Antedating of "Social Science"

Mark A. Mandel mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU
Sun Jan 25 01:22:31 UTC 2004

Fred Shapiro wrote:

social science (OED 1785)

1746 William Collins _Odes on several descriptive and allegoric
(1747) 43  Alluring him from a safer Rule, To dream in her enchanted
School; Thou Heav'n, whate'er of Great we boast, Hast blest this social
Science most.

Without more context, including the antecedent of "this social science",
I think it impossible to tell here whether "social science" is being
used in anything like the current sense.

-- Mark A. Mandel

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