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The Secretary announced that the following papers had been submitted to the Academy:

155. By GEO. K. HOLMES, Washington: The Peons of the South. 156. By Professor LESTER F. WARD, Washington: Political Ethics of Herbert Spencer.

157. By Professor JAMES MAVOR, of the University of Toronto: The Relation of Economic Study to Public and Private Morality. Printed in the current number of the ANNALS.

158. By R. T. COLBURN, Elizabeth, N. J.: Taxation of Large Estates. Printed in the current number of the ANNALS.

159. By Wм. F. HARDING, Bloomington, Ills.: A Successful School Savings Bank.

160. By JOHN A. HOBSON, London: Objective and Subjective View of Distribution.

161. By Hon. Carroll D. WRIGHT, Washington: Relation of Economic Conditions to the Causes of Crime. Printed in the ANNALS, May, 1893.

162. By Professor JOHN J. McCook, of Trinity College: The Tramp. 163. By Professor S. M. MACVANE, of Harvard University: The Austrian Theory of Value.

164. By Professor JOHN R. COMMONS, of Indiana University: Bullion Notes and an Elastic Currency.

The President then introduced Professor Lester F. Ward, who read a paper on "The Political Ethics of Herbert Spencer" (No. 156).

The speaker criticised the rank which Mr. Spencer gives to ethics in his scheme of philosophy. "He has made it," he said, "the great end of all his labors, while from the very character of his 'ethics,' the doctrine that happiness is the end of action, and the argument that this will ultimately be attained through altruistic action becoming that which yields the greatest happiness-the most egoistic-it is evident that 'ethics' relates to a theoretically transient state of society, which is to pass away as soon as altruistic and egoistic actions shall have become mutually adjusted. 'Ethics,' therefore, during this transition period, is merely a department of sociology, and only entitled to a subordinate place in the sociological scheme.


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'The fundamental principle which seems to underlie every statement of Mr. Spencer's works is that of selfadjustment. To his mind the arch offender against the laws of nature is Government. He can see no bond of mutuality between the government and the citizen. With him the former is an outside power, working against the latter and for itself alone."

After having taken up various opinions set forth in Mr. Spencer's works, Professor Ward observed that, in comparing his later with his earlier writings, there was evidently a gradual dying out of his warmer and more sympathetic impulses, which, at the beginning of his career, made him the friend of all who suffered from the effects of an imperfect social state.

"It is simply astonishing," said the speaker, "that the great exponent of the law of evolution in all other departments should so signally fail to grasp that law in this highest department. The extreme noli tangere individualism with which the entire social philosophy of Herbert Spencer is permeated must, in spite of all disclaimers, impart to it the character of a gospel of nihilism."

An interesting discussion followed the reading of the paper.

Mr. Emory R. Johnson spoke in substance, as follows: Herbert Spencer is a striking illustration of two facts. He shows how a man eminent in one branch of science may go quite astray in another field of thought; by carrying the laws valid among those kinds of investigation with which, as a biologist, he is most familiar, into social science he is led into error. But Spencer is also a man who does not shrink from the conclusions to which his premises lead him. Starting out with certain abstract principles of justice he is led to look upon state interference as pernicious. He is an ultra-individualist. But the facts of society run counter to his theories. As Professor Ward has said, he has neglected the integration of functions that accompanies the development

With the progress

of the organism, biological or social. of society into higher political, economic and intellectual life, integration takes place. What economists call the law of social solidarity comes to have wider application. To the extent that the economic activities of the different producing classes become more and more inter-dependent, to that degree is the need for guidance, for increased functions of government, necessary. The movement of society in the future is going to be in the direction of larger, not narrower, state activity.

Professor E. D. Cope expressed himself as in harmony with the general position of Dr. Ward, both in its agreement and disagreement with what Mr. Spencer has written on the subject of evolution. He said that Mr. Spencer's position in the matter of the relation of organic evolution to psychic evolution reminded him somewhat of Agassiz's attitude toward the doctrine of evolution in general. Spencer had enunciated the true principles of the Neolamarkian form of the evolutionary hypothesis in his chapter on animal motion and in his speculation as to the influence of motion in producing the segmentation of the vertebral column. He had also enunciated the true theory of psychic evolution. But he had failed to see the nature of the connection between the evolutions. He had misapprehended the relation of the two consciousness of animals to their evolution, and had misrepresented the nature of consciousness in his laborious effort to derive it from mechanical energy as an equivalent. He said that Spencer gave too wide an application to the process of the "integration of matter and the dissipation of energy." While this law is true of inorganic processes when not controlled by man, and also of physiological functioning of the animal organism, it is not true in ontogenetic and evolutionary processes. Here the essential process is the reverse of what it is in inorganic nature, being a process of the conservation of a highly complex colloid, protoplasm, and the building out of it of machines for the development


of ever higher forms of energy, viz., those that are necessary to consciousness, intelligence, and other mental phenomThe speaker had pointed out, as early as 1871, the essential importance of simple psychic states (forms of consciousness) in organic evolution. The creation of man, as he is at present constituted, was not then two independent processes, one material and the other psychic, but a continuous process, the psychic directing and finally surmounting the material.

While Spencer points out the verity of the hypothesis of the utilitarian evolution of ethics, he abandons the field to material forces to too great an extent when he considers the evolution of society. The highest object attainable is the evolution of ethical minds in perfect bodies, but in any case, of ethical minds. Spencer is right in denouncing the artificial preservation of the unfit, but his definition of the unfit is too wide. On the other hand the speaker had no sympathy with those writers who declare that man is free from the ordinary evolutionary influences that prevail in lower animals. It could not be denied that the struggle for existence goes on among men, with the effect on the whole, of the survival of the fittest. In the struggle between the physically weak the former have the better chance of survival. In the struggle between the intelligent and the unintelligent, the intelligent have the better chance. Finally, the whole evolution of society is one calculated to conserve the ethically fit as against the ethically unfit, and it is accomplished by the interaction on each other of psychic beings.

The next speaker was Rev. René Isidore Holaind, who said: The strictures of Professor Ward seem to me perfectly justified. Mr. Spencer has almost ignored the play of psychical forces, or rather, the specific differences between psychical and physiological energies. As a consequence, he takes evolution in conduct and physiological evolution to be completely alike. Mr. Spencer says in his "Data of

* Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society.

Ethics" that ethics has a physical aspect, since it treats of human activities which, in common with all expenditures of energy, conform to the law of persistence of energy: moral principles must conform to physical necessities. He fails to see that a physical law and a moral law are different in kind the former expressing the natural sequence of necessary phenomena; the latter denoting the play of free and self-governing agencies. Hence he is driven to deny freewill, and to make this denial the crucial test of his psychology, and consequently of his ethics. In his "Principles of Psychology" he asserts that psychical changes either conform to law or they do not. If they do not conform to law, this work in common with all works on the subject is sheer nonsense; no science of psychology is possible. If they do conform to law, there cannot be any such thing as freewill. Freedom of the will would be at variance with the beneficent necessity displayed in the evolution of the correspondence between the organism and the environment. After such an emphatic denial of freewill, one is amazed to read an essay of Mr. Spencer on The Sins of Legislators. How can legislators commit sins, when they are driven by a beneficent but inexorable necessity? To overcome such a necessity, legislators would have to perform miracles, and Mr. Spencer does not believe in miracles. Professor Ward truly said that such ethics might befit lower animals, but that it must prove inadequate when applied to man.

But if Mr. Spencer is wrong in mistaking the true character of psychical agencies, he has nevertheless laid us under obligation by protesting eloquently against a blind worship of Hobbes' "Leviathan." There is throughout the world a perceptible tendency to centralize every power, at the expense of individual liberty. This tendency must be opposed, not by force, but by reason. Two conditions are essential for the well-being of a body politic, as well as for the health of a body physiological. Each part, each organ, must be allowed freely to perform its own special duties, and

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