Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/565

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

the highest interest to the research. It is of no little importance to find out how much these tiny creatures know which are capable of elaborating such curious and extensive social arrangements. Are they really next to man in the scale of intelligence? Sir John Lubbock seems to have arrived at this conclusion, but he opens his introductory chapter thus: "The anthropoid apes no doubt approach nearer to man in bodily structure than to any other animals; but when we consider the habits of ants, their social organization, their large communities, and elaborate habitations; their roadways, their possession of domestic animals, and even, in some cases, of slaves, it must be admitted that they have a fair claim to rank next to man in the scale of intelligence."

We have no space either to explain Sir John's interesting method of procedure in these researches, nor to intimate his results. But we may say that the author has thoroughly caught the spirit of his country neighbor, Mr. Darwin, and that his book is quite of the Darwinian order, evincing the most minute, painstaking, and patient observation, and reasoning no further or faster than the facts will warrant.

Capital and Population: A Study of the Economic Effects of their Relations to Each Other. By Frederick B. Hawley. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 267.

The author confesses his position, as exemplified in his treatise, to be a peculiar one. While considering himself a disciple of what is called the English and orthodox school in political economy, he has arrived at results which are in many instances diametrically opposed to those of that school; especially on the subjects of free trade and taxation. On the other hand, his reasoning presupposes the falsity of most of the arguments heretofore advanced in support of the very conclusions he upholds. These singular results are obtained by his taking up the reasonings of Mill and Ricardo, and others of their school, and carrying them out on their lines beyond the limits where they stopped, and by taking up and giving importance to factors that were unconsidered or overlooked by them. Having pointed out an important variation in the definition of capital as given x by Ricardo and Mill, he makes the deduction that over-accumulation, or the increase of capital beyond the needs of population, is not only possible, but of frequent and periodic occurrence in all civilized nations; that there is, in fact, a tendency to it. He then undertakes to show that proportional and real wages vary inversely instead of together, as has heretofore been assumed, and that it is not a high rate of proportional wages, but of real wages, that is a stimulus to population. He further reaches conclusions opposed to free trade and in favor of the protective policy; that manufactures are more advantageous as a national pursuit than agriculture, and commerce is more advantageous than either; and finds a basis for a positive decision in favor of bi-metallism.

John Stuart Mill. A Criticism, with Personal Recollections. By Alexander Bain, LL. D. Henry Holt & Co. Pp. 201. Price, $1.25.

This volume is precisely what was needed to supplement Mill's "Autobiography." While, on the one hand, that work is invaluable as a disclosure of personality, and as an interpreter of mental experience, such as none but the author himself could give, on the other hand it is full of the necessary bias and the limitations of an auto-representation, and contains defects and omissions which only another mind could supply. Dr. Bain was pre-eminently the man to add this counterpart to Mill's own sketch of his life. He knew the man intimately, was himself an independent student of the whole range of questions to which Mill devoted himself, while the two men were in such sympathy that Mr. Mill intrusted to Professor Bain the revision of the proof-sheets of the "Logic," his greatest and most important work. With such a preparation, Professor Bain could not fail to give us a most interesting sketch, and which is at the same time a critical estimate of Mill's publications. Much light is thrown on the circumstances of the production of each work—how the author was led to the subject, how his views were modified or expanded, and how he was influenced by the leading contemporary minds of his time. There is an interesting analysis of Mill's relation to Comte, and a still more inter-