; in the other,
she transgresses them. It is the maintenance of a claim which jealousy
concerns itself with, and the standard determining the claim is the
custom of the country.

In human society, then, the conditions regulating conduct are from the
first greatly modified. Instinct, becoming vague and more general, has
evolved into "character," while the intelligence finds itself confronted
with customs to which it has to accommodate conduct. But how does custom
arise? Let us first consider what custom is. It is not merely a habit of
action; but it implies also a judgment upon action, and a judgment
stated in general and impersonal terms. It would seem to imply a
bystander or third party. If A hits B, B probably hits back. It is his
"habit" so to do. But if C, looking on, pronounces that it was or was
not a fair blow, he will probably appeal to the "custom" of the
country--the traditional rules of fighting, for instance--as the ground
of his judgment. That is, he will lay down a rule which is general in
the sense that it would apply to other individuals under similar
conditions, and by it he will, as an impartial third person, appraise
the conduct of the contending parties. The formation of such rules,
resting as it does on the power of framing and applying general
conceptions, is the prime differentia of human morality from animal
behavior. The fact that they arise and are handed on from generation to
generation makes social tradition at once the dominating factor in the
regulation of human conduct. Without such rules we can scarcely conceive
society to exist, since it is only through the general conformity to
custom that men can understand each other, that each can know how the
other will act under given circumstances, and without this amount of
understanding the reciprocity, which is the vital principle of society,

4. Collective Representation and Intellectual Life[89]

Logical thought is made up of concepts. Seeking how society can have
played a rôle in the genesis of logical thought thus reduces itself to
seeking how it can have taken a part in the formation of concepts.

The concept is opposed to sensual representations of every
order--sensations, perceptions, or images--by the following properties.

Sensual representations are in a perpetual flux; they come after each
other like the waves of a river, and even during the time that they last
they do not remain the same thing. Each of them is an integral part of
the precise instant when it takes place. We are never sure of again
finding a perception such as we experienced it the first time; for if
the thing perceived has not changed, it is we who are no longer the
same. On the contrary, the concept is, as it were, outside of time and
change; it is in the depths below all this agitation; it might be said
that it is in a different portion of the mind, which is serener and
calmer. It does not move of itself, by an internal and spontaneous
evolution, but, on the contrary, it resists change. It is a manner of
thinking that, at every moment of time, is fixed and crystallized. In so
far as it is what it ought to be, it is immutable. If it changes, it is
not because it is its nature to do so, but because we have discovered
some imperfection in it; it is because it had to be rectified. The
system of concepts with which we think in everyday life is that
expressed by the vocabulary of our mother-tongue; for every word
translates a concept. Now language is something fixed; it changes but
very slowly, and consequently it is the same with the conceptual system
which it expresses. The scholar finds himself in the same situation in
regard to the special terminology employed by the science to which he
has consecrated himself, and hence in regard to the special scheme of
concepts to which this terminology corresponds. It is true that he can
make innovations, but these are always a sort of violence done to the
established ways of thinking.

And at the same time that it is relatively immutable, the concept is
universal, or at least capable of becoming so. A concept is not my
concept; I hold it in common with other men, or, in any case, can
communicate it to them. It is impossible for me to make a sensation pass
from my consciousness into that of another; it holds closely to my
organism and personality and cannot be detached from them. All that I
can do is to invite others to place themselves before the same object as
myself and to leave themselves to its action. On the other hand,
conversation and all intellectual communication between men is an
exchange of concepts. The concept is an essentially impersonal
representation; it is through it that human intelligences communicate.

The nature of the concept, thus defined, bespeaks its origin. If it is
common to all, it is the work of the community. Since it bears the mark
of no particular mind, it is clear that it was elaborated by a unique
intelligence, where all others meet each other, and after a fashion,
come to nourish themselves. If it has more stability than sensations or
images, it is because the collective representations are more stable
than the individual ones; for while an individual is conscious even of
the slight changes which take place in his environment, only events of a
greater gravity can succeed in affecting the mental status of a society.
Every time that we are in the presence of a _type_ of thought or action
which is imposed uniformly upon particular wills or intelligences, this
pressure exercised over the individual betrays the intervention of the
group. Also, as we have already said, the concepts with which we
ordinarily think are those of our vocabulary. Now it is unquestionable
that language, and consequently the system of concepts which it
translates, is the product of collective elaboration. What it expresses
is the manner in which society as a whole represents the facts of
experience. The ideas which correspond to the diverse elements of
language are thus collective representations.

Even their contents bear witness to the same fact. In fact, there are
scarcely any words among those which we usually employ whose meaning
does not pass, to a greater or less extent, the limits of our personal
experience. Very frequently a term expresses things which we have never
perceived or experiences which we have never had or of which we have
never been the witnesses. Even when we know some of the objects which
it concerns, it is only as particular examples that they serve to
illustrate the idea which they would never have been able to form by
themselves. Thus there is a great deal of knowledge condensed in the
word which I never collected, and which is not individual; it even
surpasses me to such an extent that I cannot even completely appropriate
all its results. Which of us knows all the words of the language he
speaks and the entire signification of each?

This remark enables us to determine the sense in which we mean to say
that concepts are collective representations. If they belong to a whole
social group, it is not because they represent the average of the
corresponding individual representations; for in that case they would be
poorer than the latter in intellectual content, while, as a matter of
fact, they contain much that surpasses the knowledge of the average
individual. They are not abstractions which have a reality only in
particular consciousnesses, but they are as concrete representations as
an individual could form of his own personal environment; they
correspond to the way in which this very special being, society,
considers the things of its own proper experience. If, as a matter of
fact, the concepts are nearly always general ideas, and if they express
categories and classes rather than particular objects, it is because the
unique and variable characteristics of things interest society but
rarely; because of its very extent, it can scarcely be affected by more
than their general and permanent qualities. Therefore it is to this
aspect of affairs that it gives its attention: it is a part of its
nature to see things in large and under the aspect which they ordinarily
have. But this generality is not necessary for them, and, in any case,
even when these representations have the generic character which they
ordinarily have, they are the work of society and are enriched by its

The collective consciousness is the highest form of the psychic life,
since it is the consciousness of the consciousnesses. Being placed
outside of and above individual and local contingencies, it sees things
only in their permanent and essential aspects, which it crystallizes
into communicable ideas. At the same time that it sees from above, it
sees farther; at every moment of time, it embraces all known reality;
that is why it alone can furnish the mind with the molds which are
applicable to the totality of things and which make it possible to
think of them. It does not create these molds artificially; it finds
them within itself; it does nothing but become conscious of them. They
translate the ways of being which are found in all the stages of reality
but which appear in their full clarity only at the summit, because the
extreme complexity of the psychic life which passes there necessitates a
greater development of consciousness. Collective representations also
contain subjective elements, and these must be progressively rooted out
if we are to approach reality more closely. But howsoever crude these
may have been at the beginning, the fact remains that with them the germ
of a new mentality was given, to which the individual could never have
raised himself by his own efforts; by them the way was opened to a
stable, impersonal and organized thought which then had nothing to do
except to develop its nature.


1. Definition of the Group[90]

The term "group" serves as a convenient sociological designation for any
number of people, larger or smaller, between whom such relations are
discovered that they must be thought of together. The "group" is the
most general and colorless term used in sociology for combinations of
persons. A family, a mob, a picnic party, a trade union, a city
precinct, a corporation, a state, a nation, the civilized or the
uncivilized population of the world, may be treated as a group. Thus a
"group" for sociology is a number of persons whose relations to each
other are sufficiently impressive to demand attention. The term is
merely a commonplace tool. It contains no mystery. It is only a handle
with which to grasp the innumerable varieties of arrangements into which
people are drawn by their variations of interest. The universal
condition of association may be expressed in the same commonplace way:
people always live in groups, and the same persons are likely to be
members of many groups.

Individuals nowhere live in utter isolation. There is no such thing as a
social vacuum. The few Robinson Crusoes are not exceptions to the rule.
If they are, they are like the Irishman's horse. The moment they begin
to get adjusted to the exceptional condition, they die. Actual persons
always live and move and have their being in groups. These groups are
more or less complex, more or less continuous, more or less rigid in
character. The destinies of human beings are always bound up with the
fate of the groups of which they are members. While the individuals are
the real existences, and the groups are only relationships of
individuals, yet to all intents and purposes the groups which people
form are just as distinct and efficient molders of the lives of
individuals as though they were entities that had existence entirely
independent of the individuals.

The college fraternity or the college class, for instance, would be only
a name, and presently not even that, if each of its members should
withdraw. It is the members themselves, and not something outside of
themselves. Yet to A, B, or C the fraternity or the class might as well
be a river or a mountain by the side of which he stands, and which he is
helpless to remove. He may modify it somewhat. He is surely modified by
it somewhat; and the same is true of all the other groups in which A, B,
or C belong. To a very considerable extent the question, Why does A, B,
or C do so and so? is equivalent to the question, What are the
peculiarities of the group to which A, B, or C belongs? It would never
occur to A, B, or C to skulk from shadow to shadow of a night, with
paint-pot and brush in hand, and to smear Arabic numerals of bill-poster
size on sidewalk or buildings, if "class spirit" did not add stimulus to
individual bent. Neither A, B, nor C would go out of his way to flatter
and cajole a Freshman, if membership in a fraternity did not make a
student something different from an individual. These are merely
familiar cases which follow a universal law.

In effect, the groups to which we belong might be as separate and
independent of us as the streets and buildings of a city are from the
population. If the inhabitants should migrate in a body, the streets and
buildings would remain. This is not true of human groups, but their
reaction upon the persons who compose them is no less real and evident.
We are in large part what our social set, our church, our political
party, our business and professional circles are. This has always been
the case from the beginning of the world, and will always be the case.
To understand what society is, either in its larger or its smaller
parts, and why it is so, and how far it is possible to make it
different, we must invariably explain groups on the one hand, no less
than individuals on the other. There is a striking illustration in
Chicago at present (summer, 1905). Within a short time a certain man has
made a complete change in his group-relations. He was one of the most
influential trade-union leaders in the city. He has now become the
executive officer of an association of employers. In the elements that
are not determined by his group-relationships he is the same man that he
was before. Those are precisely the elements, however, that may be
canceled out of the social problem. All the elements in his personal
equation that give him a distinct meaning in the life of the city are
given to him by his membership in the one group or the other. Till
yesterday he gave all his strength to organizing labor against capital.
Now he gives all his strength to the service of capital against labor.

Whatever social problem we confront, whatever persons come into our
field of view, the first questions involved will always be: To what
groups do these persons belong? What are the interests of these groups?
What sort of means do the groups use to promote their interests? How
strong are these groups, as compared with groups that have conflicting
interests? These questions go to one tap root of all social
interpretation, whether in the case of historical events far in the
past, or of the most practical problems of our own neighborhood.

2. The Unity of the Social Group[91]

It has long been a cardinal problem in sociology to determine just how
to conceive in objective terms so very real and palpable a thing as the
continuity and persistence of social groups. Looked at as a physical
object society appears to be made up of mobile and independent units.
The problem is to understand the nature of the bonds that bind these
independent units together and how these connections are maintained and

Conceived of in its lowest terms the unity of the social group may be
compared to that of the plant communities. In these communities, the
relation between the individual species which compose it seems at first
wholly fortuitous and external. Co-operation and community, so far as it
exists, consists merely in the fact that within a given geographical
area, certain species come together merely because each happens to
provide by its presence an environment in which the life of the other is
easier, more secure, than if they lived in isolation. It seems to be a
fact, however, that this communal life of the associated plants fulfils,
as in other forms of life, a typical series of changes which correspond
to growth, decay and death. The plant community comes into existence,
matures, grows old, and eventually dies. In doing this, however, it
provides by its own death an environment in which another form of
community finds its natural habitat. Each community thus precedes and
prepares the way for its successor. Under such circumstances the
succession of the individual communities itself assumes the character of
a life-process.

In the case of the animal and human societies we have all these
conditions and forces and something more. The individuals associated in
an animal community not only provide, each for the other, a physical
environment in which all may live, but the members of the community are
organically pre-adapted to one another in ways which are not
characteristic of the members of a plant community. As a consequence,
the relations between the members of the animal community assume a much
more organic character. It is, in fact, a characteristic of animal
society that the members of a social group are organically adapted to
one another and therefore the organization of animal society is almost
wholly transmitted by physical inheritance.

In the case of human societies we discover not merely organically
inherited adaptation, which characterizes animal societies, but, in
addition, a great body of habits and accommodations which are
transmitted in the form of social inheritance. Something that
corresponds to social tradition exists, to be sure, in animal societies.
Animals learn by imitation from one another, and there is evidence that
this social tradition varies with changes in environment. In man,
however, association is based on something more than habits or instinct.
In human society, largely as a result of language, there exists a
conscious community of purpose. We have not merely folkways, which by an
extension of that term might be attributed to animals, but we have mores
and formal standards of conduct.

In a recent notable volume on education, John Dewey has formulated a
definition of the educational process which he identifies with the
process by which the social tradition of human society is transmitted.
Education, he says in effect, is a self-renewing process, a process in
which and through which the social organism lives.

     With the renewal of physical existence goes, in the case of
     human beings, the re-creation of beliefs, ideals, hopes,
     happiness, misery and practices. The continuity of experience,
     through renewal of the social group, is a literal fact.
     Education, in its broadest sense, is the means of this social
     continuity of life.

Under ordinary circumstances the transmission of the social tradition is
from the parents to the children. Children are born into the society and
take over its customs, habits, and standards of life simply, naturally,
and without conflict. But it will at once occur to anyone that the
physical life of society is not always continued and maintained in this
natural way, i.e., by the succession of parents and children. New
societies are formed by conquest and by the imposition of one people
upon another. In such cases there arises a conflict of cultures, and as
a result the process of fusion takes place slowly and is frequently not
complete. New societies are frequently formed by colonization, in which
case new cultures are grafted on to older ones. The work of missionary
societies is essentially one of colonization in this sense. Finally we
have societies growing up, as in the United States, by immigration.
These immigrants, coming as they do from all parts of the world, bring
with them fragments of divergent cultures. Here again the process of
assimilation is slow, often painful, not always complete.

3. Types of Social Groups[92]

Between the two extreme poles--the crowd and the state (nation)--between
these extreme links of the chain of human association, what are the
other intermediate groups, and what are their distinctive

Gustave Le Bon thus classifies the different types of crowds

    A. Heterogeneous crowds
      1. Anonymous (street crowds, for example)
      2. Not anonymous (parliamentary assemblies, for example)

    B. Homogeneous crowds
      1. Sects (political, religious, etc.)
      2. Castes (military, sacerdotal, etc.)
      3. Classes (bourgeois, working-men, etc.)

This classification is open to criticism. First of all, it is inaccurate
to give the name of crowd indiscriminately to every human group.
Literally (from the etymological standpoint) this objection seems to me
unanswerable. Tarde more exactly distinguishes between crowds,
associations, and corporations.

But we retain the generic term of "crowd" because it indicates the first
stage of the social group which is the source of all the others, and
because with these successive distinctions it does not lend itself to
equivocal meaning.

In the second place, it is difficult to understand why Le Bon terms the
sect a _homogeneous_ crowd, while he classifies parliamentary assemblies
among the _heterogeneous_ crowds. The members of a sect are usually far
more different from one another in birth, education, profession, social
status, than are generally the members of a political assembly.

Turning from this criticism to note without analyzing heterogeneous
crowds, let us then proceed to determine the principal characteristics
of the three large types of homogeneous crowds, the classes, the castes,
the sects.

The heterogeneous crowd is composed of _tout le monde_, of people like
you, like me, like the first passer-by. _Chance_ unites these
individuals physically, the _occasion_ unites them psychologically; they
do not know each other, and after the moment when they find themselves
together, they may never see each other again. To use a metaphor, it is
a psychological meteor, of the most unforeseen, ephemeral, and
transitory kind.

On this accidental and fortuitous foundation are formed here and there
other crowds, always heterogeneous, but with a certain character of
stability or, at least, of periodicity. The audience at a theater, the
members of a club, of a literary or social gathering, constitute also a
crowd but a different crowd from that of the street. The members of
these groups know each other a little; they have, if not a common aim,
at least a common custom. They are nevertheless "anonymous crowds," as
Le Bon calls them, because they do not have within themselves the
nucleus of organization.

Proceeding further, we find crowds still heterogeneous, but not so
anonymous--juries, for example, and assemblies. These small crowds
experience a new sentiment, unknown to anonymous crowds, that of
responsibility which may at times give to their actions a different
orientation. Then the parliamentary crowds are to be distinguished from
the others because, as Tarde observes with his habitual penetration,
they are double crowds: they represent a majority in conflict with one
or more minorities, which safeguards them in most cases from unanimity,
the most menacing danger which faces crowds.

We come now to homogeneous crowds, of which the first type is the sect.
Here are found again individuals differing in birth, in education, in
profession, in social status, but united and, indeed, voluntarily
cemented by an extremely strong bond, a common faith and ideal. Faith,
religious, scientific, or political, rapidly creates a communion of
sentiments capable of giving to those who possess it a high degree of
homogeneity and power. History records the deeds of the barbarians under
the influence of Christianity, and the Arabs transformed into a sect by
Mahomet. Because of their sectarian organization, a prediction may be
made of what the future holds in store for the socialists.

The sect is a crowd, picked out and permanent; the crowd is a transitory
sect which has not chosen its members. The sect is a chronic kind of
crowd; the crowd is an acute kind of sect. The crowd is composed of a
multitude of grains of sand without cohesion; the sect is a block of
marble which resists every effort. When a sentiment or an idea, having
in itself a reason for existence, slips into the crowd, its members soon
crystallize and form a sect. The sect is then the first crystallization
of every doctrine. From the confused and amorphous state in which it
manifests itself to the crowd, every idea is predestined to define
itself in the more specific form of the sect, to become later a party, a
school, or a church--scientific, political, or religious.

Any faith, whether it be Islamism, Buddhism, Christianity, patriotism,
socialism, anarchy, cannot but pass through this sectarian phase. It is
the first step, the point where the human group in leaving the twilight
zone of the anonymous and mobile crowd raises itself to a definition and
to an integration which then may lead up to the highest and most
perfect human group, the nation.

If the sect is composed of individuals united by a common idea and aim,
in spite of diversity of birth, education, and social status, the caste
unites, on the contrary, those who could have--and who have
sometimes--diverse ideas and aspirations, but who are brought together
through identity of profession. The sect corresponds to the community of
faith, the caste to the community of professional ideas. The sect is a
_spontaneous_ association; the caste is, in many ways, a _forced_
association. After having chosen a profession--let it be priest,
soldier, magistrate--a man belongs necessarily to a caste. A person, on
the contrary, does not necessarily belong to a sect. And when one
belongs to a caste--be he the most independent man in the world--he is
more or less under the influence of that which is called _esprit de

The caste represents the highest degree of organization to which the
homogeneous crowd is susceptible. It is composed of individuals who by
their tastes, their education, birth, and social status, resemble each
other in the fundamental types of conduct and mores. There are even
certain castes, the military and sacerdotal, for example, in which the
members at last so resemble one another in appearance and bearing that
no disguise can conceal the nature of their profession.

The caste offers to its members ideas already molded, rules of conduct
already approved; it relieves them, in short, of the fatigue of thinking
with their own brains. When the caste to which an individual belongs is
known, all that is necessary is to press a button of his mental
mechanism to release a series of opinions and of phrases already made
which are identical in every individual of the same caste.

This harmonious collectivity, powerful and eminently conservative, is
the most salient analogy which the nations of the Occident present to
that of India. In India the caste is determined by birth, and it is
distinguished by a characteristic trait: the persons of one caste can
live with, eat with, and marry only individuals of the same caste.

In Europe it is not only birth, but circumstances and education which
determine the entrance of an individual into a caste; to marry, to
frequent, to invite to the same table only people of the same caste,
exists practically in Europe as in India. In Europe the above-mentioned
prescriptions are founded on convention, but they are none the less
observed. We all live in a confined circle, where we find our friends,
our guests, our sons- and daughters-in-law.

Misalliances are assuredly possible in Europe; they are impossible in
India. But if there religion prohibits them, with us public opinion and
convention render them very rare. And at bottom the analogy is complete.

The class is superior to the caste in extent. If the psychological bond
of the sect is community of faith, and that of the caste community of
profession, the psychological bond of the class is community of

Less precise in its limits, more diffuse and less compact than the caste
or the sect, the class represents today the veritable crowd in a dynamic
state, which can in a moment's time descend from that place and become
statically a crowd. And it is from the sociological standpoint the most
terrible kind of crowd; it is that which today has taken a bellicose
attitude, and which by its attitude and precepts prepares the brutal
blows of mobs.

We speak of the "conflict of the classes," and from the theoretical
point of view and in the normal and peaceful life that signifies only a
contest of ideas by legal means. Always depending upon the occasion, the
audacity of one or many men, the character of the situation, the
conflict of the classes is transformed into something more material and
more violent--into revolt or into revolution.

Finally we arrive at the state (nation). Tocqueville said that the
classes which compose society form so many distinct nations. They are
the greatest collectivities before coming to the nation, the state.

This is the most perfect type of organization of the crowd, and the
final and supreme type, if there is not another collectivity superior in
number and extension, the collectivity formed by race.

The bond which unites all the citizens of a state is language and
nationality. Above the state there are only the crowds determined by
race, which comprise many states. And these are, like the states and
like the classes, human aggregates which in a moment could be
transformed into violent crowds. But then, and justly, because their
evolution and their organization are more developed, their mobs are
called armies, and their violences are called wars, and they have the
seal of legitimacy unknown in other crowds. In this order of ideas war
could be defined as the supreme form of collective crimes.

4. _Esprit de Corps_, Morale, and Collective Representations of Social

War is no doubt the least human of human relationships. It can begin
only when persuasion ends, when arguments fitted to move minds are
replaced by the blasting-powder fitted to move rocks and hills. It means
that one at least of the national wills concerned has deliberately set
aside its human quality--as only a human will can do--and has made of
itself just such a material obstruction or menace. Hence war seems, and
is often called, a contest of brute forces. Certainly it is the
extremest physical effort men make, every resource of vast populations
bent to increase the sum of power at the front, where the two lines
writhe like wrestlers laboring for the final fall.

Yet it is seldom physical force that decides a long war. For war summons
skill against skill, head against head, staying-power against
staying-power, as well as numbers and machines against machines and
numbers. When an engine "exerts itself" it spends more power, eats more
fuel, but uses no nerve; when a man exerts himself, he must bend his
will to it. The extremer the physical effort, the greater the strain on
the inner or moral powers. Hence the paradox of war: just because it
calls for the maximum material performance, it calls out a maximum of
moral resource. As long as guns and bayonets have men behind them, the
quality of the men, the quality of their minds and wills, must be
counted with the power of the weapons.

And as long as men fight in nations and armies, that subtle but mighty
influence that passes from man to man, the temper and spirit of the
group, must be counted with the quality of the individual citizen and
soldier. But how much does this intangible, psychological factor count?
Napoleon in his day reckoned it high: "In war, the moral is to the
physical as three to one."

For war, completely seen, is no mere collision of physical forces; it is
a collision of will against will. It is, after all, the mind and will of
a nation--a thing intangible and invisible--that assembles the materials
of war, the fighting forces, the ordnance, the whole physical array. It
is this invisible thing that wages the war; it is this same invisible
thing that on one side or the other must admit the finish and so end it.
As things are now, it is the element of "morale" that controls the

I say, as things are now; for it is certainly not true as a rule of
history that will-power is enough to win a war, even when supported by
high fighting spirit, brains, and a good conscience: Belgium had all
this, and yet was bound to fall before Germany had she stood alone. Her
spirit worked miracles at Liége, delayed by ten days the marching
program of the German armies, and thereby saved--perhaps Paris, perhaps
Europe. But the day was saved because the issue raised in Serbia and in
Belgium drew to their side material support until their forces could
compare with the physical advantages of the enemy. Morale wins, not by
itself, but by turning scales; it has a value like the power of a
minority or of a mobile reserve. It adds to one side or the other the
last ounce of force which is to its opponent the last straw that breaks
its back.

Perhaps the simplest way of explaining the meaning of morale is to say
that what "condition" is to the athlete's body, morale is to the mind.
Morale is condition; good morale is good condition of the inner man: it
is the state of will in which you can get most from the machinery,
deliver blows with the greatest effect, take blows with the least
depression, and hold out for the longest time. It is both fighting-power
and staying-power and strength to resist the mental infections which
fear, discouragement, and fatigue bring with them, such as eagerness for
any kind of peace if only it gives momentary relief, or the irritability
that sees large the defects in one's own side until they seem more
important than the need of defeating the enemy. And it is the perpetual
ability to come back.

From this it follows that good morale is not the same as good spirits or
enthusiasm. It is anything but the cheerful optimism of early morning,
or the tendency to be jubilant at every victory. It has nothing in
common with the emotionalism dwelt on by psychologists of the "crowd."
It is hardly to be discovered in the early stages of war. Its most
searching test is found in the question, How does war-weariness affect

No one going from America to Europe in the last year could fail to
notice the wide difference between the mind of nations long at war and
that of a nation just entering. Over there, "crowd psychology" had spent
itself. There was little flag-waving; the common purveyors of music were
not everywhere playing (or allowed to play) the national airs. If in
some Parisian cinema the Marseillaise was given, nobody stood or sang.
The reports of atrocities roused little visible anger or even talk--they
were taken for granted. In short, the simpler emotions had been worn
out, or rather had resolved themselves into clear connections between
knowledge and action. The people had found the mental gait that can be
held indefinitely. Even a great advance finds them on their guard
against too much joy. As the news from the second victory of the Marne
begins to come in, we find this despatch: "Paris refrains from

And in the trenches the same is true in even greater degree. All the
bravado and illusion of war are gone, also all the nervous revulsion;
and in their places a grimly reliable resource of energy held in
instant, almost mechanical, readiness to do what is necessary. The
hazards which it is useless to speculate about, the miseries, delays,
tediums, casualties, have lost their exclamatory value and have fallen
into the sullen routine of the day's work. Here it is that morale begins
to show in its more vital dimensions. Here the substantial differences
between man and man, and between side and side, begin to appear as they
can never appear in training camp.

Fitness and readiness to act, the positive element in morale, is a
matter not of good and bad alone, but of degree. Persistence, courage,
energy, initiative, may vary from zero upward without limit. Perhaps the
most important dividing line--one that has already shown itself at
various critical points--is that between the willingness to defend and
the willingness to attack, between the defensive and the aggressive
mentality. It is the difference between docility and enterprise, between
a faith at second hand dependent on neighbor or leader, and a faith at
first hand capable of assuming for itself the position of leadership.

But readiness to wait, the negative element in morale, is as important
as readiness to act, and oftentimes it is a harder virtue. Patience,
especially under conditions of ignorance of what may be brewing, is a
torment for active and critical minds such as this people is made of.
Yet impetuosity, exceeding of orders, unwillingness to retreat when the
general situation demands it, are signs not of good morale but the
reverse. They are signs that one's heart cannot be kept up except by the
flattering stimulus of always going forward--a state of mind that may
cause a commanding officer serious embarrassment, even to making
impossible decisive strokes of strategy.

In fact, the better the morale, the more profound its mystery from the
utilitarian angle of judgment. There is something miraculous in the
power of a bald and unhesitating announcement of reverse to steel the
temper of men attuned to making sacrifices and to meeting emergencies.
No one can touch the deepest moral resources of an army or nation who
does not know the fairly regal exaltation with which it is possible for
men to face an issue--_if they believe in it_. There are times when men
seem to have an appetite for suffering, when, to judge from their own
demeanor, the best bait fortune could offer them is the chance to face
death or to bear an inhuman load. This state of mind does not exist of
itself; it is morale at its best, and it appears only when the occasion
strikes a nerve which arouses the super-earthly vistas of human
consciousness or subconsciousness. But it commonly appears at the
summons of a leader who himself welcomes the challenge of the task he
sets before his followers. It is the magic of King Alfred in his appeal
to his chiefs to do battle with the Danes, when all that he could hold
out to them was the prospect of his own vision,

    This--that the sky grows darker yet
    And the sea rises higher.

Morale, for all the greater purposes of war, is a state of faith; and
its logic will be the superb and elusive logic of human faith. It is for
this reason that morale, while not identical with the righteousness of
the cause, can never reach its height unless the aim of the war can be
held intact in the undissembled moral sense of the people. This is one
of the provisions in the deeper order of things for the slow
predominance of the better brands of justice.

There are still officers in army and navy--not as many as formerly--who
believe exclusively in the morale that works its way into every body of
recruits through discipline and the sway of _esprit de corps_. "They
know that they're here to can the Kaiser, and that's all they need to
know," said one such officer to me very recently. "After a man has been
here two months, the worst punishment you can give him is to tell him he
can't go to France right away. The soldier is a man of action; and the
less thinking he does, the better." There is an amount of practical
wisdom in this; for the human mind has a large capacity for adopting
beliefs that fit the trend of its habits and feelings, and this trend is
powerfully molded by the unanimous direction of an army's purpose. There
is an all but irresistible orthodoxy within a body committed to a war.
And the current (pragmatic) psychology referred to, making the
intelligence a mere instrument of the will, would seem to sanction the
maxim, "First decide, and then think accordingly."

But there are two remarks to be made about this view; first, that in the
actual creation of morale within an army corps much thinking is
included, and nothing is accomplished without the consent of such
thoughts as a man already has. Training does wonders in making morale,
when nothing in the mind opposes it. Second, that the morale which is
sufficient for purposes of training is not necessarily sufficient for
the strains of the field.

The intrinsic weakness of "affective morale," as psychologists call it,
is that it puts both sides on the same mental and moral footing: it
either justifies our opponents as well as ourselves, or it makes both
sides the creatures of irrational emotion.

Crowds are capable of doing reasonless things upon impulse and of
adopting creeds without reflection. But an army is not a crowd; still
less is a nation a crowd. A mob or crowd is an unorganized group of
people governed by less than the average individual intelligence of its
members. Armies and nations are groups of people so organized that they
are controlled by an intelligence higher than the average. The instincts
that lend, and must lend, their immense motive-power to the great
purposes of war are the servants, not the masters, of that


1. The Scientific Study of Societies

Interest in the study of "society as it is" has had its source in two
different motives. Travelers' tales have always fascinated mankind. The
ethnologists began their investigations by criticising and systematizing
the novel and interesting observations of travelers in regard to
customs, cultures, and behavior of people of different races and
nationalities. Their later more systematic investigations were, on the
whole, inspired by intellectual curiosity divorced from any overwhelming
desire to change the manner of life and social organizations of the
societies studied.

The second motive for the systematic observation of actual society came
from persons who wanted social reforms but who were forced to realize
the futility of Utopian projects. The science of sociology as conceived
by Auguste Comte was to substitute fact for doctrines about society. But
his attempt to interpret social evolution resulted in a philosophy of
history, not a natural science of society.

Herbert Spencer appreciated the fact that the new science of sociology
required an extensive body of materials as a basis for its
generalizations. Through the work of assistants he set himself the
monumental task of compiling historical and cultural materials not only
upon primitive and barbarous peoples but also upon the Hebrews, the
Phoenicians, the French and the English. These data were classified and
published in eight large volumes under the title _Descriptive

The study of human societies was too great to be satisfactorily
compassed by the work of one man. Besides that, Spencer, like most
English sociologists, was more interested in the progress of
civilization than in its processes. Spencer's _Sociology_ is still a
philosophy of history rather than a science of society. The philosophy
of history took for its unit of investigation and interpretation the
evolution of human society as a whole. The present trend in sociology is
toward the study of _societies_ rather than _society_. Sociological
research has been directed less to a study of the stages of evolution
than to the diagnosis and control of social problems.

Modern sociology's chief inheritance from Comte and Spencer was a
problem in logic: What is a society?

Manifestly if the relations between individuals in society are not
merely formal, and if society is something more than the sum of its
parts, then these relations must be defined in terms of interaction,
that is to say, in terms of process. What then is _the social process_;
what are the social processes? How are social processes to be
distinguished from physical, chemical, or biological processes? What is,
in general, the nature of the relations that need to be established in
order to make of individuals in society, members of society? These
questions are fundamental since they define the point of view of
sociology and describe the sort of facts with which the science seeks to
deal. Upon these questions the schools have divided and up to the
present time there is no very general consensus among sociologists in
regard to them. The introductory chapter to this volume is at once a
review of the points of view and an attempt to find answers. In the
literature to which reference is made at the close of chapter iii the
logical questions involved are discussed in a more thoroughgoing way
than has been possible to do in this volume.

Fortunately science does not wait to define its points of view nor solve
its theoretical problems before undertaking to analyze and collect the
facts. The contrary is nearer the truth. Science collects facts and
answers the theoretical questions afterward. In fact, it is just its
success in analyzing and collecting facts which throw light upon human
problems that in the end justifies the theories of science.

2. Surveys of Communities

The historian and the philosopher introduced the sociologist to the
study of society. But it was the reformer, the social worker, and the
business man who compelled him to study the community.

The study of the community is still in its beginnings. Nevertheless,
there is already a rapidly growing literature on this topic.
Ethnologists have presented us with vivid and detailed pictures of
primitive communities as in McGee's _The Seri Indians_, Jenk's _The
Bontoc Igorot_, Rivers' _The Todas_. Studies of the village communities
of India, of Russia, and of early England have thrown new light upon the
territorial factor in the organization of societies.

More recently the impact of social problems has led to the intensive
study of modern communities. The monumental work of Charles Booth,
_Life and Labour of the People in London_, is a comprehensive
description of conditions of social life in terms of the community. In
the United States, interest in community study is chiefly represented by
the social-survey movement which received impetus from the Pittsburgh
Survey of 1907. For sociological research of greater promise than the
survey are the several monographs which seek to make a social analysis
of the community, as Williams, _An American Town_, or Galpin, _The
Social Anatomy of an Agricultural Community_. With due recognition of
these auspicious beginnings, it must be confessed that there is no
volume upon human communities comparable with several works upon plant
and animal communities.

3. The Group as a Unit of Investigation

The study of societies is concerned primarily with types of social
organization and with attitudes and cultural elements embodied in them.
The survey of communities deals essentially with social situations and
the problems connected with them.

The study of social groups was a natural outgrowth of the study of the
individual. In order to understand the person it is necessary to
consider the group. Attention first turned to social institutions, then
to conflict groups, and finally to crowds and crowd influences.

Social institutions were naturally the first groups to be studied with
some degree of detachment. The work of ethnologists stimulated an
interest in social origins. Evolution, though at first a purely
biological conception, provoked inquiry into the historical development
of social structure. Differences in institutions in contemporary
societies led to comparative study. Critics of institutions, both
iconoclasts without and reformers within, forced a consideration of
their more fundamental aspects.

The first written accounts of conflict groups were quite naturally of
the propagandist type both by their defenders and by their opponents.
Histories of nationalities, for example, originated in the patriotic
motive of national glorification. With the acceptance of objective
standards of historical criticism the ground was prepared for the
sociological study of nationalities as conflict groups. A school of
European sociologists represented by Gumplowicz, Ratzenhofer, and
Novicow stressed conflict as the characteristic behavior of social
groups. Beginnings, as indicated in the bibliography, have been made of
the study of various conflict groups as gangs, labor unions, parties,
and sects.

The interest in the mechanism of the control of the individual by the
group has been focused upon the study of the crowd. Tarde and Le Bon in
France, Sighele in Italy, and Ross in the United States were the
pioneers in the description and interpretation of the behavior of mobs
and crowds. The crowd phenomena of the Great War have stimulated the
production of several books upon crowds and crowd influences which are,
in the main, but superficial and popular elaborations of the
interpretations of Tarde and Le Bon. Concrete material upon group
behavior has rapidly accumulated, but little or no progress has been
made in its sociological explanation.

At present there are many signs of an increasing interest in the study
of group behavior. Contemporary literature is featuring realistic
descriptions. Sinclair Lewis in _Main Street_ describes concretely the
routine of town life with its outward monotony and its inner zest.
Newspapers and magazines are making surveys of the buying habits of
their readers as a basis for advertising. The federal department of
agriculture in co-operation with schools of agriculture is making
intensive studies of rural communities. Social workers are conscious
that a more fundamental understanding of social groups is a necessary
basis for case work and community organization. Surveys of institutions
and communities are now being made under many auspices and from varied
points of view. All this is having a fruitful reaction upon the
sociological theory.

4. The Study of the Family

The family is the earliest, the most elementary, and the most permanent
of social groups. It has been more completely studied, in all its
various aspects, than other forms of human association. Methods of
investigation of family life are typical of methods that may be employed
in the description of other forms of society. For that reason more
attention is given here to studies of family life than it is possible or
desirable to give to other and more transient types of social groups.

The descriptions of travelers, of ethnologists and of historians made
the first contributions to our knowledge of marriage, ceremonials, and
family organization among primitive and historical peoples. Early
students of these data devised theories of stages in the evolution of
the family. An anthology might be made of the conceptions that students
have formulated of the original form of the family, for example, the
theory of the matriarchate by Bachofen, of group marriage growing out of
earlier promiscuous relations by Morgan, of the polygynous family by
Darwin, of pair marriage by Westermarck. An example of the ingenious,
but discarded method of arranging all types of families observed in a
series representing stages of the evolution is to be found in Morgan's
_Ancient Society_. A survey of families among primitive peoples by
Hobhouse, Ginsberg, and Wheeler makes the point that even family life is
most varied upon the lower levels of culture, and that the historical
development of the family with any people must be studied in relation to
the physical and social environment.

The evolutionary theory of the family has, however, furnished a somewhat
detached point of view for the criticism of the modern family. Social
reformers have used the evolutionary theory as a formula to justify
attacks upon the family as an institution and to support the most varied
proposals for its reconstruction. Books like Ellen Key's _Love and
Marriage_ and Meisel-Hess, _The Sexual Crisis_ are not scientific
studies of the family but rather social political philippics directed
against marriage and the family.

The interest stimulated by ethnological observation, historical study,
and propagandist essays has, however, turned the attention of certain
students to serious study of the family and its problems. Howard's
_History of Matrimonial Institutions_ is a scholarly and comprehensive
treatise upon the evolution of the legal status of the family. Annual
statistics of marriage and divorce are now compiled and published by all
the important countries except the United States government. In the
United States, however, three studies of marriages and divorces have
been made; one in 1887-88, by the Department of Labor, covering the
twenty years from 1867-86 inclusive; another in 1906-7, by the Bureau of
the Census, for the twenty years 1887-1906; and the last, also by the
Bureau of the Census, for the year 1916.

The changes in family life resulting from the transition from home
industry to the factory system have created new social problems.
Problems of woman and child labor, unemployment, and poverty are a
product of the machine industry. Attempts to relieve the distress under
conditions of city life resulted in the formation of charity
organization societies and other philanthropic institutions, and in
attempts to control the behavior of the individuals and families
assisted. The increasing body of experience gained by social agencies
has gradually been incorporated in the technique of the workers. Mary
Richmond in _Social Diagnosis_ has analyzed and standardized the
procedure of the social case worker.

Less direct but more fundamental studies of family life have been made
by other investigators. Le Play, a French social economist, who lived
with the families which he observed, introduced the method of the
monographic study of the economic organization of family life. Ernst
Engel, from his study of the expenditure of Saxon working-class
families, formulated so-called "laws" of the relation between family
income and family outlay. Recent studies of family incomes and budgets
by Chapin, Ogburn, and others have thrown additional light upon the
relationship between wages and the standard of living. Interest in the
economics of the family is manifested by an increasing number of studies
in dietetics, household administration and domestic science.

Westermarck in his _History of Human Marriage_ attempted to write a
sociology of the family. Particularly interesting is his attempt to
compare the animal family with that of man. The effect of this was to
emphasize instinctive and biological aspects of the family rather than
its institutional character. The basis for a psychology of family life
was first laid in the _Studies in the Psychology of Sex_ by Havelock
Ellis. The case studies of individuals by psychoanalysts often lead into
family complexes and illuminate the structure of family attitudes and

The sociological study of the family as a natural and a cultural group
is only now in its beginnings. An excellent theoretical study of the
family as a unity of interacting members is presented in Bosanquet, _The
Family_. The family as defined in the mores has been described and
interpreted, as for example, by Thomas in his analysis of the
organization of the large peasant family group in the first two volumes
of the _Polish Peasant_. Materials upon the family in the United States
have been brought together by Calhoun in his _Social History of the
American Family_.

While the family is listed by Cooley among primary groups, the notion is
gaining ground that it is primary in a unique sense which sets it apart
from all other social groups. The biological interdependence and
co-operation of the members of the family, intimacies of closest and
most enduring contacts have no parallel among other human groups. The
interplay of the attractions, tensions, and accommodations of
personalities in the intimate bonds of family life have up to the
present found no concrete description or adequate analysis in
sociological inquiry.

The best case studies of family life at present are in fiction, not in
the case records of social agencies, nor yet in sociological literature.
Arnold Bennett's trilogy, _Clayhanger_, _Hilda Lessways_, and _These
Twain_, suggests a pattern not unworthy of consideration by social
workers and sociologists. _The Pastor's Wife_, by the author of
_Elizabeth and Her German Garden_, is a delightful contrast of English
and German mores in their effect upon the intimate relations of family

In the absence of case studies of the family as a natural and cultural
group the following tentative outline for sociological study is offered:

     1. _Location and extent in time and space._--Genealogical tree
     as retained in the family memory; geographical distribution and
     movement of members of small family group and of large family
     group; stability or mobility of family; its rural or urban

     2. _Family traditions and ceremonials._--Family romance; family
     skeleton; family ritual, as demonstration of affection, family
     events, etc.

     3. _Family economics._--Family communism; division of labor
     between members of the family; effect of occupation of its

     4. _Family organization and control._--Conflicts and
     accommodation; superordination and subordination; typical forms
     of control--patriarchy, matriarchy, consensus, etc.; family
     _esprit de corps_, family morale, family objectives; status in

     5. _Family behavior._--Family life from the standpoint of the
     four wishes (security, response, recognition, and new
     experience); family crises; the family and the community;
     familism versus individualism; family life and the development
     of personality.



(1) Kistiakowski, Dr. Th. _Gesellschaft und Einselwesen; eine
methodologische Studie._ Berlin, 1899. [A review and criticism of the
principal conceptions of society with reference to their value for a
natural science of society.]

(2) Barth, Paul. _Die Philosophie der Geschichte als Sociologie._
Leipzig, 1897. [A comparison of the different schools and an attempt to
interpret them as essays in the philosophy of history.]

(3) Espinas, Alfred. _Des sociétés animales._ Paris, 1877. [A definition
of society based upon a comparative study of animal associations,
communities, and societies.]

(4) Spencer, Herbert. "The Social Organism," _Essays, Scientific,
Political and Speculative_. I, 265-307. New York, 1892. [First published
in _The Westminster Review_ for January, 1860.]

(5) Lazarus, M., and Steinthal, H. "Einleitende Gedanken zur
Völkerpsychologie als Einladung zu einer Zeitschrift für
Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft," _Zeitschrift für
Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft_, I (1860), 1-73. [This is the
most important early attempt to interpret social phenomena from a social
psychological point of view. See p. 35 for definition of _Volk_ "the

(6) Knapp, G. Friedrich. "Quételet als Theoretiker," _Jahrbücher für
Nationalökonomie und Statistik_, XVIII (1872), 89-124.

(7) Lazarus, M. _Das Leben der Seele in Monographien über seine
Erscheinungen und Gesetze._ Berlin, 1876.

(8) Durkheim, Émile. "Représentations individuelles et représentations
collectives," _Revue de métaphysique et de morale_, VI (1898), 273-302.

(9) Simmel, Georg. _Über sociale Differenzierung._ Sociologische und
psychologische Untersuchungen. Leipzig, 1890.

[See also in Bibliography, chap. i, volumes listed under Systematic


(1) Clements, Frederic E. _Plant Succession._ An analysis of the
development of vegetation. Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1916.

(2) Wheeler, W. M. "The Ant-Colony as an Organism," _Journal of
Morphology_, XXII (1911), 307-25.

(3) Parmelee, Maurice. _The Science of Human Behavior._ Biological and
Psychological Foundations. New York, 1913. [Bibliography.]

(4) Massart, J., and Vandervelde, É. _Parasitism, Organic and Social._
2d ed. Translated by W. Macdonald. Revised by J. Arthur Thomson. London,

(5) Warming, Eug. _Oecology of Plants._ An introduction to the study of
plant communities. Oxford, 1909. [Bibliography.]

(6) Adams, Charles C. _Guide to the Study of Animal Ecology._ New York,
1913. [Bibliography.]

(7) Waxweiler, E. "Esquisse d'une sociologie," _Travaux de l'Institut de
Sociologie (Solvay), Notes et mémoires_, Fasc. 2. Bruxelles, 1906.

(8) Reinheimer, H. _Symbiosis._ A socio-physiological study of
evolution. London, 1920.


A. _Types of Social Group_

1. Non-territorial Groups:

(1) Le Bon, Gustave. _The Crowd._ A study of the popular mind. London,

(2) Sighele, S. _Psychologie des sectes._ Paris, 1898.

(3) Tarde, G. _L'opinion et la foule._ Paris, 1901.

(4) Fahlbeck, Pontus. _Klasserna och Samhallet._ Stockholm, 1920. (Book
review in _American Journal of Sociology_, XXVI [1920-21], 633-34.)

(5) Nesfield, John C. _Brief View of the Caste System of the
North-western Provinces and Oudh_. Allahabad, 1885.

2. Territorial Groups:

(1) Simmel, Georg. "Die Grossstädte und das Geistesleben," _Die
Grossstadt_, Vorträge und Aufsätze zur Städteausstellung, von K. Bücher,
F. Ratzel, G. v. Mayr, H. Waentig, G. Simmel, Th. Peterman, und D.
Schäfer. Dresden, 1903.

(2) Galpin, C. J. _The Social Anatomy of an Agricultural Community._
Madison, Wis., 1915. (Agricultural experiment station of the University
of Wisconsin. Research Bulletin 34.) [See also _Rural Life_, New York,

(3) Aronovici, Carol. _The Social Survey._ Philadelphia, 1916.

(4) McKenzie, R. D. _The Neighborhood._ A study of local life in
Columbus, Ohio. Chicago, 1921 [in press].

(5) Park, Robert E. "The City. Suggestions for the Investigation of
Human Behavior in the City Environment," _American Journal of
Sociology_, XX (1914-15), 577-612.

(6) Sims, Newell L. _The Rural Community, Ancient and Modern._ New York,

B. _Studies of Individual Communities:_

(1) Maine, Sir Henry. _Village-Communities in the East and West._
London, 1871.

(2) Baden-Powell, H. _The Indian Village Community._ Examined with
reference to the physical, ethnographic, and historical conditions of
the provinces. London, 1896.

(3) Seebohm, Frederic. _The English Village Community._ Examined in its
relations to the manorial and tribal systems and to the common or open
field system of husbandry. An essay in economic history. London, 1883.

(4) McGee, W. J. "The Seri Indians," _Bureau of American Ethnology 17th
Annual Report 1895-96._ Washington, 1898.

(5) Rivers, W. H. R. _The Todas._ London and New York, 1906.

(6) Jenks, Albert. _The Bontoc Igorot._ Manila, 1905.

(7) Stow, John. _A Survey of London._ Reprinted from the text of 1603
with introduction and notes by C. L. Kingsford. Oxford, 1908.

(8) Booth, Charles. _Life and Labour of the People in London_, 9 vols.
London and New York, 1892-97. 8 additional volumes, 1902.

(9) Kellogg, P. U., ed. _The Pittsburgh Survey._ Findings in 6 vols.
Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 1909-14.

(10) Woods, Robert. _The City Wilderness._ A settlement study, south end
of Boston. Boston, 1898. ----. _Americans in Process._ A settlement
study, north and west ends of Boston. Boston, 1902.

(11) Kenngott, G. F. _The Record of a City._ A social survey of Lowell,
Massachusetts. New York, 1912.

(12) Harrison, Shelby M., ed. _The Springfield Survey._ A study of
social conditions in an American city. Findings in 3 vols. Russell Sage
Foundation. New York, 1918.

(13) Roberts, Peter. _Anthracite Coal Communities._ A study of the
demography, the social, educational, and moral life of the anthracite
regions. New York and London, 1904.

(14) Williams, J. M. _An American Town._ A sociological study. New York,

(15) Wilson, Warren H. _Quaker Hill._ A sociological study. New York,

(16) Taylor, Graham R. _Satellite Cities._ A study of industrial
suburbs. New York and London, 1915.

(17) Lewis, Sinclair. _Main Street._ New York, 1920.

(18) Kobrin, Leon. _A Lithuanian Village._ Translated from the Yiddish
by Isaac Goldberg. New York, 1920.


A. _The Primitive Family_

1. The Natural History of Marriage:

(1) Bachofen, J. J. _Das Mutterrecht._ Eine Untersuchung über die
Gynaikokratie der alten Welt nach ihrer religiösen und rechtlichen
Natur. Stuttgart, 1861.

(2) Westermarck, E. _The History of Human Marriage._ London, 1891.

(3) McLennan, J. F. _Primitive Marriage._ An inquiry into the origin of
the form of capture in marriage ceremonies. Edinburgh, 1865.

(4) Tylor, E. B. "The Matriarchal Family System," _Nineteenth Century_,
XL (1896), 81-96.

(5) Dargun, L. von. _Mutterrecht und Vaterrecht._ Leipzig, 1892.

(6) Maine, Sir Henry. _Dissertations on Early Law and Custom._ Chap.
vii. London, 1883.

(7) Letourneau, C. _The Evolution of Marriage and of the Family._
(Trans.) New York, 1891.

(8) Kovalevsky, M. _Tableau des origines et de l'évolution de la famille
et de la propriété._ Stockholm, 1890.

(9) Lowie, Robert H. _Primitive Society._ New York, 1920.

(10) Starcke, C. N. _The Primitive Family in Its Origin and
Development._ New York, 1889.

(11) Hobhouse, L. T., Wheeler, G. C., and Ginsberg, M. _The Material
Culture and Social Institutions of the Simpler Peoples._ London, 1915.

(12) Parsons, Elsie Clews. _The Family._ An ethnographical and
historical outline. New York and London, 1906.

2. Studies of Family Life in Different Cultural Areas:

(1) Spencer, B., and Gillen, F. J. _The Native Tribes of Central
Australia._ Chap. iii, "Certain Ceremonies Concerned with Marriage," pp.
92-111. London and New York, 1899.

(2) Rivers, W. H. R. _Kinship and Social Organization._ "Studies in
Economics and Political Science," No. 36. In the series of monographs by
writers connected with the London School of Economics and Political
Science. London, 1914.

(3) Rivers, W. H. R. "Kinship," _Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to
Torres Straits, Report._ V, 129-47, VI, 92-125.

(4) Kovalevsky, M. "La famille matriarcale au Caucase,"
_L'Anthropologie_, IV (1893), 259-78.

(5) Thomas, N. W. _Kinship Organizations and Group Marriage in
Australia._ Cambridge, 1906.

(6) Malinowski, Bronislaw. _The Family among the Australian Aborigines._
A sociological study. London, 1913.

B. _Materials for the Study of Familial Attitudes and Sentiments_

(1) Frazer, J. G. _Totemism and Exogamy._ A treatise on certain early
forms of superstition and society. London, 1910.

(2) Durkheim, É. "La prohibition de l'inceste et ses origines," _L'année
sociologique._ I (1896-97), 1-70.

(3) Ploss, H. _Das Weib in der Natur- und Völkerkunde._ Leipzig, 1902.

(4) Lasch, R. "Der Selbstmord aus erotischen Motiven bei den primitiven
Völkern," _Zeitschrift für Sozialwissenschaft_, II (1899), 578-85.

(5) Jacobowski, L. "Das Weib in der Poesie der Hottentotten," _Globus_,
LXX (1896), 173-76.

(6) Stoll, O. _Das Geschlechtsleben in der Völkerpsychologie._ Leipzig,

(7) Crawley, A. E. "Sexual Taboo: A Study in the Relations of the
Sexes," _The Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, XXIV (1894-95),
116-25; 219-35; 430-46.

(8) Simmel, G. "Zur Psychologie der Frauen," _Zeitschrift für
Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft_, XX, 6-46.

(9) Finck, Henry T. _Romantic Love and Personal Beauty._ Their
development, causal relations, historic and national peculiarities.
London and New York, 1887.

(10) ----. _Primitive Love and Love Stories_. New York, 1899.

(11) Kline, L. W. "The Migratory Impulse versus Love of Home," _American
Journal of Psychology_, X (1898-99), 1-81.

(12) Key, Ellen. _Love and Marriage._ Translated from the Swedish by A.
G. Chater; with a critical and biographical introduction by Havelock
Ellis. New York and London, 1912.

(13) Meisel-Hess, Grete. _The Sexual Crisis._ A critique of our sex
life. Translated from the German by E. and C. Paul. New York, 1917.

(14) Bloch, Iwan. _The Sexual Life of Our Time in Its Relation to Modern
Civilization._ Translated from the 6th German ed. by M. Eden Paul. Chap.
viii, "The Individualization of Love," pp. 159-76. London, 1908.

C. _Economics of the Family_

(1) Grosse, Ernst. _Die Formen der Familie und die Formen der
Wirtschaft._ Freiburg, 1896.

(2) Le Play, P. G. Frédéric. _Les ouvriers européens._ Études sur les
travaux, la vie domestique, et la condition morale des populations
ouvrières de l'Europe. Précédées d'un exposé de la méthode
d'observation. Paris, 1855. [Comprises a series of 36 monographs on the
budgets of typical families selected from the most diverse industries.]

(3) Le Play, P. G. Frédéric. _L'organisation de la famille._ Selon le
vrai modèle signalé par l'histoire de toutes les races et de tous les
temps. Paris, 1871.

(4) Engel, Ernst. _Die Lebenskosten belgischer Arbeiter-Familien früher
und jetzt._ Ermittelt aus Familien-Haushaltrechnungen und vergleichend
zusammengestellt. Dresden, 1895.

(5) Chapin, Robert C. _The Standard of Living among Workingmen's
Families in New York City._ Russell Sage Foundation. New York, 1909.

(6) Talbot, Marion, and Breckinridge, Sophonisba P. _The Modern
Household._ Rev. ed. Boston, 1919. [Bibliography at the end of each

(7) Nesbitt, Florence. _Household Management._ Preface by Mary E.
Richmond. Russell Sage Foundation. New York, 1918.

D. _The Sociology of the Family_

1. Studies in Family Organization:

(1) Bosanquet, Helen. _The Family._ London and New York, 1906.

(2) Durkheim, É. "Introduction à la sociologie de la famille." _Annales
de la faculté des lettres de Bordeaux_ (1888), 257-81.

(3) ----. "La famille conjugale," _Revue philosophique_, XLI (1921),

(4) Howard, G. E. _A History of Matrimonial Institutions Chiefly in
England and the United States._ With an introductory analysis of the
literature and theories of primitive marriage and the family. 3 vols.
Chicago, 1904.

(5) Thwing, Charles F. and Carrie F. B. _The Family._ A historical and
social study. Boston, 1887.

(6) Goodsell, Willystine. _A History of the Family as a Social and
Educational Institution._ New York, 1915.

(7) Dealey, J. Q. _The Family in Its Sociological Aspects._ Boston,

(8) Calhoun, Arthur W. _A Social History of the American Family from
Colonial Times to the Present._ 3 vols. Cleveland, 1917-19.

(9) Thomas, W. I., and Znaniecki, F. _The Polish Peasant in Europe and
America._ "Primary-Group Organization," I, 87-524, II. Boston, 1918. [A
study based on correspondence between members of the family in America
and Poland.]

(10) Du Bois, W. E. B. _The Negro American Family._ Atlanta, 1908.

(11) Williams, James M. "Outline of a Theory of Social Motives,"
_American Journal of Sociology_, XV (1909-10), 741-80. [Theory of
motives based upon observation of rural and urban families.]

2. Materials for the Study of Family Disorganization:

(1) Willcox, Walter F. _The Divorce Problem._ A study in statistics.
("Columbia University Studies in History, Economics and Public Law,"
Vol. I. New York, 1891.)

(2) Lichtenberger, J. P. _Divorce._ A study in social causation. New
York, 1909.

(3) United States Bureau of the Census. _Marriage and Divorce_,
1867-1906. 2 vols. Washington, 1908-09. [Results of two federal

(4) ----. _Marriage and Divorce 1916._ Washington, 1919.

(5) Eubank, Earle E. _A Study in Family Desertion._ Department of Public
Welfare. Chicago, 1916. [Bibliography.]

(6) Breckinridge, Sophonisba P., and Abbott, Edith. _The Delinquent
Child and the Home._ A study of the delinquent wards of the Juvenile
Court of Chicago. Russell Sage Foundation. New York, 1912.

(7) Colcord, Joanna. _Broken Homes._ A study of family desertion and its
social treatment. Russell Sage Foundation. New York, 1919.

(8) Kammerer, Percy G. _The Unmarried Mother._ A study of five hundred
cases. Boston, 1918.

(9) Ellis, Havelock. _The Task of Social Hygiene._ Boston, 1912.

(10) Myerson, Abraham. "Psychiatric Family Studies," _American Journal
of Insanity_, LXXIV (April, 1918), 497-555.

(11) Morrow, Prince A. _Social Diseases and Marriage._ Social
prophylaxis. New York, 1904.

(12) Periodicals on Social Hygiene:

_Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft_, Bd. 1, April, 1914-, Bonn [1915-].

_Social Hygiene_, Vol. I, December, 1914-, New York [1915-].

_Die Neuere Generation_, Bd. I, 1908-Berlin [1908-]. Preceded by
_Mutterschutz_, Vols. I-III.


1. Society and the Individual: The Cardinal Problem of Sociology.

2. Historic Conceptions of Society: Aristotle, Hobbes, Rousseau, etc.

3. Plant Communities.

4. Animal Societies: The Ant Colony, the Bee Hive.

5. Animal Communities, or Studies in Animal Ecology.

6. Human Communities, Human Ecology, and Economics.

7. The Natural Areas of the City.

8. Studies in Group Consciousness: National, Sectional, State, Civic.

9. Co-operation versus Consensus.

10. Taming as a Form of Social Control.

11. Domestication among Plants, Animals, and Man.

12. Group Unity and the Different Forms of Consensus: _Esprit de corps_,
Morale, Collective Representations.

13. The Social Nature of Concepts.

14. Conduct and Behavior.


1. What, in your opinion, are the essential elements in Espinas'
definition of society?

2. In what sense does society differ from association?

3. According to Espinas' definition, which of the following social
relations would constitute society: robber and robbed; beggar and
almsgiver; charity organization and recipients of relief; master and
slave; employer and employee?

4. What illustrations of symbiosis in human society occur to you?

5. Are changes resulting from human symbiosis changes (a) of
structure, or (b) of function?

6. What are the likenesses and the differences between social symbiosis
in human and in ant society?

7. What is the difference between taming and domestication?

8. What is the relation of domestication to society?

9. Is man a _tamed_ or a _domesticated_ animal?

10. What are the likenesses between a plant and a human community? What
are the differences?

11. What is the fundamental difference between a plant community and an
ant society?

12. What are the differences between human and animal societies?

13. Does the ant have customs? ceremonies?

14. Do you think that there is anything akin to public sentiment in ant

15. What is the relation of education to social heredity?

16. In what way do you differentiate between the characteristic behavior
of machines and human beings?

17. "Society not only continues to exist _by_ transmission, _by_
communication, but it may fairly be said to exist _in_ transmission,
_in_ communication." Interpret.

18. How does Dewey's definition of society differ from that of Espinas?
Which do you prefer? Why?

19. Is consensus synonymous with co-operation?

20. Under what conditions would Dewey characterize the following social
relations as society: master and slave; employer and employee; parent
and child; teacher and student?

21. In what sense does the communication of an experience to another
person change the experience itself?

22. In what sense are concepts _social_ in contrast with sensations
which are _individual_? Would it be possible to have concepts outside of
group life?

23. How does Park distinguish between behavior and conduct?

24. In what ways is human society in its origin and continuity based on

25. To what extent does "the animal nature of man" (Hobhouse) provide a
basis for the social organization of life?

26. What, according to Hobhouse, are the _differentia_ of human morality
from animal behavior?

27. What do you understand by a collective representation?

28. How do you distinguish between the terms society, social community,
and group? Can you name a society that could not be considered as a
community? Can you name a community that is not a society?

29. In what, fundamentally, does the unity of the group consist?

30. What groups are omitted in Le Bon's classification of social groups?
Make a list of all the groups, formal and informal, of which you are a
member. Arrange these groups under the classification given in the
General Introduction (p. 50). Compare this classification with that made
by Le Bon.

31. How do you distinguish between _esprit de corps_, morale, and
collective representation as forms of consensus?

32. Classify under _esprit de corps_, morale, or collective
representation the following aspects of group behavior: rooting at a
football game; army discipline; the flag; college spirit; the so-called
"war psychosis"; the fourteen points of President Wilson; "the English
never know when they are beaten"; slogans; "Paris refrains from
exultation"; crowd enthusiasm; the Golden Rule; "where there's a will
there's a way"; Grant's determination, "I'll fight it out this way if it
takes all summer"; ideals.

33. "The human mind has a large capacity for adopting beliefs that fit
the trends of its habits and feelings." Give concrete illustrations
outside of army life.

34. What is the importance of the study of the family as a social


[80] See _supra_, chap. i, pp. 50-51.

[81] Translated from Alfred Espinas, _Des sociétés animales_ (1878), pp.

[82] Adapted from William M. Wheeler, _Ants, Their Structure,
Development, Behavior_, pp. 339-424. (Columbia University Press, 1910.)

[83] Adapted from P. Chalmers Mitchell, _The Childhood of Animals_, pp.
204-21. (Frederick A. Stokes & Co., 1912.)

[84] Adapted from Eugenius Warming, _Oecology of Plants_, pp. 12-13,
91-95. (Oxford University Press, 1909.)

[85] Adapted from William E. Wheeler, _Ants, Their Structure,
Development, and Behavior_, pp. 5-7. (Columbia University Press, 1910.)

[86] From John Dewey, _Democracy and Education_, pp. 1-7. (Published by
The Macmillan Co., 1916. Reprinted by permission.)

[87] From Robert E. Park, _Principles of Human Behavior_, pp. 1-9. (The
Zalaz Corporation, 1915.)

[88] Adapted from L. T. Hobhouse, _Morals in Evolution_, pp. 1-2, 10-12.
(Henry Holt & Co., 1915.)

[89] Adapted from Émile Durkheim, _Elementary Forms of Religious Life_,
pp. 432-37. (Allen & Unwin, 1915.)

[90] From Albion W. Small, _General Sociology_, pp. 495-97. (The
University of Chicago Press, 1905.)

[91] From R. E. Park, "Education in Its Relation to the Conflict and
Fusion of Cultures," in the _Publications of the American Sociological
Society_, VIII (1918), 38-40.

[92] Translated from S. Sighele, _Psychologie des Sectes_, pp. 42-51.
(M. Giard et Cie., 1898.)

[93] Adapted from William E. Hocking, _Morale and Its Enemies_, pp.
3-37. (Yale University Press, 1918.)



1. Geological and Biological Conceptions of Isolation

Relations of persons with persons, and of groups with groups, may be
either those of isolation or those of contact. The emphasis in this
chapter is placed upon _isolation_, in the next chapter upon _contact_
in a comparison of their effects upon personal conduct and group

Absolute isolation of the person from the members of his group is
unthinkable. Even biologically, two individuals of the higher animal
species are the precondition to a new individual existence. In man,
postnatal care by the parent for five or six years is necessary even for
the physiological survival of the offspring. Not only biologically but
sociologically complete isolation is a contradiction in terms.
Sociologists following Aristotle have agreed with him that human nature
develops within and decays outside of social relations. Isolation, then,
in the social as well as the biological sense is _relative_, not

The term "isolation" was first employed in anthropogeography, the study
of the relation of man to his physical environment. To natural barriers,
as mountains, oceans, and deserts, was attributed an influence upon the
location of races and the movements of peoples and the kind and the
degree of cultural contact. The nature and the extent of separation of
persons and groups was considered by geographers as a reflex of the
physical environment.

In biology, isolation as a factor in the evolution and the life of the
species, is studied from the standpoint of the animal group more than
from that of the environment. Consequently, the separation of species
from each other is regarded as the outcome not only of a sheer physical
impossibility of contact, but even more of other factors as differences
in physical structure, in habits of life, and in the instincts of the
animal groups. J. Arthur Thomson in his work on "Heredity" presents the
following compact and illuminating statement of isolation as a factor in

     The only other directive evolution-factor that biologists are
     at all agreed about, besides selection, is isolation--a general
     term for all the varied ways in which the radius of possible
     intercrossing is narrowed. As expounded by Wagner, Weismann,
     Romanes, Gulick, and others, isolation takes many
     forms--spatial, structural, habitudinal, and psychical--and it
     has various results.

     It tends to the segregation of species into subspecies, it
     makes it easier for new variations to establish themselves, it
     promotes prepotency, or what the breeders call "transmitting
     power," it fixes characters. One of the most successful breeds
     of cattle (Polled Angus) seems to have had its source in one
     farmsteading; its early history is one of close inbreeding, its
     prepotency is remarkable, its success from our point of view
     has been great. It is difficult to get secure data as to the
     results of isolation in nature, but Gulick's recent volume on
     the subject abounds in concrete illustrations, and we seem
     warranted in believing that conditions of isolation have been
     and are of frequent occurrence.

     Reibmayr has collected from human history a wealth of
     illustrations of various forms of isolation, and there seems
     much to be said for his thesis that the establishment of a
     successful race or stock requires the alternation of periods of
     inbreeding (endogamy) in which characters are fixed, and
     periods of outbreeding (exogamy) in which, by the introduction
     of fresh blood, new variations are promoted. Perhaps the Jews
     may serve to illustrate the influence of isolation in promoting
     stability of type and prepotency; perhaps the Americans may
     serve to illustrate the variability which a mixture of
     different stocks tends to bring about. In historical inquiry
     into the difficult problem of the origin of distinct races, it
     seems legitimate to think of periods of "mutation"--of
     discontinuous sporting--which led to numerous offshoots from
     the main stock, of the migration of these variants into new
     environments where in relative isolation they became prepotent
     and stable.[94]

The biological use of the term "isolation" introduces a new emphasis.
Separation may be spatial, but its effects are increasingly structural
and functional. Indeed, spatial isolation was a factor in the origin of
species because of specialized organic adaptation to varied geographic
conditions. In other words, the structure of the species, its habits of
life, and its original and acquired responses, tend to isolate it from
other species.

Man as an animal species in his historical development has attempted
with fair success to destroy the barriers separating him from other
animals. Through domestication and taming he has changed the original
nature and habits of life of many animals. The dog, the companion of
man, is the summit of human achievement in association with animals.
Nevertheless, the barriers that separate the dog and his master are
insurmountable. Even if "a candidate for humanity," the dog is forever
debarred from any share in human tradition and culture.

2. Isolation and Segregation

In geography, isolation denotes separation in space. In sociology, the
essential characteristic of isolation is found in exclusion from

Geographical forms of isolation are sociologically significant in so far
as they prevent communication. The isolation of the mountain whites in
the southern states, even if based on spatial separation, consisted in
the absence of contacts and competition, participation in the
progressive currents of civilization.

Biological differences, whether physical or mental, between the
different races are sociologically important to the extent to which they
affect communication. Of themselves, differences in skin color between
races would not prevent intercommunication of ideas. But the physical
marks of racial differences have invariably become the symbols of racial
solidarity and racial exclusiveness. The problems of humanity are
altogether different from what they would have been were all races of
one complexion as they are of one blood.

Certain physical and mental defects and differences in and of themselves
tend to separate the individual from his group. The deaf-mute and the
blind are deprived of normal avenues to communication. "My deafness,"
wrote Beethoven, "forces me to live in exile." The physically
handicapped are frequently unable to participate in certain human
activities on equal terms with their fellows. Minor physical defects and
marked physical variations from the normal tend to become the basis of
social discrimination.

Mental differences frequently offer still greater obstacles to social
contacts. The idiot and the imbecile are obviously debarred from normal
communication with their intelligent associates. The "dunce" was
isolated by village ridicule and contempt long before the term "moron"
was coined, or the feeble-minded segregated in institutions and
colonies. The individual with the highest native endowments, the genius,
and the talented enjoy or suffer from a more subtle type of isolation
from their fellows, that is, the isolation of eminence. "The reason of
isolation," says Thoreau, a lover of solitude, "is not that we love to
be alone, but that we love to soar; and when we soar, the company grows
thinner and thinner until there is none left."

So far, isolation as a tool of social analysis has been treated as an
effect of geographical separation or of structural differentiation
resulting in limitation of communication. Social distances are
frequently based on other subtler forms of isolation.

The study of cultural differences between groups has revealed barriers
quite as real and as effective as those of physical space and structure.
Variations in language, folkways, mores, conventions, and ideals
separate individuals and peoples from each other as widely as oceans and
deserts. Communication between England and Australia is far closer and
freer than between Germany and France.

Conflict groups, like sects and parties, and accommodation groups like
castes and classes depend for survival upon isolation. Free intercourse
of opposing parties is always a menace to their morale. Fraternization
between soldiers of contending armies, or between ministers of rival
denominations is fraught with peril to the fighting efficiency of the
organizations they represent. The solidarity of the group, like the
integrity of the individual, implies a measure at least of isolation
from other groups and persons as a necessary condition of its existence.

The life-history of any group when analyzed is found to incorporate
within it elements of isolation as well as of social contact. Membership
in a group makes for increasing contacts within the circle of
participants, but decreasing contacts with persons without. Isolation is
for this reason a factor in the preservation of individuality and unity.
The _esprit de corps_ and morale of the group is in large part
maintained by the fixation of attention upon certain collective
representations to the exclusion of others. The memories and sentiments
of the members have their source in common experiences of the past from
which non-members are isolated. This natural tendency toward exclusive
experiences is often reinforced by conscious emphasis upon secrecy.
Primitive and modern secret societies, sororities, and fraternities have
been organized around the principle of isolation. Secrecy in a society,
like reserve in an individual, protects it from a disintegrating
publicity. The family has its "skeleton in the closet," social groups
avoid the public "washing of dirty linen"; the community banishes from
consciousness, if it can, its slums, and parades its parks and
boulevards. Every individual who has any personality at all maintains
some region of privacy.

A morphological survey of group formation in any society discloses the
fact that there are lateral as well as vertical divisions in the social
structure. Groups are arranged in strata of relative superiority and
inferiority. In a stratified society the separation into castes is rigid
and quite unalterable. In a free society competition tends to destroy
classes and castes. New devices come into use to keep aspiring and
insurgent individuals and groups at the proper social level. If
"familiarity breeds contempt" respect may be secured by reserve. In the
army the prestige of the officer is largely a matter of "distance." The
"divinity that doth hedge the king" is due in large part to the hedge of
ceremonial separating him from his subjects. Condescension and pity,
while they denote external contact, involve an assumption of spiritual
eminence not to be found in consensus and sympathy. As protection
against the penetration of the inner precincts of personality and the
group individuality, there are the defenses of suspicion and aversion,
of reticence and reserve, designed to insure the proper social distance.

3. Classification of the Materials

The materials in the present chapter are intended to illustrate the fact
that individuality of the person and of the group is both an effect of
and a cause of isolation.

The first selections under the heading "Isolation and Personal
Individuality" bring out the point that the function of isolation in
personal development lies not so much in sheer physical separation from
other persons as in freedom from the control of external social
contacts. Thus Rousseau constructs an ideal society in the solitude of
his forest retreat. The lonely child enjoys the companionship of his
imaginary comrade. George Eliot aspires to join the choir invisible. The
mystic seeks communion with divinity.

This form of isolation within the realm of social contacts is known as
privacy. Indeed privacy may be defined as withdrawal from the group,
with, at the same time, ready access to it. It is in solitude that the
creative mind organizes the materials appropriated from the group in
order to make novel and fruitful innovations. Privacy affords
opportunity for the individual to reflect, to anticipate, to recast, and
to originate. Practical recognition of the human demand for privacy has
been realized in the study of the minister, the office of the business
man, and the den of the boy. Monasteries and universities are
institutions providing leisure and withdrawal from the world as the
basis for personal development and preparation for life's work. Other
values of privacy are related to the growth of self-consciousness,
self-respect, and personal ideals of conduct.

Many forms of isolation, unlike privacy, prevent access to stimulating
social contact. Selections under the heading "Isolation and Retardation"
indicate conditions responsible for the arrest of mental and personal

The cases of feral men, in the absence of contradictory evidence, seem
adequate in support of Aristotle's point that social contacts are
indispensable for human development. The story by Helen Keller, the
talented and celebrated blind deaf-mute, of her emergence from the
imprisonment of sense deprivation into the free life of communication is
a most significant sociological document. With all of us the change from
the animal-like isolation of the child at birth to personal
participation in the fullest human life is gradual. In Helen Keller's
case the transformation of months was telescoped into minutes. The
"miracle" of communication when sociologically analyzed seems to consist
in the transition from the experience of _sensations_ and _sense
perceptions_ which man shares in common with animals to the development
of _ideas_ and _self-consciousness_ which are the unique attributes of
human beings.

The remaining selections upon isolation and retardation illustrate the
different types of situations in which isolation makes for retardation
and retardation in turn emphasizes the isolation. The reversion of a
man of scientific training in the solitudes of Patagonia to the animal
level of mentality suggests that the low intelligence of the savage, the
peasant, and the backward races is probably due more to the absence of
stimulating contacts than to original mental inferiority. So the
individuality and conservatism of the farmer, his failure to keep pace
with the inhabitant of the town and city, Galpin assigns to deficiency
in social contacts. Then, too, the subtler forms of handicap in personal
development and achievement result from social types of isolation, as
race prejudice, the sheltered life of woman, exclusiveness of social
classes, and make for increased isolation.

Up to this point, isolation has been treated statically as a cause.
Under the heading, "Isolation and Segregation" it is conceived as an
effect, an effect of competition, and the consequent selection and

The first effect of the introduction of competition in any society is to
break up all types of isolation and provincialism based upon lack of
communication and contact. But as competition continues, natural and
social selection comes into play. Successful types emerge in the process
of competitive struggle while variant individuals who fail to maintain
the pace or conform to standard withdraw or are ejected from the group.
Exiled variants from several groups under auspicious circumstances may
in turn form a community where the process of selection will be directly
opposite to that in their native groups. In the new community the
process of selection naturally accentuates and perfects the traits
originally responsible for exclusion. The outcome of segregation is the
creation of specialized social types with the maximum of isolation. The
circle of isolation is then complete.

This circular effect of the processes of competition, selection, and
segregation, from isolation to isolation, may be found everywhere in
modern western society. Individual variants with criminalistic
tendencies exiled from villages and towns through the process of
selection form a segregated group in city areas popularly called
"breeding places of crime." The tribe of Pineys, Tin Town, The Village
of a Thousand Souls, are communities made up by adverse selection of
feeble-minded individuals, outcasts of the competitive struggle of
intelligent, "high-minded" communities. The result is the formation of a
criminal type and of a feeble-minded caste. These slums and outcast
groups are in turn isolated from full and free communication with the
progressive outside world.

National individuality in the past, as indicated in the selections upon
"Isolation and National Individuality," has been in large degree the
result of a cultural process based upon isolation. The historical
nations of Europe, biologically hybrid, are united by common language,
folkways, and mores. This unity of mother tongue and culture is the
product of historical and cultural processes circumscribed, as Shaler
points out, by separated geographical areas.

A closer examination of the cultural process in the life of progressive
historical peoples reveals the interplay of isolation and social
contacts. Grote gives a penetrating analysis of Grecian achievement in
terms of the individuality based on small isolated land areas and the
contacts resulting from maritime communication. The world-hegemony of
English-speaking peoples today rests not only upon naval supremacy and
material resources but even more upon the combination of individual
development in diversified areas with large freedom in international



1. Society and Solitude[95]

It had been hard for him that spake it to have put more truth and
untruth together in few words than in that speech: "Whosoever is
delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god." For it is most
true that a natural and secret hatred and aversation towards society in
any man hath somewhat of the savage beast; but it is most untrue that it
should have any character at all of the divine nature except it proceed,
not out of a pleasure in solitude, but out of a love and desire to
sequester a man's self for a higher conversation, such as is found to
have been falsely and feignedly in some of the heathen, as Epimenides
the Candian, Numa the Roman, Empedocles the Sicilian, and Apollonius of
Tyana; and truly and really in divers of the ancient hermits and Holy
Fathers of the Church. But little do men perceive what solitude is, and
how far it extendeth. For a crowd is not company, and faces are but a
gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no
love. The Latin adage meeteth with it a little: _Magna civitas magna
solitudo_ ("A great town is a great solitude"), because in a great town
friends are scattered, so that there is not that fellowship, for the
most part, which is in less neighborhoods. But we may go further, and
affirm most truly that it is a mere and miserable solitude to want true
friends, without which the world is but a wilderness; and, even in this
sense also of solitude, whosoever in the frame of his nature and
affections is unfit for friendship, he taketh it of the beast and not
from humanity.

2. Society in Solitude[96]

What period do you think, sir, I recall most frequently and most
willingly in my dreams? Not the pleasures of my youth: they were too
rare, too much mingled with bitterness, and are now too distant. I
recall the period of my seclusion, of my solitary walks, of the fleeting
but delicious days that I have passed entirely by myself, with my good
and simple housekeeper, with my beloved dog, my old cat, with the birds
of the field, the hinds of the forest, with all nature, and her
inconceivable Author.

But what, then, did I enjoy when I was alone? Myself; the entire
universe; all that is; all that can be; all that is beautiful in the
world of sense; all that is imaginable in the world of intellect. I
gathered around me all that could delight my heart; my desires were the
limit of my pleasures. No, never have the voluptuous known such
enjoyments; and I have derived a hundred times more happiness from my
chimeras than they from their realities.

The wild spot of the forest [selected by Rousseau for his solitary walks
and meditations] could not long remain a desert to my imagination. I
soon peopled it with beings after my own heart, and, dismissing opinion,
prejudice, and all factitious passions, I brought to these sanctuaries
of nature men worthy of inhabiting them. I formed with these a charming
society, of which I did not feel myself unworthy. I made a golden age
according to my fancy, and, filling up these bright days with all the
scenes of my life that had left the tenderest recollections, and with
all that my heart still longed for, I affected myself to tears over the
true pleasures of humanity--pleasure so delicious, so pure, and yet so
far from men! Oh, if in these moments any ideas of Paris, of the age,
and of my little author vanity, disturbed my reveries, with what
contempt I drove them instantly away, to give myself up entirely to the
exquisite sentiments with which my soul was filled. Yet, in the midst of
all this, I confess the nothingness of my chimeras would sometimes
appear, and sadden me in a moment.

3. Prayer as a Form of Isolation[97]

He who prays begins his prayer with some idea of God, generally one that
he has received from instruction or from current traditions. He commonly
retires to a quiet place, or to a place having mental associations of
religious cast, in order to "shut out the world." This beginning of
concentration is followed by closing the eyes, which excludes a mass of
irrelevant impressions. The body bows, kneels, or assumes some other
posture that requires little muscular tension and that may favor
extensive relaxation. Memory now provides the language of prayer or of
hallowed scripture, or makes vivid some earlier experiences of one's
own. The worshiper represents to himself his needs, or the interests
(some of them happy ones) that seem most important, and he brings them
into relation to God by thinking how God regards them. The
presupposition of the whole procedure is that God's way of looking at
the matters in question is the true and important one. Around God, then,
the interests of the individual are now freshly organized. Certain ones
that looked large before the prayer began, now look small because of
their relation to the organizing idea upon which attention has focused.
On the other hand, interests that express this organizing idea gain
emotional quality by this release from competing, inhibiting
considerations. To say that the will now becomes organized toward unity
and that it acquires fresh power thereby is simply to name another
aspect of the one movement. This movement is ideational, emotional, and
volitional concentration, all in one, achieved by fixation of attention
upon the idea of God.

Persons who have been troubled with insomnia, or wakefulness or
disturbing dreams, have been enabled to secure sound sleep by merely
relaxing the muscles and repeating mechanically, without effort at
anything more, some formula descriptive of what is desired. The main
point is that attention should fix upon the appropriate organizing idea.
When this happens in a revival meeting one may find one's self
unexpectedly converted. When it happens in prayer one may be surprised
to find one's whole mood changed from discouragement to courage, from
liking something to hating it (as in the case of alcoholic drinks, or
tobacco), or from loneliness to the feeling of companionship with God.

This analysis of the structure of prayer has already touched upon some
of its functions. It is a way of getting one's self together, of
mobilizing and concentrating one's dispersed capacities, of begetting
the confidence that tends toward victory over difficulties. It produces
in a distracted mind the repose that is power. It freshens a mind
deadened by routine. It reveals new truth, because the mind is made more
elastic and more capable of sustained attention. Thus does it remove
mountains in the individual, and, through him, in the world beyond.

The values of prayer in sickness, distress, and doubt are by no means
measurable by the degree to which the primary causes thereof are made to
disappear. There is a real conquest of trouble, even while trouble
remains. It is sometimes a great source of strength, also, merely to
realize that one is fully understood. The value of having some friend or
helper from whom I reserve no secrets has been rendered more impressive
than ever by the Freud-Jung methods of relieving mental disorders
through (in part) a sort of mental house-cleaning, or bringing into the
open the patient's hidden distresses and even his most intimate and
reticent desires. Into the psychology of the healings that are brought
about by this psychoanalysis we need not go, except to note that one
constant factor appears to be the turning of a private possession into a
social possession, and particularly the consciousness that another
understands. I surmise that we shall not be far from the truth here if
we hold that, as normal experience has the _ego-alter_ form, so the
continuing possession of one's self in one's developing experience
requires development of this relation. We may, perhaps, go as far as to
believe that the bottling up of any experience as merely private is
morbid. But, however this may be, there are plenty of occasions when the
road to poise, freedom, and joy is that of social sharing. Hence the
prayer of confession, not only because it helps us to see ourselves as
we are, but also because it shares our secrets with another, has great
value for organizing the self. In this way we get relief from the
misjudgments of others, also, and from the mystery that we are to
ourselves, for we lay our case, as it were, before a judge who does not
err. Thus prayer has value in that it develops the essentially social
form of personal self-realization.

To complete this functional view of prayer we must not fail to secure
the evolutionary perspective. If we glance at the remote beginnings, and
then at the hither end, of the evolution of prayer we discover that an
immense change has taken place. It is a correlate of the transformed
character of the gods, and of the parallel disciplining of men's
valuations. In the words of Fosdick, prayer may be considered as
dominant desire. But it is also a way of securing domination over
desire. It is indeed self-assertion; sometimes it is the making of one's
supreme claim, as when life reaches its most tragic crisis; yet it is,
even in the same act, submission to an over-self. Here, then, is our
greater problem as to the function of prayer. It starts as the assertion
of any desire; it ends as _the organization of one's own desires into a
system of desires recognized as superior and then made one's own_.

4. Isolation, Originality, and Erudition[98]

The question as to how far the world's leaders in thought and action
were great readers is not quite an easy one to answer, partly because
the sources of information are sometimes scanty, and partly because
books themselves have been few in number. If we could prove that since
the days of Caxton the world's total of original thought declined in
proportion to the increase of published works, we should stand on firm
ground, and might give orders for a holocaust such as that which
Hawthorne once imagined. But no such proof is either possible or
probable. We can only be impressed by the fact that the finest
intellectual epoch of history was marked by a comparative absence of the
manuscripts which were books to the Greeks, and if a further analysis of
the lives of men of light and leading in all ages should show that
their devotion to the books of the period was slight, it will only
accentuate the suspicion that even today we are still minus the right
perspective between the printed volume and the thinking mind.

Buddha, Christ, St. Paul, Mohammed--these are names of men who changed
the course of history. But do they suggest vast scholarship, or a
profound acquaintance with books in any sense whatever? They were great
originators, even though they built on other men's foundations, but
their originality was not inspired by libraries. Can we imagine Mohammed
poring over ancient manuscripts in order to obtain the required
knowledge and impetus for his new religion? With Buddha was it not 1 per
cent papyrus roll and 99 per cent meditation? When St. Paul was struck
down on the way to Damascus, he did not repair to the nearest Jewish
seminary to read up prophecy. He says: "I went into Arabia." The desert
solitude was the only place in which to find a rationale of his new
experience. And was it not in a similar life of solitude that
Jesus--Essene-like--came to self-realization? Deane's _Pseudepigrapha:
Books that Influenced our Lord and His Apostles_ does not suggest that
the Messiah obtained his ideas from the literature of the Rabbis, much
less from Greek or other sources; indeed, the New Testament suggests
that in the earliest years he showed a genius for divine things.

It will be urged that to restrict this inquiry to great names in
religion would be unfair because such leaders are confessedly
independent of literature; indeed, they are often the creators of it.
True; but that fact alone is suggestive. If great literature can come
from meditation alone, are we not compelled to ask: "Where shall wisdom
be found and where is the place of understanding?" Is enlightenment to
be found only in the printed wisdom of the past? We know it is not, but
we also know it is useless to set one source of truth over against
another, as if they were enemies. The soul has its place and so has the
book; but need it be said that the soul has done more wonderful things
than the book? Language is merely the symbol; the soul is the reality.

But let us take other names with different associations--e.g., Plato,
Charlemagne, Caesar, Shakespeare, Napoleon, Bismarck. Can it be said of
any one of these that he owed one-third of his distinction to what he
learned from manuscripts or books? We do know, indeed, that Bismarck
was a wide reader, but it was on the selective principle as a student of
history and affairs. His library grew under the influence of the
controlling purpose of his life--i.e., the unification of Germany, so
that there was no vague distribution of energy. Of Shakespeare's reading
we know less, but there is no evidence that he was a collector of books
or that he was a student after the manner of the men of letters of his
day. The best way to estimate him as a reader is to judge him by the
references in his plays, and these do not show an acquaintance with
literature so extensive as it is intensive. The impression he made on
Ben Johnson, an all-round scholar, was not one of learning--quite
otherwise. The qualities that impressed the author of _Timber, or
Discoveries upon Men and Matter_, were Shakespeare's "open and free
nature," his "excellent fancy, brave notions, and gentle expressions
wherein he flowed with that facility that sometimes it was necessary he
should be stopped." And, true to himself, Ben Jonson immediately adds:
"_Sufflaminandus erat_, as Augustus said of Haterius." Shakespeare, when
in the company of kindred spirits, showed precisely the kind of talk we
should expect--not Latin and Greek or French and Italian quotations, not
a commentary on books past or present, but a stream of conversation
marked by brilliant fancy, startling comparison, unique contrast, and
searching pathos, wherein life, not literature, was the chief subject.


1. Feral Men[99]

What would the results be if children born with a normal organism and
given food and light sufficient to sustain life were deprived of the
usual advantage of human intercourse? What psychic growth would be

Perhaps no character ever aroused greater interest than Caspar Hauser.
More than a thousand articles of varying merit have been written
concerning him. In the theaters of England, France, Germany, Hungary,
and Austria, plays were founded on his strange story and many able men
have figured in the history of his case.

According to a letter which he bore when found at Nürnberg one afternoon
in 1828, he was born in 1812, left on the doorstep of a Hungarian
peasant's hut, adopted by him, and reared in strict seclusion.

At the time of his appearance in Nürnberg, he could walk only with
difficulty. He knew no German, understood but little that was said to
him, paid no heed to what went on about him, and was ignorant of social
customs. When taken to a stable, he at once fell asleep on a heap of
straw. In time it was learned that he had been kept in a low dark cell
on the ground; that he had never seen the face of the man who brought
him food, that sometimes he went to sleep after the man gave him a
drink; that on awakening he found his nails cut and clean clothing on
his body; and that his only playthings had been two wooden horses with
red ribbons.

When first found, he suffered much pain from the light, but he could see
well at night. He could distinguish fruit from leaves on a tree, and
read the name on a doorplate where others could see nothing in the
darkness. He had no visual idea of distance and would grasp at remote
objects as though they were near. He called both men and women _Bua_ and
all animals _Rosz_. His memory span for names was marvelous. Drawing
upon the pages of Von Kolb and Stanhope, a writer in _The Living Age_
says that he burned his hand in the first flame that he saw and that he
had no fear of being struck with swords, but that the noise of a drum
threw him into convulsions. He thought that pictures and statuary were
alive, as were plants and trees, bits of paper, and anything that
chanced to be in motion. He delighted in whistles and glittering
objects, but disliked the odor of paint, fabrics, and most flowers. His
hearing was acute and his touch sensitive at first, but after interest
in him had lessened, all his senses showed evidence of rapid
deterioration. He seemed to be wanting in sex instinct and to be unable
to understand the meaning of religious ceremonies. Merker, who observed
him secretly during the early days which he spent in jail, declared that
he was "in all respects like a child." Meyer, of the school at Ansbach,
found him "idle, stupid, and vain." Dr. Osterhausen found a deviation
from the normal in the shape of his legs, which made walking difficult,
but Caspar never wearied of riding on horseback.

His autopsy revealed a small brain without abnormalities. It simply gave
evidence of a lack of development.

To speak of children who have made the struggle for life with only
animals for nurses and instructors is to recall the rearing of Cyrus in
a kennel and the fabulous story of the founding of Rome. Yet Rauber has
collected many cases of wild men and some of them, taken as they are
from municipal chronicles and guaranteed by trustworthy writers, must be
accepted as authentic.

a) The Hessian Boy. Was discovered by hunters in 1341, running on all
fours with wolves; was captured and turned over to the landgrave. Was
always restless, could not adapt himself to civilized life, and died
untamed. The case is recorded in the Hessian chronicles by Wilhelm
Dilich. Rousseau refers to it in his _Discours sur l'origine et les
fondements de Pinégalité parmi les hommes_.

b) The Irish Boy. Studied and described by Dr. Tulp, curator of the
gymnasium at Amsterdam; features animal, body covered with hair; lived
with sheep and bleated like them; stolid, unconscious of self; did not
notice people; fierce, untamable, and indocible; skin thick, sense of
touch blunted so that thorns and stones were unnoticed. Age about
sixteen. (Rauber.)

c) The Lithuanian Boys. Three are described. The first was found with
bears in 1657; face not repulsive nor beastlike; hair thick and white;
skin dry and insensitive; voice a growl; great physical strength. He was
carefully instructed and learned to obey his trainer to some degree but
always kept the bear habit; ate vegetable food, raw flesh, and anything
not containing oils; had a habit of rolling up in secluded places and
taking long naps. The second, said to have been captured in 1669, is not
so well described as the third, which Dr. Connor, in the _History of
Poland_, says was found in 1694. This one learned to walk erect with
difficulty, but was always leaping restlessly about; he learned to eat
from a table, but mastered only a few words, which he spoke in a voice
harsh and inhuman. He showed great sagacity in wood life.

d) The Girl of Cranenburg. Born in 1700; lost when sixteen months old;
skin dark, rough, hard; understood but little that was said to her;
spoke little and stammeringly; food--roots, leaves, and milk. (Rauber.)

e) Clemens of Overdyke. This boy was brought to Count von der Ricke's
Asylum after the German struggle with Napoleon. He knew little and said
little. After careful training it was gathered that his parents were
dead and that a peasant had adopted him and set him to herd pigs. Little
food was given him, and he learned to suck a cow and eat grass with the
pigs. At Overdyke he would get down on his hands and knees and pull up
vegetables with his teeth. He was of low intelligence, subject to fits
of passion, and fonder of pigs than of men.[100]

f) Jean de Liége. Lost at five; lived in the woods for sixteen years;
food--roots, plants, and wild fruit; sense of smell extraordinarily
keen; could distinguish people by odor as a dog would recognize his
master; restless in manner, and always trying to escape. (Rauber.)

g) The Savage of Aveyron. After capture, was given into the care of
Dr. Itard by Abbé Sicard. Dermal sense duller than in animals; gaze
wandering; language wanting and ideas few; food--raw potatoes, acorns,
and fruit; would eagerly tear open a bird and eat it raw; indolent,
secretive; would hide in the garden until hunger drove him to the
kitchen; rolled in new snow like an animal; paid no heed to the firing
of a gun, but became alert at the cracking of a nut; sometimes grew
wildly angry; all his powers were then enlarged; was delighted with
hills and woods, and always tried to escape after being taken to them;
when angry would gnaw clothing and hurl furniture about; feared to look
from a height, and Itard cured him of spasms of rage by holding his head
out of a window; met all efforts to teach him with apathy, and learned
but little of language.[101]

h) The Wolf Children of India. The two cases described by a writer in
_Chambers' Journal_ and by Rauber were boys of about ten years. Both ate
raw food but refused cooked food; one never spoke, smiled, or laughed;
both shunned human beings of both sexes, but would permit a dog to eat
with them; they pined in captivity, and lived but a short time.[102]

i) Peter of Hanover. Found in the woods of Hanover; food--buds, barks,
roots, frogs, eggs of birds, and anything else that he could get out of
doors; had a habit of wandering away in the spring; always went to bed
as soon as he had his supper; was unable to walk in shoes at first, and
it was long before he would tolerate a covering for his head. Although
Queen Caroline furnished him a teacher, he could never learn to speak;
he became docile, but remained stoical in manner; he learned to do farm
work willingly unless he was compelled to do it; his sense of hearing
and of smell was acute, and before changes in the weather he was sullen
and irritable; he lived to be nearly seventy years old.[103]

j) The Savage of Kronstadt. Of middle size, wild-eyed, deep-jawed, and
thick-throated; elbows and knees thick; cuticle insensitive; unable to
understand words or gestures perfectly; generally indifferent; found

k) The Girl of Songi. According to Rauber, this is one of the most
frequently quoted of feral cases. The girl came out of the forest near
Chalons in 1731. She was thought to be nine years old. She carried a
club in her hand, with which she killed a dog that attacked her. She
climbed trees easily, and made niches on walls and roofs, over which she
ran like a squirrel. She caught fish and ate them raw; a cry served for
speech. She showed an instinct for decorating herself with leaves and
flowers. She found it difficult to adapt herself to the customs of
civilized life and suffered many fits of sickness. In 1747 she was put
into a convent at Chalons. She learned something of the French language,
of domestic science, and embroidery. She readily understood what was
pointed out to her but always had certain sounds which were not
understood. She claimed to have first begun to reflect after the
beginning of her education. In her wild life she thought only of her own
needs. She believed that the earth and the trees produced her, and her
earliest memory of shelter was of holes in the ground.[105]

2. From Solitude to Society[106]

The most important day I remember in all my life is the one on which my
teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, came to me. I am filled with wonder
when I consider the immeasurable contrast between the two lives which it
connects. It was the third of March, 1887, three months before I was
seven years old.

The morning after my teacher came she led me into her room and gave me a
doll. The little blind children at the Perkins Institution had sent it
and Laura Bridgman had dressed it; but I did not know this until
afterward. When I had played with it a little while, Miss Sullivan
slowly spelled into my hand the word "d-o-l-l." I was at once interested
in this finger play and tried to imitate it. When I finally succeeded in
making the letters correctly I was flushed with childish pleasure and
pride. Running downstairs to my mother I held up my hand and made the
letters for doll. I did not know that I was spelling a word or even that
words existed; I was simply making my fingers go in monkey-like
imitation. In the days that followed I learned to spell in this
uncomprehending way a great many words, among them _pin_, _hat_, _cup_
and a few verbs like _sit_, _stand_, and _walk_. But my teacher had been
with me several weeks before I understood that everything has a name.

One day, while I was playing with my new doll, Miss Sullivan put my big
rag doll into my lap also, spelled "d-o-l-l" and tried to make me
understand that "d-o-l-l" applied to both. Earlier in the day we had had
a tussle over the words "m-u-g" and "w-a-t-e-r." Miss Sullivan had tried
to impress it upon me that "m-u-g" is _mug_ and that "w-a-t-e-r" is
_water_, but I persisted in confounding the two. In despair she had
dropped the subject for the time, only to renew it at the first
opportunity. I became impatient at her repeated attempts and, seizing
the new doll, I dashed it upon the floor. I was keenly delighted when I
felt the fragments of the broken doll at my feet. Neither sorrow nor
regret followed my passionate outburst. I had not loved the doll. In the
still, dark world in which I lived there was no strong sentiment or
tenderness. I felt my teacher sweep the fragments to one side of the
hearth, and I had a sense of satisfaction that the cause of my
discomfort was removed. She brought me my hat, and I knew I was going
out into the warm sunshine. This thought, if a wordless sensation may be
called a thought, made me hop and skip with pleasure.

We walked down the path to the well-house, attracted by the fragrance of
the honeysuckle with which it was covered. Some one was drawing water
and my teacher placed my hand under the spout. As the cool stream gushed
over one hand she spelled into the other the word _water_, first slowly,
then rapidly. I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motions
of her fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something
forgotten--a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of
language was revealed to me. I knew then that "w-a-t-e-r" meant the
wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word
awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free! There were
barriers still, it is true, but barriers that could in time be swept

I left the well-house eager to learn. Everything had a name, and each
name gave birth to a new thought. As we returned to the house every
object which I touched seemed to quiver with life. That was because I
saw everything with the strange, new sight that had come to me. On
entering the door I remembered the doll I had broken. I felt my way to
the hearth and picked up the pieces. I tried vainly to put them
together. Then my eyes filled with tears; for I realized what I had
done, and for the first time I felt repentance and sorrow.

I learned a great many new words that day. I do not remember what they
all were; but I do know that _mother_, _father_, _sister_, _teacher_,
were among them--words that were to make the world blossom for me, "like
Aaron's rod, with flowers." It would have been difficult to find a
happier child than I was as I lay in my crib at the close of that
eventful day and lived over the joys it had brought me, and for the
first time longed for a new day to come.

3. Mental Effects of Solitude[107]

I spent the greater part of one winter at a point on the Rio Negro,
seventy or eighty miles from the sea. It was my custom to go out every
morning on horseback with my gun, and, followed by one dog, to ride away
from the valley; and no sooner would I climb the terrace and plunge into
the gray universal thicket, than I would find myself as completely alone
as if five hundred instead of only five miles separated me from the
valley and river. So wild and solitary and remote seemed that gray
waste, stretching away into infinitude, a waste untrodden by man, and
where the wild animals are so few that they have made no discoverable
path in the wilderness of thorns.

Not once nor twice nor thrice, but day after day I returned to this
solitude, going to it in the morning as if to attend a festival, and
leaving it only when hunger and thirst and the westering sun compelled
me. And yet I had no object in going--no motive which could be put into
words; for, although I carried a gun, there was nothing to shoot--the
shooting was all left behind in the valley. Sometimes I would pass an
entire day without seeing one mammal and perhaps not more than a dozen
birds of any size. The weather at that time was cheerless, generally
with a gray film of cloud spread over the sky, and a bleak wind, often
cold enough to make my bridle hand quite numb. At a slow pace, which
would have seemed intolerable in other circumstances, I would ride about
for hours at a stretch. On arriving at a hill, I would slowly ride to
its summit, and stand there to survey the prospect. On every side it
stretched away in great undulations, wild and irregular. How gray it all
was! Hardly less so near at hand than on the haze-wrapped horizon, where
the hills were dim and the outline blurred by distance. Descending from
my outlook, I would take up my aimless wanderings again, and visit other
elevations to gaze on the same landscape from another point; and so on
for hours; and at noon I would dismount and sit or lie on my folded
poncho for an hour or longer. One day, in these rambles, I discovered a
small grove composed of twenty or thirty trees, growing at a convenient
distance apart, that had evidently been resorted to by a herd of deer or
other wild animals. This grove was on a hill differing in shape from
other hills in its neighborhood; and after a time I made a point of
finding and using it as a resting-place every day at noon. I did not ask
myself why I made choice of that one spot, sometimes going miles out of
my way to sit there, instead of sitting down under any one of the
millions of trees and bushes on any other hillside. I thought nothing at
all about it, but acted unconsciously. Only afterward it seemed to me
that, after having rested there once, each time I wished to rest again
the wish came associated with the image of that particular clump of
trees, with polished stems and clean bed of sand beneath; and in a short
time I formed a habit of returning, animal-like, to repose at that same

It was perhaps a mistake to say that I would sit down and rest, since I
was never tired: and yet, without being tired, that noonday pause,
during which I sat for an hour without moving, was strangely grateful.
All day there would be no sound, not even the rustle of a leaf. One day
while _listening_ to the silence, it occurred to my mind to wonder what
the effect would be if I were to shout aloud. This seemed at the time a
horrible suggestion, which almost made me shudder; but during those
solitary days it was a rare thing for any thought to cross my mind. In
the state of mind I was in, thought had become impossible. My state was
one of _suspense_ and _watchfulness_; yet I had no expectation of
meeting with an adventure, and felt as free from apprehension as I feel
now when sitting in a room in London. The state seemed familiar rather
than strange, and accompanied by a strong feeling of elation; and I did
not know that something had come between me and my intellect until I
returned to my former self--to thinking, and the old insipid existence.

I had undoubtedly _gone back_, and that state of intense watchfulness,
or alertness rather, with suspension of the higher intellectual
faculties, represented the mental state of the pure savage. He thinks
little, reasons little, having a surer guide in his instincts; he is in
perfect harmony with nature, and is nearly on a level, mentally, with
the wild animals he preys on, and which in their turn sometimes prey on

4. Isolation, and the Rural Mind[108]

As an occupation farming has dealt largely, if not exclusively, with the
growth and care of plant and animal life. Broadly speaking, the farmer
has been engaged in a struggle with nature to produce certain staple
traditional raw foods and human comfort materials in bulk. He has been
excused, on the whole, from the delicate situations arising from the
demands of an infinite variety of human wishes, whims, and fashions,
perhaps because the primary grains, fruits, vegetables, fibers, animals,
and animal products, have afforded small opportunity for manipulation to
satisfy the varying forms of human taste and caprice. This exemption of
the farmer in the greater part of his activity from direct work upon and
with persons and from strenuous attempts to please persons, will
doubtless account very largely, perhaps more largely than mere isolation
on the land, for the strong individualism of the country man.

In striking contrast, the villager and city worker have always been
occupied in making things or parts of things out of such impressionable
materials as iron, wood, clay, cloth, leather, gold, and the like, to
fit, suit, and satisfy a various and increasingly complex set of human
desires; or they have been dealing direct with a kaleidoscopic human
mind, either in regard to things or in regard to troubles and ideals of
the mind itself. This constant dealing with persons in business will
account even more than mere congestion of population for the complex
organization of city life. The highly organized social institutions of
the city, moreover, have reinforced the already keen-edged insight of
the city man of business, so that he is doubly equipped to win his
struggles. The city worker knows men, the farmer knows nature. Each has
reward for his deeper knowledge, and each suffers some penalty for his
circle of ignorance.

Modern conditions underlying successful farm practice and profit-making
require of the farmer a wider and more frequent contact with men than at
any time in the past. His materials, too, have become more plastic,
subject to rapid change by selection and breeding.

The social problem of the farmer seems to be how to overcome the
inevitable handicap of a social deficiency in the very nature of his
occupation, so as to extend his acquaintance with men; and secondly, how
to erect social institutions on the land adequate to reinforce his
individual personality so as to enable him to cope with his

Occasions must be created, plans must be made, to bring people together
in a wholesale manner so as to facilitate this interchange of community
acquaintance. Especially is it necessary for rural children to know many
more children. The one-room district school has proved its value in
making the children of the neighborhood acquainted with one another. One
of the large reasons for the consolidated and centralized school is the
increased size of territorial unit, with more children to know one
another and mingle together. Intervisiting of district schools--one
school, teachers and pupils, playing host to a half-dozen other schools,
with some regularity, using plays and games, children's readiest means
of getting acquainted--is a successful means of extending acquaintance
under good auspices.

If large-scale acquaintance--men with men, women with women, children
with children--in a rural community once becomes a fact, the initial
step will have been taken for assuring the rise of appropriate social
institutions on the land of that community.

5. The Subtler Effects of Isolation[109]

The mechanics of modern culture is complicated. The individual has
access to materials outside his group, from the world at large. His
consciousness is built up not only by word of mouth but by the printed
page. He may live as much in German books as in fireside conversation.
Much more mail is handled every day in the New York post-office than was
sent out by all the thirteen states in a year at the close of the
eighteenth century. But by reason of poverty, geographical isolation,
caste feeling, or "pathos," individuals, communities, and races may be
excluded from some of the stimulations and copies which enter into a
high grade of mind. The savage, the Negro, the peasant, the slum
dwellers, and the white woman are notable sufferers by exclusion.

     Easy communication of ideas favors differentiation of a
     rational and functional sort, as distinguished from the random
     variations fostered by isolation. And it must be remembered
     that any sort is rational and functional that really commends
     itself to the human spirit. Even revolt from an ascendant type
     is easier now than formerly because the rebel can fortify
     himself with the triumphant records of the non-conformers of
     the past.

     The peasant [at the middle of the nineteenth century], limited
     in a cultural respect to his village life, thinks, feels, and
     acts solely in the bounds of his native village; his thought
     never goes beyond his farm and his neighbor; toward the
     political, economic, or national events taking place outside of
     his village, be they of his own or of a foreign country, he is
     completely indifferent, and even if he has learned something of
     them, this is described by him in a fantastic, mythological
     way, and only in this adopted form is it added to his cultural
     condition and transmitted to his descendants. Every peasant
     farm produced almost exclusively for itself, only to the most
     limited extent for exchange; every village formed an economic
     unit, which stood in only a loose economic connection with the
     outer world. Outwardly complete isolation of the village
     settlements and their inhabitants from each other and from the
     rest of the country and other classes of society; inwardly
     complete homogeneity, one and the same economic, social, and
     cultural equality of the peasant mass, no possibility of
     advance for the more gifted and capable individuals, everyone
     pressed down to a flat level. The peasant of one village holds
     himself, if not directly hostile, at least as a rule not
     cordial to the peasants of another village. The nobles living
     in the same village territory even wanted to force upon the
     peasants an entirely different origin, in that with the
     assistance of the Biblical legend they wished to trace him from
     the accursed Ham (from this the curse and insult _Ty chamie_,
     "Thou Ham"), but themselves from Japhet, of better repute in
     the Bible, while they attributed to the Jews, Shem as an

The pathetic effect of isolation on the state of knowledge is recorded
in many of the stories of runaway slaves:

     With two more boys, I started for the free states. We did not
     know where they were, but went to try to find them. We crossed
     the Potomac and hunted round and round and round. Some one
     showed us the way to Washington; but we missed it, and wandered
     all night; then we found ourselves where we set out.

For our purposes race prejudice may be regarded as a form of isolation.
And in the case of the American Negro this situation is aggravated by
the fact that the white man has developed a determination to keep him in
isolation--"in his place." Now, when the isolation is willed and has at
the same time the emotional nature of a tabu, the handicap is very grave
indeed. It is a fact that the most intelligent Negroes are usually half
or more than half white, but it is still a subject for investigation
whether this is due to mixed blood or to the fact that they have been
more successful in violating the tabu.

     The humblest white employee knows that the better he does his
     work, the more chance there is for him to rise in the business.
     The black employee knows that the better he does his work, the
     longer he may do it; he cannot often hope for promotion.

     All these careers are at the very outset closed to the Negro on
     account of his color; what lawyer would give even a minor case
     to a Negro assistant? Or what university would appoint a
     promising young Negro as tutor? Thus the white young man starts
     in life knowing that within some limits and barring accidents,
     talent and application will tell. The young Negro starts
     knowing that on all sides his advance is made doubly difficult,
     if not wholly shut off, by his color.

     In all walks of life the Negro is liable to meet some objection
     to his presence or some discourteous treatment. If an
     invitation is issued to the public for any occasion, the Negro
     can never know whether he would be welcomed or not; if he goes
     he is liable to have his feelings hurt and get into unpleasant
     altercation; if he stays away, he is blamed for indifference.
     If he meet a lifelong white friend on the street, he is in a
     dilemma; if he does not greet the friend he is put down as
     boorish and impolite; if he does greet the friend he is liable
     to be flatly snubbed. If by chance he is introduced to a white
     woman or man, he expects to be ignored on the next meeting, and
     usually is. White friends may call on him, but he is scarcely
     expected to call on them, save for strictly business matters.
     If he gain the affections of a white woman and marry her he may
     invariably expect that slurs will be thrown on her reputation
     and on his, and that both his and her race will shun their
     company. When he dies he cannot be buried beside white corpses.

Kelly Miller, himself a full-blooded black (for which the Negroes have
expressed their gratitude), refers to the backwardness of the negro in
the following terms:

     To expect the Negroes of Georgia to produce a great general
     like Napoleon when they are not even allowed to carry arms, or
     to deride them for not producing scholars like those of the
     Renaissance when a few years ago they were forbidden the use of
     letters, verges closely upon the outer rim of absurdity. Do you
     look for great Negro statesmen in states where black men are
     not allowed to vote? Above all, for southern white men to
     berate the Negro for failing to gain the highest rounds of
     distinction reaches the climax of cruel inconsistency. One is
     reminded of the barbarous Teutons in _Titus Andronicus_, who,
     after cutting out the tongue and hacking off the hands of the
     lovely Lavinia, ghoulishly chided her for not calling for sweet
     water with which to wash her delicate hands.

It is not too much to say that no Negro and no mulatto, in America at
least, has ever been fully in the white man's world. But we must
recognize that their backwardness is not wholly due to prejudice. A race
with an adequate technique can live in the midst of prejudice and even
receive some stimulation from it. But the Negro has lost many of the
occupations which were particularly his own, and is outclassed in
others--not through prejudice but through the faster pace of his

Obviously obstacles which discourage one race may stimulate another.
Even the extreme measures in Russia and Roumania against the Jew have
not isolated him. He has resources and traditions and technique of his
own, and we have even been borrowers from him.


1. Segregation as a Process[110]

Within the limitations prescribed, however, the inevitable processes of
human nature proceed to give these regions and these buildings a
character which it is less easy to control. Under our system of
individual ownership, for instance, it is not possible to determine in
advance the extent of concentration of population in any given area. The
city cannot fix land values, and we leave to private enterprise, for the
most part, the task of determining the city's limits and the location of
its residential and industrial districts. Personal tastes and
convenience, vocational and economic interests, infallibly tend to
segregate and thus to classify the populations of great cities. In this
way the city acquires an organization which is neither designed nor

Physical geography, natural advantages, and the means of transportation
determine in advance the general outlines of the urban plan. As the city
increases in population, the subtler influences of sympathy, rivalry,
and economic necessity tend to control the distribution of population.
Business and manufacturing seek advantageous locations and draw around
them a certain portion of the population. There spring up fashionable
residence quarters from which the poorer classes are excluded because of
the increased value of the land. Then there grow up slums which are
inhabited by great numbers of the poorer classes who are unable to
defend themselves from association with the derelict and vicious. In the
course of time every section and quarter of the city takes on something
of the character and qualities of its inhabitants. Each separate part of
the city is inevitably stained with the peculiar sentiments of its
population. The effect of this is to convert what was at first a mere
geographical expression into a neighborhood, that is to say, a locality
with sentiments, traditions, and a history of its own. Within this
neighborhood the continuity of the historical processes is somehow
maintained. The past imposes itself upon the present and the life of
every locality moves on with a certain momentum of its own, more or less
independent of the larger circle of life and interests about it.

In the city environment the neighborhood tends to lose much of the
significance which it possessed in simpler and more primitive forms of
society. The easy means of communication and of transportation, which
enables individuals to distribute their attention and to live at the
same time in several different worlds, tends to destroy the permanency
and intimacy of the neighborhood. Further than that, where individuals
of the same race or of the same vocation live together in segregated
groups, neighborhood sentiment tends to fuse together with racial
antagonisms and class interests.

In this way physical and sentimental distances reinforce each other, and
the influences of local distribution of the population participate with
the influences of class and race in the evolution of the social
organization. Every great city has its racial colonies, like the
Chinatowns of San Francisco and New York, the Little Sicily of Chicago,
and various other less pronounced types. In addition to these, most
cities have their segregated vice districts, like that which until
recently existed in Chicago, and their rendezvous for criminals of
various sorts. Every large city has its occupational suburbs like the
Stockyards in Chicago, and its residence suburbs like Brookline in
Boston, each of which has the size and the character of a complete
separate town, village, or city, except that its population is a
selected one. Undoubtedly the most remarkable of these cities within
cities, of which the most interesting characteristic is that they are
composed of persons of the same race, or of persons of different races
but of the same social class, is East London, with a population of
2,000,000 laborers.

     The people of the original East London have now overflowed and
     crossed the Lea, and spread themselves over the marshes and
     meadows beyond. This population has created new towns which
     were formerly rural villages, West Ham, with a population of
     nearly 300,000; East Ham, with 90,000; Stratford, with its
     "daughters," 150,000; and other "hamlets" similarly overgrown.
     Including these new populations we have an aggregate of nearly
     two millions of people. The population is greater than that of
     Berlin or Vienna, or St. Petersburg, or Philadelphia.

     It is a city full of churches and places of worship, yet there
     are no cathedrals, either Anglican or Roman; it has a
     sufficient supply of elementary schools, but it has no public
     or high school, and it has no colleges for the higher
     education, and no university; the people all read newspapers,
     yet there is no East London paper except of the smaller and
     local kind.... In the streets there are never seen any private
     carriages; there is no fashionable quarter ... one meets no
     ladies in the principal thoroughfares. People, shops, houses,
     conveyances--all together are stamped with the unmistakable
     seal of the working class.

     Perhaps the strangest thing of all is this: in a city of two
     millions of people there are no hotels! That means, of course,
     that there are no visitors.

In the older cities of Europe, where the processes of segregation have
gone farther, neighborhood distinctions are likely to be more marked
than they are in America. East London is a city of a single class, but
within the limits of that city the population is segregated again and
again by racial and vocational interests. Neighborhood sentiment, deeply
rooted in local tradition and in local custom, exercises a decisive
selective influence upon city population and shows itself ultimately in
a marked way in the characteristics of the inhabitants.

2. Isolation as a Result of Segregation[111]

There is the observed tendency of mental defectives to congregate in
localized centers, with resulting inbreeding. Feeble-mindedness is a
social level and the members of this level, like those in other levels,
are affected by social and biological tendencies, such as the
congregation of like personalities and the natural selection in matings
of persons of similar mental capacities. These are general tendencies
and not subject to invariable laws. The feeble-minded are primarily
quantitatively different from normals in mental and social qualities,
and do not constitute a separate species. The borderline types of
high-grade feeble-minded and low-grade normals may therefore prove
exceptions to the general rule. But such studies as Davenport and
Danielson's "Hill Folk," Davenport and Estabrook's "Nams," Dugdale's
"Jukes," Kostir's "Sam Sixty," Goddard's "Kallikaks," Key's "Vennams"
and "Fale-Anwals," Kite's "Pineys," and many others emphatically prove
that mental defectives show a tendency to drift together, intermarry,
and isolate themselves from the rest of the community, just as the rich
live in exclusive suburbs. Consequently they preponderate in certain
localities, counties, and cities. In a large measure this segregation is
not so much an expression of voluntary desire as it is a situation
forced upon mental defectives through those natural intellectual and
social deficiencies which restrict them to environments economically and
otherwise less desirable to normal people. This phenomenon is most
conspicuous in rural communities where such migratory movements as the
modern city-drift have exercised a certain natural selection, but it is
also plainly evident in the slums and poorer sections of the cities,
both large and small, as any field worker will testify. Closely related
to this factor of isolation are the varying percentages of mental
defectives found in different states and in different sections of the
same state, city or community. It is therefore likely that the
percentages of mental defectives among different groups of juvenile
delinquents will vary according to the particular ward, city, county, or
state, whence the delinquents come. For this reason it is essential to
any study of the number of mental defectives in a group of juvenile
delinquents coming from a particular locality, that some idea should be
available as to the probable or approximate number of mental defectives
in that community. If more mental defectives are found among the
population in the slum quarter of a city than in the residential
quarter, it is to be expected that there will be more mental defectives
in groups of juvenile delinquents from the slum quarter, because, in the
first place, they constitute a larger proportion of the population, and
because, secondly, of their greater proneness to social offenses.
Moreover, the prevalence of the feeble-minded in certain localities may
affect the attitude of the law-enforcing machinery toward the children
of that community.

A further result of the innate characteristics and tendencies of the
feeble-minded is to be found in the effect upon them of the biological
law of natural selection, resulting from the universal struggle for
existence and the survival of the fittest. We need not discuss here its
profound influences, economic and otherwise, upon the lives of the
mentally defective in general, but it will be profitable to review
briefly the effect of natural selection upon the juvenile delinquent

Any group of delinquents is subject to this selection from the times of
offenses to final commitment. It undergoes a constant sifting process
whose operation is mainly determined by the natural consequences of the
group members; a large proportion of the "lucky," the intelligent, or
the socially favored individuals escape from the group, so that the
remaining members of the group are the least fit socially and
intellectually. The mentally defective delinquents constitute an undue
proportion of this unfit residue, for although they may receive as many
favors of chance as do their intellectually normal fellow-delinquents,
they cannot, like them, by reason of intelligence or social status,
escape the consequences of their delinquent acts. Furthermore, the
feeble-minded offender is caught oftener than are his more clever and
energetic companions of normal endowments, and after apprehension he is
less likely to receive the benefits of police and court prejudices, or
the advantages of family wealth and social influence. If placed on
probation he is more likely to fail, because of his own weaknesses and
his unfavorable environment. Hence the feeble-minded delinquent is much
more likely to come before the court and also to be committed to a
reformatory, jail, or industrial school than is his companion of normal
mind. Therefore practically every group of juvenile delinquents which
ultimately reaches commitment will have a very different aspect with
regard to its proportion of mental defectives from that larger group of
offenders, apprehended or non-apprehended, of which it was once a part.
In fact, it is doubtful if any group of apprehended, detained, or
probationed offenders can be said to be representative, or at least to
be exactly representative, of the true proportion of mental defectives
among all delinquents. Except where specific types of legal procedure
bring about the elimination of the defectives, it seems as if it must
inevitably result that the operation of natural selection will
continually increase the proportion of mental defectives above that
existing in the original group.

This factor of natural selection has not to our knowledge been given
adequate consideration in any published investigation on delinquency.
But if our estimate of its effects is at all justified, then most
examinations of juvenile delinquents, especially in reform and
industrial schools, have disclosed proportions of mental defectives
distinctly in excess of the original proportion previously existent
among the entire mass of all offenders. The reports of these
examinations have given rise to quite erroneous impressions concerning
the extent of criminality among the feeble-minded and its relation to
the whole volume of crime, and have consequently led to inaccurate
deductions. The feeble-minded are undoubtedly more prone to commit crime
than are the average normals; but through disregard of the influences of
this factor of natural selection, as well as of others, both the
proportion of crime committed by mental defectives and the true
proportion of mental defectives among delinquents and criminals have
very often been exaggerated.


1. Historical Races as Products of Isolation[112]

The continent of Europe differs from the other great land-masses in the
fact that it is a singular aggregation of peninsulas and islands,
originating in separate centers of mountain growth, and of enclosed
valleys walled about from the outer world by elevated summits. Other
continents are somewhat peninsulated; Asia approaches Europe in that
respect; North America has a few great dependencies in its larger
islands and considerable promontories; but Africa, South America, and
Australia are singularly united lands.

The highly divided state of Europe has greatly favored the development
within its area of isolated fields, each fitted for the growth of a
separate state, adapted even in this day for local life although
commerce in our time binds lands together in a way which it did not of
old. These separated areas were marvelously suited to be the cradles of
peoples; and if we look over the map of Europe we readily note the
geographic insulations which that remarkably varied land affords.

Beginning with the eastern Mediterranean, we have the peninsula on which
Constantinople stands--a region only partly protected from assault by
its geographic peculiarities; and yet it owes to its partial separation
from the mainlands on either side a large measure of local historic
development. Next, we have Greece and its associated islands, which--a
safe stronghold for centuries--permitted the nurture of the most
marvelous life the world has ever known. Farther to the west the Italian
peninsula, where during three thousand years the protecting envelope of
the sea and the walls of Alps and Apennines have enabled a score of
states to attain a development; where the Roman nation, absorbing, with
its singular power of taking in other life, a number of primitive
centers of civilization, grew to power which made it dominant in the
ancient world. Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, have each profited by their
isolation, and have bred diverse qualities in man and contributed
motives which have interacted in the earth's history. Again, in Spain we
have a region well fitted to be the cradle of a great people; to its
geographic position it owed the fact that it became the seat of the most
cultivated Mahometanism the world has ever known. To the Pyrenees, the
mountain wall of the north, we owe in good part the limitation of that
Mussulman invasion and the protection of central Europe from its forward
movement, until luxury and half-faith had sapped its energies. Going
northward, we find in the region of Normandy the place of growth of that
fierce but strong folk, the ancient Scandinavians, who, transplanted
there, held their ground, and grew until they were strong enough to
conquer Britain and give it a large share of the quality which belongs
to our own state.

To a trifling geographic accident we owe the isolation of Great Britain
from the European continent; and all the marvelous history of the
English folk, as we all know, hangs upon the existence of that narrow
strip of sea between the Devon coast and the kindred lowlands of
northern France.

East of Britain lie two peninsulas which have been the cradle of very
important peoples. That of Sweden and Norway is the result of mountain
development; that of Denmark appears to be in the main the product of
glacial and marine erosion, differing in its non-mountainous origin from
all the other peninsulas and islands of the European border. Thus on the
periphery of Europe we have at least a dozen geographical isolated
areas, sufficiently large and well separated from the rest of the world
to make them the seats of independent social life. The interior of the
country has several similarly, though less perfectly, detached areas. Of
these the most important lie fenced within the highlands of the Alps. In
that extensive system of mountain disturbances we have the geographical
conditions which most favor the development of peculiar divisions of
men, and which guard such cradled peoples from the destruction which so
often awaits them on the plains. Thus, while the folk of the European
lowlands have been overrun by the successive tides of invasion, their
qualities confused, and their succession of social life interrupted,
Switzerland has to a great extent, by its mountain walls, protected its
people from the troubles to which their lowland neighbors have been
subjected. The result is that within an area not twice as large as
Massachusetts we find a marvelous diversity of folk, as is shown by the
variety in physical aspect, moral quality, language, and creed in the
several important valleys and other divisions of that complicated

After a race has been formed and bred to certain qualities within a
limited field, after it has come to possess a certain body of
characteristics which gives it its particular stamp, the importance of
the original cradle passes away. There is something very curious in the
permanence of race conditions after they have been fixed for a thousand
years or so in a people. When the assemblage of physical and mental
motives are combined in a body of country folk, they may endure under
circumstances in which they could not have originated; thus, even in our
domesticated animals and plants, we find that varieties created under
favorable conditions, obtaining their inheritances in suitable
conditions, may then flourish in many conditions of environment in which
they could not by any chance have originated. The barnyard creatures of
Europe, with their established qualities, may be taken to Australia, and
there retain their nature for many generations; even where the form
falls away from the parent stock, the decline is generally slow and may
not for a great time become apparent.

This fixity of race characteristics has enabled the several national
varieties of men to go forth from their nurseries, carrying the
qualities bred in their earlier conditions through centuries of life in
other climes. The Gothic blood of Italy and of Spain still keeps much of
its parent strength; the Aryan's of India, though a world apart in its
conditions from those which gave it character in its cradle, is still,
in many of its qualities, distinctly akin to that of the home people.
Moor, Hun and Turk--all the numerous folk we find in the present
condition of the world so far from their cradle-lands--are still to a
great extent what their primitive nurture made them. On this rigidity
which comes to mature races in the lower life as well as in man, depends
the vigor with which they do their appointed work.

2. Geographical Isolation and Maritime Contact[113]

Greece, considering its limited total extent, offers but little motive,
and still less of convenient means, for internal communication among its
various inhabitants. Each village or township occupying its plain with
the inclosing mountains, supplied its own main wants, whilst the
transport of commodities by land was sufficiently difficult to
discourage greatly any regular commerce with neighbors. In so far as the
face of the interior country was concerned, it seemed as if nature had
been disposed from the beginning to keep the population of Greece
socially and politically disunited by providing so many hedges of
separation and so many boundaries, generally hard, sometimes impossible,
to overleap. One special motive to intercourse, however, arose out of
this very geographical constitution of the country, and its endless
alternation of mountain and valley. The difference of climate and
temperature between the high and low grounds is very great; the harvest
is secured in one place before it is ripe in another, and the cattle
find during the heat of summer shelter and pasture on the hills, at a
time when the plains are burnt up. The practice of transferring them
from the mountains to the plain according to the change of season, which
subsists still as it did in ancient times, is intimately connected with
the structure of the country, and must from the earliest period have
brought about communication among the otherwise disunited villages.

Such difficulties, however, in the internal transit by land were to a
great extent counteracted by the large proportion of coast and the
accessibility of the country by sea. The prominences and indentations in
the line of Grecian coast are hardly less remarkable than the
multiplicity of elevations and depressions which everywhere mark the
surface. There was no part of Greece proper which could be considered as
out of reach of the sea, while most parts of it were convenient and easy
of access. As the only communication between them was maritime, so the
sea, important even if we look to Greece proper exclusively, was the
sole channel for transmitting ideas and improvements, as well as for
maintaining sympathies--social, political, religious, and
literary--throughout these outlying members of the Hellenic aggregate.

The ancient philosophers and legislators were deeply impressed with the
contrast between an inland and a maritime city: in the former,
simplicity and uniformity of life, tenacity of ancient habits and
dislike of what is new or foreign, great force of exclusive sympathy and
narrow range both of objects and ideas; in the latter, variety and
novelty of sensations, expansive imagination, toleration, and occasional
preference for extraneous customs, greater activity of the individual
and corresponding mutability of the state. This distinction stands
prominent in the many comparisons instituted between the Athens of
Periclês and the Athens of the earlier times down to Solon. Both Plato
and Aristotle dwell upon it emphatically--and the former especially,
whose genius conceived the comprehensive scheme of prescribing
beforehand and insuring in practice the whole course of individual
thought and feeling in his imaginary community, treats maritime
communication, if pushed beyond the narrowest limits, as fatal to the
success and permanence of any wise scheme of education. Certain it is
that a great difference of character existed between those Greeks who
mingled much in maritime affairs and those who did not. The Arcadian may
stand as a type of the pure Grecian landsman, with his rustic and
illiterate habits--his diet of sweet chestnuts, barley cakes, and pork
(as contrasted with the fish which formed the chief seasoning for the
bread of an Athenian)--his superior courage and endurance--his reverence
for Lacedaemonian headship as an old and customary influence--his
sterility of intellect and imagination as well as his slackness in
enterprise--his unchangeable rudeness of relations with the gods, which
led him to scourge and prick Pan if he came back empty-handed from the
chase; while the inhabitant of Phokaea or Miletus exemplifies the
Grecian mariner, eager in search of gain--active, skilful, and daring at
sea, but inferior in steadfast bravery on land--more excitable in
imagination as well as more mutable in character--full of pomp and
expense in religious manifestations toward the Ephesian Artemis or the
Apollo of Branchidae: with a mind more open to the varieties of Grecian
energy and to the refining influences of Grecian civilization.

The configuration of the Grecian territory, so like in many respects to
that of Switzerland, produced two effects of great moment upon the
character and history of the people. In the first place, it materially
strengthened their powers of defense: it shut up the country against
those invasions from the interior which successively subjugated all
their continental colonies; and it at the same time rendered each
fraction more difficult to be attacked by the rest, so as to exercise a
certain conservative influence in assuring the tenure of actual
possessors: for the pass of Thermopylae between Thessaly and Phokis,
that of Kithaeron between Boeotia and Attica, or the mountainous range
of Oneion and Geraneia along the Isthmus of Corinth, were positions
which an inferior number of brave men could hold against a much greater
force of assailants. But, in the next place, while it tended to protect
each section of Greeks from being conquered, it also kept them
politically disunited and perpetuated their separate autonomy. It
fostered that powerful principle of repulsion, which disposed even the
smallest township to constitute itself a political unit apart from the
rest, and to resist all idea of coalescence with others, either amicable
or compulsory. To a modern reader, accustomed to large political
aggregations, and securities for good government through the
representative system, it requires a certain mental effort to transport
himself back to a time when even the smallest town clung so tenaciously
to its right of self-legislation. Nevertheless, such was the general
habit and feeling of the ancient world, throughout Italy, Sicily, Spain,
and Gaul. Among the Hellens it stands out more conspicuously, for
several reasons--first, because they seem to have pushed the
multiplication of autonomous units to an extreme point, seeing that even
islands not larger than Peparethos and Amorgos had two or three separate
city communities; secondly, because they produced, for the first time in
the history of mankind, acute systematic thinkers on matters of
government, amongst all of whom the idea of the autonomous city was
accepted as the indispensable basis of political speculation; thirdly,
because this incurable subdivision proved finally the cause of their
ruin, in spite of pronounced intellectual superiority over their
conquerors; and lastly, because incapacity of political coalescence did
not preclude a powerful and extensive sympathy between the inhabitants
of all the separate cities, with a constant tendency to fraternize for
numerous purposes, social, religious, recreative, intellectual, and
aesthetical. For these reasons, the indefinite multiplication of
self-governing towns, though in truth a phenomenon common to ancient
Europe as contrasted with the large monarchies of Asia, appears more
marked among the ancient Greeks than elsewhere; and there cannot be any
doubt that they owe it, in a considerable degree, to the multitude of
insulating boundaries which the configuration of their country

Nor is it rash to suppose that the same causes may have tended to
promote that unborrowed intellectual development for which they stand so
conspicuous. General propositions respecting the working of climate and
physical agencies upon character are indeed treacherous; for our
knowledge of the globe is now sufficient to teach us that heat and cold,
mountain and plain, sea and land, moist and dry atmosphere, are all
consistent with the greatest diversities of resident men: moreover, the
contrast between the population of Greece itself, for the seven
centuries preceding the Christian era, and the Greeks of more modern
times, is alone enough to inculcate reserve in such speculations.
Nevertheless we may venture to note certain improving influences,
connected with their geographical position, at a time when they had no
books to study, and no more advanced predecessors to imitate.

We may remark, first, that their position made them at once mountaineers
and mariners, thus supplying them with great variety of objects,
sensations, and adventures; next, that each petty community, nestled
apart amidst its own rocks, was sufficiently severed from the rest to
possess an individual life and attributes of its own, yet not so far as
to subtract it from the sympathies of the remainder; so that an
observant Greek, commercing with a great diversity of half-countrymen,
whose language he understood, and whose idiosyncrasies he could
appreciate, had access to a larger mass of social and political
experience than any other man in so unadvanced an age could personally
obtain. The Phoenician, superior to the Greek on shipboard, traversed
wider distances and saw a greater number of strangers, but had not the
same means of intimate communion with a multiplicity of fellows in blood
and language. His relations, confined to purchase and sale, did not
comprise that mutuality of action and reaction which pervaded the crowd
at a Grecian festival. The scene which here presented itself was a
mixture of uniformity and variety highly stimulating to the observant
faculties of a man of genius--who at the same time, if he sought to
communicate his own impressions, or to act upon this mingled and diverse
audience, was forced to shake off what was peculiar to his own town or
community, and to put forth matter in harmony with the feelings of all.
It is thus that we may explain, in part, that penetrating apprehension
of human life and character, and that power of touching sympathies
common to all ages and nations, which surprises us so much in the
unlettered authors of the old epic. Such periodical intercommunion of
brethren habitually isolated from each other was the only means then
open of procuring for the bard a diversified range of experience and a
many-colored audience; and it was to a great degree the result of
geographical causes. Perhaps among other nations such facilitating
causes might have been found, yet without producing any results
comparable to the Iliad and Odyssey. But Homer was nevertheless
dependent upon the conditions of his age, and we can at least point out
those peculiarities in early Grecian society without which Homeric
excellence would never have existed--the geographical position is one,
the language another.

3. Isolation as an Explanation of National Differences[114]

To decide between race and environment as the efficient cause of any
social phenomenon is a matter of singular interest at this time. A
school of sociological writers, dazzled by the recent brilliant
discoveries in European ethnology, show a decided inclination to sink
the racial explanation up to the handle in every possible phase of
social life in Europe. It must be confessed that there is provocation
for it. So persistent have the physical characteristics of the people
shown themselves that it is not surprising to find theories of a
corresponding inheritance of mental attributes in great favor.

This racial school of social philosophers derives much of its data from
French sources. For this reason, and also because our anthropological
knowledge of that country is more complete than for any other part of
Europe, we shall confine our attention primarily to France. In the
unattractive upland areas of isolation is the Alpine broad-headed race
common to central Europe. At the north, extending down in a broad belt
diagonally as far as Limoges and along the coast of Brittany, there is
intermixture with the blond, long-headed Teutonic race; while along the
southern coast, penetrating up the Rhone Valley, is found the extension
of the equally long-headed but brunet Mediterranean stock. These ethnic
facts correspond to physical ones; three areas of geographical isolation
are distinct centers of distribution of the Alpine race.

The organization of the family is the surest criterion of the stage of
social evolution attained by a people. No other phase of human
association is so many-sided, so fundamental, so pregnant for the
future. For this reason we may properly begin our study by an
examination of a phenomenon which directly concerns the stability of the
domestic institution--viz., divorce. What are the facts as to its
distribution in France? Marked variations between different districts
occur. Paris is at one extreme; Corsica, as always, at the other. Of
singular interest to us is the parallel which at once appears between
this distribution of divorce and that of head form. The areas of
isolation peopled by the Alpine race are characterized by almost
complete absence of legal severance of domestic relations between
husband and wife.

Do the facts instanced above have any ethnic significance? Do they mean
that the Alpine type, as a race, holds more tenaciously than does the
Teuton to its family traditions, resenting thereby the interference of
the state in its domestic institutions? A foremost statistical
authority, Jacques Bertillon, has devoted considerable space to proving
that some relation between the two exists. Confronted by the preceding
facts, his explanation is this: that the people of the southern
departments, inconstant perhaps and fickle, nevertheless are quickly
pacified after a passionate outbreak of any kind. Husband and wife may
quarrel, but the estrangement is dissipated before recourse to the law
can take place. On the other hand, the Norman peasant, Teutonic by race,
cold and reserved, nurses his grievances for a long time; they abide
with him, smoldering but persistent. "Words and even blows terminate
quarrels quickly in the south; in the north they are settled by the
judge." From similar comparisons in other European countries, M.
Bertillon draws the final conclusion that the Teutonic race betrays a
singular preference for this remedy for domestic ills. It becomes for
him an ethnic trait.

Another social phenomenon has been laid at the door of the Teutonic race
of northern Europe; one which even more than divorce is directly the
concomitant of modern intellectual and economic progress. We refer to
suicide. Morselli devotes a chapter of his interesting treatise upon
this subject to proving that "the purer the German race--that is to say,
the stronger the Germanism (e.g., Teutonism) of a country--the more it
reveals in its psychical character an extraordinary propensity to

Consider for a moment the relative frequency of suicide with reference
to the ethnic composition of France. The parallel between the two is
almost exact in every detail. There are again our three areas of Alpine
racial occupation--Savoy, Auvergne, and Brittany--in which suicide falls
annually below seventy-five per million inhabitants. There, again, is
the Rhone Valley and the broad diagonal strip from Paris to Bordeaux,
characterized alike by strong infusion of Teutonic traits and relative
frequency of the same social phenomenon.

Divorce and suicide will serve as examples of the mode of proof adopted
for tracing a number of other social phenomena to an ethnic origin. Thus
Lapouge attributes the notorious depopulation of large areas in France
to the sterility incident upon intermixture between the several racial
types of which the population is constituted. This he seeks to prove
from the occurrence of a decreasing birth-rate in all the open, fertile
districts where the Teutonic element has intermingled with the native
population. Because wealth happens to be concentrated in the fertile
areas of Teutonic occupation, it is again assumed that this coincidence
demonstrates either a peculiar acquisitive aptitude in this race or else
a superior measure of frugality.

By this time our suspicions are aroused. The argument is too simple. Its
conclusions are too far-reaching. By this we do not mean to deny the
facts of geographical distribution in the least. It is only the validity
of the ethnic explanation which we deny. We can do better for our races
than even its best friends along such lines of proof. With the data at
our disposition there is no end to the racial attributes which we might
saddle upon our ethnic types. Thus, it would appear that the Alpine type
in its sterile areas of isolation was the land-hungry one described by
Zola in his powerful novels. For, roughly speaking, individual
land-holdings are larger in them on the average than among the Teutonic
populations. Peasant proprietorship is more common also; there are fewer
tenant farmers. Crime in the two areas assumes a different aspect. We
find that among populations of Alpine type, in the isolated uplands,
offenses against the person predominate in the criminal calendar. In the
Seine basin, along the Rhone Valley, wherever the Teuton is in evidence,
on the other hand, there is less respect for property; so that offenses
against the person, such as assault, murder, and rape, give place to
embezzlements, burglary, and arson. It might just as well be argued that
the Teuton shows a predilection for offenses against property; the
native Celt an equal propensity for crimes against the person.

Appeal to the social geography of other countries, wherein the ethnic
balance of power is differently distributed, may be directed against
almost any of the phenomena we have instanced in France as seemingly of
racial derivation. In the case either of suicide or divorce, if we turn
from France to Italy or Germany, we instantly perceive all sorts of
contradictions. The ethnic type, which is so immune from propensity to
self-destruction or domestic disruption in France, becomes in Italy most
prone to either mode of escape from temporary earthly ills. For each
phenomenon culminates in frequency in the northern half of the latter
country, stronghold of the Alpine race. Nor is there an appreciable
infusion of Teutonism, physically speaking, herein, to account for the
change of heart. Of course, it might be urged that this merely shows
that the Mediterranean race of southern Italy is as much less inclined
to the phenomenon than the Alpine race in these respects, as it in turn
lags behind the Teuton. For it must be confessed that even in Italy
neither divorce nor suicide is so frequent anywhere as in Teutonic
northern France. Well, then, turn to Germany. Compare its two halves in
these respects again. The northern half of the empire is most purely
Teutonic by race; the southern is not distinguishable ethnically, as we
have sought to prove, from central France. Bavaria, Baden, and
Würtemberg are scarcely more Teutonic by race than Auvergne. Do we find
differences in suicide, for example, following racial boundaries here?
Far from it; for Saxony is its culminating center; and Saxony, as we
know, is really half-Slavic at heart, as is also eastern Prussia.
Suicide should be most frequent in Schleswig-Holstein and Hanover, if
racial causes were appreciably operative. The argument, in fact, falls
to pieces of its own weight, as Durkheim has shown. His conclusion is
thus stated:

"If the Germans are more addicted to suicide, it is not because of the
blood in their veins, but of the civilization in which they have been

A summary view of the class of social phenomena seemingly characteristic
of the distinct races in France, if we extend our field of vision to
cover all Europe, suggests an explanation for the curious coincidences
and parallelisms noted above, which is the exact opposite of the racial

Our theory, then, is this: that most of the social phenomena we have
noted as peculiar to the areas occupied by the Alpine type are the
necessary outcome, not of racial proclivities but rather of the
geographical and social isolation characteristic of the habitat of this
race. The ethnic type is still pure for the very same reason that social
phenomena are primitive. Wooden ploughs pointed with stone, blood
revenge, an undiminished birth-rate, and relative purity of physical
type are all alike derivatives from a common cause, isolation, directly
physical and coincidently social. We discover, primarily, an influence
of environment where others perceive phenomena of ethnic inheritance.

4. Natural versus Vicinal Location in National Development[115]

In contradistinction to continental and intercontinental location,
anthropogeography recognizes two other narrower meanings of the term.
The innate mobility of the human race, due primarily to the eternal
food-quest and increase of numbers, leads a people to spread out over a
territory till they reach the barriers which nature has set up, or meet
the frontiers of other tribes and nations. Their habitat or their
specific geographic location is thus defined by natural features of
mountain, desert, and sea, or by the neighbors whom they are unable to
displace, or more often by both.

A people has, therefore, a twofold location, an immediate one, based
upon their actual territory, and a mediate or vicinal one, growing out
of its relations to the countries nearest them. The first is a question
of the land under their feet; the other, of the neighbors about them.
The first or natural location embodies the complex of local geographic
conditions which furnish the basis for their tribal or national
existence. This basis may be a peninsula, island, archipelago, an
oasis, an arid steppe, a mountain system, or a fertile lowland. The
stronger the vicinal location, the more dependent is the people upon the
neighboring states, but the more potent the influence which it can,
under certain circumstances, exert upon them. Witness Germany in
relation to Holland, France, Austria, and Poland. The stronger the
natural location, on the other hand, the more independent is the people
and the more strongly marked is the national character. This is
exemplified in the people of mountain lands like Switzerland, Abyssinia,
and Nepal; of peninsulas like Korea, Spain, and Scandinavia; and of
islands like England and Japan. Today we stand amazed at that strong
primordial brand of the Japanese character which nothing can blur or

Clearly defined natural locations, in which barriers of mountains and
sea draw the boundaries and guarantee some degree of isolation, tend to
hold their people in a calm embrace, to guard them against outside
interference and infusion of foreign blood, and thus to make them
develop the national genius in such direction as the local geographic
conditions permit. In the unceasing movements which have made up most of
the historic and prehistoric life of the human race, in their migrations
and counter-migrations, their incursions, retreats, and expansions over
the face of the earth, vast unfenced areas, like the open lowlands of
Russia and the grasslands of Africa, present the picture of a great
thoroughfare swept by pressing throngs. Other regions, more secluded,
appear as quiet nooks, made for a temporary halt or a permanent rest.
Here some part of the passing human flow is caught as in a vessel and
held till it crystallizes into a nation. These are the conspicuous areas
of race characterization. The development of the various ethnic and
political offspring of the Roman Empire in the naturally defined areas
of Italy, the Iberian Peninsula, and France illustrates the process of
national differentiation which goes on in such secluded-locations.


1. Isolation in Anthropogeography and Biology

A systematic treatise upon isolation as a sociological concept remains
to be written. The idea of isolation as a tool of investigation has been
fashioned with more precision in geography and in biology than in

Research in human geography has as its object the study of man in his
relations to the earth. Students of civilization, like Montesquieu and
Buckle, sought to explain the culture and behavior of peoples as the
direct result of the physical environment. Friedrich Ratzel with his
"thorough training as a naturalist, broad reading, and travel" and above
all, his comprehensive knowledge of ethnology, recognized the importance
of direct effects, such as cultural isolation. Jean Brunhes, by the
selection of small natural units, his so-called "islands," has made
intensive studies of isolated groups in the oases of the deserts of the
Sub and of the Mzab, and in the high mountains of the central Andes.

Biology indicates isolation as one of the factors in the origin of the
species. Anthropology derives the great races of mankind--the Caucasian,
the Ethiopian, the Malay, the Mongolian, and the Indian--from
geographical separation following an assumed prehistoric dispersion. A
German scholar, Dr. Georg Gerland, has prepared an atlas which plots
differences in physical traits, such as skin color and hair texture, as
indicating the geographical distribution of races.

2. Isolation and Social Groups

Anthropogeographical and biological investigations have proceeded upon
the assumption, implicit or explicit, that the geographic environment,
and the physical and mental traits of races and individuals, _determine_
individual and collective behavior. What investigations in human
geography and heredity actually demonstrate is that the geographic
environment and the original nature of man _condition_ the culture and
conduct of groups and of persons. The explanations of isolation, so far
as it affects social life, which have gained currency in the writings of
anthropologists and geographers, are therefore too simple. Sociologists
are able to take into account forms of isolation not considered by the
students of the physical environment and of racial inheritance. Studies
of folkways, mores, culture, nationality, the products of a historical
or cultural process, disclose types of social contact which transcend
the barriers of geographical or racial separation, and reveal social
forms of isolation which prevent communication where there is close
geographical contact or common racial bonds.

The literature upon isolated peoples ranges from investigations of
arrest of cultural development as, for example, the natives of
Australia, the Mountain Whites of the southern states, or the
inhabitants of Pitcairn Island to studies of hermit nations, of caste
systems as in India, or of outcast groups such as feeble-minded "tribes"
or hamlets, fraternities of criminals, and the underworld of
commercialized prostitution. Special research in dialects, in folklore,
and in provincialism shows how spatial isolation fixes differences in
speech, attitudes, folkways, and mores which, in turn, enforce isolation
even when geographic separation has disappeared.

The most significant contribution to the study of isolation from the
sociological standpoint has undoubtedly been made by Fishberg in a work
entitled _The Jews, a Study of Race and Environment_. The author points
out that the isolation of the Jew has been the result of neither
physical environment nor of race, but of social barriers. "Judaism has
been preserved throughout the long years of Israel's dispersion by two
factors: its separative ritualism, which prevented close and intimate
contact with non-Jews, and the iron laws of the Christian theocracies of
Europe which encouraged and enforced 'isolation.'"[116]

3. Isolation and Personality

Philosophers, mystics, and religious enthusiasts have invariably
stressed privacy for meditation, retirement for ecstatic communion with
God, and withdrawal from the contamination of the world. In 1784-86
Zimmermann wrote an elaborate essay in which he dilates upon "the
question whether it is easier to live virtuously in society or in
solitude," considering in Part I "the influence of occasional retirement
upon the mind and the heart" and in Part II "the pernicious influence of
a total exclusion from society upon the mind and the heart."

Actual research upon the effect of isolation upon personal development
has more of future promise than of present accomplishment. The
literature upon cases of feral men is practically all of the anecdotal
type with observations by persons untrained in the modern scientific
method. One case, however, "the savage of Aveyron" was studied
intensively by Itard, the French philosopher and otologist who cherished
high hopes of his mental and social development. After five years spent
in a patient and varied but futile attempt at education, he confessed
his bitter disappointment. "Since my pains are lost and efforts
fruitless, take yourself back to your forest and primitive tastes; or if
your new wants make you dependent on society, suffer the penalty of
being useless, and go to Bicêtre, there to die in wretchedness."

Only second in importance to the cases of feral men are the
investigations which have been made of the results of solitary
confinement. Morselli, in his well-known work on _Suicide_, presented
statistics showing that self-destruction was many times as frequent
among convicts under the system of absolute isolation as compared with
that of association during imprisonment. Studies of Auburn prison in New
York, of Mountjoy in England, and penal institutions on the continent
show the effects of solitary incarceration in the increase of cases of
suicides, insanity, invalidism, and death.

Beginnings have been made in child study, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis
of the effects of different types of isolation upon personal
development. Some attention has been given to the study of effects upon
mentality and personality of physical defects such as deaf-mutism and
blindness. Students of the so-called "morally defective child," that is
the child who appears deficient in emotional and sympathetic responses,
suggest as a partial explanation the absence in infancy and early
childhood of intimate and sympathetic contacts with the mother. An
investigation not yet made but of decisive bearing upon this point will
be a comparative study of children brought up in families with those
reared in institutions.

Psychiatry and psychoanalysis in probing mental life and personality
have related certain mental and social abnormalities to isolation from
social contact. Studies of paranoia and of egocentric personalities have
resulted in the discovery of the only or favorite child complex. The
exclusion of the boy or girl in the one-child family from the give and
take of democratic relations with brothers and sisters results,
according to the theory advanced, in a psychopathic personality of the
self-centered type. A contributing cause of homosexuality, it is said by
psychoanalysts, is the isolation during childhood from usual association
with individuals of the same sex. Research in dementia praecox discloses
a symptom and probably a cause of this mental malady to be the
withdrawal of the individual from normal social contacts and the
substitution of an imaginary for a real world of persons and events.
Dementia praecox has been related by one psychoanalyst to the "shut-in"
type of personality.

The literature on the subject of privacy in its relation to personal
development is fragmentary but highly promising for future research. The
study of the introspective type of personality suggests that
self-analysis is the counterpart of the inhibition of immediate and
impulsive self-expression in social relations. Materials for an
understanding of the relation of retirement and privacy to the
aesthetic, moral, and creative life of the person may be found in the
lives of hermits, inventors, and religious leaders; in the studies of
seclusion, prayer, and meditation; and in research upon taboo, prestige,
and attitudes of superiority and inferiority.



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1. Isolation as a Condition of Originality.

2. The Relation of Social Contact and of Isolation to Historic
Inventions and Discoveries, as the Law of Gravitation, Mendelian
Inheritance, the Electric Light, etc.

3. Isolated Types: the Hermit, the Mystic, the Prophet, the Stranger,
and the Saint.

4. Isolation, Segregation, and the Physically Defective: as the Blind,
the Deaf-Mute, the Physically Handicapped.

5. Isolated Areas and Cultural Retardation: the Southern Mountaineer,
Pitcairn Islanders, the Australian Aborigines.

6. "Moral" Areas, Isolation, and Segregation: City Slums, Vice
Districts, "Breeding-places of Crime."

7. The Controlled versus the Natural process of Segregation of the

8. Isolation and Insanity.

9. Privacy in the Home.

10. Isolation and Prestige.

11. Isolation as a Defence against the Invasion of Personality.

12. Nationalism as a Form of Isolation.

13. Biological and Social Immunity: or Biological Immunity from
Infection, Personal or Group Immunity against Social Contagion.

14. The Only Child.

15. The Pathological Liar Considered from the Point of View of


1. Is the distinction between isolation and social contact relative or

2. What illustrations of the various forms of isolation, spatial,
structural, habitudinal, and psychical, occur to you?

3. By what process does isolation cause racial differentiation?

4. What is the relation of endogamy and exogamy (a) to isolation, and
(b) to the establishment of a successful stock or race?

5. In what ways do the Jews and the Americans as racial types illustrate
the effects of isolation and of contact?

6. What do you understand to be Bacon's definition of solitude?

7. What is the point in the saying "A great town is a great solitude"?

8. What is the sociology of the creation by a solitary person of
imaginary companions?

9. Under what conditions does an individual prefer solitude to society?
Give illustrations.

10. What are the devices used in prayer to secure isolation?

11. "Prayer has value in that it develops the essentially social form of
personal self-realization." Explain.

12. What are the interrelations of social contact and of privacy in the
development of the ideal self?

13. What do you understand by the relation of erudition to originality?

14. In what ways does isolation (a) promote, (b) impede,
originality? What other factors beside isolation are involved in

15. What is the value of privacy?

16. What was the value of the monasteries?

17. What conclusions do you derive from the study of the cases of feral
men? Do these cases bear out the theory of Aristotle in regard to the
effect of isolation upon the individual?

18. What is the significance of Helen Keller's account of how she broke
through the barriers of isolation?

19. What were the mental effects of solitude described by Hudson? How do
you explain the difference between the descriptions of the effect of
solitude in the accounts given by Rousseau and by Hudson?

20. How does Galpin explain the relation of isolation to the development
of the "rural mind"?

21. What are the effects of isolation upon the young man or young woman
reared in the country?

22. Was Lincoln the product of isolation or of social contact?

23. To what extent are rural problems the result of isolation?

24. What do you understand by Thomas' statement, "The savage, the Negro,
the peasant, the slum dwellers, and the white woman are notable
sufferers by exclusion"?

25. What other of the subtler forms of isolation occur to you?

26. Is isolation to be regarded as always a disadvantage?

27. What do you understand by segregation as a process?

28. Give illustrations of groups other than those mentioned which have
become segregated as a result of isolation.

29. How would you describe the process by which isolation leads to the
segregation of the feeble-minded?

30. Why does a segregated group, like the feeble-minded, become an
isolated group?

31. What are other illustrations of isolation resulting from

32. How would you compare Europe with the other continents with
reference to number and distribution of isolated areas?

33. What do you understand to be the nature of the influence of the
cradle land upon "the historical race"?

34. What illustrations from the Great War would you give of the effects
(a) of central location; (b) of peripheral location?

35. How do you explain the contrast between the characteristics of the
inhabitants of the Grecian inland and maritime cities?

36. To what extent may (a) the rise of the Greek city state, (b)
Grecian intellectual development, and (c) the history of Greece, be
interpreted in terms of geographic isolation?

37. To what extent can you explain the cultural retardation of Africa,
as compared with European progress, by isolation?

38. Does race or isolation explain more adequately the following
cultural differences for the several areas of France--divorce, intensity
of suicide, distribution of awards, relative frequency of men of

39. What is the relation of village and city emigration and immigration
to isolation?

40. What is the difference between a natural and a vicinal location?

41. In what ways does isolation affect national development?

42. What is the relation of geographical position in area to


[94] J. Arthur Thomson, _Heredity_, pp. 536-37. (G. P. Putnam's Sons,

[95] From Francis Bacon, _Essays_, "Of Friendship."

[96] Adapted from Jean Jacques Rousseau, _Letter to the President de
Malesherbes, 1762_.

[97] Adapted from George Albert Coe, _The Psychology of Religion_, pp.
311-18. (The University of Chicago Press, 1917.)

[98] From T. Sharper Knowlson, _Originality_, pp. 173-75. (T. Werner
Laurie, 1918.)

[99] From Maurice H. Small, "On Some Psychical Relations of Society and
Solitude," in the _Pedagogical Seminary_, VII, No. 2 (1900), 32-36.

[100] _Anthropological Review_, I (London, 1863), 21 ff.

[101] _All the Year_, XVIII, 302 ff.

[102] _Chambers' Journal_, LIX, 579 ff.

[103] _The Penny Magazine_, II, 113.

[104] Wagner, _Beitragen zur philosophischen Anthropologie_; Rauber, pp.

[105] "Histoire d'une jeune fille sauvage trouvée dans les bois à l'âge
de dix ans," _Magazin der Natur, Kunst, und Wissenschaft_, Leipzig,
1756, pp. 219-72; _Mercure de France_, December, 1731; Rudolphi,
_Grundriss der Physiologie_, I, 25; Blumenbach, _Beiträge zur
Naturgeschichte_, II, 38.

[106] Adapted from Helen Keller, _The Story of My Life_, pp. 22-24.
(Doubleday, Page & Co., 1917.)

[107] Adapted from W. H. Hudson, "The Plains of Patagonia," _Universal
Review_, VII (1890), 551-57.

[108] Adapted from C. J. Galpin, _Rural Social Centers in Wisconsin_,
pp. 1-3. (Wisconsin Experiment Station, Bulletin 234, 1913.)

[109] Adapted from W. I. Thomas, "Race Psychology," in the _American
Journal of Sociology_, XVII (1911-12), 744-47.

[110] Adapted from Robert E. Park, "The City: Suggestions for the
Investigation of Behavior in the City Environment," in the _American
Journal of Sociology_, XX (1915), 579-83.

[111] Adapted from L. W. Crafts and E. A. Doll, "The Proportion of
Mental Defectives among Juvenile Delinquents," in the _Journal of
Delinquency_, II (1917), 123-37.

[112] Adapted from N. S. Shaler, _Nature and Man in America_, pp.
151-66. (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1900.)

[113] Adapted from George Grote, _History of Greece_, II, 149-57. (John
Murray, 1888.)

[114] From William Z. Ripley, _The Races of Europe_, pp. 515-30. (D.
Appleton & Co., 1899.)

[115] Adapted from Ellen C. Semple, _Influences of Geographic
Environment_, pp. 132-33. (Henry Holt & Co., 1911.)

[116] Fishberg, _op. cit._, p. 555.




1. Preliminary Notions of Social Contact

The fundamental social process is that of interaction. This interaction
is (a) of persons with persons, and (b) of groups with groups. The
simplest aspect of interaction, or its primary phase, is contact.
Contact may be considered as the initial stage of interaction, and
preparatory to the later stages. The phenomena of social contact require
analysis before proceeding to the more difficult study of the mechanism
of social interaction.

"With whom am I in contact?" Common sense has in stock ready answers to
this question.

There is, first of all, the immediate circle of contact through the
senses. Touch is the most intimate kind of contact. Face-to-face
relations include, in addition to touch, visual and auditory sensations.
Speech and hearing by their very nature establish a bond of contact
between persons.

Even in common usage, the expression "social contact" is employed beyond
the limits fixed by the immediate responses of touch, sight, and
hearing. Its area has expanded to include connection through all the
forms of communication, i.e., language, letters, and the printed page;
connection through the medium of the telephone, telegraph, radio, moving
picture, etc. The evolution of the devices for communication has taken
place in the fields of two senses alone, those of hearing and seeing.
Touch remains limited to the field of primary association. But the
newspaper with its elaborate mechanism of communication gives publicity
to events in London, Moscow, and Tokio, and the motion picture unreels
to our gaze scenes from distant lands and foreign peoples with all the
illusion of reality.

The frontiers of social contact are farther extended to the widest
horizons, by commerce. The economists, for example, include in their
conception of society the intricate and complex maze of relations
created by the competition and co-operation of individuals and societies
within the limits of a world-wide economy. This inclusion of unconscious
as well as conscious reciprocal influences in the concept of social
relations brings into "contact" the members of a village missionary
society with the savages of the equatorial regions of Africa; or the
pale-faced drug addict, with the dark-skinned Hindu laborers upon the
opium fields of Benares; or the man gulping down coffee at the breakfast
table, with the Java planter; the crew of the Pacific freighter and its
cargo of spices with the American wholesaler and retailer in food
products. In short, everyone is in a real, though concealed and devious,
way in contact with every other person in the world. Contacts of this
type, remote from the familiar experiences of everyday life, have
reality to the intellectual and the mystic and are appreciated by the
masses only when co-operation breaks down, or competition becomes
conscious and passes into conflict.

These three popular meanings of contacts emphasize (1) the intimacy of
sensory responses, (2) the extension of contact through devices of
communication based upon sight and hearing, and (3) the solidarity and
interdependence created and maintained by the fabric of social life,
woven as it is from the intricate and invisible strands of human
interests in the process of a world-wide competition and co-operation.

2. The Sociological Concept of Contact

The use of the term "contact" in sociology is not a departure from, but
a development of, its customary significance. In the preceding chapter
the point was made that the distinction between isolation and contact is
not absolute but relative. Members of a society spatially separate, but
socially in contact through sense perception and through communication
of ideas, may be thereby mobilized to collective behavior. Sociological
interest in this situation lies in the fact that the various kinds of
social contacts between persons and groups determine behavior. The
student of problems of American society, for example, realizes the
necessity of understanding the mutual reactions involved in the contacts
of the foreign and the native-born, of the white and the negro, and of
employers and employees. In other words, contact, as the first stage of
social interaction, conditions and controls the later stages of the

It is convenient, for certain purposes, to conceive of contact in terms
of space. The contacts of persons and of groups may then be plotted in
units of _social distance_. This permits graphic representation of
relations of sequence and of coexistence in terms both of units of
separation and of contact. This spatial conception may now be applied to
the explanation of the readings in social contacts.

3. Classification of the Materials

In sociological literature there have grown up certain distinctions
between types of social contacts. Physical contacts are distinguished
from social contacts; relations within the "in-group" are perceived to
be different from relations with the "out-group"; contacts of historical
continuity are compared with contacts of mobility; primary contacts are
set off from secondary contacts. How far and with what advantage may
these distinctions be stated in spatial terms?

a) _Land as a basis for social contacts._--The position of persons and
peoples on the earth gives us a literal picture of the spatial
conception of social contact. The cluster of homes in the Italian
agricultural community suggests the difference in social life in
comparison with the isolated homesteads of rural America. A gigantic
spot map of the United States upon which every family would be indicated
by a dot would represent schematically certain different conditions
influencing group behavior in arid areas, the open country, hamlets,
villages, towns, and cities. The movements of persons charted with
detail sufficient to bring out variations in the daily, weekly, monthly,
and yearly routine, would undoubtedly reveal interesting identities and
differences in the intimacy and intensity of social contacts. It would
be possible and profitable to classify people with reference to the
routine of their daily lives.

b) _Touch as the physiological basis of social contact._--According to
the spatial conception the closest contacts possible are those of touch.
The physical proximity involved in tactile sensations is, however, but
the symbol of the intensity of the reactions to contact. Desire and
aversion for contacts, as Crawley shows in his selection, arise in the
most intimate relations of human life. Love and hate, longing and
disgust, sympathy and hostility increase in intensity with intimacy of
association. It is a current sociological fallacy that closeness of
contact results only in the growth of good will. The fact is, that with
increasing contact either attraction or repulsion may be the outcome,
depending upon the situation and upon factors not yet fully analyzed.
Peculiar conditions of contact, as its prolonged duration, its frequent
repetition, just as in the case of isolation from normal association,
may lead to the inversion of the original impulses and sentiments of
affection and antipathy.[117]

c) _Contacts with the "in-group" and with the "out-group."_--The
conception of the we-group in terms of distance is that of a group in
which the solidarity of units is so complete that the movements and
sentiments of all are completely regulated with reference to their
interests and behavior as a group. This control by the in-group over its
members makes for solidity and impenetrability in its relations with the
out-group. Sumner in his _Folkways_ indicates how internal sympathetic
contacts and group egotism result in double standards of behavior:
good-will and co-operation within the members of the in-group, hostility
and suspicion toward the out-group and its members. The essential point
is perhaps best brought out by Shaler in his distinction between
sympathetic and categoric contacts. He describes the transition from
contacts of the out-group to those of the in-group, or from remote to
intimate relations. From a distance, a person has the characteristics of
his group, upon close acquaintance he reveals his individuality.

d) _Historical continuity and mobility._--Historical continuity, which
maintains the identity of the present with the past, implies the
existence of a body of tradition which is transmitted from the older to
the younger generations. Through the medium of tradition, including in
that term all the learning, science, literature, and practical arts, not
to speak of the great body of oral tradition which is after all a larger
part of life than we imagine, the historical and cultural life is
maintained. This is the meaning of the long period of childhood in man
during which the younger generation is living under the care and
protection of the older. When, for any reason, this contact of the
younger with the older generation is interrupted--as is true in the case
of immigrants--a very definite cultural deterioration frequently ensues.

Contacts of mobility are those of a changing present, and measure the
number and variety of the stimulations which the social life and
movements--the discovery of the hour, the book of the moment, the
passing fads and fashions--afford. Contacts of mobility give us novelty
and news. It is through contacts of this sort that change takes place.

Mobility, accordingly, measures not merely the social contacts that one
gains from travel and exploration, but the stimulation and suggestions
that come to us through the medium of communication, by which sentiments
and ideas are put in social circulation. Through the newspaper, the
common man of today participates in the social movements of his time.
His illiterate forbear of yesterday, on the other hand, lived unmoved by
the current of world-events outside his hamlet. The _tempo_ of modern
societies may be measured comparatively by the relative perfection of
devices of communication and the rapidity of the circulation of
sentiments, opinions, and facts. Indeed, the efficiency of any society
or of any group is to be measured not alone in terms of numbers or of
material resources, but also in terms of mobility and access through
communication and publicity to the common fund of tradition and culture.

e) _Primary and secondary contacts._--Primary contacts are those of
"intimate face-to-face association"; secondary contacts are those of
externality and greater distance. A study of primary association
indicates that this sphere of contact falls into two areas: one of
intimacy and the other of acquaintance. In the diagram which follows,
the field of primary contacts has been subdivided so that it includes
(x) a circle of greater intimacy, (y) a wider circle of
acquaintanceship. The completed chart would appear as shown on page 285.

Primary contacts of the greatest intimacy are (a) those represented by
the affections that ordinarily spring up within the family, particularly
between parents and children, husband and wife; and (b) those of
fellowship and affection outside the family as between lovers, bosom
friends, and boon companions. These relations are all manifestations of
a craving for response. These personal relationships are the nursery for
the development of human nature and personality. John Watson, who
studied several hundred new-born infants in the psychological
laboratory, concludes that "the first few years are the all-important
ones, for shaping the emotional life of the child."[118] The primary
virtues and ideals of which Cooley writes so sympathetically are, for
the most part, projections from family life. Certainly in these most
intimate relations of life in the contacts of the family circle, in the
closest friendships, personality is most severely tried, realizes its
most characteristic expressions, or is most completely disorganized.

[Illustration: FIG. 3

A, primary contacts; x, greater intimacy; y, acquaintanceship;
B, secondary contacts]

Just as the life of the family represents the contacts of touch and
response, the neighborhood or the village is the natural area of primary
contacts and the city the social environment of secondary contacts. In
primary association individuals are in contact with each other at
practically all points of their lives. In the village "everyone knows
everything about everyone else." Canons of conduct are absolute, social
control is omnipotent, the status of the family and the individual is
fixed. In secondary association individuals are in contact with each
other at only one or two points in their lives. In the city, the
individual becomes anonymous; at best he is generally known in only one
or two aspects of his life. Standards of behavior are relative; the old
primary controls have disappeared; the new secondary instruments of
discipline, necessarily formal, are for the most part crude and
inefficient; the standing of the family and of the individual is
uncertain and subject to abrupt changes upward or downward in the social

Simmel has made a brilliant contribution in his analysis of the
sociological significance of "the stranger." "The stranger" in the
sociological sense is the individual who unites in his social relations
primary and secondary contacts. Simmel himself employs the conception of
social distance in his statement of the stranger as the combination of
the near and the far. It is interesting and significant to determine the
different types of the union of intimacy and externality in the
relations of teacher and student, physician and patient, minister and
layman, lawyer and client, social worker and applicant for relief.

A complete analysis of the bearing upon personal and cultural life of
changes from a society based upon contacts of continuity and of primary
relations to a society of increasing mobility organized around secondary
contacts cannot be given here. Certain of the most obvious contrasts of
the transition may, however, be stated. Increasing mobility of persons
in society almost inevitably leads to change and therefore to loss of
continuity. In primary groups, where social life moves slowly, there is
a greater sense of continuity than in secondary groups where it moves

There is a further contrast if not conflict between direct and intimate
contacts and contacts based upon communication of ideas. All sense of
values, as Windelband has pointed out,[119] rests upon concrete
experience, that is to say upon sense contacts. Society, to the extent
that it is organized about secondary contacts, is based upon
abstractions, upon science and technique. Secondary contacts of this
type have only secondary values because they represent means rather than
ends. Just as all behavior arises in sense impressions it must also
terminate in sense impressions to realize its ends and attain its
values. The effect of life in a society based on secondary contacts is
to build up between the impulse and its end a world of means, to project
values into the future, and to direct life toward the realization of
distant hopes.

The ultimate effect upon the individual as he becomes accommodated to
secondary society is to find a substitute expression for his primary
response in the artificial physical environment of the city. The
detachment of the person from intimate, direct, and spontaneous contacts
with social reality is in large measure responsible for the intricate
maze of problems of urban life.

The change from concrete and personal to abstract and impersonal
relations in economic and social life began with the Industrial
Revolution. The machine is the symbol of the monotonous routine of
impersonal, unskilled, large-scale production just as the hand tool is
the token of the interesting activity of personal, skilled, handicraft
work. The so-called "instinct of workmanship" no longer finds expression
in the anonymous standardized production of modern industry.[120]

It is not in industry alone that the natural impulses of the person for
response, recognition, and self-expression are balked. In social work,
politics, religion, art, and sport the individual is represented now by
proxies where formerly he participated in person. All the forms of
communal activity in which all persons formerly shared have been taken
over by professionals. The great mass of men in most of the social
activities of modern life are no longer actors, but spectators. The
average man of the present time has been relegated by the influence of
the professional politician to the rôle of taxpayer. In social work
organized charity has come between the giver and the needy.

In these and other manifold ways the artificial conditions of city life
have deprived the person of most of the natural outlets for the
expression of his interests and his energies. To this fact is to be
attributed in large part the restlessness, the thirst for novelty and
excitement so characteristic of modern life. This emotional unrest has
been capitalized by the newspapers, commercialized recreations, fashion,
and agitation in their appeal to the sensations, the emotions, and the
instincts loosened from the satisfying fixations of primary-group life.
The _raison d'être_ of social work, as well as the fundamental problem
of all social institutions in city life must be understood in its
relation to this background.



1. The Frontiers of Social Contact[121]

Sociology deals especially with the phenomena of _contact_. The
reactions which result from voluntary or involuntary contact of human
beings with other human beings are the phenomena peculiarly "social," as
distinguished from the phenomena that belong properly to biology and

In the first place, we want to indicate, not the essence of the social,
but the location, the sphere, the extent, of the social. If we can agree
where it is, we may then proceed to discover what it is. The social,
then, is the term next beyond the individual. Assuming, for the sake of
analysis, that our optical illusion, "the individual," is an isolated
and self-sufficient fact, there are many sorts of scientific problems
that do not need to go beyond this fact to satisfy their particular
terms. Whether the individual can ever be abstracted from his conditions
and remain himself is not a question that we need here discuss. At all
events, the individual known to our experience is not isolated. He is
connected in various ways with one or more individuals. The different
ways in which individuals are connected with each other are indicated by
the inclusive term "contact." Starting, then, from the individual, to
measure him in all his dimensions and to represent him in all his
phases, we find that each person is what he is by virtue of the
existence of other persons, and by virtue of an alternating current of
influence between each person and all the other persons previously or at
the same time in existence. The last native of Central Africa around
whom we throw the dragnet of civilization, and whom we inoculate with a
desire for whiskey, adds an increment to the demand for our distillery
products, and affects the internal revenue of the United States, and so
the life-conditions of every member of our population. This is what we
mean by "contact." So long as that African tribe is unknown to the
outside world, and the world to it, so far as the European world is
concerned, the tribe might as well not exist. The moment the tribe comes
within touch of the rest of the world, the aggregate of the world's
contacts is by so much enlarged; the social world is by so much
extended. In other words, the realm of the social is the realm of
circuits of reciprocal influence between individuals and the groups
which individuals compose. The general term "contact" is proposed to
stand for this realm, because it is a colorless word that may mark
boundaries without prejudging contents. Wherever there is physical or
spiritual contact between persons, there is inevitably a circuit of
exchange of influence. The realm of the social is the realm constituted
by such exchange. It extends from the producing of the baby by the
mother, and the simultaneous producing of the mother by the baby, to the
producing of merchant and soldier by the world-powers, and the producing
of the world-powers by merchant and soldier.

The most general and inclusive way in which to designate all the
phenomena that sociology proper considers, without importing into the
term premature hypotheses by way of explanation, is to assert that they
are the phenomena of "contact" between persons.

In accordance with what was said about the division of labor between
psychology and sociology, it seems best to leave to the psychologist all
that goes on inside the individual and to say that the work of the
sociologist begins with the things that take place between individuals.
This principle of division is not one that can be maintained absolutely,
any more than we can hold absolutely to any other abstract
classification of real actions. It serves, however, certain rough uses.
Our work as students of society begins in earnest when the individual
has become equipped with his individuality. This stage of human growth
is both cause and effect of the life of human beings side by side in
greater or lesser numbers. Under those circumstances individuals are
produced; they act as individuals; by their action as individuals they
produce a certain type of society; that type reacts on the individuals
and helps to transform them into different types of individuals, who in
turn produce a modified type of society; and so the rhythm goes on
forever. Now the medium through which all this occurs is the fact of
contacts, either physical or spiritual. In either case, contacts are
collisions of interests in the individuals.

2. The Land and the People[122]

Every clan, tribe, state, or nation includes two ideas, a people and its
land, the first unthinkable without the other. History, sociology,
ethnology, touch only the inhabited areas of the earth. These areas gain
their final significance because of the people who occupy them; their
local conditions of climate, soil, natural resources, physical features,
and geographic situation are important primarily as factors in the
development of actual or possible inhabitants. A land is fully
comprehended only when studied in the light of its influence upon its
people, and a people cannot be understood apart from the field of its
activities. More than this, human activities are fully intelligible only
in relation to the various geographic conditions which have stimulated
them in different parts of the world. The principles of the evolution of
navigation, of agriculture, of trade, as also the theory of population,
can never reach their correct and final statement, unless the data for
the conclusions are drawn from every part of the world and each fact
interpreted in the light of the local conditions whence it sprang.
Therefore anthropology, sociology, and history should be permeated by

Most systems of sociology treat man as if he were in some way detached
from the earth's surface; they ignore the land basis of society. The
anthropogeographer recognizes the various social forces, economic and
psychologic, which sociologists regard as the cement of societies; but
he has something to add. He sees in the land occupied by a primitive
tribe or a highly organized state the underlying material bond holding
society together, the ultimate basis of their fundamental social
activities, which are therefore derivatives from the land. He sees the
common territory exercising an integrating force--weak in primitive
communities where the group has established only a few slight and
temporary relations with its soil, so that this low social complex
breaks up readily like its organic counterpart, the low animal organism
found in an amoeba; he sees it growing stronger with every advance in
civilization involving more complex relations to the land--with settled
habitations, with increased density of population, with a discriminating
and highly differentiated use of the soil, with the exploitation of
mineral resources, and, finally, with that far-reaching exchange of
commodities and ideas which means the establishment of varied
extra-territorial relations. Finally, the modern society or state has
grown into every foot of its own soil, exploited its every geographic
advantage, utilized its geographic location to enrich itself by
international trade, and, when possible, to absorb outlying territories
by means of colonies. The broader this geographic base, the richer, more
varied, its resources, and the more favorable its climate to their
exploitation, the more numerous and complex are the connections which
the members of a social group can establish with it, and through it with
each other; or, in other words, the greater may be its ultimate
historical significance.

3. Touch and Social Contact[123]

General ideas concerning human relations are the medium through which
sexual taboo works, and these must now be examined. If we compare the
facts of social taboo generally, or of its subdivision, sexual taboo, we
find that the ultimate test of human relations, in both _genus_ and
_species_, is _contact_. An investigation of primitive ideas concerning
the relations of man with man, when guided by this clue, will lay bare
the principles which underlie the theory and practice of sexual taboo.
Arising, as we have seen, from sexual differentiation, and forced into
permanence by difference of occupation and sexual solidarity, this
segregation receives the continuous support of religious conceptions as
to human relations. These conceptions center upon contact, and ideas of
contact are at the root of all conceptions of human relations at any
stage of culture; contact is the one universal test, as it is the most
elementary form, of mutual relations. Psychology bears this out, and the
point is psychological rather than ethnological.

As I have pointed out before and shall have occasion to do so again, a
comparative examination, assisted by psychology, of the emotions and
ideas of average modern humanity is a most valuable aid to ethnological
inquiry. In this connection, we find that desire or willingness for
physical contact is an animal emotion, more or less subconscious, which
is characteristic of similarity, harmony, friendship, or love.
Throughout the world, the greeting of a friend is expressed by contact,
whether it be nose-rubbing, or the kiss, the embrace, or the clasp of
hands; so the ordinary expression of friendship by a boy, that eternal
savage, is contact of arm and shoulder. More interesting still for our
purpose is the universal expression by contact of the emotion of love.
To touch his mistress is the ever-present desire of the lover, and in
this impulse, even if we do not trace it back, as we may without being
fanciful, to polar or sexual attraction inherent in the atoms, the
[Greek: philia] of Empedocles, yet we may place the beginning and ending
of love. When analyzed, the emotion always comes back to contact.

Further, mere willingness for contact is found universally when the
person to be touched is healthy, if not clean, or where he is of the
same age or class or caste, and, we may add, for ordinary humanity the
same sex.

On the other hand, the avoidance of contact, whether consciously or
subconsciously presented, is no less the universal characteristic of
human relations where similarity, harmony, friendship, or love is
absent. This appears in the attitude of men to the sick, to strangers,
distant acquaintances, enemies, and in cases of difference of age,
position, sympathies or aims, and even of sex. Popular language is full
of phrases which illustrate this feeling.

Again, the pathology of the emotions supplies many curious cases where
the whole being seems concentrated upon the sense of touch, with
abnormal desire or disgust for contact; and in the evolution of the
emotions from physiological pleasure and pain, contact plays an
important part in connection with functional satisfaction or
dissatisfaction with the environment.

In the next place, there are the facts, first, that an element of
thought inheres in all sensation, while sensation conditions thought;
and secondly, that there is a close connection of all the senses, both
in origin--each of them being a modification of the one primary sense of
touch--and in subsequent development, where the specialized organs are
still co-ordinated through tactile sensation, in the sensitive surface
of organism. Again, and here we see the genesis of ideas of contact, it
is by means of the tactile sensibility of the skin and membranes of
sense-organs, forming a sensitized as well as a protecting surface, that
the nervous system conveys to the brain information about the external
world, and this information is in its original aspect the response to
impact. Primitive physics, no less than modern, recognizes that contact
is a modified form of a blow. These considerations show that contact not
only plays an important part in the life of the soul but must have had a
profound influence on the development of ideas, and it may now be
assumed that ideas of contact have been a universal and original
constant factor in human relations and that they are so still. The
latter assumption is to be stressed, because we find that the ideas
which lie beneath primitive taboo are still a vital part of human
nature, though mostly emptied of their religious content; and also
because, as I hold, ceremonies and etiquette, such as still obtain,
could not possess such vitality as they do unless there were a living
psychological force behind them, such as we find in elementary ideas
which come straight from functional processes.

These ideas of contact are _primitive_ in each sense of the word, at
whatever stage of culture they appear. They seem to go back in origin
and in character to that highly developed sensibility of all animal and
even organized life, which forms at once a biological monitor and a
safeguard for the whole organism in relation to its environment. From
this sensibility there arise subjective ideas concerning the safety or
danger of the environment, and in man we may suppose these subjective
ideas as to his environment, and especially as to his fellow-men, to be
the origin of his various expressions of avoidance or desire for

Lastly, it is to be observed that avoidance of contact is the most
conspicuous phenomenon attaching to cases of taboo when its dangerous
character is prominent. In taboo the connotation of "not to be touched"
is the salient point all over the world, even in cases of permanent
taboo such as belongs to Samoan and Maori chiefs, with whom no one dared
come in contact; and so we may infer the same aversion to be potential
in all such relations.


1. The In-Group and the Out-Group[124]

The conception of "primitive society" which we ought to form is that of
small groups scattered over a territory. The size of the groups is
determined by the conditions of the struggle for existence. The internal
organization of each group corresponds to its size. A group of groups
may have some relation to each other (kin, neighborhood, alliance,
connubium, and commercium) which draws them together and differentiates
them from others. Thus a differentiation arises between ourselves, the
we-group, or in-group, and everybody else, or the others-groups,
out-groups. The insiders in a we-group are in a relation of peace,
order, law, government, and industry, to each other. Their relation to
all outsiders, or others-groups, is one of war and plunder, except so
far as agreements have modified it. If a group is exogamic, the women in
it were born abroad somewhere. Other foreigners who might be found in it
are adopted persons, guest-friends, and slaves.

The relation of comradeship and peace in the we-group and that of
hostility and war toward others-groups are correlative to each other.
The exigencies of war with outsiders are what make peace inside, lest
internal discord should weaken the we-group for war. These exigencies
also make government and law in the in-group, in order to prevent
quarrels and enforce discipline. Thus war and peace have reacted on each
other and developed each other, one within the group, the other in the
intergroup relation. The closer the neighbors, and the stronger they
are, the intenser is the warfare, and then the intenser is the internal
organization and discipline of each. Sentiments are produced to
correspond. Loyalty to the group, sacrifice for it, hatred and contempt
for outsiders, brotherhood within, warlikeness without--all grow
together, common products of the same situation.

Ethnocentrism is the technical name for this view of things in which
one's own group is the center of everything and all others are scaled
and rated with reference to it. Folkways correspond to it to cover both
the inner and the outer relation. Each group nourishes its own pride and
vanity, boasts itself superior, exalts its own divinities, and looks
with contempt on outsiders. Each group thinks its own folkways the only
right ones, and if it observes that other groups have other folkways,
these excite its scorn. Opprobrious epithets are derived from these
differences. "Pig-eater," "cow-eater," "uncircumcised," "jabberers," are
epithets of contempt and abomination.

2. Sympathetic Contacts versus Categoric Contacts[125]

Let us now consider what takes place when two men, mere strangers to one
another, come together. The motive of classification, which I have
considered in another chapter, leads each of them at once to recognize
the approaching object first as living, then as human. The shape and
dress carry the categorizing process yet farther, so that they are
placed in groups, as of this or that tribe or social class, and as these
determinations are made they arouse the appropriate sympathies or
hatreds such as by experience have become associated with the several
categories. Be it observed that these judgments are spontaneous,
instinctive, and unnoticed. They are made so by immemorial education in
the art of contact which man has inherited from the life of the
ancestral beasts and men; they have most likely been in some measure
affirmed by selection, for these determinations as to the nature of the
neighbor were in the lower stages of existence in brute and man of
critical importance, the creatures lived or died according as they
determined well or ill, swiftly or slowly. If we observe what takes
place in our own minds at such meetings we will see that the action in
its immediateness is like that of the eyelids when the eye is
threatened. As we say, it is done before we know it.

With this view as to the conditions of human contact, particularly of
what occurs when men first meet one another, let us glance at what takes
place in near intercourse. We have seen that at the beginning of any
acquaintance the fellow-being is inevitably dealt with in the categoric
way. He is taken as a member of a group, which group is denoted to us by
a few convenient signs; as our acquaintance with a particular person
advances, this category tends to become qualified. Its bounds are pushed
this way and that until they break down. It is to be noted in this
process that the category fights for itself, or we for it, so that the
result of the battle between the immediate truth and the prejudice is
always doubtful. It is here that knowledge, especially that gained by
individual experience, is most helpful. The uninformed man, who begins
to find, on the nearer view of an Israelite, that the fellow is like
himself, holds by his category in the primitive way. The creature _is_ a
Jew, therefore the evidence of kinship must not count. He who is better
informed is, or should be, accustomed to amend his categories. He may,
indeed, remember that he is dealing with a neighbor of the race which
gave us not only Christ, but all the accepted prophets who have shaped
our own course, and his understanding helps to cast down the barriers of
instinctive prejudice.

At the stage of advancing acquaintance where friendship is attained, the
category begins to disappear from our minds. We may, indeed, measure the
advance in this relation by the extent to which it has been broken down.
Looking attentively at our mental situation as regards those whom we
know pretty well, we see that most of them are still, though rather
faintly, classified into groups. While a few of the nearer stand forth
by themselves, all of the nearest to our hearts are absolutely
individualized, so that our judgments of them are made on the basis of
our own motives and what we of ourselves discern. We may use categoric
terms concerning our lovers, spouses, or children, but they have no real
meaning; these persons are to us purely individual, all trace of the
inclusive category has disappeared; they are, in the full sense of the
word, our neighbors, being so near that when we look upon them we see
nothing else, not even ourselves.

Summing up these considerations concerning human contact, it may be said
that the world works by a system of individualities rising in scale as
we advance from the inorganic through the organic series until we find
the summit in man. The condition of all these individuals is that of
isolation; each is necessarily parted from all the others in the realm,
each receiving influences, and, in turn, sending forth its peculiar tide
of influences to those of its own and other kinds. This isolation in the
case of man is singularly great for the reason that he is the only
creature we know in the realm who is so far endowed with consciousness
that he can appreciate his position and know the measure of his
solitude. In the case of all individuals the discernible is only a small
part of what exists. In man the measure of this presentation is, even to
himself, very small, and that which he can readily make evident to his
neighbor is an exceedingly limited part of the real whole. Yet it is on
this slender basis that we must rest our relations with the fellow man
if we are to found them upon knowledge. The imperfection of this method
of ascertaining the fellow-man is well shown by the trifling contents of
the category discriminations we apply to him. While, as has been
suggested, much can be done by those who have gained in knowledge of our
kind by importing understandings into our relations with men, the only
effective way to the betterment of those relations is through the

What can be done by knowledge in helping us to a comprehension of the
fellow-man is at best merely explanatory of his place in the phenomenal
world; of itself it has only scientific value. The advantage of the
sympathetic way of approach is that in this method the neighbor is
accounted for on the supposition that he is ourself in another form, so
we feel for and with him on the instinctive hypothesis that he is
essentially ourself. There can be no question that this method of
looking upon other individualities is likely to lead to many errors. We
see examples of these blunders in all the many grades of the
personifying process, from the savage's worship of a tree or stone to
the civilized man's conception of a human-like god. We see them also in
the attribution to the lower animals of thoughts and feelings which are
necessarily limited to our own kind, but in the case of man the
conception of identity gives a minimum of error and a maximum of truth.
It, indeed, gives a truer result than could possibly be attained by any
scientific inquiries that we could make, or could conceive of being
effectively made, and this for the following reasons.

When, as in the sympathetic state, we feel that the neighbor of our
species is essentially ourself, the tacit assumption is that his needs
and feelings are as like our own as our own states of mind at diverse
times are like one another, so that we might exchange motives with him
without experiencing any great sense of strangeness. What we have in
mind is not the measure of instruction or education, not the class or
station or other adventitious circumstances, but the essential traits of
his being. Now this supposition is entirely valid. All we know of
mankind justifies the statement that, as regards all the qualities and
motives with which the primal sympathies deal, men are remarkably alike.
Their loves, hates, fears, and sorrows are alike in their essentials; so
that the postulate of sympathy that the other man is essentially like
one's self is no idle fancy but an established truth. It not only
embodies the judgment of all men in thought and action but has its
warrant from all the science we can apply to it.

It is easy to see how by means of sympathy we can at once pass the gulf
which separates man from man. All the devices of the ages in the way of
dumb or spoken language fail to win across the void, and leave the two
beings apart; but with a step the sympathetic spirit passes the gulf. In
this strange feature we have the completion of the series of differences
between the inorganic and the organic groups of individualities. In the
lower or non-living isolations there is no reason why the units should
do more than mechanically interact. All their service in the realm can
be best effected by their remaining forever completely apart. But when
we come to the organic series, the units begin to have need of
understanding their neighbors, in order that they may form those
beginnings of the moral order which we find developing among the members
even of the lowliest species. Out of this sympathetic accord arises the
community, which we see in its simple beginnings in the earlier stages
of life; it grows with the advance in the scale of being, and has its
supreme success in man. Human society, the largest of all organic
associations, requires that its units be knit together in certain common
purposes and understandings, and the union can only be made effective by
the ways of sympathy--by the instinctive conviction of essential

3. Historical Continuity and Civilization[126]

In matters connected with political and economical institutions we
notice among the natural races very great differences in the sum of
their civilization. Accordingly we have to look among them, not only for
the beginnings of civilization, but for a very great part of its
evolution, and it is equally certain that these differences are to be
referred less to variations in endowment than to great differences in
the conditions of their development. Exchange has also played its part,
and unprejudiced observers have often been more struck in the presence
of facts by agreement than by difference. "It is astonishing," exclaims
Chapman, when considering the customs of the Damaras, "what a similarity
there is in the manners and practices of the human family throughout the
world. Even here, the two different classes of Damaras practice rites in
common with the New Zealanders, such as that of chipping out the front
teeth and cutting off the little finger." It is less astonishing if, as
the same traveler remarks, their agreement with the Bechuanas goes even
farther. Now, since the essence of civilization lies first in the
amassing of experiences, then in the fixity with which these are
retained, and lastly in the capacity to carry them farther or to
increase them, our first question must be, how is it possible to realize
the first fundamental condition of civilization, namely, the amassing a
stock of culture in the form of handiness, knowledge, power, capital? It
has long been agreed that the first step thereto is the transition from
complete dependence upon what Nature freely offers to a conscious
exploitation through man's own labor, especially in agriculture or
cattle-breeding, of such of her fruits as are most important to him.
This transition opens at one stroke all the most remote possibilities of
Nature, but we must always remember at the same time that it is still a
long way from the first step to the height which has now been attained.

The intellect of man and also the intellect of whole races shows a wide
discrepancy in regard to differences of endowment as well as in regard
to the different effects which external circumstances produce upon it.
Especially are there variations in the degree of inward coherence and
therewith of the fixity or duration of the stock of intellect. The want
of coherence, the breaking up of this stock, characterizes the lower
stages of civilization no less than its coherence, its inalienability,
and its power of growth do the higher. We find in low stages a poverty
of tradition which allows these races neither to maintain a
consciousness of their earlier fortunes for any appreciable period nor
to fortify and increase their stock of intelligence either through the
acquisitions of individual prominent minds or through the adoption and
fostering of any stimulus. Here, if we are not entirely mistaken, is the
basis of the deepest-seated differences between races. The opposition of
historic and non-historic races seems to border closely upon it.

There is a distinction between the quickly ripening immaturity of the
child and the limited maturity of the adult who has come to a stop in
many respects. What we mean by "natural" races is something much more
like the latter than the former. We call them races deficient in
civilization, because internal and external conditions have hindered
them from attaining to such permanent developments in the domain of
culture as form the mark of the true civilized races and the guaranties
of progress. Yet we should not venture to call any of them cultureless,
so long as none of them is devoid of the primitive means by which the
ascent to higher stages can be made--language, religion, fire, weapons,
implements; while the very possession of these means, and many others,
such as domestic animals and cultivated plants, testifies to varied and
numerous dealings with those races which are completely civilized.

The reasons why they do not make use of these gifts are of many kinds.
Lower intellectual endowment is often placed in the first rank. That is
a convenient but not quite fair explanation. Among the savage races of
today we find great differences in endowments. We need not dispute that
in the course of development races of even slightly higher endowments
have got possession of more and more means of culture, and gained
steadiness and security for their progress, while the less endowed
remained behind. But external conditions, in respect to their furthering
or hindering effects, can be more clearly recognized and estimated; and
it is juster and more logical to name them first. We can conceive why
the habitations of the savage races are principally to be found on the
extreme borders of the inhabited world, in the cold and hot regions, in
remote islands, in secluded mountains, in deserts. We understand their
backward condition in parts of the earth which offer so few facilities
for agriculture and cattle-breeding as Australia, the Arctic regions, or
the extreme north and south of America. In the insecurity of
incompletely developed resources we can see the chain which hangs
heavily on their feet and confines their movements within a narrow
space. As a consequence their numbers are small, and from this again
results the small total amount of intellectual and physical
accomplishment, the rarity of eminent men, the absence of the salutary
pressure exercised by surrounding masses on the activity and forethought
of the individual, which operates in the division of society into
classes, and the promotion of a wholesome division of labor. A partial
consequence of this insecurity of resources is the instability of
natural races. A nomadic strain runs through them all, rendering easier
to them the utter incompleteness of their unstable political and
economical institutions, even when an indolent agriculture seems to tie
them to the soil. Thus it often comes about that, in spite of abundantly
provided and well-tended means of culture, their life is desultory,
wasteful of power, unfruitful. This life has no inward consistency, no
secure growth; it is not the life in which the germs of civilization
first grew up to the grandeur in which we frequently find them at the
beginnings of what we call history. It is full rather of fallings-away
from civilization and dim memories from civilized spheres which in many
cases must have existed long before the commencement of history as we
have it.

By the word "civilization" or "culture" we denote usually the sum of all
the acquirements at a given time of the human intelligence. When we
speak of stages, of higher and lower, of semi-civilization, of civilized
and "natural" races, we apply to the various civilizations of the earth
a standard which we take from the degree that we have ourselves
attained. Civilization means _our_ civilization.

The confinement, in space as in time, which isolates huts, villages,
races, no less than successive generations, involves the negation of
culture; in its opposite, the intercourse of contemporaries and the
interdependence of ancestors and successors, lies the possibility of
development. The union of contemporaries secures the retention of
culture, the linking of generations its unfolding. The development of
civilization is a process of hoarding. The hoards grow of themselves so
soon as a retaining power watches over them. In all domains of human
creation and operation we shall see the basis of all higher development
in intercourse. Only through co-operation and mutual help, whether
between contemporaries, whether from one generation to another, has
mankind succeeded in climbing to the stage of civilization on which its
highest members now stand. On the nature and extent of this intercourse
the growth depends. Thus the numerous small assemblages of equal
importance, formed by the family stocks, in which the individual had no
freedom, were less favorable to it than the larger communities and
states of the modern world, with their encouragement to individual

4. Mobility and the Movement of Peoples[127]

Every country whose history we examine proves the recipient of
successive streams of humanity. Even sea-girt England has received
various intruding peoples, from the Roman occupation to the recent
influx of Russian Jews. In prehistoric times it combined several
elements in its population, as the discovery of the "long barrow" men
and "round barrow" men by archaeologists and the identification of a
surviving Iberian or Mediterranean strain by ethnologists go to prove.
Egypt, Mesopotamia, and India tell the same story, whether in their
recorded or unrecorded history. Tropical Africa lacks a history; but all
that has been pieced together by ethnologists and anthropologists, in an
effort to reconstruct its past, shows incessant movement--growth,
expansion, and short-lived conquest, followed by shrinkage, expulsion,
or absorption by another invader. To this constant shifting of races and
peoples the name of historical movement has been given, because it
underlies most of written history and constitutes the major part of
unwritten history, especially that of savage and nomadic tribes.

Among primitive peoples this movement is simple and monotonous. It
involves all members of the tribe, either in pursuit of game or
following the herd over the tribal territory, or in migrations seeking
more and better land. Among civilized peoples it assumes various forms
and especially is differentiated for different members of the social
group. The civilized state develops specialized frontiers--men, armies,
explorers, maritime traders, colonists, and missionaries, who keep a
part of the people constantly moving and directing external expansion,
while the mass of the population converts the force once expended in the
migrant food-quest into internal activity. Here we come upon a paradox.
The nation as a whole, with the development of sedentary life, increases
its population and therewith its need for external movements; it widens
its national area and its circle of contact with other lands, enlarges
its geographical horizon, and improves its internal communication over a
growing territory; it evolves a greater mobility within and without,
which attaches, however, to certain classes of society, not to the
entire social group. This mobility becomes the outward expression of a
whole complex of economic wants, intellectual needs, and political
ambitions. It is embodied in the conquests which build up empires, in
the colonization which develops new lands, in the world-wide exchange of
commodities and ideas which lifts the level of civilization till this
movement of peoples becomes a fundamental fact of history.

Otis Mason finds that the life of a social group involves a variety of
movements characterized by different ranges or scopes: (1) The daily
round from bed to bed. (2) The annual round from year to year, like that
of the Tunguse Orochon of Siberia who, in pursuit of various fish and
game, change their residence within their territory from month to month,
or the pastoral nomads who move with the seasons from pasture to
pasture. (3) Less systematic outside movements covering the tribal
sphere of influence, such as journeys or voyages to remote hunting or
fishing grounds, forays or piratical descents upon neighboring lands,
eventuating usually in conquest, expansion into border regions for
occasional occupation, or colonization. (4) Participation in streams of
barter or commerce. (5) And, at a higher stage, in the great currents of
human intercourse, experience, and ideas, which finally compass the
world. In all this series the narrower movement prepares for the
broader, of which it constitutes at once an impulse and a part.

Civilized man is at once more and less mobile than his primitive
brother. Every advance in civilization multiplies and tightens the bonds
uniting him with his soil, makes him a sedentary instead of a migratory
being. On the other hand, every advance in civilization is attended by
the rapid clearing of the forests, by the construction of bridges and
interlacing roads, the invention of more effective vehicles for
transportation whereby intercourse increases, and the improvement of
navigation to the same end. Civilized man progressively modifies the
land which he occupies, removes or reduces obstacles to intercourse, and
thereby approximates it to the open plain. Thus far he facilitates
movements. But while doing this he also places upon the land a dense
population, closely attached to the soil, strong to resist incursion,
and for economic reasons inhospitable to any marked accession of
population from without. Herein lies the great difference between
migration in empty or sparsely inhabited regions, such as predominated
when the world was young, and in the densely populated countries of our
era. As the earth grew old and humanity multiplied, peoples themselves
became the greatest barriers to any massive migrations, till in certain
countries of Europe and Asia the historical movement has been reduced to
a continual pressure, resulting in compression of population here,
repression there. Hence, though political boundaries may shift, ethnic
boundaries scarcely budge. The greatest wars of modern Europe have
hardly left a trace upon the distribution of its peoples. Only in the
Balkan Peninsula, as the frontiers of the Turkish Empire have been
forced back from the Danube, the alien Turks have withdrawn to the
shrinking territory of the Sultan and especially to Asia Minor.

Where a population too great to be dislodged occupies the land, conquest
results in the eventual absorption of the victors and their civilization
by the native folk, as happened to the Lombards in Italy, the Vandals in
Africa, and the Normans in England. Where the invaders are markedly
superior in culture, though numerically weak, conquest results in the
gradual permeation of the conquered with the religion, economic methods,
language, and customs of the newcomers. The latter process, too, is
always attended by some intermixture of blood, where no race repulsion
exists, but this is small in comparison to the diffusion of
civilization. This was the method by which Greek traders and colonists
Hellenized the countries about the eastern Mediterranean and spread
their culture far back from the shores which their settlements had
appropriated. In this way Saracen armies, soon after the death of
Mohammed, Arabized the whole eastern and southern sides of the
Mediterranean from Syria to Spain, and Arab merchants set the stamp of
their language and religion on the coasts of East Africa as far as
Mozambique. The handful of Spanish adventurers who came upon the
relatively dense populations of Mexico and Peru left among them a
civilization essentially European, but only a thin strain of Castilian
blood. Thus the immigration of small bands of people sufficed to
influence the culture of that big territory known as Latin America.

Throughout the life of any people, from its fetal period in some small
locality to its well-rounded adult era marked by the occupation and
organization of a wide national territory, gradations in area mark
gradations of development. And this is true, whether we consider the
compass of their commercial exchanges, the scope of their maritime
ventures, the extent of their linguistic area, the measure of their
territorial ambitions, or the range of their intellectual interests and
human sympathies. From land to ethics, the rule holds good. Peoples in
the lower stages of civilization have contracted spatial ideas, desire
and need at a given time only a limited territory, though they may
change that territory often; they think in small linear terms, have a
small horizon, a small circle of contact with others, a small range of
influence, only tribal sympathies; they have an exaggerated conception
of their own size and importance, because their basis of comparison is
fatally limited. With a mature, widespread people like the English or
French, all this is different; they have made the earth their own, so
far as possible.

Just because of this universal tendency toward the occupation of ever
larger areas and the formation of vaster political aggregates, in making
a sociological or political estimate of different peoples, we should
never lose sight of the fact that all racial and national
characteristics which operate toward the absorption of more land and
impel to political expansion are of fundamental value. A ship of state
manned by such a crew has its sails set to catch the winds of the world.

Territorial expansion is always preceded by an extension of the circle
of influence which a people exerts through its traders, its deep-sea
fishermen, its picturesque marauders and more respectable missionaries,
and earlier still by a widening of its mere geographical horizon through
fortuitous or systematic exploration.


1. Village Life in America (from the Diary of a Young Girl)[128]

_November 21, 1852._--I am ten years old today, and I think I will write
a journal and tell who I am and what I am doing. I have lived with my
Grandfather and Grandmother Beals ever since I was seven years old, and
Anna, too, since she was four. Our brothers, James and John, came too,
but they are at East Bloomfield at Mr. Stephen Clark's Academy. Miss
Laura Clark of Naples is their teacher.

Anna and I go to school at District No. 11. Mr. James C. Cross is our
teacher, and some of the scholars say he is cross by name and cross by
nature, but I like him. He gave me a book by the name of _Noble Deeds of
American Women_, for reward of merit, in my reading class.

_Friday._--Grandmother says I will have a great deal to answer for,
because Anna looks up to me so and tries to do everything that I do and
thinks whatever I say is "gospel truth." The other day the girls at
school were disputing with her about something and she said, "It is so,
if it ain't so, for Calline said so." I shall have to "toe the mark," as
Grandfather says, if she keeps watch of me all the time and walks in my

_April 1, 1853._--Before I go to school every morning I read three
chapters in the Bible. I read three every day and five on Sunday and
that takes me through the Bible in a year. Those I read this morning
were the first, second, and third chapters of Job. The first was about
Eliphaz reproveth Job; second, benefit of God's correction; third, Job
justifieth his complaint. I then learned a text to say at school. I went
to school at quarter to nine and recited my text and we had prayers and
then proceeded with the business of the day. Just before school was out,
we recited in _Science of Things Familiar_, and in Dictionary, and then
we had calisthenics.

_July._--Hiram Goodrich, who lives at Mr. Myron H. Clark's, and George
and Wirt Wheeler ran away on Sunday to seek their fortunes. When they
did not come back everyone was frightened and started out to find them.
They set out right after Sunday school, taking their pennies which had
been given them for the contribution, and were gone several days. They
were finally found at Palmyra. When asked why they had run away, one
replied that he thought it was about time they saw something of the
world. We heard that Mr. Clark had a few moments' private conversation
with Hiram in the barn and Mr. Wheeler the same with his boys and we do
not think they will go traveling on their own hook again right off. Miss
Upham lives right across the street from them and she was telling little
Morris Bates that he must fight the good fight of faith and he asked her
if that was the fight that Wirt Wheeler fit. She probably had to make
her instructions plainer after that.

_1854, Sunday._--Mr. Daggett's text this morning was the twenty-second
chapter of Revelation, sixteenth verse, "I am the root and offspring of
David and the bright and morning star." Mrs. Judge Taylor taught our
Sunday-school class today and she said we ought not to read our
Sunday-school books on Sunday. I always do. Mine today was entitled,
_Cheap Repository Tracts by Hannah More_, and it did not seem
unreligious at all.

_Tuesday._--Mrs. Judge Taylor sent for me to come over to see her today.
I didn't know what she wanted, but when I got there she said she wanted
to talk and pray with me on the subject of religion. She took me into
one of the wings. I never had been in there before and was frightened at
first, but it was nice after I got used to it. After she prayed, she
asked me to, but I couldn't think of anything but "Now I lay me down to
sleep," and I was afraid she would not like that, so I didn't say
anything. When I got home and told Anna, she said, "Caroline, I presume
probably Mrs. Taylor wants you to be a missionary, but I shan't let you
go." I told her she needn't worry for I would have to stay at home and
look after her. After school tonight I went out into Abbie Clark's
garden with her and she taught me how to play "mumble te peg." It is
fun, but rather dangerous. I am afraid Grandmother won't give me a knife
to play with. Abbie Clark has beautiful pansies in her garden and gave
me some roots.

_Sunday._--I almost forgot that it was Sunday this morning and talked
and laughed just as I do week days. Grandmother told me to write down
this verse before I went to church so I would remember it: "Keep thy
foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear than
to offer the sacrifice of fools." I will remember it now, sure. My feet
are all right anyway with my new patten leather shoes on, but I shall
have to look out for my head. Mr. Thomas Howell read a sermon today as
Mr. Daggett is out of town. Grandmother always comes upstairs to get the
candle and tuck us in before she goes to bed herself, and some nights we
are sound asleep and do not hear her, but last night we only pretended
to be asleep. She kneeled down by the bed and prayed aloud for us, that
we might be good children and that she might have strength given her
from on high to guide us in the straight and narrow path which leads to
life eternal. Those were her very words. After she had gone downstairs
we sat up in bed and talked about it and promised each other to be good,
and crossed our hearts and "hoped to die," if we broke our promise. Then
Anna was afraid we would die, but I told her I didn't believe we would
be as good as that, so we kissed each other and went to sleep.

_Sunday._--Rev. Mr. Tousley preached today to the children and told us
how many steps it took to be bad. I think he said lying was first, then
disobedience to parents, breaking the Sabbath, swearing, stealing,
drunkenness. I don't remember just the order they came. It was very
interesting, for he told lots of stories and we sang a great many times.
I should think Eddy Tousley would be an awful good boy with his father
in the house with him all the while, but probably he has to be away part
of the time preaching to other children.

_December 20, 1855._--Susan B. Anthony is in town and spoke in Bemis
Hall this afternoon. She made a special request that all the seminary
girls should come to hear her as well as all the women and girls in
town. She had a large audience and she talked very plainly about our
rights and how we ought to stand up for them, and said the world would
never go right until the women had just as much right to vote and rule
as the men. She asked us all to come up and sign our names who would
promise to do all in our power to bring about that glad day when equal
rights would be the law of the land. A whole lot of us went up and
signed the paper. When I told Grandmother about it she said she guessed
Susan B. Anthony had forgotten that St. Paul said the women should keep
silence. I told her no, she didn't, for she spoke particularly about St.
Paul and said if he had lived in these times, instead of eighteen
hundred years ago, he would have been as anxious to have the women at
the head of the government as she was. I could not make Grandmother
agree with her at all and she said we might better all of us stayed at
home. We went to prayer meeting this evening and a woman got up and
talked. Her name was Mrs. Sands. We hurried home and told Grandmother
and she said she probably meant all right and she hoped we did not

_February 21, 1856._--We had a very nice time at Fannie Gaylord's party
and a splendid supper. Lucilla Field laughed herself almost to pieces
when she found on going home that she had worn her leggins all the
evening. We had a pleasant walk home but did not stay till it was out.
Someone asked me if I danced every set and I told them no, I set every
dance. I told Grandmother and she was very much pleased. Some one told
us that Grandfather and Grandmother first met at a ball in the early
settlement of Canandaigua. I asked her if it was so and she said she
never danced since she became a professing Christian and that was more
than fifty years ago.

_May, 1856._--We were invited to Bessie Seymour's party last night and
Grandmother said we could go. The girls all told us at school that they
were going to wear low neck and short sleeves. We have caps on the
sleeves of our best dresses and we tried to get the sleeves out, so we
could go bare arms, but we couldn't get them out. We had a very nice
time, though, at the party. Some of the Academy boys were there and they
asked us to dance but of course we couldn't do that. We promenaded
around the rooms and went out to supper with them. Eugene Stone and Tom
Eddy asked to go home with us but Grandmother sent our two girls for us,
Bridget Flynn and Hannah White, so they couldn't. We were quite
disappointed, but perhaps she won't send for us next time.

_Thursday, 1857._--We have four sperm candles in four silver
candlesticks and when we have company we light them. Johnnie Thompson,
son of the minister, Rev. M. L. R. P., has come to the academy to school
and he is very full of fun and got acquainted with all the girls very
quick. He told us this afternoon to have "the other candle lit" for he
was coming down to see us this evening. Will Schley heard him say it and
he said he was coming too. _Later._--The boys came and we had a very
pleasant evening but when the 9 o'clock bell rang we heard Grandfather
winding up the clock and scraping up the ashes on the hearth to cover
the fire so it would last till morning and we all understood the signal
and they bade us good night. "We won't go home till morning" is a song
that will never be sung in this house.

_September, 1857._--Grandmother let Anna have six little girls here to
supper to-night: Louisa Field, Hattie Paddock, Helen Coy, Martha
Densmore, Emma Wheeler, and Alice Jewett. We had a splendid supper and
then we played cards. I do not mean regular cards, mercy no! Grandfather
thinks those kinds are contageous or outrageous or something dreadful
and never keeps them in the house. Grandmother said they found a pack
once, when the hired man's room was cleaned, and they went into the fire
pretty quick. The kind we played was just "Dr. Busby," and another "The
Old Soldier and His Dog." There are counters with them, and if you don't
have the card called for you have to pay one into the pool. It is real
fun. They all said they had a very nice time, indeed, when they bade
Grandmother good night, and said: "Mrs. Beals, you must let Carrie and
Anna come and see us some time," and she said she would. I think it is
nice to have company.

_August 30, 1858._--Some one told us that when Bob and Henry Antes were
small boys they thought they would like to try, just for once, to see
how it would seem to be bad, so in spite of all of Mr. Tousley's sermons
they went out behind the barn one day and in a whisper Bob said, "I
swear," and Henry said, "So do I." Then they came into the house
looking guilty and quite surprised, I suppose, that they were not struck
dead just as Ananias and Sapphira were for lying.

_February, 1859._--Mary Wheeler came over and pierced my ears today, so
I can wear my new earrings that Uncle Edward sent me. She pinched my ear
until it was numb and then pulled a needle through, threaded with silk.
Anna would not stay in the room. She wants hers done but does not dare.
It is all the fashion for girls to cut off their hair and friz it. Anna
and I have cut off ours and Bessie Seymour got me to cut off her lovely
long hair today. It won't be very comfortable for us to sleep with curl
papers all over our heads, but we must do it now. I wanted my new dress
waist which Miss Rosewarne is making to hook up in front, but
Grandmother said I would have to wear it that way all the rest of my
life so I had better be content to hook it in the back a little longer.
She said when Aunt Glorianna was married, in 1848, it was the fashion
for grown-up women to have their waists fastened in the back, so the
bride had hers made that way but she thought it was a very foolish and
inconvenient fashion. It is nice, though, to dress in style and look
like other people. I have a Garibaldi waist and a Zouave jacket and a
balmoral skirt.

_1860, Sunday._--Frankie Richardson asked me to go with her to teach a
class in the colored Sunday School on Chapel Street this afternoon. I
asked Grandmother if I could go and she said she never noticed that I
was particularly interested in the colored race and she said she thought
I only wanted an excuse to get out for a walk Sunday afternoon. However,
she said I could go just this once. When we got up as far as the
Academy, Mr. Noah T. Clarke's brother, who is one of the teachers, came
out and Frank said he led the singing at the Sunday school and she said
she would give me an introduction to him, so he walked up with us and
home again. Grandmother said that when she saw him opening the gate for
me, she understood my zeal in missionary work. "The dear little lady,"
as we often call her, has always been noted for her keen discernment and
wonderful sagacity and loses none of it as she advances in years. Some
one asked Anna the other day if her Grandmother retained all her
faculties and Anna said, "Yes, indeed, to an alarming degree."
Grandmother knows that we think she is a perfect angel even if she does
seem rather strict sometimes. Whether we are seven or seventeen we are
children to her just the same, and the Bible says, "Children obey your
parents in the Lord for this is right." We are glad that we never will
seem old to her. I had the same company home from church in the evening.
His home is in Naples.

_Christmas, 1860._--I asked Grandmother if Mr. Clarke could take Sunday
night supper with us and she said she was afraid he did not know the
catechism. I asked him Friday night and he said he would learn it on
Saturday so that he could answer every third question anyway. So he did
and got along very well. I think he deserves a pretty good supper.

2. Secondary Contacts and City Life[129]

Modern methods of urban transportation and communication--the electric
railway, the automobile, and the telephone--have silently and rapidly
changed in recent years the social and industrial organization of the
modern city. They have been the means of concentrating traffic in the
business districts; have changed the whole character of retail trade,
multiplying the residence suburbs and making the department store
possible. These changes in the industrial organization and in the
distribution of population have been accompanied by corresponding
changes in the habits, sentiments, and character of the urban

The general nature of these changes is indicated by the fact that the
growth of cities has been accompanied by the substitution of indirect,
"secondary," for direct, face-to-face, "primary" relations in the
associations of individuals in the community.

     By primary groups I mean those characterized by intimate
     face-to-face association and co-operation. They are primary in
     several senses, but chiefly in that they are fundamental in
     forming the social nature and ideals of the individual. The
     result of intimate association, psychologically, is a certain
     fusion of individualities in a common whole, so that one's very
     self, for many purposes at least, is the common life and
     purpose of the group. Perhaps the simplest way of describing
     this wholeness is by saying that it is a "we"; it involves the
     sort of sympathy and mutual identification for which "we" is
     the natural expression. One lives in the feeling of the whole
     and finds the chief aims of his will in that feeling.

Touch and sight, physical contact, are the basis for the first and most
elementary human relationships. Mother and child, husband and wife,
father and son, master and servant, kinsman and neighbor, minister,
physician, and teacher--these are the most intimate and real
relationships of life and in the small community they are practically

The interactions which take place among the members of a community so
constituted are immediate and unreflecting. Intercourse is carried on
largely within the region of instinct and feeling. Social control
arises, for the most part spontaneously, in direct response to personal
influences and public sentiment. It is the result of a personal
accommodation rather than the formulation of a rational and abstract

In a great city, where the population is unstable, where parents and
children are employed out of the house and often in distant parts of the
city, where thousands of people live side by side for years without so
much as a bowing acquaintance, these intimate relationships of the
primary group are weakened and the moral order which rested upon them is
gradually dissolved.

Under the disintegrating influences of city life most of our traditional
institutions, the church, the school, and the family, have been greatly
modified. The school, for example, has taken over some of the functions
of the family. It is around the public school and its solicitude for the
moral and physical welfare of the children that something like a new
neighborhood and community spirit tends to get itself organized.

The church, on the other hand, which has lost much of its influence
since the printed page has so largely taken the place of the pulpit in
the interpretation of life, seems at present to be in process of
readjustment to the new conditions.

It is probably the breaking down of local attachments and the weakening
of the restraints and inhibitions of the primary group, under the
influence of the urban environment, which are largely responsible for
the increase of vice and crime in great cities. It would be interesting
in this connection to determine by investigation how far the increase in
crime keeps pace with the increasing mobility of the population. It is
from this point of view that we should seek to interpret all those
statistics which register the disintegration of the moral order, for
example, the statistics of divorce, of truancy, and of crime.

Great cities have always been the melting-pots of races and of cultures.
Out of the vivid and subtle interactions of which they have been the
centers, there have come the newer breeds and the newer social types.
The great cities of the United States, for example, have drawn from the
isolation of their native villages great masses of the rural populations
of Europe and America. Under the shock of the new contacts the latent
energies of these primitive peoples have been released, and the subtler
processes of interaction have brought into existence not merely
vocational but temperamental types.

Transportation and communication have effected, among many other silent
but far-reaching changes, what I have called the "mobilization of the
individual man." They have multiplied the opportunities of the
individual man for contact and for association with his fellows, but
they have made these contacts and associations more transitory and less
stable. A very large part of the populations of great cities, including
those who make their homes in tenements and apartment houses, live much
as people do in some great hotel, meeting but not knowing one another.
The effect of this is to substitute fortuitous and casual relationship
for the more intimate and permanent associations of the smaller

Under these circumstances the individual's status is determined to a
considerable degree by conventional signs--by fashion and "front"--and
the art of life is largely reduced to skating on thin surfaces and a
scrupulous study of style and manners.

Not only transportation and communication, but the segregation of the
urban population, tends to facilitate the mobility of the individual
man. The processes of segregation establish moral distances which make
the city a mosaic of little worlds which touch but do not
interpenetrate. This makes it possible for individuals to pass quickly
and easily from one moral milieu to another and encourages the
fascinating but dangerous experiment of living at the same time in
several different contiguous, perhaps, but widely separated worlds. All
this tends to give to city life a superficial and adventitious
character; it tends to complicate social relationships and to produce
new and divergent individual types. It introduces, at the same time, an
element of chance and adventure, which adds to the stimulus of city
life and gives it for young and fresh nerves a peculiar attractiveness.
The lure of great cities is perhaps a consequence of stimulations which
act directly upon the reflexes. As a type of human behavior it may be
explained, like the attraction of the flame for the moth, as a sort of

The attraction of the metropolis is due in part, however, to the fact
that in the long run every individual finds somewhere among the varied
manifestations of city life the sort of environment in which he expands
and feels at ease; finds, in short, the moral climate in which his
peculiar nature obtains the stimulations that bring his innate qualities
to full and free expression. It is, I suspect, motives of this kind
which have their basis, not in interest nor even in sentiment, but in
something more fundamental and primitive which draw many, if not most,
of the young men and young women from the security of their homes in the
country into the big, booming confusion and excitement of city life. In
a small community it is the normal man, the man without eccentricity or
genius, who seems most likely to succeed. The small community often
tolerates eccentricity. The city, on the contrary, rewards it. Neither
the criminal, the defective, nor the genius has the same opportunity to
develop his innate disposition in a small town that he invariably finds
in a great city.

Fifty years ago every village had one or two eccentric characters who
were treated ordinarily with a benevolent toleration, but who were
regarded meanwhile as impracticable and queer. These exceptional
individuals lived an isolated existence, cut off by their very
eccentricities, whether of genius or of defect, from genuinely intimate
intercourse with their fellows. If they had the making of criminals, the
restraints and inhibitions of the small community rendered them
harmless. If they had the stuff of genius in them, they remained sterile
for lack of appreciation or opportunity. Mark Twain's story of _Pudd'n
Head Wilson_ is a description of one such obscure and unappreciated
genius. It is not so true as it was that--

    Full many a flower is born to blush unseen
    And waste its fragrance on the desert air.

Gray wrote the "Elegy in a Country Churchyard" before the existence of
the modern city.

In the city many of these divergent types now find a milieu in which for
good or for ill their dispositions and talents parturiate and bear

3. Publicity as a Form of Secondary Contact[130]

In contrast with the political machine, which has founded its organized
action on the local, personal, and immediate interests represented by
the different neighborhoods and localities, the good-government
organizations, the bureaus of municipal research, and the like have
sought to represent the interests of the city as a whole and have
appealed to a sentiment and opinion neither local nor personal. These
agencies have sought to secure efficiency and good government by the
education of the voter, that is to say, by investigating and publishing
the facts regarding the government.

In this way publicity has come to be a recognized form of social
control, and advertising--"social advertising"--has become a profession
with an elaborate technique supported by a body of special knowledge.

It is one of the characteristic phenomena of city life and of society
founded on secondary relationships that advertising should have come to
occupy so important a place in its economy.

In recent years every individual and organization which has had to deal
with the public, that is to say, the public outside the smaller and more
intimate communities of the village and small town, has come to have its
press agent, who is often less an advertising man than a diplomatic man
accredited to the newspapers, and through them to the world at large.
Institutions like the Russell Sage Foundation, and to a less extent the
General Education Board, have sought to influence public opinion
directly through the medium of publicity. The Carnegie Report upon
Medical Education, the Pittsburgh Survey, the Russell Sage Foundation
Report on Comparative Costs of Public-School Education in the Several
States, are something more than scientific reports. They are rather a
high form of journalism, dealing with existing conditions critically,
and seeking through the agency of publicity to bring about radical
reforms. The work of the Bureau of Municipal Research in New York has
had a similar practical purpose. To these must be added the work
accomplished by the child-welfare exhibits, by the social surveys
undertaken in different parts of the country, and by similar propaganda
in favor of public health.

As a source of social control public opinion becomes important in
societies founded on secondary relationships of which great cities are a
type. In the city every social group tends to create its own milieu,
and, as these conditions become fixed, the mores tend to accommodate
themselves to the conditions thus created. In secondary groups and in
the city, fashion tends to take the place of custom, and public opinion
rather than the mores becomes the dominant force in social control.

In any attempt to understand the nature of public opinion and its
relation to social control, it is important to investigate, first of
all, the agencies and devices which have come into practical use in the
effort to control, enlighten, and exploit it.

The first and the most important of these is the press, that is, the
daily newspaper and other forms of current literature, including books
classed as current.

After the newspaper, the bureaus of research which are now springing up
in all the large cities are the most interesting and the most promising
devices for using publicity as a means of control.

The fruits of these investigations do not reach the public directly, but
are disseminated through the medium of the press, the pulpit and other
sources of popular enlightenment.

In addition to these, there are the educational campaigns in the
interest of better health conditions, the child-welfare exhibits, and
the numerous "social advertising" devices which are now employed,
sometimes upon the initiative of private societies, sometimes upon that
of popular magazines or newspapers, in order to educate the public and
enlist the masses of the people in the movement for the improvement of
conditions of community life.

The newspaper is the great medium of communication within the city, and
it is on the basis of the information which it supplies that public
opinion rests. The first function which a newspaper supplies is that
which was formerly performed by the village gossip.

In spite, however, of the industry with which newspapers pursue facts of
personal intelligence and human interest, they cannot compete with the
village gossips as a means of social control. For one thing, the
newspaper maintains some reservations not recognized by gossip, in the
matters of personal intelligence. For example, until they run for office
or commit some other overt act that brings them before the public
conspicuously, the private life of individual men or women is a subject
that is for the newspaper taboo. It is not so with gossip, partly
because in a small community no individual is so obscure that his
private affairs escape observation and discussion; partly because the
field is smaller. In small communities there is a perfectly amazing
amount of personal information afloat among the individuals who compose

The absence of this in the city is what, in large part, makes the city
what it is.

4. From Sentimental to Rational Attitudes[131]

I can imagine it to be of exceeding great interest to write the history
of mankind from the point of view of the stranger and his influence on
the trend of events. From the earliest dawn of history we may observe
how communities developed in special directions, no less in important
than in insignificant things, because of influences from without. Be it
religion or technical inventions, good form in conduct or fashions in
dress, political revolutions or stock-exchange machinery, the impetus
always--or, at least, in many cases--came from strangers. It is not
surprising, therefore, that in the history of the intellectual and
religious growth of the bourgeois the stranger should play no small
part. Throughout the whole of the Middle Ages in Europe, and to a large
extent in the centuries that followed, families left their homes to set
up their hearths anew in other lands. The wanderers were in the majority
of cases economic agents with a strongly marked tendency toward
capitalism, and they originated capitalist methods and cultivated them.
Accordingly, it will be helpful to trace the interaction of migrations
and the history of the capitalist spirit.

First, as to the facts themselves. Two sorts of migrations may be
distinguished--those of single individuals and those of groups. In the
first category must be placed the removal, of their own free will, of a
family, or it may even be of a few families, from one district or
country to another. Such cases were universal. But we are chiefly
concerned with those instances in which the capitalist spirit manifested
itself, as we must assume it did where the immigrants were acquainted
with a more complex economic system or were the founders of new
industries. Take as an instance the Lombards and other Italian
merchants, who in the early Middle Ages carried on business in England,
France, and elsewhere. Or recall how in the Middle Ages many an
industry, more especially silk weaving, that was established in any
district was introduced by foreigners, and very often on a capitalist
basis. "A new phase in the development of the Venetian silk industry
began with the arrival of traders and silk-workers from Lucca, whereby
the industry reached its zenith. The commercial element came more and
more to the fore; the merchants became the organizers of production,
providing the master craftsman with raw materials which he worked up."
So we read in Broglio d'Ajano. We are told a similar tale about the silk
industry in Genoa, which received an enormous impetus when the Berolerii
began to employ craftsmen from Lucca. In 1341 what was probably the
first factory for silk manufacture was erected by one Bolognino di
Barghesano, of Lucca. Even in Lyons tradition asserts that Italians
introduced the making of silk, and, when in the sixteenth century the
industry was placed on a capitalist basis, the initiative thereto came
once more from aliens. It was the same in Switzerland, where the silk
industry was introduced by the Pelligari in 1685. In Austria likewise we
hear the same tale.

Silk-making in these instances is but one example; there were very many
others. Here one industry was introduced, there another; here it was by
Frenchmen or Germans, there by Italians or Dutchmen. And always the new
establishments came at the moment when the industries in question were
about to become capitalistic in their organization.

Individual migrations, then, were not without influence on the economic
development of society. But much more powerful was the effect of the
wanderings of large groups from one land to another. From the sixteenth
century onward migrations of this sort may be distinguished under three
heads: (1) Jewish migrations; (2) the migration of persecuted
Christians, more especially of Protestants; and (3) the colonizing
movement, particularly the settlement in America.

We come, then, to the general question, Is it not a fact that the
"stranger," the immigrant, was possessed of a specially developed
capitalist spirit, and this quite apart from his environment, and, to a
lesser degree, his religion or his nationality? We see it in the old
states of Europe no less than in the new settlements beyond; in Jews and
Gentiles alike; in Protestants and Catholics (the French in Louisiana
were, by the middle of the nineteenth century, not a whit behind the
Anglo-Saxons of the New England states in this respect). The assumption
therefore forces itself upon us that this particular social
condition--migration or change of habitat--was responsible for the
unfolding of the capitalist spirit. Let us attempt to show how.

If we are content to find it in a single cause, it would be the breach
with all old ways of life and all old social relationships. Indeed, the
psychology of the stranger in a new land may easily be explained by
reference to this one supreme fact. His clan, his country, his people,
his state, no matter how deeply he was rooted in them, have now ceased
to be realities for him. His first aim is to make profit. How could it
be otherwise? There is nothing else open to him. In the old country he
was excluded from playing his part in public life; in the colony of his
choice there is no public life to speak of. Neither can he devote
himself to a life of comfortable, slothful ease; the new lands have
little comfort. Nor is the newcomer moved by sentiment. His environment
means nothing to him. At best he regards it as a means to an end--to
make a living. All this must surely be of great consequence for the rise
of a mental outlook that cares only for gain; and who will deny that
colonial activity generates it? "Our rivulets and streams turn mill
wheels and bring rafts into the valleys, as they do in Scotland. But not
one ballad, not a single song, reminds us that on their banks men and
women live who experience the happiness of love and the pangs of
separation; that under each roof in the valleys life's joys and sorrows
come and go." This plaint of an American of the old days expresses my
meaning; it has been noted again and again, particularly by those who
visited America at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The only
relationship between the Yankee and his environment is one of practical
usefulness. The soil, as one of them says, is not regarded as "the
mother of men, the hearth of the gods, the abiding resting-place of the
past generations, but only as a means to get rich." There is nothing of
"the poetry of the place" anywhere to check commercial devastations. The
spire of his village is for the American like any other spire; in his
eyes the newest and most gaudily painted is the most beautiful. A
waterfall for him merely represents so much motive power. "What a mighty
volume of water!" is, as we are assured, the usual cry of an American on
seeing Niagara for the first time, and his highest praise of it is that
it surpasses all other waterfalls in the world in its horse-power.

Nor has the immigrant or colonial settler a sense of the present or the
past. He has only a future. Before long the possession of money becomes
his one aim and ambition, for it is clear to him that by its means alone
will he be able to shape that future. But how can he amass money? Surely
by enterprise. His being where he is proves that he has capacities, that
he can take risks; is it remarkable, then, that sooner or later his
unbridled acquisitiveness will turn him into a restless capitalist
undertaker? Here again we have cause and effect. He undervalues the
present; he overvalues the future. Hence his activities are such as they
are. Is it too much to say that even today American civilization has
something of the unfinished about it, something that seems as yet to be
in the making, something that turns from the present to the future?

Another characteristic of the newcomer everywhere is that there are no
bounds to his enterprise. He is not held in check by personal
considerations; in all his dealings he comes into contact only with
strangers like himself. As we have already had occasion to point out,
the first profitable trade was carried on with strangers; your own kith
and kin received assistance from you. You lent out money at interest
only to the stranger, as Antonio remarked to Shylock, for from the
stranger you could demand more than you lent.

Nor is the stranger held in check by considerations other than personal
ones. He has no traditions to respect; he is not bound by the policy of
an old business. He begins with a clean slate; he has no local
connections that bind him to any one spot. Is not every locality in a
new country as good as every other? You therefore decide upon the one
that promises most profit. As Poscher says, a man who has risked his all
and left his home to cross the ocean in search of his fortune will not
be likely to shrink from a small speculation if this means a change of
abode. A little traveling more or less can make no difference.

So it comes about that the feverish searching after novelties manifested
itself in the American character quite early. "If to live means constant
movement and the coming and going of thoughts and feelings in quick
succession, then the people here live a hundred lives. All is
circulation, movement, and vibrating life. If one attempt fails, another
follows on its heels, and before every one undertaking has been
completed, the next has already been entered upon" (Chevalier). The
enterprising impulse leads to speculation; and here again early
observers have noticed the national trait. "Everybody speculates and no
commodity escapes from the speculating rage. It is not tulip speculation
this time, but speculations in cottons, real estate, banks, and

One characteristic of the stranger's activity, be he a settler in a new
or an old land, follows of necessity. I refer to the determination to
apply the utmost rational effort in the field of economic and technical
activity. The stranger must carry through plans with success because of
necessity or because he cannot withstand the desire to secure his
future. On the other hand, he is able to do it more easily than other
folk because he is not hampered by tradition. This explains clearly
enough why alien immigrants, as we have seen, furthered commercial and
industrial progress wherever they came. Similarly we may thus account
for the well-known fact that nowhere are technical inventions so
plentiful as in America, that railway construction and the making of
machinery proceed much more rapidly there than anywhere else in the
world. It all comes from the peculiar conditions of the problem,
conditions that have been termed colonial--great distances, dear labor,
and the will to progress. The state of mind that will have, nay, must
have, progress is that of the stranger, untrammeled by the past and
gazing toward the future.

Yet results such as these are not achieved by strangers merely because
they happen to be strangers. Place a negro in a new environment; will he
build railways and invent labor-saving machines? Hardly. There must be a
certain fitness; it must be in the blood. In short, other forces beside
that of being merely a stranger in a strange land are bound to
co-operate before the total result can be fully accounted for. There
must be a process of selection, making the best types available, and
the ethical and moral factor, too, counts for much. Nevertheless, the
migrations themselves were a very powerful element in the growth of

5. The Sociological Significance of the "Stranger"[132]

If wandering, considered as the liberation from every given point in
space, is the conceptual opposite to fixation at such a point, then
surely the sociological form of "the stranger" presents the union of
both of these specifications. It discloses, indeed, the fact that
relations to space are only, on the one hand, the condition, and, on the
other hand, the symbol, of relations to men. The stranger is not taken
here, therefore, in the sense frequently employed, of the wanderer who
comes today and goes tomorrow, but rather of the man who comes today and
stays tomorrow, the potential wanderer, so to speak, who, although he
has gone no further, has not quite got over the freedom of coming and
going. He is fixed within a certain spatial circle, but his position
within it is peculiarly determined by the fact that he does not belong
in it from the first, that he brings qualities into it that are not, and
cannot be, native to it.

The union of nearness and remoteness, which every relation between men
comprehends, has here produced a system of relations or a constellation
which may, in the fewest words, be thus formulated: The distance within
the relation signifies that the Near is far; the very fact of being
alien, however, that the Far is near. For the state of being a stranger
is naturally a quite positive relation, a particular form of
interaction. The inhabitants of Sirius are not exactly strangers to us,
at least not in the sociological sense of the word as we are considering
it. In that sense they do not exist for us at all. They are beyond being
far and near. The stranger is an element of the group itself, not
otherwise than the Poor and the various "inner enemies," an element
whose inherent position and membership involve both an exterior and an
opposite. The manner, now, in which mutually repulsive and opposing
elements here compose a form of a joint and interacting unity may now be
briefly analyzed.

In the whole history of economics the stranger makes his appearance
everywhere as the trader, the trader his as the stranger. As long as
production for one's own needs is the general rule, or products are
exchanged within a relatively narrow circle, there is no need of any
middleman within the group. A trader is only required with those
products which are produced entirely outside of the group. Unless there
are people who wander out into foreign lands to buy these necessities,
in which case they are themselves "strange" merchants in this other
region, the trader must be a stranger. No other has a chance for

This position of the stranger is intensified in our consciousness if,
instead of leaving the place of his activity, he fixes himself in it.
This will be possible for him only if he can live by trade in the rôle
of a middleman. Any closed economic group in which the division of the
land and of the crafts which satisfy the local demands has been achieved
will still grant an existence to the trader. For trade alone makes
possible unlimited combinations, in which intelligence finds ever wider
extensions and ever newer accessions, a thing rarely possible in the
case of the primitive producer with his lesser mobility and his
restriction to a circle of customers which could only very gradually be
increased. Trade can always absorb more men than primary production, and
it is therefore the most favorable province for the stranger, who
thrusts himself, so to speak, as a supernumerary into a group in which
all the economic positions are already possessed. History offers as the
classic illustration the European Jew. The stranger is by his very
nature no landowner--in saying which, land is taken not merely in a
physical sense but also in a metaphorical one of a permanent and a
substantial existence, which is fixed, if not in space, then at least in
an ideal position within the social order. The special sociological
characteristics of the stranger may now be presented.

a) _Mobility._--In the more intimate relations of man to man, the
stranger may disclose all possible attractions and significant
characters, but just as long as he is regarded as a stranger, he is in
so far no landowner. Now restriction to trade, and frequently to pure
finance, as if by a sublimation from the former, gives the stranger the
specific character of mobility. With this mobility, when it occurs
within a limited group, there occurs that synthesis of nearness and
remoteness which constitutes the formal position of the stranger; for
the merely mobile comes incidentally into contact with every single
element but is not bound up organically, through the established ties of
kinship, locality, or profession, with any single one.

b) _Objectivity._--Another expression for this relation lies in the
objectivity of the stranger. Because he is not rooted in the peculiar
attitudes and biased tendencies of the group, he stands apart from all
these with the peculiar attitude of the "objective," which does not
indicate simply a separation and disinterestedness but is a peculiar
composition of nearness and remoteness, concern and indifference. I call
attention to the domineering positions of the stranger to the group, as
whose archtype appeared that practice of Italian cities of calling their
judges from without, because no native was free from the prejudices of
family interests and factions.

c) _Confidant._--With the objectivity of the stranger is connected the
phenomenon which indeed belongs chiefly, but not indeed exclusively, to
the mobile man: namely, that often the most surprising disclosures and
confessions, even to the character of the confessional disclosure, are
brought to him, secrets such as one carefully conceals from every
intimate. Objectivity is by no means lack of sympathy, for that is
something quite outside and beyond either subjective or objective
relations. It is rather a positive and particular manner of sympathy. So
the objectivity of a theoretical observation certainly does not mean
that the spirit is a _tabula rasa_ on which things inscribe their
qualities, but it means the full activity of a spirit working according
to its own laws, under conditions in which accidental dislocations and
accentuations have been excluded, the individual and subjective
peculiarities of which would give quite different pictures of the same

d) _Freedom from convention._--One can define objectivity also as
freedom. The objective man is bound by no sort of proprieties which can
prejudice for him his apprehension, his understanding, his judgment of
the given. This freedom which permits the stranger to experience and
deal with the relation of nearness as though from a bird's-eye view,
contains indeed all sorts of dangerous possibilities. From the
beginnings of things, in revolutions of all sorts, the attacked party
has claimed that there has been incitement from without, through foreign
emissaries and agitators. As far as that is concerned, it is simply an
exaggeration of the specific rôle of the stranger; he is the freer man,
practically and theoretically; he examines the relations with less
prejudice; he submits them to more general, more objective, standards,
and is not confined in his action by custom, piety, or precedents.

e) _Abstract relations._--Finally, the proportion of nearness and
remoteness which gives the stranger the character of objectivity gets
another practical expression in the more abstract nature of the relation
to him. This is seen in the fact that one has certain more general
qualities only in common with the stranger, whereas the relation with
those organically allied is based on the similarity of just those
specific differences by which the members of an intimate group are
distinguished from those who do not share that intimacy. All personal
relations whatsoever are determined according to this scheme, however
varied the form which they assume. What is decisive is not the fact that
certain common characteristics exist side by side with individual
differences which may or may not affect them but rather that the
influence of this common possession itself upon the personal relation of
the individuals involved is determined by certain conditions: Does it
exist in and for these individuals and for these only? Does it represent
qualities that are general in the group, to be sure, but peculiar to it?
Or is it merely felt by the members of the group as something peculiar
to individuals themselves whereas, in fact, it is a common possession of
a group, or a type, or mankind? In the last case an attenuation of the
effect of the common possession enters in, proportional to the size of
the group. Common characteristics function, it is true, as a basis for
union among the elements, but it does not specifically refer these
elements to each other. A similarity so widely shared might serve as a
common basis of each with every possible other. This too is evidently
one way in which a relation may at the same moment comprehend both
nearness and remoteness. To the extent to which the similarities become
general, the warmth of the connection which they effect will have an
element of coolness, a feeling in it of the adventitiousness of this
very connection. The powers which united have lost their specific,
centripetal character.

This constellation (in which similarities are shared by large numbers)
acquires, it seems to me, an extraordinary and fundamental
preponderance--as against the individual and personal elements we have
been discussing--in defining our relation to the stranger. The stranger
is near to us in so far as we feel between him and ourselves
similarities of nationality or social position, of profession or of
general human nature. He is far from us in so far as these similarities
reach out over him and us, and only ally us both because in fact they
ally a great many.

In this sense a trait of this strangeness easily comes into even the
most intimate relations. Erotic relations show a very decided aversion,
in the stage of first passion, to any disposition to think of them in
general terms. A love such as this (so the lover feels) has never
existed before, nor is there anything to be compared with our passion
for the beloved person. An estrangement is wont, whether as cause or as
result it is difficult to decide, to set in at that moment in which the
sentiment of uniqueness disappears from the connection. A scepticism of
its value in itself and for us fastens itself to the very thought that
after all one has only drawn the lot of general humanity, one has
experienced a thousand times re-enacted adventure, and that, if one had
not accidentally encountered this precise person, any other one would
have acquired the same meaning for us. And something of this cannot fail
to be present in any relation, be it ever so intimate, because that
which is common to the two is perhaps never common only to them but
belongs to a general conception, which includes much else, many
possibilities of similarities. As little actuality as they may have,
often as we may forget them, yet here and there they crowd in like
shadows between men, like a mist gliding before every word's meaning,
which must actually congeal into solid corporeality in order to be
called rivalry. Perhaps this is in many cases a more general, at least
more insurmountable, strangeness than that afforded by differences and
incomprehensibilities. There is a feeling, indeed, that these are
actually not the peculiar property of just that relation but of a more
general one that potentially refers to us and to an uncertain number of
others, and therefore the relation experienced has no inner and final

On the other hand, there is a sort of strangeness, in which this very
connection on the basis of a general quality embracing the parties is
precluded. The relation of the Greeks to the Barbarians is a typical
example; so are all the cases in which the general characteristics which
one takes as peculiarly and merely human are disallowed to the other.
But here the expression "the stranger" has no longer any positive
meaning. The relation with him is a non-relation. He is not a member of
the group itself. As such he is much more to be considered as near and
far at the same moment, seeing that the foundation of the relation is
now laid simply on a general human similarity. Between these two
elements there occurs, however, a peculiar tension, since the
consciousness of having only the absolutely general in common has
exactly the effect of bringing into particular emphasis that which is
not common. In the case of strangers according to country, city, or
race, the individual characteristics of the person are not perceived;
but attention is directed to his alien extraction which he has in common
with all the members of his group. Therefore the strangers are
perceived, not indeed as individuals, but chiefly as strangers of a
certain type. Their remoteness is no less general than their nearness.

With all his inorganic adjacency, the stranger is yet an organic member
of the group, whose uniform life is limited by the peculiar dependence
upon this element. Only we do not know how to designate the
characteristic unity of this position otherwise than by saying that it
is put together of certain amounts of nearness and of remoteness, which,
characterizing in some measure any sort of relation, determine in a
certain proportion and with characteristic mutual tension the specific,
formal relation of "the stranger."


1. Physical Contacts

The literature of the research upon social contacts falls naturally
under four heads: physical contacts, sensory contacts, primary contacts,
and secondary contacts.

The reaction of the person to contacts with things as contrasted with
his contacts with persons is an interesting chapter in social
psychology. Observation upon children shows that the individual tends to
respond to inanimate objects, particularly if they are unfamiliar, as if
they were living and social. The study of animism among primitive
peoples indicates that their attitude toward certain animals whom they
regarded as superior social beings is a specialization of this response.
A survey of the poetry of all times and races discloses that nature to
the poet as well as to the mystic is personal. Homesickness and
nostalgia are an indication of the personal and intimate nature of the
relation of man to the physical world.

It seems to be part of man's original nature to take the world socially
and personally. It is only as things become familiar and controllable
that he gains the concept of mechanism. It is natural science and
machinery that has made so large a part of the world impersonal for most
of us.

The scientific study of the actual reaction of persons and groups to
their physical environment is still in the pioneer stage. The
anthropogeographers have made many brilliant suggestions and a few
careful and critical studies of the direct and indirect effects of the
physical environment not merely upon man's social and political
organization but upon his temperament and conduct. Huntington's
suggestive observations upon the effect of climate upon manners and
efficiency have opened a wide field for investigation.[133]

Interest is growing in the psychology and sociology of the responses of
individuals and groups to the physical conditions of their environment.
Communities, large and small in this country, as they become civic
conscious, have devised city plans. New York has made an elaborate
report on the zoning of the city into business, industrial, and
residential areas. A host of housing surveys present realistic pictures
of actual conditions of physical existence from the standpoint of the
hygienic and social effects of low standards of dwelling, overcrowding,
the problem of the roomer. Even historic accounts and impressionistic
observations of art and ornament, decoration and dress, indicate the
relation of these material trappings to the self-consciousness of the
individual in his social milieu.

The reservation must be made that studies of zoning, city planning, and
housing have taken account of economic, aesthetic, and hygienic factors
rather than those of contacts. Implicit, however, in certain aspects of
these studies, certainly present often as an unconscious motive, has
been an appreciation of the effects of the urban, artificial physical
environment upon the responses and the very nature of plastic human
beings, creatures more than creators of the modern leviathan, the Great

Glimpses into the nature and process of these subtle effects appear only
infrequently in formal research. Occasionally such a book as _The
Spirit of Youth and the City Streets_ by Jane Addams throws a flood of
light upon the contrasts between the warmth, the sincerity, and the
wholesomeness of primary human responses and the sophistication, the
coldness, and the moral dangers of the secondary organization of urban

A sociological study of the effect of the artificial physical and social
environment of the city upon the person will take conscious account of
these social factors. The lack of attachment to home in the city tenant
as compared with the sentiments and status of home-ownership in the
village, the mobility of the urban dweller in his necessary routine of
work and his restless quest for pleasure, the sophistication, the front,
the self-seeking of the individual emancipated from the controls of the
primary group--all these represent problems for research.

There are occasional references in literature to what may be called the
inversion of the natural attitudes of the city child. His attention, his
responses, even his images become fixed by the stimuli of the city
streets.[134] To those interested in child welfare and human values this
is the supreme tragedy of the city.

2. Touch and the Primary Contacts of Intimacy

The study of the senses in their relations to personal and social
behavior had its origins in psychology, in psychoanalysis, in ethnology,
and in the study of races and nationalities with reference to the
conflict and fusion of cultures. Darwin's theory of the origin of the
species increased interest in the instincts and it was the study of the
instincts that led psychologists finally to define all forms of behavior
in terms of stimulus and response. A "contact" is simply a stimulation
that has significance for the understanding of group behavior.

In psychoanalysis, a rapidly growing literature is accessible to
sociologists upon the nature and the effects of the intimate contacts of
sex and family life. Indeed, the Freudian concept of the _libido_ may be
translated for sociological purposes into the desire for response. The
intensity of the sentiments of love and hate that cement and disrupt the
family is indicated in the analyses of the so-called "family romance."
Life histories reveal the natural tendencies toward reciprocal affection
of mother and son or father and daughter, and the mutual antagonism of
father and son or mother and daughter.

In ethnology, attention was early directed to the phenomena of taboo
with its injunction against contamination by contacts. The literature of
primitive communities is replete with the facts of avoidance of contact,
as between the sexes, between mother-in-law and son-in-law, with persons
"with the evil eye," etc. Frazer's volume on "Taboo and the Perils of
the Soul" in his series entitled _The Golden Bough_, and Crawley, in his
book, _The Mystic Rose_, to mention two outstanding examples, have
assembled, classified, and interpreted many types of taboo. In the
literature of taboo is found also the ritualistic distinction between
"the clean" and "the unclean" and the development of reverence and awe
toward "the sacred" and "the holy."

Recent studies of the conflict of races and nationalities, generally
considered as exclusively economic or political in nature, bring out the
significance of disgusts and fears based fundamentally upon
characteristic racial odors, marked variations in skin color and in
physiognomy as well as upon differences in food habits, personal
conduct, folkways, mores, and culture.

3. Primary Contacts of Acquaintanceship

Two of the best sociological statements of primary contacts are to be
found in Professor Cooley's analysis of primary groups in his book
_Social Organization_ and in Shaler's exposition of the sympathetic way
of approach in his volume _The Neighbor_. A mass of descriptive material
for the further study of the primary contacts is available from many
sources. Studies of primitive peoples indicate that early social
organizations were based upon ties of kinship and primary group
contacts. Village life in all ages and with all races exhibits absolute
standards and stringent primary controls of behavior. The Blue Laws of
Connecticut are little else than primary-group attitudes written into
law. Common law, the traditional code of legal conduct sanctioned by the
experience of primary groups, may be compared with statute law, which is
an abstract prescription for social life in secondary societies. Here
also should be included the consideration of programs and projects for
community organization upon the basis of primary contacts, as for
example, Ward's _The Social Center_.

4. Secondary Contacts

The transition from feudal societies of villages and towns to our modern
world-society of great cosmopolitan cities has received more attention
from economics and politics than from sociology. Studies of the
industrial basis of city life have given us the external pattern of the
city: its topographical conditions, the concentration of population as
an outcome of large-scale production, division of labor, and
specialization of effort. Research in municipal government has proceeded
from the muck-raking period, indicated by Lincoln Steffens' _The Shame
of the Cities_ to surveys of public utilities and city administration of
the type of those made by the New York Bureau of Municipal Research.

Social interest in the city was first stimulated by the polemics against
the political and social disorders of urban life. There were those who
would destroy the city in order to remedy its evils and restore the
simple life of the country. Sociology sought a surer basis for the
solution of the problems from a study of the facts of city life.
Statistics of population by governmental departments provide figures
upon conditions and tendencies. Community surveys have translated into
understandable form a mass of information about the formal aspects of
city life.

Naturally enough, sympathetic and arresting pictures of city life have
come from residents of settlements as in Jane Addam's _Twenty Years at
Hull House_, Robert Wood's _The City Wilderness_, Lillian Wald's _The
House on Henry Street_ and Mrs. Simkhovitch's _The City Worker's World_.
Georg Simmel has made the one outstanding contribution to a sociology
or, perhaps better, a social philosophy of the city in his paper "The
Great City and Cultural Life."



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Eighteenth Century in England._ London, 1890.

(5) Hammond, J. L., and Hammond, Barbara. _The Town Labourer,
1760-1832._ The new civilization. London, 1917.

(6) ----. _The Skilled Labourer_, 1760-1832. London, 1919. [Presents the
detailed history of particular bodies of skilled workers during the
great change of the Industrial Revolution.]

(7) Jastrow, J. "Die Stadtgemeinschaft in ihren kulturellen
Beziehungen." (Indicates the institutions which have come into existence
under conditions of urban community life.) _Zeitschrift für
Socialwissenschaft_, X (1907), 42-51, 92-101. [Bibliography.]

(8) Sombart, Werner. _The Jews and Modern Capitalism._ Translated from
the German by M. Epstein. London, 1913.

(9) ----. _The Quintessence of Capitalism._ A study of the history and
psychology of the modern business man. Translated from the German by M.
Epstein. New York, 1915.

(10) Wallas, Graham. _The Great Society._ A psychological analysis. New
York, 1914.

(11) Booth, Charles. _Life and Labour of the People in London._ V, East
London, chap, ii, "The Docks." III, chap, iv, "Influx of Population."
London, 1892.

(12) Marpillero, G. "Saggio di psicologia dell'urbanismo," _Rivista
italiana di sociologia_, XII (1908), 599-626.

(13) Besant, Walter. _East London._ London and New York, 1901.

(14) _The Pittsburgh Survey--the Pittsburgh District._ Robert A. Woods,
"Pittsburgh, an Interpretation." Allen T. Burns, "Coalition of
Pittsburgh Coal Fields." New York, 1914.

(15) _Hull House Maps and Papers._ A presentation of nationalities and
wages in a congested district of Chicago, together with comments and
essays on problems growing out of the social conditions. New York, 1895.

(16) Addams, Jane. _Twenty Years at Hull House._ With autobiographical
notes. New York, 1910.

(17) ----. _The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets._ New York, 1909.

(18) Simkhovitch, Mary K. _The City Worker's World in America._ New
York, 1917.

(19) Park, R. E., and Miller, H. A. _Old World Traits Transplanted._ New
York, 1921.

(20) Park, Robert E. _The Immigrant Press and Its Control._ (In press.)

(21) Steiner, J. F. _The Japanese Invasion._ A study in the psychology
of inter-racial contacts. Chicago, 1917.

(22) Thomas, W. I., and Znaniecki, F. _The Polish Peasant in Europe and
America._ Monograph of an immigrant group. Vol. IV, Chicago, 1918.

(23) Cahan, Abraham. _The Rise of David Levinsky._ A novel. New York and
London, 1917.

(24) Hasanovitz, Elizabeth. _One of Them._ Chapters from a passionate
autobiography. Boston, 1918.

(25) Ravage, M. E. _An American in the Making._ The life story of an
immigrant. New York and London, 1917.

(26) Ribbany, Abraham Mitrie. _A Far Journey._ Boston, 1914.

(27) Riis, Jacob A. _The Making of an American._ New York and London,

(28) Cohen, Rose. _Out of the Shadow._ New York, 1918.


1. The Land as the Basis for Social Contacts.

2. Density of Population, Social Contacts and Social Organization.

3. Mobility and Social Types, as the Gypsy, the Nomad, the Hobo, the
Pioneer, the Commercial Traveler, the Missionary, the Globe-Trotter, the
Wandering Jew.

4. Stability and Social Types, as the Farmer, the Home-Owner, the
Business Man.

5. Sensory Experience and Human Behavior. Nostalgia (Homesickness).

6. Race Prejudice and Primary Contacts.

7. Taboo and Social Contact.

8. Social Contacts in a Primary Group, as the Family, the Play Group,
the Neighborhood, the Village.

9. Social Control in Primary Groups.

10. The Substitution of Secondary for Primary Contacts as the Cause of
Social Problems, as Poverty, Crime, Prostitution, etc.

11. Control of Problems through Secondary Contacts, as Charity
Organization Society, Social Service Registration Bureau, Police
Department, Morals Court, Publicity through the Press, etc.

12. The Industrial Revolution and the Great Society.

13. Attempts to Revive Primary Groups in the City, as the Social Center,
the Settlement, the Social Unit Experiment, etc.

14. Attempts to Restore Primary Contacts between Employer and Employee.

15. The Anonymity of the Newspaper.

16. Standardization and Impersonality of the Great Society.

17. The Sociology of the Stranger; a Study of the Revivalist, the
Expert, the Genius, the Trader.


1. What do you understand by the term contact?

2. What are the ways in which geographic conditions influence social

3. What are the differences in contact with the land between primitive
and modern peoples?

4. In what ways do increasing social contacts affect contacts with the
soil? Give concrete illustrations.

5. What is the social significance of touch as compared with that of the
other senses?

6. In what sense is touch a social contact?

7. By what principle do you explain desire or aversion for contact?

8. Give illustrations indicating the significance of touch in various
fields of social life.

9. How do you explain the impulse to touch objects which attract

10. What are the differences in contacts within and without the group in
primitive society?

11. In what way do external relations affect the contacts within the

12. Give illustrations of group egotism or ethnocentrism.

13. To what extent does the dependence of the solidarity of the in-group
upon its relations with the out-groups have a bearing upon present
international relations?

14. To what extent is the social control of the immigrant dependent upon
the maintenance of the solidarity of the immigrant group?

15. What are our reactions upon meeting a person? a friend? a stranger?

16. What do you understand Shaler to mean by the statement that "at the
beginning of any acquaintance the fellow-being is evidently dealt with
in the categoric way"?

17. How far is "the sympathetic way of approach" practical in human

18. What is the difference in the basis of continuity between animal and
human society?

19. What types of social contacts make for historical continuity?

20. What are the differences of social contacts in the movements of
primitive and civilized peoples?

21. To what extent is civilization dependent upon increasing contacts
and intimacy of contacts?

22. Does mobility always mean increasing contacts?

23. Under what conditions does mobility contribute to the increase of

24. Does the hobo get more experience than the schoolboy?

25. Contrast the advantages and limitations of historical continuity and
of mobility.

26. What do you understand by a primary group?

27. Are primary contacts limited to members of face-to-face groups?

28. What attitudes and relations characterize village life?

29. Interpret sociologically the control by the group of the behavior of
the individual in a rural community.

30. Why has the growth of the city resulted in the substitution of
secondary for primary social contacts?

31. What problems grow out of the breakdown of primary relations? What
problems are solved by the breakdown of primary relations?

32. Do the contacts of city life make for the development of
individuality? personality? social types?

33. In what ways does publicity function as a form of secondary contact
in American life?

34. Why does the European peasant first become a reader of newspapers
after his immigration to the United States?

35. Why does the shift from country to city involve a change (a) from
concrete to abstract relations; (b) from absolute to relative
standards of life; (c) from personal to impersonal relations; and
(d) from sentimental to rational attitudes?

36. How far is social solidarity based upon concrete and sentimental
rather than upon abstract and rational relations?

37. Why does immigration make for change from sentimental to rational
attitudes toward life?

38. In what way is capitalism associated with the growth of secondary

39. How does "the stranger" include externality and intimacy?

40. In what ways would you illustrate the relation described by Simmel
that combines "the near" and "the far"?

41. Why is it that "the stranger" is associated with revolutions and
destructive forces in the group?

42. Why does "the stranger" have prestige?

43. In what sense is the attitude of the academic man that of "the
stranger" as compared with the attitude of the practical man?

44. To what extent does the professional man have the characteristics of
"the stranger"?

45. Why does the feeling of a relation as unique give it value that it
loses when thought of as shared by others?

46. What would be the effect upon the problem of the relation of the
whites and negroes in the United States of the recognition that this
relation is of the same kind as that which exists between other races in
similar situations?


[117] Alexander Pope, in smooth lines, and with apt phrases, has
concretely described this process of perversion:

    "Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
    As to be hated needs but to be seen;
    Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
    We first endure, then pity, then embrace."

[118] H. S. Jennings, John B. Watson, Adolph Meyer, and W. I. Thomas,
"Practical and Theoretical Problems in Instinct and Habit," _Suggestions
of Modern Science Concerning Education_, p. 174.

[119] See Introduction, pp. 8-10.

[120] Thorstein Veblin, _The Instinct of Workmanship, and the State of
the Industrial Arts_. (New York, 1914.)

[121] From Albion W. Small, _General Sociology_, pp. 486-89. (The
University of Chicago Press, 1905.)

[122] From Ellen C. Semple, _Influences of Geographic Environment_, pp.
51-53. (Henry Holt & Co., 1911.)

[123] From Ernest Crawley, _The Mystic Rose_, pp. 76-79. (Published by
The Macmillan Co., 1902. Reprinted by permission.)

[124] From W. G. Sumner, _Folkways_, pp. 12-13. (Ginn & Co., 1906.)

[125] Adapted from N. S. Shaler, _The Neighbor_, pp. 207-27. (Houghton
Mifflin Co., 1904.)

[126] From Friedrich Ratzel, _The History of Mankind_, I, 21-25.
(Published by The Macmillan Co., 1896. Reprinted by permission.)

[127] Adapted from Ellen C. Semple, _Influences of Geographic
Environment_, pp. 75-84, 186-87. (Henry Holt & Co., 1911.)

[128] Adapted from Caroline C. Richards, _Village Life in America_, pp.
21-138. (Henry Holt & Co., 1912.)

[129] From Robert E. Park, "The City," in the _American Journal of
Sociology_, XX (1914-15), 593-609.

[130] From Robert E. Park, "The City," in the _American Journal of
Sociology_, XX (1914-15), 604-7.

[131] Adapted from Werner Sombart, _The Quintessence of Capitalism_, pp.
292-307. (T. F. Unwin, Ltd., 1915.)

[132] Translated from Georg Simmel, _Soziologie_, pp. 685-91. (Leipzig:
Duncker und Humblot, 1908.)

[133] Ellsworth Huntington, _Climate and Civilization_. (New Haven,

[134] The following is one of the typical illustrations of this point.
An art teacher conducted a group of children from a settlement, in a
squalid city area, to the country. She asked the children to draw any
object they wished. On examination of the drawings she was astonished to
find not rural scenes but pictures of the city streets, as lamp-posts
and smokestacks.




1. The Concept of Interaction

The idea of interaction is not a notion of common sense. It represents
the culmination of long-continued reflection by human beings in their
ceaseless effort to resolve the ancient paradox of unity in diversity,
the "one" and the "many," to find law and order in the apparent chaos of
physical changes and social events; and thus to find explanations for
the behavior of the universe, of society, and of man.

The disposition to be curious and reflective about the physical and
social universe is human enough. For men, in distinction from animals,
live in a world of ideas as well as in a realm of immediate reality.
This world of ideas is something more than the mirror that
sense-perception offers us; something less than that ultimate reality to
which it seems to be a prologue and invitation. Man, in his ambition to
be master of himself and of nature, looks behind the mirror, to analyze
phenomena and seek causes, in order to gain control. Science, natural
science, is a research for causes, that is to say, for mechanisms, which
in turn find application in technical devices, organization, and
machinery, in which mankind asserts its control over physical nature and
eventually over man himself. Education, in its technical aspects at
least, is a device of social control, just as the printing press is an
instrument that may be used for the same purpose.

Sociology, like other natural sciences, aims at prediction and control
based on an investigation of the nature of man and society, and nature
means here, as elsewhere in science, just those aspects of life that are
determined and predictable. In order to describe man and society in
terms which will reveal their nature, sociology is compelled to reduce
the complexity and richness of life to the simplest terms, i.e.,
elements and forces. Once the concepts "elements" or "forces" have been
accepted, the notion of interaction is an evitable, logical development.
In astronomy, for example, these elements are (a) the masses of the
heavenly bodies, (b) their position, (c) the direction of their
movement, and (d) their velocity. In sociology, these forces are
institutions, tendencies, human beings, ideas, anything that embodies
and expresses motives and wishes. In _principle_, and with reference to
their logical character, the "forces" and "elements" in sociology may be
compared with the forces and elements in any other natural science.

Ormond, in his _Foundations of Knowledge_,[135] gives an illuminating
analysis of interaction as a concept which may be applied equally to the
behavior of physical objects and persons.

     The notion of interaction is not simple but very complex. The
     notion involves not simply the idea of bare collision and
     rebound, but something much more profound, namely, the internal
     modifiability of the colliding agents. Take for example the
     simplest possible case, that of one billiard ball striking
     against another. We say that the impact of one ball against
     another communicates motion, so that the stricken ball passes
     from a state of rest to one of motion, while the striking ball
     has experienced a change of an opposite character. But nothing
     is explained by this account, for if nothing happens but the
     communication of motion, why does it not pass through the
     stricken ball and leave its state unchanged? The phenomenon
     cannot be of this simple character, but there must be a point
     somewhere at which the recipient of the impulse gathers itself
     up, so to speak, into a knot and becomes the subject of the
     impulse which is thus translated into movement. We have thus
     movement, impact, impulse, which is translated again into
     activity, and outwardly the billiard ball changing from a state
     of rest to one of motion; or in the case of the impelling ball,
     from a state of motion to one of rest. Now the case of the
     billiard balls is one of the simpler examples of interaction.
     We have seen that the problem it supplies is not simple but
     very complex. The situation is not thinkable at all if we do
     not suppose the internal modifiability of the agents, and this
     means that these agents are able somehow to receive internally
     and to react upon impulses which are communicated externally in
     the form of motion or activity. The simplest form of
     interaction involves the supposition, therefore, of internal
     subject-points or their analogues from which impulsions are
     received and responded to.

Simmel, among sociological writers, although he nowhere expressly
defines the term, has employed the conception of interaction with a
clear sense of its logical significance. Gumplowicz, on the other hand,
has sought to define social interaction as a principle fundamental to
all natural sciences, that is to say, sciences that seek to describe
change in terms of a process, i.e., physics, chemistry, biology,
psychology. The logical principle is the same in all these sciences; the
_processes_ and the _elements_ are different.

2. Classification of the Materials

The material in this chapter will be considered here under three main
heads: (a) society as interaction, (b) communication as the medium
of interaction, and (c) imitation and suggestion as mechanisms of

a) _Society as interaction._--Society stated in mechanistic terms
reduces to interaction. A person is a member of society so long as he
responds to social forces; when interaction ends, he is isolated and
detached; he ceases to be a person and becomes a "lost soul." This is
the reason that the limits of society are coterminous with the limits of
interaction, that is, of the participation of persons in the life of
society. One way of measuring the wholesome or the normal life of a
person is by the sheer external fact of his membership in the social
groups of the community in which his lot is cast.

Simmel has illustrated in a wide survey of concrete detail how
interaction defines the group in time and space. Through contacts of
historical continuity, the life of society extends backward to
prehistoric eras. More potent over group behavior than contemporary
discovery and invention is the control exerted by the "dead hand of the
past" through the inertia of folkways and mores, through the revival of
memories and sentiments and through the persistence of tradition and
culture. Contacts of mobility, on the other hand, define the area of the
interaction of the members of the group in space. The degree of
departure from accepted ideas and modes of behavior and the extent of
sympathetic approach to the strange and the novel largely depend upon
the rate, the number, and the intensity of the contacts of mobility.

b) _Communication as the medium of social interaction._--Each science
postulates its own medium of interaction. Astronomy and physics assume
a hypothetical substance, the ether. Physics has its principles of molar
action and reaction; chemistry studies molecular interaction. Biology
and medicine direct their research to the physiological interaction of
organisms. Psychology is concerned with the behavior of the individual
organism in terms of the interaction of stimuli and responses.
Sociology, as collective psychology, deals with communication.
Sociologists have referred to this process as intermental stimulation
and response.

The readings on communication are so arranged as to make clear the three
natural levels of interaction: (x) that of the senses; (y) that of
the emotions; and (z) that of sentiments and ideas.

Interaction through sense-perceptions and emotional responses may be
termed the natural forms of communication since they are common to man
and to animals. Simmel's interpretation of interaction through the
senses is suggestive of the subtle, unconscious, yet profound, way in
which personal attitudes are formed. Not alone vision, but hearing,
smell and touch exhibit in varying degrees the emotional responses of
the type of appreciation. This means understanding other persons or
objects on the perceptual basis.

The selections from Darwin and from Morgan upon emotional expression in
animals indicate how natural expressive signs become a vehicle for
communication. A prepossession for speech and ideas blinds man to the
important rôle in human conduct still exerted by emotional
communication, facial expression, and gesture. Blushing and laughter are
peculiarly significant, because these forms of emotional response are
distinctively human. To say that a person blushes when he is
self-conscious, that he laughs when he is detached from, and superior
to, and yet interested in, an occurrence means that blushing and
laughter represent contrasted attitudes to a social situation. The
relation of blushing and laughter to social control, as an evidence of
the emotional dependence of the person upon the group, is at its apogee
in adolescence.

Interaction through sensory impressions and emotional expression is
restricted to the communication of attitudes and feelings. The
selections under the heading "Language and the Communication of Ideas"
bring out the uniquely human character of speech. Concepts, as Max
Müller insists, are the common symbols wrought out in social experience.
They are more or less conventionalized, objective, and intelligible
symbols that have been defined in terms of a common experience or, as
the logicians say, of a universe of discourse. Every group has its own
universe of discourse. In short, to use Durkheim's phrase, concepts are
"collective representations."

History has been variously conceived in terms of great events,
epoch-making personalities, social movements, and cultural changes. From
the point of view of sociology social evolution might profitably be
studied in its relation to the development and perfection of the means
and technique of communication. How revolutionary was the transition
from word of mouth and memory to written records! The beginnings of
ancient civilization with its five independent centers in Egypt, the
Euphrates River Valley, China, Mexico, and Peru appear to be
inextricably bound up with the change from pictographs to writing, that
is to say from symbols representing words to symbols representing
sounds. The modern period began with the invention of printing and the
printing press. As books became the possession of the common man the
foundation was laid for experiments in democracy. From the sociological
standpoint the book is an organized objective mind whose thoughts are
accessible to all. The rôle of the book in social life has long been
recognized but not fully appreciated. The Christian church, to be sure,
regards the Bible as the word of God. The army does not question the
infallibility of the Manual of Arms. Our written Constitution has been
termed "the ark of the covenant." The orthodox Socialist appeals in
unquestioning faith to the ponderous tomes of Marx.

World-society of today, which depends upon the almost instantaneous
communication of events and opinion around the world, rests upon the
invention of telegraphy and the laying of the great ocean cables.
Wireless telegraphy and radio have only perfected these earlier means
and render impossible a monopoly or a censorship of intercommunication
between peoples. The traditional cultures, the social inheritances of
ages of isolation, are now in a world-process of interaction and
modification as a result of the rapidity and the impact of these modern
means of the circulation of ideas and sentiments. At the present time it
is so popular to malign the newspaper that few recognize the extent to
which news has freed mankind from the control of political parties,
social institutions, and, it may be added, from the "tyranny" of books.

c) _Imitation and suggestion the mechanistic forms of
interaction._--In all forms of communication behavior changes occur, but
in two cases the processes have been analyzed, defined, and reduced to
simple terms, viz., in imitation and in suggestion.

Imitation, as the etymology of the term implies, is a process of copying
or learning. But imitation is learning only so far as it has the
character of an experiment, or trial and error. It is also obvious that
so-called "instinctive" imitation is not learning at all. Since the
results of experimental psychology have limited the field of instinctive
imitation to a few simple activities, as the tendencies to run when
others run, to laugh when others laugh, its place in human life becomes
of slight importance as compared with imitation which involves
persistent effort at reproducing standard patterns of behavior.

This human tendency, under social influences, to reproduce the copy
Stout has explained in psychological terms of attention and interest.
The interests determine the run of attention, and the direction of
attention fixes the copies to be imitated. Without in any way
discounting the psychological validity of this explanation, or its
practical value in educational application, social factors controlling
interest and attention should not be disregarded. In a primary group,
social control narrowly restricts the selection of patterns and
behavior. In an isolated group the individual may have no choice
whatsoever. Then, again, attention may be determined, not by interests
arising from individual capacity or aptitude, but rather from _rapport_,
that is, from interest in the prestige or in the personal traits of the
individual presenting the copy.

The relation of the somewhat complex process of imitation to the simple
method of trial and error is of significance. Learning by imitation
implies at once both identification of the person with the individual
presenting the copy and yet differentiation from him. Through imitation
we appreciate the other person. We are in sympathy or _en rapport_ with
him, while at the same time we appropriate his sentiment and his
technique. Ribot and Adam Smith analyze this relation of imitation to
sympathy and Hirn points out that in art this process of internal
imitation is indispensable for aesthetic appreciation.

In this process of appreciation and learning the primitive method of
trial and error comes into the service of imitation. In a real sense
imitation is mechanical and conservative; it provides a basis for
originality, but its function is to transmit, not to originate the new.
On the other hand, the simple process of trial and error, a common
possession of man and the animals, results in discovery and invention.

The most scientifically controlled situation for the play of suggestion
is in hypnosis. An analysis of the observed facts of hypnotism will be
helpful in arriving at an understanding of the mechanism of suggestion
in everyday life. The essential facts of hypnotism may be briefly
summarized as follows: (a) The establishment of a relation of
_rapport_ between the experimenter and the subject of such a nature that
the latter carries out suggestions presented by the former. (b) The
successful response by the subject to the suggestion is conditional upon
its relation to his past experience. (c) The subject responds to his
own idea of the suggestion, and not to the idea as conceived by the
experimenter. A consideration of cases is sufficient to convince the
student of a complete parallel between suggestion in social life with
suggestion in hypnosis, so far, at least, as concerns the last two
points. Wherever rapport develops between persons, as in the love of
mother and son, the affection of lovers, the comradeship of intimate
friends, there also arises the mechanism of the reciprocal influence of
suggestion. But in normal social situations, unlike hypnotism, there may
be the effect of suggestion where no rapport exists.

Herein lies the significance of the differentiation made by Bechterew
between active perception and passive perception. In passive perception
ideas and sentiments evading the "ego" enter the "subconscious mind"
and, uncontrolled by the active perception, form organizations or
complexes of "lost" memories. It thus comes about that in social
situations, where no rapport exists between two persons, a suggestion
may be made which, by striking the right chord of memory or by
resurrecting a forgotten sentiment, may transform the life of the other,
as in conversion. The area of suggestion in social life is indicated in
a second paper selected from Bechterew. In later chapters upon "Social
Control" and "Collective Behavior" the mechanism of suggestion in the
determination of group behavior will be further considered.

Imitation and suggestion are both mechanisms of social interaction in
which an individual or group is controlled by another individual or
group. The distinction between the two processes is now clear. The
characteristic mark of imitation is the tendency, under the influence of
copies socially presented, to build up mechanisms of habits, sentiments,
ideals, and patterns of life. The process of suggestion, as
differentiated from imitation in social interaction, is to release under
the appropriate social stimuli mechanisms already organized, whether
instincts, habits, or sentiments. The other differences between
imitation and suggestion grow out of this fundamental distinction. In
imitation attention is alert, now on the copy and now on the response.
In suggestion the attention is either absorbed in, or distracted from,
the stimulus. In imitation the individual is self conscious; the subject
in suggestion is unconscious of his behavior. In imitation the activity
tends to reproduce the copy; in suggestion the response may be like or
unlike the copy.



1. The Mechanistic Interpretation of Society[136]

In every natural process we may observe the two essential factors which
constitute it, namely, heterogeneous elements and their reciprocal
interaction which we ascribe to certain natural forces. We observe these
factors in the natural process of the stars, by which the different
heavenly bodies exert certain influences over each other, which we
ascribe either to the force of attraction or to gravity.

"No material bond unites the planets to the sun. The direct activity of
an elementary force, the general force of attraction, holds both in an
invisible connection by the elasticity of its influence."

In the chemical natural process we observe the most varied elements
related to each other in the most various ways. They attract or repulse
each other. They enter into combinations or they withdraw from them.
These are nothing but actions and interactions which we ascribe to
certain forces inherent in these elements.

The vegetable and animal natural process begins, at any rate, with the
contact of heterogeneous elements which we characterize as sexual cells
(gametes). They exert upon each other a reciprocal influence which sets
into activity the vegetable and animal process.

The extent to which science is permeated by the hypothesis that
heterogeneous elements reacting upon each other are necessary to a
natural process is best indicated by the atomic theory.

Obviously, it is conceded that the origins of all natural processes
cannot better be explained than by the assumption of the existence in
bodies of invisible particles, each of which has some sort of separate
existence and reacts upon the others.

The entire hypothesis is only the consequence of the concept of a
natural process which the observation of nature has produced in the
human mind.

Even though we conceive the social process as characteristic and
different from the four types of natural processes mentioned above,
still there must be identified in it the two essential factors which
constitute the generic conception of the natural process. And this is,
in fact, what we find. The numberless human groups, which we assume as
the earliest beginnings of human existence, constitute the great variety
of heterogeneous ethnic elements. These have decreased with the decrease
in the number of hordes and tribes. From the foregoing explanation we
are bound to assume as certain that in this field we are concerned with
ethnically different and heterogeneous elements.

The question now remains as to the second constitutive element of a
natural process, namely, the definite interaction of these elements, and
especially as to those interactions which are characterized by
regularity and permanency. Of course, we must avoid analogy with the
reciprocal interaction of heterogeneous elements in the domain of other
natural processes. In strict conformity with the scientific method we
take into consideration merely such interactions as the facts of common
knowledge and actual experience offer us. Thus will we be able, happily,
to formulate a principle of the reciprocal interaction of heterogeneous
ethnic, or, if you will, social elements, the mathematical certainty and
universality of which cannot be denied irrefutably, since it manifests
itself ever and everywhere in the field of history and the living

This principle may be very simply stated: Every stronger ethnic or
social group strives to subjugate and make serviceable to its purposes
every weaker element which exists or may come within the field of its
influence. This thesis of the relation of heterogeneous ethnic and
social elements to each other, with all the consequences proceeding
from it, contains within it the key to the solution of the entire riddle
of the natural process of human history. We shall see this thesis
illustrated ever and everywhere in the past and the present in the
interrelations of heterogeneous ethnic and social elements and become
convinced of its universal validity. In this latter relation it does not
correspond at all to such natural laws, as, for example, attraction and
gravitation or chemical affinity, or to the laws of vegetable and animal
life. In order better to conceive of this social natural law in its
general validity, we must study it in its different consequences and in
the various forms which it assumes according to circumstances and

2. Social Interaction as the Definition of the Group in Time and

Society exists wherever several individuals are in reciprocal
relationship. This reciprocity arises always from specific impulses or
by virtue of specific purposes. Erotic, religious, or merely associative
impulses, purposes of defense or of attack, of play as well as of gain,
of aid and instruction, and countless others bring it to pass that men
enter into group relationships of acting for, with, against, one
another; that is, men exercise an influence upon these conditions of
association and are influenced by them. These reactions signify that out
of the individual bearers of those occasioning impulses and purposes a
unity, that is, a "society," comes into being.

An organic body is a unity because its organs are in a relationship of
more intimate interchange of their energies than with any external
being. A _state_ is _one_ because between its citizens the corresponding
relationship of reciprocal influences exists. We could, indeed, not call
the world _one_ if each of its parts did not somehow influence every
other, if anywhere the reciprocity of the influences, however mediated,
were cut off. That unity, or socialization, may, according to the kind
and degree of reciprocity, have very different gradations, from the
ephemeral combination for a promenade to the family; from all
relationships "at will" to membership in a state; from the temporary
aggregation of the guests in a hotel to the intimate bond of a medieval

Everything now which is present in the individuals--the immediate
concrete locations of all historical actuality--in the nature of
impulse, interest, purpose, inclination, psychical adaptability, and
movement of such sort that thereupon or therefrom occurs influence upon
others, or the reception of influence from them--all this I designate as
the content or the material of socialization. In and of themselves,
these materials with which life is filled, these motivations which impel
it, are not social in their nature. Neither hunger nor love, neither
labor nor religiosity, neither the technique nor the functions and
results of intelligence, as they are given immediately and in their
strict sense, signify socialization. On the contrary, they constitute it
only when they shape the isolated side-by-sideness of the individuals
into definite forms of with-and-for-one-another, which belong under the
general concept of reciprocity. Socialization is thus the _form_,
actualizing itself in countless various types, in which the
individuals--on the basis of those interests, sensuous or ideal,
momentary or permanent, conscious or unconscious, casually driving or
purposefully leading--grow together into a unity, and within which these
interests come to realization.

That which constitutes "society" is evidently types of reciprocal
influencing. Any collection of human beings whatsoever becomes
"society," not by virtue of the fact that in each of the number there is
a life-content which actuates the individual as such, but only when the
vitality of these contents attains the form of reciprocal influencing.
Only when an influence is exerted, whether immediately or through a
third party, from one upon another has society come into existence in
place of a mere spatial juxtaposition or temporal contemporaneousness or
succession of individuals. If, therefore, there is to be a science, the
object of which is to be "society" and nothing else, it can investigate
only these reciprocal influences, these kinds and forms of
socialization. For everything else found within "society" and realized
by means of it is not "society" itself, but merely a content which
builds or is built by this form of coexistence, and which indeed only
together with "society" brings into existence the real structure,
"society," in the wider and usual sense.

The persistence of the group presents itself in the fact that, in spite
of the departure and the change of members, the group remains identical.
We say that it is the same state, the same association, the same army,
which now exists that existed so and so many decades or centuries ago;
this, although no single member of the original organization remains.
Here is one of the cases in which the temporal order of events presents
a marked analogy with the spatial order. Out of individuals existing
side by side, that is, apart from each other, a social unity is formed.
The inevitable separation which space places between men is nevertheless
overcome by the spiritual bond between them, so that there arises an
appearance of unified interexistence. In like manner the temporal
separation of individuals and of generations presents their union in our
conceptions as a coherent, uninterrupted whole. In the case of persons
spatially separated, this unity is effected by the reciprocity
maintained between them across the dividing distance. The unity of
complex being means nothing else than the cohesion of elements which is
produced by the reciprocal exercise of forces. In the case of temporally
separated persons, however, unity cannot be effected in this manner,
because reciprocity is lacking. The earlier may influence the later, but
the later cannot influence the earlier. Hence the persistence of the
social unity in spite of shifting membership presents a peculiar problem
which is not solved by explaining how the group came to exist at a given

a) _Continuity by continuance of locality._--The first and most
obvious element of the continuity of group unity is the continuance of
the locality, of the place and soil on which the group lives. The state,
still more the city, and also countless other associations, owe their
unity first of all to the territory which constitutes the abiding
substratum for all change of their contents. To be sure, the continuance
of the locality does not of itself alone mean the continuance of the
social unity, since, for instance, if the whole population of a state is
driven out or enslaved by a conquering group, we speak of a changed
civic group in spite of the continuance of the territory. Moreover, the
unity of whose character we are speaking is psychical, and it is this
psychical factor itself which makes the territorial substratum a unity.
After this has once taken place, however, the locality constitutes an
essential point of attachment for the further persistence of the group.
But it is only one such element, for there are groups that get along
without a local substratum. On the one hand, there are the very small
groups, like the family, which continue precisely the same after the
residence is changed. On the other hand, there are the very large
groups, like that ideal community of the "republic of letters," or the
other international associations in the interest of culture, or the
groups conducting international commerce. Their peculiar character
comes from entire independence of all attachment to a definite locality.

b) _Continuity through blood relationship._--In contrast with this
more formal condition for the maintenance of the group is the
physiological connection of the generations. Community of stock is not
always enough to insure unity of coherence for a long time. In many
cases the local unity must be added. The social unity of the Jews has
been weakened to a marked degree since the dispersion, in spite of their
physiological and confessional unity. It has become more compact in
cases where a group of Jews have lived for a time in the same territory,
and the efforts of the modern "Zionism" to restore Jewish unity on a
larger scale calculate upon concentration in one locality. On the other
hand, when other bonds of union fail, the physiological is the last
recourse to which the self-maintenance of the group resorts. The more
the German guilds declined, the weaker their inherent power of cohesion
became, the more energetically did each guild attempt to make itself
exclusive, that is, it insisted that no persons should be admitted as
guildmasters except sons or sons-in-law of masters or the husbands of
masters' widows.

The physiological coherence of successive generations is of incomparable
significance for the maintenance of the unitary self of the group, for
the special reason that the displacement of one generation by the
following _does not take place all at once_. By virtue of this fact it
comes about that a continuity is maintained which conducts the vast
majority of the individuals who live in a given moment into the life of
the next moment. The change, the disappearance and entrance of persons,
affects in two contiguous moments a number relatively small compared
with the number of those who remain constant. Another element of
influence in this connection is the fact that human beings are not bound
to a definite mating season, but that children are begotten at any time.
It can never properly be asserted of a group, therefore, that at any
given moment a new generation begins. The departure of the older and the
entrance of the younger elements proceed so gradually and continuously
that the group seems as much like a unified self as an organic body in
spite of the change of its atoms.

If the change were instantaneous, it is doubtful if we should be
justified in calling the group "the same" after the critical moment as
before. The circumstance alone that the transition affected in a given
moment only a minimum of the total life of the group makes it possible
for the group to retain its selfhood through the change. We may express
this schematically as follows: If the totality of individuals or other
conditions of the life of the group be represented by a, b, c, d, e; in
a later moment by m, n, o, p, q; we may nevertheless speak of the
persistence of identical selfhood if the development takes the following
course: a, b, c, d, e--m, b, c, d, e--m, n, c, d, e--m, n, o, d, e--m,
n, o, p, e--m, n, o, p, q. In this case each stage is differentiated
from the contiguous stage by only one member, and at each moment it
shares the same chief elements with its neighboring moments.

c) _Continuity through membership in the group._--This continuity in
change of the individuals who are the vehicles of the group unity is
most immediately and thoroughly visible when it rests upon procreation.
The same form is found, however, in cases where this physical agency is
excluded, as, for example, within the Catholic clerus. Here the
continuity is secured by provision that enough persons always remain in
office to initiate the neophytes. This is an extremely important
sociological fact. It makes bureaucracies tenacious, and causes their
character and spirit to endure in spite of all shifting of individuals.
The physiological basis of self-maintenance here gives place to a
psychological one. To speak exactly, the preservation of group identity
in this case depends, of course, upon the amount of invariability in the
vehicles of this unity, but, at all events, the whole body of members
belonging in the group at any given moment only separate from the group
after they have been associated with their successors long enough to
assimilate the latter fully to themselves, i.e., to the spirit, the
form, the tendency of the group. The immortality of the group depends
upon the fact that the change is sufficiently slow and gradual.

The fact referred to by the phrase "immortality of the group" is of the
greatest importance. The preservation of the identical selfhood of the
group through a practically unlimited period gives to the group a
significance which, _ceteris paribus_, is far superior to that of the
individual. The life of the individual, with its purposes, its
valuations, its force, is destined to terminate within a limited time,
and to a certain extent each individual must start at the beginning.
Since the life of the group has no such a priori fixed time limit, and
its forms are really arranged as though they were to last forever, the
group accomplishes a summation of the achievements, powers, experiences,
through which it makes itself far superior to the fragmentary individual
lives. Since the early Middle Ages this has been the source of the power
of municipal corporations in England. Each had from the beginning the
right, as Stubbs expresses it, "of perpetuating its existence by filling
up vacancies as they occur." The ancient privileges were given expressly
only to the burghers and their heirs. As a matter of fact, they were
exercised as a right to add new members so that, whatever fate befell
the members and their physical descendants, the corporation, as such,
was held intact. This had to be paid for, to be sure, by the
disappearance of the individual importance of the units behind their
rôle as vehicles of the maintenance of the group, for the group security
must suffer, the closer it is bound up with the perishable individuality
of the units. On the other hand, the more anonymous and unpersonal the
unit is, the more fit is he to step into the place of another, and so to
insure to the group uninterrupted self-maintenance. This was the
enormous advantage through which during the Wars of the Roses the
Commons repulsed the previously superior power of the upper house. A
battle that destroyed half the nobility of the country took also from
the House of Lords one-half its force, because this is attached to the
personalities. The House of Commons is in principle assured against such
weakening. That estate at last got predominance which, through the
equalizing of its members, demonstrated the most persistent power of
group existence. This circumstance gives every group an advantage in
competition with an individual.

d) _Continuity through leadership._--On this account special
arrangements are necessary so soon as the life of the group is
intimately bound up with that of a leading, commanding individual. What
dangers to the integrity of the group are concealed in this sociological
form may be learned from the history of all interregnums--dangers which,
of course, increase in the same ratio in which the ruler actually forms
the central point of the functions through which the group preserves its
unity, or, more correctly, at each moment creates its unity anew.
Consequently a break between rulers may be a matter of indifference
where the prince only exercises a nominal sway--"reigns, but does not
govern"--while, on the other hand, we observe even in the swarm of bees
that anarchy results so soon as the queen is removed. Although it is
entirely false to explain this latter phenomenon by analogy of a human
ruler, since the queen bee gives no orders, yet the queen occupies the
middle point of the activity of the hive. By means of her antennae she
is in constant communication with the workers, and so all the signals
coursing through the hive pass through her. By virtue of this very fact
the hive feels itself a unity, and this unity dissolves with the
disappearance of the functional center.

e) _Continuity through the hereditary principle._--In political groups
the attempt is made to guard against all the dangers of personality,
particularly those of possible intervals between the important persons,
by the principle: "The king never dies." While in the early Middle Ages
the tradition prevailed that when the king dies his peace dies with him,
this newer principle contains provision for the self-preservation of the
group. It involves an extraordinarily significant sociological
conception, viz., the king is no longer king as a person, but the
reverse is the case, that is, his person is only the in itself
irrelevant vehicle of the abstract kingship, which is as unalterable as
the group itself, of which the kingship is the apex. The group reflects
its immortality upon the kingship, and the sovereign in return brings
that immortality to visible expression in his own person, and by so
doing reciprocally strengthens the vitality of the group. That mighty
factor of social coherence which consists of loyalty of sentiment toward
the reigning power might appear in very small groups in the relation of
fidelity toward the person of the ruler. For large groups the definition
that Stubbs once gave must certainly apply, viz.: "Loyalty is a habit of
strong and faithful attachment to a person, not so much by reason of his
personal character as of his official position." By becoming objectified
in the deathless office, the princely principle gains a new
psychological power for concentration and cohesion within the group,
while the old princely principle that rested on the mere personality of
the prince necessarily lost power as the size of the group increased.

f) _Continuity through a material symbol._--The objectification of the
coherence of the group may also do away with the personal form to such
an extent that it attaches itself to a material symbol. Thus in the
German lands in the Middle Ages the imperial jewels were looked upon as
the visible realization of the idea of the realm and of its continuity,
so that the possession of them gave to a pretender a decided advantage
over all other aspirants, and this was one of the influences which
evidently assisted the heir of the body of the deceased emperor in
securing the succession.

In view of the destructibility of a material object, since too this
disadvantage cannot be offset, as in the case of a person, by the
continuity of heredity, it is very dangerous for the group to seek such
a support for its self-preservation. Many a regiment has lost its
coherence with the loss of its standard. Many kinds of associations have
dissolved after their palladium, their storehouse, their grail, was
destroyed. When, however, the social coherence is lost in this way, it
is safe to say that it must have suffered serious internal disorder
before, and that in this case the loss of the external symbol
representing the unity of the group is itself only the symbol that the
social elements have lost their coherence. When this last is not the
case, the loss of the group symbol not only has no disintegrating effect
but it exerts a direct integrating influence. While the symbol loses its
corporeal reality, it may, as mere thought, longing, ideal, work much
more powerfully, profoundly, indestructibly. We may get a good view of
these two opposite influences of the forms of destruction of the group
symbol upon the solidity of the group by reference to the consequences
of the destruction of the Jewish temple by Titus. The hierarchal Jewish
state was a thorn in the flesh of the Roman statecraft that aimed at the
unity of the empire. The purpose of dissolving this state was
accomplished, so far as a certain number of the Jews were concerned, by
the destruction of the temple. Such was the effect with those who cared
little, anyway, about this centralization. Thus the alienation of the
Pauline Christians from Judaism was powerfully promoted by this event.
For the Palestinian Jews, on the other hand, the breach between Judaism
and the rest of the world was deepened. By this destruction of its
symbol their national religious exclusiveness was heightened to

g) _Continuity through group honor._--The sociological significance of
honor as a form of cohesion is extraordinarily great. Through the appeal
to honor, society secures from its members the kind of conduct conducive
to its own preservation, particularly within the spheres of conduct
intermediate between the purview of the criminal code, on the one hand,
and the field of purely personal morality, on the other. By the demands
upon its members contained in the group standard of honor the group
preserves its unified character and its distinctness from the other
groups within the same inclusive association. The essential thing is the
specific idea of honor in narrow groups--family honor, officers' honor,
mercantile honor, yes, even the "honor among thieves." Since the
individual belongs to various groups, the individual may, at the same
time, be under the demands of several sorts of honor which are
independent of each other. One may preserve his mercantile honor, or his
scientific honor as an investigator, who has forfeited his family honor,
and vice versa; the robber may strictly observe the requirements of
thieves' honor after he has violated every other; a woman may have lost
her womanly honor and in every other respect be most honorable, etc.
Thus honor consists in the relation of the individual to a particular
circle, which in this respect manifests its separateness, its
sociological distinctness, from other groups.

h) _Continuity through specialized organs._--From such recourse of
social self-preservation to individual persons, to a material substance,
to an ideal conception, we pass now to the cases in which social
persistence takes advantage of an organ composed of a number of persons.
Thus a religious community embodies its coherence and its life principle
in its priesthood; a political community its inner principle of union in
its administrative organization, its union against foreign power in its
military system; this latter in its corps of officers; every permanent
union in its official head; transitory associations in their committees;
political parties in their parliamentary representatives.


1. Sociology of the Senses: Visual Interaction[138]

It is through the medium of the senses that we perceive our fellow-men.
This fact has two aspects of fundamental sociological significance:
(a) that of appreciation, and (b) that of comprehension.

a) _Appreciation._--Sense-impressions may induce in us affective
responses of pleasure or pain, of excitement or calm, of tension or
relaxation, produced by the features of a person, or by the tone of his
voice, or by his mere physical presence in the same room. These
affective responses, however, do not enable us to understand or to
define the other person. Our emotional response to the sense-image of
the other leaves his real self outside.

b) _Comprehension._--The sense-impression of the other person may
develop in the opposite direction when it becomes the medium for
understanding the other. What I see, hear, feel of him is only the
bridge over which I reach his real self. The sound of the voice and its
meaning, perhaps, present the clearest illustration. The speech, quite
as much as the appearance, of a person, may be immediately either
attractive or repulsive. On the other hand, what he says enables us to
understand not only his momentary thoughts but also his inner self. The
same principle applies to all sense-impressions.

The sense-impressions of any object produce in us not only emotional and
aesthetic attitudes toward it but also an understanding of it. In the
case of reaction to non-human objects, these two responses are, in
general, widely separated. We may appreciate the emotional value of any
sense-impression of an object. The fragrance of a rose, the charm of a
tone, the grace of a bough swaying in the wind, is experienced as a joy
engendered within the soul. On the other hand, we may desire to
understand and to comprehend the rose, or the tone, or the bough. In the
latter case we respond in an entirely different way, often with
conscious endeavor. These two diverse reactions which are independent of
each other are with human beings generally integrated into a unified
response. Theoretically, our sense-impressions of a person may be
directed on the one hand to an appreciation of his emotional value, or
on the other to an impulsive or deliberate understanding of him.
Actually, these two reactions are coexistent and inextricably interwoven
as the basis of our relation to him. Of course, appreciation and
comprehension develop in quite different degrees. These two diverse
responses--to the tone of voice and to the meaning of the utterance; to
the appearance of a person and to his individuality; to the attraction
or repulsion of his personality and to the impulsive judgment upon his
character as well as many times upon his grade of culture--are present
in any perception in very different degrees and combinations.

Of the special sense-organs, the eye has a uniquely sociological
function. The union and interaction of individuals is based upon mutual
glances. This is perhaps the most direct and purest reciprocity which
exists anywhere. This highest psychic reaction, however, in which the
glances of eye to eye unite men, crystallizes into no objective
structure; the unity which momentarily arises between two persons is
present in the occasion and is dissolved in the function. So tenacious
and subtle is this union that it can only be maintained by the shortest
and straightest line between the eyes, and the smallest deviation from
it, the slightest glance aside, completely destroys the unique character
of this union. No objective trace of this relationship is left behind,
as is universally found, directly or indirectly, in all other types of
associations between men, as, for example, in interchange of words. The
interaction of eye and eye dies in the moment in which the directness of
the function is lost. But the totality of social relations of human
beings, their self-assertion and self-abnegation, their intimacies and
estrangements, would be changed in unpredictable ways if there occurred
no glance of eye to eye. This mutual glance between persons, in
distinction from the simple sight or observation of the other, signifies
a wholly new and unique union between them.

The limits of this relation are to be determined by the significant fact
that the glance by which the one seeks to perceive the other is itself
expressive. By the glance which reveals the other, one discloses
himself. By the same act in which the observer seeks to know the
observed, he surrenders himself to be understood by the observer. The
eye cannot take unless at the same time it gives. The eye of a person
discloses his own soul when he seeks to uncover that of another. What
occurs in this direct mutual glance represents the most perfect
reciprocity in the entire field of human relationships.

Shame causes a person to look at the ground to avoid the glance of the
other. The reason for this is certainly not only because he is thus
spared the visible evidence of the way in which the other regards his
painful situation, but the deeper reason is that the lowering of his
glance to a certain degree prevents the other from comprehending the
extent of his confusion. The glance in the eye of the other serves not
only for me to know the other but also enables him to know me. Upon the
line which unites the two eyes, it conveys to the other the real
personality, the real attitude, and the real impulse. The "ostrich
policy" has in this explanation a real justification: who does not see
the other actually conceals himself in part from the observer. A person
is not at all completely present to another, when the latter sees him,
but only when he also sees the other.

The sociological significance of the eye has special reference to the
expression of the face as the first object of vision between man and
man. It is seldom clearly understood to what an extent even our
practical relations depend upon mutual recognition, not only in the
sense of all external characteristics, as the momentary appearance and
attitude of the other, but what we know or intuitively perceive of his
life, of his inner nature, of the immutability of his being, all of
which colors unavoidably both our transient and our permanent relations
with him. The face is the geometric chart of all these experiences. It
is the symbol of all that which the individual has brought with him as
the pre-condition of his life. In the face is deposited what has been
precipitated from past experience as the substratum of his life, which
has become crystallized into the permanent features of his face. To the
extent to which we thus perceive the face of a person, there enters into
social relations, in so far as it serves practical purposes, a
super-practical element. It follows that a man is first known by his
countenance, not by his acts. The face as a medium of expression is
entirely a theoretical organ; it does not act, as the hand, the foot,
the whole body; it transacts none of the internal or practical relations
of the man, it only tells about him. The peculiar and important
sociological art of "knowing" transmitted by the eye is determined by
the fact that the countenance is the essential object of the
interindividual sight. This knowing is still somewhat different from
understanding. To a certain extent, and in a highly variable degree, we
know at first glance with whom we have to do. Our unconsciousness of
this knowledge and its fundamental significance lies in the fact that we
direct our attention from this self-evident intuition to an
understanding of special features which determine our practical
relations to a particular individual. But if we become conscious of this
self-evident fact, then we are amazed how much we know about a person in
the first glance at him. We do not obtain meaning from his expression,
susceptible to analysis into individual traits. We cannot unqualifiedly
say whether he is clever or stupid, good- or ill-natured, temperamental
or phlegmatic. All these traits are general characteristics which he
shares with unnumbered others. But what this first glance at him
transmits to us cannot be analyzed or appraised into any such conceptual
and expressive elements. Yet our initial impression remains ever the
keynote of all later knowledge of him; it is the direct perception of
his individuality which his appearance, and especially his face,
discloses to our glance.

The sociological attitude of the blind is entirely different from that
of the deaf-mute. For the blind, the other person is actually present
only in the alternating periods of his utterance. The expression of the
anxiety and unrest, the traces of all past events, exposed to view in
the faces of men, escape the blind, and that may be the reason for the
peaceful and calm disposition, and the unconcern toward their
surroundings, which is so often observed in the blind. Indeed, the
majority of the stimuli which the face presents are often puzzling; in
general, what we see of a man will be interpreted by what we hear from
him, while the opposite is more unusual. Therefore the one who sees,
without hearing, is much more perplexed, puzzled, and worried, than the
one who hears without seeing. This principle is of great importance in
understanding the sociology of the modern city.

Social life in the large city as compared with the towns shows a great
preponderance of occasions to _see_ rather than to _hear_ people. One
explanation lies in the fact that the person in the town is acquainted
with nearly all the people he meets. With these he exchanges a word or a
glance, and their countenance represents to him not merely the visible
but indeed the entire personality. Another reason of especial
significance is the development of public means of transportation.
Before the appearance of omnibuses, railroads, and street cars in the
nineteenth century, men were not in a situation where for periods of
minutes or hours they could or must look at each other without talking
to one another. Modern social life increases in ever growing degree the
rôle of mere visual impression which always characterizes the
preponderant part of all sense relationship between man and man, and
must place social attitudes and feelings upon an entirely changed basis.
The greater perplexity which characterizes the person who only sees, as
contrasted with the one who only hears, brings us to the problems of
the emotions of modern life: the lack of orientation in the collective
life, the sense of utter lonesomeness, and the feeling that the
individual is surrounded on all sides by closed doors.

2. The Expression of the Emotions[139]

Actions of all kinds, if regularly accompanying any state of the mind,
are at once recognized as expressive. These may consist of movements of
any part of the body, as the wagging of a dog's tail, the shrugging of a
man's shoulders, the erection of the hair, the exudation of
perspiration, the state of the capillary circulation, labored breathing,
and the use of the vocal or other sound-producing instruments. Even
insects express anger, terror, jealousy, and love by their stridulation.
With man the respiratory organs are of especial importance in
expression, not only in a direct, but to a still higher degree in an
indirect, manner.

Few points are more interesting in our present subject than the
extraordinarily complex chain of events which lead to certain expressive
movements. Take, for instance, the oblique eyebrows of a man suffering
from grief or anxiety. When infants scream loudly from hunger or pain,
the circulation is affected, and the eyes tend to become gorged with
blood; consequently the muscles surrounding the eyes are strongly
contracted as a protection. This action, in the course of many
generations, has become firmly fixed and inherited; but when, with
advancing years and culture, the habit of screaming is partially
repressed, the muscles round the eyes still tend to contract, whenever
even slight distress is felt. Of these muscles, the pyramidals of the
nose are less under the control of the will than are the others, and
their contraction can be checked only by that of the central fasciae of
the frontal muscle; these latter fasciae draw up the inner ends of the
eyebrows and wrinkle the forehead in a peculiar manner, which we
instantly recognize as the expression of grief or anxiety. Slight
movements, such as these just described, or the scarcely perceptible
drawing down of the corners of the mouth, are the last remnants or
rudiments of strongly marked and intelligible movements. They are as
full of significance to us in regard to expression as are ordinary
rudiments to the naturalist in the classification and genealogy of
organic beings.

That the chief expressive actions exhibited by man and by the lower
animals are now innate or inherited--that is, have not been learned by
the individual--is admitted by everyone. So little has learning or
imitation to do with several of them that they are from the earliest
days and throughout life quite beyond our control; for instance, the
relaxation of the arteries of the skin in blushing, and the increased
action of the heart in anger. We may see children only two or three
years old, and even those born blind, blushing from shame; and the naked
scalp of a very young infant reddens from passion. Infants scream from
pain directly after birth, and all their features then assume the same
form as during subsequent years. These facts alone suffice to show that
many of our most important expressions have not been learned; but it is
remarkable that some, which are certainly innate, require practice in
the individual before they are performed in a full and perfect manner;
for instance, weeping and laughing. The inheritance of most of our
expressive actions explains the fact that those born blind display them,
as I hear from the Rev. R. H. Blair, equally well with those gifted with
eyesight. We can thus also understand the fact that the young and the
old of widely different races, both with man and animals, express the
same state of mind by the same movement.

We are so familiar with the fact of young and old animals displaying
their feelings in the same manner that we hardly perceive how remarkable
it is that a young puppy should wag its tail when pleased, depress its
ears and uncover its canine teeth when pretending to be savage, just
like an old dog; or that a kitten should arch its little back and erect
its hair when frightened and angry, like an old cat. When, however, we
turn to less common gestures in ourselves, which we are accustomed to
look at as artificial or conventional--such as shrugging the shoulders
as a sign of impotence, or the raising the arms with open hands and
extended fingers as a sign of wonder--we feel perhaps too much surprise
at finding that they are innate. That these and some other gestures are
inherited we may infer from their being performed by very young
children, by those born blind, and by the most widely distinct races of
man. We should also bear in mind that new and highly peculiar tricks, in
association with certain states of the mind, are known to have arisen
in certain individuals and to have been afterward transmitted to their
offspring, in some cases for more than one generation.

Certain other gestures, which seem to us so natural that we might easily
imagine that they were innate, apparently have been learned like the
words of a language. This seems to be the case with the joining of the
uplifted hands and the turning up of the eyes in prayer. So it is with
kissing as a mark of affection; but this is innate, in so far as it
depends on the pleasure derived from contact with a beloved person. The
evidence with respect to the inheritance of nodding and shaking the head
as signs of affirmation and negation is doubtful, for they are not
universal, yet seem too general to have been independently acquired by
all the individuals of so many races.

We will now consider how far the will and consciousness have come into
play in the development of the various movements of expression. As far
as we can judge, only a few expressive movements, such as those just
referred to, are learned by each individual; that is, were consciously
and voluntarily performed during the early years of life for some
definite object, or in imitation of others, and then became habitual.
The far greater number of the movements of expression, and all the more
important ones, are, as we have seen, innate or inherited; and such
cannot be said to depend on the will of the individual. Nevertheless,
all those included under our first principle were at first voluntarily
performed for a definite object, namely, to escape some danger, to
relieve some distress, or to gratify some desire. For instance, there
can hardly be a doubt that the animals which fight with their teeth have
acquired the habit of drawing back their ears closely to their heads
when feeling savage from their progenitors having voluntarily acted in
this manner in order to protect their ears from being torn by their
antagonists; for those animals which do not fight with their teeth do
not thus express a savage state of mind. We may infer as highly probable
that we ourselves have acquired the habit of contracting the muscles
round the eyes whilst crying gently, that is, without the utterance of
any loud sound, from our progenitors, especially during infancy, having
experienced during the act of screaming an uncomfortable sensation in
their eyeballs. Again, some highly expressive movements result from the
endeavor to check or prevent other expressive movements; thus the
obliquity of the eyebrows and the drawing down of the corners of the
mouth follow from the endeavor to prevent a screaming-fit from coming on
or to check it after it has come on. Here it is obvious that the
consciousness and will must at first have come into play; not that we
are conscious in these or in other such cases what muscles are brought
into action, any more than when we perform the most ordinary voluntary

The power of communication between the members of the same tribe by
means of language has been of paramount importance in the development of
man; and the force of language is much aided by the expressive movements
of the face and body. We perceive this at once when we converse on an
important subject with any person whose face is concealed. Nevertheless
there are no grounds, as far as I can discover, for believing that any
muscle has been developed or even modified exclusively for the sake of
expression. The vocal and other sound-producing organs by which various
expressive noises are produced seem to form a partial exception; but I
have elsewhere attempted to show that these organs were first developed
for sexual purposes, in order that one sex might call or charm the
other. Nor can I discover grounds for believing that any inherited
movement which now serves as a means of expression was at first
voluntarily and consciously performed for this special purpose--like
some of the gestures and the finger-language used by the deaf and dumb.
On the contrary, every true or inherited movement of expression seems to
have had some natural and independent origin. But when once acquired,
such movements may be voluntarily and consciously employed as a means of
communication. Even infants, if carefully attended to, find out at a
very early age that their screaming brings relief, and they soon
voluntarily practice it. We may frequently see a person voluntarily
raising his eyebrows to express surprise, or smiling to express
pretended satisfaction and acquiescence. A man often wishes to make
certain gestures conspicuous or demonstrative, and will raise his
extended arms with widely opened fingers above his head to show
astonishment or lift his shoulders to his ears to show that he cannot or
will not do something.

We have seen that the study of the theory of expression confirms to a
certain limited extent the conclusion that man is derived from some
lower animal form, and supports the belief of the specific or
subspecific unity of the several races; but as far as my judgment
serves, such confirmation was hardly needed. We have also seen that
expression in itself, or the language of the emotions, as it has
sometimes been called, is certainly of importance for the welfare of
mankind. To understand, as far as is possible, the source or origin of
the various expressions which may be hourly seen on the faces of the men
around us, not to mention our domesticated animals, ought to possess
much interest for us. From these several causes we may conclude that the
philosophy of our subject has well deserved that attention which it has
already received from several excellent observers, and that it deserves
still further attention, especially from any able physiologist.

3. Blushing[140]

Blushing is the most peculiar and the most human of all expressions.
Monkeys redden from passion, but it would require an overwhelming amount
of evidence to make us believe that any animal could blush. The
reddening of the face from a blush is due to the relaxation of the
muscular coats of the small arteries, by which the capillaries become
filled with blood; and this depends on the proper vasomotor center being
affected. No doubt if there be at the same time much mental agitation,
the general circulation will be affected; but it is not due to the
action of the heart that the network of minute vessels covering the face
becomes under a sense of shame gorged with blood. We can cause laughing
by tickling the skin, weeping or frowning by a blow, trembling from the
fear of pain, and so forth; but we cannot cause a blush by any physical
means--that is, by any action on the body. It is the mind which must be
affected. Blushing is not only involuntary, but the wish to restrain it,
by leading to self-attention, actually increases the tendency.

The young blush much more freely than the old, but not during infancy,
which is remarkable, as we know that infants at a very early age redden
from passion. I have received authentic accounts of two little girls
blushing at the ages of between two and three years; and of another
sensitive child, a year older, blushing when reproved for a fault. Many
children at a somewhat more advanced age blush in a strongly marked
manner. It appears that the mental powers of infants are not as yet
sufficiently developed to allow of their blushing. Hence, also, it is
that idiots rarely blush. Dr. Crichton Browne observed for me those
under his care, but never saw a genuine blush, though he has seen their
faces flush, apparently from joy, when food was placed before them, and
from anger. Nevertheless some, if not utterly degraded, are capable of
blushing. A microcephalous idiot, for instance, thirteen years old,
whose eyes brightened a little when he was pleased or amused, has been
described by Dr. Behn as blushing and turning to one side when undressed
for medical examination.

Women blush much more than men. It is rare to see an old man, but not
nearly so rare to see an old woman, blushing. The blind do not escape.
Laura Bridgman, born in this condition, as well as completely deaf,
blushes. The Rev. R. H. Blair, principal of the Worcester College,
informs me that three children born blind, out of seven or eight then in
the asylum, are great blushers. The blind are not at first conscious
that they are observed, and it is a most important part of their
education, as Mr. Blair informs me, to impress this knowledge on their
minds; and the impression thus gained would greatly strengthen the
tendency to blush, by increasing the habit of self-attention.

The tendency to blush is inherited. Dr. Burgess gives the case of a
family consisting of a father, mother, and ten children, all of whom,
without exception, were prone to blush to a most painful degree. The
children were grown up; "and some of them were sent to travel in order
to wear away this diseased sensibility, but nothing was of the slightest
avail." Even peculiarities in blushing seem to be inherited. Sir James
Paget, whilst examining the spine of a girl, was struck at her singular
manner of blushing; a big splash of red appeared first on one cheek, and
then other splashes, variously scattered over the face and neck. He
subsequently asked the mother whether her daughter always blushed in
this peculiar manner and was answered, "Yes, she takes after me." Sir J.
Paget then perceived that by asking this question he had caused the
mother to blush and she exhibited the same peculiarity as her daughter.

In most cases the face, ears, and neck are the sole parts which redden;
but many persons, whilst blushing intensely, feel that their whole
bodies grow hot and tingle; and this shows that the entire surface must
be in some manner affected. Blushes are said sometimes to commence on
the forehead, but more commonly on the cheeks, afterward spreading to
the ears and neck. In two albinos examined by Dr. Burgess, the blushes
commenced by a small circumscribed spot on the cheeks, over the
parotidean plexus of nerves, and then increased into a circle; between
this blushing circle and the blush on the neck there was an evident line
of demarcation, although both arose simultaneously. The retina, which is
naturally red in the albino, invariably increased at the same time in
redness. Every one must have noticed how easily after one blush fresh
blushes chase each other over the face. Blushing is preceded by a
peculiar sensation in the skin. According to Dr. Burgess the reddening
of the skin is generally succeeded by a slight pallor, which shows that
the capillary vessels contract after dilating. In some rare cases
paleness instead of redness is caused under conditions which would
naturally induce a blush. For instance, a young lady told me that in a
large and crowded party she caught her hair so firmly on the button of a
passing servant that it took some time before she could be extricated;
from her sensation she imagined that she had blushed crimson but was
assured by a friend that she had turned extremely pale.

The mental states which induce blushing consist of shyness, shame, and
modesty, the essential element in all being self-attention. Many reasons
can be assigned for believing that originally self-attention directed to
personal appearance, in relation to the opinion of others, was the
exciting cause, the same effect being subsequently produced, through the
force of association, by self-attention in relation to moral conduct. It
is not the simple act of reflecting on our own appearance, but the
thinking what others think of us, which excites a blush. In absolute
solitude the most sensitive person would be quite indifferent about his
appearance. We feel blame or disapprobation more acutely than
approbation; and consequently depreciatory remarks or ridicule, whether
of our appearance or conduct, cause us to blush much more readily than
does praise. But undoubtedly praise and admiration are highly efficient:
a pretty girl blushes when a man gazes intently at her, though she may
know perfectly well that he is not depreciating her. Many children, as
well as old and sensitive persons, blush when they are much praised.
Hereafter the question will be discussed how it has arisen that the
consciousness that others are attending to our personal appearance
should have led to the capillaries, especially those of the face,
instantly becoming filled with blood.

My reasons for believing that attention directed to personal appearance,
and not to moral conduct, has been the fundamental element in the
acquirement of the habit of blushing will now be given. They are
separately light, but combined possess, as it appears to me,
considerable weight. It is notorious that nothing makes a shy person
blush so much as any remark, however slight, on his personal appearance.
One cannot notice even the dress of a woman much given to blushing
without causing her face to crimson. It is sufficient to stare hard at
some persons to make them, as Coleridge remarks, blush--"account for
that he who can."

With the two albinos observed by Dr. Burgess, "the slightest attempt to
examine their peculiarities" invariably caused them to blush deeply.
Women are much more sensitive about their personal appearance than men
are, especially elderly women in comparison with elderly men, and they
blush much more freely. The young of both sexes are much more sensitive
on this same head than the old, and they also blush much more freely
than the old. Children at a very early age do not blush; nor do they
show those other signs of self-consciousness which generally accompany
blushing; and it is one of their chief charms that they think nothing
about what others think of them. At this early age they will stare at a
stranger with a fixed gaze and unblinking eyes, as on an inanimate
object, in a manner which we elders cannot imitate.

It is plain to everyone that young men and women are highly sensitive to
the opinion of each other with reference to their personal appearance;
and they blush incomparably more in the presence of the opposite sex
than in that of their own. A young man, not very liable to blush, will
blush intensely at any slight ridicule of his appearance from a girl
whose judgment on any important subject he would disregard. No happy
pair of young lovers, valuing each other's admiration and love more than
anything else in the world, probably ever courted each other without
many a blush. Even the barbarians of Tierra del Fuego, according to Mr.
Bridges, blush "chiefly in regard to women, but certainly also at their
own personal appearance."

Of all parts of the body, the face is most considered and regarded, as
is natural from its being the chief seat of expression and the source of
the voice. It is also the chief seat of beauty and of ugliness, and
throughout the world is the most ornamented. The face, therefore, will
have been subjected during many generations to much closer and more
earnest self-attention than any other part of the body; and in
accordance with the principle here advanced we can understand why it
should be the most liable to blush. Although exposure to alternations of
temperature, etc., has probably much increased the power of dilatation
and contraction in the capillaries of the face and adjoining parts, yet
this by itself will hardly account for these parts blushing much more
than the rest of the body; for it does not explain the fact of the hands
rarely blushing. With Europeans the whole body tingles slightly when the
face blushes intensely; and with the races of men who habitually go
nearly naked, the blushes extend over a much larger surface than with
us. These facts are, to a certain extent, intelligible, as the
self-attention of primeval man, as well as of the existing races which
still go naked, will not have been so exclusively confined to their
faces, as is the case with the people who now go clothed.

We have seen that in all parts of the world persons who feel shame for
some moral delinquency are apt to avert, bend down, or hide their faces,
independently of any thought about their personal appearance. The object
can hardly be to conceal their blushes, for the face is thus averted or
hidden under circumstances which exclude any desire to conceal shame, as
when guilt is fully confessed and repented of. It is, however, probable
that primeval man before he had acquired much moral sensitiveness would
have been highly sensitive about his personal appearance, at least in
reference to the other sex, and he would consequently have felt distress
at any depreciatory remarks about his appearance; and this is one form
of shame. And as the face is the part of the body which is most
regarded, it is intelligible that any one ashamed of his personal
appearance would desire to conceal this part of his body. The habit,
having been thus acquired, would naturally be carried on when shame from
strictly moral causes was felt; and it is not easy otherwise to see why
under these circumstances there should be a desire to hide the face more
than any other part of the body.

The habit, so general with everyone who feels ashamed, of turning away
or lowering his eyes, or restlessly moving them from side to side,
probably follows from each glance directed toward those present,
bringing home the conviction that he is intently regarded; and he
endeavors, by not looking at those present, and especially not at their
eyes, momentarily to escape from this painful conviction.

4. Laughing[141]

Sympathy, when it is not the direct cause, is conditional to the
existence of laughter. Sometimes it provokes it; always it spreads it,
sustains and strengthens it.

First of all, it is so much the nature of laughter to communicate itself
that when it no longer communicates itself it ceases to exist. One might
say that outbursts of merriment need to be encouraged, that they are not
self-sufficient. Not to share them is to blow upon them and extinguish
them. When, in an animated and mirthful group, some one remains cold or
gloomy, the laughter immediately stops or is checked. Yet those whom the
common people call, in their picturesque language, wet blankets,
spoil-sports, or kill-joys, are not necessarily hostile to the gaiety of
the rest. They may only have, and, in fact, very often do have, nothing
but the one fault of being out of tune with this gaiety. But even their
calm appears an offense to the warmth and the high spirits of the others
and kills by itself alone this merriment.

Not only is laughter maintained by sympathy but it is even born of
sympathy. The world is composed of two kinds of people: those who make
one laugh and those who are made to laugh, these latter being infinitely
more numerous. How many there are, indeed, who have no sense of humor,
and who, of themselves, would not think of laughing at things at which
they do nevertheless laugh heartily because they see others laugh. As
for those who have a ready wit and a sense of the comic, do they not
enjoy the success of their jokes as much, if not more, than their jokes
themselves? Their mirthfulness, then, at least, grows with the joy of
spreading it. Very often it happens that many good humorists are
temperamentally far from gay, and laugh at their jokes only on the
rebound, echoing the laughter which they provoke. To laugh, then, is to
share the gaiety of others, whether this gaiety is communicated from
them to us or from us to them. It seems that we can be moved to laughter
only by the merriment of others, that we possess ours only indirectly
when others send it to us. Human solidarity never appears more clearly
than in the case of laughter.

Yet can one say that sympathy actually produces laughter? Is it not
enough to say that it increases it, that it strengthens its effects? All
our sentiments are without doubt in a sense revealed to us by others.
How many, as Rochefoucauld says, would be ignorant of love if they had
never read novels! How many in the same way would never have discovered
by themselves the laughable side of people and things. Yet even the
feelings which one experiences by contagion one can experience only of
one's own accord, in one's own way, and according to one's disposition.
This fact alone of their contagion proves that from one's birth one
carries the germ in himself. Sympathy would explain, then, contagion,
but not the birth, of laughter. The fact is that our feelings exist for
ourselves only when they acquire a communicative or social value; they
have to be diffused in order to manifest themselves. Sympathy does not
create them but it gives them their place in the world. It gives them
just that access of intensity without which their nature cannot develop
or even appear: thus it is that our laughter would be for us as if it
did not exist, if it did not find outside itself an echo which increases

From the fact that sympathy is the law of laughter, does it follow that
it is the cause? Not at all. It would be even contradictory to maintain
this. A laugh being given, others are born out of sympathy. But the
first laugh or one originally given, where does it get its origin?
Communicated laughter implies spontaneous laughter as the echo implies a
sound. If sympathy explains one, it is, it would seem, an antipathy or
the absence of sympathy which produces the other. "The thing at which we
laugh," says Aristotle, "is a defect or ugliness which is not great
enough to cause suffering or injury. Thus, for example, a ridiculous
face is an ugly or misshapen face, but one on which suffering has not
marked." Bain says likewise, "The laughable is the deformed or ugly
thing which is not pushed to the point where it is painful or injurious.
An occasion for laughter is the degradation of a person of dignity in
circumstances which do not arouse a strong emotion," like indignation,
anger, or pity. Descartes puts still more limits upon laughter. Speaking
of malice he says that laughter cannot be provoked except by misfortunes
not only _light_ but also _unforseen_ and _deserved_. "Derision or
mockery," he says, "is a kind of joy mixed with hate, which comes from
one's perceiving some _little misfortune_ in a person _whom one thinks
deserves it_. We hate this misfortune but are happy at seeing it in some
one who merits it, and, _when this happens unexpectedly, surprise causes
us to burst out laughing_. But this misfortune must be small, for if it
is great we cannot believe that he who meets it deserves it, unless one
has a very malicious or hateful nature."

This fact can be established directly by analyzing the most cruel
laughter. If we enter into the feelings of the one who laughs and set
aside the disagreeable sentiments, irritation, anger, and disgust, which
at times they produce upon us, we come to understand even the savage
sneer which appears to us as an insult to suffering; the laugh of the
savage, trampling his conquered enemy under foot, or that of the child
torturing unfortunate animals. This laugh is, in fact, inoffensive in
its way, it is cruel in fact but not in intention. What it expresses is
not a perverse, satanic joy but a _heartlessness_, as is so properly
said. In the child and the savage sympathy has not been born, that is to
say, the absence of imagination for the sufferings of others is
complete. As a result we have a negative cruelty, a sort of altruistic
or social anaesthesia.

When such an anaesthesia is not complete, when the altruistic
sensibility of one who laughs is only dull, his egotism being very keen,
his laughter might appear still less hatefully cruel. It would express
then not properly the joy of seeing others suffer but that of not having
to undergo their suffering and the power of seeing it only as a

Analogous facts may be cited closer to us, easier to verify. Those who
enjoy robust health often laugh at invalids: their imagination does not
comprehend physical suffering, they are incapable of sympathizing with
those who experience it. Likewise those who possess calm and even
dispositions cannot witness without laughing an excess of mad anger or
of impotent rage. In general we do not take seriously those feelings to
which we ourselves are strangers; we consider them extravagant and
amusing. "How can one be a Persian?" To laugh is to detach one's self
from others, to separate one's self and to take pleasure in this
separation, to amuse one's self by contrasting the feelings, character,
and temperament of others and one's own feelings, character, and
temperament. _Insensibility_ has been justly noted by M. Bergson as an
essential characteristic of him who laughs. But this _insensibility_,
this heartlessness, gives very much the effect of a positive and real
ill nature, and M. Bergson had thus simply repeated and expressed in a
new way, more precise and correct, the opinion of Aristotle: the cause
of laughter is malice mitigated by insensibility or the absence of

Thus defined, malice is after all essentially relative, and when one
says that the object of our laughter is the misfortune of someone else,
_known by us_ to be endurable and slight, it must be understood that
this misfortune may be _in itself_ very serious as well as undeserved,
and in this way laughter is often really cruel.

The coarser men are, the more destitute they are of sympathetic
imagination, and the more they laugh at one another with an offensive
and brutal laugh. There are those who are not even touched by contact
with physical suffering; such ones have the heart to laugh at the
shufflings of a bandy-legged man, at the ugliness of a hunchback, or the
repulsive hideousness of an idiot. Others there are who are moved by
physical suffering but who are not at all affected by moral suffering.
These laugh at a self-love touched to the quick, at a wounded pride, at
the tortured self-consciousness of one abashed or humiliated. These are,
in their eyes, harmless, and slight pricks which they themselves, by a
coarseness of nature, or a fine moral health, would endure perhaps with
equanimity, which at any rate they do not feel in behalf of others, with
whom they do not suffer in sympathy.

_Castigat ridendo mores._ According to M. A. Michiels, the author of a
book upon the _World of Humor and of Laughter_, this maxim must be
understood in its broadest sense. "Everything that is contrary to the
absolute ideal of human perfection," in whatever order it be, whether
physical, intellectual, moral, or social, arouses laughter. The fear of
ridicule is the most dominant of our feelings, that which controls us in
most things and with the most strength. Because of this fear one does
"what one would not do for the sake of justice, scrupulousness, honor,
or good will;" one submits to an infinite number of obligations which
morality would not dare to prescribe and which are not included in the
laws. "Conscience and the written laws," says A. Michiels, "form two
lines of ramparts against evil, the ludicrous is the third line of
defense, it stops, brands, and condemns the little misdeeds which the
guards have allowed to pass."

Laughter is thus the great censor of vices, it spares none, it does not
even grant indulgence to the slightest imperfections, of whatever nature
they be. This mission, which M. Michiels attributes to laughter,
granting that it is fulfilled, instead of taking its place in the
natural or providential order of things, does it not answer simply to
those demands, whether well founded or not, which society makes upon
each of us? M. Bergson admits this, justly enough, it appears, when he
defines laughter as a social bromide. But then it is no longer mere
imperfection in general, it is not even immorality, properly speaking;
it is merely unsociability, well or badly understood, which laughter
corrects. More precisely, it is a special unsociability, one which
escapes all other penalties, which it is the function of laughter to
reach. What can this unsociability be? It is the self-love of each one
of us in so far as it has anything disagreeable to others in it, an
abstraction of every injurious or hateful element. It is the harmless
self-love, slight, powerless, which one does not fear but one scorns,
yet for all that does not pardon but on the contrary pitilessly pursues,
wounds, and galls. Self-love thus defined is vanity, and what is called
the moral correction administered by laughter is the wound to self-love.
"The specific remedy for vanity," says M. Bergson, "is laughter, and the
essentially ridiculous is vanity."

One sees in what sense laughter is a "correction." Whether one considers
the jests uttered, the feelings of the jester, or of him at whom one
jests, laughter appears from the point of view of morality as a
correction most often undeserved, unjust--or at least disproportionate
to the fault--pitiless, and cruel.

In fact, the self-love at which one laughs is, as we have said,
harmless. Besides it is often a natural failing, a weakness, not a vice.
Even if it were a vice, the jester would not be justified in laughing at
it, for it does not appear that he himself is exempt. On the contrary,
his vanity is magnified when that of others is upon the rack. Finally
the humiliation caused by laughter is not a chastisement which one
accepts but a torture to which one submits; it is a feeling of
resentment, of bitterness, not a wholesome sense of shame, nor one from
which anyone is likely to profit. Laughter may then have a social use;
but it is not an act of justice. It is a quick and summary police
measure which will not stand too close a scrutiny but which it would be
imprudent either to condemn or to approve without reserve. Society is
established and organized according to natural laws which seem to be
modeled on those of reason, but self-loves discipline themselves, they
enter into conflict and hold each other in check.


1. Intercommunication in the Lower Animals[142]

The foundations of intercommunication, like those of imitation, are laid
in certain instinctive modes of response, which are stimulated by the
acts of other animals of the same social group.

Some account has already been given of the sounds made by young birds,
which seem to be instinctive and to afford an index of the emotional
state at the time of utterance. That in many cases they serve to evoke a
like emotional state and correlated expressive behavior in other birds
of the same brood cannot be questioned. The alarm note of a chick will
place its companions on the alert; and the harsh "krek" of a young
moor-hen, uttered in a peculiar crouching attitude, will often throw
others into this attitude, though the maker of the warning sound may be
invisible. That the cries of her brood influence the conduct of the hen
is a matter of familiar observation; and that her danger signal causes
them at once to crouch or run to her for protection is not less
familiar. No one who has watched a cat with her kittens, or a sheep with
her lambs, can doubt that such "dumb animals" are influenced in their
behavior by suggestive sounds. The important questions are, how they
originate, what is their value, and how far such intercommunication--if
such we may call it--extends.

There can be but little question that in all cases of animals under
natural conditions such behavior has an instinctive basis. Though the
effect may be to establish a means of communication, such is not their
conscious purpose at the outset. They are presumably congenital and
hereditary modes of emotional expression which serve to evoke responsive
behavior in another animal--the reciprocal action being generally in its
primary origin between mate and mate, between parent and offspring, or
between members of the same family group. _And it is this reciprocal
action which constitutes it a factor in social evolution._ Its chief
interest in connection with the subject of behavior lies in the fact
that it shows the instinctive foundations on which intelligent and
eventually rational modes of intercommunication are built up. For
instinctive as the sounds are at the outset, by entering into the
conscious situation and taking their part in the association-complex of
experience, they become factors in the social life as modified and
directed by intelligence. To their original instinctive value as the
outcome of stimuli, and as themselves affording stimuli to responsive
behavior, is added a value for consciousness in so far as they enter
into those guiding situations by which intelligent behavior is
determined. And if they also serve to evoke, in the reciprocating
members of the social group, similar or allied emotional states, there
is thus added a further social bond, inasmuch as there are thus laid the
foundations of sympathy.

"What makes the old sow grunt and the piggies sing and whine?" said a
little girl to a portly, substantial farmer. "I suppose they does it for
company, my dear," was the simple and cautious reply. So far as
appearances went, that farmer looked as guiltless of theories as man
could be. And yet he gave terse expression to what may perhaps be
regarded as the most satisfactory hypothesis as to the primary purpose
of animal sounds. They are a means by which each indicates to others the
fact of his comforting presence; and they still, to a large extent,
retain their primary function. The chirping of grasshoppers, the song of
the cicada, the piping of frogs in the pool, the bleating of lambs at
the hour of dusk, the lowing of contented cattle, the call-notes of the
migrating host of birds--all these, whatever else they may be, are the
reassuring social links of sound, the grateful signs of kindred
presence. Arising thus in close relation to the primitive feelings of
social sympathy, they would naturally be called into play with special
force and suggestiveness at times of strong emotional excitement, and
the earliest differentiations would, we may well believe, be determined
along lines of emotional expression. Thus would originate mating cries,
male and female after their kind; and parental cries more or less
differentiated into those of mother and offspring, the deeper note of
the ewe differing little save in pitch and timbre from the bleating of
her lamb, while the cluck of the hen differs widely from the peeping
note of the chick in down. Thus, too, would arise the notes of anger and
combat, of fear and distress, of alarm and warning. If we call these the
instinctive language of emotional expression, we must remember that such
"language" differs markedly from the "language" of which the sentence is
the recognized unit.

It is, however, not improbable that, through association in the
conscious situation, sounds, having their origin in emotional expression
and evoking in others like emotional states, may acquire a new value in
suggesting, for example, the presence of particular enemies. An example
will best serve to indicate my meaning. The following is from H. B.

     In the early dawn of a grey morning I was geologizing along the
     base of the Muhair Hills in South Behar, when all of a sudden
     there was a stampede of many pigs from the fringe of the
     jungle, with porcine shrieks of _sauve qui peut_ significance.
     After a short run in the open they took to the jungle again,
     and in a few minutes there was another uproar, but different in
     sound and in action; there was a rush, presumably of the
     fighting members, to the spot where the row began, and after
     some seconds a large leopard sprang from the midst of the
     scuffle. In a few bounds he was in the open, and stood looking
     back, licking his chops. The pigs did not break cover, but
     continued on their way. They were returning to their lair after
     a night's feeding on the plain, several families having
     combined for mutual protection; while the beasts of prey were
     evidently waiting for the occasion. I was alone, and, though
     armed, I did not care to beat up the ground to see if in either
     case a kill had been effected. The numerous herd covered a
     considerable space, and the scrub was thick. The prompt
     concerted action must in each case have been started by the
     special cry. I imagine that the first assailant was a tiger,
     and the case was at once known to be hopeless, the cry
     prompting instant flight, while in the second case the cry was
     for defense. It can scarcely be doubted that in the first case
     each adult pig had a vision of a tiger, and in the second of a
     leopard or some minor foe.

If we accept Mr. Medlicott's interpretation as in the main correct, we
have in this case: (1) common action in social behavior, (2) community
of emotional state, and (3) the suggestion of natural enemies not
unfamiliar in the experience of the herd. It is a not improbable
hypothesis, therefore, that in the course of evolution the initial value
of uttered sounds is emotional; but that on this may be grafted in
further development the indication of particular enemies. If, for
example, the cry which prompts instant flight among the pigs is called
forth by a tiger, it is reasonable to suppose that this cry would give
rise to a representative generic image of that animal having its
influence on the conscious situation. But if the second cry, for
defense, was prompted sometimes by a leopard and sometimes by some other
minor foe, then this cry would not give rise to a representative image
of the same definiteness. Whether animals have the power of
intentionally differentiating the sounds they make to indicate different
objects is extremely doubtful. Can a dog bark in different tones to
indicate "cat" or "rat," as the case may be? Probably not. It may,
however, be asked why, if a pig may squeak differently, and thus,
perhaps, incidentally indicate on the one hand "tiger" and on the other
hand "leopard," should not a dog bark differently and thus indicate
appropriately "cat" or "rat"? Because it is assumed that the two
different cries in the pig are the instinctive expression of two
different emotional states, and Mr. Medlicott could distinguish them;
whereas, in the case of the dog, we can distinguish no difference
between his barking in the one case and the other, nor do the emotional
states appear to be differentiated. Of course there may be differences
which we have failed to detect. What may be regarded, however, as
improbable is the _intentional_ differentiation of sounds by barking in
different tones with the _purpose_ of indicating "cat" or "rat."

Such powers of intercommunication as animals possess are based on direct
association and refer to the here and the now. A dog may be able to
suggest to his companion the fact that he has descried a worriable cat;
but can a dog tell his neighbor of the delightful worry he enjoyed the
day before yesterday in the garden where the man with the biscuit tin
lives? Probably not, bark he never so expressively.

From the many anecdotes of dogs calling others to their assistance or
bringing others to those who feed them or treat them kindly, we may
indeed infer the existence of a social tendency and of the suggestive
effects of behavior, but we cannot derive conclusive evidence of
anything like descriptive communication.

Such intentional communication as is to be found in animals, if indeed
we may properly so call it, seems to arise by an association of the
performance of some act in a conscious situation involving further
behavior for its complete development. Thus the cat which touches the
handle of the door when it wishes to leave the room has had experience
in which the performance of this act has coalesced with a specific
development of the conscious situation. The case is similar when your
dog drops a ball or stick at your feet, wishing you to throw it for him
to fetch. Still, it is clear that such an act would be the perceptual
precursor of the deliberate conduct of the rational being by whom the
sign is definitely realized as a sign, the intentional meaning of which
is distinctly present to thought. This involves a judgment concerning
the sign as an object of thought; and this is probably beyond the
capacity of the dog. For, as Romanes himself says, "It is because the
human mind is able, so to speak, to stand outside of itself and thus to
constitute its own ideas the subject-matter of its own thought that it
is capable of judgment, whether in the act of conception or in that of
predication. We have no evidence to show that any animal is capable of
objectifying its own ideas; and therefore we have no evidence that any
animal is capable of judgment."

2. The Concept as the Medium of Human Communication[143]

There is a petrified philosophy in language, and if we examine the most
ancient word for "name," we find it is _nâman_ in Sanskrit, _nomen_ in
Latin, _namô_ in Gothic. This _nâman_ stands for _gnâman_, and is
derived from the root _gnâ_, to know, and meant originally that by which
we know a thing.

And how do we know things?

The first step toward the real knowledge, a step which, however small in
appearance, separates man forever from all other animals, is _the naming
of a thing_, or the making a thing knowable. All naming is
classification, bringing the individual under the general; and whatever
we know, whether empirically or scientifically, we know it by means of
our general ideas.

At the very point where man parts company with the brute world, at the
first flash of reason as the manifestation of the light within us, there
we see the true genesis of language. Analyze any word you like and you
will find that it expresses a general idea peculiar to the individual to
whom the name belongs. What is the meaning of moon? The measurer. What
is the meaning of sun? The begetter. What is the meaning of earth? The

If the serpent is called in Sanskrit _sarpa_, it is because it was
conceived under the general idea of creeping, an idea expressed by the
root _srip_.

An ancient word for man was the Sanskrit _marta_, the Greek _brotos_,
the Latin _mortalis_. _Marta_ means "he who dies," and it is remarkable
that, where everything else was changing, fading, and dying, this should
have been chosen as the distinguishing name for man.

There were many more names for man, as there were many names for all
things in ancient languages. Any feature that struck the observing mind
as peculiarly characteristic could be made to furnish a new name. In
common Sanskrit dictionaries we find 5 words for hand, 11 for light, 15
for cloud, 20 for moon, 26 for snake, 33 for slaughter, 35 for fire, 37
for sun. The sun might be called the bright, the warm, the golden, the
preserver, the destroyer, the wolf, the lion, the heavenly eye, the
father of light and life. Hence that superabundance of synonyms in
ancient dialects, and hence that struggle for life carried on among
these words, which led to the destruction of the less strong, the less
fertile, the less happy words, and ended in the triumph of _one_ as the
recognized and proper name for every object in every language. On a very
small scale this process of natural selection, or, as it would better be
called, elimination, may still be watched even in modern languages, that
is to say, even in languages so old and stricken in years as English and
French. What it was at the first burst of dialects we can only gather
from such isolated cases as when von Hammer counts 5,744 words all
relating to the camel.

The fact that every word is originally a predicate--that names, though
signs of individual conceptions, are all, without exception, derived
from general ideas--is one of the most important discoveries in the
science of language. It was known before that language is the
distinguishing characteristic of man; it was known also that the having
of general ideas is that which puts a perfect distinction betwixt man
and brutes; but that these two were only different expressions of the
same fact was not known till the theory of roots had been established as
preferable to the theories both of onomatopoicia and of interjections.
But, though our modern philosophy did not know it, the ancient poets and
framers of language must have known it. For in Greek, language is
_logos_, but _logos_ means also reason, and _alogon_ was chosen as the
name and the most proper name, for brute. No animal, so far as we know,
thinks and speaks except man. Language and thought are inseparable.
Words without thought are dead sounds; thoughts without words are
nothing. To think is to speak low; to speak is to think aloud. The word
is the thought incarnate.

What are the two problems left unsettled at the end of the _Science of
Language_: "How do mere cries become phonetic types?" and "How can
sensations be changed into concepts?" What are these two, if taken
together, but the highest problem of all philosophy, viz., "What is the
origin of reason?"

3. Writing as a Form of Communication[144]

The earliest stages of writing were those in which pictographic forms
were used; that is, a direct picture was drawn upon the writing surface,
reproducing as nearly as possible the kind of impression made upon the
observer by the object itself. To be sure, the drawing used to represent
the object was not an exact reproduction or full copy of the object, but
it was a fairly direct image. The visual memory image was thus aroused
by a direct perceptual appeal to the eye. Anyone could read a document
written in this pictograph form, if he had ever seen the objects to
which the pictures referred. There was no special relation between the
pictures or visual forms at this stage of development and the sounds
used in articulate language. Concrete examples of such writing are seen
in early monuments, where the moon is represented by the crescent, a
king by the drawing of a man wearing a crown.

The next stage of development in writing began when the pictographic
forms were reduced in complexity to the simplest possible lines. The
reduction of the picture to a few sketchy lines depended upon the
growing ability of the reader to contribute the necessary
interpretation. All that was needed in the figure was something which
would suggest the full picture to the mind. Indeed, it is probably true
that the full picture was not needed, even in the reader's
consciousness. Memory images are usually much simplified reproductions
of the perceptual facts. In writing we have a concrete expression of
this tendency of memory to lose its full reproductive form and to become
reduced to the point of the most meager contents for conscious thought.
The simplification of the written forms is attained very early, and is
seen even in the figures which are used by savage tribes. Thus, to
represent the number of an enemy's army, it is not necessary to draw
full figures of the forms of the enemy; it is enough if single straight
lines are drawn with some brief indication, perhaps at the beginning of
the series of lines, to show that these stand each for an individual
enemy. This simplification of the drawing leaves the written symbol with
very much larger possibilities of entering into new relations in the
mind of the reader. Instead, now, of being a specific drawing related to
a specific object, it invites by its simple character a number of
different interpretations. A straight line, for example, can represent
not only the number of an enemy's army but it can represent also the
number of sheep in a flock, or the number of tents in a village, or
anything else which is capable of enumeration. The use of a straight
line for these various purposes stimulates new mental developments. This
is shown by the fact that the development of the idea of the number
relation, as distinguished from the mass of possible relations in which
an object may stand, is greatly facilitated by this general written
symbol for numbers. The intimate relation between the development of
ideas on the one hand and the development of language on the other is
here very strikingly illustrated. The drawing becomes more useful
because it is associated with more elaborate ideas, while the ideas
develop because they find in the drawing a definite content which helps
to mark and give separate character to the idea.

As soon as the drawing began to lose its significance as a direct
perceptual reproduction of the object and took on new and broader
meanings through the associations which attached to it, the written form
became a symbol, rather than a direct appeal to visual memory. As a
symbol it stood for something which, in itself, it was not. The way was
thus opened for the written symbol to enter into relation with oral
speech, which is also a form of symbolism. Articulate sounds are
simplified forms of experience capable through association with ideas of
expressing meanings not directly related to the sounds themselves. When
the written symbol began to be related to the sound symbol, there was at
first a loose and irregular relation between them. The Egyptians seem to
have established such relations to some extent. They wrote at times with
pictures standing for sounds, as we now write in rebus puzzles. In such
puzzles the picture of an object is intended to call up in the mind of
the reader, not the special group of ideas appropriate to the object
represented in the picture, but rather the sound which serves as the
name of this object. When the sound is once suggested to the reader, he
is supposed to attend to that and to connect with it certain other
associations appropriate to the sound. To take a modern illustration, we
may, for example, use the picture of the eye to stand for the first
personal pronoun. The relationship between the picture and the idea for
which it is used is in this case through the sound of the name of the
object depicted. That the early alphabets are of this type of rebus
pictures appears in their names. The first three letters of the Hebrew
alphabet, for example, are named, respectively, _aleph_ which means ox,
_beth_ which means house, and _gimmel_ which means camel.

The complete development of a sound alphabet from this type of rebus
writing required, doubtless, much experimentation on the part of the
nations which succeeded in establishing the association. The Phoenicians
have generally been credited with the invention of the forms and
relations which we now use. Their contribution to civilization cannot be
overestimated. It consisted, not in the presentation of new material or
content to conscious experience, but rather in the bringing together by
association of groups of contents which, in their new relation,
transformed the whole process of thought and expression. They associated
visual and auditory content and gave to the visual factors a meaning
through association which was of such unique importance as to justify us
in describing the association as a new invention.

There are certain systems of writing which indicate that the type of
relationship which we use is not the only possible type of relationship.
The Chinese, for example, have continued to use simple symbols which are
related to complex sounds, not to elementary sounds, as are our own
letters. In Chinese writing the various symbols, though much corrupted
in form, stand each for an object. It is true that the forms of Chinese
writing have long since lost their direct relationship to the pictures
in which they originated. The present forms are simplified and
symbolical. So free has the symbolism become that the form has been
arbitrarily modified to make it possible for the writer to use freely
the crude tools with which the Chinaman does his writing. These
practical considerations could not have become operative, if the direct
pictographic character of the symbols had not long since given place to
a symbolical character which renders the figure important, not because
of what it shows in itself, but rather because of what it suggests to
the mind of the reader. The relation of the symbol to elementary sounds
has, however, never been established. This lack of association with
elementary sounds keeps the Chinese writing at a level much lower and
nearer to primitive pictographic forms than is our writing.

Whether we have a highly elaborated symbolical system, such as that
which appears in Chinese writing, or a form of writing which is related
to sound, the chief fact regarding writing, as regarding all language,
is that it depends for its value very much more upon the ideational
relations into which the symbols are brought in the individual's mind
than upon the impressions which they arouse.

The ideational associations which appear in developed language could
never have reached the elaborate form which they have at present if
there had not been social co-operation. The tendency of the individual
when left to himself is to drop back into the direct adjustments which
are appropriate to his own life. He might possibly develop articulation
to a certain extent for his own sake, but the chief impulse to the
development of language comes through intercourse with others. As we
have seen, the development of the simplest forms of communication, as in
animals, is a matter of social imitation. Writing is also an outgrowth
of social relations. It is extremely doubtful whether even the child of
civilized parents would ever have any sufficient motive for the
development of writing, if it were not for the social encouragement he

4. The Extension of Communication by Human Invention[145]

No one who is asked to name the agencies that weave the great web of
intellectual and material influences and counter-influences by which
modern humanity is combined into the unity of society will need much
reflection to give first rank to the newspaper, along with the post,
railroad, and telegraph.

In fact, the newspaper forms a link in the chain of modern commercial
machinery; it is one of those contrivances by which in society the
exchange of intellectual and material goods is facilitated. Yet it is
not an instrument of commercial intercourse in the sense of the post or
the railway, both of which have to do with the transport of persons,
goods, and news, but rather in the sense of the letter and circular.
These make the news capable of transport only because they are enabled
by the help of writing and printing to cut it adrift, as it were, from
its originator and give it corporeal independence.

However great the difference between letter, circular, and newspaper may
appear today, a little reflection shows that all three are essentially
similar products, originating in the necessity of communicating news and
in the employment of writing in its satisfaction. The sole difference
consists in the letter being addressed to individuals, the circular to
several specified persons, the newspaper to many unspecified persons.
Or, in other words, while letter and circular are instruments for the
private communication of news, the newspaper is an instrument for its

Today we are, of course, accustomed to the regular printing of the
newspaper and its periodical appearance at brief intervals. But neither
of these is an essential characteristic of the newspaper as a means of
news publication. On the contrary, it will become apparent directly that
the primitive paper from which this mighty instrument of commercial
intercourse is sprung appeared neither in printed form nor periodically,
but that it closely resembled the letter from which, indeed, it can
scarcely be distinguished. To be sure, repeated appearance at brief
intervals is involved in the very nature of news publication. For news
has value only so long as it is fresh; and to preserve for it the charm
of novelty its publication must follow in the footsteps of the events.
We shall, however, soon see that the periodicity of these intervals, as
far as it can be noticed in the infancy of journalism, depended upon the
regular recurrence of opportunities to transport the news, and was in no
way connected with the essential nature of the newspaper.

The regular collection and despatch of news presupposes a widespread
interest in public affairs, or an extensive area of trade exhibiting
numerous commercial connections and combinations of interest, or both at
once. Such interest is not realized until people are united by some more
or less extensive political organization into a certain community of
life-interest. The city republics of ancient times required no
newspaper; all their needs of publication could be met by the herald and
by inscriptions, as occasion demanded. Only when Roman supremacy had
embraced or subjected to its influence all the countries of the
Mediterranean was there need of some means by which those members of the
ruling class who had gone to the provinces as officials, tax-farmers,
and in other occupations, might receive the current news of the capital.
It is significant that Caesar, the creator of the military monarchy and
of the administrative centralization of Rome, is regarded as the founder
of the first contrivance resembling a newspaper.

Indeed, long before Caesar's consulate it had become customary for
Romans in the provinces to keep one or more correspondents at the
capital to send them written reports on the course of political movement
and on other events of the day. Such a correspondent was generally an
intelligent slave or freedman intimately acquainted with affairs at the
capital, who, moreover, often made a business of reporting for several.
He was thus a species of primitive reporter, differing from those of
today only in writing, not for a newspaper, but directly for readers. On
recommendation of their employers, these reporters enjoyed at times
admission even to the senate discussions. Antony kept such a man, whose
duty it was to report to him not merely on the senate's resolutions but
also on the speeches and votes of the senators. Cicero, when proconsul,
received through his friend, M. Caelius, the reports of a certain
Chrestus, but seems not to have been particularly well satisfied with
the latter's accounts of gladiatorial sports, law-court proceedings, and
the various pieces of city gossip. As in this case, such correspondence
never extended beyond a rude relation of facts that required
supplementing through letters from party friends of the absent person.
These friends, as we know from Cicero, supplied the real report on
political feeling.

The innovation made by Caesar consisted in instituting the publication
of a brief record of the transactions and resolutions of the senate, and
in his causing to be published the transactions of the assemblies of the
plebs, as well as other important matters of public concern.

The Germanic peoples who, after the Romans, assumed the lead in the
history of Europe were neither in civilization nor in political
organization fitted to maintain a similar constitution of the news
service; nor did they require it. All through the Middle Ages the
political and social life of men was bounded by a narrow horizon;
culture retired to the cloisters and for centuries affected only the
people of prominence. There were no trade interests beyond the narrow
walls of their own town or manor to draw men together. It is only in the
later centuries of the Middle Ages that extensive social combinations
once more appear. It is first the church, embracing with her hierarchy
all the countries of Germanic and Latin civilization, next the burgher
class with its city confederacies and common trade interests, and,
finally, as a counter-influence to these, the secular territorial
powers, who succeed in gradually realizing some form of union. In the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries we notice the first traces of an
organized service for transmission of news and letters in the messengers
of monasteries, the universities, and the various spiritual dignitaries;
in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries we have advanced to a
comprehensive, almost postlike, organization of local messenger bureaus
for the epistolary intercourse of traders and of municipal authorities.
And now, for the first time, we meet with the word _Zeitung_, or
newspaper. The word meant originally that which was happening at the
time (_Zeit_ = "time"), a present occurrence; then information on such
an event, a message, a report, news.

Venice was long regarded as the birthplace of the newspaper in the
modern acceptation of the word. As the channel of trade between the East
and the West, as the seat of a government that first organized the
political news service and the consular system in the modern sense, the
old city of lagoons formed a natural collecting center for important
news items from all lands of the known world. Even early in the
fifteenth century, as has been shown by the investigations of
Valentinelli, the librarian of St. Mark's Library, collections of news
had been made at the instance of the council of Venice regarding events
that had either occurred within the republic or been reported by
ambassadors, consuls, and officials, by ships' captains, merchants, and
the like. These were sent as circular despatches to the Venetian
representatives abroad to keep them posted on international affairs.
Such collections of news were called _fogli d'avvisi_.

The further development of news publication in the field that it has
occupied since the more general adoption of the printing-press has been
peculiar. At the outset the publisher of a periodical printed newspaper
differed in no wise from the publisher of any other printed work--for
instance, of a pamphlet or a book. He was but the multiplier and seller
of a literary product, over whose content he had no control. The
newspaper publisher marketed the regular post-news in its printed form
just as another publisher offered the public a herbal or an edition of
an old writer.

But this soon changed. It was readily perceived that the contents of a
newspaper number did not form an entity in the same sense as the
contents of a book or pamphlet. The news items there brought together,
taken from different sources, were of varying reliability. They needed
to be used judicially and critically: in this a political or religious
bias could find ready expression. In a still higher degree was this the
case when men began to discuss contemporary political questions in the
newspapers and to employ them as a medium for disseminating party

This took place first in England during the Long Parliament and the
Revolution of 1640. The Netherlands and a part of the imperial free
towns of Germany followed later. In France the change was not
consummated before the era of the great Revolution: in most other
countries it occurred in the nineteenth century. The newspaper, from
being a mere vehicle for the publication of news, became an instrument
for supporting and shaping public opinion and a weapon of party

The effect of this upon the internal organization of the newspaper
undertaking was to introduce a third department, the _editorship_,
between news collecting and news publication. For the newspaper
publisher, however, it signified that from a mere seller of news he had
become a dealer in public opinion as well.

At first this meant nothing more than that the publisher was placed in a
position to shift a portion of the risk of his undertaking upon a party
organization, a circle of interested persons, or a government. If the
leanings of the paper were distasteful to the readers, they ceased to
buy the paper. Their wishes thus remained, in the final analysis, the
determining factor for the contents of the newspapers.

The gradually expanding circulation of the printed newspapers
nevertheless soon led to their employment by the authorities for making
public announcements. With this came, in the first quarter of the last
century, the extension of private announcements, which have now
attained, through the so-called advertising bureaus, some such
organization as political news-collecting possesses in the
correspondence bureaus.

The modern newspaper is a capitalistic enterprise, a sort of
news-factory in which a great number of people (correspondents, editors,
typesetters, correctors, machine-tenders, collectors of advertisements,
office clerks, messengers, etc.) are employed on wage, under a single
administration, at very specialized work. This paper produces wares for
an unknown circle of readers, from whom it is, furthermore, frequently
separated by intermediaries, such as delivery agencies and postal
institutions. The simple needs of the reader or of the circle of patrons
no longer determine the quality of these wares; it is now the very
complicated conditions of competition in the publication market. In this
market, however, as generally in wholesale markets, the consumers of the
goods, the newspaper readers, take no direct part; the determining
factors are the wholesale dealers and the speculators in news: the
governments, the telegraph bureaus dependent upon their special
correspondents, the political parties, artistic and scientific cliques,
men on 'change, and, last but not least, the advertising agencies and
large individual advertisers.

Each number of a great journal which appears today is a marvel of
economic division of labor, capitalistic organization, and mechanical
technique; it is an instrument of intellectual and economic intercourse,
in which the potencies of all other instruments of commerce--the
railway, the post, the telegraph, and the telephone--are united as in a


1. Definition of Imitation[146]

The term "imitation" is used in ordinary language to designate any
repetition of any act or thought which has been noted by an observer.
Thus one imitates the facial expression of another, or his mode of
speech. The term has been brought into prominence in scientific
discussions through the work of Gabriel Tarde, who in his _Les lois de
l'imitation_ points out that imitation is a fundamental fact underlying
all social development. The customs of society are imitated from
generation to generation. The fashions of the day are imitated by large
groups of people without any consciousness of the social solidarity
which is derived from this common mode of behavior. There is developed
through these various forms of imitation a body of experiences which is
common to all of the members of a given social group. In complex society
the various imitations which tend to set themselves up are frequently
found to be in conflict; thus the tendency toward elaborate fashions in
dress is constantly limited by the counter-tendency toward simpler
fashions. The conflict of tendencies leads to individual variations from
the example offered at any given time, and, as a result, there are new
examples to be followed. Complex social examples are thus products of

This general doctrine of Tarde has been elaborated by a number of recent
writers. Royce calls attention to the fundamental importance of
imitation as a means of social inheritance. The same doctrine is taken
up by Baldwin in his _Mental Development in the Child and Race_, and in
_Social and Ethical Interpretations_. With these later writers,
imitation takes on a significance which is somewhat technical and
broader than the significance which it has either with Tarde or in the
ordinary use of the term. Baldwin uses the term to cover that case in
which an individual repeats an act because he has himself gone through
the act. In such a case one imitates himself and sets up what Baldwin
terms a circular reaction. The principle of imitation is thus introduced
into individual psychology as well as into general social psychology,
and the relation between the individual's acts and his own imagery is
brought under the same general principle as the individual's responses
to his social environment. The term "imitation" in this broader sense is
closely related to the processes of sympathy.

The term "social heredity" has very frequently been used in connection
with all of the processes here under discussion. Society tends to
perpetuate itself in the new individual in a fashion analogous to that
in which the physical characteristics of the earlier generation tend to
perpetuate themselves in the physical characteristics of the new
generation. Since modes of behavior, such as acts of courtesy, cannot be
transmitted through physical structure, they would tend to lapse if they
were not maintained through imitation from generation to generation.
Thus imitation gives uniformity to social practices and consequently is
to be treated as a form of supplementary inheritance extending beyond
physical inheritance and making effective the established forms of
social practice.

2. Attention, Interest, and Imitation[147]

Imitation is a process of very great importance for the development of
mental life in both men and animals. In its more complex forms it
presupposes trains of ideas; but in its essential features it is present
and operative at the perceptual level. It is largely through imitation
that the results of the experience of one generation are transmitted to
the next, so as to form the basis for further development. Where trains
of ideas play a relatively unimportant part, as in the case of animals,
imitation may be said to be the sole form of social tradition. In the
case of human beings, the thought of past generations is embodied in
language, institutions, machinery, and the like. This distinctively
human tradition presupposes trains of ideas in past generations, which
so mold the environment of a new generation that in apprehending and
adapting itself to this environment it must re-think the old trains of
thought. Tradition of this kind is not found in animal life, because the
animal mind does not proceed by way of trains of ideas. None the less,
the more intelligent animals depend largely on tradition. This tradition
consists essentially in imitation by the young of the actions of their
parents, or of other members of the community in which they are born.
The same directly imitative process, though it is very far from forming
the whole of social tradition in human beings, forms a very important
part of it.

a) _The imitative impulse._--We must distinguish between ability to
imitate and impulse to imitate. We may be already fully able to perform
an action, and the sight of it as performed by another may merely prompt
us to reproduce it. But the sight of an act performed by another may
also have an educational influence; it may not only stimulate us to do
what we are already able to do without its aid; it may also enable us to
do what we could not do without having an example to follow. When the
cough of one man sets another coughing, it is evident that imitation
here consists only in the impulse to follow suit. The second man does
not learn how to cough from the example of the first. He is simply
prompted to do on this particular occasion what he is otherwise quite
capable of doing. But if I am learning billiards and someone shows me by
his own example how to make a particular stroke, the case is different.
It is not his example which in the first instance prompts me to the
action. He merely shows the way to do what I already desire to do.

We have then first to discuss the nature of the imitative impulse--the
impulse to perform an action which arises from the perception of it as
performed by another.

This impulse is an affair of attentive consciousness. The perception of
an action prompts us to reproduce it when and so far as it excites
interest or is at least intimately connected with what does excite
interest. Further, the interest must be of such a nature that it is more
fully gratified by partially or wholly repeating the interesting action.
Thus imitation is a special development of attention. Attention is
always striving after a more vivid, more definite, and more complete
apprehension of its object. Imitation is a way in which this endeavor
may gratify itself when the interest in the object is of a certain kind.
It is obvious that we do not try to imitate all manner of actions,
without distinction, merely because they take place under our eyes. What
is familiar and commonplace or what for any other reason is unexciting
or insipid fails to stir us to re-enact it. It is otherwise with what is
strikingly novel or in any way impressive, so that our attention dwells
on it with relish or fascination. It is, of course, not true that
whatever act fixes attention prompts to imitation. This is only the case
where imitation helps attention, where it is, in fact, a special
development of attention. This is so when interest is directly
concentrated on the activity itself for its own sake rather than for the
sake of its possible consequences and the like ulterior motives. But it
is not necessary that the act in itself should be interesting; in a most
important class of cases the interest centers, not directly in the
external act imitated, but in something else with which this act is so
intimately connected as virtually to form a part of it. Thus there is a
tendency to imitate not only interesting acts but also the acts of
interesting persons. Men are apt to imitate the gestures and modes of
speech of those who excite their admiration or affection or some other
personal interest. Children imitate their parents or their leaders in
the playground. Even the mannerisms and tricks of a great man are often
unconsciously copied by those who regard him as a hero. In such
instances the primary interest is in the whole personality of the model;
but this is more vividly and distinctly brought before consciousness by
reproducing his external peculiarities. Our result, then, is that
interest in an action prompts to imitation in proportion to its
intensity, provided the interest is of a kind which will be gratified or
sustained by imitative activity.

b) _Learning by imitation._--Let us now turn to the other side of the
question. Let us consider the case in which the power of performing an
action is acquired in and by the process of imitation itself. Here there
is a general rule which is obvious when once it is pointed out. It is
part of the still more general rule that "to him that hath shall be
given." Our power of imitating the activity of another is strictly
proportioned to our pre-existing power of performing the same general
kind of action independently. For instance, one devoid of musical
faculty has practically no power of imitating the violin playing of
Joachim. Imitation may develop and improve a power which already exists,
but it cannot create it. Consider the child beginning for the first time
to write in a copybook. He learns by imitation; but it is only because
he has already some rudimentary ability to make such simple figures as
pothooks that the imitative process can get a start. At the outset, his
pothooks are very unlike the model set before him. Gradually he
improves; increased power of independent production gives step by step
increased power of imitation, until he approaches too closely the limits
of his capacity in this direction to make any further progress of an
appreciable kind.

But this is an incomplete account of the matter. The power of learning
by imitation is part of the general power of learning by experience; it
involves mental plasticity. An animal which starts life with congenital
tendencies and aptitudes of a fixed and stereotyped kind, so that they
admit of but little modification in the course of individual
development, has correspondingly little power of learning by imitation.

At higher levels of mental development the imitative impulse is far less
conspicuous because impulsive activity in general is checked and
overruled by activity organized in a unified system. Civilized men
imitate not so much because of immediate interest in the action imitated
as with a view to the attainment of desirable results.

3. The Three Levels of Sympathy[148]

Sympathy is not an instinct or a tendency, i.e., a group of co-ordinated
movements adapted to a particular end, and showing itself in
consciousness as an emotion, such as fear, anger, sex attraction; it is,
on the contrary, a highly generalized psycho-physiological property. To
the specialized character of each emotion it opposes a character of
almost unlimited plasticity. We have not to consider it under all its
aspects but as one of the most important manifestations of emotional
life, as the basis of the tender emotions, and one of the foundations of
social and moral existence.

a) _The first phase._--In its primitive form sympathy is reflex,
automatic, unconscious, or very slightly conscious; it is, according to
Bain, the tendency to produce in ourselves an attitude, a state, a
bodily movement which we perceive in another person. This is imitation
in its most rudimentary form. Between sympathy and imitation, at any
rate in this primitive period, I see only one difference of aspect:
sympathy everywhere marks the passive, receptive side of the phenomenon;
imitation, its active and motor side.

It manifests itself in animals forming aggregates (not societies), such
as a flock of sheep, or a pack of dogs who run, stop, bark all at the
same time, through a purely physical impulse of imitation; in man,
infectious laughter or yawning, walking in step, imitating the movements
of a rope-walker while watching him, feeling a shock in one's legs when
one sees a man falling, and a hundred other occurrences of this kind are
cases of physiological sympathy. It plays a great part in the psychology
of crowds, with their rapid attacks and sudden panics. In nervous
diseases, there is a superfluity of examples: epidemics of hysteric
fits, convulsive barking, hiccup, etc. I omit the mental maladies
(epidemics of suicide, double or triple madness) since we are only
considering the purely physiological stage.

To sum up, sympathy is originally a property of living matter: as there
is an organic memory and an organic sensitiveness, being those of the
tissues and ultimate elements which compose them, there is an organic
sympathy, made up of receptivity and imitative movements.

b) _The second phase._--The next phase is that of sympathy in the
psychological sense, necessarily accompanied by consciousness; it
creates in two or more individuals analogous emotional states. Such are
the cases in which we say that fear, indignation, joy, or sorrow are
communicated. It consists in feeling an emotion existing in another, and
is revealed to us by its physiological expression. This phase consists
of two stages.

(1) The first might be defined as psychological unison. If, during this
period of unison, we could read the minds of those who sympathize, we
should see a single emotional fact reflected in the consciousness of
several individuals. L. Noiré, in his book, _Ursprung der Sprache_, has
proposed the theory that language originated in community of action
among the earliest human beings. When working, marching, dancing,
rowing, they uttered (according to this writer) sounds which became the
appellatives of these different actions, or of various objects; and
these sounds, being uttered by all, must have been understood by all.
Whether this theory be correct or not (it has been accepted as such by
Max Müller), it will serve as an illustration. But this state of
sympathy does not by itself constitute a tie of affection or tenderness
between those who feel it; it only prepares the way for such an emotion.
It may be the basis of a certain social solidarity, because the same
internal states excite the same acts of a mechanical, exterior,
non-moral solidarity.

(2) The second stage is that of sympathy, in the restricted and popular
sense of the word. This consists of psychological unison, _plus_ a new
element: there is added another emotional manifestation, tender emotion
(benevolence, sympathy, pity, etc.). It is no longer sympathy pure and
simple, it is a binary compound. The common habit of considering
phenomena only under their higher and complete forms often misleads us
as to their origin and constitution. Moreover, in order to understand
that this is a case of duality--the fusion of two distinct elements--and
that our analysis is not a factitious one, it is sufficient to point out
that sympathy (in the etymological sense) may exist without any tender
emotion--nay, that it may exclude instead of excite it. According to
Lubbock, while ants carry away their wounded, bees--though forming a
society--are indifferent toward each other. It is well known that
gregarious animals nearly always shun and desert a wounded member of the
herd. Among men, how many there are who, when they see suffering, hasten
to withdraw themselves from the spectacle, in order to escape the pain
which it sympathetically awakens in them. This impulse may go to the
length of aversion, as typified by Dives in the Gospel. It is therefore
a complete psychological error to consider sympathy as capable, unaided,
of delivering men from egoism; it only takes the first step, and not
always that.

c) _The third phase._--Under its intellectual form, sympathy is an
agreement in feelings and actions, founded on unity of representation.
The law of development is summed up in Spencer's formula, "The degree
and range of sympathy depend on the clearness and extent of
representation." I should, however, add: on condition of being based on
an emotional temperament. This last is the source _par excellence_ of
sympathy, because it vibrates like an echo; the active temperament lends
itself less to such impulses, because it has so much to do in
manifesting its own individuality that it can scarcely manifest those of
others; finally, the phlegmatic temperament does so least of all,
because it presents a minimum of emotional life; like Leibnitz' monads,
it has no windows.

In passing from the emotional to the intellectual phase, sympathy gains
in extent and stability. In fact, emotional sympathy requires some
analogy in temperament or nature; it can scarcely be established between
the timid and the daring, between the cheerful and the melancholic; it
may be extended to all human beings and to the animals nearest us, but
not beyond them. On the contrary, it is the special attribute of
intelligence to seek resemblances or analogies everywhere, to unify; it
embraces the whole of nature. By the law of transfer (which we have
already studied) sympathy follows this invading march and comprehends
even inanimate objects, as in the case of the poet, who feels himself in
communion with the sea, the woods, the lakes, or the mountains. Besides,
intellectual sympathy participates in the relative fixity of
representation; we find a simple instance of this in animal societies,
such as those of the bees, where unity or sympathy among the members is
only maintained by the perception or representation of the queen.

4. Rational Sympathy[149]

As we have no immediate experience of what other men feel, we can form
no idea of the manner in which they are affected but by conceiving what
we ourselves should feel in the like situation. Though our brother is
upon the rack, as long as we ourselves are at our ease our senses will
never inform us of what he suffers. They never did, and never can, carry
us beyond our own person, and it is by the imagination only that we can
form any conception of what are his sensations. Neither can that faculty
help us to this any other way than by representing to us what would be
our own, if we were in his case. It is the impressions of our own senses
only, not those of his, which our imaginations copy. By the imagination
we place ourselves in his situation, we conceive ourselves enduring all
the same torments, we enter as it were into his body and become in some
measure the same person with him, and thence form some idea of his
sensations, and even feel something which, though weaker in degree, is
not altogether unlike them. His agonies, when they are thus brought home
to ourselves, when we have thus adopted and made them our own, begin at
last to affect us, and we then tremble and shudder at the thought of
what he feels. For, as to be in pain or distress of any kind excites the
most excessive sorrow, so to conceive or to imagine that we are in it
excites some degree of the same emotion, in proportion to the vivacity
or dulness of the conception.

That this is the source of our fellow-feeling for the misery of others,
that it is by changing places in fancy with the sufferer that we come
either to conceive or to be affected by what he feels, may be
demonstrated by many obvious observations, if it should not be thought
sufficiently evident of itself. When we see a stroke aimed, and just
ready to fall upon the leg or arm of another person, we naturally shrink
and draw back our own leg or our own arm; and when it does fall, we feel
it in some measure and are hurt by it as well as the sufferer. The mob,
when they are gazing at a dancer on the slack rope, naturally writhe and
twist and balance their own bodies as they see him do, and as they feel
that they themselves must do if in his situation. Persons of delicate
fibers and a weak constitution of body complain that in looking on the
sores and ulcers which are exposed by beggars in the streets they are
apt to feel an itching or uneasy sensation in the corresponding part of
their own bodies. The horror which they conceive at the misery of those
wretches affects that particular part in themselves more than any other
because that horror arises from conceiving what they themselves would
suffer if they really were the wretches whom they are looking upon, and
if that particular part in themselves was actually affected in the same
miserable manner. The very force of this conception is sufficient, in
their feeble frames, to produce that itching or uneasy sensation
complained of. Men of the most robust make observe that in looking upon
sore eyes they often feel a very sensible soreness in their own, which
proceeds from the same reason; that organ, being in the strongest man
more delicate than any other part of the body, is the weakest.

Upon some occasions sympathy may seem to arise merely from the view of a
certain emotion in another person. The passions upon some occasions may
seem to be transfused from one man to another instantaneously and
antecedent to any knowledge of what excited them in the person
principally concerned. Grief and joy, for example, strongly expressed in
the look and gestures of any person at once affect the spectator with
some degree of a like painful or agreeable emotion. A smiling face is,
to everybody that sees it, a cheerful object, as a sorrowful
countenance, on the other hand, is a melancholy one.

This, however, does not hold universally, or with regard to every
passion. There are some passions of which the expressions excite no
sort of sympathy, but, before we are acquainted with what gave occasion
to them, serve rather to disgust and provoke us against them. The
furious behavior of an angry man is more likely to exasperate us against
himself than against his enemies. As we are unacquainted with his
provocation, we cannot bring his case home to ourselves, nor conceive
anything like the passions which it excites. But we plainly see what is
the situation of those with whom he is angry, and to what violence they
may be exposed from so enraged an adversary. We readily, therefore,
sympathize with their fear or resentment, and are immediately disposed
to take part against the man from whom they appear to be in danger.

If the very appearances of grief and joy inspire us with some degree of
the like emotions, it is because they suggest to us the general idea of
some good or bad fortune that has befallen the person in whom we observe
them: and in these passions this is sufficient to have some little
influence upon us. The effects of grief and joy terminate in the person
who feels these emotions, of which the expressions do not, like those of
resentment, suggest to us the idea of any other person for whom we are
concerned and whose interests are opposite to his. The general idea of
good or bad fortune, therefore, creates some concern for the person who
has met with it; but the general idea of provocation excites no sympathy
with the anger of the man who has received it. Nature, it seems, teaches
us to be more averse to enter into this passion, and, till informed of
its cause, to be disposed rather to take part against it.

Even our sympathy with the grief or joy of another, before we are
informed of the cause of either, is always extremely imperfect. General
lamentations, which express nothing but the anguish of the sufferer,
create rather a curiosity to inquire into his situation, along with some
disposition to sympathize with him, than any actual sympathy that is
very sensible. The first question which we ask is, What has befallen
you? Till this be answered, though we are uneasy both from the vague
idea of his misfortune and still more from torturing ourselves with
conjectures about what it may be, yet our fellow-feeling is not very

Sympathy, therefore, does not arise so much from the view of the passion
as from that of the situation which excites it. We sometimes feel for
another a passion of which he himself seems to be altogether incapable,
because, when we put ourselves in his case, that passion arises in our
breast from the imagination, though it does not in his from the reality.
We blush for the impudence and rudeness of another, though he himself
appears to have no sense of the impropriety of his own behavior, because
we cannot help feeling with what confusion we ourselves should be
covered, had we behaved in so absurd a manner.

Of all the calamities to which the condition of mortality exposes
mankind, the loss of reason appears, to those who have the least spark
of humanity, by far the most dreadful; and they behold that last stage
of human wretchedness with deeper commiseration than any other. But the
poor wretch who is in it laughs and sings, perhaps, and is altogether
insensible to his own misery. The anguish which humanity feels,
therefore, at the sight of such an object cannot be the reflection of
any sentiment of the sufferer. The compassion of the spectator must
arise altogether from the consideration of what he himself would feel if
he was reduced to the same unhappy situation, and, what perhaps is
impossible, was at the same time able to regard it with his present
reason and judgment.

What are the pangs of a mother when she hears the meanings of her
infant, that, during the agony of disease, cannot express what it feels?
In her idea of what it suffers, she joins to its real helplessness her
own consciousness of that helplessness and her own terrors for the
unknown consequences of its disorder; and, out of all these, forms for
her own sorrow the most complete image of misery and distress. The
infant, however, feels only the uneasiness of the present instant, which
can never be great. With regard to the future it is perfectly secure in
its thoughtlessness and want of anxiety, the great tormentors of the
human breast, from which reason and philosophy will in vain attempt to
defend it when it grows up to a man.

But whatever may be the cause of sympathy, or however it may be excited,
nothing pleases us more than to observe in other men a fellow-feeling
with all the emotions of our own breast; nor are we ever so much shocked
as by the appearance of the contrary. Those who are fond of deducing all
our sentiments from certain refinements of self-love think themselves at
no loss to account, according to their own principles, both for this
pleasure and for this pain. Man, say they, conscious of his own weakness
and of the need which he has for the assistance of others, rejoices
whenever he observes that they adopt his own passions because he is then
assured of that assistance and grieves whenever he observes the
contrary, because he is then assured of their opposition. But both the
pleasure and the pain are always felt so instantaneously, and often upon
such frivolous occasions, that it seems evident that neither of them can
be derived from any such self-interested consideration. A man is
mortified when, after having endeavored to divert the company, he looks
round and sees that nobody laughs at his jests but himself. On the
contrary, the mirth of the company is highly agreeable to him and he
regards this correspondence of their sentiments with his own as the
greatest applause.

5. Art, Imitation, and Appreciation[150]

The investigation into the psychology of masses, as well as the
experiments on suggestive therapeutics, have proved to how great an
extent mental states may be transmitted from individual to individual by
unconscious imitation of the accompanying movements. The doctrine of
universal sympathy, a clear statement of which was given long ago in the
ethical theory of Adam Smith, has thus acquired a psychological
justification in the modern theories of imitative movement. Contemporary
science has at last learned to appreciate the fundamental importance of
imitation for the development of human culture. And some authors have
even gone so far as to endeavor to deduce all sociological laws from
this one principle. At the same time natural history has begun to pay
more and more attention to the indispensability of imitation for the
full development of instincts, as well as for training in those
activities which are the most necessary in life.

It is fortunate for the theory of art that the importance of the
imitative functions has thus been simultaneously acknowledged in various
departments of science. Whatever one may think of the somewhat audacious
generalizations which have been made in the recent application of this
new principle, it is incontestable that the aesthetic activities can be
understood and explained only by reference to the universal tendency to
imitate. It is also significant that writers on aesthetic had felt
themselves compelled to set up a theory of imitation long before
experimental psychologists had begun to turn their attention in this
direction. In Germany the enjoyment of form and form-relations has,
since Vischer's time, been interpreted as the result of the movements by
which, not only our eye, but also our whole body follows the outlines of
external things. In France Jouffroy stated the condition for the
receiving of aesthetic impressions to be a "power of internally
imitating the states which are externally manifested in living nature."
In England, finally, Vernon Lee and Anstruther Thompson have founded a
theory of beauty and ugliness upon this same psychical impulse to copy
in our own unconscious movements the forms of objects. And in the
writings of, for instance, Home, Hogarth, Dugald Stewart, and Spencer,
there can be found a multitude of isolated remarks on the influence
which is in a direct way exercised on our mental life by the perception
of lines and forms.

In most of these theories and observations, however, the imitative
activity has been noticed only in so far as it contributes to the
aesthetic delight which may be derived from sensual impressions. But its
importance is by no means so restricted as this; on the contrary, we
believe it to be a fundamental condition for the existence of intuition
itself. Without all these imperceptible tracing movements with which our
body accompanies the adaptation of the eye-muscles to the outlines of
external objects, our notions of depth, height, and distance, and so on,
would certainly be far less distinct than they are. On the other hand,
the habit of executing such movements has, so to say, brought the
external world within the sphere of the internal. The world has been
measured with man as a standard, and objects have been translated into
the language of mental experience. The impressions have hereby gained,
not only in emotional tone, but also in intellectual comprehensibility.

Greater still is the importance of imitation for our intuition of moving
objects. And a difficult movement itself is fully understood only when
it has been imitated, either internally or in actual outward activity.
The idea of a movement, therefore, is generally associated with an
arrested impulse to perform it. Closer introspection will show everyone
to how great a part our knowledge, even of persons, is built up of motor
elements. By unconscious and imperceptible copying in our own body the
external behavior of a man, we may learn to understand him with
benevolent or malevolent sympathy. And it will, no doubt, be admitted
by most readers that the reason why they know their friends and foes
better than they know anyone else is that they carry the remembrance of
them not only in their eyes, but in their whole body. When in idle
moments we find the memory of an absent friend surging up in our minds
with no apparent reason, we may often note, to our astonishment, that we
have just been unconsciously adopting one of his characteristic
attitudes, or imitating his peculiar gestures or gait.

It may, however, be objected that the above-mentioned instances refer
only to a particular class of individuals. In other minds, it will be
said, the world-picture is entirely built up of visual and acoustic
elements. It is also impossible to deny that the classification of minds
in different types, which modern psychology has introduced, is as
legitimate as it is advantageous for the purposes of research. But we
can hardly believe that such divisions have in view anything more than a
relative predominance of the several psychical elements. It is easily
understood that a man in whose store of memory visual or acoustic images
occupy the foremost place may be inclined to deny that motor sensations
of unconscious copying enter to any extent into his psychical
experience. But an exclusively visual world-image, if such a thing is
possible, must evidently be not only emotionally poorer, but also
intellectually less distinct and less complete, than an intuition, in
which such motor elements are included.

The importance of motor sensations in the psychology of knowledge is by
itself of no aesthetic interest. The question has been touched upon in
this connection only because of the illustration which it gives to the
imitation theory. If, as we believe is the case, it is really necessary,
for the purpose of acquiring a complete comprehension of things and
events, to "experience" them--that is to say, to pursue and seize upon
them, not only with that particular organ of sense to which they appeal,
but also by tracing movements of the whole body--then there is no need
to wonder at the universality of the imitative impulse. Imitation does
not only, according to this view, facilitate our training in useful
activities, and aid us in deriving an aesthetic delight from our
sensations; it serves also, and perhaps primarily, as an expedient for
the accommodating of ourselves to the external world, and for the
explaining of things by reference to ourselves. It is therefore natural
that imitative movements should occupy so great a place among the
activities of children and primitive men. And we can also understand why
this fundamental impulse, which has played so important a part in racial
as well as in individual education, may become so great as to be a
disease and dominate the whole of conscious life. As children we all
imitated before we comprehended, and we have learned to comprehend by
imitating. It is only when we have grown familiar by imitation with the
most important data of perception that we become capable of
appropriating knowledge in a more rational way. Although no adult has
any need to resort to external imitation in order to comprehend new
impressions, it is still only natural that in a pathological condition
he should relapse into the primitive imitative reaction. And it is
equally natural that an internal, i.e., arrested, imitation should take
place in all our perceptions. After this explanation of the universality
of this phenomenon we have no further need to occupy ourselves with the
general psychology of imitation. We have here only to take notice of its
importance for the communication of feeling.

As is well known, it is only in cases of abnormally increased
sensibility--for instance, in some of the stages of hypnotism and
thought transmission--that the motor counterpart of a mental state can
be imitated with such faithfulness and completeness that the imitator is
thereby enabled to partake of all the _intellectual_ elements of the
state existing in another. The hedonic qualities, on the other hand,
which are physiologically conditioned by much simpler motor
counterparts, may of course be transmitted with far greater perfection:
it is easier to suggest a pleasure than a thought. It is also evident
that it is the most general hedonic and volitional elements which have
been considered by the German authors on aesthetic in their theories on
internal imitation ("Die innere Nachahmung"). They seem to have thought
that the adoption of the attitudes and the performance of the movements
which usually accompany a given emotional state will also succeed to
some extent in producing a similar emotional state. This assumption is
perfectly legitimate, even if the connection between feeling and
movement be interpreted in the associative way. And it needs no
justification when the motor changes are considered as the physiological
correlate of the feeling itself.

Everyday experience affords many examples of the way in which feelings
are called into existence by the imitation of their expressive
movements. A child repeats the smiles and the laughter of its parents,
and can thus partake of their joy long before it is able to understand
its cause. Adult life naturally does not give us many opportunities of
observing this pure form of direct and almost automatic transmission.
But even in adult life we may often meet with an exchange of feeling
which seems almost independent of any intellectual communication. Lovers
know it, and intimate friends like the brothers Goncourt, to say nothing
of people who stand in so close a rapport with each other as a
hypnotiser and his subject. And even where there is no previous
sympathetic relation, a state of joy or sadness may often, if it is only
distinctly expressed, pass over, so to say, from the individual who has
been under the influence of its objective cause, to another who, as it
were, borrows the feeling, but remains unconscious of its cause. We
experience this phenomenon almost daily in the influence exerted upon us
by social intercourse, and even by those aspects of nature--for
instance, blue open sky or overhanging mountains--which naturally call
up in us the physical manifestation of emotional states. The coercive
force with which our surroundings--animate or inanimate--compel us to
adopt the feelings which are suggested by their attitudes, forms, or
movements, is perhaps as a rule too weak to be noticed by a
self-controlled, unemotional man. But if we want an example of this
influence at its strongest, we need but remember how difficult it is for
an individual to resist the contagion of collective feeling. On public
occasions the common mood, whether of joy or sorrow, is often
communicated even to those who were originally possessed by the opposite
feeling. So powerful is the infection of great excitement
that--according to M. Féré--even a perfectly sober man who takes part in
a drinking bout may often be tempted to join in the antics of his
drunken comrades in a sort of second-hand intoxication, "drunkenness by
induction." In the great mental epidemics of the Middle Ages this kind
of contagion operated with more fatal results than ever before or
afterward. But even in modern times a popular street riot may often show
us something of the same phenomenon. The great tumult in London in 1886
afforded, it is said, a good opportunity of observing how people who had
originally maintained an indifferent attitude were gradually carried
away by the general excitement, even to the extent of joining in the
outrages. In this instance the contagious effect of expressional
movements was undoubtedly facilitated by their connection with so
primary an impulse as that of rapine and destruction. But the case is
the same with all the activities which appear as the outward
manifestations of our strongest feeling-states. They all consist of
instinctive actions with which everyone is well familiar from his own
experience. It is therefore natural that anger, hate, or love may be
communicated almost automatically from an individual to masses, and from
masses to individuals.

Now that the principle of the interindividual diffusion of feeling has
been stated and explained, we may return to our main line of research
and examine its bearings on the expressional impulse. We have seen that
in the social surroundings of the individual there is enacted a process
resembling that which takes place within his own organism. Just as
functional modifications spread from organ to organ, just as wider and
wider zones of the system are brought into participation in the primary
enhancement or inhibition, so a feeling is diffused from an individual
to a circle of sympathisers who repeat its expressional movements. And
just as all the widened "somatic resonances" contribute to the primary
feeling-tone increased strength and increased definiteness, so must the
emotional state of an individual be enhanced by retroactive stimulation
from the expressions by which the state has, so to say, been continued
in others. By the reciprocal action of primary movements and borrowed
movements, which mutually imitate each other, the social expression
operates in the same way as the individual expression. And we are
entitled to consider it as a secondary result of the general
expressional impulse, that when mastered by an overpowering feeling we
seek enhancement or relief by retroaction from sympathisers, who
reproduce and in their expression represent the mental state by which we
are dominated.

In point of fact, we can observe in the manifestations of all strong
feelings which have not found a satisfactory relief in individual
expression, a pursuit of social resonance. A happy man wants to see glad
faces around him, in order that from their expression he may derive
further nourishment and increase for his own feeling. Hence the
benevolent attitude of mind which as a rule accompanies all strong and
pure joy. Hence also the widespread tendency to express joy by gifts or
hospitality. In moods of depression we similarly desire a response to
our feeling from our surroundings. In the depth of despair we may long
for a universal cataclysm to extend, as it were, our own pain. As joy
naturally makes men good, so pain often makes them hard and cruel. That
this is not always the case is a result of the increased power of
sympathy which we gain by every experienced pain. Moreover, we have need
of sympathetic rapport for our motor reactions against pain. All the
active manifestations of sorrow, despair, or anger which are not wholly
painful in themselves are facilitated by the reciprocal influence of
collective excitement. Thus all strong feelings, whether pleasurable or
painful, act as socialising factors. This socialising action may be
observed at all stages of development. Even the animals seek their
fellows in order to stimulate themselves and each other by the common
expression of an overpowering feeling. As has been remarked by Espinas,
the flocking together of the male birds during the pairing season is
perhaps as much due to this craving for mutual stimulation as to the
desire to compete for the favor of the hen. The howling choirs of the
macaws and the drum concerts of the chimpanzees are still better and
unmistakable instances of collective emotional expression. In man we
find the results of the same craving for social expression in the
gatherings for rejoicing or mourning which are to be met with in all
tribes, of all degrees of development. And as a still higher development
of the same fundamental impulse, there appears in man the artistic

The more conscious our craving for retroaction from sympathisers, the
more there must also be developed in us a conscious endeavor to cause
the feeling to be appropriated by as many as possible and as completely
as possible. The expressional impulse is not satisfied by the resonance
which an occasional public, however sympathetic, is able to afford. Its
natural aim is to bring more and more sentient beings under the
influence of the same emotional state. It seeks to vanquish the
refractory and arouse the indifferent. An echo, a true and powerful
echo--that is what it desires with all the energy of an unsatisfied
longing. As a result of this craving the expressional activities lead to
artistic production. The work of art presents itself as the most
effective means by which the individual is enabled to convey to wider
and wider circles of sympathisers an emotional state similar to that by
which he is himself dominated.


1. A Sociological Definition of Suggestion[151]

The nature of suggestion manifestly consists not in any external
peculiarities whatever. It is based upon the peculiar kind of relation
of the person making the suggestion to the "ego" of the subject during
the reception and realization of the suggestion.

Suggestion, is, in general, one of many means of influence of man on man
that is exercised with or without intention on persons, who respond
either consciously or unconsciously.

For a closer acquaintance with what we call "suggestion," it may be
observed that our perceptive activities are divided into (a) active,
and (b) passive.

a) _Active perception._--In the first case the "ego" of the subject
necessarily takes a part, and according to the trend of our thinking or
to the environmental circumstances directs the attention to these or
those external impressions. These, since they enter the mind through the
participation of attention and will and through reflection and judgment,
are assimilated and permanently incorporated in the personal
consciousness or in our "ego." This type of perception leads to an
enrichment of our personal consciousness and lies at the bottom of our
points of view and convictions. The organization of more or less
definite convictions is the product of the process of reflection
instituted by active perception. These convictions, before they become
the possession of our personal consciousness, may conceal themselves
awhile in the so-called subconsciousness. They are capable of being
aroused at any moment at the desire of the "ego" whenever certain
experienced representations are reproduced.

b) _Passive perception._--In contrast to active perception we perceive
much from the environment in a passive manner without that participation
of the "ego." This occurs when our attention is diverted in any
particular direction or concentrated on a certain thought, and when its
continuity for one or another reason is broken up, which, for instance,
occurs in cases of so-called distraction. In these cases the object of
the perception does not enter into the personal consciousness, but it
makes its way into other spheres of our mind, which we call the general
consciousness. The general consciousness is to a certain degree
independent of the personal consciousness. For this reason everything
that enters into the general consciousness cannot be introduced at will
into the personal consciousness. Nevertheless products of the general