Cooley embarked on practical research inside a domestic circle. He studied his own children to develop deeper knowledge of human behavior, cognitive skills, and tendencies. He was seldom influenced by external intellectual thoughts, although he was well acquainted with them (2). Cooley was not satisfied with the contemporary methodologies available for sociological research. Instead of refining pre-existing ideas, Cooley chose to advocate empirical methodology to study sociology. Cooley’s urge to adopt empirical research is testified through his work Case Study of Small Institutions as a Method of Research (3).
But Herbert Spencer had a completely different approach and lifestyle. He was deeply influenced by the works of Darwin and Lamarck. His father William George Spencer taught him empirical science while his uncle Thomas Spencer inspired him with anarchist and free trade ideologies. Spencer’s lifetime covered most of the 19th century, and he combined several old and new ideas and perspectives. He came up with his own conclusions in various subjects; sociology was just one of them (4).
The most fundamental concept of Cooley’s philosophy is based on social organization. In this context, Cooley puts emphasis on the individual’s consciousness and the feeling of ‘I’. This can be conceptualized further as an egoistic interpretation of the social outlook, which becomes a limiting factor in front of the aggregate’s influence and authority on the individual. But Cooley’s concept of this self feeling does not lead to estrangement or anarchism. Rather, recognizing this self feeling provides a healthy accomplishment to the interactions that take place between the individual and the society.
Cooley’s concept of social process does not depend on the factors such as Darwinism and Hermeneutics. Instead, it is a further evolution of the social self, which can also be termed as social evolution. The most import aspect of this
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