CONFERENCE WAS BORN
THE THIRD quarter of the nineteenth century marked a phase in the transition of ethical philosophy, from the mysticism of medieval theory to a more scientific explanation of human behavior and motives. In a short space of time Buckle had written his history of Civilization in England, using the method of statistical correlation between economic data and social change to establish his thesis that historical direction could be understood by discovering the fluctuating factors occurring in the economic situation of an age. The social philosophy of Auguste Comte was made available to the English-speaking world by the translation of Harriet Martineau, developing the same theory of the possibility of discovering the causes of social change, on a wider front than Buckle had explored. In that same ten years ( 1850-60) Darwin Origin of Species was published, concerned not primarily with social questions, but establishing on an enduring foundation the theory of the unity of living matter, that all changes occur in understandable ways and in response to causes that can be discovered. This theory of evolution was immediately seized upon by his contemporaries Huxley and Spencer to apply to social phenomena, with the result that Darwin's theory of evolution was the catalyst that broke up the old form of ethical philosophy as well as the more popular ideas of the dynamics of human behavior.
It is not to be assumed that these theories received instant or general acceptance. Of course, they did not. The "monkey