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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 29.djvu/498

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

which original production commenced. Out of a list of thirty-five it would seem as if only seven—that is, just one fifth—published before twenty. Eighteen more commenced their literary career between twenty and thirty; four more between thirty and forty; leaving six who began to write after forty.

With respect to the age at which a position of eminence is reached, our present group shows still wider variations than the previous ones. An inspection of a series of thirty-five writers gives the following results: only seven, or one fifth, won distinction before twenty-five; nine more before thirty; sixteen more before forty; leaving three unrewarded till after this date.

I may add that where—as often happens in the case of scholars and historians—a wide reputation is at once secured by a masterpiece, the appearance of this commonly falls in the thirties at the earliest. Niebuhr's first volume was published when he was thirty-nine; Thirlwall's when he was thirty-eight; Grote's, though conceived about thirty, not till fifty-two. On the other hand, literary critics—as Addison, Diderot, Lessing—have frequently obtained recognition by some excellent piece of work before thirty.—Nineteenth Century.

[To be continued.]

 

THE PROGRESS OF PSYCHICAL RESEARCH.
By NICHOLAS MURRAY BUTLER, M. A., Ph. D.,

ACTING PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY, ETHICS, AND PSYCHOLOGY IN COLUMBIA COLLEGE.

THERE was a time when philosophy might have been defined as the science of human activity, so all-comprehensive was it. The ambitious Greek who would attach his name to a philosophical system must include in his scheme all that could be known, done, and speculated about God, the world, and man. In the course of time and the specialization of the sciences this view of philosophy fell away, and was replaced by the more exact and narrower conception of modern times.

But it is a question whether science, particularistic in its early history, is not aiming to reach the position which philosophy has retired from. If we take science to mean classified knowledge, then this increase of its field is but natural, and marks the progress of man's domination over the external world.

The last bit of territory which science has invaded, and which, in time, it hopes to claim for its own, is an especially interesting one; and, in response to the many inquiries, credulous and skeptical, which are raised, both in public and in private, we wish to give a brief sketch of the progress which science has thus far made in its new field.