The subjects of the two preceding chapters are fairly simple, at least the phases of them selected for presentation here. The geographers and economists have done the pioneer work; the sociologists can enter and find pretty much what they want already wrought out. Not so, however, in this chapter. To be sure, we have here the pioneer work of the physiologists and psychologists, and indeed without that the sociologists might as well stay off the field altogether. But it is not possible, in the present state of knowledge, to present a chart of human nature or to describe it in terms that will be at once simple and true. Its varieties elude classification, its complexity defies anything approaching a final analysis. "To attempt a chemistry of the mind," says Jastrow, "is indeed vain." Furthermore, it is hard to discuss human nature and keep free from mystical or metaphysical conceptions which lie entirely beyond the domain of science; they usually stand foremost in the thought of the untrained thinker, and even the trained thinker sometimes lets them into what he wishes to be a scientific discussion. Each person also has, as it were, an inside view of human nature derived from introspection and his own experience; this he interprets more or less independently of the findings of science, and sometimes in defiance of them. A scientific attitude toward human nature is slow in coming, and difficult to maintain, and to some persons it is impossible.

Today's sociology is still struggling with the preposterous initial fact of the individual. - Small, General Sociology, p. 443.