Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/768

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748
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Science Monthly, which I think excellent in itself and perfectly adapted to its purpose of diffusing knowledge and a right way of thinking more widely among the people. I have done what I could to spread the knowledge of the periodical, and it is here very highly esteemed. Prof. Helmholtz and Prof. Dubois-Reymond have both spoken to me their opinions very much in its favor, and higher authority could not be found. I should not do justice to my own opinions if I did not add how well I think you deserve of, the country for the persistent and judicious manner in which you employ your great influence through your business to spread through the country the important works of science as fast as they appear. In this way you give very material aid toward educating the coming generation to the love of truth and a knowledge of the world in which they live."

In the same letter Mr. Bancroft adds: "I send you to-day a copy of a masterly address of Prof. Dubois-Reymond, who, you know, stands among the highest in his branch of science: I hope you will have it translated and published in The Popular Science Monthly. No essay of the kind since I have been in Germany has attracted so much attention, and, as you see, it has already arrived at its third edition." The address here spoken of is on "The Limits of our Knowledge of Nature." It is certainly a masterly discussion, and will appear in our next issue.

 

 

THE HIGHER EDUCATION OF WOMAN.

Of the great movement of modern culture, one of the most important phases is that now recognized as the "higher education of woman." That woman requires a better education than she has hitherto had, and that it should also be of a higher grade, are undeniable, although the practical questions that arise in the attempt to define and attain it are serious and formidable. The prevalent short-cut solution of the problem—women crave a higher education, therefore open to them the higher institutions—is as far as possible from being an adequate or satisfactory disposition of the case.

It is a constant complaint among the leaders of the woman's movement, that, in consequence of the long subjection of the sex to the domination of men, women have not been allowed or incited to think for themselves. They complain that women's ideas have been moulded by men, in conformity to the state of subordination in which the weaker sex has been held, and that the first thing women have to do is to assert themselves mentally, to develop their own powers in their own way, to form their own opinions, and not be forever dependent upon those who by the radical bias of an opposite constitution are incapable of comprehending woman or of doing justice to her capacities. On this ground it is of course impossible for woman to accept a masculine education. For the existing colleges and universities have not only been originated and developed through centuries exclusively by men, but they have been pervaded by the thoughts and animated by the feelings and tastes, and moulded by the aims and necessities, of men. If women are to free themselves from male control in the matter of one-sided mental influence, it would seem that their first care should be not to subject themselves to the action of those institutions the very object of which is to assimilate and determine the intellectual character of students into harmony with their own policy.

We yield to no others in the earnestness of our belief in the higher education of women; but we want to see them take the matter in their own hands, and work out a system of mental