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Grosse Männer


THIS book is a study in comparative biography, and may be said to point the way to a new field of investigation. Prof. Ostwald was prompted to write it, as he tells us in his first sentence, by an ingenuous question put to him by one of his Japanese students as to how budding geniuses could be recognised. Much money, his student went on to say, is spent by various Governments in attempting to discover those people whose thorough education may be expected to bring in a return of value to the State, and the question how best to discover latent genius is an eminently practical one. After cogitation, Prof. Ostwald came to the conclusion that it is those students who cannot be kept on the rails—that is, who are not contented with methodical teaching—who have within them the seeds of genius; and the writer's experience would lead him to the same conclusion.

Grosse Männer.

By Prof. Wilhelm Ostwald. (Leipzig: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, 1909.)

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R., W. Grosse Männer . Nature 81, 121–122 (1909).

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