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Utah State University Faculty Honor Lectures


The Faculty Association, Utah State Agricultural College

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The slow growth of civilization and the early meagerness of tested knowledge in any but the most pressing and practical matters undoubtedly conditioned and determined the nature of primitive collective thinking. Large assumptions had to be made about all things. Trial and error methods were slow methods. Only in his late maturity as knowledge multiplied has man found ways of testing the validity of an hypothesis so that assumption-making could become a tool of advancement rather than a controlling mechanism. Superstition, a large component in the culture of even the most advanced peoples, was an inevitable adjunct of progress. As institutions grew their ideologies contained such elements. Only new institutions that have grown out of the later crises of mankind have had the benefit of assumption testing so that their ideologies are freer of medicine-man thinking.

It is not the purpose of your speaker to deal primarily with assumptions or ideologies. My task in discussing the growth of Utah institutions is: (1) To define institutions and clarify their functions; (2) To point out and present a possible remedy for the chief weaknesses in institutions; (3) To clarify institutional seedbed potentialities in this state; (4) To discuss certain general aspects of institutional growth in Utah, and (5) To illustrate from research materials the nature of group processes as they influence institutions.


This work made publicly available electronically on August 15, 2011.

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