FAMILY, SCHOOL, FRIENDSHIP
PHILOSOPHERS have concerned themselves with the "origin of society"; but when one comes to think of it, the origin of solitude would really be the more natural enquiry. For from first to last man is a "social animal." It is through the nurture and discipline which society furnishes; it is through the sphere of action which it provides, that he can alone develope his powers. From the moment he crosses the threshold of life he passes irrevocably under social influences.
It is man's nature to be social.
Hence psychologists have, with good reason, come to speak of "social heredity."1 In a sense this is not heredity at all. For the phrase is not meant to suggest any direct transmission of qualities, be they natural qualities or acquired, from parent to offspring. It simply formulates the fact that, as the members of one generation after another pass away,
Each new life enters into a social heritage. "Social heredity."
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Publication information: Book title: The Making of Character:Some Educational Aspects of Ethics. Contributors: John MacCunn - Author. Publisher: Macmillan. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1900. Page number: 81.
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