Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/433

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SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE.

The growth of this view is traced in its various aspects, the results deducible from them are set forth, and we are brought to the present state of the discussion, in the chapter on Mind in Man and Brute and those which follow it. "Modern scientific research has not only discovered a multitude of physical correspondences—analogical and homological—between man and brute, but it has also detected and brought to light many irrefragable proofs of their psychical kinship. The more exact and extended our knowledge of animal intelligence becomes, the more remarkable does its resemblance to human intelligence appear." The capacity of animals to adapt themselves to new conditions is discussed, and incidents are adduced in which it has been shown, in a chapter on Progress and Perfectibility in them; their power to form concepts, plan, and pursue a systematic course are considered under the head of Ideation in Animals and Man, and cases of the organization of communities, trial by courts, the use of tools, etc., by them are cited. The existence of such a barrier as the possession of the power of speech by man and the destitution of it by animals is questioned. Finally, evidences are adduced of the presence of an æsthetic sense and the foreshadowing of a religious sentiment in animals. "It is through the portal of spiritual kinship, created by modern evolutional science, that beasts and birds, 'our elder brothers,' as Herder calls them, enter into the temple of justice and enjoy the privilege of sanctuary against the wanton or unwitting cruelty hitherto authorized by the assumptions and usurpations of man."

 

In Aristocracy and Evolution[1] Mr. W. H. Mallock first inquires what determines the production and ascendency of superior men, what their office in the world is, and what they effect; and then applies his conclusions to current social questions, particularly to that of the distribution of wealth. By aristocracy he means in this book no artificial or conventional class, but "the exceptionally gifted and efficient minority, no matter what the position in which its members may have been born, or what the sphere of social progress in which their exceptional efficiency shows itself." He prefers the word to oligarchy, "because it means not only the rule of the few, but of the best or most efficient of the few." He regards it as a fundamental error in modern sociological study that it attributes all progress to man, while, according to his own doctrine here set forth and expounded, progress is the work of only a few men who have led the others; that it regards great men as products or at most incidents of human and social evolution, while he would regard them as pioneers and chief factors of it. No hard-and-fast definition is predicated for greatness, but it is regarded as various in kind and degree. "Great men are not necessarily heroes, as Carlyle thought, nor divided absolutely from all other men," but there is a certain minority of men who resemble each other in being more efficient than the majority, as we may see in literature and art, in the scholarship of boys at the same school, and similarly in practical life. A man may be ordinary in one respect and great in another, but the majority are not great in any. The great-man theory asserts that if some men were not more efficient than most men no progress would take place at all. Such men promote progress not so much by what they do themselves as


  1. Aristocracy and Evolution: A Study of the Rights, the Origin, and the Social Functions of the Wealthier Classes. By W. H. Mallock. New York: The Macmillan Company, pp. 385. Price, $5.