The Evolution of Social Consciousness and of the Social Sciences

Luther Lee Bernard
Washington University


Experimental study of the child has shoe-n that he has no definite perception of objects at birth. He must integrate all perceptions through the exercise of his senses. Gradually he acquires an awareness, however vague and incomplete, of himself as a behaving object more and more distinct from other behaving objects in his environment. Since he is relatively passive; that is, since his behavior is closely circumscribed spatially, and lie must. respond to stimuli or give stimuli to actively responding objects, usually human beings, lie learns first to respond to human objects. To these he first gives definition while defining himself. His consciousness about them, his recognition or definition of them, is at first primarily emotional or attitudinal. That is, it is a social rather than primarily a physical, or a social and physical, consciousness which he first develops with respect to the out-side world. And this outside world is made up primarily of persons rather than of inanimate objects, because he is not yet sufficiently self-active to bring many passive objects within the range of effective experience. People are moral before physical objects to him; and this they continue to be in large measure throughout his life. Even if he could learn to perceive theta (as he cannot) in all their complexity as physical objects whose behavior could be predicted and manipulated on purely mechanical and chemical principles, he would probably never be able wholly and habitually to redefine them for purposes of self-control in physical instead of in moral terms.

This attitudinal definition of persons which the child applies to others he also assigns to himself. Although he is not without a rapidly growing sensory integration of himself, this

( 148) does not much enter into explicit and verbalized consciousness, at least in very early months. We know how slowly the child learns to see himself as a physical object. When he does accomplish this the achievement is primarily of the looking-glass self. He sees himself physically through the eyes of others. The taking of pride in his personal appearance, health, etc., comes as a reaction to the opinions of others. His attitudinal self-consciousness develops earlier and it is a reflection of the attitudes of others toward himself. This attitudinal and affective and social definition of himself is, in fact, the reverse of the same shield of his attitudinal or affective and social definition of others. He defines them in terms of the emotional experiences which they arouse in him and later learns to objectivate these emotional attitudes toward them in words, such as good, bad, pretty, ugly, kind, unkind, etc. As his attitudinal responses towards others increase in complexity and in discrimination of moral and aesthetic values his descriptive vocabulary, by means of which he objectivates the perceived sources of these attitudes, increases in intellectual content, until more and more of the perceptual description of the physical con-tent and behavior of the object persons is mingled with the evaluation language by which he at first defines or describes them.

The passive objects, however, come in time to get a systematic verbalized physical or direct sensory definition in the consciousness of the child. This sort of definition begins vaguely and generally as early as the social or attitudinal definition, especially for those passive objects in closest con-tact with him, such as his clothing, the proximate parts of his crib, play objects, etc. Even the clothing and body of his mother and of other people whom he touches and his own body afford him sensory experiences to which he responds differentially. He experiences weight, pressure, hardness, softness, gentle and rough contacts, and sees colors, hears sounds and perceives objects with increasing differentiation of details and syntheses of recognition and adjustment meaning. But he does not necessarily verbalize these perceptions and thus build them systematically into his consciousness as physical objects. Normally the social attitudes and relations

( 149) first obtain organized objectivity for him, because they are more meaningful to him. But as he develops a wider range of behavior and of contacts, it is increasingly necessary for him to make use of physical objects as instruments to be used in securing the social adjustments and contacts he desires. He must crawl over the floor to arrive at a desired goal and he must manipulate various physical objects to secure attention and to call forth wished for responses. Other physical objects obstruct his attempts to secure social response and even give him serious pain. Because of this new and growing instrumental and obstructive significance of passive objects in his world lie begins to depersonalize them of any attitudinal values they may have acquired previously because they were closely associated with active social objects or because they barred him (like the restraining hand) from such objects, and more calmly to analyze them intellectually and verbally into their sense-giving qualities in order that lie may utilize them as instruments or remove them as obstructions. This process of control of passive or physical objects does not originate rationally or purposively, but it gradually develops into in intellectual verbalized process and thus comes to be the foundation of the physical sciences as distinguished from the behavior sciences, both biological and social.

Thus the child--and primitive man even more than the modern child, who early comes under the influence of physical science analysis and language--first defines himself and others in terms of subjective attitudes and extends this attitudinal definition to inanimate things. It is in this way that the first world of the child—and the world of primitive mankind--is a social, a moral, and affective attitudinal, world. We will now examine the process by which the limits of this primitively social world were cut down by means of


Professor Cooley and other social psychologists have emphasized the bipolarity of self and social consciousness. [1]

( 150) have pointed out elsewhere [2] the essential dichotomy of all forms of social consciousness, the bi-polar character of all consciousness noted by Cooley being carried over into specifically social consciousness. Thus the social consciousness involving the me-other and other-me relationship is essentially more primitive, attitudinal and subjective, at least in its early development, than is the other-to-other type of social consciousness. While it is true that the other-to-other relationship can be grasped only on the basis of the me-other and the other-me relationship, as practice in the perception and definition of the more objective relationships grows, so like-wise descriptive and analytical language grows to meet the needs of this more objective and abstract definition. And, in the course of time, self-consciousness either drops out entirely or remains unnoticed in this more objective phase of social consciousness.[3] This growing objectivity and abstractness of description and definition in social consciousness of the second order in time comes to reflect back upon the first or me-other and other-me type of social consciousness and even back upon self-consciousness itself to intellectualize and objectify its definitions. This is one of the important methods by which we are able, as we say, to be `objective' instead of `subjective' in our consciousness of our relations to others and about ourselves.

When we reach that phase of social consciousness which I have called public consciousness,[4] where we are concerned not with the concrete relations of two or more individuals whose behavior can be easily and concretely visualized, but with larger groups of people often not in concrete contacts with one another, it is necessary to find much more abstract language in which to characterize this public behavior and to

( 151) define the public entities thus behaving. Here the detachment and objectification of these social objects have become much more complete and thoroughgoing. The detachment of this sort of social (public) consciousness from our self-consciousness may be, and perhaps usually is, so complete that the behavior of men acting in such public relationships has only symbolic and abstract meaning for us.

However, this fact does not guarantee that our definition of such highly abstracted and objectivated behavior shall be in the mechanistic terminology of purely sensory or physical description we apply to physical objects. Here as elsewhere the psycho-physical description follows rather than precedes the personalistic attitudinal or moral-social and subjective description and definition. We still think of publics and institutions, of governments and traditions, of customs and beliefs, as good and bad, as fair and unfair, benign and brutal, and the like, even after they have lost in our consciousness all semblance of concrete personality. We recognize them in terms of attitudes, even of subjective and emotional attitudes, after the model of our early recognition of our mothers and playmates. Similarly, we think of ourselves in relation to these highly objectivated and abstract entities in the same affective and moral terms, as `good' or `bad' citizens, as `faithful' and `unfaithful' members of the church or lodge. If necessary we personify the invisible and abstract public control to make these moral affective and evaluative attitudes more real. Of course, that is what the primitive man always did. He had to have a personal divinity to give him hi laws and `revelations.' Hegel had his Zeitgeist and the Neo-Hegelian followers of Durkheim have their `Something-over-and-above' which Allport has exposed but has not succeeded in extirpating.[5] Some of us still keep our `instincts' and `wishes,' our inherent `virtues' and `vices' as our modern substitutes for the ancient spirits which we are loath to abandon; and the primary-idealed, objectively attitudinalized `average citizen' has to create a hero or a devil in every politi-

( 152) -cal situation, case of graft, or corrupt city government to explain concretely what he cannot perceive and state abstractly as a complex of social processes with perfectly naturalistic causes. Thus persist still in our day of abstract, objective and depersonalized public consciousness hero and devil worship and the fallacy of the `good' and `bad' citizen which William H. Allen exposed with so little result half a generation ago.[6]

But the process of objectivation and depersonalization of description and definition of social objects goes on slowly and increasingly in the social thinking of the race and in the social consciousness of the individual. The advantage of the trans-formation lies primarily in the fact that it substitutes an intellectual naturalistic description of processes and definition of objects for the old subjective attitudinal adjustments at a longer spatial and temporal range and, as we ordinarily say, controls the social adjustment process more effectively.

One development, itself a by-product of the process, which has helped tremendously in this process of objectification and abstraction of objects, is the concept of environments and the classification of environments. Environments came within our experience and became factors in naturalistic explanation as soon as man developed sufficient objectivity of description and abstract symbolic definition to grasp and relate a number of objects at the same time and in a single concept. The child has no appreciation of environment as a concept until long after he has objectivated persons. The concept of environment, whatever he may name it, comes upon him when he has learned to abstract and organize the consciousness of putative causal relations among objects external to himself. The process of organizing the concept of these external causal relationships not only gives body to the objective aspects of consciousness, but leads ultimately to science. At first these causal relationships are accounted for in subjective attitudinal terms and the philosophy of causation is that of personal will or magic. Primitive man's theory of causation was pre-dominantly that of magic, which is bound up with the sub-

( 153) -jective attitudinal consciousness and the attempt to make these subjective attitudes effective through wish or will, i.e., as a physical objective extension of the subjective attitude, instead of through the operation of naturalistic physical or non-personal and non-attitudinal causes.[7] Only as man's consciousness comes to be based on discriminatory sensory perceptions and on concepts arising from these and as he learns to objectivate and describe and define objects and relations on this naturalistic sensory, as opposed to the subjective affective, experiences described above, does he pass from the realm of magic to that of science in his attempt to control the environment which he has created in his experience.[8]


Effective objectification and detachment of objects could not be achieved until they could be described in terms of physical sensory analysis instead of in terms of subjective or affective attitudinal experience values. This process of de-personalization could most easily be effected in connection with those inanimate objects which we traditionally call physical and with the more passive living forms, the plants. Already we have noted that sensory experiences began approximately with or before birth, but the organized perceptual consciousness of these sensory experiences developed as secondary and contributory to the affective attitudinal definition and evaluation of social objects. It is probable that physical sensory definition would always have played this secondary and contributory role except for the fact of the existence of inanimate objects in man's environment to which he sustained a less affective attitudinal relationship and also for the necessity of stabilizing and objectifying the social environment by some system of objective and non-affect measurement of potentialities and relationships.

( 154)

It was the inertness of inanimate and unresponsive (vegetable) living objects which rendered it easier for man to depersonalize them. They were as we have seen personalized in the first instance mainly by analogy or as social instruments. The persistence of affective attitudinal conscious valuations toward objects after they cease to be merely adjuncts to persons depends upon an active reciprocal relationship, which could not be maintained with inanimate or `mere physical' objects. The detachment of inanimate instruments from manipulating personalities with which they have been identified also became easier with this growing recognition of their relative passiveness and growth in sensory analysis of them as instruments. Thus the very process of the sensory analysis of instruments or tools which helped to render them more effective instruments of men aided in their ultimate intrinsic (not functional) detachment from men and depersonalization. When one begins to use, measure and weigh, shape and re-pair his tools, they inevitably become physical rather than personal objects, because such processes involve a high development of sensory analysis and definition. The fact that the bow and arrow which one has made may later be personalized through close instrumentalization and apparent readiness to adapt itself to the will and thus acquires a secondary affective attitudinal definition or characterization from close functional identification with its owner, does not militate against the principle of depersonalization through sensory analysis or psycho-physical control any more than the attempt of the sentimentalist and exhorter to improve social conditions through social magic or the `good man' hypothesis invalidates the principle of the growth of objective or social science analysis of public relationships set forth above.

The function of language development in this process of depersonalizing inanimate or `physical'objects is striking. The depersonalization is achieved in consciousness through the substitution of sensory descriptive definition for the old terminology of affective attitudinal characterization. Sensory analysis is accompanied by nouns and adjectives which serve to label the new psycho-physical distinctions developed

( 155) in the object. The increasing richness of language in such terminology not only bears witness to the growing importance of analysis as against affective valuation, but this terminology also becomes itself a part of the psycho-social environment and thus serves as a body of conditioners or controls of behavior capable of dominating and directing future responses to the physical rather than to the affective qualities of objects.

Relatively simple and passive objects are thus first objectified by descriptive sensory analysis, because it is easier to apply to them psycho-physical processes of measurement and comparison. In this process of sensory discrimination, not only are objects and parts of objects named and described in physical sensory terms, but standards or units of sensory discrimination or measurement are worked out which are also held fast and constant by the verbal labelling or symbolic description process. These sensory measuring units greatly simplify and facilitate future psycho-physical or sensory analysis and consequent objectification and depersonalization, for they constitute a universal language of the senses not less important than would be today a universal language for all mankind.

Another vastly important effect of this growth of sensory analysis and verbalization is that objects can now be not only defined but also objectively compared and arranged or classified with reference to one another. One meaning consequence of this fact is that it becomes possible for the individual to perceive and to behave intelligently with reference to a multiplicity of objects at the same time instead of perceiving and behaving with reference to only one object at a time. I n other words, it results in the objectivation of environment and the institution of an understanding of environmental controls with a functional correlate of effective individual adjustment to a complex physical environmental situation. It reduces the unexpected and unaccounted-for responses by virtue of the increased perception and correlation of stimuli. This objectivation of an increasingly definite physical environment brings order into the world of human behavior and begins to drive the imputed animistic and spiritistic or subjective at-

( 156) -titudinal out of nature. It helps to make nature physical in-stead of personal. Doubtless there have been many to deplore the decay of the poetic (mystical) content which is sup-posed to accompany this transformation of our world, but the compensations of increased security and control over life have abundantly recompensed the loss of these `poetic values.'

The objectification of the social environment comes more slowly and with greater difficulty, because those objects we call `social,' that is, the more active and unstable animate and attitudinal objects, are less easily detached from ourselves and from an evaluative significance. Because of their dynamic character they are reciprocally related to us in much higher degree than are the so-called `physical' objects mentioned above. This means that our social consciousness of them is closely tied up with our self consciousness and we respond to them with and characterize them in terms of affective attitudes. Where the affective response is uppermost the sensory description lags behind. Also, the greater complexity and more rapid transformation of the behavior of these social objects with reference to us renders it impossible for us adequately to describe them and their behavior in terms of relatively static psycho-physical or sensory terminology. Even if he could have paused to make psycho-physical observations and measurements upon people—as at last we are beginning to do—the mere physical statement of the results of these sensory analyses could not have given the primitive man, as they could not afford the child, an adequate functional understanding of men and of their behavior. When his relationships are with groups, publics, abstract psycho-social processes, and institutions, that is, with men collectively in-stead of individually, the task of sensory analysis and description of his social objects is absolutely impossible. It was necessary for him to await the development of highly abstract or conceptual methods of integrating sensory perceptions before he could describe social objects abstractly. These abstract relationships must be conceptualized, which means verbalized and labelled in some sort of generalized or informal statistical manner. That is, new and higher units of psycho-

( 157) -physical measurement had to be developed to describe collective behavior or social environments as wholes. And this generalization and conceptual verbalization of higher and more abstract units of measurement could come first most easily through its application to the simpler `physical objects.' For this reason the objectivation and definition of social environment in terms of definite descriptive terminology has followed that of the physical environment. To be sure, there was an objectivation of the social environment on an affectiveattitudinal basis which posited a supernatural relation of will instead of a naturalistic relation between the individual and the environment, and which persists into the present in the form of magic survivals, mythology, theology, mystical philosophy, vitalistic biology, and the like. Space does not permitof the further consideration of this line of development here


This objective description and definition of `physical objects in terms of sensory discrimination is the beginning o physical science. The completion of physical science on tin descriptive side is the objectivation of a definite environment for each defined physical object. This involves the description and definition of the object primarily in terms of its physical relation to other objects of its class and of related classes a well as in terms of the psycho-physical or sensory perceptive responses to them, secondarily and derivatively in terms of th relations of these objects thus physically defined to one an other. Physical science thus has its perceptual or individual sensory response aspect and its objective or environmental aspect, which is derivative.

These two aspects of scientific definition and classificationare now well advanced with respect to the inorganic and lower organic worlds. Here depersonalization is about complete `Personality' qualities have all but disappeared from such objects. Controlling spirits have been detached from them and now the physicists and chemists are analyzing and measuring away the last vestiges of those `essences,' `entelechies, and other essential principles and qualities which succeeded,

( 158) the spirits in the control of physical objects. In their place they are substituting mathematical formulas which merely state coincidences and sequences of phenomena. Attitudinal definitions of physical objects long ago were replaced by descriptive psycho-physical definitions, as indicated above. The attribution of moral qualities has given way to a purely naturalistic interpretation'. Likewise, the concept of the physical environment has been extended and organized until we now speak of the physical and chemical worlds, by which Ave mean that there are groups of physical phenomena, which are capable of explanation without reference to personality phenomena. They are conceived of as independently organized wholes. This concept of the physical-chemical world or environment has been extended to embrace the whole of our universe and the naturalistic concept or way of thinking has come to dominate our attitudes toward and explanations of it. Personality, which was once the dominant concept in the universe is now in process of yielding first place—has in fact, yielded it—to the physical or naturalistic concept or way of thinking, although the former has by no means completely disappeared from the minds of all men.

Biological objects are being objectivated and depersonalized by the same processes. Their description and definition is made increasingly in terms of physics and chemistry and the description becomes more and more quantitative, which is the highest phase of psycho-physical or sensory measurement and definition. Spirits, for awhile replaced by meta-physical essences, entelechies, élans vitals, and the like, are now practically wholly superseded by mechanistic interpretations. The biological objects are thus able to assimilate to physical objects and the biological environment to the physical environment. Accordingly there begins a hierarchy of objects and of environments with the same general unitary descriptive or scientific formula instead of under different and conflicting formulas. This marks the beginning of the unity of science, the perception of which in the nineteenth century was hailed with triumph by Comte, Spencer, Haeckel, Ward and other monists. Biological science has now emerged as a

( 159) phase of universal science. The moral and affective attitudinal characterizations of the biological world disappear in myth or trail in the personifications of bed-time stories and nature-faking lore for children and a few scientifically immature grown-ups.

Human behavior is the last stronghold of the field of affective attitudinal definition and subjective interpretation of phenomena, the last to be invaded by the objectivity and descriptive sensory measurements first developed by physical science. But objective physical, chemical and biological measurements and descriptions are being constantly and increasingly applied here also, as a means to the better under-standing of the human world and of securing individual adjustment to it. Spirit domination gave way to psychic and moral qualities with the decay of witchcraft and demoniacal possessions. The virtues and vices, instincts and innate con-science, sentiments and `central' and underived emotions, were the legitimate successors to these spirits. We are now discarding such innate and underived categories as these also and are going back to biochemistry and biophysics for deeper insight into our problems of human behavior and adjustment. We are searching for a purely objective analysis and explanation of behavior. Introspective description must be checked and corrected. Perhaps this transformation from magic to science will also grieve some because it removes still more `poetry' from life, but the coming generation will probably willingly exchange the `poetry' dependent upon mystery and uncertainty for security and certainty and control. New generations almost always have been willing to make such an exchange. Such transformation does not, as some appear to think, threaten the elimination of mind from our world and leave us like `sticks and stones,' but defines mind, refines it and purges it of magic and superstition, and makes of it an effective instrument of adjustment.

Along with this despiritization of human personality and the substitution of naturalistic for magical explanations of human behavior has also gone an attempt to create a naturalistic human environment for individuals. The earlier social

( 160) environment, as we have seen, was a supernatural one and its relation to man was that of affective attitude and will. This supernatural and personalistic environment was gradually replaced, historically, by a metaphysical one of universal essence, forces, natural law, etc. Verbal remnants or fossils of this metaphysical theory of environment still persist in social philosophy in such expressions as social forces, instincts, wishes, essential qualities, etc. A naturalistic theory of social environment based on the analysis and classification of interaction and inter-adjustments of persons and groups is now appearing with the growth of a science of sociology, and is being classified. As social science finds its place in the hierarchy of natural sciences the social environments also relate up to the antecedent environments and take their place in the hierarchical classification.[9] On the bases of these naturalistic developments in human personality and in the social environments the social sciences have been or are being integrated.


Not only did the social sciences receive formulation and verbal embodiment after the physical sciences were well under way as sciences, but there has been some regularity of sequence in the appearance of the several social sciences them-selves. Those dealing with human behavior as conditioned by physical environment necessarily were integrated first, because their phenomena were first described and their objects and environments were first naturalistically measured and defined. Thus anthropogeography, economics, archeology and social geography arrived late in the eighteenth and in the nineteenth centuries. The social sciences concerned with men in objective groups and institutional relationships, whose phenomena fall in the second phase of dichotomous social consciousness, came into orderly verbalization or systematic

( 161) statement in the second place. Thus critical history evolved from literary narrative and metaphysical speculation into a body of scientifically measured and tested data, properly catalogued and classified, early in the nineteenth century and was pretty well perfected in these respects by the end of the nineteenth century. Constitutional history, which grew out of institutional history, followed later, and anthropology, demography, business administration, political administration and the description of political and mass behavior, the collective psychology of the Bagehot, Tarde and Le Bon type, were successively integrated. Each of these social sciences, and others similar to them, began to be integrated in method and basic content before the beginning of the twentieth century.

Those social phenomena concerned particularly with psychic interaction and reciprocal attitudinal behavior are the most recent to develop scientific definition and correlation. In fact, they are even now in process of receiving their formulation as science content. Thus, what might be characterized as psychic interaction sociology [10] and social psychology divested of the Neo-Hegelian oversoul hypothesis and the metaphysical notions of instinct and entelechy, have been organized by men still living and for the most part still active as teachers and investigators. The still more subjective attitudinal phases of behavior, usually spoken of as ethical, aesthetic, and religious, have yet to be successfully described and defined and organized objectively and thus erected into sciences. Hopeful beginnings have been made even here, especially on the descriptive side, in books and papers dealing with social ethics and religious phenomena.[11]

The late arrival of these highly attitudinal social phenomenaat the organic consistency and objectivity of science has been due to a number of discernible circumstances. Important among these is the difficulty of making objective descriptions

( 162) of these phenomena and at the same time leave out spirits, essences, innate qualities, integral faculties, such as free will and the like, as well as other fiatistic and other unstandardized and unmeasurable factors, and reduce behavior to a naturalistic explanation in objective terms instead of in terms of subjective attitudes which cannot be measured accurately and recorded objectively. It must not be forgotten that science is always a form of language, a method of definition and of description, not of feeling or of overt behavior. There is also the kindred difficulty of making the substitution of an objective description of the phenomena of human behavior for subjective moral evaluations of it. Social science has not arrived in any field until moral and affective attitudinal evaluations of phenomena have been reduced to secondary rank, to be applied only after the objective analysis has been made and only in the light of the broadest objective view of the complete social organization and environment. This does not mean, of course, that moral and aesthetic evaluations have no place in social control or that they cannot be studied scientifically as social phenomena, but it does suggest that they defeat their own ends when they are allowed to get in the way of purely objective scientific analysis and definition.

There are also other difficulties, such as that of detaching the consideration of social events in which we participate or may participate or have participated from the dominance of our own self-consciousness and of considering them wholly in the light of the second or objective phase of social and public consciousness.[12] It has also been difficult for society to achieve collectively a descriptive vocabulary and language sufficiently abstract and comprehensive to cover these highly complicated and abstracted relationships of groups, publics, psycho-social processes and institutions as component phenomena instead of as artificial personified entities. A correlative difficulty is that of measuring quantitatively and of differentiating qualitatively these complex abstract phenomena. Here statistics must largely replace geometry and the calculus substitute for arithmetic, as used in the physical and

( 163) lower biological sciences. For here we are describing and we are measuring not merely concrete simple compact physical objects and space relations, but abstractly integrated spacially discrete objects and relationships, that is, people with changing characteristics and attitudes behaving in ever fluid relationships. Quantitative and qualitative values never re-main constant for such phenomena as they do in the case of a stone or a chair. The method of description and definition in the psycho-social sciences is, therefore, super-physical and super-sensory, but not super-naturalistic and subjective.

Evidences of the rise and definition of the psycho-social sciences arc, therefore, numerous. There has been a transition from subjective attitudinal characterization to objective naturalistic description and definition of phenomena in psychological sociology and in social psychology, and in less degree in other psycho-social phenomena. There has been a growth of the social adjustment or functional concept at the expense of the concepts of revealed and metaphysical moral qualities in ethics. There is gradually occurring an elimination of spiritistic concepts from the psychology and sociology of religion and the substitution of a naturalistic account of the operation of ethical and aesthetic attitudes in social control. Finally, there has appeared the concept and classification of the psycho-social environment[13] which gives positive and functional significance to all aspects of behavior in social situations by relating these up naturalistically to the whole complex of psycho-social phenomena and ultimately to the whole hierarchy of all of the environments which operate directly and indirectly to set the conditions under which human behavior, especially in social situations, must occur.

To summarize, it is apparent that the science of social psychology is, therefore, near the last of the social sciences to arrive, following at varying distances after the physical and chemical sciences, biology and the older and more depersonalized and physically more adequately grounded social sciences. This tardiness of arrival has been due to the fact that it was necessary first to develop a technique of objectification and measurement in the simpler and more passive fields of be-

( 164) -havior before this could be done in the more immediate and complicated and active phases of experience and thus make possible the substitution of an objective descriptive definition of social objects for the subjective attitudinal definition of them. As a correlative process to this development of objective description and definition of social objects, and their organization into a body of verbalized experience called a science, went also the objective organization of their actual and potential relationships or correlate and antecedent experiences which we may call environment. In the case of human behavior this environment is exceedingly complex and extends back to the other fields of objectivated experience, even into the realm of physical contacts, constituting an extensive hierarchy of environments. Although social or attitudinal consciousness arose before well-defined physical consciousness, the physical sciences, for the reasons stated above, necessarily preceded the social sciences and particularly social psychology.

[MS. received August 22, 1931]


  1. C. H. Cooley, Human nature and the social order, especially chaps. 2—4; J. M. Baldwin, Mental development in the child and the race; Social and ethical interpretations in mental development.
  2. L. L. Bernard, An introduction to social psychology, chap. 22.
  3. L. L. Bernard, An introduction to social psychology, p. 179; also Davis-Barnes, Introduction to sociology, pp. 468-475.
  4. My employment of this term differs from that of Cooley in that I conceive of public consciousness as the abstract consciousness of individuals when describing and defining the behavior of groups, publics, and other psycho-social processes, such as folkways, mores, institutions, etc., instead of the collective consciousness of a group of people attending to the same object of consciousness. See C. H. Cooley, Social organization, p. 10, and L. L. Bernard, An introduction to social psychology, pp. 179-181.
  5. L. L. Bernard, An introduction to social psychology, chap. 1, etc., and F. H. All-port, The group fallacy in relation to social science, J. Abn. PE& Soc. Psychol., 1924, 19, 60-73
  6. W.H. Allen, Efficient democracy and universal training for citizenship and public service.
  7. L. L. Bernard, A psycho-sociological interpretation of magic, Publ. Amer. Sociol. Soc., 1928, 22, 60--71. Children also go through a similar process of explanation in terms of magic, which is frequently intensified by fairy stories, nature-faking bed time stories, etc., and which is also sometimes minimized by an early contact with science instruction.
  8. L. L. Bernard, A psycho-sociological interpretation of magic, Publ. Amer. Sociol. Soc., 1928, 22, 70.
  9. For one attempt at a statement and classification of these environmental data and relationships see L. L. Bernard, A classification of environments, Amer. J. Sociol., 1925, 31, 318—332; An introduction to social psychology, chap. 6; Ogburn and Goldenweiser, The social sciences and their inter-relations, pp. 353—361; Davis-Barnes, Introduction to sociology, pp. 410-419.
  10. See, e.g., C. A. Ellwood, Sociology and modern social problems, p. 16, and Park and Burgess, Introduction to the science of sociology, p. 342.
  11. See, e.g., C. A. Ellwood, Christianity and social science and The reconstruction of religion; V. Branford, Science and sanctity; S. Mathews, Contributions of science to religion; R. A. Millikan, Evolution in science and religion; J. A. Thomson, Science and Religion.
  12. L. L. Bernard, An introduction to social psychology, pp. 177—183; Davis-Barnes, Introduction to sociology, p. 471.
  13. See footnote 9.

Valid HTML 4.01 Strict Valid CSS2