Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 55.djvu/285

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273
SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE.

fireproof buildings are of stone, that the Japanese tobacco is moistened with opium, that the Japanese street dress is full of color, are all erroneous. His description of the sash worn by men is the description of the woman's sash. He says "the Japanese currency before the change to dollars and cents was like that of the Chinese." Had he consulted Snowden's description of ancient and modern coins, etc., he would have found this correct statement in regard to Japanese coins: "In their shape, composition, and relation to each other they present some striking features which set them apart from every other system of coinage in the world."

The illustrations are badly distributed. Through pages of description of the Japanese and Koreans, in which little is said about the Koreans, are scattered illustrations of the inhabitants of Yeso—the Ainu. The illustration of Japanese table furniture depicts only utensils for smoking and wine-drinking, and some of these are erroneously labeled, as are those of certain Chinese utensils.

We trust that the Asiatic portion of this valuable work will be written over again, and in doing it the author will realize that he is dealing with four or five hundred million people widely separated in language, modes of writing, customs, and manners; that he will consider the Ainu, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thibetan, and Indo-Chinese with the same thoroughness that he has given to the separate groups of the African continent; that he will draw his information from modern sources and collections properly labeled and up to date.

Even with the defects pointed out the work will prove of great value to the American student, as it brings before him the richness of the ethnological museums of Europe.


GENERAL NOTICES.

The Development of English Thought[1] is "an attempt to present a theory of history through concrete illustrations." The book does not deal with the facts of history—a knowledge of these is assumed—it throws into relief certain salient features of each epoch which were instrumental in forwarding the social consciousness. It may, indeed, be called a philosophy of economics. It has a theory to propound: Survival is determined and progress created by a struggle for the goods for which men strive, or the means by which they may avert evil. These goods change, together with the environment dependent on them. Hence arise new activities; the race is modified, new modes of thought come forward, and finally the characteristics of the civilization are reconstructed. These changes are subject to a definite law of evolution, repeated in each new environment. England has been chosen for this economic interpretation of history; because of its insular position, its development has been more normal and indigenous, less subject to foreign influences since the Reformation, than any continental country. An explanation of the psychological theory underlying the book serves as general introduction. The antecedents of English thought are found among the early Germans, and the Early Church. The fifteenth century, with its inventions and discoveries, revolutionized men's ways of living and thinking. Then the Calvinists and Puritans imposed their standards of good and evil. These are followed by the great English thinkers: Locke, who marks the beginning of Deism in England; Mandeville, Hume, and Smith, developing the economic side; Whitefield and Wesley leading the religious revival. Later on, Malthus, Ricardo, and Mill formulated the Economic Philosophy, whereas Darwin, the first of the biologists, imposed biologic habits of thought on economic inquiry. The concluding chapter, while cautious in the

  1. The Development of English Thought. A Study in the Economic Interpretation of History. By Simon N. Patten, Ph. D. New York: The Macmillan Company. 1899. $3.