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TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF Sociology . . Lester F. Ward
How SHOULD Sociology BE TAUGHT As A College or UNI-
THE AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL SOCIETY
In December, 1905, a number of persons interested in promoting the study of sociology met at Baltimore, during the sessions of the Historical, Economic, and Political Science Associations, and organized the American Sociological Society. The first annual meeting of the society was held in connection with the meetings of the cognate societies at Providence, R. I., December 27–29, 1906. The proceedings of that meeting are contained in the following pages.
The establishment of the American Sociological Society marks a notable stage in the positive investigation of human conditions. Not many representatives of the older forms of social science are ready to admit that there is a function for Sociology. A sufficient nucleus of scholars has been differentiated from the traditional social sciences, however, to give sociology the prestige of a visible personal following. Together with the Institut International de Sociologie, and the Sociological Society of London, the American Sociological Society bears witness that a few men and women, in full possession of their Senses, are convinced that something is lacking in methods of interpreting human experience, and that the most effective means of supplying the lack must be sought without rather than within the older sciences of society.
This organization demonstrates, in the first instance, merely that its members have the courage of their convictions. Since those convictions have now taken corporate form, they must henceforth command a somewhat heightened degree of attention. More will be said, and more definitely, and with more confident emphasis, from and about the Sociological point of view. What is said from this point of view will necessarily attract more notice from both theorists and practical men who have hitherto regarded sociology as negligible. The sociologists do not imagine that they are appointed to destroy the vocation ‘. . . . . . . THE AMERICAN Sociological society
of other investigators of society. They feel themselves called to represent factors in the problems of human association which have thus far received less than their share of attention. In organizing a society they are not beginning, but continuing, the work of winning for those neglected factors the appreciation they deserve. The society makes no appeal for credit. It simply proposes to encourage sociological inquiry and to await competent judgment of results. It believes that it can add an essential factor in promoting both special research and correlation of special investigations among the phenomena of human association. It maintains that our last attainable insight into the meaning of life must be derived from organization of such special researches. It heralds the faith that all the social sciences are unscientific in the degree in which they attempt to hold themselves separate from each other, and to constitute closed systems of abstractions. It demands correlation of the social sciences, to the end that real knowledge of human life as it is may increase; that insight into the quality of life as it is capable of becoming may expand; and that effort to realize the possibilities of life may grow more concerted and more intelligent.