is invalid, or we must argue that the hedonistic preconceptions can be given up without compromising the validity of the analysis. The latter horn of the dilemma is chosen. Then we must choose again between providing a sounder psychological basis for our analysis, and holding that its psychological basis does not concern the economist. Again, the latter course is generally preferred. Thus, economic theory is said to rest upon the simple facts of preference or choice, and the psychological explanation of these preferences or choices is said to be a matter of indifference to our science. I have come across passages of this tenor in the recent writings of Professors Wicksteed, Chapman, Pareto, Schumpeter, Čuhel, and Davenport.1 Probably a search made for the purpose would discover other cases.

Now, if economic theory really has no concern with psychology, perhaps a survey of recent literature upon human nature is out of place in this Journal. But that is not a necessary conclusion. For when economic theory has been purified so far that human nature has no place in it, economists become interested perforce in much that lies outside their theoretical field. Further, it is possible that the effort to keep the study of human nature out of economic theory may break down. The admitted deficiencies of hedonism may stimulate future economists, not to disavow all psychological analysis, but to look for sound psychological analysis. It may

1 P. H. Wicksteed, The Common Sense of Political Economy (1910), pp. 33, 36, 169, 435; 8. J. Chapman, Political Economy (Home University Library), 1912, pp. 34, 35; also Outlines of Political Economy, 1911, pp. 24-26; J. Schumpeter, Wesen und Hauptinhalt der theoretischen Nationalökonomie, 1908, pp. 64, 72, 542–544: Čuhel, Lehre von den Bedürfnissen, 1907, pp. 56-61; H. J. Davenport, Economics of Enterprise, 1913, pp. 99-101. Pareto's position is substantially similar, since he bases his theory of equilibrium on curves of indifference, and treats these curves as factual data. See his Manuel d'Économie politique, 1909, p. 169 n. Böhm-Bawerk thinks that Čuhel and Schumpeter draw too sharp a line between economics and psychology; but he tries to clear his own skirts of hedonism. See his Positive Theorie des Kapitales, Zweiter Halbband, 3d ed., 1912, pp. 310–330.

even be that economists will find themselves not only borrowing from but also contributing to psychology. For if that science is ever to give a competent account of human behavior it seems necessary that economists should do a part of the work. Human nature is in large measure a social product, and among the social activities that shape it the most fundamental is the particular set of activities with which economists deal.

Those economists who are loath to abandon psychological inquiry may well feel encouraged by the vigor with which the study of human nature is now being prosecuted. Physiologists, neurologists, psychologists, ethnologists, sociologists, political scientists, economic historians, even a few economic theorists, are not only working at the problem from their several viewpoints, but also endeavoring to pool their contributions. Whether the results of such work can be incorporated into economic theory with good effect, and whether economists have contributions of their own to make to the study of human nature, are questions of great import. Nothing which we are doing ourselves along traditional lines concerns us more than these manysided investigations of human behavior.



Professor Parmelee plans "a series of works" dealing "with the evolution of human culture and of human nature." His present volume provides the basis for this series by assembling the results of recent investigations bearing upon the evolution of behavior. Starting with the physico-chemical peculiarities of organic matter, he reviews the leading theories con

1 The Science of Human Behavior, Biological and Physiological Foundations. By Maurice Parmelee, New York, The Macmillan Company, 1913, 8o, pp. xvii + 443.

cerning the origin of species, the behavior of the lower animals, the evolution and functions of the nervous system, the rise of instincts and intelligence, and finally, the beginnings of social evolution among insects, vertebrates, and men.

Now the road from physical-chemistry to sociology is long and many are the scientific fields that must be traversed in passing from one to the other. No single man is a competent guide across all the subdivisions of biology, physiology, and psychology. Yet we may be glad that Mr. Parmelee has the courage of a sociologist rather than the caution of a scholar. For to most students of the social sciences the hypotheses that human behavior has evolved from the simple reactions of unicellular organisms, and that the latter behavior is reducible to mechanistic terms, to most students of the social sciences these hypotheses are as vague as they are seductive. An attempt to bring together the evidence bearing upon them serves at least to make them more definite, to show where they fit in among the other fragments of our knowledge, and to suggest possible bearings upon our proper problems. Besides this general interest, Mr. Parmelee's book has many diverting details: for example, the sections of scissors and paste which summarize the fascinating researches of Loeb into tropisms, which indicate why Jennings, in opposition to Loeb, imputes attention and choice even to the protozoa, which outline Sherrington's conception of the nervous system, W. M. Wheeler's studies of ant communities, and Espinas's speculations about the tendency of the family to obstruct the formation of large social groups.

For social psychology the most important part of Mr. Parmelee's book is his treatment of the relations between the four types of behavior tropisms, reflexes,

instincts, and intelligence. He believes" that there is strict continuity between all these different forms of behavior and that the more complex forms are built up from and based upon the simpler" (p. 200). Tropisms are the reactions to external forces of animals without a nervous system. Reflexes are the reactions of effector organs to nervous stimuli, and therefore exist only in animals which have nervous systems. Instincts are inherited combinations of reflexes, and require integration by a central nervous system. "Intelligent behavior is . . . made up of tropic, reflex, and instinctive actions which have been combined in new ways as a result of experience so as to constitute new forms of behavior" (p. 258). It requires a central nervous system which "has developed parts which are not specialized at birth, so that they can serve as association areas" (p. 266). While the simpler " forms of behavior are inherited in the sense that animals are predetermined to manifest them when the appropriate stimuli are applied," intelligence " is determined by individual experience," tho of course "a structural form which is capable of benefiting by experience must be inherited if intelligent behavior is to make its appearance" (p. 423).

The neat symmetry of this scheme is marred somewhat by the necessity of introducing between instincts and intelligence certain "general innate tendencies." These tendencies differ from instincts in that they are not definite combinations of reflexes, but involve "at different times entirely different parts of the nervous system" (p. 296). On the other hand, they differ from intelligence in that they are innate, instead of based upon individual experience. Examples in point are the tendencies to imitate, to play, and to form habits.

The reader will see that Mr. Parmelee's discussion of human behavior is biological rather than psychological

in character. He finds the criteria by which to discriminate between the different types of activity, not in what the organism does, but in the anatomical structure of the nervous tissues involved. Interesting as this viewpoint undoubtedly is, important as are certain conclusions which it suggests, it still remains a matter of secondary interest to students of the social sciences. They are concerned less with the anatomical machinery by which activities are effected than with the characteristics of the activities themselves. Hence they will find more of practical interest in the following books, which subordinate the biological to the psychological viewpoint, than in Mr. Parmelee's volume.


To a generation striving with projects of social reform there is no problem of greater speculative interest or greater practical import than what is original in human nature. Logically, the issue between Godwin and Malthus, between the Philosophic Radicals and the Conservatives of Mill's day, between the Socialists and the "Stand Patters" of our own time, involves a difference of opinion how far and how fast man's nature can be made over. And, since we have come to discredit the inheritance of acquired characteristics, the possibility of reforming human nature turns largely on what part of that nature is inherited and hence presumably unchangeable, and what part is formed by experience and hence presumably capable of modification. Keen and widespread interest will be felt, therefore, in the effort of a distinguished psychologist to determine what is The Original Nature of Man.1

1 The Original Nature of Man (Educational Psychology, vol. i). By Edward L. Thorndike. New York, Teachers' College, Columbia University, 1913. 8°, pp. xii + 327.

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