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The Organisation of Knowledge in Victorian Britain$
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Martin Daunton

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263266

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263266.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 04 August 2021

Victorian Social Science: From Singular to Plural*

Victorian Social Science: From Singular to Plural*

(p.86) (p.87) Chapter Four: Victorian Social Science: From Singular to Plural*
The Organisation of Knowledge in Victorian Britain

Lawrence Goldman

British Academy

This chapter provides an overview of the history of social science in Britain and the ways in which it was institutionalised in the nineteenth century. Nineteenth-century social science was the product of three great changes, intellectual, material and spiritual. The European Enlightenment stimulated the development of and institutionalisation of the natural sciences, creating a new model for the study of human societies. The material changes include the expansion of population, growth of industries and manufacturing and development of mass culture and democracy. Rationalism and industrialisation caused the third change, the decline of conventional Christian belief and worship. The chapter also analyses the ‘statistical movement’, a dominant genre of social science up to 1860, and social evolution, which provided the leading paradigm for sociological thinking from the mid-century onwards.

Keywords:   social science, European Enlightenment, rationalism, industrialisation, statistical movement, social evolution

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