Literature and Knowledge Publishing

  • Anglais The Influence of the Greek Mind on Modern Life

    Richard C. Jebb

    Parution : 22 Novembre 2017 - Entrée pnb : 23 Novembre 2017

    This book treats of the Influence of the Greek Mind on Modern Life.
    "The vital power of the Greek spirit was indeed not fully disclosed until, after suffering a partial eclipse in the Macedonian age, it emerged in a new quality, as a source of illumination to the Italian masters of the world. Under the plastic touch of conquered Greece, the Latin language was gradually moulded into an apter instrument of literature, while the Roman intellect itself acquired, in some measure, a flexibility not native to it. Through Rome, the Greek influence was transmitted to mediæval Europe in a form which obscured much of its charm, yet also served to extend its empire. In the earlier period of the Renaissance, the scholars of Italy, where the revival had its chief seat, were engrossed with Latin literature; they regarded it as their Italian heritage, restored to them after long deprivation..."

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  • Anglais Erasmus

    Richard C. Jebb; Desiderius Erasmus

    Parution : 21 Novembre 2017 - Entrée pnb : 23 Novembre 2017

    This book presents the history of Erasmus, an European humanist; and his essay against war.
    "With Erasmus a new period opens. Two things broadly distinguish him, as a scholar, from the men before and after him. First, he was not only a refined humanist, writing for the fastidious few, and prizing no judgment but theirs; he took the most profitable authors of antiquity,-profitable in a moral as well as a literary sense,-chose out the best things in them,-and sought to make these things widely known,-applying their wisdom or wit to the circumstances of his own day. Secondly, in all his work he had an educational aim,-and this of the largest kind. The evils of his age,-in Church, in State, in the daily lives of men,-seemed to him to have their roots in ignorance,-ignorance of what Christianity meant,-ignorance of what the Bible taught,-ignorance of what the noblest and most gifted minds of the past, whether Christian or pagan, had contributed to the instruction of the human race. Let true knowledge only spread, and under its enlightening and humanizing influence a purer religion and a better morality will gradually prevail. Erasmus was a man of the world; but with his keen intellect, so quickly susceptible to all impressions, he made the mistake, not uncommon for such temperaments, of overrating the rapidity with which intellectual influences permeate the masses of mankind. However, no one was ever more sistently or brilliantly true to an idea than Erasmus was to his; and it is wonderful how much he achieved..."

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  • Anglais Caroline Lucretia Herschel

    Eliza Ann Youmans

    Parution : 21 Novembre 2017 - Entrée pnb : 23 Novembre 2017

    Caroline Lucretia Herschel was the first woman who received full recognition as astronomer by discovering several comets. She was also the first woman to be awarded a Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, and to be named an Honorary Member of the Royal Astronomical Society.
    "Most people in this country have heard of Miss Caroline Herschel the astronomer. Without knowing much about her, she has been vaguely regarded by the public as a profound scientific genius, the strong-minded peer and coadjutor of her brother, the illustrious Sir William Herschel. It is supposed that she rose above the narrow sphere of woman's usual domestic life, and spent her time in studying the universe and making astronomical discoveries. She has been often cited, in the recent discussions of the woman question, as an illustration of the intellectual equality of the sexes and as demonstrating to the world what woman is capable of doing in science when she gets a fair opportunity...
    The lesson of this book is very important to ambitious girls who despise domestic concerns, and long for an "intellectual" career. Her science, as such, gave Miss Herschel no great enjoyment; her happiness came from her womanly devotion to her brother's ambitious work; and the book will be found painfully interesting as it discloses the suffering she also experienced as the penalty of this unselfish devotion."

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  • Anglais The Kearney Agitation in California

    Henry George

    Parution : 2 Avril 2018 - Entrée pnb : 4 Avril 2018

    Denis Kearney was mainly known as American labor agitator of 19th century, and one of the most important leaders of the anti-Chinese campaign in California. He began an agitation among the workingmen in 1877. His attacks being directed mostly against the rights of capital and the importation of Chinese labor. This book deals with the Kearney Agitation in California. "What has been going on in California is not out of the natural course of things. The forces that have produced these events have been developed, not imported. And as it seems to me that the same forces exist in other parts of the country, I cannot see why, essentially, the same movements may not soon begin elsewhere. It is this that makes these California experiences worthy of attention. Every result becomes in turn a cause; every event is the progenitor of future events. And it is probable that this California agitation marks the beginning of a new phase in our politics. Whatever be his future career, Kearney has already made what will be regarded by thousands and thousands of men, many of them of much greater abilities, as a dazzlingly brilliant success. An unknown drayman, destitute of advantages, without following or influence, he has, simply by appealing to popular discontent and arousing the uneasy timidity which is its correlative, risen to the rank of a great leader, and drunk the sweets of power and fame. He knows what it is to be the hero and the master of surging multitudes; to draw forth their applause by a word, to hush them into silence with a wave of his hand; to be garlanded with flowers; to be drawn in triumph through crowded streets; to be attended wherever he went by a retinue of reporters and correspondents; to rise every morning to find the newspapers filled with him; to have men, who would not have noticed him had he stuck to his dray, slink by night to his house, or solicit his favors by go-betweens; to look upon high officials as the creatures of his making; to be known and talked about, not merely through the whole country, but over the world! Whatever becomes of Kearney - and it would be rash to predict that his career is yet over - this lesson will not be lost: The wave rises, curls, and subsides, and, where was its white crest, are but some spumes of foam. But the impulse is perpetuated, and another wave swells up. When, under institutions that proclaim equality, masses of men, whose ambitions and tastes are aroused only to be crucified, find it a hard, bitter, degrading struggle even to live, is it to be expected that the sight of other men rolling in their millions will not excite discontent? And, when discontented men have votes, is it to be expected that the demagogue will not appeal to the discontent, for the sake of the votes? It is useless to blink the fact. Nothing is clearer, to whoever will look, than that the political equality from which we cannot recede, and the social inequality to which we are tending, cannot peacefully coexist. Nothing is surer than that all the inventions, and improvements, and discoveries, of which our time is so fruitful, are tending with irresistible force to carry mere political democracy into anarchy."

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  • Anglais Israelites and Indians

    Garrick Mallery

    Parution : 2 Avril 2018 - Entrée pnb : 4 Avril 2018

    Many authors have contended that the North American Indians were descendants of the "ten lost tribes of Israel." Prominent among them was James Adair, whose work, highly useful with regard to the customs of the southeastern Indians, among whom he spent many years, was mainly devoted to proof of the proposition. The Rev. Ethan Smith is also conspicuous. Even the latest general treatise on the Indians, published last year, and bearing the comprehensive title, "The American Indian," favors the same theory. The authors of the school mentioned rest their case on the fact, which I freely admit with greater emphasis, that an astounding number of customs of the North American Indians are the same as those recorded of the ancient Israelites. The lesson to be derived from this parallel is, however, very different from that drawn by those who have advocated the descent in question. The argument, strongly urged, derived from an alleged similarity between Hebrew and some Indian languages, especially in identity of certain vocables, may be dismissed forthwith. Perhaps the most absurd of all the coincidences insisted upon by Adair was the religious use of sounds represented by him to be the same as the word Jehovah. The "lost" Israelites when deported did not use orally the name given in the English version as "Jehovah," and the mode of its spelling and pronunciation is at this moment in dispute, though generally accepted as Jahveh; therefore, it would be most extraordinary if the tribes of Indians supposed to be descendants of the lost ten tribes of Israel should at this time know how to pronounce a name which their alleged ancestors practically did not possess... For brevity, the term "Indians" may be used-leaving the blunder of Columbus where it belongs-without iterating their designation as North American, though I shall not treat of the aboriginal inhabitants south of the United States. This neglect of Mexico and Central and South America is not only to observe my own limits, but because some of the peoples of those regions had reached a culture stage in advance of the northern tribes. To avoid confusion, the term "Israelites" may designate all the nation. Although the tribes became divided into the kingdoms of Israel and of Judah, when it is necessary to speak of the northern tribes they may be designated as the kingdom of Samaria. The shortest term, Jews, would be incorrect, as the people now scattered over the world and called "Jews" are chiefly the descendants of the southern branch or fractional part of the children of Israel, and have a special history beyond that common to them and their congeners.

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  • Anglais Indigestion as a Cause of Nervous Depression

    Thomas Lauder Brunton

    Parution : 2 Avril 2018 - Entrée pnb : 4 Avril 2018

    To most men who are engaged in intellectual work, an autumn holiday has become a matter of necessity, and is not to be regarded as a mere luxury. During eleven months of the year many who are engaged in brain-work systematically overtax themselves, trusting to the month's holiday to bring them again into proper working order. Formerly this was not the case. Men seemed to be able to go on, not only month after month, but year after year, without any vacation at all. The circumstances under which they lived were different from those which exist now. The very means which facilitate our holidays-the network of railways which puts us into complete and easy communication with any part of the Continent of Europe, or the quick ocean-steamers which enable us to enjoy half of a six weeks' holiday on the other side of the Atlantic, as well as the telegraphic communications which will warn us in a moment, even at the most distant point of our travels, of any urgent necessity for an immediate return-all these are the very means which increase our labor during the greater part of the year. We live at high pressure; letters and telegrams keep us constantly on the qui vive; express trains hurry us miles away from home in the morning and back again in the evening, and the pressure of competition is so great that few men can afford either to take their work easily or to modify the constant strain of it by breaks of a day or two at a time...

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  • In the history of a nation or a people there are sometimes important changes taking place, so gradually and quietly that they are scarcely perceptible at the time. It may require a series of years or several generations to work out the problems involved, but they may be followed with results of great magnitude. Some changes of this character have been taking place in our New England population, which we purpose here briefly to notice. In the earlier history of New England there were few changes in the residence of her people. As agricultural pursuits constituted their principal occupation, the same farms and lands continued to a great extent in the same families from generation to generation. Prior to the Revolutionary War very little emigration took place out of New England. In the early part of the present century many persons removed to New York and some to Ohio. From 1810 to 1830 this emigration continued steadily to increase, not only to those States but to the States and Territories farther west. To such an extent had this emigration been carried on that, in 1840, the United States census reported nearly half a million of persons born in New England who were living in other States...

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  • Anglais From Creation to Evolution

    Andrew Dickson White

    Parution : 2 Avril 2018 - Entrée pnb : 4 Avril 2018

    The Origin of Species had come into the theological world like a plow into an ant-hill. Everywhere those who were thus rudely awakened from their old comfort and repose had swarmed forth angry and confused. Reviews, sermons, books light and heavy, came flying at the new thinker from all sides. The keynote was struck at once in the Quarterly Review by Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford. He declared that Darwin was guilty of "a tendency to limit God's glory in creation"; that "the principle of natural selection is absolutely incompatible with the word of God"; that it "contradicts the revealed relations of creation to its Creator"; that it is "inconsistent with the fullness of his glory"; that it is "a dishonoring view of Nature"; and the bishop ended by pointing Darwin's attention to "a simpler explanation of the presence of these strange forms among the works of God," that cause being-"the fall of Adam." - - Nor did the bishop's services end here; at the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science he again disported himself in the tide of popular applause. Referring to the ideas of Darwin, who was absent on account of illness, the bishop in a public speech congratulated himself that he was not descended from a monkey. The reply came from Huxley, who said in substance: "If I had to choose, I would prefer to be a descendant of a humble monkey rather than of a man who employs his knowledge and eloquence in misrepresenting those who are wearing out their lives in the search for truth."

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  • Anglais Food and Feeding

    William Browning; Charles Grant Allen

    Parution : 2 Avril 2018 - Entrée pnb : 4 Avril 2018

    When a man and a bear meet together casually in an American forest, it makes a great deal of difference, to the two parties concerned at least, whether the bear eats the man or the man eats the bear. We haven't the slightest difficulty in deciding afterward which of the two, in each particular case, has been the eater, and which the eaten. Here, we say, is the grizzly that ate the man; or, here is the man that smoked and dined off the hams of the grizzly. Basing our opinion upon such familiar and well-known instances, we are apt to take it for granted far too readily that between eating and being eaten, between the active and the passive voice of the verb edo, there exists necessarily a profound and impassable native antithesis. To swallow an oyster is, in our own personal histories, so very different a thing from being swallowed by a shark that we can hardly realize at first the underlying fundamental identity of eating with mere coalescence. And yet, at the very outset of the art of feeding, when the nascent animal first began to indulge in this very essential animal practice, one may fairly say that no practical difference as yet existed between the creature that ate and the creature that was eaten. After the man and the bear had finished their little meal, if one may be frankly metaphorical, it was impossible to decide whether the remaining being was the man or the bear, or which of the two had swallowed the other... The particular point to which I wish to draw attention here, however, is this: that even the very simplest and most primitive animals do discriminate somehow between what is eatable and what isn't... ...The healthy popular belief, still surviving in spite of cookery, that our likes and dislikes are the best guide to what is good for us, finds its justification in this fact, that whatever is relished will prove on the average wholesome, and whatever rouses disgust will prove on the whole indigestible. Nothing can be more wrong, for example, than to make children eat fat when they don't want it. A healthy child likes fat, and eats as much of it as he can get. If a child shows signs of disgust at fat, that proves that it is of a bilious temperament, and it ought never to be forced into eating it against its will...

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  • Anglais Ancestor Worship Among the Fijians

    Basil H. Thomson; Frank Coffee

    Parution : 2 Avril 2018 - Entrée pnb : 4 Avril 2018

    Like other primitive peoples, the Fijians deified their ancestors. The father ruled the family. Each member of it turned to him for the ordering of his daily life. No scheme entered the head of the young man that did not depend upon the consent or prohibition of the head of his family. Suddenly the father died. How were his sons to rid themselves of the idea of his controlling influence that had guided them ever since they were born, even though they had buried his body? He had been wont to threaten them with punishment for disobedience, and even now, when they did the things of which he disapproved in life, punishment was sure to follow - the crops failed, a hurricane unroofed the hut, floods swept away the canoe... In reading the early history of Fiji, one sickens at the prominence given to the atrocious acts of cannibalism - the fattening, the clubbing and the roasting of hecatombs of human beings. It was in such a hell on earth that the first missionaries trusted their lives, and the change that has been effected through them is wonderful. Christianity was first made known to the Fijians of the eastern group by the reports of the Tongans from the Friendly Islands, where the Wesleyans already had a thriving mission.

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  • Anglais Aesthetic Evolution in Man

    Charles Grant Allen

    Parution : 2 Avril 2018 - Entrée pnb : 4 Avril 2018

    If we wish to hit upon the primitive germ of æsthetic sensibility in man, we cannot begin better than by looking at its foreshadowing in the lower animals. There are two modes of aesthetic feeling which seem to exist among vertebrates and insects at least: the first is the sense of visual beauty in form, color, or brilliancy; the second is the sense of auditory beauty in musical or rhythmical sound... Step by step, in our own individual minds, and in the history of our race, the æsthetic faculty has slowly widened with every widening of our interests and affections. Attaching itself at first merely to the human face and figure, it has gone on to embrace the works of man's primitive art, and then the higher products of his decorative and imitative skill. Next, seizing on the likeness between human handicraft and the works of nature, envisaged as the productions of an anthropomorphic creator, it has proceeded to the admiration for the lace-work tracery of a fern or a club-moss, the sculptured surface of an ammonite, the embossed and studded covering of a sea-urchin, the delicate fluting of a tiny shell. Lastly, it has spread itself over a wider field, with the vast expansion of human interests in the last two centuries, and has learned to love all the rocks, and hills, and seas, and clouds, of earth and heaven, for their own intrinsic loveliness. So it has progressed in unbroken order from the simple admiration of human beauty, for the sake of a deeply seated organic instinct, to the admiration of abstract beauty for its own sake alone.

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  • Anglais A Living Mystery

    Charles Grant Allen

    Parution : 2 Avril 2018 - Entrée pnb : 4 Avril 2018

    I hold in my hand here a key to one of the greatest mysteries of life: the perennial mystery of birth and reproduction. It is only a pea that I hold here before me, an ordinary small, round, yellow marrowfat, the seed of the commonest of garden annuals. Nevertheless, that familiar little object, which all of us have known all the days of our life, incloses in itself the entire solution of the riddle of birth. If we understand the pea clearly, we understand the whole science of biology. Let us ask ourselves first, exactly what it is, and then see how it helps us to comprehend the coming into existence of all the higher plants and animals. We have here the solution for one of the deepest and most fundamental problems of all life, animal or vegetable: the problem of reproduction, heredity, and individual variation.

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  • This book deals with the training of Dog and the Psychology of the animal. "Dogs are not filthy in their habits, but some people who keep them are, and others do not understand what is required to enable a dog to follow his instincts of cleanliness. Where a dog has once been to respond to Nature's call, he tends to visit again, and this is a guide to enable us to avail of natural instinct to enable us to maintain cleanly surroundings. The same general principles apply when dogs are taken afield to be worked on some sort of game. At first the puppy may run toward almost every form of life he sees. This is natural, and he would not be worth his keeping if he did not show some such tendency to investigate the world about him..."

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  • Anglais The Mississippi River Problem

    Walter S. Tower; H. M. Kingery

    Parution : 12 Avril 2018 - Entrée pnb : 13 Avril 2018

    "The project for a deep waterway from the Great Lakes to the Gulf has been dreamed about and discussed intermittently for half a century, but nothing definite ever came of it until a little over a year ago, when, from a conference held at St. Louis, there was born the permanent organization called the "Lakes to the Gulf Deep Waterways Association." That this concerted movement came at the psychological moment has been indicated by subsequent events. Last winter the Rivers and Harbors Congress in session at Washington supported the project. The president in his Memphis address heartily endorsed the enterprise; shortly afterward his annual message called attention to the need for river improvement and the question is now in the hands of congress with some definite action sure to come in the near future. Within the last decade, this country has entered three fields of government activity, forest conservation, reclamation of arid and swamp lands and the building of the Isthmian Canal, the far-reaching results of which can scarcely be estimated at this time. The development of a ship channel through the Mississippi Valley, with feeding lines in the larger tributaries, would likewise be of such tremendous importance to the economic progress of the country that it must be ranked second to none in the list of great national policies..."

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  • This book deals with the steps in the evolution of religion and the Influence of the Environment on Religion. The most remarkable thing yet discovered about this planet is the fact that human beings exist upon it in large numbers, scattered almost everywhere over its surface, that pay homage to superterrestrial powers. But this fact, remarkable as it is, is only a portion of the truth. For the most searching and unprejudiced investigation has failed to reveal any time in human history when it was otherwise. However ignorant and forlorn man may have been in the past, we have no evidence that he has ever been so low down in the scale of being that he did not look upward with some degree of reverence and awe to higher powers. Not many years ago this fact of the universal prevalence of religion among men was seriously called in question by no less weighty writers than Sir John Lubbock and Herbert Spencer. They quoted at length from the reports of certain travelers and missionaries among the Eskimos of North Greenland, the Hottentots of South Africa and the Indians of Lower California in support of their position; and they stoutly contended that in these documents we have proof positive that there are communities now in existence that have no religion at all...

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  • Anglais Natural History of Man

    Armand de Quatrefages

    Parution : 12 Avril 2018 - Entrée pnb : 13 Avril 2018

    This book presents the natural history of man, with illustrations. - What is man? - The Antiquity of Man. - The Migrations of Men. - The Development of Physical and Intellectual Characters of the Human Races. "Each of my fellow laborers in science select the subject which habitually occupies them. Some tell you of the heavens, the earth, the waters; from others you get the history of vegetables and animals. As I am Professor of the Natural History of Man at the Museum, I ask myself why I should not speak to you of man. There is evidently as much interest for us in our own species as in the history of animals, even of those most useful to us. Indeed, at this time, the mind is drawn toward this study by an irresistible movement. Formerly, Anthropology, the natural history of man, was not represented in philosophical bodies, nor by the periodical press. Now, in Paris alone there are two Philosophical Societies occupied exclusively with this science, and two large publications equally devoted to it. At the Museum the teaching of anthropology is older. It is there aided by a collection which is still the best in the world. I do not hesitate to say that it is one of the glories of France to have given by these methods an example to the entire world-an example followed to-day in America as well as in Europe. And I wish to make you take a part in this movement, by giving you some serious notion of the ensemble of the human family. This, gentlemen, is much more difficult for me than for my associates. In all these lectures we are to speak of only a single being, man. Consequently, there will be an intimate union between them, so much so that any person who should miss a lecture would find difficulty in thoroughly understanding those that follow. To remove this difficulty, I mean to shape my teaching so that each lecture will form as definite a whole as possible. Then, at the commencement of each lecture, I shall endeavor to give, in a few words, a résumé of the preceding. In this way I hope to carry you to the end without ceasing to be understood..."

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  • From the time of its discovery by Grijalva in 1534 until 1607, a number of fruitless attempts had been made by the Mexican authorities to colonize the peninsula of Lower California, and no small amount of treasure had been wasted in the efforts. The sole obstacle to the success of the schemes for colonization lay not in the indolent and peaceably disposed Indians, but in the barren and inhospitable nature of the country itself, the wastes of which offered but moderate subsistence to the natives, and nothing whatever to satisfy the love of adventure and the thirst for wealth of the Spaniard. Finding that all attempts to colonize the new country were failures, the Mexican Government turned it over to the Jesuits, who readily undertook its subjection to ecclesiastical authority. The first settlement was made on the Bay of San Dionisio in 1697. The establishment of the missions proper began immediately, and between this period and 1745 no fewer than fourteen were established on the peninsula. It was not until 1769 that the occupancy of Upper California was inaugurated by the founding of the mission of San Diego by the Franciscans, who had superseded the Jesuits in charge of mission work in western Spanish America. From this date until 1823 mission after mission was established to the number of twenty-one, until the entire coast area of California up to and a little beyond the Bay of San Francisco was under mission sway. As mission history forms one of the most interesting chapters relating to the aborigines of this continent, it is the purpose of the present paper to briefly notice the subject, with especial reference to some of the more salient features of mission life and its effect upon the natives. But, before turning to the subject proper, let us glance at the California Indian as he was found by the missionaries.

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  • Anglais Miracles and Medicine

    Andrew D. White

    Parution : 12 Avril 2018 - Entrée pnb : 13 Avril 2018

    Nothing in the evolution of human thought appears more inevitable than the idea of supernatural intervention in producing and curing disease. The causes of disease are so intricate that they are reached only after ages of scientific labor. In those periods when man sees everywhere miracle and nowhere law; when he attributes all things which he can not understand to a will like his own, he naturally ascribes his diseases either to the wrath of a good being or to the malice of an evil being... Progress in medical science within the past quarter of a century has been vast indeed; the theological view of disease has greatly faded, and the theological hold upon medical education has been almost entirely relaxed. In three great fields especially, discoveries have been made which have done much to disperse the atmosphere of miracle...

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  • I shall begin with remarks on physical training, as it is first in natural order, the physical life beginning before the mental. In these days, when there is a great rage for education, a certain top-heaviness has been produced among children, and the good homely helpmate of the mind-the body-is decidedly neglected. It is looked upon as is the dull but sensible wife of some clever man, whose duty is to get through all the home drudgery. She must be invited out with him, but is ignored in society, and is only tolerated on account of her brilliant husband. Now, I consider the body to be just as important as the mind, and that it ought to be treated with just as much respect, especially in these days of intense competition, when, given an equality of brains and education, it is the strong body that tells in the long run, and gives staying power...

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  • "It is a widely entertained belief, especially among reformers, philanthropists and many educators, that the force of environment is very great. This view may be the result of vague personal impressions, natural hope, kindliness of heart or perhaps at times professional and selfish interests. But do the facts of science support the expectant hope? Something is needed beyond dogmatic statements and wordy essays..."This book deals with the laws of environmental influence.

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  • Anglais Kant and Evolution

    Arthur O. Lovejoy

    Parution : 12 Avril 2018 - Entrée pnb : 13 Avril 2018

    It has come to be one of the generally accepted legends of the history of science that Kant was also a pioneer of evolutionism. In the anthropological essays of the Koenigsberger, for example, we already find the most essential conceptions of the modern theory of descent indicated, at least in germ - and, indeed, in a way that marks Kant out as a direct precursor of Darwin." The same expositor says: "Throughout these writings the idea of evolution plays everywhere the same rôle as in contemporary science.... The series of organisms is for Kant in a constant flux, in which the seemingly so stable differentiæ of genera and species have in reality only a relative and subsidiary significance." And in a famous passage of the "Kritik der Urteilskraft," says another writer, "the present-day doctrine of descent is clearly expressed in its fundamental features." Haeckel, who is in the main followed by Osborn, goes even farther in his ascription of Darwinian and "monistic" ideas to Kant's earlier works, though he thinks that in later life Kant fell from grace...

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  • Anglais Difficult Boys

    Madison J. Taylor

    Parution : 12 Avril 2018 - Entrée pnb : 13 Avril 2018

    The difficult boy stands clearly differentiated in my mind from the backward-minded or irresponsible boy, although there are grounds on which they may become merged. The difficult boy, as I conceive him, is one endowed with normal impulses, usually overstrong, which, because of defects of early guidance, have become diffusive, unsymmetrical, lacking inhibition, one who is commingled of more bad than good, yet often capable of great things under favorable conditions. There are those in whom the ingredients vary in other directions, among the worst of which are apathy, laziness, secretiveness, moral shortcomings. These, however, will soon or late become classifiable differently. The difficult boy may appear to be a liar, a bully, selfish, unwilling to exert himself in worthy directions, of even other and perhaps worse characteristics. All this may be due to pressure of circumstances obtunding a none too vigorous sense of right and wrong, distorting conceptions, inducing acts and speech which belie inherent normal instincts which are undeveloped or chronically impaired. In short the seeds of wholesome manhood are present, in fair measure, capable at times of splendid development, often to admirable citizenship, but not strong enough unaided to nullify the blanketing effects of circumstance. How are we to estimate what these counteracting forces are, or were, in the instance? How should we have conducted ourselves under the same baffling influences? What would have been the effect of the same plainly indicated disheartenments, evil influences, examples on one nature as compared with another? If we examine our own personalities, we can see evidences of effects springing from apparently trivial causes out of all proportion to that which should have followed. A critical, candid self-survey will often astonish and alarm us at the close escapes we have made from impulsions which swayed us forcefully. What consequences have we escaped by sheer accident? In short, how can we wisely make allowances for forces potent in others, the nature of which we may only dimly know and are practically unable to appreciate in all their temporary despotism? The question is how far will the normal impulses carry any one? We plume ourselves on our own individual solidarity, poise, achievements, our importance in the community; yet we have survived endless perils by means of some judgment and more luck.

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  • Anglais A Short History of Scientific Instruction

    Joseph N. Lockyer

    Parution : 12 Avril 2018 - Entrée pnb : 13 Avril 2018

    "It is perhaps the more necessary to insist upon stern necessity as being the origin of learning, because it is so difficult for us now to put ourselves in the place of those early representatives of our race that had to face the problems of life among conditionings of which they were profoundly ignorant: when night meant death; when there was no certainty that the sun would rise on the morrow; when the growth of a plant from seed was unrecognized; when a yearly return of seasons might as well be a miracle as a proof of a settled order of phenomena; when, finally, neither cause nor effect had been traced in the operations of Nature. It is doubtless in consequence of this difficulty that some of the early races have been credited by some authors with a special love of abstract science, of science for its own sake; so that this, and not stern necessity, was the motive of their inquiries. Thus we have been told that the Chaldeans differed from the other early races in having a predilection for astronomy, another determining factor being that the vast plains in that country provided them with a perfect horizon. The first historic glimpses of the study of astronomy we find among the peoples occupying the Kile Valley and Chaldea, say 6000 B. C. But this study had to do with the fixing of the length of the year, and the determination of those times in it in which the various agricultural operations had to be performed. These were related strictly to the rise of the Nile in one country and of the Euphrates in the other. All human activity was, in fact, tied up with the movements of the sun, moon, and stars. These, then, became the gods of those early peoples, and the astronomers, the seers, were the first priests; revered by the people because as interpreters of the celestial powers they were the custodians of the knowledge which was the most necessary for the purposes of life..." This book deals with the History of Scientific Instruction.

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  • "Every one now admits that the Ptolemaic system, which regarded the earth as the centre of all things, belongs to the dark ages. But to our dismay we have discovered that the same geocentric outlook still permeates modern physics through and through, unsuspected until recently. It has been left to Einstein to carry forward the revolution begun by Copernicus - to free our conception of nature from the terrestrial bias imported into it by the limitations of our earthbound experience. To achieve a more neutral point of view we have to imagine a visit to some other heavenly body. That is a theme which has attracted the popular novelist, and we often smile at his mistakes when sooner or later he forgets where he is supposed to be and endows his voyagers with some purely terrestrial appanage impossible on the star they are visiting. But scientific men, who have not the novelist's licence, have made the same blunder..."

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