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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/287

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SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE.

Formation of Connecticut (W. M. Davis), Geology of the Edwards Plateau, etc., Texas (R. T. Hill and J. W. Vaughan), North American Tertiary Horizons (W. H. Dall), Glaciers of Mount Rainier (I. C. Russell) and Rocks of Mount Rainier (G. O. Smith), The Franklin White Limestone of New Jersey (J. E. Wolfe and A. H. Brooks), the Geology of San Clemente Island (W. S. T. Smith), Geology of the Cape Cod District (N. H. Shaler), and Recent Earth Movement in the Great Lakes Region (G. K. Gilbert). Part III contains papers on the gold districts of Alaska, by G. F. Becker, J. E. Spurr, and H. B. Goodrich; Coal Fields of Puget Sound (B. Willis), the Judith Mountains of Montana (W. H. Weed and L. V. Pirsson), Certain Mining Districts in Idaho (W. Lindgren and F. H. Knowlton), and the Mining Districts of the Telluride Quadrangle, Colorado (C. W. Purington). The four papers in Part IV are a Report of Progress of Stream Measurements during 1896, by A. P. Davis; the Water Resources of Indiana and Ohio, by Frank Leverett; New Developments in Wellboring in South Dakota, by N. H. Darton; and Water Storage and the Construction of Dams, by J. D. Schuyler.

The purpose of Belle S. Cragin's Our Insect Friends and Foes[1] is illustrated from a passage in the author's own life, cited in the preface: "In my younger days, when Nature study was unknown in schools and my problems had to be solved by my own investigations or remain unsolved, I used to long for somebody to write a book that would tell me the things I wished to know, or show me how to find them out for myself; and that is what I have tried to do for you." The beginning of the book is a chapter on the collection, preservation, and care of insects for specimens, giving explicit directions for collecting them perfect, for putting them to death, for mounting and placing them in the cabinet, and for protecting them against vermin, dust, and mold, with descriptions of the instruments, cases, etc., that are used. In the descriptions of insects no attempt is made to mention any except the commonest species, and not all of those. The habitat, in most cases, is included in the description. As a rule, most of the species are those found in the States east of the Rocky Mountains and north of the Gulf States. Scientific names are attached to the illustrations and a list of popular names, with their scientific equivalents. The descriptions are brief and well adapted to the purpose indicated in the quotation with which our notice begins.

In presenting a revision of their Plane and Solid Geometry[2] Messrs. Beman and Smith express their belief as being, that amid all the schemes for breaking away from the formal proofs of Euclid and Legendre and leading the student to independent discovery, the best results are secured by setting forth a minimum of formal proofs as models, and a maximum of unsolved or unproved propositions as exercises. They likewise share in the belief that such of the notions of modern geometry as materially simplify the ancient should find place in our elementary text-books. Accordingly, they have introduced various ideas, such as those of one-to-one correspondence, anti-parallels, negative magnitudes, general figures, prismatic space, similarity of point systems, etc., which are of real use in the early study of the science. In general, whatever is found to be usable in elementary work has been inserted where it will prove of most value.

The plan of the investigation undertaken by Mr. Walter Smith in his Methods of Knowledge[3] is, first, to give a definition of knowledge. The methods are then considered by which men have thought it possible to attain knowledge of the self on the one hand, and the not-self on the other. The common view of philosophers and men of science that truth is given in general concepts, or universals, or categories, is taken up, and the special form of the doctrine given in empiricism is considered and found to be a doctrine wanting in all its forms. Yet it is pointed out that


  1. Our Insect Friends and Foes. How to Collect, Present, and Study them. By Belle S. Cragin. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 377. Price, $1.75.
  2. New Plane and Solid Geometry. By W. W. Beman and D. E. Smith. Boston: Ginn & Co. Pp. 382.
  3. Methods of Knowledge. An Essay in Epistemology. New York: The Macmillan Company. Pp. 340. Price, $1.25.