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Studies in the Theory of Human Society


    PROF. GIDDINGS points out that in science this century has been a time of rectification rather than of great discoveries. This applies particularly to the fundamental conceptions of sociology. These “Studies,” which are always suggestive, frequently provocative, and in more than one instance illuminating, are a contribution to the revision of the theory of human society necessitated by the increased clarity and precision in scientific vision which has come about in the last twenty years. Their somewhat discursive character makes it difficult to give a concise account of the author's achievement in this direction; but, in brief, it may be said to lie in the application of a psychological interpretation to the conclusions of writers such as Darwin, Spencer, Bagehot, and Kidd, to name the more important, thereby accounting for social origins and the stages in the evolution of society in terms of the struggle for existence. Prof. Giddings“s theory of human society is that social phenomena are a product ot stimulus reacted to by “pluralistic” behaviour, giving rise to consciousness of kind-the “herd instinct” of other writers-from which are derived discriminating association, the ethical code, co-operation and division of labour, and, in the long run, selection and perpetuation of the adequate—the “fit” of an older terminology.

    Studies in the Theory of Human Society.

    By Prof. F. H. Giddings. Pp. vii + 308. (New York: The Macmillan Co.; London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1922.) 14s. net.

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