Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/429

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415
LITERARY NOTICES.

A Memoir on Loxolophodon and Uintatherium, by Henry P. Osborn, Sc. D.; accompanied by a Stratigraphical Report of the Bridger Beds in the Washakie Basin, by John Bach McMaster, C. E., Princeton, New Jersey. Pp. 54, with Four Plates, a Map, and a Profile.

Besides its ample collection of specimens for college instruction, the E. M. Museum of Geology and Archæology of Princeton College contains a large amount of material for more advanced study in the shape of fossils new to science, mainly collected by the college scientific expeditious of 1877 and 1878. The paleontologists and biologists connected with the museum have decided to place the results of their studies in a permanent and suitable form before the scientific public; and, in pursuance of this resolve, begin, with this pair of monographs, a series of memoirs, in quarto, of more mature researches, in addition to the bulletins of their current work which they have published since 1878. There are many persons not acquainted with the early history of the institution who might be glad to know the meaning of the initials E. M., in the name of the museum.

A Sketch of Ancient Philosophy, from Thales to Cicero. By Joseph B. Mayor, M. A., Professor of Moral Philosophy at King's College. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 254. Price, 75 cents.

The large divisions of this work are three, as follows: (A.) The Socratic Philosophy of Nature. (B.) Socrates to Aristotle—Philosophy of Nature and Man. (C.) Post-Aristotelian Philosophy of Man.

Under these divisions there is given an account of—1. The Ionic School; 2. The Italic School; 3. The Ionico-Italic School; 4. The Sophists; 5. Socrates; 6. The Cynics; 7. The Cyrenaics; 8. Plato; 9. Aristotle; 10. The Peripatetics; 11. The Skeptics; 12. The Old Academy; 13. The Skeptical Academy; 14. Stoicism; 15. Epicureanism; 16. Eclecticism; 17. Cicero.

As to the treatment, it is brief; but quite sufficient and most scholarly—so much so, indeed, as quite to unfit the book for general use. It abounds with Latin and Greek quotations that are not translated, and this was in accordance with the author's plan, which was to prepare a book expressly for students acquiring these languages. It is, therefore, properly "A Classical Student's Ancient Philosophy," and the author intends it for "undergraduates at the university," or others who are commencing the study of the philosophical works of Cicero, Plato, or Aristotle, in the original language." Nothing could certainly be more sensible than to furnish them at the outset in English what they propose to get in the original, but by all experience very rarely do get. The author complains of his own bewilderment in early student days when he was put upon the works of the classical masters, and proposes to help those similarly situated. But the question remains, Is it worth while, after all, to go beyond what is communicable in English?

Professor Mayor, of course, thinks it is, as he is an inveterate classicist; but he furnishes a fine example of the blinding and distorting bias of classical studies. Having given his life to the study of the ancients, all his feelings go in. .the direction of his work, so that he has become a devout worshiper of the ancients. We will not say that Professor Mayor is ignorant of modern science, but it is obvious that from his classical prejudices he has but little interest in it, but little sympathy with it, and therefore no just appreciation of its proper influence or true value. The author is a Professor of Moral Philosophy in King's College, and ought, therefore, to be intelligent on this subject, yet he says: "Is there any modern work of systematic morality which could be compared with Aristotle's 'Ethics,' for its power of stimulating moral thought? Most moderns appear to write under the consciousness that they arc uttering truisms; or, if they escape from this, it is by running off from the main highway of morality into by-paths of psychology, or physiology, or sociology." Does he think, then, that the laws of mind, the laws of life, and the laws of social relations, as determined by modern science, have no bearing upon the laws of human action and conduct? Have the nature, constitution, and conditions of man nothing to do with his obligations?

The author agrees with Clement of Alexandria that "philosophy was to the Greek what the law was to the Jew, the schoolmaster to bring him to Christ"; but to what