Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/495

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481
SCIENTIFIC PHILANTHROPY.

"No I didn't either," Uz replied quickly. "Don't set me down for such a fool as that. I knew well enough the turtle wouldn't wander far, so I kept him in mind, and the next April I went out in proper trim and hunted him up. I found him after two days' huntin', when I got a dozen big ones besides, but he was the king of the lot. He couldn't turn 'round in a wash-tub, and weighed somethin' over seventy pounds. I looked all over him for some sign of my shirt, but there wasn't a thread left."

"How old do you suppose he was?" I asked, when Uz had concluded his story.

"I'm not sure I can say, but he was no chicken, that's certain."

"According to Professor Agassiz, a turtle a foot long is close to fifty years old," I replied.

"Fifty years old! Then my big snapper came out of the ark, I guess," remarked Uz.

 
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SCIENTIFIC PHILANTHROPY.
By LEE J. VANCE, B. S.

THE nature and purpose of our modern philanthropy—indeed, the inquiry whether or not utilitarian or altruistic considerations should inspire and control our actions—constitute an important and most instructive study in sociology. In the article on "Scientific Philanthropy," translated from the "Revue des Deux Mondes," and published in the "Monthly," 1883, this view of the question in its ethical aspect was almost entirely overlooked. The writer, M. Fouillée, has, with much ability, controverted the arguments early advanced by Malthus, but latterly by Darwin, Spencer, and others, who have approached the problem from a purely scientific stand-point. The author invites criticism by stating some conclusions, the validity of which sociologists high in repute are quick to question. And treating of Philanthropy as scientific, he has proposed a subject world-wide in its application and interest; and it is proper that the incorrectness of his conclusions be pointed out in the same Monthly that published them for American readers.

Philanthropy is founded in sentiment, and in the desire on the part of the strong, the favored, and the fortunate, to assure the comfort of the weak, unfavored, and unfortunate. It becomes scientific when those severe and exact logical methods of procedure—the indispensable prerequisites to a thorough knowledge of the preparatory studies of biology and psychology—are used in determining the effects of the laws of physical and moral heredity with natural selection on the increase and movement of population. First, we have to deal with those moral foundations which, as M. Fouillée declares, are of such