Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 66.djvu/25

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21
CONGRESS OF ARTS AND SCIENCE.

representing somewhat different standpoints: Dr. Otto Pfleiderer, the distinguished Berlin professor, a comparative historian and speculative thinker of the neo-Kantian persuasion, in the domain of religion, conceived as a logical development of ideas in history, and Professor Ernst Troeltsch, of Heidelberg, a philosopher to be sure, but eminent primarily as scientific student and critic of literary documents and historical sources in religion. Pfleiderer read in English, Troeltsch in German.

Two Americans spoke for logic, Professor Wm. A. Hammond, of Cornell, esteemed as a careful student of logic, metaphysics and psychology, especially in their historical aspects, and one of the few trained American scholars who has given serious attention to Greek philosophy, and Professor Frederick J. E. Woodbridge, of Columbia, who has made a marked impression as a scholarly teacher of philosophy, alike for originality and independence in the interpretation of philosophical systems and for the freshness which he has infused into metaphysical problems, while insisting on their intimate correlation with the problems of logic, in terms of which he has boldly defined them.

The session for the methodology of science was one of the most characteristic features of the whole congress. The subject itself is both new and fundamental, and perfectly typical of the class of problems for the consideration of which the congress was planned. It has to do with the determination and mutual adjustment of the concepts which underlie the special sciences and the methods peculiar to each, and is thus in the closest relation to logic and to the sciences themselves. A science of method must both conform to the laws of our minds and apply to the subject matter of experience which the sciences severally study. It was therefore essential that both speakers should be at the same time philosophers and men of science. And it was no less fitting than interesting that they should approach their subject by different roads. One is primarily a physical scientist, the other primarily a philosopher; both are preeminent. The first was Wilhelm Ostwald, of Leipzig, one of the most interesting personalities among living men of science. A brilliant investigator in the field of physical chemistry, where his name is linked with those of van't Hoff, Arrhenius and Nernst; a great teacher of chemistry and author of a monumental systematic treatise therein, conceived in a spirit original and unique; an ingenious expositor of the new doctrine of energetics in physical science; an enthusiastic student of philosophy, who has played up and down the whole gamut of the sciences; recently the founder of a new journal of natural philosophy, which is the acknowledged organ of a nourishing school:—such a man is Ostwald—a kind of 'modern Siegfried,' as an eminent colleague put it. The second speaker, also a German—

'He of the twice illustrious name,'