Popular Science Monthly/Volume 5/September 1874/Literary Notices

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LITERARY NOTICES.

Logic, Inductive and Deductive. By Alexander Bain, LL. D., Professor of Logic in the University of Aberdeen. New and Revised Edition. 731 pages. Price, $2.00. D. Appleton & Co.

From Aristotle, the father of the science, to the present day, logic has been one of the leading elements of a liberal education. During the middle ages it was understood and practised as the art of reasoning; with the rise of modern science, it has been systematically extended so as to embrace the laws or principles to which the mind conforms in the search for truth. Dependent upon the larger science of mental philosophy or psychology, it has been constantly affected by the progress that has taken place in the knowledge of mind. The most influential modern work upon this subject is that of Mr. Mill, who was incited to undertake it by the perusal of Dr. Whewell's "History of the Inductive Sciences." His Logic was undoubtedly Mill's great work, and will occupy a prominent place in the history of the development of the science; but it aimed to be a constructive and epoch-making treatise, and was designed for the use of scholars rather than for general students.

Mr. Bain was the life-long and intimate friend of Mr. Mill, and was intrusted by the latter with the supervision of the proofs of the first edition of his work on logic for the press. He is, besides, one of the leading psychologists of the age, and author of a system of mental philosophy, which stands high as an original contribution to the advancement of the subject. He has been Professor of Logic in the University of Aberdeen for many years, and was thoroughly qualified to prepare a valuable book upon the subject. But, whereas Mill addressed himself to philosophers, and occupied himself with abstruse and original inquiries, Mr. Bain has taken for his task to treat the subject in a more popular manner, adapted to all classes of students. His volume may be regarded as, in fact, a popular treatise from the most modern point of view; and so well has he succeeded with this feature of the work, that persons entirely unfamiliar with the subject may read it with interest and profit.

And yet nothing would be more unjust to Prof. Bain than the idea that his work is in any sense a compilation. It is, on the contrary, a treatise of marked originality, and has been developed entirely from the author's point of view as an independent student. One of the most instructive and interesting parts of the volume is book fifth, treating of the "Logic of the Sciences," or, what may be called, logic in its concrete and practical applications. "The Logic of Mathematics," "The Logic of Physics," of Chemistry, of Biology, of Psychology, of Politics, of Medicine, and what the author calls "The Logic of Practice," are considered in separate chapters, and, in connection with the "Classification of the Sciences," they form a most valuable statement of the fundamental ideas and the peculiar conditions of reasoning in all these important branches of knowledge. Although the work is comprehensive and a perfect treasury of information upon the subject, yet Dr. Bain points out in the preface how it may be used as an elementary book, while its extremely low price is favorable to its general introduction into schools.

Ancient Faiths embodied in Ancient Names; or, an Attempt to trace the Religious Belief, Sacred Rites, and Holy Emblems of Certain Nations, by an Interpretation of the Names given to Children by Priestly Authority, or assumed by Prophets, Kings, and Hierarchs. By Thomas Inman, M. D, (London). 2 vols. 8vo, pages 792 and 1028. Price, $27.00. Second Edition. New York: Asa K. Butts & Co., 36 Dey Street, 1874.

This is, undoubtedly, a work of vast research, and implying, in the author, an intimate acquaintance with the languages and literatures of antiquity. We have, here, an immense amount of curious knowledge with regard to the sacred rites of ancient religions. The emblems, symbols, or images, which have served as representatives of Deity, and which have received worship from man, are shown to be much the same the world over. The author very elaborately develops the precise meaning of the principal emblems used to represent the Supreme Being, and one of the most interesting features of his book is the learning with which these are traced through the Assyrian, Hebrew, Syrian, and other religions, and even the Christian religion itself, in some of its forms. The central idea of the work, if it has any central idea, is not indicated by the title. Judging from that, the reader would expect to find a list of names of persons analyzed, and, from the elements of these names, the religious beliefs and practices of those who gave or wore them inferred: that is to say, the work would be mainly philological. This, however, is not the case; the work is rather historical. The subjects are treated in alphabetical order, and this, by-the-way, is the only sign of order we find in the work: the same topics are treated over and over again, even unto weariness and I disgust. Special prominence is given to the discussion of the relations of sex to the problem of religious emblems, a question which has latterly much engaged the attention of archaeologists. From the following very brief list of subjects, our readers will, perhaps, be able to see the scope of the work: Anthropomorphism, Ark, Canon of Scripture, Chrisna, Cross, Demon, Hell, JAH, Infidelity, Inspiration, Mary, Miracles, Oracles, Phallus, Prayer, Prophecy, Religion, Sabbath, Sacti, Sun-worship, Theology, Trinity, Urim and Thummim. Though many extraneous matters are brought into this work, which, it would seem, ought to have been discussed elsewhere, the reader will hardly be disposed to complain, for all that the author writes is worthy of consideration, even if out of place. The text is fully and elegantly illustrated with woodcuts and plates.

Health and Education. By the Rev. Charles Kingsley, F. L. S., F. G. S., Canon of Westminster. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 549 & 551 Broadway, Pages 411, Price, $2.00.

This is a unique volume from the vigorous and brilliant pen of the versatile Canon of Westminster, novelist, essayist, naturalist, professor of history, and preacher, and so strong in each as to have won a commanding place in the literature of the time. Mr. Kingsley has here given us the result of his long observations and reflections on the theory, philosophy, and practical conduct of life. His work is popular in the highest sense; that is, it is not only designed for general influence, but it is done in its author's best style of literary art, and is vivid, quaint, pungent, and impressive. It is well known that Canon Kingsley is one of the masters of the English language, and it is fortunate when he brings his unusual powers of presentation to bear upon familiar and important subjects of daily life. For the difficulty with people generally is, not that they are ignorant, or have not had truth enough explained to them, but that it is so vaguely conceived and so feebly held that it does not take hold of the feelings and coerce the conduct. For this reason, much of the tame didactic statement of current science is to a great degree powerless for good. It is here that the forcible, pointed, and picturesque writer is of invaluable service, and it is here that Canon Kingsley excels. The contents of the volume are varied and suggestive, and it abounds in passages of pointed common-sense, like the following fresh plea for the practical study of botany by girls, as grounds of important mental discipline:

"Mothers complain to me that girls are apt to be—not intentionally untruthful—but exaggerative, prejudiced, incorrect, in repeating a conversation or describing an event; and that from this fault arise, as is to be expected, misunderstandings, quarrels, rumors, slanders, scandals, and what not.

"Now, for this waste of words there is but one cure: and if I be told that it is a natural fault of women; that they cannot take the calm, judicial view of matters which men boast, and often boast most wrongly, that they can take; that under the influence of hope, fear, delicate antipathy, honest moral indignation, they will let their eyes and ears be governed by their feelings; and see and hear only what they wish to see and hear: I answer, that it is not for me as a man to start such a theory; but that, if it be true, it is an additional argument for some education which will correct this supposed natural defect. And I say deliberately that there is but one sort of education which will correct it; one which will teach young women to observe facts accurately, judge them calmly, and describe them carefully, without adding or distorting: and that is, some training in natural science.

"I beg you not to be startled: but if you are, then test the truth of my theory by playing to-night at the game called 'Russian Scandal;' in which a story, repeated in secret by one player to the other, comes out at the end of the game, owing to the inaccurate and—forgive me if I say it—uneducated brains through which it has passed, utterly unlike its original; not only ludicrously maimed and distorted, but often with the most fantastic additions of events, details, names, dates, places, which each player will aver that he received from the player before him. I am afraid that too much of the average gossip of every city, town, and village is little more than a game of 'Russian Scandal;' with this difference, that, while one is but a game, the other is but too mischievous earnest.

"But now, if among your party there should be an average lawyer, medical man, or man of science, you will find that he, and perhaps he alone, will be able to retail accurately the story which had been told him. And why? Simply because his mind has been trained to deal with facts; to ascertain exactly what he does see or hear, and to imprint its leading features strongly and clearly on his memory.

"Now, you certainly cannot make young ladies barristers or attorneys; nor employ their brains in getting up cases, civil or criminal; and as for chemistry, they and their parents may have a reasonable antipathy to smells, blackened fingers, and occasional explosions and poisonings. But you may make them something of botanists, zoologists, geologists.

"I could say much on this point: allow me at least to say this: I verily believe that any young lady who would employ some of her leisure time in collecting wild-flowers, carefully examining them, verifying them, and arranging them; or who would in her summer trip to the sea-coast do the same by the common objects of the shore, instead of wasting her holiday, as one sees hundreds doing, in lounging on benches on the esplanade, reading worthless novels, and criticising dresses—that such a young lady, I say, would not only open her own mind to a world of wonder, beauty, and wisdom, which, if it did not make her a more reverent and pious soul, she cannot be the woman which I take for granted she is; but would save herself from the habit—I had almost said the necessity—of gossip: because she would have things to think of and not merely persons; facts instead of fancies; while she would acquire something of accuracy, of patience, of methodical observation and judgment, which would stand her in good stead in the events of daily life, and increase her power of bridling her tongue and her imagination. 'God is in heaven, and thou upon earth; therefore let thy words be few;' is the lesson which those are learning all day long who study the works of God with reverent accuracy, lest by misrepresenting them they should be tempted to say that God has done that which he has not; and in that wholesome discipline I long that women as well as men should share."

In his lecture on the Tree of Knowledge, Mr. Kingsley has the following observations on the causes of intemperance:

"It is said by some that drunkenness is on the increase in this island. I have no trusty proof of it: but I can believe it possible; for every cause of drunkenness seems on the increase. Overwork of body and mind; circumstances which depress health; temptation to drink, and drink again, at every corner of the streets; and finally, money, and ever more money, in the hands of uneducated people, who have not the desire, and too often not the means, of spending it in any save the lowest pleasures. These, it seems to me, are the true causes of drunkenness, increasing or not. And if we wish to become a more temperate nation, we must lessen them, if we cannot eradicate them.

"First, overwork. We all live too fast, and work too hard. 'All things are full of labor, man cannot utter it.' In the heavy struggle for existence which goes on all around us, each man is tasked more and more—if he be really worth buying and using—to the utmost of his powers all day long. The weak have to compete on equal terms with the strong; and crave, in consequence, for artificial strength. How we shall stop that I know not, while every man is 'making haste to be rich, and piercing himself though with many sorrows, and failing into foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.'

"But it seems to me also, that in such a state of society, when—as it was once well put—'everyone has stopped running about like rats:'—that those who work hard, whether with muscle or with brain, would not be surrounded, as now, with every circumstance which tempts toward drink; by every circumstance which depresses the vital energies, and leaves them an easy prey to pestilence itself; by bad light, bad air, bad food, bad water, bad smells, bad occupations, which weaken the muscles, cramp the chest, disorder the digestion. Let any rational man, fresh from the country—in which I presume God, having made it, meant all men, more or less, to live—go through the back streets of any city, or through whole districts of the 'black countries' of England; and then ask himself—Is it the will of God that his human children should live and toil in such dens, such deserts, such dark places of the earth? Let him ask himself—Can they live and toil there without contracting a probably diseased habit of body; without contracting a certainly dull, weary, sordid habit of mind, which craves for any pleasure, however brutal, to escape from its own stupidity and emptiness? When I run through, by rail, certain parts of the iron-producing country—streets of furnaces, collieries, slag-heaps, mud, slop, brick house-rows, smoke, dirt—and that is all; and when I am told, whether truly or falsely, that the main thing which the well-paid and well-fed men of those abominable wastes care for is—good fighting-dogs: I can only answer, that I am not surprised.

"I say—as I have said elsewhere, and shall do my best to say again—that the craving for drink and narcotics, especially that engendered in our great cities, is not a disease, but a symptom of disease; of a far deeper disease than any which drunkenness can produce; namely, of the growing degeneracy of a population striving in vain by stimulants and narcotics to fight against those slow poisons with which our greedy barbarism, miscalled civilization, has surrounded them from the cradle to the grave. I may be answered that the old German, Angle, Dane, drank heavily. I know it: but why did they drink, save that for the same reason that the fenman drank, and his wife took opium, at least till the fens were drained? why but to keep off" the depressing effects of the malaria of swamps and new clearings, which told on them—who always settled on the lowest grounds—in the shape of fever and ague? Here it may be answered again, that stimulants have been, during the memory of man, the destruction of the Red Indian race in America. I reply boldly, that I do not believe it. There is evidence enough in Jacques Cartier's 'Voyages to the Rivers of Canada;' and evidence more than enough in Strachey's 'Travaile in Virginia'—to quote only two authorities out of many—to prove that the Red Indians, when the white man first met with them, were, in North and South alike, a diseased, decaying, and, as all their traditions confess, decreasing race. Such a race would naturally crave for 'the water of life,' the 'usquebaugh,' or whiskey, as we have contracted the old name now. But I should have thought that the white man, by introducing among these poor creatures iron, fire-arms, blankets, and, above all, horses wherewith to follow the buffalo-herds which they could never follow on foot, must have done ten times more toward keeping them alive, than he has done toward destroying them by giving them the chance of a week's drunkenness twice a year, when they came in to his forts to sell the skins which, without his gifts, they would never have got.

"Such a race would, of course, if wanting vitality, crave for stimulants. But if the stimulants, and not the original want of vitality, combined with morals utterly detestable, and worthy only of the gallows—and here I know what I say, and dare not tell what I know, from eye-witnesses—have been the cause of the Red Indians' extinction: then how is it, let me ask, that the Irishman and the Scotsman have, often to their great harm, been drinking as much whiskey—and usually very bad whiskey—not merely twice a year, but as often as they could get it, during the whole 'iron age;' and, for aught any one can tell, during the 'bronze age,' and the 'stone age' before that: and yet are still the most healthy, able, valiant, and prolific races in Europe? Had they drunk less whiskey they would, doubtless, have been more healthy, able, valiant, and perhaps even more prolific, than they are now. They show no sign, bowever, as yet, of going the way of the Red Indian.

"But if the craving for stimulants and narcotics is a token of deficient vitality; then the deadliest foe of that craving, and all its miserable results, is surely the Sanitary Reformer; the man who preaches, and—as far as ignorance and vested interests will allow him—procures, for the masses, pure air, pure sunlight, pure water, pure dwelling-houses, pure food. Not merely every fresh drinking-fountain: but every fresh public bath and wash-house, every fresh open space, every fresh growing tree, every fresh open window, every fresh flower in that window—each of these is so much, as the old Persians would have said, conquered for Ormuzd, the god of light and life, out of the dominion of Ahriman, the king of darkness and of death; so much taken from the causes of drunkenness and disease, and added to the causes of sobriety and health.

"Meanwhile one thing is clear: that if this present barbarism and anarchy of covetousness, miscalled modern civilization, were tamed and drilled into something more like the kingdom of God on earth: then we should not see the reckless and needless multiplication of liquor-shops, which disgraces this country now....

"I said just now that a probable cause of increasing drunkenness was the increasing material prosperity of thousands who knew no recreation beyond low animal pleasure. If I am right—and I believe that I am right—I must urge on those who wish drunkenness to decrease, the necessity of providing more, and more refined, recreation for the people.

"Men drink, and women too, remember, not merely to supply exhaustion; not merely to drive away care; but often simply to drive away dullness. They have nothing to do save to think over what they have done in the day, or what they expect to do to-morrow; and they escape from that dreary round of business thought, in liquor or narcotics. There are still those, by no means of the hand-working class, but absorbed all day by business, who drink heavily at night in their own comfortable homes, simply to recreate their overburdened minds. Such cases, doubtless, are far less common than they were fifty years ago: but why? Is not the decrease of drinking among the richer classes certainly due to the increased refinement and variety of their tastes and occupations? In cultivating the aesthetic side of man's nature; in engaging him with the beautiful, the pure, the wonderful, the truly natural; with painting, poetry, music, horticulture, physical science—in all this lies recreation, in the true and literal sense of that word, namely, the recreating and mending of the exhausted mind and feelings, such as no rational man will now neglect, either for himself, his children, or his workpeople."

Catalogue of the South Missouri State Normal School, Warrensburg, James Johonnot, Principal. Jefferson City: Regan & Carter.

Of all the forms of ephemeral literature, school catalogues are generally the most volatile, fleeting, and thoroughly worthless. The luxurious typography is, no doubt, pleasant to the pupils whose names are in the list, and, indicating the prosperity of the establishment, is a highly-dignified method of advertising. The deep philosophy of education that is propounded, and the high-sounding promises of what is to be done next year, dressed in imposing rhetoric, are agreeable to read, but unsafe to trust, as they usually have a very loose relation with the facts.

The catalogue before us, however, is of quite exceptional character, and has interested us not a little. It is the result of a serious and earnest effort to carry out advanced ideas, and to place popular education more completely upon the basis of scientific principles than has hitherto been deemed practicable. In his eight pages of preliminary explanation of the course of study. Prof. Johonnot has given us a brief and excellent exposition of the underlying ideas of the new education, and has given ample and cogent reasons why the sciences should have a leading place in our improved systems of mental cultivation. But no amount of theorizing can be sufficient here. What we want is an actual curriculum, and the practical results of its working. Scientific education cannot be constructed, it must grow; but that growth can only come from trial and experience, and, what we want, therefore, is judicious educational experimenters to develop the new culture and show what it is capable of. They have entered boldly upon this path at the Warrensburg Normal School, and with something like an adequate appreciation of the just claims of scientific studies. While it is regarded by many educators as a great step of reform to recognize science at all, and to concede one, two, or three hours a week to some branches of it, Prof. Johonnot makes it the prominent and fundamental thing in the establishment over which he presides. Of the several lines of study, science occupies the first place, and is a regular daily exercise in every term. "In each science a strictly objective presentation is first made, by which the pupil observes the objects and facts upon which the science is founded, and is led to make general classifications. Farther along in the course, each science is treated again upon a higher plane, leading to more minute investigations and to broader generalizations; and in several instances the subject recurs three times before it is finally dismissed." We may add that the scientific course is broad and comprehensive, and one of the features of the plan of teaching is the explanation of new discoveries and important results, as fast as they occur in the scientific world.

 

 
PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED.

Nomenclature of Diseases (Woodworth). Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 232.

Exposures in Fire Insurance (Ross). New York: Appletons. Pp. 59.

National Educational Association. 1873. Pp. 272.

Physiology of the Circulation (Pettigrew). Macmillan. Pp. 337. Price, $4.00.

Catalogue of Wild Plants in New Jersey (Willis). New York: Schermerhorn. Pp. 92. Price, $1.00.

Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis. Pp. 222.

United States Mining Industry (Raymond). New York: Ford & Co. Pp. 555. Price, $4.50.

The Stevens Battery. Pp. 30.

Morgan Expeditions, 1870-'71. Pp. 60.

Reception of Dr. Gould at Boston. Pp. 32.

Report of the Curators of Missouri University (1874). Pp. 185.

Kindergarten Messenger (Monthly). Pp. 24.

Bulletin of Cornell University (Science). Vol. I. Nos. 1 and 2. Pp. 63.

The Rapid Writer (Monthly). Andover, Mass. Pp-16.

Bench and Bar Review (Quarterly). Baltimore: A. Schaumburg. Pp. 200. Per annum, $5.00.

Kentucky State Medical Association. 1874. Pp. 262.

Experiments, showing Character and Position of Neutral Axes (Nickerson, C.E.). Pp. 26.

"Do Snakes swallow their Young?" (Goode). Pp. 12.

The Analyst, Monthly Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics. Des Moines, Iowa. Pp. 20.

Mechanical Properties of Materials of Construction (Thurston). Pp. 28.

Assaying by the Spectroscope (Du Bois). Pp. 12.

The Mystery of Life (Cox). Pp. 32.

The Plagopterinæ and the Ichthyology of Utah (Cope). Pp. 14.

Transmission of Diseases (Hamlin). Pp. 9.

Papers chiefly Anatomical (Wilder). Pp. 94.

Transformations of the House-Fly (Packard). Pp. 14.

Geographical Variation of North American Birds (Allen). Pp. 10.

Mammals of Kansas, etc. (Allen). Pp. 23.

Statistical Atlas of the United States. Part III. Vital Statistics.

Darwinism and Language (Whitney). Pp. 30.