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money? Who is so old as not to remember the days of youthfulness, in which a genuine curiosity was felt about the natural history of a five-pound note? The boy who hesitates between buying a pocketknife and a copy of The Three Musketeers is father to the man who hesitates between the purchase of a horse and the Encyclopedia Britannica. But the man of forty may be --and alas! generally is—more indifferent than the youth of twenty about the chain of individual and social consequences that depends on whether one buys horses or encyclopædias. The incipient sociologist of twenty may become the (scientifically) stunted, dwarfed, and degenerate sociologist of forty, the multiplication of encyclopædias notwithstanding. The educational machine still, as in the time of Rabelais, grinds out Gargantuas who study with great zeal, and the more they study, the more they become “foolish, stupid, tiresome, and silly.” They are like that hero of modern education of whom Sir John Seeley used to tell. Having exhausted all the great prizes of Cambridge, he ceased to take any interest in life, because he “could not think of anything else to do.”
To take a final illustration: There is no one who is not prepared to give some sort of answer to the question why a clergyman is of a superior social repute to a shopkeeper (provided he is not a very rich one); why, in occidental civilizations, a fighting general is more popular than an epic poet; why boys play football and girls with dolls; why disease and crime, vice and lunacy are normal accompaniments of poverty and of luxury; why marriage is a religious institution and parliament a civil one — sometimes; why thieves are sent to prison, retired brewers to the House of Lords, retired bricklayers to the workhouse, and foreigners to the devil. Whoever answers, or even raises, any or all of these questions is — whether he knows it or not — talking sociology.
Let it be admitted, then, that everyone may with appropriateness be called a sociologist in some degree or kind. Between the two extremes there may be, and is, a very wide divergence, but the gradation from one to the other proceeds by insensible steps, and where are we to draw the line which separates those who are to be called sociologists from those who are not? For purposes of practical convenience we must, of course, resort to some classification of sociologists, just as we need to classify vegetables, or any other group of phenomena that we desire to talk about or use. The classification of sociologists is an urgent (and practicable) problein alike of government, of education, and of science. And when the politicians, the teachers, and the scientists foregather (if ever), we may anticipate the undertaking of a rational census.
For the immediate purposes of the present argument a few broad distinctions may be useful. There are first those who make serious endeavors to disengage their sociological conceptions from their own social conduct and emotion, and then proceed to enlarge these conceptions by absorbing as much as they can of the recorded experience of others, meanwhile ever being on the watch to test and verify the validity of their sociological conceptions by social observation and experiment. These are the rational, the scientific, or the philosophical sociologists – the sociologists proper, as one might say. Of the numerous varieties that come under this class, or order, two or three only need to be noted here. There are those who seek sociological truth, and find the pursuit so absorbing as to forget that there are other forms of knowledge, and that knowledge itself belongs to the scaffolding of life. These illustrate the dangers of specialism — they start out to find a treasure and get lost in the search. The intellectual danger is one of artificial limitation as the late Professor Chandler, of Oxford, used to say: “If a man knows nothing but beetles, he will go through the world and see nothing but beetles.” But action cannot be thus limited; hence it so frequently comes about that in the case of the specialists in social science there is so striking a discrepancy between thought and action. Their theory is divorced from their practice. They keep their sociological knowledge and their social conduct in separate water-tight compartments — like Faraday with his science and his religion, of which he said he kept the first in one pocket, and the second in the other. Then there are those who endeavor to reunite into a nobler art of conduct their sociological science and their social practice, provisionally separated by a device of reason in its perpetual struggle with instinct; or, as we
might say, the struggle of the more spiritual and social against the more material and individual forces. These we might call the applied sociologists. For those to whom sociological investigation and teaching belongs as part or whole of their normal occupation, it would be convenient to reserve the designation of professed sociologists.
If the name of pseudo-sociologists is too harsh a designation for those whose sociological thought is uncritically bound up with their material personal interests and prejudices, let us call them empirical sociologists. If you do not have the habit of detaching your sociological reasoning from your personal desires, you can have no adequate conception of social causation, you can have no valid claim to be a scientific observer of social phenomena. For this you must have the habit of at least trying to separate your speculative opinions from your material interests. Because they do not habitually make this effort, are to be counted among empirical sociologists some children, most men, and all women.
The empirical sociologist may be, and very often is, within a certain limited range, and for certain limited (mostly personal) purposes, an extremely shrewd observer and prompt to form approximately accurate judgments. But beyond the range of his practical and emotional interests the observations of his intellect do not actively extend. A practical test of sociological status is the number and variety of persons you can co-operate with, both in thought and in action. The social experience of the empirical sociologist is in a strict and narrow sense personal his thought is limited by the range of his personal action and conduct. From vicarious participation in the experience of types of personality antithetical to his own, he is cut off. And only in partial, fitful, and disjointed fragments, if at all, can he hope to absorb and utilize that social experience of past generations which survives in the ordered records of science and philosophy.
In fact, the empirical sociologist is, from this point of view, just the individual who has not awakened to that inheritance of unlimited wealth of social experience which countless generations have accumulated for him in the sciences and the arts, in
languages and literatures, in systems of philosophy and of religion. There is a saying of Luther that “a man can today learn in three years more things than formerly were known to all the universities and monasteries.” With this sixteenth-century utterance may be compared the nineteenth-century remark of Helmholz that "the schoolboy of today with his lexicon can surpass Erasmus.” But what becomes of the schoolboy's superiority if
' he does not learn to utilize all those mechanical accessories without which past experience as recorded in orderly systematization is a locked treasure — the catalogues, lexicons, registers, indexes, digests, scientific and literary annuals, etc. ? Without these and the architectonic conceptions necessary for their use, he is like a mariner without a compass. He is, indeed, in an inferior cultural position to his Renaissance ancestor, because of a greater liability to be buried under deeper accumulation of past experience.
The mind of youth trembles on the verge of the great awakening to the social heritage of the past — the possible socialization of all experience. Those in this transitional position are the incipient sociologists. Then in the history of each individual ensues a struggle betwen the progressive and degeneratory forces of life, as we say in sociological terminology; or, in poetic phrase, between the powers of light and of darkness; or, in the language of theology, between God and the devil. If — to continue the military metaphor — the degeneratory overcome the progressive forces, then the individual becomes a fossil sociologist. If neither achieves the victory, he becomes a slumbering sociologist; and the older he grows, the more difficult to awaken him.
A classification of mankind into three large groups was made by Cardan, a humanist of the Italian Renaissance — one of those earlier students of social phenomena whom, unless we call them forerunners of sociology, it is difficult to designate culturally, since they are strictly neither historians nor philosophers. Cardan divided men into these three classes: (1) those who possess divine knowledge, and who neither deceive nor are deceived by others; (2) those who only possess human knowledge, and who both deceive and are deceived; (3) those who have neither human nor divine knowledge, and who do not deceive, but who them
selves are all their life deceived (by the senses and the flesh). This quaint scheme, with its archaic phrasing, contains a suggestion indirectly only for the classification of sociological types, and directly rather for the sociological phases in the life-history of the race — and to a certain extent, therefore, of the individual also. It is true, the state of neither deceiving nor being deceived may seem more remote to the modern sociologist than to the sixteenth-century theologian. But that (without denying the frequency
of spiritual degeneration) is because the sociologist is more modest for the individual, more ambitious for the race. The fragments that exegetical criticism has for three centuries or more, been chipping from the theological heaven are many of them being gathered up by the sociologist toward the building of the social ideal of the race.
It will be complained, doubtless, that we are a long time in coming to the founders of sociology. But the purpose of this paper has not been achieved if it has not been made clear that we are all of us founders of sociology — perhaps for most of us, it should be said, dumbfounders. The foundations of every science are laid in the personal experience of mankind. The history of civilization shows every science growing up as an undistinguished part of the general knowledge acquired by man in the daily routine of life. And, moreover, these unrecorded beginnings of science are carried to a considerable degree of systematic development before being detached from their practical uses, to become, as science, an object of conscious study by a specially trained body of cultivators. This is true of the latest of the sciences, sociology, as of the earliest, mathematics. Are we not to include among the founders of astronomy, mechanics, physics, and chemistry the unknown discoverers and improvers of the nionth and year; of the lever and the pulley; of fire and light; of weights and the balance? Are we not to include aniong the founders of natural history the unknown experimentalists who domesticated the plants and animals of the garden and the farmyard ?
And, concurrently with these discoveries and inventions which grew and accumulated into the physical and biological arts and