Learning to Draw; or, the Story of a Young Designer. By Viollet-le-Duc. Translated from the French by Virginia Champion. Illustrated by the Author. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 324.
This work was the last written by the illustrious French author who has done so much to rationalize art education. His method of instruction was logical, beginning always with the simplest elements and proceeding slowly to more complex considerations, while the progress at every step is made pleasant and attractive. Le-Duc was always suggestive, and, instead of grinding students through a hard didactic course, he ever aims, by showing the connection between one study and another, to make the work intellectually attractive. All special results must have the broadest possible foundation. And in every way the student is inspired with a love of excellence and an i ambition to attain the highest standard and accomplish the most thorough work. Of I the value of the author's method the translator thus speaks: "Teachers of art, both! general and technical, and, for that matter, teachers of any subject, will find this volume of Viollet-le-Duc of no little service in suggesting methods of instruction. It shows bow students, young or old, are to be interested; how all the surroundings of daily life contain suggestions for the most interesting and important lines of investigation; how students are to be taught to think out processes for themselves, and to develop their powers of comparison and reasoning; how the study of art of necessity leads us back to the study of nature, which underlies all art; and how, as before said, the basis of all education must be perception, so that learning to draw well and learning to do anything properly depend upon first learning to see correctly."
A Text-Book of Elementary Mechanics. By Edward S. Dana. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 1881. Pp. 291. Price, $1.50.
Professor Dana has aimed in this work to present the subject of mechanics clearly and concisely, and develop its fundamental principles in their logical order. The book is restricted to the mechanics of solids, which is considered under the general heads of kinematics, dynamics, and statics. Numerous problems, involving the principles elucidated in the various sections, are furnished for the pupil to work upon, answers to which are given at the close of the book. We can discover no reason why this latter feature should have been added, and think the space might have been much better devoted to additional problems.
Summary of Substantialism; or, Philosophy of Knowledge. By Jean Story. With Additional Illustrations. Boston: Franklin Press; Rand, Avery & Co. Pp. 113. Price, 35 cents.
The author starts with the assumption that all authority, "so called," not founded on what nature teaches through facts actually demonstrable or knowable through analogy, should be rejected. Nevertheless, he believes that the theory that what is non-objective to the senses is immaterial and unknowable is erroneous and deleterious, as is also the theory that knowledge is, either directly or indirectly, miraculously revealed. In harmony with these doctrines, he endeavors to build up a new philosophy of the human organism. The present essay appears to be introductory to a larger work on the same subject.
The Feeling of Effort. By William James, M. D., Assistant Professor of Physiology in Harvard University. (Anniversary Memoirs of the Boston Society of Natural History.) Boston: Published by the Society. Pp. 32.
The author's purpose is to offer a scheme of the physiology and psychology of volition, to inquire of what nervous processes the feelings of active energy are concomitants. He first considers muscular exertion as an afferent feeling, then examines into the power of the will over exertion, analyzing the cases of acts in which no effort of either is required, in which the stress of effort is laid on the exertion while the will is lightly taxed, on the will when the muscular exertion required is insignificant, and cases in which the will effort operates in all its vigor while the muscular function is not regarded. Lastly, he considers the question of a dynamic connection between the inner and outer worlds, answering it in the negative.