Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/727

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SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE.

generation. In fact, with Prof. Giddings, as with Spencer, sociology is the study of society as it is and as it has been; also, perhaps, so far as a knowledge of its laws render prediction possible, as it is likely to be in the future; but not at all a study of what it ought to be, much less an attempt to lay down rules for its improvement.

Although Prof. Giddings has followed Spencer very closely in his general ideas of sociology, still he thinks he has discovered one very fundamental principle that is entirely new, and upon which he attempts to build the entire science. This principle he calls the "consciousness of kind"—i. e., the fact that men recognize their like, and that this natural affinity makes it possible for them to crystallize into social groups. Of course, he finds the principle running down through the entire animal series, and he commits the fallacy of regarding this as the highest proof of its sociological importance. In fact, he has seized upon a well-known and important biological principle, and, as may be done with so many others, he has successfully applied it in various departments of social life. It has doubtless helped him in dealing with the difficult question of the origin of human association, to which he has given special attention.

The work is divided into four books, the first of which deals with the theory, the second with the structure, the third with the evolution, and the fourth with the causes of society. Space will only permit a brief reference to Book III, on the Historical Evolution of Society, which is not only the most important department of the work, but is the most ably treated. The general subdivision was briefly outlined in an earlier paper on the Theory of Sociology. It is into zoögenic, anthropogenic, ethnogenic, and demogenic association, to each of which a chapter is devoted. The treatment of zoögenic association is too brief, but if properly expanded it would form an important introduction. To the two chapters on anthropogenic and ethnogenic association too great praise can not be bestowed. Although somewhat trite subjects after all that has been written by Tylor, Spencer, Morgan, McLennan, and the rest, Prof. Giddings has succeeded in so organizing, methodizing, and condensing this immense mass of data as to render it not merely interesting and instructive, but even fascinating, and to enable the reader to acquire in small compass practically all of importance that is contained in so many large volumes.

The chapter on Demogenic Association, which in a work on sociology should have been the pièce de résistance, is less ably written and should have been expanded and improved. But the reader will see for himself what its defects are, and will be able to a great extent to supply them. This department of the work, however, taken as a whole, possesses exceptional merit.

It will be charitable to the author to refrain from discussing Book IV, on Social Process, Law, and Cause. Much of it is an attempt to apply Spencer's First Principles to social phenomena, in which the author is generally unsuccessful. There are, however, some very good suggestions under the head of Social Choices, which we can commend to the reader.

 

Mr. Schoenhof's latest contribution to the Questions of the Day Series deals with the economic subject that is uppermost in this country at present—namely, how far prices can be raised by an abundance of cheap cur-