Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 6.djvu/387

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373
LITERARY NOTICES.

oration of those subjects. It was like the Brooklyn Bridge: the two piers have to be sunk deep and raised high before the useful roadway can be placed. A science of society is impossible, except upon the basis of a science of life and a science of mind which can furnish principles for the interpretation of social facts. Having developed and stated these principles, Mr. Spencer can now use them, and has only to refer his readers back to the places where they have been fully expounded. Because there has been neither a biology nor a psychology that was available, nor any systematic collection of social facts as data for reasoning, there has hitherto been no proper science of sociology; but, having secured these imperative prerequisites with a fullness never before even attempted, Mr. Spencer enters upon the present stage of his philosophical enterprise with a preparation that gives promise of the most valuable results.

We published, some time ago, from advanced sheets, an installment of Mr. Spencer's opening argument on what he terms the original external factors of social phenomena. The first forty pages of the present number are devoted to an enumeration of the social factors of all orders, original and derivative, which enter into the constitution of human societies and influence their development. These are extrinsic, or those which pertain to the conditions of external nature, and intrinsic, or those which pertain to the constitution of man, the social unit. The passages that we have already published are from the former portion of the argument, which considers the climatic conditions favorable to social unfolding. There has formerly been much said about the influence of the aspects and conditions of Nature in determining the character of social life; but, while this is an element of the case of much importance, and not to be neglected, it is still of minor moment as regards evolution, when compared with the internal factors which belong to human nature itself. In Chapter IV., Mr. Spencer passes to the consideration of these internal factors, and devotes Chapter V. to the primitive man in his physical characteristics. Chapter VI. deals with the emotional natures of primitive men as affecting their social relations and possibilities of progress. We publish, in the present number of The Monthly, a few passages from this chapter, which may serve to illustrate the indispensableness of psychology to any thorough scientific treatment of the subject.

We recommend all interested in the study of social questions to subscribe for this work. The terms are so moderate as to be hardly burdensome to any; while the discussion from the foremost thinker of the age, who has devoted his life to this great subject, will give the ripest results of scientific investigation upon problems which are becoming every day of deeper interest to all thoughtful persons.

The Common Frog. By St. George Mivart, F. R. S. London: Macmillan & Co. 1874. 12mo, 158 pp. Price $1.00.

This is one of Macmillan's "Nature Series," and an excellent little book it is. The author opens with the question, "What is a frog?" and by way of answer gives us not only a clear and instructive account of the structure, varieties, and distribution of that animal, but in defining its position in the animal world tells us a good deal about its near relations, and about zoology generally. Though to many an uninteresting and repulsive creature, the frog is really entitled to great consideration on account of its services to science. Says Mivart: "The frog is the never-failing resource for the physiological experimenter. It would take long, indeed, to tell the sufferings of much-enduring frogs in the cause of science! What frogs can do without their heads? What their legs can do without their bodies? What their arms can do without their head or trunk? What is the effect of the removal of their brains? How they can manage without their eyes and without their ears? What effects result from all kinds of local irritations, from chokings, from poisonings, from mutilations the most varied? These are the questions again and again addressed to the little animal which, perhaps more than any other, deserves the title of the 'Martyr of Science.'" The book abounds with interesting facts concerning the habits of frogs and nearly-related forms; and the whole is written with a clearness and simplicity of style which, without im-