Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/725

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The author handles the great problems involved with originality and power, and at the same time with a clearness, a felicity of illustration, and a fascination of style, that give the work an unequaled claim upon popular regard. And we do not for a moment mean by this that the treatise is lowered in quality to adapt it to uncultivated minds. Its peculiar excellence is, that while it treats of abstract and difficult questions, in such a way that the uninitiated may pursue the discussions with satisfaction, the most adept minds will also be profoundly interested. "We have seen a school-boy absorbed in the work; and Mr. Charles Darwin, after having gone slowly and carefully through it, wrote to the author, "I never in my life read so lucid an expositor—and therefore thinker—as you are"; and he adds, "It pleased me to find that here and there I had arrived from my own crude thoughts at some of the same conclusions with you, though I could seldom or never have given my reasons for such conclusions." The testimony of Mr. Darwin is corroborated by that of many others, the effect of which is to accord to Mr. Fiske an eminent and enviable place among those who have command of the questions that are now occupying the most earnest attention of the thinking world.

These considerations are important in their bearing upon our estimate of the present volume. The most fertile conception ever launched into the intellectual sphere is that of universal evolution. As deep as the forces of nature, it is as broad as the phenomena of nature. It is a new view of the movement of things, a new interpretation of their most comprehensive relations. There is hardly any great subject that escapes its influence. It has necessitated a recasting of the sciences, and a thorough-going reorganization of knowledge. So productive and all-influential an idea can be but partially dealt with in the most systematic and elaborate treatises; outstanding problems still remain to be solved and new applications of the doctrine worked out. Mr. Fiske has pursued the subject, after the publication of his elaborate book several years ago, in various aspects and in new directions, developing many points that were there but briefly touched upon. The volume before us consists mainly of these supplemental excursions in various directions, but all animated and characterized by the fundamental doctrine to which his first work was devoted. We recommend it to all students of the course of modern thought and the critical questions of the time, and can give our readers no better idea of the variety and instructiveness of its contents than by quoting the titles of the subjects treated. These are:

1. Europe before the Arrival of Man. 2. The Arrival of Man in Europe. 3. Our Aryan Forefathers. 4. What we learn from Old Aryan Words. 5. Was there a Primitive Mother-Tongue? 6. Sociology and Hero-Worship. 7. Heroes of Industry. 8. The Causes of Persecution. 9. The Origins of Protestantism. 10. The True Lesson of Protestantism. 11. Evolution and Religion. 12. The Meaning of Infancy. 13. A Universe of Mind Stuff. 14. In Memoriam. Charles Darwin.


Fallacies. A View of Logic from the Practical Side. By Alfred Sidgwick, Berkeley Fellow of Owens College, Manchester. D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 375. Price, $l.75.

It is curious that the subject, which is at the same time the most important, the most practical, and which involves questions of the deepest intellectual interest—that is, the science and art of correct reasoning—should somehow have come to be regarded as the dullest and heaviest of all subjects. No doubt this repulsiveness of logic is very much due to that ancient pedantic formality which was imparted to it in scholastic times and has continued ever since, and also to the fact that its practical objects have been forgotten in the development of its processes. University drill in logic has become itself the end without much reference to its reduction to utilitarian practice. Whatever may be the cause of the unattractiveness of logic, much of it must certainly be due to prejudices arising from its imperfect presentation. In his book on "Fallacies," Professor Sidgwick has made a very successful attempt to rescue the subject from its repellent forms, and to deal with it in a way that shall be interesting to the general