Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/48

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38
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ciable effect on those who shut out from consideration the reactive influence on moral nature, entailed by the action of a system of intellectual culture which habituates parents to make the public responsible for their children's minds. Nor do I think it likely that many of those who wish to change fundamentally the political status of women will be influenced by the considerations above set forth on the comparative psychology of the sexes. But, without acceptance of these illustrative conclusions, there may be acceptance of the general conclusion, that psychological truths underlie sociological truths, and must therefore be sought by the sociologist. For whether discipline of the intellect does or does not change the emotions; whether national character is or is not progressively adapted to social conditions; whether the minds of men and women are or are not alike—are obviously psychological questions; and either answer to any one of them implies a psychological conclusion. Hence, whoever, on any of these questions, has a conviction to which he would give legislative expression, is basing a sociological belief upon a psychological belief; and cannot deny that the one is true only if the other is true. Having admitted this, he must admit that without preparation in Mental Science there can be no Social Science. For, otherwise, he must assert that the randomly-made and carelessly-grouped observations on Mind, common to all people, are better as guides than observations cautiously collected, critically examined, and generalized in a systematic way.

No one, indeed, who is once led to dwell on the matter, can fail to see how absurd is the supposition that there can be a rational interpretation of men's combined actions, without a previous rational interpretation of those thoughts and feelings by which their individual actions are prompted. Nothing comes out of a society but what originates in the motive of an individual, or in the united similar motives of many individuals, or in the conflict of the united similar motives of some having certain interests with the diverse motives of others whose interests are different. Always the power which initiates a change is feeling, separate or aggregated, guided to its ends by intellect; and not even an approach to an explanation of social phenomena can be made, without the thoughts and sentiments of citizens being recognized as factors. How, then, can there be a true account of social actions without a true account of these thoughts and sentiments? Manifestly, those who ignore Psychology as a preparation for Sociology, can defend their position only by proving that while other groups of phenomena require special study, the phenomena of Mind, in all their variety and intricacy, are best understood without special study; and that knowledge of human nature gained hap-hazard becomes obscure and misleading in proportion as there is added to it knowledge deliberately sought and carefully put together.