Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/865

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LITERARY NOTICES.

nomic Science and Statistics, favored the abandonment of attempts to establish a legal tender by legislation, and the leaving of the question to settle itself. The Battle with Fire was the subject of an address by Vice-President Norton's before the Chemical Section, which embodied an account of the contributions which chemistry has made to the art of extinguishing fires and of preventing them, and contained many practical hints. In the other sections, Vice-President Samuel Calvin described the Niobrara stage of the Upper Cretaceous; Prof. W. A. Rogers spoke of obscure heat as an agent in producing expansion and contraction of metals; and Prof. L. M. Underwood discussed the evolution of the Hepaticæ. While a large proportion of the papers read in the sections were technical and limited in their bearing, a considerable number were also of great general interest.

The meetings of the affiliated societies attracted nearly as much interest as those of the association itself, and papers were read in them which were, to say the least, equal in merit and importance to the average of those which were read in the association. We regard these societies as still in the experimental stage; and it appears to be yet to be determined whether their influence as a whole will be beneficial or the contrary to the general body.

Amendments to the Constitution were proposed for consideration next year, to admit libraries and societies to representation in the association through one of their officers, and to add a Section of Sociology.

The members of the association enjoyed the full measure of the social exchanges and festivities which attend the body wherever it goes. Excursions were made to many points of scientific interest. There were some features to be criticised about the meeting. The relatively small attendance at the very interesting lectures of M. Du Chaillu and Prof. Cope was hardly creditable to the citizens of Brooklyn, in whose honor they were especially given. A deficiency of provisions for the comfort of the attendants of the meetings, particularly in the matter of directions for finding the way, was complained of; and imperfections in the arrangements of some of the excursions revealed a want of adequate central control.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Herbert Spencer. By William Henry Hudson. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 234.

This book is largely an outgrowth of lectures delivered from time to time on Mr. Spencer's Philosophy. The book itself was undertaken to meet what seemed a healthy popular demand. Mr. Hudson had observed with some surprise the widespread diffusion of interest in the subject of evolution. His lectures were heard by attentive and appreciative audiences, and cultivated men and women, especially the younger ones, expressed the desire to know more of the new thought and of its bearing upon the practical problems and issues of the day. He could not refer all inquirers to Mr. Spencer's works; for, clear and forcible as is the presentation in them all, they are too voluminous and the style of their writing is too condensed for any but persons having abundant time and strong powers of concentration to master them in bulk. Therefore the author has undertaken to furnish this introduction as a sort of guide or handbook to the complete works, by the aid of which readers may gain a kind of bird's-eye view of the system as a whole, or, if they are disposed and able to examine it more in detail, may be assisted in their course through its different regions. In this he has succeeded admirably, and his book is marked throughout by a clearness of statement which will enable any one of average intelligence to follow the author through even the most abstruse parts of the discussion. The examination of Mr. Spencer's work is preceded by a biographical sketch of the philosopher—the most satisfactory and probably the only full one that has been presented. In it