In this lesson, we will learn how history relates to other academic disciplines. This novel deals with the ''spirit'', or social climate of that time period in New merges science and environmental awareness with his historical narrative. ×. view of the relationship of history and the social sciences until that confusion is dispelled. writing about the past, but history is separated from all others by and to mean what those who believe in its existence would call the past course of . A summary of The Other Social Sciences in 's Introduction to Sociology. Learn exactly what Social sciences concern people's relationships and interactions with one another. Sociology, with its emphasis on social life, falls into this category.
Relationship of History with other Sciences | Study of History
Between and the population of Europe went from million to million and of the world from million to well over 1 billion. It was an English clergyman and economist, Thomas Malthuswho, in his famous Essay on the Principle of Populationfirst marked the enormous significance to human welfare of this increase. With the diminution of historic checks on population growth, chiefly those of high mortality rates —a diminution that was, as Malthus realized, one of the rewards of technological progress—there were no easily foreseeable limits to growth of population.
And such growth, he stressed, could only upset the traditional balance between population, which Malthus described as growing at a geometrical rate, and food supply, which he declared could grow only at an arithmetical rate.
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Not all social scientists in the century took the pessimistic view of the matter that Malthus did, but few if any were indifferent to the impact of explosive increase in population on economy, government, and society. Thomas Robert Malthus, detail of an engraving after a portrait by J. Courtesy of the trustees of the British Museum; photograph, J. Second, there was the condition of labour. It may be possible to see this condition in the early 19th century as in fact better than the condition of the rural masses at earlier times.
But the important point is that to a large number of writers in the 19th century it seemed worse and was defined as worse. The wrenching of large numbers of people from the older and protective contexts of village, guild, parish, and familyand their massing in the new centres of industry, forming slumsliving in common squalor and wretchedness, their wages generally behind cost of livingtheir families growing larger, their standard of living becoming lower, as it seemed—all of this is a frequent theme in the social thought of the century.
Third, there was the transformation of property. Not only was more and more property to be seen as industrial—manifest in the factories, business houses, and workshops of the period—but also the very nature of property was changing.
This led, as was early realized, to the dominance of financial interests, to speculation, and to a general widening of the gulf between the propertied and the masses. The change in the character of property made easier the concentration of property, the accumulation of immense wealth in the hands of a relative few, and, not least, the possibility of economic domination of politics and culture.
It should not be thought that only socialists saw property in this light. Fourth, there was urbanization —the sudden increase in the number of towns and cities in western Europe and the increase in number of persons living in the historic towns and cities. Whereas in earlier centuries, the city had been regarded almost uniformly as a setting of civilization, culture, and freedom of mind, now one found more and more writers aware of the other side of cities: Sociology particularly among the social sciences turned its attention to the problems of urbanization.
Cooley and Robert E. Fifth, there was technology. With the spread of mechanizationfirst in the factories and then in agriculture, social thinkers could see possibilities of a rupture of the historic relation between humans and nature, between humans and humans, and even between humans and God. To thinkers as politically different as Thomas Carlyle and Marxtechnology seemed to lead to dehumanization of the worker and to a new kind of tyranny over human life.
Marx, though, far from despising technology, thought the advent of socialism would counteract all this. Alexis de Tocqueville declared that technology, and especially technical specialization of workwas more degrading to the human mind and spirit than even political tyranny.
It was thus in the 19th century that the opposition to technology on moral, psychological, and aesthetic grounds first made its appearance in Western thought. Sixth, there was the factory system. The importance of this to 19th-century thought has been intimated above. Suffice it to add that along with urbanization and spreading mechanization, the system of work whereby masses of workers left home and family to work long hours in the factories became a major theme of social thought as well as of social reform.
Seventh, and finally, mention is to be made of the development of political masses —that is, the slow but inexorable widening of franchise and electorate through which ever larger numbers of persons became aware of themselves as voters and participants in the political process. Tocqueville saw the rise of the political masses, more especially the immense power that could be wielded by the masses, as the single greatest threat to individual freedom and cultural diversity in the ages ahead.
Roger-Viollet These, then, are the principal themes in the 19th-century writing that may be seen as direct results of the two great revolutions. As themes, they are to be found not only in the social sciences but, as noted above, in a great deal of the philosophical and literary writing of the century. In their respective ways, the philosophers Georg Wilhelm Friedrich HegelSamuel Taylor Coleridgeand Ralph Waldo Emerson were as struck by the consequences of the revolutions as were any social scientists.
New ideologies One other point must be emphasized about these themes. They became, almost immediately in the 19th century, the bases of new ideologies. How people reacted to the currents of democracy and industrialism stamped them conservativeliberalor radical. On the whole, with rarest exceptions, liberals welcomed the two revolutions, seeing in their forces opportunity for freedom and welfare never before known to humankind.
The liberal view of society was overwhelmingly democratic, capitalist, industrial, and, of course, individualistic. The case is somewhat different with conservatism and radicalism in the century. Conservatives, beginning with Burke and continuing through Hegel and Matthew Arnold to such minds as John Ruskin later in the century, disliked both democracy and industrialism, preferring the kind of tradition, authority, and civility that had been, in their minds, displaced by the two revolutions.
Theirs was a retrospective view, but it was a nonetheless influential one, affecting a number of the central social scientists of the century, among them Comte and Tocqueville and later Weber and Durkheim. The radicals accepted democracy but only in terms of its extension to all areas of society and its eventual annihilation of any form of authority that did not spring directly from the people as a whole. And although the radicals, for the most part, accepted the phenomenon of industrialism, especially technology, they were uniformly antagonistic to capitalism.
Matthew Arnold, detail of an oil painting by G. Watts; in the National Portrait Gallery, London Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London These ideological consequences of the two revolutions proved extremely important to the social sciences, for it would be difficult to identify a social scientist in the century—as it would a philosopher or a humanist —who was not, in some degree at least, caught up in ideological currents.
Tylor and Lewis Henry Morganone has before one persons who were engaged not merely in the study of society but also in often strongly partisan ideology. Some were liberals, some conservatives, others radicals. All drew from the currents of ideology that had been generated by the two great revolutions. New intellectual and philosophical tendencies It is important also to identify three other powerful tendencies of thought that influenced all of the social sciences. The first is a positivism that was not merely an appeal to science but almost reverence for science; the second, humanitarianism; the third, the philosophy of evolution.
The positivist appeal of science was to be seen everywhere. The rise of the ideal of science in the 17th century was noted above. The 19th century saw the virtual institutionalization of this ideal—possibly even canonization. The great aim was that of dealing with moral values, institutions, and all social phenomena through the same fundamental methods that could be seen so luminously in such areas as physics and biology.
Prior to the 19th century, no very clear distinction had been made between philosophy and science, and the term philosophy was even preferred by those working directly with physical materials, seeking laws and principles in the fashion of Sir Isaac Newton or William Harvey —that is, by persons whom one would now call scientists. In the 19th century, in contrast, the distinction between philosophy and science became an overwhelming one. Virtually every area of human thought and behaviour was considered by a rising number of persons to be amenable to scientific investigation in precisely the same degree that physical data were.
More than anyone else, it was Comte who heralded the idea of the scientific treatment of social behaviour. His Cours de philosophie positive published in English as The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comtepublished in six volumes between andsought to demonstrate irrefutably not merely the possibility but the inevitability of a science of humanity, one for which Comte coined the word sociology and that would do for humans as social beings exactly what biology had already done for humans as biological animals.
But Comte was far from alone. There were many in the century to join in his celebration of science for the study of society.
Roger-Viollet Humanitarianismthough a very distinguishable current of thought in the century, was closely related to the idea of a science of society. For the ultimate purpose of social science was thought by almost everyone to be the welfare of society, the improvement of its moral and social condition.
Humanitarianism, strictly defined, is the institutionalization of compassion; it is the extension of welfare and succour from the limited areas in which these had historically been found, chiefly family and village, to society at large. One of the most notable and also distinctive aspects of the 19th century was the constantly rising number of persons, almost wholly from the middle class, who worked directly for the betterment of society.
In the many projects and proposals for relief of the destituteimprovement of slums, amelioration of the plight of the insane, the indigentand imprisoned, and other afflicted minorities could be seen the spirit of humanitarianism at work.
All kinds of associations were formed, including temperance associations, groups and societies for the abolition of slavery and of poverty and for the improvement of literacy, among other objectives. Humanitarianism and social science were reciprocally related in their purposes. All that helped the cause of the one could be seen as helpful to the other. The third of the intellectual influences is that of evolution. It affected every one of the social sciences, each of which was as much concerned with the development of things as with their structures.
An interest in development was to be found in the 18th century, as noted earlier. But this interest was small and specialized compared with 19th-century theories of social evolution. But it is very important to recognize that ideas of social evolution had their own origins and contexts. The important point, in any event, is that the idea or the philosophy of evolution was in the air throughout the century, as profoundly contributory to the establishment of sociology as a systematic discipline in the s as to such fields as geologyastronomy, and biology.
Evolution was as permeative an idea as the Trinity had been in medieval Europe. The first was the drive toward unification, toward a single, master social science, whatever it might be called. The second tendency was toward specialization of the individual social sciences. If, clearly, it is the second that has triumphed, with the results to be seen in the disparatesometimes jealous, highly specialized disciplines seen today, the first was not without great importance and must also be examined.
What emerges from the critical rationalism of the 18th century is not, in the first instance, a conception of need for a plurality of social sciences, but rather for a single science of society that would take its place in the hierarchy of the sciences that included the fields of astronomy, physics, chemistry, and biology.
When, in the s, Comte wrote calling for a new science, one with humans as social animals as its subject, he assuredly had but a single encompassing science of society in mind—not a congeries of disciplines, each concerned with some single aspect of human behaviour in society. The same was true of Bentham, Marx, and Spencer. All of these thinkers, and there were many others to join them, saw the study of society as a unified enterprise.
They would have scoffed, and on occasion did, at any notion of a separate economics, political science, sociology, and so on. Society is an indivisible thing, they would have argued; so, too, must be the study of society. It was, however, the opposite tendency of specialization or differentiation that won out.
No matter how the century began, or what were the dreams of a Comte, Spencer, or Marx, when the 19th century ended, not one but several distinct, competitive social sciences were to be found. Aiding this process was the development of the colleges and universities. With hindsight it might be said that the cause of universities in the future would have been strengthened, as would the cause of the social sciences, had there come into existence, successfully, a single curriculum, undifferentiated by field, for the study of society.
What in fact happened, however, was the opposite.
The growing desire for an elective system, for a substantial number of academic specializations, and for differentiation of academic degrees contributed strongly to the differentiation of the social sciences. This was first and most strongly to be seen in Germanywhere, from about on, all scholarship and science were based in the universities and where competition for status among the several disciplines was keen.
But by the end of the century the same phenomenon of specialization was to be found in the United States where admiration for the German system was very great in academic circles and, in somewhat less degree, in France and England.
Admittedly, the differentiation of the social sciences in the 19th century was but one aspect of a larger process that was to be seen as vividly in the physical sciences and the humanities. No major field escaped the lure of specialization of investigation, and clearly, a great deal of the sheer bulk of learning that passed from the 19th to the 20th century was the direct consequence of this specialization. Economics It was economics that first attained the status of a single and separate science, in ideal at least, among the social sciences.
Hence the emphasis upon what came to be widely called laissez-faire. If, as it was argued, the processes of wealth operate naturally in terms of their own built-in mechanisms, then not only should these be studied separately but they should, in any wise polity, be left alone by government and society. There were almost from the beginning, however, economists who diverged sharply from this laissez-faire, classical view.
In Germany especially there were the so-called historical economists. They proceeded less from the discipline of historiography than from the presuppositions of social evolution, referred to above. Such figures as Wilhelm Roscher and Karl Knies in Germany tended to dismiss the assumptions of timelessness and universality regarding economic behaviour that were almost axiomatic among the followers of Smith, and they strongly insisted upon the developmental character of capitalism, evolving in a long series of stages from other types of economy.
Also prominent throughout the century were those who came to be called the socialists. They too repudiated any notion of timelessness and universality in capitalism and its elements of private property, competitionand profit.
Political science Rivalling economics as a discipline during the century was political science. If the Industrial Revolution seemed to supply all the problems frustrating the existence of a stable and humane society, the political-democratic revolution could be seen as containing many of the answers to these problems.
It was the democratic revolution, especially in France, that created the vision of a political government responsible for all aspects of human society and, most important, possessed the power to wield this responsibility. This power, known as sovereigntycould be seen as holding the same relation to political science in the 19th century that capital held to economics.
To a very large number of political scientists, the aim of the discipline was essentially that of analyzing the varied properties of sovereignty. In the view of this closeness between two subjects, the development of political institutions, rules, regulations, right and duties, law and mode of justice, executive, legislative and administrative functions, economic and financial implications, nature of bureaucracy, fundamental principles of state policy are all defined under the constitution history.
Diplomatic history is a specialized branch of political history which deals with the principles of international relations. Ambassadors are the links between nations and they were custodians and practitioners of diplomacy. The issue like—balance of power, cold war, international peace, disarmament have assumed great importance in recent times. The military history is an important chapter in political history where in wars, battles, campaigns and conquests figures very prominently.
It deals with the causes of a war, strategy and war tactics, war weapons etc. History is very helpful to politics because the political aspects is a part of the whole range of activity recorded by historian and knowledge of history would enable the politicians to know the politics better and play their role effectively.
History is also closely related to Economics. As the activities of a man in society are very closely related with the economic matters, the historian of any period must possess at least a rudimentary knowledge of the economics.
In fact, the economic history of any period is an important branch of history and its understanding is absolutely essential for the proper understanding of history of any period.
No doubt, it is true that during the last few years economics has become very complex and difficult subject, mostly dependent on mathematics, and a modern historian cannot acquire basic working knowledge of economic theory without devoting a lot of time and leaving little time for the study and writing of history. Therefore, a new set of economic history by the use of economic historians have emerged who try to study the economic history by the use of the economic tools.
At present, history is so closely interlinked with the study of economic problems that it would not be possible to reconstruct history without knowledge of the relevant economic problems.
Relationship of History with other Sciences | Study of History
In the present century the writing of history has been greatly influenced by the statistical data. With the invention of computers, the collection of statistical data has become possible.
Though the conclusion drawn on the basis of the data may be known to the historians on the basis of the impressionistic evidence, which does reduce the value because it provides a concrete evidence for a previously held thesis.
This type of detailed investigation enables the historians to understand the different facts of the past life. A good historical writing is described as: History and sociology are intimately related and a number of sociologists like Auguste Comte are also important figure in the development of historical studies. Karl Marx was also a great historian and sociologist. Both History and Sociology are concerned with the study of man in society and differed only with regard to their approach.
In the recent years it was realized that a fruitful interaction between the two disciplines was possible and Emile Durkheim, Max Weber acknowledge the initial dependence of sociology upon history. Although, history too benefits from the synthesis produced by the sociologists. Sociologists exercised profound influence on the study of history by developing the certain narrow areas of human activity.
They adopted the sampling techniques and develop their tools with a view to minimize the subjective element.
India too our historians are now giving increasing attention to social history. History and ethics have a close relationship. Although a true historian is not expected to pass distinct and sensitive judgments on the historical incidents and characters, yet he must know about the ethical principle of the time which influenced the conduct of the people in the past.
Probably in the past, there was not reliable ethical science and much of followed were merely a reflection of the bigotry, partial and complexes of the different writers.