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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 3.djvu/526

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Gresham College to-night, there was a pretty experiment of the blood of one dog let out (till he died) into the body of another on one side, while all his own run out on the other side. The first died upon the place, and the other very well, and likely to do well This did give occasion to many pretty wishes, as of the blood of a Quaker to be let into an archbishop [e. g., Laud?] and such like; but as Dr. Croone says, may, if it takes, be of mighty use to man's health, for the amending of bad blood by borrowing from a better body."

W. Woodbridge, M.D.




WE note a very healthy curiosity on the part of many of our exchanges in regard to the progress of Mr. Spencer's discussion of Sociological Study. Now that he has considered the "Theological Bias," there is much solicitude expressed that he shall not forget the "Scientific Bias." Well, he has not forgotten it. We give his views in the present number of the Monthly, and commend them to the careful perusal of our readers. Mr. Spencer's treatment of the subject, however, has important bearings that he does not pursue. Although pointing out the influence of the study of various sciences in forming the mental habits necessary to deal with the single subject of Sociology, he in reality develops the disciplinary value of the sciences in their adaptation to the general work of education.

And the supreme question of education is undoubtedly that of mental discipline. Its primary object is to get the use of the tools of learning—the arts of reading, writing, and elementary computation. So much is indispensable for everybody; but, where education proceeds to its higher work, the next step is the application of the implements to the acquisition of knowledge. Here difficulties arise from its boundless extent. All subjects cannot be studied; whole ranges of them can never be even approached by any single mind; and, as what can be actually acquired is relatively so small, it was long ago seen that the main work of the school must be to form the mind and develop its capacities for effective action in subsequent life. An important truth was here recognized, but its bearing and exact value were far from well understood, and its undue influence led to bad results. For, although the principle is sound, that the chief purpose of education is to cultivate the mental capacities, yet this cannot be done except by means of studies selected for the purpose; and it was a grave mistake to lose sight of the value and adaptation of the knowledge to be gained, however comparatively small might be its amount. Yet such was the result. The staple studies of a liberal education had not been chosen with a view to their special mental influence, and were originally adopted for reasons of utility, because they were suited to the business wants of the professional classes. Yet their supremacy and permanence were defended on the ground of their incomparable merit for discipline. And, when modern studies began to press for increasing recognition in the higher schools, they were resisted on the principle that the acquisition of knowledge was not the object of academic study, but only mental training. The studies in use were defended for their superior claims in this respect, and the sciences were kept out of the schools, or but partially and grudgingly admitted, because they were said to be unsuited for the attainment of discipline. But this is one of the cases in which the truth turns out to be exactly the reverse of