27 JUNE 1896, Page 12

Hedonistic Theories. By John Watson, LL.D. (Maclehose and Sons, Glasgow.)—"

From Aristippus to Spencer" is the range of subject which Professor Watson proposes to himself, starting with a preliminary discussion on the "Influence of the Sophists on Greek Thought." Epicurus is the other representative of Hedonism in the ancient world ; the modern school begins with Hobbes and is continued through Locke, Bentham, and Mill down to its latest exponent in the person of Herbert Spencer. There is this special interest in Hedonism above other philosophical theories, that being in essence the most adverse to Christianity it best exhibits, in the modifications which it has undergone, the influence which Christianity has exercised. Altruism, to put the matter shortly, is the outcome of the Gospel, and it is altruism which makes the distinction between the old Hedonism and the new.