residues and derivations
residues and derivationsa distinction drawn by PARETO, as part of his discussion of’nonlogical’ (or irrational) forms of action, in which residues are the uniform psychological bases underlying social action, and derivations the rationalizations or ‘theories’ which are advanced by social participants as justifications of their social actions. As Pareto saw it, many sociological theories are themselves derivations. He regarded his own theories, in replacing these, as establishing sociology on a new scientific footing (see Fig. 26).
Six main categories of residues were identified by Pareto, but only two of these: the instinct for combinations (‘class I residues’) and the persistence of aggregates (‘class II residues’), are critical to an understanding of his approach. These play a central part in his theory of élites (see CIRCULATION OF ÉLITES).