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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 33.djvu/791

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ETHICS AND ECONOMICS.

The exact indications for the use of hypnotism have not yet been determined, but it seems probable that functional nervous disorders will be one of the classes of cases in which it will always be most successfully used.

In order to get the best results in any individual case it is important to make all the suggestions in the somnambulistic state, in which there is amnesia upon waking. Otherwise it is impossible to obtain such complete control over the patient's mind.

Such, then, are the uses of hypnotism as we at present know them. Unfortunately, there are abuses also. I have said that, when properly employed, hypnotism is absolutely harmless. When, however, a nervous or hysterical woman is repeatedly hypnotized for half an hour at a time, for the purpose of exhibiting her powers to an inquisitive public, the case is different, and I believe that the patient is harmed physically, mentally, and morally. Unfortunately, traveling "magnetiseurs" are not the only persons who give such exhibitions. I was recently present at a public demonstration of hypnotism in Paris, given by a well-known French physician under the name of a scientific lecture, which was nothing more than a vulgar unscientific catering to the curiosity of an equally vulgar and unscientific public. If a law similar to that of Belgium, prohibiting such abuses of hypnotism, were immediately carried into effect in other civilized countries, I believe there would be a timely prevention of much mischief. As it is, the matter will probably be overlooked until enough harm has been done to convince thoughtful persons that some decided measure is necessary to prevent injury at the hands of ignorant or unprincipled persons.

 

ETHICS AND ECONOMICS.
By ROBERT MATHEWS.

WHATEVER else the theory of evolution has done for human thought, it has at least added two phrases to our current literature that, by the frequency of their use, have done much to mold opinion into harmony with the ideas that are supposed to underlie them. Open any magazine or journal of the day, and one is almost sure to find on some of its pages "the struggle for existence" and "the survival of the fittest." The wide acceptance of the Darwinian hypothesis, of which these phrases are the embodiment, has naturally caused them to be applied to the predominant form of social conflict—industrial competition. In thus applying them, we have also brought with them ideas derived from the study of the way in which the struggle for existence has gone on in the past. The survival of