From Comte to Benjamin Kidd: The Appeal to Biology or by Robert Mackintosh

By Robert Mackintosh

Robert waterproof coat (1858-1933), a professor on the Congregationalist Lancashire self reliant collage, lines the impression of biology and evolutionism at the examine of human ethics and society through the moment half the 19th century during this 1899 publication. He starts off with Comte's founding of sociology, and maintains with the renewed entice biology for the knowledge of human affairs present in the paintings of Darwin, Spencer and their circle. He then seems at Benjamin Kidd's Social Evolution, released in 1894 (and additionally reissued during this series). Fifty years after Comte, Kidd argued that sociology required additional grounding by means of a brand new recourse to biology. waterproof coat supported Kidd's view. If organic clues are to manage to pay for tips for human behavior, waterproof coat contended, they have to be supplemented by means of a clearer ethical and spiritual imaginative and prescient, and in philosophy by means of a few scheme of metaphysical evolutionism. His paintings marks a transition from Darwinism to a brand new Hegelianism.

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Sample text

Hatch is right. Our age is pre-eminently an age of historical study. Very likely our age does better work in dealing with the history of beliefs, theological or other, than in dealing directly with the problem of their justification. Nay, our age may even make its best contributions to metaphysics or theology at second hand in the regions of history. But, if so, that is the weakness of our age, not its strength. And, in any case, profitable treatment of the history of such opinions implies a belief that they deal with facts, not hallucinations.

CHAP, ii COMTE'S LIFE AND TEACHING 21 Or we may propose another issue. Let us consider Comte's appeal to science. If that works out so clearly and satisfactorily as to carry us unhesitatingly with it, then we may feel that Comte has justified his cavalier attitude towards those mighty allies, faith and reason. On the other hand, if Comte's positive construction fails to commend itself, we shall be justified in " considering yet again " the old-fashioned guides to truth and duty, for which sociology was to be a substitute.

But that is to postpone the question indefinitely. Till faith in God has died out like faith in witchcraft, history cannot claim to pronounce upon it a sentence of worthlessness. CHAP, ii COMTE'S LIFE AND TEACHING 21 Or we may propose another issue. Let us consider Comte's appeal to science. If that works out so clearly and satisfactorily as to carry us unhesitatingly with it, then we may feel that Comte has justified his cavalier attitude towards those mighty allies, faith and reason. On the other hand, if Comte's positive construction fails to commend itself, we shall be justified in " considering yet again " the old-fashioned guides to truth and duty, for which sociology was to be a substitute.

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