554 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY
ing a field glass when examining a distant object. The observer may first place the big end of the instrument to his eye, with the result that he dwarfs the object. After reversing the instrument, further adjustment is necessary to make the focus exact. The eye, which for this purpose is analogous with subjectivity, is the medium of interpretation of course, but the object is the fixed quantity, and in the last analysis it is the object, not the eye, which determines the correct- ness of the report. Science is not made by subjectivity. Science is the output of subjectivity applying itself to the objective and correct- ing itself by progressive apprehension of the objective. If we attempt to make a science upon the contrary hypothesis, it reports reality, not in terms of itself, but in the form and moving imposed upon it by our subjectivity. It would require the courage of one's convictions thus to propose oneself as the norm of all external reality. It is too late in the history of science, however, for even such self-confidence to be taken at its own appraisal by cautious seekers after knowledge. Science is interpretation of reality by itself, not by that fraction of reality which comes to consciousness in myself.
Sociology has nothing to gain, but everything to lose, by ignoring the conclusions of the centuries about the limitations and restraints which must be enforced upon speculation, if it is to be kept serviceable. Speculation does not alter its character when we entitle it " subjective interpretation " or " ejective interpretation." It is the same anticipa- tory surmising, which may or may not prove to be in accordance with the facts. It should be added that many of Professor Giddings' propo- sitions doubtless appear more dogmatic in cold type than they would seem in connection with his verbal explanations. I do not wish to exaggerate that element in his method, nor to depreciate the helpful- ness of his fertility in speculation. My main contentions are, first, that the larger generalizations of sociology are not yet ripe for under- graduate consumption ; second, that among investigators in sociology speculation should be welcome as a handmaid, but intolerable as a dictator. Albion W. Small.
The Psychology of Peoples. Its Influence on Their Evolution. By
GusTAVE Le Bon. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1898.
Pp. XX + 236.
This translation of Le Bon's Lois psychologiques de revolution des
/<?«//« (Paris, 189s) forms a sort of companion volume to the same