chapter  8
7 Pages

Eight ‘Purposive’ Social Formations

In the concluding portions of this essay we have to consider certain practical attitudes which spring from the theoretical views already discussed. Their most characteristic common feature is a direct result of the inability, caused by the lack of a compositive theory of social phenomena, to grasp how the independent action of many men can produce coherent wholes, persistent structures of relationships which serve important human purposes without having been designed for that end. This produces a ‘pragmatic’1 interpretation of social institutions which treats all social structures which serve human purposes as the result of deliberate design and which denies the possibility of an orderly or purposeful arrangement in anything which is not thus constructed.