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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

sun, so that, if the principal portion of the solar mass were either solid or liquid, its mean density ought to be at least as great as the earth's, especially since the enormous force of solar gravity would tend most powerfully to compress the materials. The low density can only he accounted for on the supposition, which seems fairly to accord also with all other facts, that the sun is mainly a ball of gas, or vapor, powerfully condensed, of course, in the central portion by the super-incumbent weight, but prevented from liquefaction by an exceedly high temperature. And, on the other hand, it could be safely predicted on physical principles that so huge a ball of fiery vapor, exposed to the cold of space, would present precisely such phenomena as we find by observation of the solar surface and surroundings.

 

EDUCATION AS A SCIENCE.
By ALEXANDER BAIN, LL. D.,

PROFESSOR IN THE UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN.

I.

THE scientific treatment of any art consists partly in applying the principles furnished by the several sciences involved—as chemical laws to agriculture—and partly in enforcing, throughout the discussion, the utmost precision and rigor in the statement, deduction and proof of the various maxims or rules that make up the art.

Both fecundity in the thoughts and clearness in the directions should attest the worth of the scientific method.

Definitions of the Scope of Education.—First, let me quote the definition embodied in the ideal of the founders of the Prussian National System. It is given shortly as "the harmonious and equable evolution of the human powers;" at more length, in the words of Stein, "by a method based on the nature of the mind, every power of the soul to be unfolded, every crude principle of life stirred up and nourished, all one-sided culture avoided, and the impulses on which the strength and worth of men rest carefully attended to."—(Donaldson's "Lectures on Education," p. 38.) This definition, which is pointed against narrowness generally, may have had special reference to the many omissions in the schooling of the foregone times: the leaving out of such things as bodily or muscular training; training in the senses or observation; training in art or refinement. It further insinuates that hitherto the professed teacher may not have done much even for the intellect, for the higher moral training, nor for the training with a view to happiness or enjoyment.

Acting on this ideal, not only would the educator put more press-