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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/371

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367
CIVOLOGY—A SUGGESTION

of what the author is pleased to label the 'Principles of Sociology.' But the 'Principles' are not the same in any two treatises; and by no process of analysis and synthesis can they be brought into harmony. They are fundamentally contradictory. It is impossible, I believe, to discover a single alleged ground-principle of sociology that has commanded general assent."[1] If so, well may Gabriel Tarde advise his fellow sociologists: "Instead of discoursing upon the merits of this infant sociology—which men have had the art to baptize before its birth—let us succeed, if possible, in bringing it forth."

Setting aside cultural anthropology as inadequate and sociology as insufficient, I revert to the necessity of a new science. As to its name, it is premature, perhaps, to baptize this infant also before its birth, but I may at least be allowed to suggest Civology. I do so for consistency's sake; life is organic, civilization is super-organic, the organic science of life is called biology, the super-organic science of civilization should be called civology. I assume, you see, that civilization and superorganic are synonymous, and rightly, I think; certainly all civil phenomena are super-organic, the only question is: are all super-organic phenomena civil? They are essentially so, I should say, and, in any event, civilization is such a flexible term it may very well, far better, in fact, than any other, be extended so as to include all the phenomena in question. But enough of the name, now for the substance of the new science. Its subject-matter is super-organic; so much is established. The next step is to formulate fundamental principles capable of coordinating super-organic phenomena—an exceedingly long step. Indeed it is, so long, I fear I shall be obliged to jump at conclusions. Fortunately the path is well paved to this point, and beyond the general direction of advance is defined. So far science exhibits an orderly processus of phenomena, with the result that organic phenomena have been shown to proceed by insensible steps out of the inorganic. I assume simply that such consistency continues to the end, with the result that super-organic phenomena proceed by insensible steps out of the organic. If so, civology stands in the same relation to biology that biology stands to physics and chemistry. The fundamental principles of biology are subsequent to and consistent with the fundamental principles of its antecedent sciences, physics and chemistry; accordingly, the fundamental principles of civology should be subsequent to and consistent with the fundamental principles of its antecedent science, biology. Before taking the step—or making the leap, if you like—it will be best, then, to go back a bit, and, passing the line of organic evolution in review, run over the fundamental principles of biology.

Organic evolution is characterized by countless variations, according to which the manifold forms of life can be classified under more

  1. F. Spencer Baldwin, 'Sociology,' Popular Science Monthly, LV., p. 817.