Page:American Journal of Sociology Volume 1.djvu/506

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THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY.

tions and their methodical arrangement no more gives them philosophical coherence than piling bricks in artistic shapes transforms them into crystals. Mr. Herbert Spencer was pleased to communicate a large assortment of his personal opinions as Ethics, notably in the second volume of the Principles. Professor Bascom chooses to distinguish his opinions on similar subjects as Sociology. In both cases the opinions are well worth printing. In each case, however, the significance of the opinion is incidental to the demonstration that the author has not succeeded in proving the opinions to be sanctioned by the science invoked.

Some men are at present engaged in working out a philosophy of society. They call their desideratum Sociology. Other men, or the same men at other times, are trying to decide what conduct in society is most rational at the present moment. Solutions of problems in the latter field may and must be assumed for daily guidance, whether the former task is accomplished or not. It is meanwhile to be deplored that men who write books are not willing to contribute frankly to the one series of problems or to the other, allowing those contributions to stand on their merits, without attempting to borrow authority from assumptions about the other series. In order to secure sanctions for his dogmatism on problems of conduct Professor Bascom has followed the policy: "Assume a Sociology if you have it not." The effect of such policy is the reverse of that intended.


Practical Christian Sociology. A series of special lectures before Princeton Theological Seminary and Marietta College, with supplemental notes and appendixes. By Rev. Wilbur F. Crafts, Ph. D. Funk & Wagnalls Co. 12mo., pp. 512, $1.50.

Mr. Crafts is a stalwart specimen of the "reformer born." In all his work he furnishes ample exhibit of the virtues and the vices of the type. In the first place it is very hard for him to tell the truth without telling more than the truth. For example, he permits Mr. Joseph Cook, on the first page of his introduction, to allude to Maine, the state of his birth, in these words: "A state in which in all his childhood he saw neither saloon nor drunkard." The writer spent his childhood in the same state, at the same time, and, while he might accept in a qualified sense the statement about saloons, the rest of the assertion tends to create an impression so incorrect that it seriously dis-