Date of Award

Spring 1958

Document Type



Sociology & Anthropology

First Advisor

Rev. John O'Connor

Second Advisor

J.J. Mackin

Third Advisor

J.R. White


A study of knowledge reveals that it has three sources: the theological, the philosophical, and the scientific. From the philosophical and theological point of view it is very widely accepted that a good man is good for all society. It is equally well established that man is a social animal by nature and that he perfects himself through his contributions to society and his fellow man.

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate from a strictly scientific point of view the proposition that a good man is so considered by his fellow men because of his contribution to society and to see whether the findings of philosophy and theology are also verified at the scientific level.

From a sociological standpoint there are many approaches to the investigation and I have chosen to use the evidence that can be gleaned from newspapers as a good indication of public opinion in this matter.

This is a very humble attempt in a very restricted field to seek what evidence may be available from the scientific point of view.

The death of a prominent man is usually noted in the newspapers. This essay is concerned with these newspaper reports about prominent persons. From an entirely scientific point of view I will analyse newspaper articles concerned with the passing of prominent men, and attempt to determine whether or not newspaper men considered the deceased to be great because of their contribution to society.

In this essay the criterion of greatness will be the praise that was accorded to a man by one or more of his contemporaries. Is he praised for the good done during his lifetime to his fellow men? If not, why was he praised?