Social Evolution and Political Theory

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Columbia University Press, 1911 - Progress - 218 pages
Contains the substance of eight lectures given on the Beer Foundation under the faculty of Political Science division of Columbia University during April of 1911.

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Page 76 - To the naturalist it is evident that while the elimination of the hopelessly unfit is a reasonable and prudent policy for society to adopt, any attempt to distinguish certain strains as superior, and to give special encouragement to them would probably fail to accomplish the object proposed, and must certainly be unsafe.
Page 76 - Some serious physical and mental defects, almost certainly also some morbid diatheses and some of the forms of vice and criminality, could be eradicated if society so determined.
Page 37 - That is to say, there is progress just where the factor of social tradition comes into play and just so far as its influence extends. If the tradition is broken, the race begins again where it stood before the tradition was formed. We may infer that while the race has been relatively stagnant, society has rapidly developed, and we must conclude that, whether for good or for evil, social changes are mainly determined, not by alterations of racial type, but by modifications of tradition due to the...
Page 153 - In particular, it can be seen to be the conception necessary to give consistency and unity of aim to the vastly increased power of controlling the conditions, external and internal, of life, which the advance of knowledge is constantly yielding to mankind.
Page 32 - C^JTradition is, in the development of society, what heredity is in the physical growth of the stock. It is the link between past and future, it is that in which the effects of the past are consolidated and on the basis of which subsequent modifications are built up.
Page 93 - It is, so to say, incorporated in instruments and laboratories, whereby the results worked out by one man for one purpose are available by another man for another purpose. The science is more than the living knowledge of any individual. It is social knowledge or social thought, not in the sense that it exists in the mind of a mystical social unit, nor in the sense that it is the common property of all men, which it certainly is not, but in the sense that it is the product of many minds working in...
Page 21 - Before we apply biological conceptionsto sociaLafiairs, we generally suppose that the highest ethics is that which ex' presses the completest mutual sympathy and the most highly evolved society, that in which the efforts of its members are most completely coordinated to common ends, in which discord is most fully subdued to harmony. Accordingly we are driven to one of two alternatives. Either our valuations are completely false, our notions of higher and lower unmeaning, or progress, the process...

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