Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/575

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LITERARY NOTICES.

much as premature production of results. They often have occasion to smile at the confidence with which mere theorizers undertake to tell the world what the whole significance of their work is.

The methods of science are, as we have said, the labor-saving devices of the human mind. They are the choicest and most precious results of the travail of the human intellect upon the phenomena of its environment. Not to know something of them is, in a wide sense, one of the worst forms of self-ignorance, for the intellect that has worked out and established these methods is not any individual intellect, but the intellect of the race. We are all entitled to our share in what the race has accomplished. And shall we supinely and ingloriously consent to be ignorant of the intellectual triumphs that the race has won? The man of culture must have a consciousness of his own best self, and must have it in his power to live his best habitually, and not be dependent upon critical occasions to reveal what his capacities are. The function of culture is to redeem us from the sway of chance, and make us fully masters of ourselves. We see, then, what it must be, from the point of view of culture, to know the ways of Science, and to be able to trace her shining footsteps along some of the grander paths of discovery. We see, too, what, from the same point of view, it must be not to know anything of all this, but to live in a world the phenomena of which never reflect back the light of law into the understanding, or convey any clear suggestion of the conquests which the human mind has achiever!. To think that, not so long ago, this condition of mind was thought by many, yes, by most, quite compatible with "culture"! Times are changing, fortunately, and we trust that few men of intelligence are now to be found who would dispute our definition of culture as a certain provisional completeness of the human mind in the sum and development of its faculties, or who would deny that, to constitute such completeness, a liberal scientific training is wholly indispensable. Each of the points on which we have touched would admit, as every one can see, of much expansion; but we thought it well to present the general argument for once in this very summary form, reserving the liberty of returning to the subject and treating it in more detail as occasion may serve.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

Principles of Political Economy. By John Stuart Mill. Abridged, with Critical, Bibliographical, and Explanatory Notes, and a Sketch of the History of Political Economy, by J. Laurence Laughlin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Political Economy in Harvard University. A Text-Book for Colleges. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 658. Price, $3.50.

Probably the ablest systematic work produced by the modern English school of political economy is the comprehensive treatise of John Stuart Mill. It has been a good deal used in the colleges, but is in several respects imperfect as a text-book. Its two volumes are inconvenient, and the treatment unsuited for class-room purposes. Besides, it was published more than thirty years ago, and the progress of the science within that time has been such that certain parts of Mill's work will bear considerable abridgment, while other parts require modification and further development. Professor Laughlin, of Harvard University, has accordingly undertaken the task of revising the work, reducing it to a single volume and making various additions to it, which give greater prominence to important questions of the present time. The author also exercised his discretion in introducing such illustrations as shall better fit it for the use of American students, and he has also enriched it with a bibliography that will give it a special value for educational purposes. As this edition of Mill's "Political Economy" is now beyond doubt the best college text-book upon the subject, it is desirable that we should indi-