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would ordinarily produce unbearable pain,
without in the least affecting the conscious-
ness of the subject of the experiment. In-
deed, so complete may the anaesthetic effect
be made, that I have no doubt, were it
possible to secure other mechanical condi-
tions necessary, the capital operations of
surgery might be painlessly performed un-
der its influence. The same agent is also
efficacious in removing obstinate insomnia.

The essential facts presented by M. Bou-
det de Paris and Dr. Granville, especially
those relating to therapeutics, were given by
the writer in considerable detail, in the
" New York Medical Journal " (Appletons'),
about ten years ago. These were then pre-
sented as the result of several years of ex-
perimenting with the agency in question,
to determine the forms of apparatus re-
quired (which was found to admit of con-
siderable variety, providing only that due
rapidity of motion and shortness of stroke
were preserved), and the efforts of varied
methods of application in different patho-
logical conditions of the nervous system.
These articles were afterward published in
book form, entitled "Paralysis and other
Affections of the Nerves, and their Cure by
Transmitted Energy."

The hypothesis of M. Boudet de Paris,
that abnormal vibrations of the neuralgic
nerve are opposed and annulled by mechani-
cal vibrations, seems to imply a fixed rate
for each of the differing conditions. In
practice, it is found that the removal of pain
is progressive, and the anaesthetic effect in-
creases with increase of rate of mechanical
vibration — which appears unfavorable to
this hypothesis.

The efficacy of mechanical vibration to
abolish pain may probably be explained on
physiological grounds easily understood by
all. For the application of this agent is in
reality a supply of energy, which is imme-
diately transformed into and merges with
preexisting physical operations of the vital
system — of course, aiding to perfect these
actions. No portion of such transmitted
energy is lost — it only changes its form —
and reappears in increase of temperature.



EDITOR'S TABLE.



555



in motion of contents of obstructed capil-
laries, and a general rise of all physical op-
erations to the normal degree. Congestion
is as certainly removed as water from a
sponge under pressure of the hand.

Among these intermediate effects of
transmitted energy, the most certain and
striking in a therapeutic view arc oxidation,
and what I will venture to call functional
rei'til.sion. The evidences of immediate and
very great increase of oxidation in the liv-
ing body superinduced by mechanical vibra-
tion are abundant and indisputable. The
effect is, that the toxic principles incident to
retained waste, in which the suffering nerves
are bathed, are destroyed, certainly and
quickly.

Functional remihion is no less positive,
and may be understood in this way. Like



normal feeling, pain is entirely dependent
for its existence on nutritive support ; in
fact, is more dependent. Such support dur-
ing pain is, of course, excessive. To abol-
ish pain, nothing more is required than to
withdraw its support.

Now, the muscular masses entering into
the composition of the body are, say, forty
times that of the qervous masses ; the latter
are normally the incentives of the former
to action, and therefore to nutrition. When
nutritive action is incited in the combined
mass, as it certainly is by mechanical vibra-
tion, it follows that the muscular portion
receives the benefit overwhelmingly, both
because of its immensely greater mass, and
because it is involuntari/. The function of
the nerves, therefore pain, is suspended.
George U. TAVtOR, M. D.



EDITOR'S TABLE.



SELF-GOVERyMENT IN EDUCATION.

HE who said that tlie key to the
government of mankind is given
in the three words "hell and bayonets,"
made a compact formula for that sys-
tem of external coercion by which hu-
man conduct in past times has been
chiefly regulated. Men have been
ruled through their fears and by in-
timidation, the state threatening the
penalties of this world, and the Church
those of the next, to enforce conform-
ity to the prescribed standards of right
conduct.

And there must be external com-
pulsion, if there is no other. Men have
to be dealt with according to their
natures, and where these are low and
brutalized they must be coerced by
coarse and brutal methods. But social
experience slowly develops the better
traits of character, so that men become
amenable to the influence of higher
motives. In what we call the progress
of society, external constraint gradually
gives way and men learn more and
more to govern themselves. Evolution
here as elsewhere is by substitution.
The progress of human freedom consists
not in escape from restraint, but in the
exchange of lower for higher restraints



— in the replacement of state-control by
self-control.

Unquestionably this is the most
fundamental and important change that
is going on in society. It is the highest
aspect of human progress. It is the
growth of the voluntary system, at the
expense of the involuntary or compul-
sory. It is the development of man-
kind by discipline in the self-regulation
of conduct. The transformation of men
in this way is a great reality, and gives
origin to whatever there is of free or
liberal government in the world. All
the humanizing influences by which
men are ameliorated and improved take
final effect in their liberation from ex-
ternal governing forces, so that they
become responsible, self-determining
agents, and in that sense free and inde-
pendent.

How educational systems have been
and are still related to this great ten-
dency is a very interesting question.
It can not be denied that they have had
some share in promoting it, but their
influence on the whole mast be count-
ed as powerfully adverse to it. In fact,
school government has been generally
modeled on the conception of monarch-
ical government : the teacher has been



556



THE POPULAR SCIEXCE MONTHLY.



a "master," and has ruled his sub-
jects by arbitrary coercion. The rod —
the instrument of most degrading pun-
ishment — has ever been the symbol of
educational control ; and, although it
begins to be widely seen that it does
not represent the better method, thou-
sands of schools are still fighting to
maintain it. The schools reflect the
general condition of thought, and, if the
state is stringently coercive and the peo-
ple tolerate it, the schools will imitate
the policy. Besides, men love the ex-
ercise of power, and teachers are no
exceptions to this dangerous propensity.
External compulsion, moreover, is the
simpler and easier way of governing,
and, in fact, is all that is left to the
teacher without resources. The resort
to the rod and kindred measures stamps
the teacher with incapacity for his vo-
cation — that is, with an ability to gov-
ern by the best methods. Everybody
knows that the rod plays no such im-
portant part in the work of education
as it formerly played. Its sphere has
been encroached upon by superior in-
fluences. Its stanchest defenders only
claim to use it but "sparingly," and the
best teachers reject it openly and en-
tirely.

The old system is thus partially out-
grown and much discredited; but there
has as yet been but little intelligent and
adequate effort to organize the method
of self-government in its place. The
more offensive forms of coercion are
abated; but school-government still
mainly rests upon external authority,
though brought to bear in milder ways.
There seems to be still but little recog-
nition of the principle that the essential
and supreme work of education is to
form character by the cultivation of
self-control, which implies liberty and
responsibility. And this is not to be
learned by precept, but by practice.
Self-government, like music, can only
be acquired by exercise, and to gain this
the school itself must be worked by this
method. Students must be thrown



back upon themselves, and habituated
to responsible self-direction.

As this is the highest result of edu-
cation, so it is undoubtedly the most
difficult of attainment. The grosser
forms of punishment may be quite dis-
pensed with, and still the school-gov-
erment may be that of external care-
taking and paternal regulation. The
model college president has been the
man who could know or divine every-
thing that is going on among the stu-
dents, and circumvent and disconcert
them in all their little irregularities.
Under this system it has ever been the
ambition of the students to beat the
faculty, and it naturally engenders a
state of antagonism between the stu-
dents and the governing authorities.
Such a system by its very nature must
fail to develop the most valuable traits
of manhood.

From this general point of view we
have taken much interest in the reform
of collegiate government which has
been attempted during the past year at
Amherst. It is reported that President
Seelye submitted a new plan to the fac-
ulty, that it was adopted, and that the
results thus far have been in a high
degree satisfactory.

The method consists in placing the
student and the college upon an equal
footing, and bringing them into relation
by a mutual voluntary engagement. A
correspondent of the "New York Even-
ing Post" says:

Every student upon entering college signs
an agreement to observe its laws. This agree-
ment is held to be a contract. If it is broken
there is an end of the contract, and the con-
tracting parties arc as they were before it was
formed. The student is no longer a member
of the college, and the college owes nothing
further to him. . . . The ground taken by
the Amherst College government is that the
faculty are the helpers of the younger men
who want an education. The manhood of the
students is recognized, and they are trusted to
govern themselves without the interference of
the faculty, save when the rupture of the con-
tract compels the separation of a student from



f-



LITERARY NOTICES.



557



At first the students did not grasp the
sweeping force of the new laws, and one case
of discipline, resulling, however, in a re-
newal of the broken contract by the student
and college authorities, occurreti before the
idea was firmly fixed that the students were
to be a self-governing body as far as their
conduct is concerned, and that the only con-
cern of the faculty was the observance of the
contract and the retention of the students, or
the end of contract relations with them if
their promise should be broken.

Since this case, say the faculty, a higher
tone has been observable among the students.
They are no longer watched; professors do
not feel called upon to act as police-officers ;
there is a freedom and self- accountability
not known before, and consequently a better
grade of deportment than before. ASt^r a
student has been informed that he is no
longer a member of collie because he has
broken his promise to obey the college laws,
no further attention is paid to him. Should
he come to recitations, as he can do, because
they are open to visitors, he will be regarded
exactly as a visitor. He can leave town or
not, just as he chooses, and he can go to an-
other college, as tar as any notice from Am-
herst is to be feared. By the agreement
among the colleges, no student could go from
one to another without papers showing an
honorable dismissal. No student expelled
from one could find an open door at the other.
Amherst has now withdrawn from that posi-
tion.

President Seelve has made the fol-
lowing slight correction of the forego-
ing:

We have not yet relinquished the former
prohibition upon the admission of students
expelled from other colleges, nor are all who
will sign the contract placed on an equal foot-
ing and no questions asked ; on the contrary,
no student is admitted here without a careful
inquiry into hus antecedents and his standing,
nor unless he gives satisfactory evidence that
his contract will be kept. We have only re-
linquished our claim upon the other colleges
to help us by their prohibitions in maintaining
our discipline.

We regard this experiment as hav-
ing great significance. It is something
to have this evidence of liberal aspira-
tion on the part of c<jllege authorities,
and it is much to have so prompt an
acknowledgment of the salutary results
of the r.'form : but ovorvtliinL' is 'j-.iinfd



when siich an institution steps forward
and plants itself upon a great principle
hitherto regarded as a mere matter of
theory. It is more than a change in
the form of government ; it is an actual
transfer of the governing power. Con-
tracts are common things, and it may
seem a small matter that a student
should make a contract with the college
where he proposes to be educated.
But the contract is, that he is to govern
himself, and voluntarily to square his
conduct to the prescribed requirements
of the institution. Honor, pride, ambi-
tion, are all pledged that he will keep
his engagement. It is no small thing
for a college quietly and effectually to
secure these forces on the side of order,
and thus avoid the conflict and antag-
onism with its students that coercive
government naturally engenders; and
it is certainly no small thing for the
student to take a relation that will in-
volve the constant and vigilant exercise
of the most manly traits of character.
The college thus becomes in an impor-
tant sense a school of moral self-culture,
a discipline in manhood, and offers the
best preparation that can be given for
the duties and responsibilities of prac-
tical life.



LITERARY NOTICES.

Anthropologt : An Introduction to the
Study of Man and Civilization. By Eo-
W.4RD B. TytOR, D. C. L., F. R. S. With
Illustrations. New York : D. Appleton
& Co. Pp. 448. Trice, ^'l.
The appearance of Mr. Tylor's long-ex-
pected manual of anthropology will be wel-
comed by many as a valuable contribution
to the cause of advancing education. An-
thropology, the science of man, is the latest
and highest product of growing knowledge.
Speculations concerning the nature of man
began early, and were mixed up with the
loose knowledge that gradually accumu-
lated ; but it is only in quite recent times
that this knowledge has begun to bo win-
no'Vi'il .lud sifted and verified and classified.



558



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.



80 as to take ou something of the scientific
form.

There has never been a lack of interest
in the subject, and its claims and rank were
neatlj formulated by the poet, in his cele-
brated line —



" The proper study of mankind is man,"
long before the proper method of the study
was discovered. Anthropological science —
that is, the systematic and comprehensive
study of the human race by scientific meth-
ods — belongs to the last half-century. A
great amount of valuable knowledge has
been accumulated upon the subject during
that time, and digested in many voluminous
treatises. But there was wanting a text-
book that should sum up the leading facts
arid fundamental principles of the science
in an authoritative and trustworthy man-
ner, and in a form convenient and suitable
for general use. Such a work is the one
before us.

It need hardly be said that this is no
field for the ordinary compiler. He may do
useful service in the old sciences, where the
subject-matter has been many times elabo-
rated, and the method of exposition long
settled ; but only a master who knows his
subject at first hand, broadly and thor-
oughly, can be trusted to present so vast
a subject, and so rich in new and varied
materials, in the due proportions of its
parts, and in a compact, well-organized, and
authentic form. Mr. Tylor, of all living
men, was best prepared to accomplish this
task. His elaborate works on " The Early
History of Mankind" and on "Primitive
Culture " have given him an eminent place
as a pioneer and constructive student in the
domain of anthropology. He has accord-
ingly been long solicited to prepare a text-
book upon this subject, for the use of stu-
dents in high -schools and colleges, as it
has been well understood that this science
must soon take a leading and permanent
place in the curriculum of a liberal educa-
tion. The pressure of original studies
prevented him from undertaking the work,
and has much delayed it, but he has not
allowed himself to be unduly hurried, well
knowing the difficulty of giving his expo-
sition a satisfactory form within the con-
venient limits of a handy-volume. But he
has fulfilled the utmost expectations, and



made his "Anthropology" the one unri-
valed book upon that science for general



educational purposes.

Of course, the scientific study of " Man
and Civilization " can now be pursued only
in the light of the doctrine of evolution. It
is this law, indeed, that brings the facta of
this subject into order, and gives organic
method to the science. Anthropology is by
no means a mere description of the different
races and varieties of men ; it deals also with
the deeper problems of their transformation
from lower to higher conditions, and with
the development of all those elements which
give rise to the civilized state. This is the
underlying conception of the science, and
how fundamental it is in the plan of Mr.
Tyior's work may be best illustrated by
briefly referring to the contents of his suc-
cessive chapters.

In his first chapter, on " Man, Ancient
and Modern," he opens up the new point of
view from which man is to be studied. He
then proceeds to define and fix the place of
man in nature as related to other animals,
considering the succession and descent of
species, and the comparison of structure
and brain endowments with inferior creat-
ures. Chapter III is devoted to "The
Races of "Mankind," and is descriptive of
their characteristics. The text is here illus-
trated by profuse and finely executed illus-
trations, of which we gave samples in the
July " Monthly." The constitution, tempera-
ments, types, permanence, mixture, and va-*
riation of races are here discussed, and the
races of mankind are classified on the basis
of these traits. The summary of the sub-
ject is admirable.

Chapters IV and Vare devoted to "Lan-
guage," which is of course considered as
a problem of evolution. From the utter-
ances of animals and the natural language
of signs and gestures, and from emotional
and imitative sounds, he proceeds to the
origin of articulate language. The growth
of meanings in articulate speech, abstract
words, grammatical construction, and ana-
lytic and synthetic language, are then traced,
with other important steps and elements
of lingual development. Chapter VI, on
" Language and Race," gives an account of
the derivations and relationships of the lan-
guages used by different races ; and Chap-



LITERARY NOTICES,



559



ter VII, on " Writing," takes up the sub-
ject of picture-writing, and the formation
of alphabets.

Chapters VIII, IX, X, and XI, deal
with the origin and development of the
" Arts of Life," as shown in the construc-
tion of weapons, tools, machines, dwellings,
clothing, in the means of navigation, in
cookery and domestic processes, glass- and
metal-working, money, and the operations
of commerce.

Chapter XII delineates the origin and
history of the "Arts of Pleasure," poetry,
music, dancing, drama, painting, sculpture,
and games ; and Chapter XIII is an excel-
lent monograph on the origin and growth of
" Science."

In Chapter XIV, under the title of "The
Spirit World," the religions of the lower
races are taken up, and a description is
given of the origin and influence of primitive
ideas of souls, a future life, demons, gods,
and worship. Chapter XV treats of " History
and Mythology " ; and Chapter XVI, which
is the last, and entitled "Society," discusses
the social stages, the family, property, jus-
tice, social ranks, and the growth of gov-
ernment.

It will be seen, from this brief synoptical
view of the contents of his volume, that
Mr. Tylor covers broad ground, but it will
be found that the treatment of his topics is
remarkably full and satisfactory. We cor-
dially recommend his book to all students
who desire to make a systematic study of
man a part of their education, and we may
add that the ordinary reader will find it full
of interest and instruction.

Illusions: A Psychological Study. By
James Sully. New York : D. Appleton
k Co. Pp. 372. International Scien-
tific Series Ko. XXXI V. Price, §1.50.

The author of this work is now well
known to the scholarly world by his original
and comprehensive treatises on " Sensation
and Intuition," and on " Pessimism." He
is entirely famili^ir with modem philosophi-
cal problems, and has given critical atten-
tion to the bearings of science upon the
class of questions that has interested him.

In the present volume he has taken up
the subject of " Illusions " from a new point
of view. Hitherto illusions have been com-



monly regarded as of the nature of mental
aberrations or hallucinations, excluding the
idea of sane intelligence. Illusions from
this standpoint are allied to insanity, and
their study is considered as belonging to the
professional alienist or the physician occu-
pied with mental derangements. There is,
of course, abundant gi-ound for this treat-
ment of the subject, but Mr. Sully assumes
that the subject has a far wider aspect, and
can by no means be properly confined to the
domain of pathology.

The author considers, on the other hand,
that the liability to illusion is natural, and
that it is but a part of that capacity for
error which belongs essentially to rational
human nature. All men err, some more
habitually and more widely than others ; but
there are errors of illusion that belong to
the normal operation of the human facul-
ties, the study of which is quite as much
related to the physiology as to the pathol-
j ogy of mind. It is therefore a legitimate
problem of the psychologist who analyzes
' the conditions of sound and healthy mental

action.
I From this point of view the author rc-
j marks : " In the present volume an attempt
will be made to work out the psychological
side of the subject ; that is to say, illusions
will be viewed in their relation to the proc-
ess of just and accurate perception. In
the carrying out of this plan our principal
attention will be given to the manifestations
of the illusory impulse in normal life. At
the same time, though no special acquaint-
ance with the pathology of the subject will
be laid claim to, frequent references will be
be made to the illusions of the insane. In-
deed, it will be found that the two groups
of phenomena — the illusions of the normal
and of the abnormal condition — are so simi-
lar, and pass into one another by such in-
sensible gradations, that it is impossible to
discuss the one apart from the other. The
view of illusion which will be adopted in
this work is that it constitutes a kind of
border-land between perfectly sane and vig-
orous mental life and dementia."

Thus regarded, the study of illusions be-
comes properly a branch of logic ; that is, it
involves fundamentally the discrimination
of that which is true from that which is
false. The author at the outset makes a



560



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY



definition and explanation which implies this |
idea. He says : " Taking this view of illu-
sion, we may provisionally define it as any
species of error which counterfeits the form
of immediatc,self-evident,or intuitive knowl-
edge, whether as sense-perception or other-
wise. Whenever a thing is believed on its
own evidence and not as a conclusion from
something else, and the thing then believed
is demonstrably wrong, there is an illusion.
The term would thus appear to cover all
varieties of error which are not recognized
as fallacies or false inferences. If for the
present we roughly divide all our knowledge
into the two regions of primary or intuitive,
and secondary or inferential knowledge, we
see that illusion is false or spurious knowl-
edge of the first kind, fallacy false or spu-
rious knowledge of the second kind. At the
same time, it is to be remembered that this
division is only a very rough one. As will
appear in the course of our investigation,
the same error may be called either a falla-
cy or an illusion, according as we are think-
ing of its original mode of production or
of the form which it finally assumes; and
a thorough-going psychological analysis of



Online LibraryD. S. (David Samuel) MargoliouthThe Popular science monthly (Volume 19) → online text (page 69 of 110)