AN OPEN LETTER TO PROFESSOR HERMANN ULRICI, OF HALLE,
PROFESSOR WILHELM WUNDT
RESPECTED SIR : In the latest number of your “Zeitschrift für Philosophie und philosophische Kritik ” I have read a paper from your valued pen, in which you embody a detailed discussion of the spiritualistic phenomena observed here in Leipsic in the presence of the American medium, Mr. Henry Slade.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE LAND.—Let us now proceed to consider how these materials, sedimentary and crystalline, have been put together, so as to constitute the solid land of the globe. It requires but a cursory examination to observe that the sedimentary masses have not been huddled together at random; that, on the contrary, they have been laid down in sheets one over the other. An arrangement of this kind at once betokens a chronological sequence.
THE pathology of spiritualism presents some curious parallels with that of a well-known class of physical disorders—the artificial derangements of the alimentary process by the opium-habit, and the abuse of alcoholic or pungent stimulants, which a French physiologist comprises under the name of toxicolatrous affections — the poisonmanias, we might call them—and which, with all their characteristic causes, symptoms, progressive stages, direct and collateral effects, find their analogues in the half-voluntary delusion of ancient and modern miracle-mongers.
BY the statute of 1870 it was enacted that an invention, to be patentable, must possess, among other qualifications, that of newness or novelty. But what constitutes novelty is not defined. The solution of the question is left to be determined according to the circumstances of each particular case.
THE following remarks on the development of the house-fly are based on actual observation, and the appended sketches were made by Mr. G. Harkus from the microscope, with the aid of a Beales reflector. Mr. Harkus, with whom I experimented simultaneously, was fortunate, or the reverse, in having the required ova brought to him in this way : A fly having gained access to a cold joint of lamb considerately left a sufficient supply for his examination.
I HAVE already said that, among all civilized nations, wine in some form has for centuries been highly appreciated as a gastronomic accompaniment to food. I can not and do not attempt to deny it this position. Whether such employment of it is advantageous from a dietetic or physiological point of view is altogether another question.
IN the April number of your Journal for this year (1879), I discussed the subject of coincidences as one of the six sources of error in experimenting with living human beings, and stated in substance that this department of logic had been most imperfectly studied, and that the mathematical doctrine of chances especially had been abused and misunderstood, to the great detriment of science.
IN the present state of the controversy on classical studies, the publication of George Combe’s contributions to Education is highly opportune. Combe took the lead in the attack on these studies fifty years ago, and Mr. Jolly, the editor of the volume, gives a connected view of the struggle that followed.
OF all orchids the vanilla is the one most widely known ; its fruit is deservedly esteemed and is an important article of commerce. Its valuable properties long ago brought the vanilla into notice. The fruit appears to have been first introduced into Europe in the beginning of the sixteenth century.
IT may be interesting at this point to particularize the character of the influence exercised on life by certain of the agents we have now under consideration. With the action of alcohol and tobacco we are all so familiar it is not necessary to repeat what is known of them as members of the toxical family of luxury.
IT is not to be expected that law-makers or the administrators of legal justice should discriminate between spontaneous and imitative crime ; but to the patient thinker, the medical scientist, and the practical philanthropist it is evident that the grades and distinctions of actual criminality are almost as various as the individual criminals.
IT is well known that from an early period of speculative thought two doctrines have been held with regard to the sort of connection which exists between a man’s mind and his body. On the one hand, there are those who maintain that mind is an outcome and function of matter in a certain state of organization, coming with it, growing with it, decaying with it, inseparable from it : they are the so-called materialists.
WHEN we are asked to give an account of the birth of a storm, we are reluctantly compelled to admit that our storms are, almost without exception, foundlings, and that, as the precise conditions to which they owe their origin are, for the most part, shrouded in uncertainty, warm discussions at times arise as to the parish whence they have set out on their wanderings.
PROFESSOR BARKER, who is this year President of the American Scientific Association, was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, July 14, 1835. His parents were in comfortable circumstances, his father being in command of a packet-ship sailing between Boston and Liverpool.
WILL you permit a brief criticism of your selections for “The Popular Science Monthly”? My appreciation of the journal is sufficiently indicated in its reception and careful reading from the time it was begun. I have for some fifty years tried to do my own thinking—not so self-sufficiently, however, that I am not very glad to get what true help I can from other thinkers.
WE print a translation of Professor Wundt’s letter to Ulrici, which has attracted a good deal of attention in Germany, and is quite as applicable here as there. The view taken is one that needs enforcing, and it is satisfactory to find that it completely agrees with what has been repeatedly urged upon the subject in our pages.
THIS little book is the first part of the treatise on morality that will close Spencer’s “System of Philosophy.” As explained in his preface, it is the result of long preparation, and is published not in the order he at first designed. He says: “I have been led thus to deviate from the order originally set down by the fear that persistence in conforming to it might result in leaving the final work of the series unexecuted.
American and European Archaeology.— A marked difference is observable between Europe and America with respect to the order of succession of the different prehistoric human “periods” to one another. In fact the succession is in the one exactly the reverse of what it is in the other.
SIR WILLIAM FOTHERGILL-COOKE, Wheatstone’s associate in the work of introducing in England the electric telegraph, died June 25th, in the seventy-third year of his age. THERE lately died in England the Rev. Canon Beadon, of Stoneham, who distinctly remembered some of the events of the Lord George Gordon riots in 1780.