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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/194

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effect. It is true that the number of students who miss the right way or do not reach the goal is lamentably great. But there is security against this. If any one speaks of it as if it was the fault of the university, and asks it to prevent such failures by discipline, tests of diligence, and more frequent examinations, he makes an unreasonable accusation and presents a demand that can not be complied with. The university is not a school, and will not and can not be one. It is an institution for adults, who live there on their own responsibility. That all its members do not know how to make the best use of their privileges proves nothing against the institution.

Hence we find nothing of an essential character to disturb in the general organization of the university as a teaching institution. We can only endeavor to make its endowments more fruitful and to ward off the harmful tendencies as far as possible. It would indeed be a pity if the institutions which have accomplished so much, and have so illustrious names on their rolls of teachers, should, in these days of minute subdivision of labor, allow their energies to be dissipated in excessive specialization. This is not likely to happen; we may even say it will not happen. There are indications that a reaction is at hand from this tendency. If we mistake not, the one-sided exaltation of the specialist's work has passed its zenith. Long-neglected philosophy is again obtaining a footing even in the domain of scientific research—an evidence that the idea of the unity of knowledge is still vital. What philosophy gains, the university gains as a teaching institution, as the high school of general education.—A translation, for The Popular Science Monthly, from an article in the Deutsche Rundschau.



THE preface to the Prinzipien der Mechanik, or Principles of Mechanics, of Heinrich Hertz is a testimonial by Helmholtz, who followed the author so soon in death, to his gifts and his work. Endowed with the rarest gifts of genius and character. Hertz, Helmholtz says, had gathered a fullness of fruits almost beyond anticipation, for the winning of which many of his most accomplished fellow-specialists had toiled in vain. It would have been said in classical times that he fell a victim to the envy of the gods. In him Nature and fortune seem to have favored the development of a mind that united in itself all the talents needed for the solution of the most difficult problems of science; a mind adapted alike to the highest keenness and clearness of logical