From the beginning sociology has been haunted by the dream of explaining social phenomena by the mathematical and quantitative methods of the physical sciences and thus creating a science of society which will be completely mechanistic and determinist. The path of sociology is strewn with the corpses of defunct systems of “social physics,” “social energetics,” and “social mechanics,” and their failure does little to discourage fresh adventures. Such systems have little use for history or for social reality; they content themselves with generalizations that have significance and with “laws” which are nothing but false analogies.

Christopher Dawson



  1. Neoclassical said,

    August 4, 2006 at 10:54 am

    I like this very much!

  2. dissidens said,

    August 17, 2006 at 10:09 pm

    Christopher Dawson has a lot of good things to say.

  3. lilrabbi said,

    August 21, 2006 at 8:17 pm

    Is this in a book?

  4. Joel said,

    August 22, 2006 at 10:05 am

    Yes it is.

  5. lilrabbi said,

    August 22, 2006 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks, Joel. You’re always so helpful.

    What is the title of this book?

  6. Joel said,

    August 22, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    It is something about the Dynamics of World History.

  7. February 7, 2007 at 7:53 am

    If you would like a nice synopsis of this thought, read Collingwood’s Idea of History, pp. 126-133. Then read Chesterton’s, Orthodoxy, particularly chapter four, “The Ethics of Elfland”.

  8. Ryan Martin said,

    February 7, 2007 at 10:00 am

    Mmmm… That quote is like Vasoline on chapped hands.

    If sociology is a false science, is there some profit to a true science?

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