Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 29.djvu/718

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

tion, the nearest approach to the psychological domain is found in biology and anthropology. We suspect that no student of mind would he content to allow his chosen science to be treated as an appendage to either of these sections, and yet it appears that he must find its place in one of them, if at all.

It can hardly be that this omission occurs because there are so few who are engaged in psychological study. The editor of "Mind" asserts that, of the contributions submitted for publication in that journal, the American articles indicate in our country a very deep and widely diffused interest in that subject, and have specially attracted his attention both for their quantity and for their excellence. American psychological students have recently demonstrated the existence of the temperature-sense as an independent sensibility. Every college has its department of mental science, and there are many well-known workers in this field. Even if such were not the case, still it may reasonably be supposed that one of the objects of the Association is to encourage labor in neglected branches of science by calling attention to them.

The probabilities are, that the old prejudice against "metaphysics" has survived and causes a reluctance to concede any scientific value to psychology. If this be so, it is certain that the feeling in question ought to be abated by a more just estimate. Time was, of course, when psychology meant speculation; but that time has passed away. Psychology to-day has just as definite a scientific character as has biology. Its study is pursued by strictly scientific methods, and by scientific tests its results are measured. True, indeed, this can not be said of all study that calls itself psychological. But then we have plenty of people terming themselves biologists whose methods and purposes are absolutely empirical. Yet there is a science of biology, and in as high a degree there is also a science of psychology, notwithstanding that there are sometimes empirics concerned in both. The latter has its distinct province, its subdivisions into various important departments with specialists in each; and the substantial additions it is constantly making to human knowledge are abundant enough and of sufficient consequence to entitle it, upon the most modest claims, to an honorable position in the circle of the sciences.

We think the American Association at its coming meeting would act wisely in creating a Psychological Section. Even if there be danger that psychology will sometimes run mad from the poison of metaphysical virus, it is well to reflect upon the truth in John Stuart Mill's remark to the effect that without philosophy we can never be really sure that we know anything.




LITERARY NOTICES.

The Elements of Economics. By H. D. Macleod. Vol II, Part I. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1886. Pp. 376. Price, 81.75.

This is a work that departs widely from current economic doctrine. It is an attempt to reconstitute the science solely upon the basis of the law of supply and demand; and, while this may not at first sight seem a very novel proceeding, the results arrived at certainly differ greatly from those commonly taught. The main thesis to the support of which the author brings much ingenuity of argument is that debt or credit is wealth—not in the sense of being a representative of existing wealth, but a distinct addition thereto, and he holds that the too narrow conception of wealth heretofore held by economists has incapacitated them for dealing with the complicated phenomena of modern credit in any satisfactory way. The conclusion that debt or credit is wealth is a direct consequence of his definition of wealth, which he maintains is anything which is exchangeable whose value can be measured in money.

All property consists of rights, whether to material things, one's own labor, or to a participation in the future profits of any