VII.—NEW BOOKS

E. F. STEVENSON
1900 Mind  
270 NEW BOOKS. a point of view and a description adequate for clinical practice. The "point of view " shows a decided advance on some good text-books; but the treatment of it ia still hampered with a good deal of traditional baggage. The central concept is the functionally composite character of the nervous system, which is a system of systems, the possible dissociation of systems, and the corresponding dissociation of the parallel mental systems. These latter include the "unconscious mind, to
more » ... conscious mind, to whioh Dr. MacPherson gives great prominence. One regrets that he should draw •o much on a metaphysical work like Von Hartmann's when so much well-wrought psychology is available in (say) Janet, or Ribot; for he is oeitainly led into much that has no direct bearing on the concrete problen B of the insanities. Then, in dealing with " association of ideas, one naturally expects an author to have regard to the latest criticism of categories, as presented, for example, in Hoffding or Dr. Stout's Psychology. Tbit would have saved the author from speaking of the "contest of ideus " in terms like-" it is certain that only one idea can be present in consciousness at a time; but a struggle between abstractions is absurd and inconceivable" (p. 110). Many aimilur propositions are open to criticism; but for practical purposes the chapter is good. On the physical side, Dr. MacPherson emphasises the neuron as the functional unit, which, in its varieties of excitability and blocked resistances, suggests an easy formula for many orders of insanity. The hierarchical character of the nervous system is not forgotten; but. it is not made as prominent as its importance warrants. It is puzzling to see why the book begins with heredity, and the causes of insanity. Here, I think, the author yields needlessly to traditional exposition. He does not take up very decisive ground on the heredity or non-heredity of acquired characters. He emphasises the " transmutation of neuroses " in heredity, so indicating a leaning to Weismann's view. Then as to classification, the author no more than other authors succeeds perfectly in systematising the insanities; but bis excellent exposition of the toxic insanities certainly achieves something of system. His " insanity of the degenerate " is also a justifiable and well-worked-out seotdoa Had he begun with his exposition of the psycho-physical parallelism-lamination, centres, neurons, dissociation -he would have been better able to exhibit the " causes of insanity " as operating on a known organisation and so originating the "forms" of insanity. Then he could have classified the clinical insanities to suit the purposes of practice. But, with all deductions, the book remains a solid presentment of the leading facts of alienism on its practical side. W. LESLIE MACKKSHC Institute* of Education. By 8. 8. LAURIH. Second Edition. Edinburgh: Oliver 4 Boyd. Pp. This volume contains in a summarised form the matter of an important section of the author's class lectures. Those who agree with Mr. Sidgwick's protest against the lecturing system at our universities will welcome the book as a step in the direction of reform. It is to be hoped that the professor's colleagues will soon follow his g»«.TT»pla : dictation is a somewhat elementary exercise for university students. On the other hand, what is good for the students is not perhaps equally good for the book. It necessarily bean traces of its origin ; and indicates ite purpose by a more than usually elaborate arrangement. There are too many divisions and subdivisions for those who have no examination in view. But students will appreciate the careful classification, while general readers will take pleasure in noting the skill with which the writer keeps at University of Winnipeg on September 6, 2015 http://mind.oxfordjournals.org/ Downloaded from NEW BOOKS. steadily in view the essential unity of the subject For Prof. Laurie claims to have established an unbroken chain of rational interdependence from his first principles to his ultimate rules and applications. The contrast between the attuitional and rational planes is made to produce valuable applications; and the exclusion of memory and imagination from the " dynamic process of mind as such," gets rid of much of the confusion that the usual classification of those modes of being conscious involves. The practical identification of reason and will is at first startling, but after all we see no cause to refuse our author's invitation when he begs us " to go deeper down and see in Will the root, possibility and essence of this very endowment which in its fulness, that is to say, M including the form in whioh it moves to its end, pi*, knowing and willing, is called Reason " (p. 117). We doubt, all the same, whether he would be willing to let us make a general application of this system of Concept-interpretation, after the manner of Prof. James. It is interesting to note that though Prof. Laurie has adopted a new principle, and has followed entirely nis own method, he has reached a body of sound doctrine in education which cannot fail to commend itself to all experts in that subject. Dreams and Omens. Modernised and alphabetically arranged by C. DB BARS. These works are severely practical in character. Only in the last, and there only in an appendix, do we find a theory : the theory of an astral fluid, respired by the heavenly bodies, and absorbed by the Paoinian corpuscles of the human'hand. Apart from this contribution to philosophy, the significance of the books lies in their existence and selling power.' As indices of the present state of folk-psychology in a civilised nation, they may find mention in a psychological journal Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Beaton and Seeking Truth in the Science*. By Rini DESCARTES. Chicago: Open Court Publishing Co., 1899. Pp. vii., 87. Price, S6 c.; Is. 6d. Elementary Illustrations of the Differential and Integral Calcutta. By A. D» MOBOAH. Chicago : Open Court Publishing Co., 1889. Pp. viii., 144. Price, ILOO; 6s. The Evolution of General Ideas. By T. Ribot Chicago : Open Court Publishing Co., 1899. Pp. xi., 831. Price, $1.26 ; 6s. 6d. Psychology for Beginners : an Outline Sketch. By H. M. STAKLEY Chicago: Open Court Publishing Co., 1899. Pp. iv., 44. Price," 90 a; Is. The first of these little books is a reprint (with portrait of Descartes) of Veitch's translation of the Discourse. Veitch's " Introduction " is omitted, and a preface written in popular terms by T. J. McCormaok substituted for it The book is well printed, and should prove extremely useful-The reprint of De Morgan's Illustrations has been reparagraphed, furnished with descriptive sub-headings, and carefully indexed. -Miss Frances Welby's translation of RiboVi General Ideas is aoourate and readable.-Mr. Stanley's Psychology deals cursorily with the definition of psychology, knowing (sensation and perception, memory, ideation and Introspection), feeling and will, and ' special' psychology. The essay at University of Winnipeg on September 6, 2015 http://mind.oxfordjournals.org/ Downloaded from NEW BOOKS.
doi:10.1093/mind/ix.36.270 fatcat:qzaazabcx5fknfr2yi66flaoqq