Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 5.djvu/649

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631
LITERARY NOTICES.

may be agitated to the utmost depths and carried away in enthusiasm over the workings of our collegiate system. At the late competitive examination, held at Saratoga, to decide upon the relative attainment in a new branch of scholarship, nine of the leading colleges of the country entered the lists, and the concourse of people that gathered to witness the exercises and note the result was something altogether unprecedented among educational exhibitions on this side of the Atlantic. It can no longer be said that learning and its devotees are unappreciated by our people. They came from all parts of the country through the sweltering heat, were thickly stowed away in suffocating bedrooms, relished the stale mutton and wilted cucumbers furnished by the landlords, and trailed day after day through miles of grime and smudge to reach the place of intercollegiate trial, and went wild with tumultuous excitement when one group of students exhibited greater proficiency than the rest. It was a great event for the higher education of this land, and will no doubt result in many new accessions to the college classes, and in raising still higher the standard of attainment in the new direction of study.

 

LITERARY NOTICES.

Logic, Inductive and Deductive. By Alexander Bain, LL. D., Professor of Logic in the University of Aberdeen. New and Revised Edition. 731 pages. Price, $2.00. D. Appleton & Co.

From Aristotle, the father of the science, to the present day, logic has been one of the leading elements of a liberal education. During the middle ages it was understood and practised as the art of reasoning; with the rise of modern science, it has been systematically extended so as to embrace the laws or principles to which the mind conforms in the search for truth. Dependent upon the larger science of mental philosophy or psychology, it has been constantly affected by the progress that has taken place in the knowledge of mind. The most influential modern work upon this subject is that of Mr. Mill, who was incited to undertake it by the perusal of Dr. Whewell's "History of the Inductive Sciences." His Logic was undoubtedly Mill's great work, and will occupy a prominent place in the history of the development of the science; but it aimed to be a constructive and epoch-making treatise, and was designed for the use of scholars rather than for general students.

Mr. Bain was the life-long and intimate friend of Mr. Mill, and was intrusted by the latter with the supervision of the proofs of the first edition of his work on logic for the press. He is, besides, one of the leading psychologists of the age, and author of a system of mental philosophy, which stands high as an original contribution to the advancement of the subject. He has been Professor of Logic in the University of Aberdeen for many years, and was thoroughly qualified to prepare a valuable book upon the subject. But, whereas Mill addressed himself to philosophers, and occupied himself with abstruse and original inquiries, Mr. Bain has taken for his task to treat the subject in a more popular manner, adapted to all classes of students. His volume may be regarded as, in fact, a popular treatise from the most modern point of view; and so well has he succeeded with this feature of the work, that persons entirely unfamiliar with the subject may read it with interest and profit.

And yet nothing would be more unjust to Prof. Bain than the idea that his work is in any sense a compilation. It is, on the contrary, a treatise of marked originality, and has been developed entirely from the author's point of view as an independent student. One of the most instructive and interesting parts of the volume is book fifth, treating of the "Logic of the Sciences," or, what may be called, logic in its concrete and practical applications. "The Logic of Mathematics," "The Logic of Physics," of Chemistry, of Biology, of Psychology, of Politics, of Medicine, and what the author calls "The Logic of Practice," are considered in separate chapters, and, in connection with the "Classification of the Sciences," they form a most valuable state-