18 MAY 1867, Page 19


The Philosophy of Classification, being a Base for Thought, a Measure- ment for Morality, and a Key to Truth. By Frederick J. Wilson. (Pitman.)—As we start with an admission that we cannot make head or tail of this book, it is only fair that we should quote some of its sentences. Here is the preface verbatim :—" Having experienced the uncertainty that attaches to expressions, I have here attempted so to arrange and classify their signifile.ations as to destroy the volatility of their isolated ideality, and to produce a harmonious arrangement of relational tabulations, where ideas can be severally placed in such positions as to form a part of an intelligible structure, instead of being a conglomerate of inconsequent comprehensions." After the preface comes an apology, in which the author states: —"I

am also aware that the language used in the explanations may not bo altogether strictly grammatical, the expressions primitive, and the sentences unpolished, but feeling I should lose in force of meaning what might be gained in euphony, I would prefer being clumsily comprehensible rather than nnfelicitously refined." On turning over the page, however, we find that the author is more merciful than his unintelligibility had led us to expect. He takes "into consideration the slight interest this work will obtain, inasmuch as the Busy Public will not care for it, Metaphysicians are engaged in riding their own hobbies, and Invalids, though possessing the will, would probably bo deficient in attention. I can, therefore, only look contentedly for support from persons who are undergoing confinement without hard labour." To that class we can safely commend the volume, as it will certainly supply this one deficiency.