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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

senses' in varying degrees, are sufficiently numerous to confirm one another's observations and reports." The Italics are ours. Here we have the whole case. Reducing it to the terms of the former illustration, instead of the persons claiming to be endowed with the color-sense being in a position to experiment before the whole world in the distinguishing by sight of claret from sherry and other similar feats, they simply form a clique who perform experiments in more or less secret conclave, and then profess "to confirm one another's observations and reports." The two things are very different. Mr. Sinnett had better have chosen a different illustration.

 


LITERARY NOTICES.

Collected Essays. By T. H. Huxley. Vol. VI. Hume, with Helps to the Study of Berkeley. Pp. 319. Vol. VII. Man's Place in Nature, and other Anthropological Essays. Pp. 328. Vol. VIII. Discourses, Biological and Geological. Pp. 388. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Price, $1.25 each.

In the preface to the first of these volumes Prof. Huxley repeats his conviction, often expressed, that Descartes, if any one, may claim to be the father of modern philosophy; or that his general scheme of things, his conceptions of scientific method, and of the conditions and limits of certainty are far more essentially and characteristically modern than those of any of his immediate predecessors and successors. A ruling axiom in his work, obedience to which was the source of his great merit—and an axiom which seems, moreover, to have inspired Prof. Huxley in all his studies—was expressed in his famous resolution "to take nothing for truth without clear knowledge that it is such"; "the great practical effect of which," says the author, "is the sanctification of doubt; the recognition that the profession of belief in propositions, of the truth of which there is no sufficient evidence, is immoral; the discrowning of authority as such; the repudiation of the confusion, beloved of sophists of all sorts, between free assent and mere piously gagged dissent; and the admission of the obligation to reconsider even one's axioms on demand." In the reform of philosophy since Descartes, Prof. Huxley thinks he finds the greatest and most fruitful results of the activity of the modern spirit, perhaps the only great and lasting results, in those first presented in the works of Hume and Berkeley, one of whom carried out the Cartesian principle to its logical result, and the other extended the Cartesian criticism to the whole range of propositions commonly "taken for truth." The essay on Hume was prepared originally for the English Men of Letters series, with some hope of passing on to others the benefits the author had received from the study of his works. The author hoped, also, at one time to add an analogous exposition of Berkeley's views, but was unable to carry out his desire, and is forced to content himself with giving two preliminary studies.

The first three essays in Man's Place in Nature recall an incident in the history of science, when, thirty-seven years ago. Prof. Huxley, after due study of the subject, ventured to differ with his fellow zoölogists or anthropologists, and to maintain that so far from certain features of the brain being peculiar to man and separating him far from other mammals, they were shared by him with all the higher and many of the lower apes. The rash philosopher was helped, to some extent, out of the troubles this indiscreet assertion brought upon him by the appearance of Darwin's Origin of Species. In 1860 he delivered six lectures to workingmen on the Relation of Man to the Lower Animals, and the subject was discussed before a "jury of experts" at the Oxford meeting of the British Association; and in 1862 Sir W. Flower publicly demonstrated the existence in apes of those cerebral characters which had been said to be peculiar to man. Besides the three lectures, first published in their present form in 1863, which embody the principles about which controversy raged, the volume contains lectures on the Methods and Results of Ethnology (1865), Some Fixed Points in British Ethnology (1871), and The Aryan Question (1890).

In the third of the volumes the author declares that he has never been able to regard a popular lecture as a mere side-work, unworthy of being ranked among the serious ef-