The Resource The riddle of society : a contribution to the understanding of those who do wrong, by Charles Platt

The riddle of society : a contribution to the understanding of those who do wrong, by Charles Platt

The riddle of society : a contribution to the understanding of those who do wrong
The riddle of society
Title remainder
a contribution to the understanding of those who do wrong
Statement of responsibility
by Charles Platt
"This book is for those who know something of the new work in social welfare, and for those who do not. It aims to raise the heart temperature of both classes, to give to the one a philosophy, a background for its work, and to the other a vision of this work's satisfaction. The ideas it contains are iterated and reiterated from many standpoints--its chapter headings but express the emphasis of the moment. And this plan is deliberate. There are, as it seems to me, underlying the problems presented, but a few fundamental concepts, and my endeavor has been to demonstrate these. Turning our acts round and viewing their varying facets, we find that seeming contradictions disappear. The complexities of life we discover to be born of our own limitations. They arise from our lack of knowledge of nature's laws; they become progressively simplified as we learn. Science groped for years, bewildered by the detail which confronted it, and then discovered that underlying all the apparent confusion there were but just a few elemental principles. It will be the same with the study of human conduct. Where once we could not see the wood for the trees, there will eventually become possible a noteworthy forestry. With understanding there will come the power of prophecy and guidance. The true student of social affairs is not inventing, he is just discovering. He is bringing no new facts into the world, he is merely beginning to use somewhat those he already had. He is beginning to appreciate what through the ages the poets and wise men have always felt--but he is, too, getting behind the feelings of these seers and is proposing to use the truths he finds there to advance the general happiness. That man is a creature of circumstance is a bit of crystallized wisdom far too valuable to be left a mere pretty saying. I have used it here as my working hypothesis, a frank determinism, that principle upon which all modem social work is truly based whatever may be the old beliefs still held by social workers. And my plan is to seek for the normal in man. It is, I believe, only through this that we can guide him. So long as we concentrate on the abnormal symptoms which present, whether we regard these as obsessions or as mental deformations, we remain baffled and helpless. It is as with the insane. These last treated with chains and whips were only made worse. Not until the psychiatrists learned to penetrate through the symptoms to the normal which lay behind did they begin to effect cures. We must do the same with those who have gone socially wrong. We must recognize that these too, no matter how monstrous their acts, possess normal remnants, and that it is with these remnants our hope lies. After all, may it not be that abnormality is just a term for what is unexpected and not understood? Such a thought will open our eyes. We shall then be able to seek calmly for the causes of unusual behavior. And this search will be well rewarded--it will give to our social work a real economic value, and also a new joy, the joy of successful endeavor"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
Additional physical form
Also issued in print
Cataloging source
Dewey number
index present
LC call number
LC item number
.P5 1926
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
  • dictionaries
  • bibliography
The riddle of society : a contribution to the understanding of those who do wrong, by Charles Platt
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
  • net
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier MARC source
Content category
Content type MARC source
The terms of the riddle -- The non-social -- Environment -- The rich and the poor -- Puberty -- The thief -- The prostitute -- The law -- Prison and punishment -- Reforms and reformers -- The scientific basis for social endeavor -- Educating for the social life -- Salvaging the delinquent
Control code
20 cm)
1 online resource (vii, 306 pages
Form of item
Media category
Media MARC source
Reproduction note
Electronic reproduction.
Specific material designation
System control number

Library Locations

    • Deakin University Library - Geelong Waurn Ponds CampusBorrow it
      75 Pigdons Road, Waurn Ponds, Victoria, 3216, AU
      -38.195656 144.304955
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