Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/866

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"fly" or rack which takes the sheet and inverts it upon the receiving-table. After leaving the fly, the sheets, as they are piled a hundred or two deep, are attracted to each other, so much so that more than ordinary force is necessary to remove one sheet from another. The pile of printed matter, as placed by the fly on the receiving-table, should be evenly and neatly placed, but because of this difficulty it is left at all sorts of angles. The result is, that not more than one half the work can be accomplished that might otherwise be done. My own observation of the matter leads me to the following conclusions: 1. That the electricity is generated by some paper in greater force than by others, sized and calendered book-paper proving the most troublesome. 2. That the paper, if wet, causes an instant solution of the trouble. 3. That experiments tried, such as connecting the wooden fly with gas or water mains, by means of a good conductor, covering the receiving-table with a metal surface and wiring this to conductors, or connecting different parts of the press when in motion by wire connections, with the hope of neutralizing the positive and negative currents, have all failed, and in the language of the foreman of one of our largest printing establishments, "We must keep our temper, and endure the annoyance till science comes to our aid," by a practical solution of the problem, we mean a solution subject to the following conditions: We can't afford to hire a boy to make adjustments for the escape of the nuisance. We can't wet a book paper without ruining it. We can't have the "fly" of iron rather than of wood, as that would make it too heavy. With these conditions, can you, Mr. Editor, give us help, and do the printers a service?

A. W. Bacheler.
Manchester, New Hampshire, Feb. 20, 1882.



AMONG all subjects now undergoing investigation there is, perhaps, none so important as that of the relation of science to morality; and hence every real contribution to it, however apparently slight, should be cordially welcomed. But it is not the easiest of subjects to deal with. The number of those qualified for the original elucidation of scientific ethics is not great; traditional opinions resist revision, and there is a wide-spread jealousy of science which resents its entrance into this sphere of thought as a needless and a dangerous intrusion. This often gives rise to a one-sidedness and an unfairness in controversy that are greatly to be regretted. The argument of Professor Goldwin Smith, which we republish, notwithstanding the ability with which it is written, is open to this objection. We give it in full as a first-rate representation of the "other side" (which we have been accused of neglecting), but it can not be suffered to pass without some emphatic protest.

In the first place, there seems a misleading element in Professor Smith's question-title. It would naturally be inferred that the paper is an inquiry into the validity and adequacy of a code of morals scientifically based; but this is not so. The writer does not ask, "Is science competent to elucidate the grounds and determine the principles of morality?" nor, "Is there such a thing as a valid science of ethics?" nor, even, "What is the relation of science to morality?" but be asks, "Has science yet found a new basis for morality?" The implication here is, that science has been hunting after something of questionable existence, and now claims to have found it, and offers it as a new foundation of morals. This conveys a wholly wrong impression of the nature of ethical science. Professor Smith might as well have asked, "Has science yet found a new basis for combustion?" The answer will, of course, depend upon what is meant by a "new basis"; but any answer only raises the further question, "What has science really done in regard to the phenomena of combustion?" To this we