By Igor Kon, H. Campbell Creighton
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Extra info for A History of Classical Sociology
Op. , p 41. 3 4 Auguste Comte. Discours sur l’esprit positif, p 111. 28 42 3 HERBERT SPENCER’S SOCIOLOGICAL CONCEPTION Igor Kon 1. Spencer and His Time The birth of sociology in England is linked with the name of Herbert Spencer (1820–1903). In the middle of the nineteenth century, when his scientific activity was beginning, British capitalism was at the zenith of its prosperity. England, having completed the industrial revolution before all other countries, had far outstripped them in level of economic development.
51 It was very possible, and even very probable, that regress took place as often as progress. Hence, the notion of the development of society no longer as global Evolution but as a series of relatively autonomous processes. Like other types of progress, he stressed, social progress was not linear, but divergent. 13 He never succeeded in combining them all. 4. Spencer’s Place in the History of Sociology Spencer‘s contribution to the development of sociology, and the evaluation of his works by succeeding generations have been as contradictory as his creative work.
The possibilists showed that the latter often constructed evidence post factum (from the historical existence of a certain politico-social phenomenon to the geographical conditions allegedly responsible for it) and against the facts. 19 In our day, when man‘s impact on nature has grown to an unprecedented extent, the significance of the geographical trend in the social sciences is becoming increasingly greater. It has become obvious that this impact can only be successful when it is governed by the laws of nature and allows for the main links and relations of the whole; otherwise the adverse consequences will tell on man himself as part of nature.
A History of Classical Sociology by Igor Kon, H. Campbell Creighton