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Unformatted text preview: elaborated in the germ plasm we inherit from our ancestors, in the healthy
interaction of brain with the rest of the body, especially the internal glands. The outside world is the
Macrocosmos, or large world, and includes the physical conditions of existence (climate, altitude, plentiness
of food, access to the sea) as well as the social conditions of existence (state of culture of times and race and
family). The social conditions of existence are of especial interest in that they reach back ages before the
individual was born so that the lives, thoughts, ideals of the dead may dominate the character of the living.
This macrocosmos both brings to light and stifles the character peculiarities of the microcosmos and the
character of no man, as we see or know it, ever expresses in any complete manner his innate possibilities.
The question arises: What is the basis of the influence of the social heredity, of the forces, in the character of
the person born in a social group? Certain aspects of this we must deal with later, in order to keep to a unified
presentation of the subject. Other aspects are pertinently to be discussed now.
The link that binds man to man is called the social instinct, though perhaps it would be better to call it the
group of social instincts. The link is one of feeling, primarily, though it has associated with it, in an
indissoluble way, purpose and action. The existence of the social instinct is undisputed; its explanation is
varied and ranges from the mystical to the evolutionary. For the mystical (which crops out in Bergson, Butler
and even in Galton), the unity of life is its basis, and there is a sort of recognition of parts formerly united but CHAPTER II. 21 now separate individuals. This does not explain hate, racial and individual. The evolutionary aspect has
received its best handling in recent years in Trotter's "The Herd," where the social instincts are traced in their
relation to human history. One writer after another has placed as basic in social instinct, sympathy, imitation,
suggestibility and the recognition of "likeness." Thes...
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- Spring '11