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EUGENICS: ITS DEFINITION, SCOPE
AND AIMS.*


Eugenics is the science which deals with all influences that improve the inborn qualities of a race ; also with those that develop them to the utmost advantage. The improvement of the inborn qualities, or stock, of some one human population, will alone be discussed here.

What is meant by improvement? What by the syllable Eu in Eugenics, whose English equivalent is good ? There is considerable difference between goodness in the several qualities and in that of the character as a whole. The character depends largely on the proportion between qualities whose balance may be much influenced by education. We must therefore leave morals as far as possible out of the discussion, not entangling ourselves with the almost hopeless difficulties they raise as to whether a character as a whole is good or bad. Moreover, the goodness or badness of character is not absolute, but relative to the current form of civilisation. A fable will best explain what is meant. Let the scene be the Zoological Gardens in the quiet hours of

*Read before the Sociological Society at a Meeting in the School of Economics and Political Science (London University), on May

16th, 1go4. Professor KAKI. PEARSON, F.R.S., in the chair.