Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 30.djvu/724

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
702
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

for discussion in these columns; but we desire here to record our conviction that when “power and discretion in the matter of the education of children are taken away from the family and lodged with the Government,” the rights and duties of the family are seriously invaded, and that no good can come of it in the long run.




Mr. Grant Allen visited America last year for his health, and not on an errand of scientific observation. Yet, that his well-known habit of looking closely at what he saw, and questioning it for the instruction it might yield, was not relaxed, is shown by the very interesting and suggestive article which he has contributed to our pages this month on “A Mount Washington Sandwort.” The history of the plant, as he elucidates it, is most interesting, and can not fail to give us broader views of the effect of glacial action upon the distribution of life over the earth.




LITERARY NOTICES.

The First Three Years of Childhood. By Bernard Perez. Edited and translated by Alice M. Christie. With an Introduction by James Sully, M. A., author of "Outlines of Psychology," etc. Chicago: A. K. Marquis k Co., 1885. Price, $1.25.

The aim of the author in the preparation of this work is to follow out, in little children, the gradual awakening of the mental faculties during the first three years of life. He is a painstaking, exact observer, and seems in some way to have had exceptional opportunities for the prolonged acquaintance of a good many different babies from the first days of their mundane experience. He has, besides, made excellent use of the labors of others in the same field, when their facts were well observed and well described, and their ideas grew out of real experience. His abundant material is carefully sorted and arranged for illustrating and enforcing his view of infant psychology. His facts are simply described, and are most frequently given in the form of anecdotes, and his interpretations of them are both sympathetic and scientific. He has a rare faculty of interpreting the external signs of infantile feeling. M. Perez is deeply interested in all practical questions concerning education, and is the author of a work entitled "Education from the Cradle." He is a good physiologist and psychologist, and notwithstanding his native fondness for children, he subjects them to rigorous scientific scrutiny. M. Perez is an intelligent evolutionist, and is also deeply interested in comparative psychology, and in his interpretations of the facts of child-life he makes excellent use of all the latest developments of science. An idea of the scope of the work will be best gained by a glance at the table of contents. Chapter I treats of the faculties and first impressions of the new-born child. Chapter II describes the motor activities—at the beginning of life, at six months, and at fifteen months. Chapter III considers the emotional sensations and the first perceptions. Chapter IV deals with the instincts, general and special, and Chapter V with the sentiments. Chapter VI discusses intellectual tendencies under the heads of Veracity, Imitation, and Credulity. Chapter VII is devoted to the will; and Chapter VIII to attention and memory. In Chapter IX association and imagination are considered; and Chapter X, on the elaboration of ideas, treats of judgment, abstraction, comparison, generalization, reasoning, and errors and illusions. The remaining three chapters are given severally to expression and language, the æsthetic sense, and the moral sense.

The introduction by James Sully, author of "Outlines of Psychology," is a valuable addition to the work. We quote his closing remarks: "A last feature of this volume which is deserving of mention is its thoroughly French form and style. The reader feels at every page that he is listening to a Frenchman who knows how to shape his materials, give order and arrangement to his exposition, light it up with pertinent illustration, and adorn it with the graces of style. While in places the author ventures a few steps into the darker recesses of metaphysical psychology, he never forgets that he is writing a popular work. And he has succeeded in producing a volume which, while