Page:American Journal of Sociology Volume 8.djvu/30

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1 8 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY

the appropriate, the should-be in general. The particular regu- lations in the realms of religion, morality, conventions, law, are not details in the sense that from them that concept could have proceeded as that which was common to them all, but they are the ramifications which rest undifferentiated in it. The concept is the original, not the later abstracted unity. In contrast now to the opinion in accordance with which morality, custom, and law have developed, so to speak, as pendants from that germ-condition, the germ seems to me rather to persist still in that which we call custom, and to represent the indifference- condition which puts forth from itself from different sides the form of law and of morality. Custom as a form of socio- logical combination seems to me scarcely to be capable of positive definition, but it can properly be defined only through the antithesis to those two forms which develop themselves from it here also betraying its quite primary and general character. All three forms serve to assure the demeanor of the individual in accordance with the demands of social utility. Law has in statute and in its executive agencies the differ- entiated organs through which it can first precisely circum- scribe its contents and, second, control them externally. Hence, however, it limits itself for utilitarian purposes to the quite essential conditions of the group-life. The free morality of the individual, on the other hand, possesses no other law than that which it gives itself autonomously from within, and no other executive than conscience. Hence its scope embraces, to be sure, in principle, the totality of action ; it has, however, visibly, in its external practice, in every individual case, special acci- dental and varying boundaries. 1

'That law and morality thus alike spring pari passu from one variation of socie- tary development appears in the ideological significance of the two, which, more than the first appearance betrays, connote each other. If the restricted leading of the indi- vidual, which includes a life regulated altogether by custom, gives place to the universal legal norm, which has a much wider distance from everything individual, yet in the social interest the therewith attained freedom may still not remain responsible to itself alone. Through the moral imperative the juristic demands are enlarged, and the gaps in the regulations of life are filled, which are produced by defect of universally regu- lating custom. Regulation is now at the same time transferred much higher above the individual and much deeper within him, for whatever personal and metaphysical