Applied Sociology: A Treatise on the Conscious Improvement of Society by Society
This work and its predecessor, Pure Sociology, constitute together a system of sociology, and these, with Dynamic Sociology, The Psychic Factors of Civilization, and the Outlines of Sociology, make up a more comprehensive system of social philosophy. Should any reader acquaint himself with the whole, he will find it not only consistent with itself, but progressive in the sense that each successive volume carries the subject a step farther with a minimum of repetition or duplicate treatment. The central thought is that of a true science of society, capable, in the measure that it approaches completeness, of being turned to the profit of mankind. If there is one respect in which it differs more than in others from rival systems of philosophy it is in its practical character of never losing sight of the end or purpose, nor of the possibilities of conscious effort. It is a reaction against the philosophy of despair that has come to dominate even the most enlightened scientific thought. It aims to point out a remedy for the general paralysis that is creeping over the world, and which a too narrow conception of the law of cosmic evolution serves rather to increase than to diminish. It proclaims the efficacy of effort, provided it is guided by intelligence. It would remove the embargo laid upon human activity by a false interpretation of scientific determinism, and, without having recourse to the equally false conception of a power to will, it insists upon the power to act. - Preface.