2442 Jevons, William (183582)

powerful, bold, and original thinkers in eco
nomics. While virtually unknown or neglected
among sociologists, curiously enough, Jevons
can probably be credited (Swedberg 2003) with
inventing the term economic sociology (in the
second 1879 edition of his main work, the The
ory of Political Economy), though not the idea or
concept. The idea of economic sociology is
already contained or germane in Comte, espe
cially his notion of social economy, as a branch
of sociology distinguished from orthodox eco
nomics, and of the economy of real society
subject to sociological research.
Specifically, Jevons (1965) suggests it is
only by subdivision, by recognizing a branch
of Economic Sociology, together possibly with
two or three other branches of statistical, jural,
or social science, that we can rescue our [eco
nomic] science from its confused state. He
adds that economics (also called political econ
omy) is in such a chaotic state owing to the
need of subdividing a too extensive sphere of
knowledge, with economic sociology being one
of the results of this subdivision. Hence, Jevons
considers economic sociology not only a field of
sociology, but also a branch of economics,
alongside, for example, the mathematical theory
of economics, systematic and descriptive eco
nomics, fiscal science, and others, as do simi
larly some later economists (e.g., Schumpeter
1954). In turn, he treats economics as a branch
of the social sciences, by implication of sociol
ogy understood as such a general science. Thus,
Jevons (1965) states that the so called new
historical branch of social science, and impli
citly economics, is doubtless a portion of what
Herbert Spencer calls Sociology. At this junc
ture, he adopts an apparent Spencerian or evo
lutionary definition of sociology as the Science
of the Evolution of Social Relations. Notably,
Jevons defines economics by analogy to the
Spencerian definition of sociology or in evolu
tionary terms, as a science of the development
of economic forms and relations. Further, he
implies that economics as defined is one
branch of Mr. Spencers Sociology, an impli
cation also suggested by his followers Wicksteed
and Edgeworth. Wicksteed (1933), noting that
Jevons followed Comte to erect a hierarchy of
science, places economic science among the
branches of sociological study and even urges
that economics must be the handmaid of
sociology. Similarly, Edgeworth (1967) des
cribes Jevonss marginal utility economics as
the most sublime branch of sociology in
Comtes sense.
The Jevonian definitions of economics and
sociology also yield an implicit Spencerian or
evolutionary definition of Jevonss economic
sociology as the study of the development of
economic forms and relations in interrelation
to and within the general evolution of social
relations. Thus understood, Jevonss economic
sociology is a neoclassical economists attempt
at integration of economics and sociology, thus
anticipating similar efforts by some sociologists
(e.g., Parsons & Smelser 1956). Another impli
cit definition of economic sociology is found in
Jevonss (1866) alternative, utilitarian hedonistic
specification of the field of inquiry of eco
nomics, deemed a hedonic science, as consist
ing only of the relations of ordinary pleasures
and pains, or a calculus of pleasure and pain
(Schumpeter 1991), and not of all human
motives. Viewing this field as wide enough,
he states there are motives nearly always pre
sent with us, arising from conscience, compas
sion, or from some moral or religious source,
which [economics] cannot and does not pretend
to treat. These will remain to us as outstanding
and disturbing forces; they must be treated, if at
all, by other appropriate branches of knowl
edge ( Jevons 1866). By implication, one of
these latter appropriate branches of knowledge
is, as Jevons himself suggests in his later writ
ings, economic sociology, thereby implicitly
defined as the study of the relations of utili
tarian hedonistic motivation to other human
motives as disturbing forces or, in Webers
words, material and ideal values/interests alike.
Negatively, Jevonss statement, by denying that
economics deals with all human motives and
excluding non economic factors from its field as
disturbing forces, does not suggest what has
come to be known as the economic approach to
all human behavior or rational choice theory.
Positively, the statement in essence adopts and
elaborates on Mills earlier view that most dis
turbing causes do not belong to the domain of
economics but to some other science, specifi
cally what he proposes as the science of social
economy as an anticipation or equivalent of