given as he goes along will find several years of work in them; but, while gaining first a general knowledge of the system, he can then easily know where to go for more detailed study on special subjects. To an intelligent reader the work will then be both a manual and a guide.
A System of Psychology. By Daniel Greenleap Thompson. In two volumes. Vol. I, 613 pages; Vol. II, 589 pages. London: Longmans, Green & Co. Price, 30s.
The unobtrusive issue of this comprehensive work by an American writer will be a surprise to many. We confess to having been somewhat stunned at receiving and looking it over, and not more by its formidable proportions than by the evidences of scholarship, and mastery of the subject displayed in every page we examined. It is undoubtedly the most important contribution to psychological science that any American has yet produced; nor is there any foreign work, with which we are acquainted, that contains so exhaustive, so instructive, and well-presented a digest of the subject as this.
The work is written mainly from the point of view of an expositor. It is the object of the author to put his readers in possession of the present state of knowledge on a broad range of psychological subjects; but, while he makes no claims to any considerable discoveries, his pages betray many intimations of independent and original thought. The work is written throughout in the true spirit of science, which aims only at the establishment of truth, and in its philosophy it of course represents the latest school of psychological doctrine as it has been developed by English thinkers. In a brief preliminary note the author thus explains his relation to the minds that have mainly influenced his course of study. He says; "Besides the little I myself may have contributed, the reader is indebted for whatever science there is in this book chiefly to four other minds: to Julius H. Seelye, the personal teacher of my youth, who showed me that philosophy is possible and necessary for human welfare, and who inspired me with zeal for philosophizing; to John Stuart Mill, the ever-influencing though unseen friend of boyhood, youth, and manhood, who with the first named taught me to love truth above all things else; to Herbert Spencer and Alexander Bain, who with the second of the four have shown me the paths of true knowledge in the department of psychology."
As may be inferred from this statement, and as amply justified by an examination of it, Mr. Thompson's treatise is a systematic and symmetrical presentation of the most modern and authoritative system of psychology in which the views of Mill, Spencer, and Bain are reproduced in a connected and unified form so as to be more available for general students than in the elaborated works of those eminent authors. The task was a formidable one, but it has been thoroughly and successfully executed. The author is not a recluse professor who has been shut up in his library to spin a speculative system of his own, but he is a working lawyer, and a practical man capable of making a valuable and useful book for the public. We have been struck by the thoroughly popular nature of the exposition. The author has evidently been well trained in the important art of plain, direct, and effective statement. He is neither burdened with his learning nor the victim of its technicalities, but expresses himself with the ease and freedom of one who is master alike of his theme and the resources of skillful explanatory presentation. These characteristics adapt the treatise to popular wants, and will give it especial claims upon that large class of American readers who have neither time nor taste to conquer the formidable books on philosophy and psychology, the contents of which are here reduced to more available and attractive form.
The work, however, is large, and the field it covers is so extensive that it will be quite impossible to attempt here any representation of its general plan, any intimation of its distinctive doctrines, or any summary of the numerous problems it deals with.
But while the work is an honor to American scholarship, and the intrepid enterprise of an individual American thinker, we regret to say that it does no honor to American publishing. There is a London imprint upon its title-page, from which we may fairly infer that American publishers decline to undertake the work. Our pub-