Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 1.djvu/657

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THE

 

POPULAR SCIENCE

 

MONTHLY.



OCTOBER, 1872



THE STUDY OF SOCIOLOGY.
By HERBERT SPENCER.

IV.—Difficulties of the Social Science

FROM the intrinsic natures of its facts, from our own natures as observers of its facts, and from the peculiar relation in which we stand toward the facts to he observed, there arise impediments in the way of Sociology greater than those standing in the way of any other science.

The phenomena to be generalized are not of a directly-perceptible kind—cannot be noted by telescope and clock, like those of Astronomy; cannot be measured by dynamometer and thermometer, like those of Physics; cannot be elucidated by scales and test-papers, like those of Chemistry; are not to be got at by scalpel and microscope, like the less-obvious biological phenomena; nor are to be recognized by introspection, like the phenomena Psychology deals with. They have severally to be established by the putting together of many details, no one of which is simple, and which are dispersed both in Space and Time, in ways that make them difficult of access. Hence the reason that some of its cardinal truths, such as the division of labor, remain long unrecognized. That in advanced societies men follow different occupations, was indeed a generalization easy to make; but that this form of social arrangement had neither been specially created, nor enacted by a king, but had grown up without forethought of any one, was a conclusion that could be reached only after many transactions of many kinds between men had been noted, remembered, and accounted for, and only after comparisons had been made between those transactions and these taking place between men in simpler societies, and in earlier times. And when it is remembered that the data from which only there can be drawn the inference that labor be-