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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/369

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CIVOLOGY—A SUGGESTION

CIVOLOGY—A SUGGESTION
By PROFESSOR LINDLEY M. KEASBEY

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

SO far civilization—Johnson 'abominated' the word and suggested 'civility' instead—has been considered philosophically, described historically, viewed esthetically and computed statistically. I say 'so far' and I may add 'so good,' for by these disciplines the phenomena in question have been arrayed under their vicarious aspects with illuminating, impressive, interesting and significant results. Hence we have systems, narratives, tales and tables, all of which are well enough in their respective ways. As a whole, however—if one can consider them collectively—these systems, narratives, tales and tables lack continuity. Coordination is required, so, it seems to me, civilization should be subjected to scientific research. Ours is the age of science, we affirm; certainly each century has contributed its quota. To the credit of the nineteenth belongs biology, which has succeeded in coordinating the phenomena of life; it is the task of the twentieth, I take it, to coordinate the phenomena of civilization and afford us the science of, Civology, shall I say?

But why, you ask, is a new science necessary? Civilization is the work of man and anthropology, the science of man, is already established. Beavers build dams, but there's not one science of beavers and another of their dams, why, then, one science of man and another of his works? If men established civilizations by instinct, as beavers build dams, and the same sorts of civilizations from generation to generation, with only such changes as are effected through selection, there would be no necessity of a separate science, but such is not the case. Civilization is not instinctive and conservative, it is purposive and progressive. So there is something in the distinction Spencer sought to establish between organic and super-organic phenomena. Man himself is an organic phenomenon, his works, however, are super-organic—to be sure, they proceed, as Spencer said, by insensible steps out of the organic, even as organic phenomena proceed by insensible steps out of the inorganic, still for this very reason they are super-organic. Since such is the case, manifestly man and his works can not be included within one science; there must be two sciences, one of man, and another of his works. It is of no avail—in fact it only mixes matters the more—to divide anthropology into two parts: physical anthropology, which purports to deal with man himself, and cultural anthropology.