Books Received | Published:

Colloquies of Common People

Nature volume 68, page 246 (16 July 1903) | Download Citation



THE English language contains few good specimens of the philosophical dialogue, perhaps none except the masterpieces of Berkeley. In attempting to revive this most difficult form of composition Mr. Anstie has ventured on a daring task, and I fear cannot be said to have achieved a great success. Like others before him, he forgets that a dialogue is intolerable unless its author is dramatist enough to confer individual character on the interlocutors; nothing is heavier reading than wedges of disquisition by mere puppets. Of the variety of topics handled by Mr. Anstie's puppets it is impossible to give any summary, as they appear to begin their discussion anywhere and to argue anyhow. They seem, however, in the course of his five hundred odd pages to touch on most of the current topics of ethics and psychology. The reader should at least have been assisted to follow their excursions by a table of contents and an index.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

About this article

Publication history




  1. Search for A. E. T. in:


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing