Page images
PDF
EPUB

Pp. 54

:

(1) “

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 1906. the germ-cell is far from being homogeneous, and

as for the spermatozoon, students of physics “ tell us

that the picture of a Great Eastern filled with frameSOME RECENT WORKS ON PHILOSOPHY.

work as intricate as that of the daintiest watches (1) Herbert Spencer. By Prof. J. Arthur Thomson. does not exaggerate the possibilities of molecular English Men of Science Series. Pp. ix + 284. complexity in a spermatozoon, whose actual size is (London : J. M. Dent and Co., 1906.) Price 25. 6d. usually very much less than the smallest dot on the net.

watch's face." (b) Spencer does not prove his case (2) Reconnoitres in Reason and the Table-book. By that sperm-cells and germ-cells do not possess powers

Norman Alliston. Pp. 280. (London: Kegan fundamentally unlike those of other cells—at any Paul, Trench, Trübner and Co., Ltd., 1906.) Price rate, they may be very unlike them. (c) Spencer 5s. net.

argued, No inheritance of acquired characters, no (3) Eine Untersuchung über Raum, Zeit und Begriffe Evolution.” Prof. Thomson thinks the transmission

vom Standpunkt des Positivismus. By Eberhard of acquired characters is not proven, that there is a Zschimmer.

(Leipzig : Wilhelm Engel- strong presumption that they are not transmitted, mann, 1906.) Price is. 6d. net.

and that the scientific position should remain one of (4) Beiträge zur Einführung in die Geschichte der active scepticism, leading on to experiment. (d) As Philosophie. By Rudolf Eucken. Pp. iv + 195.

to the general philosophic position of Spencer, he (Leipzig: Verlag der Dürr'schen Buchhandlung, holds that he was not a materialist, but was at the 1906.) Price 3.60 marks.

same time guilty of gross materialisms, e.g. in his (5) Apollonius of Tyana, and other Essays. By universal evolution-formula, which is wholly in terms

Thomas Whittaker. Pp. 211. (London : Swan of matter and motion. Sonnenschein and Co., Ltd., 1906.) Price 3s. 6d. (2) Mr. Alliston wishes to rouse us all from our net.

dogmatic slumber, and here submits to the play of (6) Das Gefüge der Welt, Versuch einer kritischen | his dialectic a number of ordinary beliefs too hastily

Philosophie. By Hermann Graf Keyserling. Pp. | accepted. Thus, for example, in his essay on conviji +382. (Munich : F. Bruckmann A.-G., 1906.) | traries, with which this volume opens, he assails the Price 5 marks.

common practice of distinguishing contraries as posi(7) The Sub-conscious. By Joseph Jastrow. Pp. tive and negative, and so establishing what proves

ix + 549. (London: Archibald Constable and Co., to be a false precedence among them. He contends Ltd., 1906.) Price 10s, net.

that any one of two contraries always refers by impliET this much is conceded by most," writes

cation to its opposite and depends on it for point. “YET the author, “that Herbert Spencer was an

With some contraries, he goes on to say, no mean unusually keen intellectual combatant, who took the is possible. Aristotle is wrong in making courage evolution-formula into his strong hands as a master

the middle term between rashness and timidity. key, and tried (teaching others to try better) to open

“Rashness is really opposed to caution, and not therewith all the locked doors of the universe-all to timidity, of which courage is antonym; and in the immediate, though none of the ultimate, riddles, short, in any example from this source of three chosen physical and biological, psychological and ethical, terms, it will be found that one of them is not strictly social and religious."

in the same category as the other two, but expresses

differences of another kind." It is from that standpoint that his work is here viewed, and the subject could not have fallen into The essay on the limits of determinism elaborates better hands than those of Prof. Thomson, who writes the thesis : “

' Everything that happens, happens necesclearly, argues cogently, and never fails to leave his sarily; but it has got to happen first,'' i.e. before an reader interested and informed.

event happens there is a real choice of possibilities, A fourth of this volume deals with Spencer's life and thus before a man has come to a decision, the and characteristics; the rest discusses and criticises motive or adequate cause necessitating it cannot be his chief contributions to several scientific and philo- present, or as adequate it would have already brought sophic problems. Prof. Thomson notes, of course, about the event.” Other essays deal with eventuhis want of indebtedness to previous writers, e.g. the ality, the perversity of the will, force, personal credit, fact that he read nothing of Locke and Mill, and that the abstract idea, and the like. Mr. Alliston is when he borrowed the term “social statics " from always acute, ingenious, and convincing so far as he Comte he knew no more of the great positivist than goes, and one wonders only how a complete metathat he was a French philosophical writer; he notes, physic from his pen would read. on the other hand, the great influence exerted on The later part of the volume contains a number of Spencer by von Baer's formula“ expressing the course disconnected paragraphs and aphorisms, more or less of development through which every plant and animal paradoxical, on a number of topics that seem to passes—the change from homogeneity to hetero- | interest Mr. Alliston. So long as he does not take geneity." The main criticisms passed on Spencer in himself too seriously, and so long as he remembers the course of the works are these :-(a) In accepting that Mr. Chesterton is our one chartered acrobat, the von Baer formula, Spencer thought of the germ- there is no harm in his indulging the cacoethes cell and other lowly structures much too simply; for scribendi in this fashion.

(6

a

as

(3) Herr Zschimmer here discusses some of the The other three essays are constructive. One of fundamental conceptions of philosophy from the stand- them, entitled “Animism, Religion and Philosophy," point of positivism, the principle of which is “first seems cast in a Comtean mould, and elaborates the facts, then words.” There is nothing very novel in thesis that man's thinking on the causes behind or the statement or argument of the volume, much of immanent in the visible order of things goes through which is occupied with criticism of isolated points in three stages, the animistic, the religious, and the Kant, Schopenhauer, and others. Time and space, it philosophical. The author has apparently no faith in appears, are severely actual, and when a clock strikes religion as the satisfaction of a permanent and legitithe hour of four, and we remember the strokes as mate craving of human nature. He confidently distinct though they are identical in tone, what causes believes that philosophy has transcended the historic this “ ist eben das mit ihnen verschmolzene, Mit- religions, and that, though it is the height of sashgegebene Zeittatsächliche." Consequently "pure, "ness to forecast the future of religion, whatever form

' a priori," “ forms of perception,” and many other religion may take, it will be the right and duty of beloved formulæ become unnecessary nonsense.

philosophy to maintain its independence. Another Towards the end of the book there is a somewhat essay, on the classification of the sciences, reprinted elaborate account of the formation of concepts from the pages of Mind, amends Comte's well-knosti (Begriffe). The author defines Begriff as “die im list of positive sciences, e.g. by omitting astronomy, Vergleich von Vorstellungen hervorgebrachte Verk- by inserting animal psychology ang human psychonüpfung eines Gemeinsamen Bestandteiles mitlogy, and by offering, as preferable to Comte's linear anderen Elementen (Merkmalen des Individuums) zu series, a circular scheme, in which one may, prooeedverschiedenen individuellen Systemen.” The relation ing according to the didactic order, start with formal between the triangle before me and the concept of logic, go round the objective sciences, come back to triangle is not badly discussed, the question, e.g., as the subjective sciences, and end with metaphysics. to what prevents me from regarding the essential and The last essay, “Teleology and the Individual," conceptual elements in my perception of the triangle is the most suggestive in the book. The author conbefore me the concept of triangle generally. cludes that “the strength of the ancient and modern Causality and similar problems are rather hastily dealt philosophies derived from Plato and Aristotle lies in with, and no part of the book displays remarkable their having retained the teleological point of view, depth or insight.

conceived in a scientific sense, within a highly specu(4) Prof. Eucken's writings are all so excellent and lative system, but not at the summit"; that we may stimulating that to commend him is needless and conceive the possibility that permanent individual subgratuitous. The present volume is a second and jects may have successive lives through which may enlarged edition of “Beiträge zur Geschichte der be seen a teleological order; and that, though there neuern Philosophie," which appeared in 1886. In its are systems of ends, mutually adapted so as to form newer form it contains, unaltered, some essays on old one system, this system has no end, and there is. German philosophy, e.g. on Paracelsus and Kepler, therefore, no evolution of the universe as a whole. and one “ Über Bilder und Gleichnisse bei Kant.” There is a great deal of strenuous thinking in this Two other essays, one in commemoration of Adolf book. Its merits will, we trust, not be obscured by Trendelenburg, and another on the various schools its strong anti-theological bias. of philosophy, have been considerably changed ; (6) This work professes to be no more than an altogether new are those entitled “ Bayle and Kant" introduction or an overture to a music which has still and “ Gedanken und Anregungen zur Geschichte der to be composed. Its author writes in an excellent Philosophie.” Bayle (of dictionary fame) and Kant style, and is very well informed on a great variety seem to our author very similar in their outlook on of subjects, from modern views of matter and eleclife; according to Bayle, he writes, “a great contra- | tricity to the æsthetic ideas of William Blake and diction has been set up in human nature: truth and Mr. Walter Pater. The philosophies that have chiefly virtue are demanded of us, and the demand finds an influenced him are those of Plato, Kant, and Mr. expression in the laws of conscience and of thought, Houston S. Chamberlain (the author of a German but it cannot have its own way and produce a corre- work on Kant), whose name is probably not so sponding reality : knowledge entangles itself in irre- | familiar in this country as those of the other two: soluble contradictions : moral judgment, it is true, is but this fidus Achates lauds him on almost every saved from these, but in man it cannot overcome the page. That the book is laid down with no distaste natural force of the instincts and the passions.” How for the author or for Mr. Chamberlain is creditable very similar this is to much Kantian doctrine will be to both. at once apparent.

An analysis of the first two chapters will show the (5) Three of the six essays in this volume are point of view. The author discusses some of the vain historical, and deal with Apollonius of Tyana, Celsus attempts to introduce unity into our view of the and Origen, and John Scotus Erigena. They consist universe; the relations of different forms of force to for the most part of a running analysis of some one another, e.g. the impossibility of bringing works, not too widely known, of patristic and gravitation into relation with electricity; the difficulty scholastic times, and as their author has studied the of arriving at consistent views of æther. In the end neo-Platonists to some purpose, his account is not he comes to the conclusion that matter, force, and lacking in subtlety.

life are three ultimate and distinct categories for

thought; it is impossible, for example, to resolve life impairment of relations is seen, he defines the three and matter into force. Their unity can only be a privileges of mature psychic procedure as "incorporformal one, i.e. the unity of law which pervades them ation, orientation and initiative." The theory which and which is apprehended by man. Just as in mathe- meets with his most vehement opposition is that of matics “ we can from the projection of a very com- the subliminal self, which he finds to be “but slightly plicated figure, one for example whose extremities may restrained by exacting allegiance to the large body lie in infinity, derive without error the laws according of normal data,” and which further indulges in all to which it is composed,” so we can project the com- manner of mediæval epicycles whenever facts refuse plicated universe on the human mind, and trace the to fit themselves to it. His main objection to the laws which are its formal framework. The second subliminal self lies in the difficulty of accounting for chapter discusses the two great formal schemes of its maintenance amid the evolutionary conditions thought, the logical and the mathematical, and a

under which our consciousness has reached its present preference is given to the mathematical as being form. synthetic and not analytic. This leads naturally to a discussion of continuity and “discreteness," and the relation between these two is compared in a suggestive

SEA-FISHERIES ADMINISTRATION AND

RESEARCH. fashion with that between geometry and arithmetic,

British Fisheries. Their Administration and their perception and thought, being and becoming. From the mathematical standpoint there is given also a new

Problems. A Short Account of the Origin and expression for life, which represents it as the hypo

Growth of British Sea-fishery Authorities and tenuse of a right-angled triangle of which the two

Regulations. By James Johnstone. Pp. xxxi+ 350. sides are matter = being and force=becoming.

(London : Williams and Norgate, 1905.) Price Later chapters discuss the problem of spirit and the

ros, 6d. net. large question of freedom. An epilogue asks, What THIS

THIS book may be described as a summary and is truth? and it appears that in the existence of an

critical analysis of all that has been or is being abstract, objective truth our author has no faith. done for the sea-fisheries of this country by means of Amid much fancifulness and some obscurity there is legislation and scientific investigation. The first part not a little that is instructive and highly interesting.

of the book deals with the history of legislation, and (7) The main conclusion of the work before us is the second part with scientific investigation. that man does not live by consciousness alone. “ The .The history of the early legislation is a record of processes of perception of the external world,” writes failure, as was proved by the repeal of more than the author, " are in the ordinary use of our faculties fifty repressive Acts (mostly relating to herring trawlas typically sub-conscious as conscious in their mode ing) at the suggestion of the Royal Commission of of functioning.” This is revealed in many ways; 1863. That commission, of which Huxley was there is, for example, the well-known experiment in member, took very optimistic view of “ the resources which two equal lines have added to them pairs of of the sea.” The Trawling Commission of 1882 was shadowy strokes, divergent and convergent respec- not quite so optimistic; at least it showed that certain tively, the result being that the one line appears inshore grounds had been affected by too much beam considerably longer than the other.

trawling. Finally, the Select Committee of 1893 was "Now reduce the shadow-strokes to such a degree definitely pessimistic. It felt that the subject of the of faintness that the eye fails to detect their presence,

diminution of the fish supply is a very pressing one, and continue to judge (naturally with diminished and the situation is going from bad to worse.” confidence) which seems the longer, and it will be Mr. Johnstone has a good deal to say about the tound that the undetected shadows incline the judg- constitution of the various sea-fisheries committees, ments in accord with the illusion which their observed and finds that, " on the whole, the system of local presence induces."

regulation of the fisheries, as originally contemplated Further, when we talk of crystal-gazing, thought by the Sea-Fisheries Regulation Acts, cannot be said reading, dissociated consciousness, and the other

to be very successful.” Where amalgamation has phenomena so often exploited by charlatanism, we taken place

“the administration has been most have to remember that, obscure and weird as at first successful ”; but “it is generally agreed that the sight they appear, they often reveal themselves on

system under which the regulation of the fisheries is analysis to be but “the exaggerated elaboration of obtained by rates levied on the maritime counties is possibilities inherent in every human mind.”

not altogether a fair one." Prof. Jastrow discusses all these problems in a very The author is lavish in his praise of the Fishery sane and convincing manner, and his work is a valu- Board for Scotland, its administration, scientific able contribution to the subject. Occasionally the work, and “perfect system” of statistics, and has, treatment is a little prolix. The first part deals with by way of contrast, some very hard things to say the normal aspect of the subconscious, the second about the English authority, its "inertia," lack of with the abnormal, and the closing chapters discuss scientific investigation, and imperfect statistics. As the theory of the matter. Dissociation is explained for the former body, one's admiration, though genuine as “ the partial presence, with impaired relations, of enough so far as it goes, is tempered by reflections on factors normally fully associated and integrally co- the very questionable

of its wholesale ordinated ”; and to show precisely in what such | closure policy. In regard to the English official

a mean

success

statistics, Mr. Johnstone's severe criticism rather | (under the general editorship of Dr. Winkelmann), “ misses fire” at present, when definite steps have and consequently it partakes of the nature of an been taken to improve them. It is difficult to see encyclopædia. how he can have read the report of the inter-depart- In the heat part appear the following sections :mental committee of 1902, in which the recommend thermometry (Profs. Pernet and Winkelmann): ations for improvement—which have since been largely expansion of solid bodies, liquids and gases, thermocarried out-were made, and yet say of that report electric and electric resistance, measurement of that “it left the question of statistics in almost exactly temperature, specific heat (Winkelmann); thermal the same state as it was.”

radiation and conductivity (Graetz). Throughout In the second part of this book the life-histories there is carried out a very complete system of referof fishes are dealt with in a chapter of twenty-five ences to original sources, with critical comments. pages of large type, and necessarily very briefly. In This is certainly very well done in general; but in the another chapter, on the metabolism of the sea, an account of constant pressure gas thermometers we account is given of the work of Hensen and Brandt | look in vain for any reference to the thermometer of in regard to the quantitative estimation of the re- Prof. Callendar, and discover no recognition of the sources of the sea. There are also important and work of the same experimentalist in the developwell-reasoned chapters on the impoverishment of the ment of methods of temperature determination based grounds, the destruction of immature fish, and marine upon the measurement of electrical resistance. We pisciculture.

presume that it is intended to recur to this subject in The following contribution to the discussion of that some other portion of this voluininous treatise. perennial puzzle, “What is over-fishing ?” may be In the electrical part appear the following worth quoting:

sections :-electrical conductivity of electrolytes, by “ If a boat (either steam trawler or smack) catches Dr. R. Luther; electricity and gases (ionisation and fewer fish in the course of the year, it can

electrification, characteristics of the electrical current, nothing else than this, that on the portion of the migration of ions, kathode and canal rays, forces on sea-bottom swept by her trawl-net there are fewer ions, thermal, chemical, and optical actions). by J. fish now than was formerly the case, that is, the density of fish per unit of area in the North Sea fish- Stark; radio-activity, by J. Stark; atmospheric elecing grounds is less than it was thirty years ago. tricity, by H. Gerdien; thermoelectricity, by Dr. F. This is a real impoverishment of the fishing grounds.' Braun; thermal effects of currents, by M. Cantor;

The author sums up the present situation as re- Pyro- and piezo-electricity, by Dr. F. Pockels; theory gards the relation of scientific research to legislation of the galvanic cell, by M. Cantor; electrolysis and in the following words :

migration of ions, by R. Luther; electrical endosinost " It would appear then that we are not yet pre- and convection currents, by L. Gractz; galvanic pared to give thoroughly convincing reasons for the polarisation and accumulators, by M. Cantor. adoption of legislative restrictions on those modes of From this summary it will be seen that many of fishing in which small fishes are destroyed to a notable the sections relate to subjects in which there has been extent. At the same time there can be no doubt that

a tremendous amount of work done in recent years. what we do know of the life-histories of fishes does justify us in recommending the adoption, as a ten- | The subject of radio-activity has, indeed, been tative measure, of some of the remedies proposed- originated since the previous edition appeared, and say the imposition of size-limits on the fishes landed so rapidly is progress taking place in our knowledge in certain districts,” &c., but he thinks that on the of this subject that it may be considered a moor whole “it is better to press for investigation on a

point as to what extent it is advisable to introduce much more adequate scale than has hitherto been con

such quickly changing matter into a volume which has templated before recommending any drastic change in the fishery laws."

the stability that a treatise of this kind necessarily Students of fishery problems will be familiar with possesses. The references extend into the year 1904; most of the arguments and criticisms in this book.

but even so it is impossible to praise this section as These have appeared before in one form or another, representing the present state of knowledge. The

best that can be said is that there is not much rebut have never been more incisively stated than in the

corded which is now known to be untrue. We think present volume.

this is much as it should be. An encyclopædia should

contain little which has not been sifted and siited AN ENCYCLOPÆDIA OF PHYSICS.

again until there is little doubt of it being an estabHandbuch der Physik. By Dr. A. Winkelmann. lished fact. To more protean volumes should the

Zweite Auflage. Dritter Band, Erste Hälfte : Wärme, task be left of pourtraying the latest phases of any pp. viii + 536; Vierter Band, Zweite Hälfte : Elec- department of knowledge. trizität und Magnetismus, I., pp. xiv and 385-1014; These remarks apply—though perhaps not so comSechster Band, Zweite Hälfte : Optik, pp. xii + pletely—to other sections of the volume. The subject1404:

Illustrated. (Leipzig : Barth.) Prices 16, matters happen throughout to be those in connection 20, and 30 marks.

with which development is now most pronounced; PORTIONS of the second edition of this well, but at the worst we have here a magnificent account

known handbook have already appeared and of the branches of physics named above. been noticed in these columns. The characteristic of The optical portion is probably of more stable the treatise is that each part is written by a specialist character than the rest, although here also have

we

a

great developments to be recorded. We think that When come to the section relating . to the the inclusion of such subjects as photography (fifty-five hybridists who have achieved success in Messrs. pages) has helped to swell the volume to unnecessarily Veitch's nursery we are again disposed to regret that large proportions. The technics of a special branch fuller details were not given, but in view of the such as this seems scarcely at home in its surround- magnitude of the book and the immensity of the task ings. We welcome in particular the articles of Drude we are by no means surprised that the author has on the nature of light, on the theory of light for felt it necessary to give indications only. Certain it transparent media at rest, for absorbing media, and, is that the students of hybridisation, variation, and finally, for media in motion.

heredity will find inexhaustible materials for study The book is replete with references to original in the results obtained by Messrs. Veitch. It is a papers, and may be taken as being as complete a noteworthy fact that at the present time, when orchids handbook for the professional reader as has yet are so popular, greater interest is felt in the hybrid appeared.

“ creations," in the production of which John Dominy was the pioneer, than in new introductions.

When we read of a thousand pounds and more being GARDEN-BOTANY.

paid for one of these specimens we can but regret Hortus Veitchii, a History of the Rise and Progress that orchid lovers do not contribute more to encourage of the Nurseries of Messrs. James Veitch and Sons, scientific research into the history and nature of the together with an Account of the Botanical Collectors plants in which they take such keen interest. The and Hybridists employed by them and a List of the list of species of orchids introduced by Messrs. Veitch more Remarkable of their Introductions. By James occupies no fewer than forty-seven pages. A large H. Veitch. Pp. 542; illustrated with fifty photo- proportion of these were described by Lindley, by gravure plates. (Chelsea : James Veitch and Sons, Reichenbach, and subsequently by Rolfe, and short Ltd., 1906, for private circulation.)

descriptions and historical notes are afforded in these THIS THIS is one of the most sumptuous volumes which pages. Orchid hybrids are treated in like manner,

have ever emanated from a business house, but the particulars relating to them filling fifty-seven if it were simply a business publication it would pages, exclusive of an appendix giving historical declaim no special notice in these columns. It is, tails, and occupying six pages of small type. The in fact, a most important contribution to the his- information here given will be of special value to tory of horticulture during three-quarters of those engaged in the study of hybridisation. century or more, and a valuable work of reference

Space will not allow us to do more than mention for the systematic botanist and the hybridist. It the sections relating to stove and greenhouse plants, to illustrates in a remarkable degree the service which which eighty-three pages are devoted, to the various the enterprise of a great commercial firm is capable species and hybrids of Nepenthes, the ferns, the coniof rendering, and in this case has rendered, to ferous trees, the deciduous and evergreen trees and botanical science. As the author appropriately says :

shrubs, the herbaceous plants, the bulbous plants, the " To the representatives seeking unknown plants at Amaryllis, the Begonias, the greenhouse Rhododenone period or another in almost every clime, fortune drons, the Streptocarpus, and, lastly, the fruits and has not invariably been kind, but the work of such men as Thomas Lobb, William Lobb, the late John vegetables, all exclusively the result of the enterprise

or of the skill of Messrs. Veitch and of their Gould Veitch, Charles Maries, and E. H. Wilson has been a gain in every way; whilst the efforts in assistants. With such a vast amount of material it hybridising and selecting of John Dominy, lohn is evident that severe compression has had to be Seden, V.M.H., and John Heal, V.M.H., have given effected, but even so the record is a marvellous one. a wider interest to all cultivators."

Happily an excellent index is provided. With the history of the firm and its various

Throughout it is obvious that great pains have been members as given in the introduction to the present taken in the preparation of the volume, the solid volume we are not here concerned, but we may in- worth of which is enhanced by the excellent manner dicate that it would furnish valuable data for Mr. in which it has been produced. Galton's science of eugenics. The biographical sketches of the twenty-two travellers employed by the firm are so interesting that we could have wished them

OUR BOOK SHELF. longer. Whilst very many of the plants introduced Avogadro and Dalton. The Standing in Chemistry into cultivation by the energy and zeal of these men of their Hypotheses. By Dr. Andrew N. Meldrum. have proved of first-rate importance from a gardener's Pp. 113. (Edinburgh: W. F. Clay, 1904.) Price point of view, as shown, amongst other things, by the fact that no fewer than 422 plates representing This book may be read with interest by all chemists, Veitchian introductions have been published in the and with special profit by students who have got into Botanical Magazine under the editorship of the two confusion with the difficult piece of chemical history Hookers and their successor, Sir William Thiselton- of which it treats.

Dr. Meldrum sets himself to define the true relaDyer, thousands of herbarium specimens have been tionship and standing of the hypotheses of Dalton and generously presented the national botanical

Avogadro. Prof. Japp, in his preface, states that he establishments and to individual botanists engaged has nowhere else seen the true ratiocinative order of in the study of particular groups.

precedence of the molecular and atomic hypotheses

3s. net.

to

« PreviousContinue »