The years between 1840 and 1940 constituted an important period in the history of the human sciences. During this period, under the impulse of cataclysmic social events and the inspiration of rapid development in the physical and biological sciences, the previously existing "moral sciences" underwent radical development, and other new human sciences were proposed and formulated for the first time. In the early part of this crucial period in the history of the modern human sciences, few works were as important as John Stuart Mill's System of Logic (1843), which culminated in the well-known Book VI, entitled "On the Logic of the Moral Sciences."1 This work attempted to bring rigorous thinking to the human sciences, especially as regards methods and standards of proof. It was both an indication of, and an influence upon, the developing self-consciousness with which nineteenth-century investigators sought to bring human affairs within the purview of strictly scientific procedures. Going through numerous editions-eight in Mill's own lifetime-the work was a best seller for the rest of the nineteenth century.
Copyright © 1982 University of Pennsylvania Press. This article first appeared in Journal of the History of Ideas 43 (1982), 153-162.
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Leary, David E. "The Fate and Influence of John Stuart Mill's Proposed Science of Ethology." Journal of the History of Ideas 43, no. 1 (1982): 153-62. doi:10.2307/2709167.