Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 14.djvu/441

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ing, he has no longing to transcend them. He sees that his field of research lies between the problems, "What are matter and force?" on the one hand, and "How do matter and force think?" on the other; outside of this field he knows only that he knows nothing, can know nothing, and will know nothing. Standing without vertigo on this mountain-summit of Pyrrhonism, he scorns to people the vacuity round about him with the images of his own phantasy and surveys unappalled the unpitying drift of nature without gods. He is not disheartened at the thought that he stands face to face with eternal enigmas. He does not, like an Empedocles, cast himself into the physical abyss whose secrets he is unable to fathom; nor, like a Faust, into the ethical abyss, although no unworthy trammels restrain him from yielding to its temptations. For he contemns not reason and science, though it be denied him to recognize the first cause of things. Like Lessing, he holds the higher good to consist not in the possession but in the pursuit of truth; and therefore does he find solace and exaltation in labor which increases the store of human knowledge; which by healthy effort enhances the powers and the capacities of our race, extends our dominion over nature, ennobles our being by enriching our mind, and beautifies it by multiplying our joys.

From the disheartening conclusion, "Ignoramibus" the student of nature recovers as he pronounces the stirring countersign given by the dying Septimius Severus to his legionaries—[1]



BIOLOGICAL Methods applicable to Sociology.—We have thus shown the use in sociology of the ideas and doctrines characteristic of biology. We have shown that they are applicable, but with some limitations and modifications imposed by the presence of a nature higher than the animal. We come now to show the use of biological methods in the cultivation of sociology.

The great characteristic method of biology is the method of comparison. The reason is obvious. The phenomena of life are so complex that it is impossible to reduce them to law without simplifying

  1. Jussit deinde signum tribuno dari Laboremus, quia Pertinax quando in imperium adscitus est signum dederat Militemus.—"Scriptores Hist. August, ab Hadr. ad Numerianum.