Can Science Control Life?


SOCIOLOGY is the most modern of the sciences. It is also, from the human point of view, the most important of them all. About half a century ago there took place what was perhaps the most momentous step that has ever been accomplished in the whole history of scientific inquiry: it occurred to man to apply to his own behavior the methods of observation and analysis which he had already employed with such singular effect in other fields of research. And the result was the birth of a science which offers the race possibilities for the future which are infinitely more impressive than those which are presented to it by any other type of investigation. The physical sciences are on the way to providing us with the means of modifying and controlling our terrestrial environment; sociology may one day enable us to master the incalculably more formidable problem of modifying and controlling ourselves. Is it therefore surprising that for many minds it has to-day usurped the place of theology as the queen of the sciences?

The significance of this change of allegiance is worth a moment’s attention. Why does a discipline like theology present itself as being so dead and otiose to the typically modern man, while his imagination is deeply stirred by the notion of applying scientific method to the control of human affairs? There are several reasons, and perhaps the most important lies in the fact that the science of sociology places a tremendously powerful weapon in the hands of the purely humanistic thinker. The faith of the average educated person to-day is in Man — in Man as opposed to God. It is this fact, more perhaps than any other, which serves to determine the characteristic quality of modern thought. Looking at men’s attempts in the past to deal with the problems of their social and individual existence, one cannot but observe that they have always been offered a choice between two great alternatives: that of putting their trust primarily in something other than and beyond themselves—in inspiration, revelation, and the providence of God; and that of relying primarily upon their natural resources — upon the employment of the reason and the exercise of good will. In the face of this dilemma the modern man has made an unhesitating decision: he has adopted the second course. And he has done so in this resolute fashion largely because for the first time in history science has provided him with what appears to be a really substantial basis for conducting his affairs for himself. Not that the theory of what may be termed the self-sufficingness of man has not been steadily acquiring prestige among us ever since the Renaissance. But it is only with the very recent development of the socalled social sciences that it has assumed a really formidable character. For we are living to-day in an age in which science has come into its own. And this signifies that the practical employment of the reason on human problems means something very different for us moderns from what it meant for the philosopher of the eighteenth century. It means eugenics, applied ethnology, Taylorism, the manipulation of the endocrine glands, psychoanalysis, and scientific pedagogy.

It is in science that the characteristically modern man puts his trust for the future of society. He may, if he is religiously-minded, choose to regard the exercise of his natural powers as being in reality an expression of those of God through the human instrument. But it is to the results of scientific investigation that he looks first of all for light upon the conduct of his affairs. And he does so at his peril. For, although it is true that he has a great deal to hope from those technical experts in whose capacities he is placing such reliance, it is true also that it is on their integrity that he is henceforward dependent for his salvation. If they fail him, then he is lost indeed. He will therefore only be displaying elementary prudence in making sure that they are doing their work efficiently.


When now, from this point of view, we subject the conclusions of sociology — to use the term in its broadest possible sense — to a critical analysis, what do we find? We find that, though fruitful enough in many respects, they are apt to be as misleading as they are illuminating, and this for the sufficient reason that those people who are engaged in this particular branch of research have never yet fairly faced the exceptionally difficult problems which it can be seen to raise for them. They have conducted their investigations with exceptional care, but they have

at the same time shown an astonishing indifference to the assumptions on which their theorizing is based. They have been too absorbed in objective facts to pay attention to principles, and the result is a state of affairs which can only be regarded by reflective minds as extremely disquieting.

The obstacles which impede the progress of sociological research are of two main types: those of a purely technical nature attending the application of scientific methods to the study of man; and those of a more subtle, and infinitely more dangerous, order which are associated with the personality of the investigator. We will consider them in turn.

In relation to the question of technique, the very first difficulty which presents itself is that of the limits of the measurable.

Although it is not perfectly accurate to say that ‘science is measurement,’ it is nevertheless true that to be scientific in dealing with any type of problem is to consider it as far as possible in that detached and systematic spirit in which the physicist contemplates his atoms and electrons. But to treat human beings in this fashion is inevitably to deal only with their least vital characteristics, with those aspects of their nature which are constant, invariable, and mechanical, and for that reason the most unimportant of all. It is impossible to escape the conclusion that in the case of man it is his least measurable characteristics which are the most significant. Looked at from the scientific point of view, the outstanding difference between, say, a lump of copper and a man is that the qualities of the copper which are measurable happen also to be those which interest us most from the point of view of understanding its fundamental nature and building up an accurate picture of the physical universe. With man, on the contrary, the position is exactly reversed. It is now just the ‘imponderables’ which are of the most significance. So far as he is a creature that passes on the pigmentation of its eyes to its offspring in accordance with Mrndelian laws, that possesses physical organs with definite, measurable capacities, — that, in a word, reflects in its own rhythms the wider rhythms of Nature, — man can be dealt with effectively by science. But so far as he evolves processes like the differential calculus, worships his Maker, practises yoga, writes, and listens to music, he passes outside the sphere of measurability and becomes a mystery—something which can only be understood by the exercise of intuition and imagination.

That man is by nature a recalcitrant type of subject matter for science is a fact which every branch of anthropological research is sooner or later called upon to face. Take, to begin with, the case of social statistics. They are ‘scientific,’ since they resolve themselves into the enumeration of precise and concrete facts. But just because they lend themselves so effectively to systematic treatment such facts are the least important, the least illuminating, the least central of all. For, owing to the nature of his interest, the scientist is obliged to concern himself exclusively with the plane, not of creative, but of spent forces. What he tabulates, correlates, and analyzes are the resultants of the interaction of all manner of subtle and vital factors which can never themselves be susceptible either of direct measurement or of effective formulation. The ‘facts’ which he accumulates relate only to the outside circumstances of the case, to the state of the environment, and not to the tendencies which have combined to bring that state into being. The statistician only arrives upon the scene when the accident has already happened, when the life has already left the body. As a consequence the particulars which he accumulates can never throw any real light on the deeper issues of the social problem.

Or turn to economies. The economist’s aims are realistic. His object is to get a grip upon the really vital movements in social life. But he is a scientist. And as a scientist he is constrained to think exclusively in terms of concrete units like dollars and pounds. The result is that he is automatically precluded from dealing with fundamentals. Only consider his attempts to handle the problem of ‘welfare.’ If he thinks of it in terms of purely material possessions — and as an economist it is extremely convenient for him to do so — he is led into such absurdities as that perpetrated by the late Professor Marshall when he wrote in his Principles of Economics that ’if the money measure of the happiness caused by two events are [sic] equal, there is not, in general, any very great difference between the amounts of happiness in the two cases.’ If, on the other hand, he has the good sense to recognize that a monetary standard of welfare is hopelessly artificial and unreal, he finds himself in the dilemma of Professor Pigou, who reaches the fatal conclusion that ‘there is no guarantee that the effects produced on the part of welfare that can be brought into relation with the measuring-rod of money may not be canceled by effects of a contrary kind brought about in other parts, or aspects, of welfare: and, if this happens, the practical usefulness of our conclusions is wholly destroyed.’ In fine, the plane on which economic transactions are accomplished is not the plane of vital realities; the significance of any relationship as it is expressed in dollars and cents is perpetually being modified by the operation of factors which science is unable to envisage in any clear terms.


But it is psychology which provides us with the most striking indication of the difficulties with which the scientific student of man finds himself confronted. The modem psychologist is no less realistic than the economist. He realizes clearly enough that if he is going to tackle the human problem in any serious sense he must deal with man, not simply as a being who reacts in a certain way to muscular stimuli, or who becomes tubercular if the amount of vitamines in his food falls below a certain point, but as a creature who is filled with strange and profound passions, who is actuated by obscure hopes and fears, who is capable of idealism, aspiration, and self-sacrifice. What course does he take in the face of this very difficult situation?

The answer is simple enough. He extends the range of his investigations and pretends that he is still being as ‘scientific’ as he was before. He preserves the same rigor in the treatment of his data while disguising from himself the fact that those data are now of an entirely different order. Different, at least, in this sense, that whereas the ‘facts’ with which physical science deals are substantially ‘the same for all observers,’ those with which psychology is involved are of by no means the same character. Why? Because they can only be apprehended after a preliminary act of introspection, a turning away from the plane of physical facts into the mysterious inner world of thought and feeling.

This is a momentous departure. It is one thing to inspect and compare definite, concrete objects; it is quite another to inspect and compare states of mind. For what is entailed is nothing less than a passage from the quantitative to the qualitative realm; the ‘objects’ with which the investigator is concerning himself are now of a completely different type. Yet we find that the psychologists pass over this vitally important point with the greatest nonchalance. On all sides one meets the assumption that the ‘facts’ of psychology are of the same order as those of geology, physics, or chemistry. In reality they are more often than not nothing more than the results of personal, and largely amateurish, judgments of quality. They are estimates, the value of which depends ultimately upon the imaginativeness and sensitiveness of the observer. Professor Karl Pearson has undertaken a biometric investigation in the course of which he makes certain correlations between the health and the ‘shyness’ of certain school children. Is it not simply preposterous to assume that these two attributes exist on the same plane? Up to a point the state of a person’s health can be ascertained by physical investigation. But the question of the degree to which he is ‘shy’ is one which is only to be determined by an extremely sensitive mind, trained in a particular kind of investigation. In a word, it is impossible to deal with any type of psychological experience which is of the least importance without resorting to the use of adjectives. And the use of adjectives is the speciality, not of the expert correlator, but of the artist—and the artistic susceptibilities of the average man of science are only too often of a painfully commonplace order.


Such are some of the more obvious technical difficulties attending the scientific study of man. Let me now turn to a very much more serious aspect of the question: the psychology of the investigator.

The modern sociologist is a pronounced extrovert. His gaze is directed outward, and he refuses obstinately to face the fact that the roots of all his thinking lie in the dark recesses of his own unexplored soul and that if that soul happens to be filled with crude or undisciplined desires the whole value of his conclusions — however ‘objective’ and ‘detached’ they may appear to be — is inevitably vitiated.

I have alluded above to the telltale insouciance with which the modern psychologist treats the fact that his data are based, unlike those of the physicist, upon an extensive appeal to introspection The same fatal indifference to the significance of inner experience is evidenced by sociological thought in all manner of ways. It is revealed notably in the blithe assumption of the average sociologist that science is going to provide us with a solution to our social problems — an assumption which involves a fundamental confusion of thought.

Science is a wonderful instrument. But it is nothing more. For a proper understanding of the function of sociology, — or, indeed, of that of any other branch of scientific research, — it is necessary to maintain a clear grasp of the fundamental principle that science is concerned with means and not with ends. It is the job of the scientist to establish correlations, irrespective of the data between which such correlations are made. His office is limited to recording relationships, and the question of the significance of those relationships is something which lies almost entirely beyond his province. The point is doubtless elementary, yet it is continually overlooked by even the best type of scientific investigator.

Take, for instance, this passage from Professor McDougall’s Group Mind: ‘In many directions—by the historians, the biologists, the anthropologists, the statisticians — data are being gathered for a Science of Society whose sure indications will enable us deliberately to guide the further evolution of the nation towards the highest ideal of a nation we can conceive.’ What this statement leaves out of account is the important fact that data do not render themselves intelligible merely by being collected. They have no virtue in themselves; they are simply raw material which has no significance until it has been interpreted by superior minds. And the person who is qualified to interpret that material is not the scientist, but the expert on values, the thinker who is concerned with the use we make of our technical equipment. Professor McDougall, like only too many other scientific men, appears to assume that the scientific expert, the specialist in making correlations, is the same person as the expert in quality, the specialist on the subject of ends. The data, he tells us, ‘will enable us deliberately to guide . . . towards the highest ideal . . . we can conceive.’ Possibly. But let us bear carefully in mind the fact that the ‘we’ who collect the facts and the ‘we’ who perceive their significance are really two entirely different sets of people.

It is on this account that it is extremely misleading to talk, as so many people do to-day, about the ‘control of life’ by science. Of course it is perfectly true that the discoveries of science will one day be utilized on an enormous scale to enable us to obtain certain objects which we have chosen to set before ourselves. But any decision regarding the worth of those objects rests entirely with a quite different type of thinker. You cannot set to work to breed a superior race until you have first agreed upon what you mean by the term ‘superior’ — and that is a matter on which you can get light, not from the eugenist, but from the poets, the mystics, and the philosophers, people who have perfected themselves in a certain kind of discrimination which is hardly called for at all in scientific research. It is this half of the problem which the more unimaginative type of scientist is continually leaving out of account. Thus we find Professor Watson, the behaviorist, referring casually to the fact that science will one day be able to foresee what a man will ‘do’ in a given situation. This is all very well up to a point, but we have to take into consideration the fact that the question of what a man is ‘doing’ is often one of extreme complexity and only to be settled by an appeal to a very refined type of susceptibility. Is A, for example, engaged in writing ‘good’ or ‘bad’ plays, in building ‘ugly’ or ‘beautiful’ houses? Even if it is true that his behavior is a mere reflex of certain chemical processes in his body, the fact remains that the scientist, in proceeding to modify those processes, will be compelled to defer to the opinion of the cultural expert in regard to the type of activity which he is to foster. In the end we come back to judgments of value, and it is not with the man of science that those judgments rest.

We may go even farther. It is not merely a question of interpreting the data after they have been amassed. The very character of those data depends entirely upon the principles on which they have been collected. It is the principles which are arrived at first; the ‘facts’ are then threaded upon them like beads on a string. Before you begin to collect statistics you must first decide what you are going to collect statistics about. Now it is clear that the significance of data depends to an enormous degree upon the skill with which the operator creates at the outset the framework which brings them into existence. Certain relationships may be vitally important from the point of view of revealing to us the deeper laws of life. But how can we proceed to consider their implications unless we have first been inspired to perceive them? What actually happens in sociology to-day is that the investigator — who is only too often, apart from his talent for collecting statistics, a perfectly commonplace individual — just accumulates facts of the type which he or the corporate members of the body under which he is working happen to consider interesting or important. But what such people think important is, after all, not really the point. Actually the judgment is one which should be made by an entirely different authority — somebody in the nature of a social philosopher, who in an ideal state of affairs would delegate to the professional statistician the type of research which it would be profitable for him to undertake.

The question is of real importance, for until the matter has been properly looked into we have no real guarantee that the sociologists, by selecting for examination just what comes into their heads, by framing questionnaires in the light of their own clouded inspiration, are not seriously misrepresenting the nature of the facts regarding psychology and social life. There may, for all we know, be a close parallel here with physics: for hundreds of years the scientists went on analyzing those properties of matter which had chanced to arouse their curiosity, and it was only with the advent of Faraday that their attention was directed to the endless possibilities of that particular property which we now know as electricity.


Take again the attitude of the sociologist toward his own facts. He is only too easily led to fall into the vicious error of thinking that the measurable is identical with the significant. And this pardonably enough. For what is measurable and measured can be collected in statistical tables, analyzed in scientific monographs, presented to the eye in the form of tangible evidence. What is just as, or more, important, on the contrary, but unfortunately nonmeasurable, is deseribable with the greatest difficulty, and then only to people who possess a certain sensitiveness of outlook. The result is that almost inevitably those aspects of social life which are dealt with by science come to be regarded, not only by scientific thinkers themselves, but by educated people generally, as being somehow more real than any others. And this leads to a completely misleading conception of the true situation. It involves, in fact, a very definite descent to the materialistic plane. Those elements in the complex which are tangible and concrete assume an altogether disproportionate importance in the eyes of the investigator. He tends more and more to lose sight of the fact that the potent factors at work are just those which are least easily identified and defined, and that the significant facts are almost invariably just those which slip through the meshes of his statistical net.

Or consider, further, the standpoint which he adopts toward the safeguarding of his own conclusions. He recognizes, of course, that the progress of sociological research needs to be controlled and criticized, but even here we find him exhibiting a curious disinclination to get down to the foundations of the whole problem, to admit that the character of his theorizing is determined in the last resort by what he is himself. Instead he tries all the time to deny his personal responsibility in the matter, to minimize the connection existing between his states of mind and the conclusions at which he arrives regarding the nature of life. He will do anything rather than acknowledge that it is the psychology of the observer that is in the last resort the key to the whole situation. Even those social scientists who are most critical of the methods of sociological research never quite get to the point of admitting the root cause of all their difficulties.

Take, for example, the most comprehensive and penetrating attack on the problem which has so far been undertaken: Professor J. A. Hobson’s FreeThought in the Social Sciences. This is a study of the first importance, an inquiry which should make every serious social scientist pause and review his methods of work. The nature and the impact of the forces conspiring to prejudice the disinterestedness of the student of human problems are analyzed in this able essay with the greatest possible care. Yet Professor Hobson has not really got down to the root of the matter at issue. For his analysis is restricted, for the most part, to the manner in which theorizing and the interpretation of data are affected by emotional bias. The data as such he is disposed to take for granted. He does not sufficiently appreciate the manner in which instinctive prejudice can express itself, not only in the treatment of the ‘facts’ when once they have been accumulated, but in their very creation. It is this second type of interference which is the most dangerous of all. It is not simply that some definite and assignable bias of tradition or education has perverted the growth of theory. On the contrary, what we have to do with is the psychic constitution of the investigator — the very stuff out of which his soul is built; his ingrained naturalistic or materialistic sympathies will bring about an infinitely more subtle distortion of the truth than any which is due to these other, and more superficial, types of prejudice.

In a word, the most significant factor is the level on which the consciousness of the investigator is pitched. If the quality of that consciousness is commonplace, his conclusions will inevitably suffer as a result. A man’s mind may be free from all those prejudices which Professor Hobson has so painstakingly enumerated; his reasoning may be scrupulously fair. But if he is by constitution that natural man who receiveth not the things of the Spirit, the whole of his thinking, whether about psychology, economics, or anthropology, will be perverted by his instinctive repudiation of those superior values which we are obliged to take into consideration in every problem with which the mind of man is called upon to deal.

How are we to resist effectively this interference of emotion and instinct with disinterested thought? We must look for guidance in this matter, says Professor Hobson, to the findings of ‘psychology.’ His answer should give us food for thought. For we cannot help observing that even after reaching this point he still shrinks from taking the final step of admitting that the integrity of a science depends in the end on the integrity of the individuals by whom it has been created. Instead he would shift the responsibility on to the shoulders of an abstraction — ‘psychology.’ It is this abstraction which in some inexplicable fashion is to save men from themselves. By the collective effort of their minds the psychologists are to bring into being something — a body of principles, a collection of laws — which exists on a higher plane than that on which they themselves stand, and by reference to which they can prevent themselves from falling into error. This view of the matter can hardly leave us satisfied. It should surely be obvious to such a careful thinker that if prejudice and passion can pervert our reasoning in the sphere of economics and eugenics they will exert a still more pernicious influence in the field of ‘psychology’ itself. What he suggests, in fact, is that we should correct the conclusions of the social sciences by the use of an instrument of even more questionable integrity.

What course, then, is left to us? How are we to proceed if we wish to ensure that the court of ultimate appeal shall not itself be an object of suspicion? Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? It seems difficult to escape the inference that we are driven back to that purification of the self on which the religious teacher lays so much stress. For by what other means can we possibly secure the integrity of the master science of all — psychology? But Professor Hobson, as I say, appears to be reluctant to face this conclusion. After having resolutely pressed his inquiries to the point of recognizing that in the end everything turns on the psychological attitude of the individual theorist, he shirks instinctively the final admission that the integrity of psychology is only to be guaranteed by something which lies beyond the plane of science altogether — namely, personal regeneration. Yet his essay remains of the greatest value, for it must serve to demonstrate to even the most obstinately ‘scientific’ mind that truth in this sphere is not to be obtained by careful reasoning alone.


Finally, we have to take account of this very serious possibility — the possibility that the real inspiration behind the activity of only too many workers in this field is nothing less than an attempt to evade certain severe demands which are being made upon them by life. The preoccupation of the sociologist with concrete and objective facts, his pronounced indifference to finer spiritual values, his conscientiously maintained attitude of detachment even in those connections where detachment is only too obviously misplaced, the lifeless and insipid style in which he is prone to express himself, his marked reluctance to recognize the psychological basis of his own reasoning — all these suggest that what we have to do with is not a positive, but rather a negative, attitude to experience. In a word, the general ‘style’ of this type of thinker suggests to us forcibly that the key to his activity lies in an endeavor to deal with life on unduly easy terms.

How is this endeavor expressed? Pretty completely, I think, by his exclusive concentration upon one particular type of social facts — those facts which can be ascertained by the use of the mind when it is in a calm, impartial, ‘laboratory’ mood. In the realm of physics, facts of this type are perfectly sufficient for our purpose if we wish to deal effectively with our material. Indeed, none other are of interest to us. In the realm of human relationships, however, the position is completely different. Here we find that if we wish to grasp the deeper nature of the problem we must take into account in addition certain other facts — facts presented to consciousness when it is in anything but a detached condition. This the scientist is reluctant to allow. He makes the bold assumption that such knowledge of men and their relationships as is susceptible of scientific treatment is of sufficient importance to provide us with a basis for positive social action — see the passage from Professor McDougall referred to above. And he is led to do so because what is behind his activity is in all too many cases an unconscious attempt to deal with life without submitting to suffering, sacrifice, and humiliation. He assumes — and assumes quite unjustifiably — that we can understand life merely by being very patient, very clear-headed, and very calm, that we can afford to dispense with those aspects of experience which exist for the mind when its perceptions are heightened by passion and pain, that we can get along without taking into account how people appear to those who look at them with the eyes of love, that those facts about them which exist only for the mystic and the artist can be safely left out in making our calculations. This is altogether false. There are no short cuts in life. By no conceivable refinement of his methods will the scientist ever be able to get round the fact that the most important data of all are those discoverable only by the individual who has developed the potencies of his soul. And this is a process which is not to be accomplished without the exercise of painful self-discipline and a profound humbling of the spirit.

In fine, the driving force behind the scientist’s impersonal research is very often nothing else but an unconscious attempt to deal with life without the expenditure of love. This may seem at first sight to be a daring conclusion. But it is one which deserves at least to be seriously considered. It is difficult to explain the tremendous appeal which detached, dispassionate research in this field is making to so many thousands of minds to-day except by the fact that it appears to offer us all a way of solving our problems without being compelled to self-discipline. At last, with the development of this new branch of science, man is provided with a means of avoiding all those painful obligations which have hitherto always been imposed upon the seeker after truth in this sphere. He can now master the human problem by a combination of ingenuity, industry, and perseverance, by asking, in a calm and impersonal mood, a prodigious number of artfully framed questions. Does not this attitude to the problem bear all too many marks of being an elaborate defense mechanism, a device for evading the more exacting conditions attending the discovery of truth?


And now a word in conclusion. My object has not been to discredit the value of sociological research in general, but to call attention to certain dangers with which it appears to my mind to be attended. The difficulty lies for all of us in respect to this new branch of inquiry in the fact that, however wrong-headed its conclusions may be, they are of such a nature that they practically never strike the eye. There is nothing flagrantly misleading or perverse about them. Even if they provoke a certain uneasiness in our minds, we are provided with nothing tangible to which we can point to justify our misgivings. This is particularly apparent if we contrast the situation with that prevailing in the field of physics. The modern physicist, as opposed to his Victorian predecessor, is very fully aware that he is dealing, not with matter, but with that conception of it which happens to be consonant with the structure of the human mind. He sees that what he is handling is a number of selected aspects of the world. Now what led him to that realization? The criticism of those metaphysicians and philosophers who, since they entertained a more complete view of the nature of reality, were continually questioning the assumptions on which his theories were based. In sociology, on the contrary, the position is altogether different. We are not here concerned with any theories about the universe which are likely to make the philosopher prick up his ears. What is involved instead is the steady accumulation of a mass of facts about human beings — an apparently innocent proceeding. Yet what this accumulation implies is an exactly similar distortion of the truth in the interests of mechanical thought. The only difference is that instead of trying, like the nineteenth-century scientists, to mechanomorphize the universe, the modern sociologist is busily engaged in trying to mechanomorphize man. And he works in exactly the same way. He arbitrarily selects certain aspects of the problem for examination — those which strike him as being interesting or important. In the case of physics it was the metaphysicians who were called upon to protest. In the case of modern sociology it is the students of æsthetics and moral values who should be impelled to criticism.

And that criticism is badly needed. We are confronted with a manifestation of scientific materialism to-day which is incalculably more insidious than the overt materialism of the last century. The naturalistic scientist of the Victorian epoch wished to reduce all the phenomena of life to the movement of certain hard, solid particles. The attempt has proved completely unsuccessful; we see now that he was dealing, not with reality, but with an abstraction from it. Yet the attitude of the scientific mind persists. Only the mode of its manifestation has changed. Scientific naturalism at the present time is expressing itself in the accumulation of an enormous mass of social and psychological facts of a peculiar order — the facts which present themselves as most significant to the more materialistically-minded type of investigator. The commonplace, unspiritual, unregenerated man is to-day provided with an opportunity of expressing his attitude to the world in terms of scientific research. As a consequence, the outcome of a way of looking at life which, if it manifested itself nakedly, would repel sensitive people by its crudeness can now be successfully passed off as the result of dispassionate inquiry. Naturalism in its modern dress is not merely capable of escaping detection effectively; it is actually, by presenting itself as a ‘realistic’ attitude to experience, dominating the minds of thousands of people who lack that combination of intuition and analytical power which is required for piercing its disguise. And this is a sufficient reason why those modern humanists who are placing their hopes for the future of the race in our anthropologists and sociologists would be well advised to watch their behavior with peculiar care.