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Scientific Culture, and Other Essays Second Edition; with Additions   By:

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SCIENTIFIC CULTURE, AND OTHER ESSAYS .

BY JOSIAH PARSONS COOKE, LL. D., PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY AND MINERALOGY, IN HARVARD COLLEGE.

SECOND EDITION; WITH ADDITIONS.

NEW YORK: D. APPLETON AND COMPANY, 1, 3, AND 5 BOND STREET. 1885.

COPYRIGHT, 1881, 1885, BY JOSIAH PARSONS COOKE.

TO MY ASSOCIATES IN THE CHEMICAL LABORATORY OF HARVARD COLLEGE THIS VOLUME IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED.

PREFACE.

The essays collected in this volume, although written for special occasions without reference to each other, have all a bearing on the subject selected as the title of the volume, and are an outcome of a somewhat large experience in teaching physical science to college students. Thirty years ago, when the writer began his work at Cambridge, instruction in the experimental sciences was given in our American colleges solely by means of lectures and recitations. Chemistry and Physics were allowed a limited space in the college curriculum as branches of useful knowledge, but were regarded as wholly subordinate to the classics and mathematics as a means of education; and as physical science was then taught, there can be no question that the accepted opinion was correct. Experimental science can never be made of value as a means of education unless taught by its own methods, with the one great aim in view to train the faculties of the mind so as to enable the educated man to read the Book of Nature for himself.

Since the period just referred to, the example early set at Cambridge of making the student's own observations in the laboratory or cabinet the basis of all teaching, either in experimental or natural history science, has been generally followed. But in most centers of education the old traditions so far survive that the great end of scientific culture is lost in attempting to conform even laboratory instruction to the old academic methods of recitations and examinations. These, as usually conducted, are simply hindrances in a course of scientific training, because they are no tests of the only ability or acquirement which science values, and therefore set before the student a false aim. To point out this error, and to claim for science teaching its appropriate methods, was one object of the writer in these essays.

It is, however, too often the case that, in following out our theories of education, we avoid Scylla only to encounter Charybdis, and so, in specializing our courses of laboratory instruction, there is great danger of falling into the mechanical routine of a technical art, and losing sight of those grand ideas and generalizations which give breadth and dignity to scientific knowledge. That these great truths are as important an element of scientific culture as experimental skill, the author has also endeavored to illustrate, and he has added brief notices of the lives of two noble men of science which may add force to the illustrations.

CONTENTS.

PAGE I. SCIENTIFIC CULTURE 5 II. THE NOBILITY OF KNOWLEDGE 45 III. THE ELEMENTARY TEACHING OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE 71 IV. THE RADIOMETER 86 V. MEMOIR OF THOMAS GRAHAM 127 VI. MEMOIR OF WILLIAM HALLOWES MILLER 145 VII. WILLIAM BARTON ROGERS 160 VIII. JEAN BAPTISTE ANDRÉ DUMAS 181 IX. THE GREEK QUESTION 203 X. FURTHER REMARKS ON THE GREEK QUESTION 214 XI. SCIENTIFIC CULTURE; ITS SPIRIT, ITS AIM, AND ITS METHODS 227 XII. "NOBLESSE OBLIGE" 267 XIII. THE SPIRITUAL LIFE 289

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