Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/730

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

of determining the chemical constituents as a factor in securing accuracy in identification.

Demonstrator G. S. Newth opens his Manual of Chemical Analysis[1] with a protest against the thought of "doing" analysis without learning more than the minimum amount of chemistry, and against teaching and practicing it in such a manner as to degrade it to the level "of a purely mechanical and often unintelligible series of rule-ofthumb operations." He says he has done his best to make it "as little of a cram book as possible," and has endeavored "to teach analytical chemistry as well as analysis"—that is, the theoretical as well as the practical side of the subject. He begins with emphasizing the importance of the student making himself practically familiar with certain simple operations he will have to perform constantly, and gives clear, concise definitions of such terms as filtration, solution, evaporation, fusion, precipitation, ignition, etc., which relate to those operations. He condemns slovenly formulas and mechanical notes, but commends real notes of the student's own observations. In his treatment he excludes merely descriptive details that have no bearing on analysis; and in quantitative analysis, prefers describing fully a few typical methods and processes to covering much ground slightly.

The Ingersoll Lectureship at Harvard University is constituted on a legacy by Miss Caroline H. Ingersoll, carrying out the wishes of her father, George G. Ingersoll, for the foundation of an annual lectureship on the "Immortality of Man," to which no conditions as to doctrine or method of treatment are attached. The purpose of the lectures, or perhaps their operation, as defined by Prof. William James, is that out of the series may emerge a collective literature worthy of the theme. Professor James took as the special subject of his lecture[2] the answer to two objections to the doctrine of immortality: first, the absolute dependence of our spiritual life, as we know it here, on the brain; and the second relating to "the incredible and intolerable number of beings which, with our modern imagination, we must believe to be immortal, if immortality be true." To the former objection the author replies that thought is not a productive but a permissive or transmissive function of the brain; when the brain decays the sphere of being that supplied the consciousness is still intact, and the stream still goes on; to the second, that spiritual being is not as material being, that each new mind brings "its own edition of the universe of space" along with it, that there is no crowding or interference, and that the supply of individual life in the universe can never possibly exceed the demand.

The first number of In Lantern Land, a monthly journal "devoted to literature, the fine arts, the play, with some discussion of passing events," Charles Dexter Allen and William Newnham Carleton, editors, gives promise of a literary journal of elevated tone. It holds its aim to be unprejudiced and independent. (Published at Hartford, Conn., by Charles Dexter Allen, for one dollar a year.)

Mr. Henry Carr Pearson presents in his Greek Prose Composition (American Book Company, 90 cents) results of his own experience in the class room. The aim of the book is to combine study of the essentials of Greek syntax with practice in translating connected English into Attic Greek, and to afford convenient practice in writing Greek at sight. The work is in three parts: Part I, containing, in graded lessons, the principal points of Greek syntax, designed for use at the beginning of the second year's study of Greek; Part II, short simple English sentences modeled after sentences in Xenophon's Anabasis, for daily use in connection with reading of the text; and Part III, connected English prose, graded, also based on the Anabasis. Review lessons are introduced, and a Greek-English vocabulary is provided.

Mr. James W. Crook, in the introduction to his history of the development of German Wage theories (Columbia University Studies in History, Economics, and Public Law), remarks upon the slowness with which political economy, and particularly the study of questions concerning wages, has advanced in

  1. A Manual of Chemical Analysis, Qualitative and Quantitative. By G. S. Newth. New York: Longmans, Green & Co., pp. 462. $1.75.
  2. Human Immortality. Two Supposed Objections to the Doctrine. By William James. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., pp. 70. $1.