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Penal Philosophy: Translated By Rapelje Howell, With an Editorial Pref, By Edward Lindsey and an Introd, By Robert H. Gault (Classic Reprint)
by:Gabriel De Tarde
He is played upon by a thousand natural and social forces, and each force is immediately in causal series with a modification in the physiological organism, and at the next step with either the beginning or the performance of an act. Meanwhile consciousness abides, not imiformly distributed upon the series of processes, but like a shimmer of light now...
He is played upon by a thousand natural and social forces, and each force is immediately in causal series with a modification in the physiological organism, and at the next step with either the beginning or the performance of an act. Meanwhile consciousness abides, not imiformly distributed upon the series of processes, but like a shimmer of light now here and now there upon the surface of a great water current, and no more eflF ective from the point of view of practical results. This is the extreme deterministic attitude. Common sense assumes that truth lies not at this extreme. It assumes at the same time, however, that a complete analysis of phenomena would show an invariable causal connection between an act and a physiological disposition, or, more remotely, an element in the physical environment, present, or in the past; or between an act and a social factor present or past. Or for that matter such an analysis would reveal a causal connection among all these factors together. The labor of physicists and of chemists; of physiologists, biologists, and neurologists; of psychologists and anthropologists and sociologists, have contributed each an item toward the general sum of scientific deterministic factors, and lastly the statisticians are casting a gleam upon sources of behavior that are not brought to the light by other agencies. Herein is the root of a form of positivism; that form which is a protest against speculation; against the speculation of the metaphysician who leaves the phenomenal world aside in his thought and attempts the solution of such problems as that of causation, approaching it the while from so-called fundamental postulates that are regarded as necessary to thought. Let it be observed here, by the way, that the brethren of scientific ideals themselves are not free from speculative tendencies and that on occasion they too may dogmatiz(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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