General Sociology

Chapter 32: The Individual[1]

Albion Small

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Today's sociology is still struggling with the preposterous initial fact of the individual. He is the only possible social unit, and he is no longer a thinkable possibility. He is the only real presence, and he is never present. Whether we are near to resolution of the paradox or not, there is hardly more visible consensus about the relation of the individual to the whole than at any earlier period. Indeed, the minds of more people than ever before are puzzled by the seeming antinomy between the individual and the whole.[2] [3] [4]

Advancing upon our analysis of interests as such, we have now to speak of interests as we find them combined in actual

( 444) individuals. We have thus to set in order certain common-places which are so obvious that all kinds of social theorists have usually treated them with silent contempt. Our purpose in this part of the discussion is not to propose psychological, and still less metaphysical, solutions. 'We shall simply schedule, with scant illustration, certain components of the real individual which are to be reckoned with whenever we try to understand human affairs. Psychological analyses and metaphysical hypotheses have their own competence with respect to these elements, but all sane social theory must first accept certain crude facts as part of its raw material, and the constant significance of these facts is not likely to be set aside by any sort of subsequent criticism.

In general, then, the human individual, when considered as sentient, and not in his merely passive relations as a parcel of matter, acts always with reference to ends which may be classified in six groups. For the sake of convenient reference, we may press a single term into service as a group-name in each instance. Speaking somewhat roughly and symbolically, we may say again that all the acts which human beings have ever been known to perform have been for the sake of (a) health, or (b) wealth, or (c) sociability, or (d) knowledge, or (e) beauty, or (f) rightness, or for the sake of some combination of ends which may be distributed among these six.[5] The individual as we know him is, an insatiate demand for satisfactions included within these groups. The individual as we know him manifests no demands for satisfactions which may not be placed within one or more of these groups. Without affecting profitless precision in use of terms, we may promote our purpose by double ellipsis as follows : First, human individuals are centers of desires for (a) health, (b) wealth, (c) sociability, (d) knowledge, (e) beauty, (f) rightness. Second, the desires in view of which men act are (a) health, (b) wealth, (c) sociability, (d) knowledge, (e) beauty, (f) rightness. Nothing in our present discussion

( 445) hinges on this use of the term "desire," now in the subjective and again in the objective sense. The liberty will therefore be taken of returning to our general term " interest," [6] and our thesis reduces to these algebraic forms : first, the human individual is a variation of the sixfold interests, i. e., desires (subjective); and, second, the conditions of human satisfaction consist of variations of the sixfold interests, i. e., wants (objective).

It may be worth while to guard at the outset against possible misconception of what the foregoing propositions imply. It is not asserted, for instance, that from the moment when the genus homo emerged in the zoölogical series there was forthwith efficient demand for each of the six species of wants. It is not asserted that men are invariably, or even usually, conscious of all six interests, or that they classify the ends of their actions under these categories. It is not asserted that when men are acting in ways which tend to satisfy some form of these interests, they are necessarily conscious of the motive or of the tendency of their conduct. The proposition is primarily that, so far as we are acquainted with the human individual, he does not and cannot get himself into motion, except under the conscious or unconscious impulse of one or more of these interests; and, moreover, he does not and cannot entertain a desire which is not assignable to a place in this six-fold classification. There may be individuals who have never betrayed a desire for knowledge or beauty or rightness. If so, they must be classified as individuals in whom the life-process has not passed through all its typical forms. No individual has ever been observed with desires having a real content that could not be located within the six divisions specified. Health, wealth, sociability, knowledge, beauty, rightness, exhaust the known demands of the individual, and at the same time in their varieties and permutations they fill the bounds of the known objective possibilities of the individual.

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But we shall be very far from taking for granted the real individual with whom sociology has to reckon, if we picture either desires or wants as fixed in quantity or in quality. Human desires are not so many mathematical points. They may rather be represented to our imagination as so many contiguous surfaces, stretching out from angles whose areas presently begin to overlap each other, and whose sides extend indefinitely.

This phase of the facts carries inspiring teleological implications. We shall return to them in later chapters. We shall try to show that in the facts to which we now refer, there is a clue to a more precise content for a philosophy of life, individual and social, than we have hitherto attained, and that sociology must at last undertake to trace out the indications already partly legible in these known human desires.[7] At present, however, we are concerned neither with prophecy nor with history, but with discrimination of what actually is. We are recording our perceptions of certain marks which, to the best of our present knowledge, always characterize the human individual, and which always, sooner or later, combine to carry on the human part of the social process. In brief, either the social process in the large, or that portion of the process which is comprised within the limits of an individual life, is a resultant of reactions between the six interests, primarily in their permutations within the individual, secondarily in their permutations between individuals, and always in their varied reciprocity with the non-sentient environment. Each of these interests is incessantly conditioning and conditioned by each of the others. In scheduling them we are constantly tempted to digress into examination of their reciprocal relations. Our aim in this section, however, is to keep attention as steadily as possible upon these six interests in turn, as the ultimate human factors with which pure sociology has to deal.

To recapitulate : The sociological form of study of human association sets out from the point where physiology and psy-

( 447) -chology stop; or, rather, it is more accurate to say that sociological study begins where physiology and psychology would stop if they conformed to a rigidly schematic program; or where they would stop if our mental processes occurred in the lineal and serial order in which we have to represent them in speech. In fact, each advance of our knowledge of men in association makes new requisitions upon physiology and psychology for closer knowledge of individuals; and this more intimate physiology and psychology in turn reopens doctrines about association, and proposes new inquiries for sociology. In any given inquiry, however, the psychologist, as such, takes association as the known and fixed factor, in order to pursue investigation of his undetermined subject-matter—the mechanism of the individual actor. The sociologist, as such, on the contrary, takes the individual for granted, and pursues investigation of his undetermined subject-matter, viz., associations. The individual accepted by the sociologist as his working unit is the human person endowed with interests which manifest themselves as desires for health, wealth, sociability, knowledge, beauty, and rightness. To the best of our present knowledge, all the things that occur in human associations are functions of these factors composing individuals, in reaction with the variable factors of external conditions which make up each individual's environment. The descriptive task of sociology, or the task of " descriptive sociology," is to furnish a true account of real men in their real relations with the other men with whom they associate. We pass, then, to more specific indication of the individual interests :

a) THE HEALTH INTEREST.— Men are first and generically splendid animals. Human capacities mark the human type as fit for the most intricate correlations of physical function, for superior economy of physical energy, for exquisite harmony of physical action, and for corresponding eagerness of physical enjoyment. Theories or appreciations of life derived from this perception exclusively have tended to the perversion of life manifested in the later Dionysia at Athens

( 448) or in the Saturnalia at Rome. On the other hand, theories of life which go to the other extreme of denying and repudiating the normality of physical excellence, with its appropriate gladness, have tended to the opposite monstrosities of asceticism. The anchorite is as far as the sybarite from a final rendering of life. The concrete goods of life are incommensurable, but they are not incompatible. The just balance of life has not been found by eliminating certain normal elements of human good, and exaggerating other elements beyond their proportionate worth. The Greek ideal was not the whole truth, but it contained elements of truth which men have never been able long to ignore. Plato declares that his wish for life is: "to be healthy and beautiful, to become rich honestly, and to be gay and merry with my friends." The first item in his specifications was doubtless his version of σωφρωσυνη. It appears to have meant to the Greek, not all that our rendering " wisdom " connotes to us, but physical reasonableness, moderated and temperate sensuousness —not quite the " sweet reasonableness " of modern Hellenism, but a fragment of the later conception. If Hawthorne correctly transferred the idea of Praxiteles' Faun to Donatello, that artless creature before his transformation symbolized not merely the Greek, but the universal norm of one element in human personality. The right man will be a man of exuberant, exultant health. Without generalizing this ideal as a program, every man, according to his insight, instinctively or systematically reaches after this realization. Right human life will be the life of a race of splendid physical men. The starved, the stunted, the feeble, the sick man advertises arrest or deflection of the life-process. Before and after health becomes a reflective desire, it is the primary instinctive desire. Before and after the activities that belong to health are balanced and proportioned and regulated, they often betray a fierce force that leaps over the limits of good in their own realm, and threatens all the other goods of life. Neither the abuses of excessive vitality, however, nor the. misfortunes of defective vitality, can permanently confuse

( 449) our inevitable desire for health in its appropriate form and power. Before and in and through all his other activities, the individual is incessant urgency and exercise of the health desire.

Hebrew wisdom placed the half-truth, "All that a man hath will he give for his life," in the mouth of the father of lies. It is impossible to substitute a formula that will correctly express the ratio between the health desire and all the other desires, because the ratio is infinitely variable. Sometimes a man will forego all else for the privilege of continuing to exist. Again he will jauntily throw away his life for a principle or a sentiment or a passion. Today he will give his kingdom for the ransom of his body, and tomorrow he will stake life and fortune against tribute of a penny. We need not at present raise any of the baffling questions about the comparative significance of the several elements of human desire. Our emphasis now is upon the fact that the actual individual of real life is made up of some proportion or other of the six desires which we have scheduled. One or more of these may be negligible quantities in exceptional cases, but in the average man each of them is always present, and occasions may arise when either of them will become dominant. We do not know the real individual, then, until we recognize him as a resultant of these six desires in some power and proportion. The health desire is the least questionable of all.

At this point we can indicate only a formal expression and application of this fact in sociological theory and in social praxis. There will always exist an implicit minimum standard of the health satisfactions. As in the case of each of the other constituent desires, this standard will vary with individuals and with groups. Whenever the individual or group status falls below a certain minimum of health condition, the life-process in the individual or the group is to that extent turned destructively against itself. The practical bearings of this and similar abstract generalizations that are to follow should suggest themselves. We must confine this part of the

( 450) argument, however, to pure sociological theory. A later portion of the discussion will deal with the question, in the case of each of these desires in turn : What is the most and the best indicated by the known conditions of life, as available for men in each of these realms of satisfaction?

b) THE WEALTH INTEREST.—After a century and a quarter of the economic abstraction recommended by Adam Smith, there is little call for debate over the existence of something in the human individual corresponding with the concept "the economic man."Even the economic man assumed in pure theory, however, is by no means a mere alias of the wealth desire as we apprehend it. The traditional economic man is a relatively advanced and complex social product, not a simple social element. The economic man is not a plain affinity for wealth. Sometimes he is a more expert and persistent scatterer than accumulator of wealth. Sometimes wealth is almost altogether a means with him, and scarcely to any appreciable degree an end. Sometimes he plays the economic game just as another plays whist or billiards or golf. Sometimes he wants wealth because his wife wants society. Sometimes he wants wealth in order to propagate his creed, or to punish his enemy, or to win a maid, or to buy a title, or to control a party. In either case the economic man is a man of highly mixed motives, and it is curious that in all our economic literature there has been so little analysis of the wealth desire, in distinction from the forms of economic action in which the wealth motive is largely mediate. The fact that most of the things deemed desirable in highly developed society are to be accomplished only with the aid of wealth, obscures more than it reveals the intimate nature of the wealth desire proper. When men want wealth for reasons extrinsic to itself, they are specimens of " the economic man," to be sure, but they are exemplifying the fact that the economic man is prompted by desires other than the wealth desire. Some men—indeed, the primal animal in each one of us—want wealth for the sake of the physical sensations that come from

( 451) consuming it. Dialecticians might find it easy to maintain that in this case the health stimulus rather than the wealth stimulus is primary. At all events, when men want wealth for its own sake, the impulse appears to be at the outset an instinct of a creative sort, a desire to control nature or to conform nature to the agent's ideas.[8]

In one fraction of his nature man is an eagerness to be a god. If autonomy, in the most restricted sense, satisfied this urgency, health would be a realization of the human ambition of sovereignty, i. e., complete autonomy of the physical organism. Man does not find himself complete, however, as a god in a vacuum. His rule requires a realm. Things furnish that realm. The lordship of man over man occurs wherever force can assert it, and the sense of justice does not estop it. When men cannot or will not lord it over each other; there still remains to them a means of partially completing the circuit of self-realization in the lordship over things. Things subject to personality is the formula of a second stage or phase of the completeness of the real individual. It is part of complete human personality to exercise lordship over things. The savagery of the savage is primarily his inability to lord it over things. In the midst of limitless resources of ores and fibers and forces, he commands nothing, he marshals nothing, he compels nothing to his service. His wealth is raw roots and flesh and pelts, and tools that the monkeys may have used, and used about as well. He begins to be a man in beginning to take completer possession of things, in ordering them about, in molding them to his will, in mastering them at the caprice of his imagination. The truth is, the modern vice is not too much devotion to wealth, but too little. Our materialism is too extensive, but not intensive enough. It puts up with quantitative title instead of qualitative possession.

Perhaps there is a literal truth which we have overlooked in the dictum of St. Paul : " The love of money is the root

( 451) of all evil." Money is the emptiest wealth which men possess. Money is the opium of industry. The vice of money is its insinuation into the place of wealth. Money debauches men by leading them to substitute for the exercise of the possessing function habitual purchase of personal service. Money is a subtle means of tempting men from normal lordship over things to abnormal lordship over persons. Money makes men veritable rois fainéants in the realm of things.

The Mosaic code contains the precept : "And thou shalt take no gift : for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous." [9] Money is a conventional disguise of gift-taking. This is not an estimate of the total function of money, but a statement of one of the forms of abuse to which money is liable. Effects visible in modern society verify the Mosaic prognosis. Modern men are less than men because so many of us possess things only by proxy, and because such wealth as we have, as proprietors, is merely the partial usufruct of other people's lordship over things. I buy the thing I cannot produce. Another masters nature and produces the thing which I buy. He lords it over things. I am powerless over the same things until he masters them for me. In this transaction he is the man, and by so much I am less than man.

The only adequate demonstration of the "dignity of labor" is to be reached in this connection. The phrase in our civilization is, on the one hand, an instinctive and indignant claim to more credit than society concedes, and, on the other hand, a form of cajolery which carries little genuine appreciation. The dignity of labor, as labor, resides in the prerogative of mastery. Not all labor is dignified. Courage is dignified, and the man who, for the sake of biding his time and meanwhile feeding his family, bravely digs ditches or carries a hod, while aware that the work is beneath his powers, is dignified in his courage, though menial in his toil. There is no dignity in drudgery, though there is dignity in endur-

( 452) -ance. Dignified labor is masterful and creative labor. A treadmill is a slave-pen. A forge or a carpenter's bench may be a kingdom. That labor is dignified in which mind molds things. Labor is dignified in proportion as it is mental mastery of materials or conditions. The wealth produced by mental mastery is the regalia of the real man. The initial dignity of labor, then, is its realization of a portion of the process of manhood, not its mere seizure of the means of partial manhood.

We repeat, therefore, that the modern vice is not too much devotion to wealth, but too little. Modern life drowns the wine's bouquet in the very mass of the wine. We literally lose our lives in the business by which we plan to find life. Our social inventions for the administration of things have spoiled their administrators for the lordship of things. The pseudo-wealth which we have ennobled to equality with real wealth has degraded us in return. We have gained the Midas touch, but we have forfeited the full franchise of wealth. While we handle the symbols of wealth, we neglect or we delegate the arts of creating wealth, and we grow impotent to appropriate wealth. The mere manipulator of money knows none of the campaigns with nature, the assaults upon intrenched resistance, the defeats, the changes of front, the retreats, the flank movements, the fine strategies against obstinate physical properties, the renewed attacks, the patience, the persistence, the intelligence that conquer things. Ignorant of the conflict, he cannot appreciate the conquest. If we have the money power merely, the victors have emancipated us, but they cannot enfranchise us. In spite of our liberty, we are still unfree.

A partial recognition of these facts is in the tradition of many princely families that the sons and even the daughters must learn some industrial craft. There is also in this connection a profounder sanction than is usually asserted for the reinforcement of our school curricula by manual training. The experimental laboratory also has a function, apart from

( 454) scientific discovery, in affording to many men that element of experience in mastering nature without which their life would be seriously unbalanced. Such discipline admits men to actual appropriation of material goods, for which they would else have no adequate sense. Real wealth is not appreciated by men who know nothing intimately of the difficulties of creating wealth. Wealth as the measure and as the realization of man's mastery over things is neither too highly nor too generally valued in our civilization. Wealth as the mere accumulation of things that others have mastered is both too highly and too generally valued. The materialism of our day is deplorable radically as a sign of man's mastery or desire of mastery over men, and of abdication or willingness to abdicate the real lordship of things for this unnatural lordship over persons.

Personality, like any other whole, is the union of all its parts. It cannot be realized by a preference of certain parts which amounts to exclusion of certain other parts. Accordingly we recognize, alongside of health, this second factor which enters into complete personal realization, viz., that lordship over things which is founded upon direct mastery of natural forces.

The sense in which we urge that mastery over things is a phase of proper personality, and thus in so far an end in itself, may be illustrated by a sort of parallel familiar to scholars. Educated men pity people who have to put up with information without corresponding insight. The navigator or the accountant who mechanically applies his table of logarithms, without understanding how a logarithm is derived, or what essential relations it expresses; the drug clerk who knows how to interpret the signs in the physician's prescription, but who has no idea why two substances may be compounded, while other two may not; the voter who learns the program of his party, but is impotent to criticise or to decide whether the program is wise and just—each of these, from the scholar's point of view, is pitiable. They have the form

( 455) and some of the uses of knowledge, without that wisdom which is the completion of knowledge. Real knowledge is first-hand insight into the relations partly expressed by the practical information. A generation that had forgotten its mathematics and its chemistry and its statesmanship, and had retained only rules and formulas and statutes, would be a generation intellectually dead. It would have the form of knowledge, but none of that spirit of divination which is the vitality of knowledge.

In a similar way, a generation that multiplies material products, and glorifies the controllers of them, while it exempts one order of men as completely as possible from personal mastery of things, and identifies another order of men as completely as possible with unthinking machine production of things, inevitably diminishes in both classes the proper exercise of possession, and thus the appropriate realization of manhood.

The perception which we are now emphasizing is that mastery of things is a function proper to complete personality. Speaking in terms of the appropriate product of this mastery, or wealth in the sense in which we have used the word, wealth is physical substance and attributes raised to a higher power by the reinforcement of thought. Wealth is man's first realization of independence among the world-forces. That lordship over things which directly creates wealth in the popular sense is more than proprietorship over matter. It is comprehension of matter, insight into its qualities, perception of its adaptabilities, and consequent personal appropriation and control of its latent possibilities.

It would be superfluous to argue that lordship over things in this sense is an essential social function. In order that human animals may progress through the stages of development to which their endowment foreordains them, somebody must create wealth and hold it subject to human use. But our theorem goes beyond this. We assert that the individual is incomplete and monstrous, unless the power and the practice

( 456) of the direct lordship of things are evident in him. Wealth simply held subject to my draft is material toward which my relation may be unnatural and vicious. It may be merely property without the antecedent conditions of comprehension and control. Such proprietorship, unless counterbalanced by some direct lordship over other things, tends to unsocialize and dehumanize men by assigning to them a status manifestly artificial, because impossible of generalization. The extension of this status to all men would extinguish society. Proxy wealth is necessarily impossible as the universal order. Delegation of the wealth function is in principle as abnormal as delegation of the health function. A man is not as fatally incomplete when others exercise all the primary control of nature for him, as he would be if he tried to have others exercise all the vital functions for him; but he is in an equally literal sense abnormal and artificial.

Lordship over things, in the sense thus indicated, is the satisfaction appropriate to the wealth desire. Self-realization is promoted in the achievement of lordship over things by means of the candid contact with nature necessary to creation and control. Production of real wealth requires sympathetic and intelligent touch with reality which is promise and partial potency of knowledge and art and virtue. There are very deep reasons for our customary epithet "honest" in the case of a simple laborer. When we speak of the "honest farmer," the association of ideas is with his matter-of-fact dealings with nature, which he is credited with carrying over consistently into his dealings with men. His attitude is accepted as typical of all right human relations with the real world. Other things being equal, the man who deals directly at some point with nature's physical veracities should become the more complete and genuine man from the association. Conversely, exemption from such relation, or reduction of it to mere brute contact, suspends one of the conditions of personal completeness.

The radical and inevitable necessity of mastery over things

( 457) by somebody, in order that anybody may maintain mere existence, still more in order that anybody may be more than an animal, creates the most effective presumption against any theory of life which views the lordship of things as an accident. Any function which is essential to the existence of the species must be regarded as proper to the individuals of the species, until reasons for believing the contrary appear. In this case observation of the wealth function discovers, not merely its necessity, but its inherent dignity. We cannot subtract that dignity from any man and regard the remainder as a complete man.

For sociological theory, whether applying to the remote past or to the immediate present; for social practice, whether that of scholar or artist or moralist, or that of society in treating children or paupers or criminals or defectives, or of democracies in controlling and developing themselves — the individual always and everywhere in question is an agent intensely interested in compelling nature to his own use. We may not treat this incident as a trivial and transient foible of human character. So far as we know, it betrays an essential and permanent trait of human nature. At all events, valid sociological thinking must accommodate some form and proportion of this sort of self-assertion in its assumption of the real individual.

C) THE SOCIABILITY INTEREST.— We have appetites for personal intercourse of a purely spiritual sort, without conscious reference to physical contact or material exchange. There are human affinities which nothing but reaction with human beings can satisfy. There are interchanges of stimulus and satisfaction between persons with no more dependence upon, nor ulterior reference to, any physical conditions than the slight minimum which is involved in the analogous case of cultivation and enjoyment of music for its own sake. In both cases, as we have said in another connection, [10] the physical is the necessary vehicle of the spiritual, but it is uncon-

( 458) -sciously involved, and a negligible factor so far as the character of the paramount desire is concerned.

There are enlargements of life aside from advantages that spring from use of the material things which men create. Those that we have now to consider proceed from spiritual reactions with other men. In our philosophies of justice we have confined our calculations too closely to relations which might be expressed or measured in material terms. Moral theorists have treated social relations almost exclusively as different arrangements into which men are assorted by care for their bodies and by pursuit of purchasable goods. We have had individual ethics, or the principles of physical and mental well-being, considering the person as an isolated group of related operations. We have had the ethics of business, of politics, of religion. We have even had the ethics of social intercourse, considered as a means to one of these other ends. But no one has made it evident that there is an important section of life made up of conditions in which personality pure and simple reacts upon personality, and immediately assists or retards normal satisfaction. No one, surely, has taken the further step of codifying the just balance of these purely spiritual relations.

When we observe that affinities for certain personal relations are manifested by some men, and when we discover the probability that these affinities are latent, if not patent, in all men, we may thereby reach another specification in our analysis of the real individual. The fact is that all men tend normally to desire contacts with other men of a sort to gratify their pure sense of personality. We mean by sociability, then, those elements in the relations of persons which correspond with this desire.[11]

A primary and simple demand of the sociability desire may be illustrated by analogy with the leadings of the health

( 459) desire. Parallel with the desire for bodily integrity is an equally naïve and persistent desire for personal integrity. Each man embodies a claim to be a spiritual integer, an undiminished unit among like whole units. The German term Selbstgefühl seems to contain more traces than any English equivalent of this instinctive impulse to assert the full measure of personality. The Germans talk also of persönliche Geltung, " counting for all that one is essentially worth," and this again seems to be an utterance of the native human instinct. The privilege of standing over against his fellow, with the assured franchise of equal freedom of self-expression, is an implicit demand of every unspoiled man. The demand is not primarily an assertion of " equality," in the sense in which the idea is notoriously abused by pseudo-democrats. It is the demand that, such as I am, with such sort and size of merit as I personally possess, I may be permitted to assert myself, without suppression or subversion by the arrogation of others. The inherent desire of each man to see himself reflected at full length in his neighbor's eye is a factor to be counted on in calculation of every social equation, just as positively as each individual's desire for food and sleep. Another German word frequently in proletarian use is Anerkennung. It loses some of its force when we render it " recognition,"because in America the latter term has narrow political associations. The root of the matter is desire not to be socially discounted in accordance with any fictitious scale, but to be taken at full value. This demand is a very real and strong factor in American labor agitations, although it might have been more clearly expressed and more consistently urged. " We want to be treated like men," means demand, not alone for higher wages, but for opportunity to be accounted as men in the councils of men. It means assertion of right to have feelings respected and opinions weighed and judgments considered on their merits, instead of having them summarily quashed at the dictation of other men's interests.

The spontaneity of our demand for the privilege of per-

( 460) -sonal integrity may be detected indirectly in our involuntary resentment against violations of this relation. A case in point is the custom, long familiar in royal and noble families, of having in the castle a scapegoat in the person of a boy of plebeian birth and of equal age with the heir of the lordly house. The mission of the humbler boy was to endure corporal punishment (der Prügeljunge) in place of the privileged scion. The latter was held to be too good to suffer bodily for his own misdeeds, but was capable of committing rascalities enough to keep the skin of the human foil frequently smarting. When we think of that domestic institution, even across the intervening time and space, we are conscious of indignation, not chiefly on account of the physical affliction, but because of the outrage against the personal integrity of the base-born boy. He was denied the individuality which distinguishes man from matter. He was forbidden to be a self, responsible for his deed and accountable for his fault. He was stunted in moral stature. His sense of justice was stultified. His possession of sentiment like that of other human beings was ignored. He was denied the right to develop as a man, and was turned into a wolf or a sheep.

The judgment of history upon American slavery will doubtless emphasize the same element, while it recognizes that the slaves as a rule had ampler security of their standard of physical welfare than many free populations enjoy. Exclusion from the franchise of personal integrity condemned the system which so liberally guaranteed bodily integrity. The radical evil of our present wage system is not that it permits inequality of distribution, but that the inequality is so largely an index of an arbitrary personal inequality; which gives artificial weight to the will of some persons and artificially counts out the will of others. Human nature unsubdued by social veto instinctively asserts for each individual a distinct inviolate dignity. As Fichte expresses it: " The marrow of the idea of justice is that each man has an equal claim with every other man upon the full development of himself." [12]

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Closely related with this instinct of personal integrity, and intimately involved in its realization, is a social claim which may be called, in the absence of a better term, the craving for reciprocal valuation. A variation of this impulse manifests itself in manifold demands for functional valuation, all impelled at one point by the distinctively social desire, but all sooner or later resolving themselves, with all the other human impulses, into functions of all the others. Both Emerson and Carlyle have rung changes upon portions of this theme. The dictum, " No man can be heroic except in an heroic world," and the theory that we worship great men because they express to us our implicit selves, and help toward due valuation of ourselves, with possibly similar appraisal in other minds, both posit the desire for social valuation to which we are calling attention. The society in which the individual might most completely achieve himself would be in part a mutual-admiration society. Each member's potential excellence would be helped into actuality by each other member's recognition of the partially realized excellence.

Without having attempted a final analysis of the sociability desire, we have indicated by these two marks certain qualitative traits of a distinct factor in human individuality. It develops in other directions, to be sure, as in ambition for prestige among men and for power over men ; but we have sufficiently indicated distinctive marks of this factor. If some extraordinary provision could be made for the wants of a human being, aside from satisfactions of sociability, the abundance of all things else would not prevent ultimate discovery of a radical lack. Assertion of personality in distinction from other personality, and exchange of recognitions of personal valuation, are as proper incidents of human satisfaction as supply of the bodily demand for food and air.

d) THE KNOWLEDGE INTEREST.— It is hardly necessary to insist upon the abstract proposition that the human individual wants to know. We encounter incredulity only when we try to follow the implications of the universal knowledge

( 462) desire, in case they begin to reveal indications of larger destiny for all men than the present state of knowledge permits. Without pursuing inquiry very far in this direction, we may briefly enter another detail in our specifications of the real individual.

It would doubtless be entirely superfluous to argue with any reader of this syllabus that knowledge is good both as a means to other goods, and also as an activity of the person, without reference to any ulterior end. Whether the judgment is susceptible of logical confirmation or not, it is part and parcel of modern men's thinking, and few people would care to waste their time in seeking proofs for a perception so direct and clear. A machine is at its best when part so plays into part that the total function of the machine is performed. A man is not at his best until he is able to think all that he does, and to follow all his conditions and actions with intellectual comprehension. As Schiller expressed it :

Denn, wer den Sinn auf's Ganze hält gerichtet,
Dem ist der Streit in seiner Brust geschlichtet.
   —" Die Huldigung der Künste."

Every man above the level of idiocy has to know something in order to act at all. No man can know all that the rest of men know. Between the extremes of nescience and omniscience there must be a typical condition of knowledge for the normal man. What is the indicated condition of the knowing process for the individual who is achieving himself in a healthy way, and for a society that is progressing?

If we think of knowledge primarily as a means to other elements of living, our judgment about the working ratio between this element and the others is that knowledge is not in due proportion until it is sufficient to insure the standard of life appropriate to the individual in question; or, what amounts to the same thing, until it is sufficient to insure the persistence of the social process at the point where the given individual functions. One is not a well-working socius unless

( 463) one has the knowledge necessary to provide for self-conduct of one's own part of the social process. This is the conception, by the way, on which the American public school implicitly rests.

If, on the other hand, we think of knowledge as a portion of self-achievement which has implications of its own, apart from its bearings upon other phases of life, the ideal of knowledge is in a sense inverted. Knowledge for the sake of a process outside of itself calls for a focusing of all reality that can be made available upon the particular process for which the knowing person is responsible. On the other hand, knowledge as an achievement by itself calls for a going out in thought as far as possible from the thinker's personal function, and a discovering of the content and meaning of as much as possible of the whole life-process, within which the thinker occupies a place. There is no antithesis at last, except a rhetorical one, between these two aspects of the knowing function ; but this view of them affords a clue to the two kinds of valuation that we actually pass upon the knowledge element in conduct. Knowledge as a means of maintaining the standard of life is practically demanded by everybody. Knowledge as vision of the meaning of life, and of what the standard of life should be, is needed by everybody, but is in far less general demand.

So far as human relations are concerned, the largest concrete conception which our minds can represent in detail is the persistence and the expansion of the life-process of which we find ourselves to be parts. We have a vague conception of this system of relations as in its turn an incident in a greater cosmic process, or a stage in the progress toward a " far-off divine event." This, however, shapes itself in our imagination as little more in detail than we discover actually or potentially in the social process. The latter includes all the reality which we have the means of thinking specifically. Accordingly, our valuations of knowledge tend to scale up and down from the meaning of the nearest details of our individual lives, at the

( 464) one extreme, to the largest correlations of the total life-process, past, present, and future, at the other. It is necessary to the integrity of the social process that the whole process shall reduce itself in my knowing to that kind and measure of apprehension which enables me to be my particular kind of actor in the whole process. It is essential to the complete integrity of my individual self that, in my knowing, the conditions and contents of the whole social process shall be constantly arranging themselves more in accordance with objective fact, and constantly expanding toward juster and completer comprehension of the all within which I perform a part. The whole social process thus realizes itself through the intelligence of the individual, while the individual process, in its intellectual phase, realizes itself through progressive mental representation of the whole social process. The knowledge interest has therefore no limit short of complete comprehension, not merely of the social process, but of the cosmic process,

e) THE BEAUTY INTEREST.— Frank confession of incompetence to discuss this portion of the subject will excuse failure to give it proportionate emphasis. The theorem which this chapter is developing is that the actions of all men of whom record is preserved have betrayed impulses which may be traced to six implicit interests, or six more manifest derived desires. We may recognize the æsthetic desire, and we may be familiar with some of the conduct which it prompts, without venturing to expound its implications. A literature of the beauty interest is rapidly developing; and the psychology and the sociology of feeling will doubtless be as thoroughly examined in the future as the psychology and sociology of knowing and willing. Meanwhile, a sociologist who is most painfully aware of his own incompleteness in this section of life may register the bare intellectual perception that life, at its largest, involves feeling of the æsthetic type, and conduct aimed at satisfaction of the feeling. In this case again the element in question is both a means to other elements of life, and an activity to be regarded as having a distinct and self-sufficient

( 465) value in the scheme of factors that compose the individual. In the fragment just quoted, Schiller put the present thesis in lyric form, when he made the Spirit of Beauty address the Princess of Weimar:

Ich bin der schaffende Genius des Schönen,
Und die mir folget ist der Künste Schaar.
Wir sind's, die alle Menschenwerke krönen,
Wir schmücken den Palast und den Altar.
Längst wohnten wir bei deinem Kaiserstamme,
Und sie, die Herrliche, die dich gebar,
Sie nährt uns selbst die heil'ge Opferflamme
Mit reiner Hand auf ihrem Hausaltar.
Wir sind dir nachgefolgt, von ihr gesendet ;
Denn alles Glück wird nur durch uns vollendet.

And all the arts join in chorus :

Denn aus der Kräfte schön vereintem Streben
Erhebt sich, wirkend, erst das wahre Leben.

f) THE RIGHTNESS INTEREST.—It would be easy to make this item in our schedule a pretext for an excursion into the metaphysics and the psychology of ethics and religion. Sociology will at last contribute in its own way to these subjects, but it is a far cry from the elements with which we are now dealing to the conclusions sought by ethical and religious philosophy. We should defeat our present purpose if we attempted to anticipate results in these territories. Our present proposition is not speculative. Like the substance of our claim under each of the preceding five heads, it is simply a generalization of facts that appear to be universal in the human individual. If they are not universal, the variations are to be accounted for by conditions which do not affect the fact that the traits so specified belong to the typical human person.

We have seen that men act with reference to ends which prove to be health or wealth or sociability or knowledge or beauty, or their possible compounds. But this schedule does not include all the groups of 'stimuli that procure conscious human action. There remain activities which traverse the territory of all these desires, yet to the consciousness of the

( 466) actors the choices involved in them are not for the sake of satisfactions of either sort yet specified. In brief, men always manifest some species of premonition of a self somehow superior to their realized self, or of a whole outside of themselves with which it is desirable to adjust the self. We will not inquire here whether these two states of consciousness are simultaneous or consecutive, or whether they are equally important. Enough for the present that similar consequences proceed from both. This superior self is a more or less vague image of the conscious self, somehow amplified by addition of activities beyond those of the actual self. The whole partly detected around the self is not the commonplace of people and things that the routine of life encounters. It is the mysterious more that broods in and over the familiar surroundings. The real individual is at last, in one fraction of his personality, a wistfulness after that other self, or a deference to that inscrutable whole. In other words, there are distinct sorts of human action which are impelled primarily not by supposed demand for health, or wealth, or sociability, or knowledge, or beauty; but they are to be accounted for as conscious or unconscious efforts either to become the larger self or to be adjusted to the containing whole.

We deliberately avoid implication that the desire with which we are dealing has originally any moral content in the subjective sense. To hold that from the beginning the feeling of oughtness goes with this half-consciousness of an immanent self, or with rudimentary cosmic perception, is pure speculation. We do not know the facts. What we do know is that in the most elementary manifestations which we are able to trace of the feeling of oughtness, or conscience, as a meaning factor in men's activities, it gets in its work by means of this premonition of a superior self, or by means of some presumption which reduces to an assumption about the containing whole. " Ought" is sanctioned by the sovereignty either of the imagined self or of the posited whole.

Whether the sense of oughtness is intuitive, or an evolu-

( 467) -tion from purely egoistic judgment of utility, we find it operating first and chiefest in connection with those personal relations which are most remote and mysterious. The thing which the naïve man feels that he "ought " to do is the thing which has least visible connection with the kinds of action that appeal directly to the individual. Obligation is apparently not at first an incident of action within the realm where cause and effect are understood. The sense of duty does not at first apply in the region of known utilities. " Ought " is an oracle out of the unknown, or the vaguely known, and satisfactions within this sphere arise from belief that somehow the self has adjusted inscrutable conditions, which insure the desirable surplus of well-being beyond that which can be specifically imagined, or which can be procured by conduct whose relation to ends is supposed to be a matter of course.[13]

It turns out that both naïve and reflective men have sooner or later come to cherish the idea of a sphere of human activity the content of which is a rightness which has an existence independent of other departments of human conduct or condition. Even today it is in comparatively rare instances only that rightness is thought as a quality of conduct proper to all action that deserves any place in human life, and as having no content apart from such ordinary action. The savage, performing mummeries which are senseless, except for the fiction that they are agreeable to the fetich, is merely a less intellectual Kant finding the oughtness of the ought simply in its being categorical. We have only lately learned, and only a few of us have learned yet, that there is no supposed imperative, whether from the assumed source of absolute obligation or elsewhere, which can be obeyed without setting in motion antecedents and consequents within the known realm of health, or wealth, or sociability, or knowledge, or beauty.

This fact, however, is steadily recasting the precepts of for-

( 468) -mal morality in terms of declared utility. It remains true that, with all the past men of whom record survives, and with all living men in the civilized world, the conception of a distinct rightness sphere, separated not merely in quality but in content from other spheres of human conduct, has been a tremendous positive, or at least negative, influence. It is not at all necessary to an understanding of the human individual up to date to decide whether there is an actual realm for rightness apart from conduct in the spheres where men gain health, wealth, sociability, knowledge, and beauty satisfactions. This is a capital problem in its proper place, but its solution would not in the least affect the terms of the analysis that describes today's individual. If we discover that the only possible content for the formal concept "rightness" is fit conduct within the other realms, it remains true that men have very seldom so distributed the idea. To most men, whether they merely acquiesce in authority, or reason for themselves, rightness is an activity with a content as peculiarly its own as the realm of the health activities. The conception therefore has played and does play as important a part among human impulses as though there were no question about its perfect co-ordination with the other objects of human desire.

However we construe the content appropriate to the rightness interest, more precise analysis of the interest as such will ratify its authority and reinforce its sanctions. It will discover its sphere more and more definitely, however, within the ascertained scope of definable utility.[14]

( 469)

We may now add a little to the distinctness of the propositions at the close of the last chapter. So far as we have any knowledge of human experience, the career of men, either as individuals or as groups, has always been a process of getting content, correlation, and satisfaction for the desires after health, and wealth, and sociability, and knowledge, and beauty, and rightness.[15] A first consequence of this perception, so far as it affects method, is that it sets us the task of learning how to find the real individuals concerned, when we undertake to investigate a social situation, past or present.[16] It, furthermore, sets the task of discovering the actual output of the institutions maintained by the association in question for the service of the desires. It is doubtful if these conditions have ever been satisfied, in any single instance of first-rate importance. Our historical exhibits are, consequently, as a rule, utterly inadequate sources for the sort of conclusions that the sociologists, and even the historians, want to draw.

In order to be justified in assuming causal explanations of human experience, we must in every case be able to make out the approximate content and combination of these variable desires in the particular individuals concerned. We must know, on the other hand, the workings of the several groups of institutions that have their reason for existence in their service to these desires. More than this, we cannot avoid valuation of the lifeprocesses, past and present. We are bound to make the whole process, as we observe it, pass judgment upon those kinds and proportions of satisfaction which the persons concerned enjoy in the health, and wealth, and sociability, and knowledge, and beauty, and rightness realms. The form of judgment which sociology aims at authority to

( 470) pass upon any piece of social conduct is this: The conduct in question does or does not make for the most and the best development, adjustment, and satisfaction of the six divisions of interest known to be typically human. If none but responsible men presumed to represent sociology, it would be gratuitous to confess that social science is at present very far from competence to sanction such appraisals, except on the most restricted scale, and even then in cautiously tentative shape. The judgment of the most mature sociologist about the tendency of concrete social conditions is at least no more certain to be correct than the prediction of an experienced sailor about tomorrow's weather.

We pass from our qualitative account of individuals to brief consideration of certain social meanings of the individual. We may repeat that the plot of the whole human drama begins to appear so soon as another interest beside the health interest begins to draw one specimen out of the mass of the human pack, and make an individual of him. The drama starts first in his own person. It begins with the challenge of one interest by another. We may summarize the human animal as a digesting machine. Presently this machine begins to feel impulses that compete with unlimited digestion, and henceforth human history is in the making. It is first and foremost a process of individual building. One interest after another appears upon the scene and defies the primal interest. The actors in the drama have to acquire their own character as the plot proceeds. No one has yet traced, except in imagination, the actual course of events by which a dead level of sameness, like that in a fisher tribe of Eskimos, turns into the stratified group, in which a few individuals have set loose their interest in exploiting their fellows, and have become tyrants, fighters, rulers.[17] In general, the interest that makes for the running of a digestive machine evidently splits up at first into direct and indirect supply of digestive material. Then

( 471) the process of individual-building rapidly becomes more complicated. The interest in supply of digestive material by indirection subdivides and transforms itself till its relation to the digestive interest passes from notice. There comes a time, indeed, when the individual seems to be made up of two interests directly antagonistic with each other. One phase of analysis of the human individual at this stage appears in the familiar concepts of early Christian philosophy. Human beings were thought of as so many seething mixtures of flesh and spirit. St. Paul's conception of the war in his members, between the evil and the good, is a version of the same analysis. The animal interest finds itself written down, not as a factor in man, but as a foe to man ; and all the other interests that dispute monopoly with the health interest are grouped together as the rightful elements in human nature.

Now, the real plot of the human drama is epitomized over and over again, from the earliest days to the latest, in the making of an individual. The whole thing in a nutshell is the struggle of each distinct interest to express itself to the utmost in the individual, or later in the society that individuals build. The idea which we have generalized in the concept "bad" or " evil " reduces to terms either of disproportion or displacement, or both. One interest is perpetually struggling to express its full energy, and its success would mean the suppression of the energy of other interests. This would amount to a lockout in the process of building the individual. That process goes on by avoiding the lockout, and by continuing the work somewhat as the American colonists did their farming in the pioneer days—with a spade in one hand and a rifle in the other. Interest fighting with interest changes both, but also produces the individual as a composition of both.

Accordingly, when we observe any actual society of human beings, we observe not raw material, any more than we have raw material in the thousands of hewn and numbered blocks of stone that are laid down in the city at the spot where a building is to stand. The individuals are rather the finished

( 472) products of one stage of labor. Moreover, that part of the history of society is going forward at every later step. The individuals are being remade, by recombinations of their interests at every moment. Thus, to use modern illustrations, the type " German professor," or " American girl," or " Catholic priest" is made up of specimens that contrast strikingly at many points with individuals of the corresponding type twenty-five years ago. This phenomenon is universal.

In a word, then, the energies that have their basis of action in the human animal differentiate into impulses that cause the actions of that animal to radiate. The individual that comes into being through this differentiation is the resultant of the different interests that wrestle with each other in his personality. The career of that individual, and of all individuals combined, is persistent struggle, on the one hand, of the interests in the individual, by virtue of which he is what he is at any moment, and, on the other hand, of the combination of interests in one individual with the combination of interests in all the others. In this last statement is another epitome of the whole philosophy of society which this syllabus represents.[18]

The substance of the facts at this point is this : The individual whom we actually find in nearly, if not quite, all stages of social growth, even the rudest, is a compound of the health,

( 473) wealth, sociability, knowledge, beauty, and rightness interests. In the life of each individual the exponents and the coefficients of each of these interests change their value in countless ways. Thus Augustine, the type of the fourth-century libertine, had become at the opening of the fifth century, with thirty years still to live, the typical church father of the Middle Ages; so Loyola, from vicious, quarrelsome soldier, to founder of the Jesuits; Thomas à Becket, from luxurious courtier, to archbishop of Canterbury; or the peasant immigrant to the United States, who is soon a full-fledged American citizen. One term in the series of human events is always the struggle that is going on within the individuals for change in the relative value of their different interests. The outcome of this subjective struggle is the changed value of the individual in the social struggle, which reproduces the individual process on a larger scale.

Nothing more clearly signalizes the difference between present sociology and the older philosophies of history, than the matter-of-fact analysis which we now make of the persons who compose society. We do not deal with the metaphysical conception of a fictitious individual, on the one hand, nor are we, on the other hand, any longer speculating about " society," as though it were an affair independent of persons, and leading a singular and superior order of life apart from persons. We see that human society in all times and places is the combined activities of persons who react upon each other in countless ways. It becomes a first consideration, then, to derive a thoroughly objective, positive, literal conception of these personal units, always creating social situations and social reactions.

Social philosophy, as hinted in the beginning of this chapter, has always vibrated between theories of individuals, regarded as independent, self-sufficient existences, and theories of society, regarded as an entity which has its existence either altogether independent of individuals, or at least by and through the merging and the submerging of individuals.

( 474) Accordingly, the question has been debated from time immemorial : "Does society exist for the individual or the individual for society?" or, more specifically : "Does the State exist for the individual or the individual for the State?" In contrast with all the forms of philosophy which propose problems of this sort, it is a primary deliverance of the process-conception of life that the issue raised by these inquiries is essentially artificial and fictitious, because the dilemma presented is created only by a begging of the real question. It is assumed that there is a disjunctive, alternative, exclusive relation between individuals and societies. At best the one is assumed to be merely a means to the other, in such a sense that the means ceases to be of account when it has done what it can toward the end. It is impossible to criticise in full this way of looking at things, without using concepts which need previous explanation —concepts which we shall reach presently. It is also impossible to say whether the psychologists or the sociologists have had most to do with discovering this fallacy. However this may be, the formulation of life in terms of activity has brought psychologists and sociologists to the point of view that individuals and societies are not means to each other, but phases of each other. A society is a combining of the activities of persons. A person is a center of conscious impulses which realize themselves in full only in realizing a society.

Quite recently there has been revived discussion of Aristotle's dictum, "man is a social animal." It has been asserted and denied that Aristotle was right.[19] Whether or not Aristotle meant to express what we now see to be the truth may be left to those who care for such details. That there is a sense, and an important one, in which man is a social animal, is a primary sociological datum. Man cannot be man without acting and reacting with man. The presence of others is necessary in order that I may be myself. The self that is potential in me cannot become aware of itself,

( 475) and display itself, except by means of reaction with other people. Just as the mind needs the body in order to be a force in the world, just as the hand needs the eye, and both need the nerves, and all need the heart, in order that either may be its peculiar self, by doing a peculiar work in partnership with other organs; so a man is not a man without the reaction and the reinforcement which partnerships with other persons permit. It may be that men begin to occupy their place, a little above the anthropoid ape and a little lower than the angels, by perpetually fighting with each other. Whether this is the case or not, we know that the fighting which men have done with each other has been among the means of developing the individual and the social type. Using the term " social," not as an expression of moral quality, but as an index of reactions between conscious beings, it is as literally true, and first of all in the same sense true, that man is a social animal, as that the eagle is a bird of flight. The latter proposition does not mean that the eagle is born flying. It simply means that the eagle does not get to be an eagle except through learning to fly, and in the practice of flying. So men are social animals in the sense that they do not get to be men except through learning and practicing the arts of contact with other men.

All this is so simple, to be sure, that it might well go without saying, if different kinds of philosophy had not made the seemingly obvious fact a matter of doubt, dispute, and confusion. The sociologist needs to make the fact clear to himself at the outset of his attempts to understand the social process. The personal units that are the integers in all social combinations are not of themselves, apart from such combinations, integers at all. A brick is as much a brick when it is dropped and forgotten on the way from the kiln to the building, as the other bricks that are set in the wall. It is not a part of a structure, but it has all its individual characteristics independent of other bricks. A brick, qua brick, is not a social phenomenon. A person, on the contrary, cannot come

( 476) into physical existence except through the co-operation of parent persons; he cannot become a self-sustaining animal unless protected for several years by other persons; and he cannot find out and exercise his capabilities unless stimulated to countless forms of action by contact with other persons. The personal units in society, then, are units that in countless ways depend upon each other for possession of their own personality. They find themselves in each other. They continually seek each other. They perpetually realize themselves by means of each other.

We might go on to show that, to a considerable degree, mere consciousness itself is an affair not of an assumed individual, existing like a brick, unrelated to other bricks, and independent of other bricks for its characteristics. Consciousness in itself, or at least self-consciousness, is not an individual but a social phenomenon. We do not arrive at self-consciousness except by coming into circuit with other persons, with whom we achieve awareness of ourselves.[20] For sociological purposes this degree of refinement is unnecessary. We need to know simply that persons do not enlarge and equip and enrich and exercise their personality except by maintaining relations with other persons. Even Robinson Crusoe retained a one-sided connection with society. If, when he walked out of the surf to the shore, he had left behind him the mental habits, the language, the ideas which he had amassed in contact with other persons, not enough available means of correlating his actions would have remained to provide him with his first meal.

It must be observed, further, that these considerations are not mere academic generalities. Some of the most intensely practical public questions of the present and the immediate future go back to premises involved in the foregoing. Some of the sharpest conflicts of opinion and practice in politics and business will have to be fought out on the lines drawn from the base just indicated. For instance, old-fashioned Jeffer-

( 477) -sonian democracy was a political philosophy which assumed precisely the individualism rejected above as an optical illusion. All the modern variations of Jeffersonian democracy, in spite of their stalwart and salutary traits, are weak from the implications of this impossible individual, and they are foreordained failures in just the proportion in which they ignore the composite, dependent, social character of the individual.

On the other hand, all the socialisms, from the mildest to the most radical, unless they are anarchistic wolves in a socialistic sheep's clothing, imply the opposite misconception, viz., that society is the only real existence, and that the personal units have no separate and distinct claims or character sufficient to modify theories devoted solely to the perfection of social organization. All socialisms tend to gravitate toward programs which magnify social machinery, and minimize the importance of the personal units. All such questions as that of municipal control of public utilities; the relation of the State to education, morals, the dependent classes, religion ; the relation of the public to corporations and combinations, to artificial encouragement of industries by tariffs, patents, treaties, and other devices ; with the thousand and one variations of the problems continually confronting every modern community; imply and involve assumptions about the relation of society as a whole to the personal units. Of course, very few persons will bring these fundamental considerations, in their naked philosophical form, into the arena of practical politics or business; but every person who influences politics or business will, consciously or unconsciously, throw into the scale the weight of his prejudice about this matter of the personal unit vs. the social whole. The sort of work that the sociologist has to do is needed as a means of reducing the weight of both kinds of prejudice, and of substituting for each a just conception of the intrinsic relation between the personal units and the social whole.

Accordingly, while we must emphasize this, so to speak,

( 478) diffused social personality of the apparently individual units, and while the fact that each person realizes himself very largely at a distance from himself in the activities of other persons—while this fact becomes a very significant factor in the most practical calculations of politics and business, the present tendencies in social theory and practice so strongly favor this side of the facts that emphasis of the collective side, the co-operative aspect, of the situation is imperative.[21]

As a mere latest and highest order of the animal kingdom, the human race is simply a mass of matter formed by the operation of physical forces, and distributed through space by the operation of other physical forces. So far, the human race is one aggregate, as truly as the land and the water of the earth's surface, or the atmosphere that surrounds the earth, or the system of the starry host that fills the heavens. As a conscious company, however, the human race is not one aggregate, but a whole composed of as many distinct and self-impelled units as there are persons in the human family. We have taken due account of the fact that society is always and inevitably conditioned by its character as a portion of flotsam and jetsam within a physical environment, and, furthermore, as a portion of that environment. But society, in that portion of its character which sociology has especially to consider, is not matter, but persons. These persons have such funda-

( 479) -mental likenesses that certain general propositions are true of them all, and we both may and must think of them as one and inseparable. They have such decisive differences that we have to count with them as though they were radically and finally separate.

To express the facts in an illustration : Society is not a machine — a locomotive, for instance. Society has no single motor contrivance which furnishes power to all other parts of the machine. Society has no fire-box and boiler which send steam into cylinders, and society does not transfer force from certain active parts to certain inert parts, so that the latter have power of motion. The trucks of the locomotive could not move of themselves. The driving-wheels could not move of themselves. The connecting-rod could not move of itself. The piston could not move of itself. The water could not boil of itself. Society, on the contrary, is a whole made up of parts each of which can and does move of itself; and, indeed, the only way to get these personal units to move as persons is to call upon the motor machinery which is located in each person. When the engineer wants the locomotive to do its work, he does not appeal to trucks and driving-wheels and connecting-rods and boiler-pipes, etc., to exert motor energy of their own. He supplies an external energy. When society acts, it has no source of energy outside of the consciousness of the personal units who compose it. Thoughts and feelings in these units must set the units in motion. Thoughts and feelings in one unit must correspond with thoughts and feelings in many others in order that there may be positive social action. If the thoughts and feelings in the units fail to co-operate, there is simply negative or destructive reaction between them.

A profounder psychological analysis of the individual than is necessary for our purpose is both possible and necessary before we reach ultimate theorems of conscious action. We may content ourselves, however, for sociological purposes, with going simply thus far, viz.: Persons are centers of likes

( 480) and dislikes, of sympathies and antipathies, of desires and of disgusts. All action that goes on in society is the movement and counter-movement of persons impelled by the particular assortment of these feelings which is located in each. Society is what it is at any time as the resultant of all the efforts of all the personal units to reach each its own peculiar sort of satisfaction.

We have found it most convenient to group the wants which all men feel under six heads. Every desire which men betray may be analyzed down to elements which fall into these groups, viz. : (a) health, (b) wealth, (c) sociability, (d) knowledge, (e) beauty, (f) rightness. Our main proposition with reference to this analysis of the personal units is this : In order to have knowledge of any social situation, past or present, it is necessary to have an account of the precise content and proportions of these several wants, both in typical persons of the society and in the group as a whole; i. e., what proportion do the physical desires, for example, bear to all the desires, and in what form are physical satisfactions sought? So of each of the other desires.

No better brief illustration is at hand than the one furnished by Professor John Dewey in a paper to which we shall have occasion to refer again. [22] His thesis is that occupations determine the fundamental modes of human activity; and that the occupation, presupposing different immediate and remote objects of desire, and requiring variations in fundamental modes of activity, produces variations of mental type, including variations of desires. For instance, the hunting life differs in turn from the agricultural, the pastoral, the military, the trading, the manually productive, the intellectual, etc. Each of these different kinds of life presents distinct classes of problems. Each stimulates its peculiar classes of desire. Each promotes the formation of peculiar habits, in adapting effort to satisfaction of the desires. Each of these types of habit, formed by an earlier and necessary stage in

( 481) conquering the conditions of life, tends to persist; it reappears as a modifier of the impulses and habits that survive, because more appropriate in a later stage.

Whether the illustration goes as far as necessary or not, we have sufficiently emphasized the main contention, viz.: All social problems are problems of the relations of personal units that have in themselves distinct initiative and choice and force. This personal equation must be assigned its real value, in order to reach a true formula of the social reaction.


  1. Cf. Baldwin, Social and Ethical Interpretations, passim; Cooley, Human Nature and the Social Order.
  2. Cf. Royce, The World and the Individual.
  3. "Der Zug der Naturwissenschaften ....geht zur Einheit. Anders im. Bereich der Soeialwissenschaften. Zwar die theoretische Sociallehre, das social Seiende durch Causalanalysen erklärend, zeigt gleichfalls den Zug zur Einheit. Nicht aber die praktische Sociallehre ; zwei contradictorische Grund-normen des Seinsollens stehen hier in ewigem Widerstreit sich gegenüber :das Individualprincip und das Soeialprincip . . . .     Diese Grundnormen stehen sich als Axiome gegenüber, welche nicht bewiesen, sondern nur geglaubt werden können. Es handelt sich um eine logische Antinomie ;das dem letzten Grunde des socialen Seinsollens nachspürende Denken zwingt uns entweder im Individual- oder im Socialprincip den letzten Schluss socialer Weisheit zu suchen ;aber es zwingt uns zugleich zu der Erkenntniss, dass die Entscheidung, welche wohl oder übel vollzogen werden muss, wilkürlich ist." (Dietzel, Theoretische Socialökonomik, p. 9.) Unless " ewiger Widerstreit " is to be understood as mere hyperbole, Dietzel does not see so far as he should into a theoretical and practical reconciliation of the two principles. Indeed, his proposition, taken literally, illustrates our assertion of confusion in modern minds. It posits an antinomy between theoretical and applied social science. Our whole conception or "the social process" offers something better than a hopeless dualism of " the individual " and " the social."
  4. A very intelligent discussion of this subject may be found in McGilvary, " Society and the Individual," Philosophical Review, May, 1900.
  5. Cf. Small and Vincent, Introduction to the Study of Society, pp. 174 ff.
  6. As we have said above (p. 436), it would be an improvement in certain respects if we adopted the scale " interest," " desire " (subjective), " want " (objective) ; but we prefer for the present this alternative.
  7. Vide chap. 39.
  8. Professor Veblen's theory of "the instinct of workmanship" seems to have much in common with this proposition.
  9. Exod. 23 : 8.
  10. Vide above, pp. 54, 423, 424.
  11. We have not yet invented all the terms needed to avoid confusion in this connection. Thus "sociability " is not identical with " the social," as discussed below, chap. 34, sec. 2. It is one of the many forms of relationship within the larger category.
  12. Ethik, Vol. I, p. 19.
  13. Ratzenhofer (Sociologische Erkenntniss, p. 64) uses the term the " transcendental interest." His analysis does not precisely coincide with the above, but the differences are probably unimportant.
  14. This analysis of the individual should be compared with that of Spencer, Principles of Sociology, Vol. I, p. 426. It is also worth while to quote again from the same passage, as a commentary upon our earlier reference (above, pp. 99, 100), Spencer's formula of the " scope of sociology," viz.: " Setting out with units thus conditioned, as thus constituted, physically, emotionally, and intellectually, and as thus possessed of certain early acquired notions and correlative feelings, the science of sociology has to give an account of all the phenomena that result from their combined actions." Thus, as we remarked before, it is an entire misconception to suppose that sociology neglects the individual. However sociologists may differ in their analyses of the individual, they know, and they have always known, that at last the individual is, in some aspect or other. their sole subject-matter.
  15. At the close of his essay on "Resources," Emerson says : " The healthy, the civil, the industrious, the learned, the moral race—Nature herself only yields her secret to these." He had plainly enough implied also the æsthetic category, in the same essay, which thus amounts to an assertion of very nearly our present thesis, with equivalents for each of our six terms.
  16. That is, we have to find out as much as possible about the precise assortment of desires present in the persons in question.
  17. Professor W. I. Thomas is throwing much light upon this stage of the human drama in his studies of social origins.
  18. This explanation was called out by a criticism which my colleague, Professor Mead, recently offered upon the present argument. He urged that I started my theory of society without accounting for the individual, the working unit of society. I have never felt that this was the business of the sociologist. It belongs rather to the psychologist. Mr. Mead insisted, however, that it is impossible to draw such a sharp line between psychology and sociology. With that I quite agree. I do not think it is worth while to debate about division of labor so long as it is clear that a piece of work ought to be done. I have always taken this process of individual-building for granted, and have preferred to leave it to the psychologists for analysis, because they are presumably so much better fitted for it than the sociologists. This stage of human development is fundamental, however, and must be kept in mind by everyone who wants to understand society. I am glad that Mr. Mead called attention to it as he did, and hope the psychologists will carry the analysis farther than I can. Cf. above, p. 428.
  19. Cf. Ward, American Journal of Sociology, Vol. VII, pp. 651-53.
  20. Vide Baldwin, Social and Ethical Interpretations, passim.
  21. In a recent paper on " Thomas Davidson " (McClure's Magazine, May, 1905, p. 31), Professor William James says: " He led his own life absolutely, in whatever company he found himself, and the intense individualism which he taught by word and deed is the lesson of which our generation is perhaps most in need." (The italics are mine.) One who feels wholesome respect for Professor James must hesitate to challenge his judgment about a matter on which his opinion is weighty. I must acknowledge, however, that I cannot accept his conclusion in this case. It seems to me that it might have applied to France before the Revolution, and to England before the third Reform Bill, and to the United States before our Civil War. Since that time a bastard individualism has run riot. The peculiar need of our stage of development is enough assimilation of the social in our philosophy of life to neutralize this unsocial factor. The law of individualization by virtue of socialization, rather than the fantasy of individualization by resisting socialization, is the peculiar lesson that our generation needs.
  22. "Interpretation of the Savage Mind," Psychological Review. May, 1902.

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