Popular Science Monthly/Volume 16/November 1879/Literary Notices
Ethics, or Science of Duty. By John Bascom, author of "Principles of Psychology," etc. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 385. Price, $1.75.
Dr. Bascom has here given us a freshly-reasoned and excellent manual of morals. It is attractively written, and very judicious as an exposition of practical duty.
But the title chosen raises expectations, at the present time, which the work seems to us hardly to fulfill. The author recognizes that the subject he is dealing with belongs among the sciences, and is therefore a branch of improvable or progressive knowledge. He, moreover, admits that there is some force in the claim that ethics requires both a new foundation and a new method. The subject is therefore confessedly in a state of transition, or is undergoing a development such as all sciences experience from a less perfect to a more perfect form. Dr. Bascom does not give sufficient prominence to this fact and its important implications. Had he confined himself merely to summarizing the empirical rules of morality as they have been arrived ai in social practice, this objection would be less pertinent; but he goes analytically into the subject, works out its principles, reviews ethical systems, discusses ethical methods, and reasons his way to full conclusions respecting the right and wrong of conduct, and the grounds of moral obligation. The whole subject being thus opened, we think the author should have gone further in the scientific direction than he has seen fit to go. He should have placed his exposition upon a scientific groundwork, or have given the reasons for not doing so. His omission is the more surprising when we observe how far he has actually proceeded in the right direction.
It is sufficiently obvious that ethical method passes to a new stage of development with the establishment of the doctrine of evolution. If evolution be true, the foundations of old systems are subverted, and it is necessary to build anew. When he wrote his late elaborate book on "Methods of Ethics," Mr. Sidgwick could not see that evolution had much to do with the subject. If the doctrine had been developed in the universities, he would have probably found its bearings more important. He has found more in it for his second edition, and will be likely to discover still more for the third. Should he finally be compelled to admit that the relation is fundamental, it will be but another instance, of which the history of science is 60 full, in which what was at first insignificant comes to be supreme.
Dr. Bascom begins better. His first chapter is on "The Remote or Physical Conditions of Duty"; and if this starting point of a treatise on morality would have seemed surprising a generation or two ago, still more surprising would have been the considerations he has brought forward in this chapter. It does not require a very long memory to recall the time when evolution in any form and to any degree was visited with universal malediction. It was the one poisonous heresy of thought that could not be too severely denounced. But now we see the able President of an influential university planting this doctrine in the opening chapter of a text-book upon morals! If Dr. Bascom assumes rather than formally avows the doctrine, he is but doing what Professor Marsh says the whole scientific world must henceforth do—assume the theory, and go on. But let the author here speak for himself. He says: "The body has been brought up to its present serviceableness through so protracted a development, and the power of the mind is now so measured by it, and is hereafter to be so much extended by means of it, that a brief survey of this middle term between the spiritual and physical worlds becomes very desirable. . . . This power " (the plastic power of life) " has as many forms as there are kinds of living things. In the higher varieties of animals this plastic power which controls the structure, which receives and transmits tendencies, has been built up into a wonderfully complex and mysterious potency by the entire development of life from its first appearance on the globe. This is plainly true if we accept the theory of evolution with definite or indefinite increments. It is also true, though less manifestly so, if we believe in a series of distinct creations. . . . The first term in this plastic power is an organic one. This has every grade of complexity, from that shown in a globule of protoplasm to that manifested in the human body. In it functions and organs are developed coetaneously, are united into a life increasingly complex and single, are left susceptible to a thousand modifying circumstances, and are transmitted with a full entail of established tendencies." After pointing out the gradations of unfolding life through automatic action, instinct, and the higher complexities of mind, the author says: " Another consideration of utmost moment, in estimating our moral activity in its relations to the physical world, is that of inheritance. The power of to-day is not that of a century since, nor will it be that of a century to come. Nor are these forces, in their transition from one stage to another, inapproachable by man. On the other hand, the stream of descent is flexible at every point, as flexible as it can be and retain its general direction. Physical descent is made up of three laws. The primary and central one is, that all organic powders tend to pass from parent to offspring. There is a momentum in the waters of life by which they flow steadily along the slopes prepared for them. A second law, which directly modifies the first, and without which it would lose much of its beneficence, is, that organs and functions are subject to changes, which changes may be transmitted. A third law, of less significance, yet one of moment, is, that living forms easily revert to a long antecedent state. As the new conditions impressed upon living things, which are shaken off by this atavism, have reference to secondary adaptations, to new circumstances, and, in many cases, to the wants of man, this reversion is virtually a retrogression under feeble progressive forces. . . . New powers and new beauties may arise in the transfer of inheritance under inscrutable causes, and yet may be taken-up by heredity and consolidated among more primitive endowments."
Now, having gone so far, we see not how Dr. Bascom could refrain from going further, and carrying out the doctrine to its logical consequences. For, if evolution be true at all, its truth is fundamental; and, if it have any influence upon ethical method, it must be a determining influence. If development be the method of nature, as Dr. Bascom tacitly admits, then must the moral sentiments and faculties of man be a product of it; and, if man's moral attributes have been evolved in immense time by slow experience, if our present morality has been derived from a lower stage by processes that are carrying it to a higher stage, then surely we have upon us the most important of all ethical questions, viz., by what causes and under what conditions is morality growing better? We have forced upon us the problem of the genesis of moral relations—how lower conduct is passing into higher conduct—what are the present imperfections of moral impulse and guidance which may be expected to disappear in the future—and how far is ethical requirement relative to the progress of the social state. It may not detract from the practical value of Dr. Bascom's manual, that these considerations are not pursued with the thoroughness and in the direction implied by his title and commencing chapter; but the failure of the exposition in this respect leaves it open to the charge of not fully representing the present state of ethical inquiry.
Dr. Bascom makes frequent and critical reference to the ethical views of Herbert Spencer aa presented in his " Social Statics," published twenty-nine years ago. But it is nowhere stated, as we observe, that this was a transitional work that no longer accurately represents Mr. Spencer's views, and that, because of its unsatisfactoriness, he entered into a more extensive development of the subject, in which the " Principles of Morality " were to be treated after an exhaustive elucidation of the chief sciences that bear upon the subject. If it was worth while to quote Spencer at all—if his views of a generation ago have still sufficient insight to demand critical attention—it would certainly have been proper to state that the author held them so insufficient that he has devoted his life to the task of placing morals upon a sounder and more scientific basis than was possible when his first work was written.
Freedom in Science and Teaching. From the German of Ernst Haeckel. With a Prefatory Note by T. H. Huxley, F. R. S. D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 121. Price, §1.
The collision of two such minds as those of Virchow and Haeckel over the evolution question could not fail to strike fire and create light. Much able discussion has followed, in which certain important aspects of the question have been scanned and sifted with a thoroughness that would hardly have been secured in the absence of conflict. The reply to Virchow that has been called out from Haeckel and fills this volume is an extremely interesting and instructive contribution to the popular literature of the subject.
It needs hardly to be said that in his celebrated address, which has been received with such favor by the non-scientific portion of the public, and by such scientific persons as are dominated by traditional ideas, Virchow took the ground that evolution is an hypothesis not proved, and that therefore it should not be taught in the German schools; that the evidence of anthropology is thus far against the doctrine of the derivation of man from lower forms of life; and, finally, that there is such an affiliation of Darwinistic theories with modern communism as to raise the question whether the state is not justified in interfering for the suppression of a dangerous teaching. For the reply that Professor Haeckel makes to Virchow's charge that evolution is an "unproved hypothesis," we must refer the reader to the book, which is valuable as showing—1. What kind of evidence is required; 2. That it is abundant in quantity; and, 3. That the difficulty with Virchow is, that he don't understand or appreciate it. In regard to the anthropological objection, Professor Huxley declares in his preface that Virchow is entirely in the wrong. Authority is here opposed to authority; and Huxley asserts that all we know concerning the most ancient men harmonizes with the view that they have originated under the general law of evolution.
In regard to Virchow's attempt to bring evolution into reproach by associating it with communism. Professor Huxley says: "I think I shall have all fair-minded men with me, when I also give vent to my reprobation of the introduction of the sinister arts of unscrupulous political warfare into scientific controversy, manifested in the attempt to connect the doctrines he (Haeckel) advocates with those of a political party which is at present the object of hatred and persecution in his native land."
Professor Haeckel in dealing with this charge says that "those two theories are about as compatible as fire and water," and remarks upon the subject as follows: With all these empty accusations, as with all the empty reproaches and groundless objections which Virchow brings against the doctrine of evolution, he takes good care in no way to touch the kernel of the matter. How, indeed, would it have been possible, without arriving at conclusions wholly opposed to those which he has declared? For the theory of descent proclaims, more clearly than any other scientific theory, that the equality of individuals which socialism strives after is an impossibility; that it stands in fact in irreconcilable contradiction to the inevitable inequality of individuals which actually and everywhere subsists. Socialism demands equal rights, equal duties, equal possessions, equal enjoyments for every citizen alike; the theory of descent proves, in exact opposition to this, that the realization of this demand is a pure impossibility, and that in the constitutionally organized communities of men, as of the lower animals, neither rights nor duties, neither possessions nor enjoyments, have ever been equal for all the members alike, nor can ever be. Throughout the evolutionist theory, as in its biological branch, the theory of descent—the great law of specialization or differentiation—teaches us that a multiplicity of phenomena is developed from original unity, heterogeneity from original similarity, and the composite organism from original simplicity. The conditions of existence are dissimilar for each individual from the beginning of its existence; even the inherited qualities, the natural "disposition," are more or less unlike; how then can the problems of life and their solution be alike for all? The more highly political life is organized, the more prominent is the great principle of the division of labor, and the more requisite it becomes, for the lasting security of the whole state, that its members should be variously distributed in the manifold tasks of life; and as the work to be performed by different individuals is of the most various kind, as well as the corresponding outlay of strength, skill, property, etc., the reward of the work must naturally be also extremely various. These are such simple and tangible facts that one would suppose that every reasonable and unprejudiced politician would recommend the theory of descent and the evolution hypothesis in general as the best antidote to the fathomless absurdity of extravagant social leveling,
"Darwinism, I say, is anything rather than socialist! If this English hypothesis is to be compared to any definite political tendency—as is, no doubt, possible—that tendency can only be aristocratic, certainly not democratic, and least of all socialist. The theory of evolution teaches that in human life, as in animal and plant life everywhere and at all times, only a small and chosen minority can exist and flourish, while the enormous majority starve and perish miserably, and more or less prematurely. The germs of every species of animal and plant, and the young individuals that spring from them, are innumerable, while the number of those fortunate individuals which develop to maturity and actually reach their hardly won life-goal is out of all proportion trifling. The cruel and merciless struggle for existence which rages throughout all living nature, and in the course of nature must rage, this unceasing and inexorable competition of all living creatures, is an incontestable fact; only the picked minority of the qualified 'fittest' is in a position to resist it successfully, while the great majority of the competitors must necessarily perish miserably. We may profoundly lament this tragical state of things, but we can neither controvert it nor alter it. 'Many are called, but few are chosen.' The selection, the picking out of these chosen ones, is inevitably connected with the arrest and destruction of the remaining majority. Another English naturalist therefore designates the result of Darwinism very frankly as the 'survival of the fittest.' At any rate, this principle of selection is nothing less than democratic; on the contrary, it is aristocratic, in the strictest sense of the word. If, therefore, Darwinism, logically carried out, has, according to Virchow, an 'uncommonly suspicious aspect,' this can only be found in the idea that it offers a helping hand to the efforts of the aristocrats. But how the socialism of the day can find any encouragement in those efforts, and how the horrors of the Paris Commune can be traced to them, is to me, I must frankly confess, absolutely incomprehensible."
Report of the Geological Survey of Ohio. Vol. III. Geology and Paleontology. Part I. Geology. Published by Authority of the Legislature of Ohio. Columbus: Nevins & Myers, State Printers. 1878.
This volume, the third in the series, fully sustains the high character which the two previous ones gave to this important work. The officers on whom rests the responsibility of the survey are J. S. Newberry, chief geologist; E. B. Andrews and Edward Orton, assistant geologists; T. G. Wormley, chemist; and F. B. Meek, Paleontologist. A corps of local and special assistants have rendered important service. Those of the corps who have contributed reports for the present volume are Messrs. John J. Stevenson, M. C. Read, A. W. Wheat, John Hussey, F. C. Hill, A. C. Lindemuth, J. S. Hodge, and F. Hesser. All of these reports are of a high order, and show in how careful and thorough a manner the work is being done. Reports of surveys of six counties are by the geologist-in-chief, who also contributes an important paper reviewing the general geological structure of the State. This paper is a wonderfully clear statement of the facts brought out by the local surveys, and of the conclusions which they suggest. It is the more interesting from the fact that it reviews conclusions presented in previous reports of the survey which had been criticised by several eminent geologists in other States. Much of the uncertainty which existed as to the age and geological equivalence of the Ohio rocks seems now to be removed. Concerning the Cincinnati uplift it is said that "the Cincinnati axis in Ohio is an anticlinal ridge of which the arched strata of the Cincinnati Group form the core." This uplift formed an elevated ridge through the Upper Silurian, Devonian, and Carboniferous ages. Many of the great deposits thin out on the sloping sides of this elevation. It constituted, indeed, two islands, one in Tennessee, the other in Kentucky and Ohio.
The Cincinnati Group referred to is shown to contain the characteristic fossils of the Hudson River Group, Trenton Limestone, and some which are found in the I Black River and Birdseye Groups. But,! says Professor Newberry, they are so intermingled as to make it impossible to identify any one of the subdivisions of the Cincinnati Group with either of the Lower Silurian Limestones of the East.
The Oolitic Iron-ore band of the Clinton is in Ohio, sometimes two or three feet in thickness, sometimes it is scarcely more than a ferruginous stain. This is stated to be in no sense a clay iron-stone, as has been suggested. It is a red hematite, and is called dye-stone ore in Tennessee. It is a marine not a marsh deposit, as shown by the fossils present. The iron was probably brought by drainage water from ferruginous districts and deposited.
The Corniferous Limestone in this State is a vast storehouse of fossils. Extensive collections of these will be fully described in Part II., which treats of paleontology. The land-plants found in this limestone at Sandusky and Delaware may have formed part of the luxuriant vegetation that covered the Cincinnati Island in the Devonian age, "the first land flora of which we have any traces in the United States."
Of the Huron Shale, much has been written. It occurs through Central Ohio in a line of outcrop with a maximum thickness of 350 feet. This formation is a nearly homogeneous bituminous shale, containing at least ten per cent, of combustible matter. It is known in the Western States as black shale. Its precise geological horizon has been a subject of debate. The conclusion of the author is that "the Huron Shale of Ohio is made up of the black shales of the Lower Portage and Genesee." This deposit is an interesting one, from the fact that it is the most important source of supply of petroleum in this country, and also that most of the gas-wells of Ohio and Pennsylvania derive thence their supply of carburetted hydrogen.
If space permitted, we would be glad to present the views of Professor Newberry on the buried river channels—evidences of glacial action clay deposits of the Drift age, and other subjects of interest to the geologist.
The reports of the local surveys by counties and districts are not only valuable to geologists, but are throughout of a thoroughly practical character. These include thirty-four counties of the State, besides reports of the Hocking Valley coal-field. Perry, and portions of Athens, and Hocking Counties, and the Hanging Rock District.
The reports of counties are illustrated by maps and charts, of which there are twenty, while fifty-three illustrations are printed with the text.
In the preface we are informed that Vol. IT., Zoölogy and Botany, is now in the printer's hands, and that Vol. V., Economic Geology, is in progress. Besides these, full and elaborate maps are in course of preparation.
The work has been issued in editions of 20,000 copies—to the honor of Ohio, be it said.
Distribution of Heat in the Spectra of Various Sources of Radiation. By William W. Jaynes, Ph. D. Cambridge, Mass.: University Press. Pp. 24.
This pamphlet is the thesis presented to the Faculty of Johns Hopkins University by the author upon applying for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. It first gives an account of former experiments to determine the distribution of heat in the spectrum; and then details the author's elaborate experiments for the determination of the result. There is one plate of apparatus and three large plates of the curves of thermal intensity in different parts of the spectral region. He thus sums up the inquiry: "In concluding this paper there is a strong temptation to speculate upon the meaning of the results obtained. That the geometrical form of the curve should be so nearly the same at all temperatures, and of the same general form for all substances, is a fact that probably must have an important physical interpretation. Does not the similarity of the curves for different substances show a similarity of movement of the ultimate components of the several substances, and so point to a similarity of ultimate composition of all matter, the slight differences in the grouping of these parts giving rise to the comparatively slight variations from the same form? Certainly this is not proof, but is it not evidence? And is it not probable that the superposition upon the radiations from the ultimate atoms of the radiations from the groupings of these atoms should cause the curve, as a whole, to move slightly to a shorter or longer wave-length, as the weight of a group is lighter or heavier? But I am aware that such speculations are founded on too insufficient data, and I offer these results merely as an experimental contribution to the science of radiant energy."
A Defense of Philosophic Doubt, being an Essay on the Foundations of Belief. By Arthur James Balfour, M. A., M. P. Pp. 355. Price, $3.50.
The object of this book would not be guessed from its title. It would be supposed to imply an argument in favor of skepticism, unbelief, or freethinking, in their customary applications to religious belief. But this is not the author's aim. On the contrary, the work is "a piece of destructive criticism" directed against the foundations of science. According to the author, it is the function of philosophy to give an account of the grounds of all belief and disbelief, and he labors to show that all the assumptions, principles, postulates, and criteria of truth that are usually taken as the basis of scientific knowledge are illusive and indefensible. The independent existence of an external world is denied; Kant, Hamilton, Mill, and Spencer are refuted; and the conclusion is reached that "science is a system of belief which, for anything we can allege to the contrary, is wholly without proof. The inferences by which it is arrived at are erroneous; the premises upon which it rests are unproved." In a closing chapter on "Practical Results," the object of the work is disclosed—it is to harmonize religion and science by showing that religion is, at any rate, as well off for fundamental proofs as science. The conceptions of causality, uniformity, and permanence of order in nature being held as unproved, it is argued that supernatural interferences are logically admissible, and science and religion come into agreement by opening the doors of ancient and modern spiritualism.
The Science of the Bible; or, An Analysis of the Hebrew Mythology, wherein it is shown that the Holy Scriptures treat of Natural Phenomena only. By Milton Woolley, M. D. Chicago: Knight & Leonard. Pp. 613. 8vo. Price, $4.
This elaborate book is alleged by its author to have had the following origin: Impressed by the sentiment that human nature in every age and country is much the same, he inferred that cosmologies and mythologies generally resemble each other. But, if this be so, then the Hebrew mythology is probably like the rest. So the author, after he was turned sixty, studied the Hebrew language to find the key to the Hebrew mythology and the Hebrew Scriptures. He claims to have succeeded, and this volume is the exposition of his view.
His notion is, that the Bible from beginning to end is but a mass of astronomic myths. On the cover of his book is stamped in gilt the old almanac diagram of the twelve constellations of the zodiac. This diagram reappears printed on a card at the close of the book, with a movable index to show the position of the sun throughout the year. Now, the writer claims that the whole Bible is to be interpreted as referring to the phenomena of the year—the changes of seasons, and the movements and places of the sun, moon, planets, etc. Armed with this clew. Dr. Woolley marches deliberately through the Old Testament, taking its narratives, "Creation," "Adam and Eve," "Cain and Abel," "Flood," "Tower of Babel," "Abram and Sarai," all the way through to "Job" and "Jonah," explaining, right and left, that what is really meant by these stories is to symbolize natural phenomena, terrestrial and celestial. For example: "'Now when Moses was grown' (i. e., when Aquarius rises heliacally as before the sun) 'he spied an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, (winter smiting summer),' and he looked this way and that way, and perceiving himself unseen' (the sun's rays hid him) 'he slew the Egyptian' (i. e., winter was followed by summer). 'But when he went out the second day' (i. e., after he passed the summer solstice) 'he saw two Hebrews' (the two halves of summer) 'striving together.' In attempting to pacify them he was reminded by the first half of summer, which witnessed his act, of his murder the day before, became frightened, and on learning that Pharaoh (the winter sun) intended to slay him, fled into the land of Midian (strife = the point between winter and summer). Here 'he sat down by a well' Beer-sheba = the end of the seventh month, when the 'former rain' begins."
And so everything is construed. This exegesis would get monotonous and tiresome, but the author peppers his text so profusely with sarcasms at the expense of those who hold to the literal interpretation of Biblical narratives that the tediousness of the exposition is somewhat enlivened. The work evinces much ingenuity, great learning, and indomitable perseverance, though whether these accomplishments have been wisely expended in its preparation is perhaps a question.
Nests and Eggs of American Birds. By Ernest Ingersoll. Published in Parts, 50 cents each. Part I. Pp. 24, with Plates. Salem, Mass.: S. E. Casino.
Hitherto there was no American work on the nests and eggs of birds, and information on that subject existed only in detached form in a multitude of publications or in the minds of ornithologists. Mr. Ingersoll has done a valuable service to ornithology by compiling the present work. When completed it will form a handsome volume, beautifully illustrated with tinted lithographs.
The Evidence of the Senses. Inaugural Address before the Poughkeepsie Society of Natural Sciences. By W. G. Stevenson, M. D., President.
Dr. Stevenson has here brought together many illustrations of errors and delusions to which persons are often subject through defective action of the senses or false interpretations of their impressions. The facts are well interpreted and the accompanying comments judicious. He closes with a reference to spiritualism, and insists upon the need that it should be investigated by experts in matters of evidence.
Haeckel's Genesis of Man; or, History of the Development of the Human Race. Being a Review of his Anthropogeny; and embracing a Summary Exposition of his Views, and of those of the Advanced German School of Science. By Lester F. Ward, A. M. Philadelphia: Ed. Stern &. Co. Pp. 64.
We have read this able and admirable pamphlet with much pleasure. As a review of the principal works and a condensed exposition of the thought of the great German biologist, it is executed with judgment, and as an introduction to the study of evolution from a point of view with which the public is not generally familiar, it will prove useful and be welcomed by many readers. And to these merits of the brochure it must be added that it is clearly, effectively, and at times eloquently written. To any beginner who proposes to enter upon Haeckel's works, we should say, read this first; and that he will not be misled is sufficiently sure from the fact that Haeckel himself testifies to the substantial correctness with which this essay represents his position.
In stating this position, and in estimating Haeckel's claims, the writer inevitably opens the question of the claims of other men, and has to dwell on points of rivalry, priority, and originality. To whom belongs mainly the credit of working out the theory of dissent, or of establishing the doctrine of development? Thus far Mr. Darwin has had a virtual monopoly of the honor; but, while nobody will grudge him a liberal share of it, it begins to be seen that justice has something to do with it, and that there has been a great deal of loose exaggeration of Mr. Darwin's share in the work. Mr. Ward says that "Professor Haeckel is no mere disciple of Darwin," but has independently cultivated a great biological province, which bears directly upon development, but which Darwin hardly touched, viz., the province of embryology, which has for its object the study of transformations. This department Haeckel has made his own, and, as Mr. Ward shows, it furnishes the most impressive and overwhelming proofs of the truth of evolution that are to be gathered from any special source. This subject Mr. Darwin barely touched in his first book.
Mr. Ward recognizes that Darwin was "diaplomatic," and there can be no doubt, both that this is true and that it had much to do with the success of the "Origin of Species." In that work he invoked supernatural intervention where his scientific explanations were faulty; and he abstained from applying his theory to man. Haeckel had nothing of this quality; he was simply logical, and applied the law of descent to the human race at the outset. The consequence was, that he was bitterly attacked, not only by anti-Darwinians but also by Darwinians, who charged that "he was more Darwinistic than Darwin himself." Darwin afterward published "The Descent of Man," but Haeckel had to take the first brunt of the opposition in Germany.
In reviewing the history of the subject, Mr. Ward, following Haeckel, credits Erasmus Darwin, Goethe, and Lamarck with the honor of founding the doctrine of evolution. Lamarck's "Philosophic Zoölogique " was published just fifty years before the "Origin of Species," yet Mr. Ward goes so far as to say that every important principle embraced in the latter work is also contained in the former—except the principle of "natural selection." That principle, moreover, had been long recognized, and the doctrine of the fixity of species was undermined. Mr. Darwin and Mr. Wallace independently showed how "natural selection" may give rise to new species.
It would have afforded a still further illustration of the ripeness of thought upon this subject, and increased the equity of Mr. Ward's distribution of honors, if he had stated that, before Mr. Darwin had published at all on the subject, Spencer had drawn up in full detail his prospectus of the evolution philosophy, covering the whole ground, in ten volumes, and that the subsequent contribution of Mr. Darwin did not make it necessary to disturb the order of his work by 60 much as the introduction of an additional chapter. The new contribution fell into its proper place in an already organized body of thought.
East Lessons in Popular Science. By James Monteith. New York: A. S. Barnes & Co, Pp. 252. Price, $1.
This is a very mixed book, as it treats of almost everything pertaining to air, laud, and water. There is a good deal of geography, and something about ships, machinery, plants, animals, etc., etc., with maps and numerous woodcuts drawn in outline with a view to being copied by pupils upon the blackboard. The book can no doubt be made useful in the hands of judicious teachers, and the drawing exercises for which it provides are a good feature; but we do not think that its leading topics are the best to begin with in early science teaching, and it does not sufficiently provide for the direct study of things themselves.
Hints toward a National Culture for Young Americans. By S. S. Boyce. New York: E. Steiger. Pp. 69.
The author's object here is to recommend and enforce a practical system of industrial education for American youth. He points out the deficiencies of the present modes of popular culture, and is favorable to the Kindergarten as a foundation in primary instruction.
Scientific Lectures. By Sir John Lubbock. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 187. Price $2.50.
Of this book, we must speak of Macmillan's part first. Paper, type, printing, and illustrations are elegant, so that to read it is a luxury. It is such a book as an English baronet might with graceful propriety present to his friends. Imported into this country, it comes rather expensive, considering the amount of its contents; but, happily, they are not of a sort that makes it necessary for anybody to procure the volume. Yet Sir John's lectures are very pleasant reading. He discourses of flowers, plants, and insects, and of the habits of ants, and gives us a great deal of curious and interesting information on those matters which he has made a special study. The fifth and sixth lectures are on "Prehistoric Archæology," and epitomize the views developed in the author's larger works, "Prehistoric Times" and "On the Origin of Civilization."
Science Lectures at South Kensington. Vol. II. Macmillan & Co. Pp. 344. Price, $1.75.
This volume, like the one that preceded it, is filled with good, solid work. There is no attempt at extreme simplification, and not a word for effect; but each lecturer has aimed to make a sound, instructive presentation of his subject. The names are strong, and the subjects well chosen. President Spottiswoode treats of "Polarized Light"; Professor Forbes of "Thermal Conductivity" and "Thermo-Dynamics"; H. W. Chisholm of "Balances"; Professor Pigot of "Geometrical and Engineering Drawing"; Froude of "The Laws of Fluid Resistance"; Dr. Siemens of "The Bathometer"; Burrett of "Sensitive Flames"; Pigot of "Lighthouse Illumination"; Burdon-Sanderson of "Apparatus for Physiological Investigation"; Lauder Brunton of "Apparatus for Physiological Chemistry"; Macleod "On Audiometers"; and Roscoe on "Technical Chemistry."
Zoölogy of the Invertebrate Animals. By Alexander Macalister, M. D. Specially revised for America by A. S. Packard, Jr., M. D. Pp. 143. Price, 60 cents.
This volume belongs to Holt's series of handbooks which claim to be intermediate between the larger text-books and the so called "primers." In what way the American editor has "revised" the English work for use in this country is not explained, nor does it much matter; the book is well adapted to introduce pupils into the study of zoölogy, as it will attract and interest them. The information furnished has been selected with good judgment, and is no doubt entirely trustworthy.
The Young Folks' Cyclopedia of Common Things. By John D. Champlin, Jr. With numerous Illustrations. New York: Holt & Co. 1879. Pp. 695. $8.
Key to the Universe or a New Theory of its Mechanism. By Orson Pratt, Sen. Salt Lake City: The Author. 1879. Pp. 118. $1.50.
Primitive Manners and Customs. By J. A. Farrer. New York: Holt & Co. 1879. Pp. 345.
The Value of Life: Reply to Mallock's Essay "Is Life worth Living." New York: Putnam's Sons. 1879. Pp. 253. $1.50.
Illustrated Dictionary of Scientific Terms. By William Rossiter. New York: Putnam's Sons. Pp. 350. $1.75.
Wonders of the Flora. By H. A. Kresken. Dayton, O. 1879. Pp. 204. $1.50.
The Rosicrucians, their Rites and Mysteries. By Hargrave Jennings. With numerous Illustrations. New York: J. W. Bouton. 1879. Pp. 388.
Report of the Commissioner of Education for the Year 1877. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1879. Pp. 850.
First Step in Chemical Principles. By H. Leffmann, M. D. Philadelphia: E. Stern & Co. 1879. Pp. 52. 50 cents.
Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism. By Thomas Inman, M. D. With Illustrations. New York: J. W. Bouton. 1850. Pp. 147.
Lessons in Inorganic Chemistry. By W. G. Valentin. With Illustrations. New York: Putnam's Sons. 1879. Pp. 186. $1.
Report on Copper-Tin Alloys. By R. H. Thurston. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1879. Pp. 800.
Local Government. By R. P. Porter. From "Princeton Review." Pp. 24. 5 cents.
The Public Library and the Common Schools. By C. F. Adams, Jr. Boston: Estes & Lauriat. 1879. Pp. 52. 25 cents.
The South Pass Jetties. By M. E. Schmidt. From "Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers." Pp. 36, with Plates.
Address to the New Orleans Sanitary Association. By Dr. J. H. Ranch. Pp. 13.
Domestic Sanitation. New Orleans: Graham Print. 1879. Pp. 20.
Milk and Dairies in New Orleans. New Orleans: Rivers Print. Pp. 16.
Tracheotomy with Galvano-Cautery. By Dr. W. A. Byrd. From "St. Louis Clinical Record." Pp. 7.
Shall the Metric System be made compulsory? By H. T. Blake. From "The New-Englander." Pp. 22.
Petroleum. By P. Schweitzer. Columbia, Mo.: "Statesman" Print. 1879. Pp. 64.
Report of the Entomologist. By C. V. Riley. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1879. Pp. 52, with Plates.
Phenol. By David Cerna. From "Philadelphia Medical Times." Pp. 5.
American Industries and the Proposed Franco-American Commercial Treaty. San Francisco: "Alta California" Print. Pp. 211.
History of Massage. By D. Graham, M.D. New York: W. Wood & Co. 1879. Pp. 80.
The Pocasset Tragedy. By W. Denton. Boston: The Author. 1879. Pp. 33.
Biographical Notice of Joseph Henry. By Joseph Lovering. Pp. 11.
Sanitary Condition of Montreal. By F. P. Mackelcan, C.E. Montreal: Lovell Print. 1879. Pp. 41. 10 cents.
The More Common Families of Insects. By L. C. Wooster. Whitewater, Wis.: "Register" Print. 1879. Pp. 52.