Imagens das páginas

"It calls to the low-born who thinks he has in him the power to rise to a higher position: Abandon all hope; your physical and intellectual constitution, your nerves and muscles, the causal chain of many generations holds you fast to the ground. Your ancestors have for centuries been serfs; your father and grandfather were day laborers; therefore, you are yourself destined for a similar occupation." But is this the fact? Does not Doctor Bücher unconsciously exaggerate here and even miss the very kernel of the theory to which he objects? We fancy that most people who hold that heredity plays an important part in determining the destiny of the race will totally object to such a consequence as illogical and unscientific. What Schmoller and those who think with him would say is simply that, as a matter of fact and experience, people do act more or less in accordance with a certain law, but they do not pretend to say that they should necessarily conform to this law, much less that conformity to it is an obligation. Whatever virtue there may be in heredity, we do not get rid of free will, not to speak of other forces and influences which act powerfully upon conduct and character. To say that Schmoller's theory involves the conception of man as a slave to uncontrollable circumstances is altogether to magnify and distort the significance of a plain fact of observation.

The later chapters of the book are of less value, though they contain many facts and figures which will prove of service to the serious social student. We can warmly commend Doctor Bücher's work though not agreeing with all its conclusions.


Introduction to the Study of Political Economy. By LUIGI COSSA. Translated by LOUIS DYER. Pp. x., 587. New York: Macmillan & Co., 1893.

This work is intended as a second and much enlarged edition of the "Guide to the Study of Political Economy" which was translated and published in 1880. It is more than double the size of the older book, and is much more complete in every way. Especially do we note the enlargement in the account that is given of the contemporary economists. The edition of 1880 contained two chapters on that period, whereas the present edition contains eight chapters, one being given to each of the leading countries. The first general division of the work also, upon the definition of Political Economy, its relations to other sciences, its method, importance, etc., has been very greatly enlarged.

There is little, perhaps nothing, new to be said regarding the work. Every one knows the excellence of the introductory matter and the

remarkable range of reading and critical ability that is shown, especially in the historical part. In a work of this extent, the writing of which demands a knowledge of nearly all of the important modern languages and an acquaintance with the literature of many countries, there will naturally be mistakes of fact. For example we find on page 411 of the new edition that the unfinished work "Die Nationaloekonomie der Gegenwart und Zukunft" is ascribed to Professor Conrad of Halle. It was, of course, written by Hildebrand, Conrad's father-in-law and his predecessor in the editorship of the Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik. Conrad, indeed, at the time of its publication lacked the years and experience to write such a work as this. We notice again on page 476 that Carroll D. Wright is mentioned as if he had withdrawn from his position as head of the United States Bureau of Labor. Doubtless many such slight inaccuracies could be found. On the whole, however, considering the extent of the work and the number of details, its accuracy is deserving of high praise. Probably few Americans who are personally acquainted with the economists of America would agree in all respects with the classification that is made of American economists. When we reflect, however, that the main source of information must have been the published work of the persons mentioned and that alone, it seems that Professor Cossa is justified in almost every instance in the classification that he gives. The same criticism might well be made regarding economists in other countries. Much more than a knowlege of the books that a man has published is needed, to estimate properly his worth and position as a scientist. One, however, could not ask more from Professor Cossa than a knowledge of the works of the writers criticised.

As a compendium of titles and authors with brief characterization of the works, the book is almost indispensable; while as a general introduction to the subject (I do not mean an exposition of the principles of the science) it is easily the best that we have.


A Standard Dictionary of the English Language. Prepared under the supervision of ISAAC K. FUNK, D. D., editor-in-chief. In two volumes. Vol. I. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1894. Compared, as regards the definition of economic terms, with Webster's International Dictionary of the English Language. Being Webster's Unabridged Dictionary revised and enlarged under the supervision of NOAH PORTER, D. D., LL. D. Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam Company, 1890.

There is nothing which gives the economist greater satisfaction than the present rapid increase in his reading and hearing public.

The public at large is to-day interested in economic and political questions, and is studying them with an ardor that no other practical science can awaken. For this reason those interested in the advance of the science and desirous of seeing sound doctrines obtain wide acceptance may well ask how the economic terms are defined by the dictionaries, the source from which the mass of readers obtain their conception of the meaning of the economic terms now so widely employed in the daily and weekly papers, the magazines and the sociological and political works dealing with practical economic problems.

The definitions of economic terms as found in "The Standard Dictionary," the first volume of which has so recently appeared, may profitably be compared with those given in the last edition of Webster-the "International," which came out in 1890. Webster's Dictionary is the one at present in widest use, and is the one which rightly stands highest in popular esteem; hence the comparison of the "Standard" and the "International" is the natural one to make.

The definitions of the economic terms in the "Standard" were doubtless made, or passed on, by Charles A. Tuttle, Ph. D., Associate Professor of Political Economy and International Law in Amherst College. He is the member of the "Standard's" editorial staff who is accredited with having that department of the work in charge. How fully he is responsible for the exact phraseology of the economic terms is doubtless an editorial secret. To whomever the credit may belong, the "Standard" has unquestionably defined these words more fully, and generally more accurately, though it has by no means accomplished all that might be desired. In comparing the two works, however, it should be borne in mind that the present rapid change and progress in economic science gives the last publisher the advantage even though there be but four years between the dates of issue of the books.

It will be impossible to compare more than a few of the definitions; but a few of the characteristic ones will tell as much as a larger number would. Webster defines economics to be "political economy; the science of the utilities or the useful application of wealth or material resources." This definition, perhaps unconsciously to the definer, comes very near stating the conception of the most recent economists; had the phrase "to the satisfaction of human wants" been added, the definition would have been a good one-a much better one than that given under the term political economy—“that branch of political science or philosophy which treats of the sources and methods of production and preservation of the material wealth and prosperity of nations." Funk's definition is more elaborate and more satisfactory:

"The science that treats of the development of material resources, or of the production, preservation and distribution of wealth, and of the means and methods of living well for the State, the family, and the individual; political economy." The explanation of the definition manifests the strength of German influence, and is worth quoting in full.

"Economics, regarded by earlier writers on the subject, particularly by English economists, as the science of material wealth, is now coming to be looked upon as the science of man's temporal well-being in the widest sense. Economics may be divided into three great branches: (1) Pure Economics, the science of value or exchange, which concerns itself only with general principles, and has often been restricted to purely material considerations; (2) Social Economics, which applies these principles to problems connected with the growth and well-being of organized society; and (3) National Economics, which studies them from the point of view of the statesman, and treats of such questions as the tariff, taxation, currency and public education. Economics has also been divided, since the early days of the science, into parts treating respectively of production, distribution and consumption."

Neither consumption nor distribution are defined as economic terms by Webster. Funk recognizes them both as having meanings peculiar to their use in economics. Consumption is declared to be "Destruction by use or useful expenditure"-a definition that seems to cover productive consumption. Distribution is defined as "That department of political economy concerned with the supplying or apportionment to individuals of that which has been produced or obtained by the community as a whole."

Capital is poorly defined by both dictionaries. Funk starts his definition well, by saying that capital is "Wealth employed in or available for production;" but in specifying its meaning more closely he confuses capital and wealth by declaring capital to be "The aggregate of the products of industry directly available for the support of human existence or for promoting additional production." Webster gives one bad definition from McCulloch, who is accredited with declaring capital to be "That portion of the produce of industry which may be directly employed either to support human beings or to assist in production," and one good one quoted from T. Raleigh, who says that "When wealth is used to assist production it is capital. The capital of a civilized community," he says, "includes fixed capital (i. e., buildings, machines and roads used in the course of production and exchange) and circulating capital (i. e., fuel, food, money, etc., spent in the course of production and exchange ").

The word good as an economic term, in the singular number, is not defined by Webster. Funk defines a good as Anything capable of satisfying human wants and having exchangeable value." The last phrase improperly shuts a free good out of the definition.

These illustrations need not be multiplied. The above are sufficient to substantiate the assertion that Funk's definitions of economic terms are better than Webster's, and that both are faulty.

Were one to criticise the "Standard Dictionary" as a whole, instead of in detail as above, he would surely congratulate the editors and publishers on the marked success of their great undertaking. Webster's Dictionary has long since won a deservedly high place; the "Standard" will take equal rank. The large corps of able men and the evident care with which they have done their work are assurance of the future popularity of the "Standard." As regards the type work and general form of the page there is little choice between the two works. Webster's page is, perhaps, the better of the two because somewhat smaller and less crowded. The illustrations in the “Standard” are superior to those in Webster. The lithographic work of the "Standard," particularly the plates of gems and decorations made under the direction of the art department of Tiffany & Co., may justly excite the pride of all Americans. Webster's arrangement of the material of the Appendix is preferable to that adopted by the "Standard," which I think has made a mistake in putting the biographical, geographical and historical names, etc., together into one alphabetically arranged list, instead of keeping them separate.


How to Study and Teach History. By B. A. HINSDALE, Ph.D., LL. D. Edited by Dr. W. T. HARRIS, U. S. Commissioner of Education. Pp. xxii, 346. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1894. The following are the topics treated in the twenty-three chapters: The Educational Value of History, The Field of History, Sources of Information, The Choice of Facts, Methods of Teaching, The Organization of Facts, The Time Relation in History: Chronology, The Place Relation: Geography, Cause and Effect in History, Physical Causes That Act in History, Human Causes That Act in History, The Teacher's Qualifications, Historical Geography: The Old World, Historical Geography: The New World, North America in Outline, The Colonization of North America, The Struggle Between France and England in North America, A Conspectus of the American Revolution, The War of 1812, The Territorial Growth of the United States, Phases of Industrial and Political Development, The Slave Power, Teaching Civics. The list of authorities attached to each chapter constitutes the most valuable collection in English pertaining to the teaching of history.

The profession has a right to expect a high grade treatise on the Pedagogy of History from the occupant of one of the oldest chairs of

« AnteriorContinuar »