The Story of Human Progress.F. W. Blackmar

Albion W. Small
1897 American Journal of Sociology  
RE VIE WS 745 have discovered valuable and interesting facts, we have not discovered a law." Mr. Godkin's tacit assumption is that if we find out what the Economic Man would do "if something else happens" we thereby know what the actual man would do under circumstances the economic elements of which have been calculated in the hypothesis. In fact, this desiccated specimen, the Economic Man, is merely a cadaver which lives only when it moves and has a being in combination with several other men.
more » ... several other men. The Sensuous Man, the Social Man, the Intellectual Man, the ?Esthetic Man, the Conscientious Man are abstractions of the actual man quite as legitimate and necessary as the Economic Man. The tendency of which one of these abstractions is the exponent is quite as constant as another, after once emerging in the order of culture, though the relative strength of the tendencies is variable. Each of these men within the actual man exerts a distinct reaction "if something else happens." To know what will take place, then, in the case of the actual man we must find out how to solve the equation of these reactions within him. We may then be in a position to calculate the relation of the resultant to the facts outside of him. For instance, the Social Man occasionally asserts himself in the actual man and reduces the Economic Man to partial abatement. He has been known to do more and harderwork than the Economic Man would do, and for less wages or no wages. In this he is like the other abstractable men in the actual man. The Social Man wants prestige as constantly as the Economic Man wants price. Desire for prestige sometimes nullifies the laws of price. So does appetite, or taste, or principle, or scientific curiosity. It is belated provincialism to assume that having the formula of the Economic Man we have the equation of the actual man. The economists were unable to reach this larger outlook, even when they yearned for it with John Stuart Mill's wistfulness, until the sociologists took up the task of showing that the Economic Man can be known only in company with the actual other men in the real man.
doi:10.1086/210665 fatcat:rtaf3pudqvgyrik5l7ejtn5ydi