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A Century of Sociology

Nature volume 142, page 607 (01 October 1938) | Download Citation



IN the R. R. Kale Memorial Lecture 1938 to the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Prof. C. S. Ghurye reviewed the social process in the light of a century of sociology. Social process, he considers, has two aspects: the nature of cultural development as reflected in the trend of thought about man as a living entity, and the process by which the individual is assimilated into the cultural flow of the times. Although Protagoras gave effective currency to one of the fundamental requisites of science-to take. experience as the only category strictly knowable for the human intellect-the ethical outlook afterwards overshadowed or eliminated the scientific spirit, and Prof. Ghurye considers that it was not until Montesquieu that human experience was again viewed with the eye of a man of science. In his argument, the force of human motives first received real recognition. Stressing the significance of the English contribution to the advancement of knowledge on the Comtian plane, he pointed out that the social life of man is becoming the centre of attraction and motivation the principle of explanation. The psychology of motivation found its scientific liberator in Shand, who sought the explanation of human motivation in the social behaviour of man and not in his biological activity.

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