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- Sociology and Modern Social Problems - 3/45 -


economic conditions would neglect political, religious, educational, and many other conditions. Only a very one-sided theory of society can be built upon such a basis. Economics should keep to its own sphere of explaining the commercial and industrial activities of man and not attempt to become a general science dealing with social evolution. This is now recognized by practically all economists of standing, and the only question which remains is whether economics is independent of sociology or whether it rests upon sociology.

The view which has been presented thus far and which will be adhered to is that economics should rest upon sociology. That economics does rest upon sociology is shown by many considerations. The chief problem of theoretical economics is the problem of economic value. But economic value is but one sort of value which is recognized in society, moral and aesthetic values being other examples of the valuing process, and all values must express the collective judgment of some human group or other. The problem of economic value, in other words, reduces itself to a problem in social psychology, and when this is said it is equivalent to making economics dependent upon sociology, for social psychology is simply the psychological aspect of sociology. Again, industrial organization and industrial evolution are but parts or phases of social evolution in general, and it is safe to say that industry, both in its organization and evolution, cannot be understood apart from the general conditions, psychological and biological, which surround society. Again, many non-economic forces continually obtrude themselves upon the student of industrial conditions, such as custom, invention, imitation, standards, ideals, and the like. These are general social forces which play throughout all phases of human social life and so show the dependence of industry upon society in general, and, therefore, of economics upon sociology. Much more might be said in the way of concretely illustrating these statements, but the purpose of this text precludes anything but the briefest and most elementary statement of these theoretical facts.

(D) _Relations to Politics._ We have already said that the state is one of the chief forms of human association. The science which treats of the state or of government is known as political science or politics. It is one of the oldest of the social sciences, having been more or less systematized by Aristotle. The problems of politics are those of the origin, nature, function, and development of government. It is manifest that politics, both on its practical and theoretical sides, has many close relations to sociology. While the state or nation must not be confused with society in general, yet because the state is the most imposing, if not the most important, form of human association, the relations of politics and sociology must be very intimate. On the one hand, political scientists can scarcely understand the origin, nature, and proper functions of government without understanding more or less about the social life generally; and, on the other hand, the sociologist finds that one of the most important facts of human society is that of social control, or of authority. While political science deals only with the organized authority manifested in the state, which we call government, yet inasmuch as this is the most important form of social control, and inasmuch as political organization is one of the chief manifestations of social organization, the sociologist can scarcely deal adequately with the great problems of social organization and evolution without constant reference to political science.

An important branch of political science is jurisprudence, or the science of law. This, again, is closely related with sociology, on both its theoretical and practical sides. Law is, perhaps, the most important means of social control made use of by society, and the sociologist needs to understand something of the principles of law in order to understand the nature of the existing social order. On the other hand, the jurist needs to know the principles of social organization and evolution in general before he can understand the nature and purpose of law.

(E) _Relations to Ethics._ [Footnote: For a full statement of my views regarding the relations of sociology and ethics, see my article on "The Sociological Basis of Ethics," in the _International Journal of Ethics_ for April, 1910.] Ethics is the science which deals with the right or wrong of human conduct. Its problems are the nature of morality and of moral obligation, the validity of moral ideals, the norms by which conduct is to be judged, and the like. While ethics was once considered to be a science of individual conduct it is now generally conceived as being essentially a social science. The moral and the social are indeed not clearly separable, but we may consider the moral to be the ideal aspect of the social.

This view of morality, which, for the most part, is indorsed by modern thought, makes ethics dependent upon sociology for its criteria of rightness or wrongness. Indeed, we cannot argue any moral question nowadays unless we argue it in social terms. If we discuss the rightness or wrongness of the drink habit we try to show its social consequences. So, too, if we discuss the rightness or wrongness of such an institution as polygamy we find ourselves forced to do so mainly in social terms. This is not denying, of course, that there are religious and metaphysical aspects to morality,--these are not necessarily in conflict with the social aspects,--but it is saying that modern ethical theory is coming more and more to base itself upon the study of the remote social consequences of conduct, and that we cannot judge what is right or wrong in our complex society unless we know something of the social consequences.

Ethics must be regarded, therefore, as a normative science to which sociology and the other social sciences lead up. It is, indeed, very difficult to separate ethics from sociology. It is the business of sociology to furnish norms and standards to ethics, and it is the business of ethics as a science to take the norms and standards furnished by the social sciences, to develop them, and to criticize them. This text therefore, will not attempt to exclude ethical implications and judgments from sociological discussions, because that would be futile and childish.

(F) _Relations to Education._ Among the applied sciences, sociology is especially closely related to education, for education is not simply the art of developing the powers and capacities of the individual; it is rather the fitting of individuals for efficient membership, for proper functioning, in social life. On its individual side, education should initiate the individual into the social life and fit him for social service. It should create the good citizen. On the social or public side, education should be the chief means of social progress. It should regenerate society, by fitting the individual for a higher type of social life than at present achieved. We must have a socialized education if our present complex civilization is to endure. Social problems touch education on every side, and, on the other hand, education must bear upon every social problem. It is evident, therefore, that sociology has a very great bearing upon the problems of education; and the teacher who comes to his task equipped with a knowledge of social conditions and of the laws and principles of social organization and evolution will find a significance and meaning in his work which he could hardly otherwise find.

(G) _Relations to Philanthropy._[Footnote: This topic is more fully discussed in my article on "Philanthropy and Sociology" in The Survey for June 4, 1910.] The great science which deals directly with the depressed classes in society and with their uplift may be called the science of philanthropy. It may be regarded as an applied department of sociology. The science of philanthropy is especially concerned with the prevention, as well as with the curative treatment, of dependency, defectiveness, and delinquency. That part which deals with the social treatment of the criminal class is generally called penology, while the subdivision which treats of dependents and defectives is generally known as "charities" or "charitology."

It is evident that there are very close relations between the science of philanthropy and sociology. The elimination of hereditary defects, the overcoming of the social maladjustment of individuals, and the correction of defective social conditions, the three great tasks of scientific philanthropy, all require great knowledge of human society. The social or philanthropic worker, therefore, requires thorough equipment in sociology that he may approach his tasks aright.

The Relation of Sociology to Socialism.--Curiously enough sociology is often confused with socialism by those who pay but little attention to scientific matters. This comes from the fact that some of the adherents of socialism claim that socialism is a science. As a matter of fact, socialism is primarily a party program. It is the platform of a social and political party that has as the main tenet of its creed the abolition of private property in the means of production. Socialism, in other words, is a scheme to revolutionize the present order of society. It cannot claim to be a science in any sense, though it may rest upon theories which its adherents believe to be scientific. Sociology, on the other hand, is a science, and is concerned not with revolutionizing the social order, but with studying and understanding social conditions, especially the more fundamental conditions upon which social organization and social changes depend. As a science it aims simply at understanding society, at getting at the truth. It is no more related logically to socialism than to the platform of the Republican or the Democratic party.

The theories upon which revolutionary socialism rest may be proved or disproved by scientific sociology. It is perhaps too early to say finally whether sociology will pronounce the theoretical assumptions of socialism correct or incorrect; but so far as we can see it seems probable that the theories of social evolution advocated by the Marxian socialists at least will be pronounced erroneous. In any case, there is no logical connection between sociology as a science and socialism as a program for social reconstruction.

Nevertheless, there has been a close connection between sociology and socialism historically. It has been largely the agitations of the socialists and other radical social reformers which have called attention to the need of a scientific understanding of human society. The socialists and other radical reformers, in other words, have very largely set the problem which sociology attempts to solve. Practically, moreover, the indictments and charges of the socialists and anarchists against the present social order have made necessary some study of that order to see whether these charges were well founded or not. In this sense sociology may be said to be a scientific answer to socialism, not in the sense that sociology is devoted to refuting socialism, but in the sense that sociology has been devoted very largely to inquiring into many of the theoretical assumptions which revolutionary socialism makes.

The further relations of sociology to socialism will be taken up later. Here we are only concerned to have the reader see that there is a sharp distinction between the sociological movement on the one hand, that is, the movement to obtain fuller and more accurate knowledge concerning human social life, and the socialist movement, the movement to revolutionize the present social and economic order. Moreover, it may be remarked that while socialism seems to be mainly an economic program, it involves such total and radical reconstruction of social organization that in the long run the claims of socialism to a scientific validity must be passed upon by sociology rather than by economics.

The Relation of Sociology to Social Reform.--From what has been said it is also evident that sociology must not be confused with any particular social reform movement or with the movement for social reform in general. Sociology, as a science, cannot afford to be developed in the interest of any social reform. Certain social reforms, sociology may


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