Societal Evolution: A Study of the Evolutionary Basis of the Science of Society

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Macmillan, 1915 - Evolution - 338 pages
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Page 6 - I find that my mind is so fixed by the inductive method that I cannot appreciate deductive reasoning: I must begin with a good body of facts and not from a principle (in which I always suspect some fallacy) and then as much deduction as you please.
Page 112 - The true grounds of decision are considerations of policy and of social advantage, and it is vain to suppose that solutions can be attained merely by logic and the general propositions of law which nobody disputes. Propositions as to public policy rarely are unanimously accepted, and still more rarely, if ever, are capable of unanswerable proof. They require a special training to enable any one even to form an intelligent opinion about them.
Page 36 - The folkways, therefore, are not creations of human purpose and wit. They are like products of natural force which men unconsciously set in operation, or they are like the instinctive ways of animals which are developed out of experience, which reach a final form of maximum adaptation to an interest, which are handed down by tradition and admit of no exception or variation, yet change to meet new conditions, still within the same limited methods, and without rational reflection or purpose.
Page 35 - The operation by which folkways are produced consists in the frequent repetition of petty acts, often by great numbers acting in concert or, at least, acting in the same way when face to face with the same need.
Page 7 - Evolution is an integration of matter and concomitant dissipation of motion; during which the matter passes from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity to a definite, coke-rent heterogeneity ; and during which the retained motion undergoes a parallel transformation.
Page 20 - If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.
Page 61 - If asked why they act in a certain way in certain cases, primitive people always answer that it is because they and their ancestors always have done so. A sanction also arises from ghost fear. The ghosts of ancestors would be angry if the living should change the ancient folkways.
Page 145 - The sound student of sociology can hold out to mankind, as individuals or as a race, only one hope of better and happier living. That hope lies in an enhancement of the industrial virtues and of the moral forces which thence arise.
Page 123 - Those who govern, having much business on their hands, do not generally like to take the trouble of considering and carrying into execution new projects. The best public measures are therefore seldom adopted from previous wisdom, but forced by the occasion.
Page 35 - It is of the first importance to notice that, from the first acts by which men try to satisfy needs, each act stands by itself, and looks no further than the immediate satisfaction.

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