Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/122

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112
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

and put an end to the mediæval period—the giving precedence to the study of Nature. The truth of the case seems to he that Noiré perceived that evolution has come to be the great basis of philosophy, and therefore accepts it and applies it in the study of the interactions of psychology and language; and yet Max Müller tells us that "Noiré's philosophy rests on a most comprehensive theory of evolution; it is the first attempt at tracing the growth of the whole world, not only of matter but of thought also, from the beginning of things to the present day." This is certainly a remarkable claim, and we arc at once interested in the intellectual career of the party in whose behalf it is made. It turns out that Noiré's first book, "The World as an Evolution of Spirit," was published in 1874, and the last in 1877. As he subsequently repudiated that first book, the gestation of his system, involving an analysis of the "Growth of the Whole World," took less than three years. Prof. Müller says this was the "first attempt," etc., although he was perfectly aware of the fact that Herbert Spencer is the only man that has ever dealt with the subject comprehensively, and also that he published the complete prospectus of his system fifteen years before Noire issued his first book. Mr. Spencer, in his last volume, on Sociology, has no doubt seriously damaged Muller's favorite theory of myths; but it would be more creditable to the Oxford professor, either to answer him, or acknowledge the defeat, rather then to vent his resentment by such absurd misrepresentations.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

Treatise on Chemistry. By H. E. Roscoe, F.R.S., and C. Schorlemmer, F.R.S., Professors of Chemistry in Owens College, Manchester. Vol. I. The Non-Metallic Elements. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 769. Price, $4.

Chemistry undoubtedly stands among the first of the progressive sciences. Its field is so large, its applications so numerous and practical, and the number of its devotees in all countries so great, as to secure the steady and rapid advance of the science. As a consequence of this, it leaves its literary monuments behind, much as a railway-train leaves the milestones. An exposition of the subject, no matter how completely it may represent its position at a given time, quickly falls behind and becomes antiquated. The large works of Regnault and William Allen Miller, which were standards a few years ago, are now quite out of date; valuable in many respects for reference, they do not embody the results that have been attained since. There was, therefore, need of a new comprehensive treatise on chemistry to take their place in colleges and laboratories. This want has been supplied by the combined labors of Profs. Roscoe and Schorlemmer, the first volume of which is now published. The character of the work they have undertaken is thus stated by its authors: "It has been the aim of the authors, in writing the present treatise, to place before the reader a fairly complete and yet a clear and succinct statement of the facts of modern chemistry, while at the same time entering so far into a discussion of chemical theory as the size of the work and the present transition state of the science permit. Special attention has been paid to the accurate description of the more important processes in technical chemistry, and to the careful representation of the most approved forms of apparatus employed."

The work opens with an excellent historical sketch of the science on the basis of Kopp's history, and this feature is continued in dealing with the most important elements and compounds throughout the book. A marked feature of the work, and one that will be appreciated in the class-room, is the prominent attention that has been given to the representation of apparatus adapted for lecture-room experiment. The numerous new illustrations required for this purpose have all been taken from photographs of apparatus actually in use. The names of the authors are a guarantee of the accuracy and thoroughness of their work, while the proportions in which the various divisions are presented are adapted to the use of students who desire to obtain a thorough general knowledge of the science. The work is