Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume IV (1876-1877)
Simmons, H. M.
Mr. Spencer's social anatomy, pp. -61 PDF (1.9 MB)
DEPARTMENT OF SPECULATIVE PHILOSOPHY. MR. SPENCER'S SOCIAL ANATOMY. By H. M. SIMMONS, of KenoEha. The ancient and hackneyed simile comparing social to animal structure, at length assumes scientific form in Herbert Spencer's last volume (" Principles of Sociology."). His comparison is very ingenious. Individuals are the cells of the social structure; although not in physical contact like animal cells, still through language and various influences they become virtually in contact. The earliest social organizations are small and loose groups where each individual retains a large measure of independence; like a cluster of vorticellae or a sponge, where each cell retains its sep- arate life. But with advancing society the organizations grow larger, population like animal tissue grows denser, and the-indi- vidual like the cell becomes more dependent on the aggregate, as the differentiation of structure and function advances. A savage tribe, like a rhizopod, is homogeneous, each part serving for any kind of work at demand. But with advance society separates into classes, with increasing division of labor, just as rising animal structure shows its increase of organs. The first differentiation in Mr. Spencer's analysis is between out- side and inside. In the animal, outside hardens and assumes organs of defense and attack, while inside becomes stomach and varied alimentary system. So society separates into an outer class.of masters, warriors, and rulers for protection, and an inner class of slaves and laborers for procuring and preparing sustenance. Between inside and outside must be another svstem to distribute the sustenance when prepared. This becomes circulation in the animal and commerce in the state. Finally in the outer layer of
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