Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 9.djvu/244

This page has been validated.

from the viscera—are undoubtedly very important in relation to animal life generally. In part they have the effect of causing contractions of related muscular portions of the viscera—as when the presence of food in certain portions of the alimentary canal excites impressions, followed by contraction whereby the food is propelled farther on. In part, however, they act upon the principal nerve-ganglia—those constituting the brain—and thus excite the external sense-organs with which they are connected to a higher order of activity. Visceral impressions may cause an animal eagerly to pursue food, or to be alert in discovering its mate; so that in these, and in many other instances, internal impressions, reaching the cerebral ganglia, would seem to excite a higher receptivity to certain kinds of external impressions and a corresponding readiness to respond on the part of the moving organs whose activity is related to such external impressions.



UNDER the above heading may be comprehended the most of what we are desirous of saying in review of the article entitled "Science and Religion," by Dr. Charles F. Deems, in The Popular Science Monthly for February.

We first run counter to the author upon the definition of science taken from Sir William Hamilton's "Logic." Says he: "We can all afford to agree upon the definition rendered by the only man who has been found in twenty-two centuries to add anything important to the imperial science of logic. Sir William Hamilton defines science as a complement of cognitions having in point of form the character of logical perfection, in point of matter the character of real truth."

In the first place, Hamilton is not the only man since Aristotle that has been found to add anything important to logic. There has been a whole department, and by far the most valuable department of that science, brought into existence during the last three hundred years. We have reference to inductive logic, or scientific method. Hamilton had nothing to do with the creation of this department. His additions are wholly confined to the barren field of formal logic. The other department is the result of the joint labors of Bacon, Galileo, Newton, Herschel (John), Mill, Bain, and Jevons.

Hamilton's additions to formal logic consist chiefly in what is known as the quantification of the predicate, and the moods and figures consequent upon this. There is much difference of opinion as to the value of these additions. Mill and Bain affirm that by the quantification of the predicate no new or distinct meaning is conveyed,