Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/225

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213
THOUGHT AND LANGUAGE.

gin collecting all the insects which I could find dead, for, on consulting my sister, I concluded that it was not right to kill insects for the sake of making a collection. From reading White's "Selborne," I took much pleasure in watching the habits of birds, and even made notes on the subject. In my simplicity I remember wondering why every gentleman did not become an ornithologist.

Toward the close of my school-life, my brother worked hard at chemistry, and made a fair laboratory with proper apparatus, in the tool-house in the garden, and I was allowed to aid him as a servant in most of his experiments. He made all the gases and many compounds, and I read with great care several books on chemistry, such as Henry and Parkes's "Chemical Catechism." The subject interested me greatly, and we often used to go on working till rather late at night. This was the best part of my education at school, for it showed me practically the meaning of experimental science. The fact that we worked at chemistry somehow got known at school, and, as it was an unprecedented fact, I was nicknamed "Gas." I was also once publicly rebuked by the head-master, Dr. Butler, for thus wasting my time on such useless subjects; and he called me, very unjustly, a poco curante, and, as I did not understand what he meant, it seemed to me a fearful reproach.

 

THOUGHT AND LANGUAGE.
By DANIEL GREENLEAF THOMPSON.

MODERN philosophers and psychologists have acknowledged in no equivocal terms the great debt which thought owes to language. They have unhesitatingly admitted that without language little progress could have been made in the development of the thinking powers and their product, knowledge. It has been conceded to be the principal expression of thought and feeling, and the chief means of communication between one mind and another. Many writers upon the science of mind have even deemed that, before proceeding to an examination of the mental powers and their exercises, some analysis of language as the supreme instrument of thought was a "necessary preliminary" (Mill's "Logic").

Notwithstanding these emphatic and cordial tributes to the importance of linguistic systems to the growth of intelligence, proceeding both from the Lockian and the Kantian side of philosophical debate. Professor F. Max Müller is not satisfied with the position thus accorded to language in its relations to psychological science. He comes forward to contend[1] that thought without language (or its

  1. "The Science of Thought." New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1887. 2 vols., pp. 325, 330. Price per vol., $2.

    "No reason without language,
    No language without reason."