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The Philosophy of Memory, and other Essays

Nature volume 60, pages 5152 | Download Citation



DR. D. T. SMITH is an amateur of philosophy in that wider sense of the word which includes physics, and his speculations, as they are modestly put forward in the present volume, range from psychology to sphere-formation, and from the distinction of organic and inorganic to an adverse criticism of the nebular hypothesis. The essay which gives its title to the book is an attempt, notwithstanding the sterility of the inorganic and the reproductive capacity of the organic, to trace continuity, and apply analogies, from the one to the other, in the form of a physical-vibration theory of ideation. Even conscience is an “orderly operation of ether vibrations with respect to conduct.” The second essay, on emphasis or rhythm, is a further application of the wave-theory. The third paper, on “the functions of the fluid wedge,” is interesting as suggested by the author's expert physiological studies, and carried out in the alien field of hydrostatics. The present writer confesses to non-comprehension. The fourth essay objects to the nebular hypothesis that the facts of rotation are against it. “The earth could revolve on its own separate axis in the same direction as the sun only by being caused to move in a larger orbit than that described by it while still a part of the sun's mass,” and the author suggests the action of comets carrying off portions of the nebulous border of a sun, as they struck it in the direction of its motion at a suitable moment.

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