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which take place in correspondence with environing relations. Hence life is now defined by our most advanced biologists as the combination of internal, heterogeneous changes in correspondence with, and in adjustment to, external relations, the changes constituting the genus and the attributes of correspondence and adjustment the differentia.
We thus see that the process of forming a philosophic definition is often a very difficult one, requiring a vast amount of patient investigation that the mind may, at last, penetrate into the fundamental law which binds the phenomena in question into a coherent and logical unity. But when this unitizing and organizing principle has once been discovered, the light of truth shines forth to illuminate that which was before darkness and confusion. The best that a definition can do is fully to represent the true state of knowledge with regard to the subject defined at the time it is framed. Hence, definitions are, to a certain extent, provisional. If false, they will be overthrown by advancing knowledge; if partially true, they will be taken up and absorbed in higher and fuller generalizations. All the sciences afford illustrations of the truth of this statement.
3. The importance of correct definitions.
Correct definitions are of the utmost importance in all departments of science which demand clearness and distinctness of thought. The surest test which can be applied to any scientific treatise is an examination of its definitions according to the rules of logic. If there is a want of clearness and correctness of statement here, in vain shall we look for these qualities anywhere else. An incorrect definition in science is like a false deduction in reasoning. If the object defined is not referred to its true genus, we then have a false classification; or if its essential attributes are not stated, but merely its accidental qualities, we have only a description which leaves it still undistinguished from its co-ordinate species. A true definition serves a purpose similar to the use made of types in botany and zoology. A good definition by means of what it excludes and includes becomes a kind of type by which we can test the claims of each individual object as to whether or not it is justly entitled to be embraced within a particular class and be recognized as a member of a particular species. “The definition,” says Prof. Bain, "is, in fact, the highest form of the abstract idea; the form that we constantly fall back upon as the test or stand
ard for trying any new claim of admission into the class, or for revising the list begun with."
4. Education in need of a true philosophic definition.
In no department of our knowledge is there more imperative need for floating and disconnected ideas to be taken up and generalized into a true definitiou by means of the organizing principle which underlies them than in education. Such a definition evolved from the right facts and expressed in logical form, stating just what education is in its generic and specific nature, would certainly do much towards delivering it from the 'narrow empiricism which, up to this time, has been its standing reproach. When we contemplate the material aspects of our education, and then view it from its inner aspects as a process which ought to proceed according to certain well-defined principles, we are painfully impressed with a want of harmony between its outer, physical and mechanical elements and its inner, psychological and philosophical elements. The only cure for this evil is to search out the first principles which underlie the entire educational process. To find those principles and to bring them into clear and general apprehension will cost much patient study both on the part of those who write and also on the part of those who read what has been written. If education is ever to rise to the rank of a science, like Jurisprudence and Medicine, it must be handled in the dignified musculinity of thought and style which are characteristics of the able writers on those sciences, and not in the shallow sentimentality of thought which, too often, has characterized educational writers. A true science of education involves nothing less than a comprehensive knowledge of human nature. Gathering up its data first from the objective physical side of man, it does not stop here, but penetrates into the laws which control the mysterious workings of the soul. To those not accustomed to abstract thought those psychological truths which, with the physical ones, underlie the process of education appear shadowy and intangible. It has been said that adolescence and psychology are elements which do not form, very readily, a chemical union. If this be so, then let adolescency grow up to that masculinity which is necessary to master such sciences as Jurisprudence and Medicine; for these do not require more patient, abstract thought than does Education. Chillicothe, Mo.
J. M. LONG, A. M.
STATE EXAMINATION QUESTIONS.
(Continued from last month.)
1. How is the velocity of a falling body influenced by its distance from the earth's centre? What part of the weight will be lost if a body be taken 2,000 miles above the earth's surface? What will be the increment of velocity due to gravity ?
2. My ring, an alloy of gold and silver, weighs 20 pennyweights in air and 18.4 pennyweights in water. The specific gravity of gold being 19.24 and that of silver being 10.47, find the amount of gold and silver in the ring.
3. If 34.659 cubic inches of water weigh 11 pounds, what will be the bulk of a hollow vessel of silver weighing 10 pounds, that will just float in water? State the principle upon which the solution of this problem depends.
4. How can we determine that the pressure of the atmosphere is 14.7225 pounds on every square inch of surface? To what depth would a body of water weighing as much as our atmosphere cover the earth's surface ?
5. The length of the seconds pendulum at London is 39.14056 inches, and the accelerating force of gravity is 32.175 feet: what is the force of gravity in a deep mine where the length of the seconds pendulum is found to be 38 inches?
6. What would be the hight of a sulphuric acid, specific graity 1.84, barometer, when the mercurial barometer stands 28.75 inches ?
7. From the top of a precipice a stone was let fall, and after 6 seconds it was heard to strike the bottom; find the hight of the precipice.
8. Explain what is meant by angle of incidence, angle of reflection, angle of refraction, and index of refraction. How many figures will appear in a kaleidoscope when the two mirrors of which it is composed are placed at an angle of 30 degrees?
9. Give an explanation of Fraunhofer's lines in the spectrum. What is the use of the spectroscope ? 10. Name and describe the principal parts of the steam engine.
POLITICAL ECONOMY. 1. Name some eminent men who have written treatises on Political Economy.
2. What was the origin of the Mercantile System? Define value.
3. Distinguish between objectionable and unobjectionable monoplies.
4. Name the advantages and disadvantages of division of labor.
5. What relations should the Government hold to labor ? State the Malthus law of population.
6. Of what use is money? Why are gold and silver the best materials to use as money?
7. Describe the national bank system of 1863.
8. How have the gold eagle and silver dollar differed in weight • at different periods of our history?
9. What is a “bill of exchange?” Write one. 10. Name some of the arguments generally advanced by the advocates of “free trade." What arguments are used in favor of a "protective tariff" ?
ASTRONOMY. 1. State the Nebular Hypothesis. What elements are known to exist in the sun ?
2. How may the earth’s diameter be found approximately ? How can the eccentricity of the earth's orbit be determined ?
3. What must be known in order to compute the distance and diameter of a heavenly body? Determine the sun's distance from the earth and its volume mathematically.
4. What causes the precession of the equinoxes? What is the amount of the annual precession?
5. How does the gravity at the surface of the earth and on the sun's surface differ? Explain mathematically.
6. Explain what is meant by the line of the nodes," and "line of the apsides."
7. Give a practical illustration of Kepler's third law. In what case is this law not strictly true?
8. What data must be known in order to compute the place of a planet for a given time? 9. State Bode's law.' Where are the asteroids found?
10. Describe the following constellations: Ursa Major, Orion, and Pegasus.
(From Cincinnati Examination.)
TRIGONOMETRY AND SURVEYING. 1. The sides of a plane triangle are proportional to the sines of their opposite angles. Prove.
2. Knowing the distance between yourself and each of two visible but inaccessible objects, how would you find the distance between the objects themselves? 3. Define sine, cosine, secant, and tangent.
4. Divide a triangular field into two equal parts by a line starting from a point D in one side of the field.
5. Explain, by means of a diagram, Bearing, Distance, Latitude, and Departure.
ANALYTIC GEOMETRY AND CALCULUS. 1. Explain polar and rectangular coördinates by means of a diagram.
2. What value of x will render y a minimum in the equation, y=23--3.02_24.0+85?
3. Find the coördinates of the points in which the circle whose equation is 22+y2 = 65, is intersected by the line whose equation is 3x+y=25.
4. Required the sides of the maximum rectangle inscribed in a given circle.
5. Give the definition of Ellipse and Hyperbola; and write the equation of each referred to its center and axes.
-We call especial attention to our contributions this month. We regret the want of variety, but it was not practicable to divide the article on Drawing. Mr. Long's article is the first of a series. We feel sure that our critical readers who are students of education and mental operations will read these articles with great zest.
-SCHOOL superintendence is yet in its infancy. The plans adopted are almost as many in number as the superintendents employed. Boards of Education are as a general thing poorly qualified to select suitable persons for this important position. Frequently a graduate from college passes in a month or two after graduation to the post of superintendent of a system of graded schools, without any definite knowledge of the responsibility or duties that belong to the position. We are compelled to say that even among superintendents of many years experience there is a great deal of charlatanism. A man whose early education has not been thorough, that is, one who did not acquire habits of close reasoning or discriminating observation in early life may, if he has good native sense, correct in time this defect and become an able superintendent, but if this good sense is wanting he will never be more than an imitator of others and will be more successful in imitating their faults than their merits. Leaving such men out of the question let us inquire whether among men who have the ability to become good superintendents there is not a want of accurate observation and a careful study of the philosophy of education. The secretary's account of the proceedings of the Association of Western Superintendents at Fort Wayne, Ind., Nov. 16 and 17, suggests that it is high time that superintendents should be brought to more harmonious views as to the details of their work. Details are not unimportant, because in many cases they are important applications of great principles. We ask in all seriousness whether the following statements condensed from the secretary's report do not indicate that superintendents, as well as the teachers under them, need to study more thoroughly the philosophy of education and its application to practice. In the votes taken on the different questions we suppose about twenty-five voted as twenty-six were reported to be present, two of them possibly were not regular attendants as they were engaged in the County Institute at the time.
Q. At what year of the course shall pupils begin written examinations, in an elementary form, with the use of pencil and paper or slate ? Answers :-Fourth year, 35 per cent; third year, 15 per cent; second year, 15 per cent; and first year, 35 per cent.
Q. When shall pupils begin written examinations with pen and ink? Answers :-Third year, 60 per cent; fourth year, 40 per cent.
Q. In what year should pupils begin to practice penmanship with a