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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/370

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

which sets out to consider his works. Inasmuch as man is an organic phenomenon, anthropology, the science of man—like botany, the science of plants, and zoology, the science of animals—is properly speaking a branch of biology, the general science of all organic phenomena. Call this physical anthropology if you prefer—though the adjective seems to me superfluous—but pause and consider before you speak of cultural anthropology. The adjective in this case is incongruous; cultural includes man's works, which are confessedly super-organic. Now there may be no principles capable of coordinating these super-organic phenomena—if so there can be no such thing as a science of civilization—but simply because these principles are still unknown, or unknowable, if you like, is no reason why other known principles should be accepted to serve their stead. You can not coordinate organic phenomena under inorganic categories, why should you expect to coordinate super-organic phenomena under organic categories? But this is precisely what is proposed by the incongruous combination: cultural anthropology—the science itself is organic, its subject-matter is super-organic.

Congruity requires that the new science shall be super-organic to correspond with its subject-matter. But there is such a science, you say, sociology, which claims to be the science of super-organic phenomena. If 'social' and 'super-organic' were synonymous, as Spencer supposed, the claim would be justified, but they're not, and no amount of argument or assumption can make them so. To go no further for the moment, it is evident enough man's works are individual and familial as well as social; then too, from another point of view, some of man's works are economic, others esthetic, and so on, all of which are included within the broader concept 'civilization,' but not necessarily within the narrower concept 'society.' Thus though sociology is, logically at least, a science of super-organic phenomena, it is certainly not the science of super-organic phenomena, since it does not, and can not be made to coordinate the subject-matter in question. All organic phenomena are coordinated under the general science of biology, perhaps some day all super-organic phenomena will be coordinated under the general science of civology. If so, sociology will constitute one of the subsidiary sciences of civology, even as morphology constitutes one of the subsidiary sciences of biology. Till then the so-called science should be classed among the above-mentioned 'systems.' Even as such—if I may add a word by way of criticism—it is not a striking success—to quote from a recent writer: "In regard to the fundamental principles of sociology, the confusion is hopeless. The student will search in vain in the systematic treatises on sociology for any definite body of established doctrine which he can accept as the ground principles of the science. He finds only an unmanageable mass of conflicting theories and opinions. Each treatise contains an exposition