Popular Science Monthly/Volume 47/October 1895/Literary Notices
The Female Offender. By Prof. Cesar Lombroso and William Ferrero. The Criminology Series, edited by W. Douglas Morrison. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 313. Price, $1.50.
The scientific study of anthropology, which has risen to prominence within the last few years, bids fair to yield knowledge of much practical value. The anthropologists of several countries, and especially those of Italy, have been investigating the criminal class—trying to see if criminals are a distinct class, and what peculiarities mark them off from moral persons. When a basis of exact knowledge concerning criminals has been obtained, it will doubtless be possible to construct upon it much better modes of dealing with them than are now in vogue. Some results of this investigation have been made known to a limited circle through contributions to scientific journals and occasional volumes, but now the quantity of information collected has seemed to warrant the publication of a series of books devoted to criminology. As editor of the series the publishers have secured W. Douglas Morrison, M. A., of her Majesty's Prison, Wandsworth, England, a devoted student of the subject, and one who has had exceptional opportunities for observation. It is fitting that the series should begin with a book by Prof. Lombroso, who has devoted a laborious life mainly to criminal anthropology, and is the recognized leader of the Italian school in this branch of science. Associated with him as joint author is one of his most rapidly rising juniors—William Ferrero. As a result of their investigations, the authors regard as a complete type of the criminal woman one wherein exist four or more of the characteristics of degeneration. The criminal type in the female sex is rare as compared with the male. The reason is that women are generally occasional rather than habitual offenders. When a born offender, a woman is, in the majority of cases, an adulteress, a calumniator, a swindler, or a mere accomplice—offenses which require an attractive or at least a normal personal appearance. Atavism is regarded by our authors as the key to female delinquency. "The primitive woman was rarely a murderess, but she was always a prostitute"; hence the modern woman who degenerates atavistically takes to prostitution rather than to crimes of violence. The authors have given much attention to anthropometry, and present in this volume a large number of measurements of the skull, bodies, and limbs of female delinquents, also studies of brains, tests of senses, etc. The subject of suicide and the influence of hysteria and epilepsy on crime are considered. Tattooing, which is so common among male criminals as to become a special characteristic, is extremely rare in female delinquents. The discussions of the several topics treated are illustrated and fortified by many histories drawn from criminal records, and by portraits of French, German, and Russian subjects. The work is a valuable contribution to a new and much needed science.
Mental Development in the Child and the Race. Methods and Processes. By James Mark Baldwin, M. A., Ph. D., Stuart Professor of Psychology in Princeton University. New York and London: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 496. Price, $2.60.
In this work Prof. Baldwin appears as an observer, experimenter, theorizer, and critic, in short, as a maker of science, in which role he is quite as interesting and instructive as in that of expositor. The first event which led to the publication of this book was the birth of a daughter in 1890, whose mental unfolding was watched with unfailing attention. When she reached her ninth month he undertook to experiment with her to find out the exact state of her color perception. The account of his procedure, of the results reached, and his criticisms thereon, is given in Chapter III, entitled Distance and Color Perception by Infants. Chapter IV, on The Origin of Right-Handedness, describes the experiments undertaken to gain light upon the facts and conditions of left-handedness that had not before been closely observed. After discussing in the earlier chapters the general condition of the responsive movements of infancy and pointing out special problems, he enters in Chapter V upon a description of experiments concerning the rise of more complex movements. In 1892, at the birth of a second daughter, he continued his observations and planned new experiments, enlarging the scope of his inquiries, and testing with her the inferences drawn from his experience with his first-born. There were two other infants under his observation at the time, though not so constantly and uninterruptedly as were his own children. In pursuing these studies Prof. Baldwin was led on to an enlargement of view concerning the mode and order of unfolding of mind in infancy, and the genesis of mind itself, and it is to this enlargement of view that we are indebted for the present work. It was while studying the child's imitations and their relation to volition that there came to him such a revelation concerning the function of imitation in the evolution of mind that he resolved to work out a theory of mental development embodying this new insight; and he soon saw that no consistent view of mental development in the individual could be reached without a doctrine of the race development of consciousness. With this conviction he undertook to make a synthesis of the biological theory of organic adaptation with the conception of infant development he had already reached. The work, he says, is a treatise upon this problem—an attempt to form a system of "genetic psychology." We can not give a fair account of Prof. Baldwin's theory in the limits of a book notice. But we will say, briefly, that he bases it upon the law of dynamogenesis, "which current psychology and biology agree in accepting as a well-established principle of the manifestations of organic and mental life. The principle of contractility, recognized in biology, simply states that all stimulations to living matter—from protoplasm to the highest vegetable and animal structures—if they take effect at all, tend to bring about movements or contractions in the mass of the organism. It is now also safely established as a phenomenon of consciousness that every sensation or incoming process tends to bring about action or outgoing process." It should be remarked here that the rise of hypnotism in late years has opened the way to an entirely new method of mental study. And it is now understood that "suggestion by idea, or through consciousness, must be recognized to be as fundamental a kind of motor stimulus as the direct excitation of a sense organ." Some idea of the importance of suggestion in modern psychology may be gained by noting the headings Prof. Baldwin has given to the sections in the long chapter upon this subject. They are (1) General Definition; (2) Physiological Suggestion; (3) Sensori-motor Suggestion; (4) Ideo-motor Suggestion; (5) Subconscious Adult Suggestion; (6) Inhibitory Suggestion; (7) Hypnotic Suggestion; (8) Law of Dynamogenesis.
In attempting to reach some kind of formula of dynamogenesis, Prof. Baldwin found the definitions of "suggestion" in the psychologies very conflicting, and he therefore adopted the most general description of suggestive reaction—i. e., "that it always issues in a movement more or less closely associated in earlier experience with the particular stimulus in question." This definition constitutes suggestion a phenomenon of habit; but many suggestions issue in movements not exactly like those before associated with these stimuli. Many of them beget new movements, by a kind of adaptation of the organism, which are an improvement upon those the organism has formerly accomplished. This kind of adaptation Prof. Baldwin names Accommodation, and one of the main subjects discussed in the book is this theory of accommodation. The chapter upon suggestion closes with these words: "So far as we have gone we have a right to use the principle of suggestion as a principle of dynamogenesis whenever we mean to say simply that action follows stimulus. But when we come to ask what kind of action follows in each case each special kind of stimulus, we have two possibilities before us. A habit may follow or an accommodation may follow. Which is it? And why is it one rather than the other? These are the questions of the theory of organic development to which our next chapters are devoted." These nine chapters are upon The Theory of Development; The Origin of Motor Attitudes and Expressions; Organic Imitation; Conscious Imitation (begun); The Origin of Memory and Association; Conscious Imitation (continued); The Origin of Thought and Emotion; Conscious Imitation (concluded); The Origin of Volition; The Mechanism of Revival—Internal Speech and Song; Origin of Attention; Summary: Final Statement of Habit and Accommodation. These titles, as well as those given above of the sections of an earlier chapter, are very attractive, and we assure our readers that the text well sustains the interest excited by the headings, while the liveliness and earnestness of the style will be found pleasant accompaniments of the author's command of his subject. Of the scope and importance of this study Prof. Baldwin well says: "The study of children is generally the only means of testing our mental analysis. If we decide that a certain complex product is due to a union of simpler mental elements, then we may appeal to the proper period of child life to see the union taking place. The range of growth is so enormous from the infant to the adult, and the beginnings of the child's mental life are so low in the scale in the matter of instinctive and mental endowment, that there is hardly a question of analysis now under debate which may not be tested by this method." To the questions, what constitutes child study, and why we have so little of it, he replies that only the scientific specialist by the acutest exercise of his discriminative faculty can observe children or experiment upon them with profit. "Back of the question, What did the infant do V is the more difficult question, What did his doing that mean? And how can people who know nothing of the distinction between reflex and voluntary action, or between nervous adaptation and conscious selection, analyze the child's actions and arrive at a true picture of the mental condition that lies back of them? Even Preyer's experiments to determine the order of rise of the child's perceptions of different qualities of color, depending as they did upon word memories, are vitiated by the single fact that speech is acquired long after objects and some colors are distinguished." And if Preyer can thus misinterpret appearances, Prof. Baldwin may well say, "No child's deeds should be given universal value without a critical examination, before which even the most competent psychologist might well quail."
But notwithstanding these warnings, there is a brief popular section written in a somewhat homiletic strain in the chapter on conscious imitation, entitled How to Observe Children's Imitations. He begins with the statement that "nothing less than the child's personality is at stake in the method and matter of its imitation." The observer is told at length that he must take account of the personal influences which have affected the child; its relations to brothers and sisters and to other children, its chums and friendships in the school and home, and especially its games. The section closes with these words: "Finally, I may be allowed a word to interested parents. You can be of no use whatever to psychologists—to say nothing of the actual damage you may be to the children—unless you know your babies through and through. Especially the fathers! They are willing to study everything else. They know every corner of the house familiarly except the nursery. A man labors for his children ten hours a day, gets his life insured for their support after his death, and yet he lets their mental growth, the formation of their characters, the evolution of their personality, go on by absorption—if no worse—from common, vulgar, imported, and changing, often immoral, attendants! Plato said the state should train the children, and added that the wisest man should rule the state. . . . We hear a certain group of studies called the humanities, and it is right. But the best school in the humanities for every man is his own house." We have been much impressed by another strain of remark in the same section upon an only child. We have had for some time under our sympathetic observation a little boy whose brothers and sisters are grown, and the truth of the following statement is forcibly brought home to us: "An only child has only adult 'copy.' He can not interpret his father's actions, or his mother's oftentimes. He imitates very blindly. He lacks the more childish example of a brother or sister near himself in age. And this difference is of very great importance to his development. He lacks the stimulus, for example, of games in which personification is a direct tutor to selfhood. And while he becomes precocious in some lines of instruction, he fails in imagination, in brilliancy of fancy. The dramatic in his sense of social situations is largely hidden. It is a very great mistake to isolate children." We close our notice with the sense that we have done this thoughtful book but scant justice.
Proceedings Commemorative of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Foundation of the American Philosophical Society. Philadelphia: MacCalla & Co. Pp. 647.
An impressive commemoration of the origin of this pioneer scientific society was held in May, 1893. The exercises of the occasion, which extended over five days, are recorded in this handsomely printed volume, and include addresses of welcome and congratulation, the proceedings of the meetings, scientific papers presented, etc. The address by the venerable Frederick Fraley, president of the society, is followed by letters of greeting in French, German, and Latin, read by representatives of universities and foreign scientific societies, after which come telegrams from foreign bodies that were unable to send delegates. The second day's proceedings were also opened by an address by President Fraley, who was followed by Profs. Alpheus Hyatt and Hubert A. Newton. On the third day, President Oilman, of Johns Hopkins, and the Rt. Rev. John J. Keane, President of the Catholic University of America, delivered addresses, that of the latter only being printed. The exercises of the fourth day are especially interesting. They include addresses on Benjamin Franklin—printer, patriot, and philosopher, by Dr. Samuel A. Green; The Philosophy of Art, by Prof. J. M. Hoppin; and The Nature and Design of the Historical Societies of Our Country, by Dr. John B. Morris. On the last day a paper in German, On Determination of Gravity by Means of a Pendulum Apparatus, by R. von Sterneck, was read by Chevalier Rousseau d'Happoncourt, of the Austrian navy, who represented the Imperial Royal Academy of Vienna. Dr. Isaac Roberts then addressed the society on Recent Progress in Astronomical Science, illustrating his remarks by photographs which he presented to the society in behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society of England, which he represented. Prof. George F. Barker read a paper on Electrical Progress since 1743, dealing mainly with the work of Franklin, Hare, Henry, Saxton, Rittenhouse, and Bache. A few remarks mi Magnetism, by Mr. Wharton, were followed by the closing address of the president. The scientific papers presented include one of eighty pages on Tertiary Tipulidæ, by Prof. Samuel H. Scudder; one of three hundred pages on Phylogeny of an Acquired Characteristic, by Prof. Alpheus Hyatt, and ten briefer ones 1 <\ various authors. The volume is illustrated by a number of fine plates, including portraits of the officers of the society, views of the interior of its building, reproductions of the photographs presented by the Royal Astronomical Society, and figures illustrating the papers by Scudder, Packard, and Hyatt.
Theoretical Chemistry, from the Standpoint of Avogadro's Rule and Thermodynamics. By Prof. Walter Nernst, Ph. D. Translated by Prof. Charles Skeele Palmer, Ph. D. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 697. Price, $5.
A few years ago it was said with truth that all the advances being made in chemistry were in the field of organic chemistry. This condition has been changed, however, by the fruitful researches of Ostwald, van't Hoff, Thomsen, Berthelot, and others, which have given us what may be called the new physical chemistry. Prof. Nernst has prepared a guide to this newly developed branch of the science, taking as its leading principles Avogadro's law and the doctrine of energy. Taking up first the universal properties of matter, he sets forth in succession those characteristic of the gaseous, liquid, and solid states of aggregation. The properties of physical mixtures and dilute solutions are also discussed. The theory of the atom and the molecule forms the second division of the work, this doctrine being tested and exemplified by the phenomena of refraction, polarization, magnetism, color, dissociation of gases, and the behavior of both colloids and crystalloids in solution. The transformation of matter and the transformation of energy are the two remaining division-, the former embracing the laws of chemical statics and chemical kinetics, while the latter is concerned mainly with thermo-chemistry, though touching upon the chemical action of light and electricity. Two appendixes are added, the first comprising Mime important developments in theoretical and physical chemistry since the German edition of this work appeared, and the second being a valuable synchronistic table of chemical periodicals. The index is divided in the clumsy German fashion.
The Dynamo: Its Theory, Design, and Manufacture. By C. C. Hawkins and F. Wallis. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 520.
Nothing need be added to the title of this book to indicate its field, and the authors claim no originality in the matter presented, except as to the construction of the equations for magnetic leakage, for the heating of dynamos, or the E. M. F. of alternators. "Yet we do claim," they say, "a certain novelty in our method of treatment by which these facts are presented. It has seemed to us that a systematic and methodical analysis of dynamos—of the causes and reasons why they have assumed their present shape—if only it be complete and accurate, so far as its scope extends, would still be sufficiently novel to merit attention. Starting with a simple inductor cutting the lines of a magnetic field, such an analysis would gradually evolve in natural sequence the various combinations of inductors which constitute the windings of armatures and the typical forms which the complete machine is thence compelled to take, until, finally, the whole should culminate in the description of actual machines as manufactured, and the practical design of one or more dynamos for given outputs. This scheme we have endeavored to carry out." The authors have taken pains to unite practice and theory in this treatise and to avoid mathematics and technicalities that were avoidable. There are one hundred and ninety illustrations, including cuts of a number of typical dynamos.
Descriptive Inorganic General Chemistry. By Paul C. Freer, Ph. D. (Munich). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Pp. 550.
This book has been written for college students, and assumes some elementary knowledge of chemistry in those who are to use it. The author first gives a short chapter to the atomic theory, which he holds should not be presented in an elementary course, and then proceeds to describe the elements and their inorganic compounds. Oxygen is the first element described, hydrogen, the halogens, and the oxygen family following in succession. "In discussing chemical changes," Prof. Freer says; he has "endeavored to present the various topics, not as a series of isolated facts, but as so connected, the one with the other, that there is scarcely any one of the numerous phenomena which are mentioned in this work which does not find its analogon in some other portion of the field of chemical study. The attempt has been made especially to call attention to the influence exerted by the nature of the elements which make up a chemical compound upon the character of that compound itself." In his treatment of the latter subject he is aware that he may have been led into some speculation, but bespeaks at least a hearing for the new arguments he has ventured upon. His views on valence and the use of structural formulæ are conservative. In the application of physical methods in the study of chemistry he has followed Ostwald and Lothar Meyer, and in regard to the double halides, fluosilicic acid, and similarly constituted bodies he has adopted the views advocated by Prof. Remsen. There is an appendix of some forty pages of laboratory notes, which is "not intended as a laboratory manual, but mainly as a guide to both teacher and pupil in compiling a list of experiments."
Churches and Castles of Mediæval France. By Walter Cranston Larned. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 236, with Plates. Price, $1.50.
This book, the author says, is a record of a traveler's impressions of the great monuments of France, published in the hope that it may bring others to visit them. "It is easy for the student to get accurate information about them; but nevertheless it may be of some use to tell what effect they produce upon one who does not wish to study deeply into all their history and the minute details of the building of them, but who does love their beauty and cares about the place they hold in the history of the French people." We read the systematic accounts of these things and get vague ideas about them as something shadowy and far distant; then, as a lady remarked on seeing the antiquities preserved in Winchester Castle and Cathedral, we go and look at them and find that they are all real. Next to seeing them for ourselves is reading the mind-pictures of them of one who has seen them intelligently, and of the emotional effects they have wrought upon him—with the guide-book information left out. A historical monument in France is defined by the author as meaning "a church, or a castle, or a town that has been thought worthy either of restoration or preservation at the expense of the French people. There is a tax levied to provide the money necessary for these purposes, and it is astonishing how much the French are willing to pay to preserve or restore whatever has to do with their history as a nation." More than thirty works, cathedrals, churches, castles, etc., of historical or architectural interest, are described in this book in the manner we have indicated.
The Animal as a Machine and Prime Motor. By R. H. Thurston. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Pp. 97. Price, $1.
This is a comparison of the animal as a piece of mechanism for the conversion, application, and utilization of energy with the various machines which man has constructed for the same purpose. The introductory chapter is a discourse on some of the more important physical laws and the efficiency of the most economical machines whose construction is based upon them. In the next chapter, The Animal as a Prime Motor, the various vital processes, the efficiency of vital machines, intensity of muscular effort, and the uses of food are among the most important headings. The third and concluding chapter considers some of the unsolved problems of the animal machine, such as the source of the firefly's glow and the animalcule's phosphorescence.
The Land Birds and Game Birds of New England. By H. D. Minot. Second edition, edited by William Brewster. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. 492. Price, $3.
It has been often remarked that a teacher who is only a few lessons ahead of his class has an important advantage in that he can better appreciate the difficulties of his pupils than one who is further removed in attainments. On this account, as well as for his happy manner of imparting knowledge, Mr. Minot should he ranked as one of the most acceptable guides to the amateur ornithologist. His book is a remarkable production for a youth of seventeen. It, gave substantial promise of important scientific and literary work which was left unfulfilled by the ill health that turned the author aside to a different profession and by his untimely death in a railroad collision. The book contains errors, and its statements as to range are deficient, but the editor has set sufficient danger signals against the former, and has duly supplemented the latter. It is riot complete, but this does not prevent its being highly useful. Its descriptions comprise the external appearance of the species, its habits, range, appearance of its nest and eggs, and its song. An introduction contains directions for collecting birds and eggs, and for studying the birds at liberty. The illustrations are some twenty odd outline drawings by the author and a frontispiece portrait.
A Tabular Review of Organography has been prepared by Prof. A. L. Benedict for the use of the classes in botany of the Department of Pharmacy in the University of Buffalo. In it each point has, so far as possible, been exemplified by some common plant; and each page of the manual is provided with a blank side to be filled in by the student himself. It is thus intended to adapt the little work especially for use as a guide in field study. An apology for hasty preparation at a season when the notes could not be verified by reference to wild plants is hardly in place in a scientific manual. With another summer affording the means desired, there should be no occasion for it to remain in another edition.
The papers of Charles Robertson, of Carlinville, Ill., upon the Mutual Biological Relations of the Entomophilous Flora and the Anthophilous Insert Fauna of his county of Macoupin are valuable to botanists and entomologists, and to all persons interested in horticulture.
In a little book on Condiments, Spices, and Flavors, a brief account is given by Dr. Mary E. Green of the substances classed under those heads, in the hope that it may lead to a more intelligent use of them in cookery. In it are included the flavoring herbs known in our gardens; spices, etc., from abroad; condiments prepared from animal foods, mixed sauces like the Worcestershire, and ketchups and pickles. The author believes that these things, properly used, are aids to digestion. (Published by the Hotel World, Chicago.)
Of the Eighteenth Annual Report of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, for 1894, Part II contains papers on the availability of organic nitrogen, fungous diseases and their treatment, and injurious insects; Part III, Studies on the Proteids of Rye and Barley and on the Chemical Nature of Diastase; and Part IV on subjects relating to the dairy and on tobacco. The publications of the station are sent free to every citizen of the State who applies for them.
Under the title Bread from Stones a translation of some of the writings of Julius Hensel on fertilizers has been published by A. J. Tafel (1011 Arch Street, Philadelphia, 25 cents). Hensel declares that the current theory of fertilizing is wrong. Too much potash, phosphorus, and nitrogen, he says, are supplied to plants, and not enough lime, magnesia, silica, sulphur, or fluorine. The normal soil consists of weathered rocks. This is the best soil for plants, producing not only vigorous growth, but also edible parts of firm texture, resisting insects, and valuable and wholesome for food. He therefore advocates the use of finely pulverized stone-meal as a fertilizer, and gives testimony as to its efficiency.
The Senile Heart, by George William Balfour, M. D. (Macmillan, $1.50), is quite a comprehensive consideration of this and allied conditions in the other organs of the body to which the aged are especially prone. In the introductory chapter some space is given to a consideration of why we get old why we so rarely die of old age, and this is followed in Chapter II by an examination of the direct effects of age on the heart muscle. There are twelve chapters, the last four of which deal with therapeutics. A chapter is given to gout, and also one to angina pectoris. The book contains some interesting sphygmographic records.
The consolidated school law of 1894 made a number of important changes; but as published it is a pamphlet of one hundred and thirty-five pages, the legal phraseology and verbiage of which obscures the meaning in many places. A Handbook for School Trustees (Bardeen, 50 cents), by C. W. Bardeen, which arranges the law by subjects and gives the minor details only in notes, ought to prove valuable to teachers and other school officers. The differences in law between the district and union schools are pointed out, and directions are given for the establishment of an academic department under the Regents of the University.
In a little volume, half prose half poetry, entitled The Supremacy of the Spiritual (Arena Publishing Company, 75 cents), Edward Randall Knowles, LL. D., undertakes to show that the ether is spiritual rather than material.
John A. Kersey has written down under the title Ethics of Literature a part of what he would like to say about books and authors—a part only, for on page 570 he states that he is about to close without having finished (the author, Marion, Ind.). "I propose to inquire," he says in his preface, "what some great literary luminaries have done, and to show in some instances what were better left undone for the enlightenment of mankind. And in this retrospect we will observe the acknowledged Titans engaged in Herculean labors to establish truths which, in the nature of things and of mind, are either self-evident or unprovable. We will observe minds which have given the world some of the most superb thought, grouping the rarest gems in clusters with the veriest peter-funk." n Other instructive observations are also promised to the reader.
A neat little forty-cent edition of Defoe's History of the Plague in London is just issued by the American Book Company. While there is much fiction mixed up with the description, Defoe being only four years old at the time of the plague, there is enough of actual fact to give the work a historical value, and the less well authenticated portions add much to its readableness.
Roman Life in Latin Prose and Verse is the title of a book of selections from Latin writings, made by Harry Thurston Peck and Robert Arrowsmith (American Book Company). It is intended to be used either as the chief book for a short course in reading Latin or as a volume for sight-reading, and may also serve as a series of specimens of Latin literature from the early popular songs down to the hymns of Christian Rome. The selections have been made with a view to exhibiting the life, manners, opinions, amusements, and dissipations of the Romans. The more difficult words are translated at the bottom of the page, and there are notes at the end on matters of allusion, style, and construction. The volume is illustrated.
In the Orations on Bunker Hill Monument, the Character of Washington, and the Landing at Plymouth (American Book Company, 20 cents), we have the three best oratorical efforts of Daniel Webster. His simplicity of diction and perfect mastery of pure idiomatic English render them excellent models for the pupil who would perfect himself in the use of the English tongue.
- Prof. Baldwin observed his children during their first two years to discover, if possible, whether ideo-motor suggestion is a normal thing, and the section upon this subject has absorbing interest.