Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 9.djvu/383

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361
SKETCH OF ALEXANDER BAIN.

ples and Discussions of Important Principles and Usages," intended as a help to the thorough mastery of English. Prof. Bain contributed the articles on "Logic" and "Mental Philosophy" to "Chambers's Encyclopædia," and contributed editorial notes to the recent edition of the works of James Mill. Prof. Bain was for many years the intimate friend and confidant of George Grote the historian, and-was made by him heir in reversion (after Mrs. Grote's death) of all his copyrights. In connection with Prof. Croome Robertson, he edited Mr. Grote's posthumous work on "Aristotle," and he also edited Grote's "Minor Works," and prefixed to the edition an elaborate estimate of the character and writings of the historian. In connection with Dr. Taylor he is now engaged in a thorough revision of Arnott's "Physics," bringing it up to date, so that a new edition of this valuable and favorite work may be soon expected. He received the degree of LL. D. in the University of Edinburgh in 1869.

As a philosophic thinker, the influence of Prof. Bain is now very widely felt. He has made a powerful impression upon the mental science of the age by accepting the results of modern physiology and treating methodically of thought and emotion in connection with their physical concomitants. Though not disregarding the value of introspection, or the study of psychical phenomena in the changes of consciousness, he couples with this method the vigorous study of mental effects on their physical side, considering that there can be no mental science worth the name that does not carry its analysis down to the material conditions under which mind is manifested. The recognition of the corporeal nature as so fundamental a factor in mental science naturally drew his attention to the theory of organic development by which the higher organisms are explained on the principle of their derivation from the lower. This theory carries with it the necessary implication that the psychical nature of man, his intellectual faculties, emotions, and sentiments, are also derivative from lower conditions, and are only to be explained through the principle of descent. In the last edition of "The Emotions and the Will" this view is consequently adopted.

We give the readers of the Monthly an excellent likeness of Prof. Bain, probably the first that has appeared in this country. He is a man of slight stature, but of an active nervous temperament, a free and admirable talker, full of wit and anecdote, and a lively storyteller. He is broad and liberal in his opinions, and holds advanced views on the subject of education and university reform.