Books Received | Published:

(1) The Inequality of Man: and other Essays (2) Leben und Erkennen: Vorarbeiten zu einer biologischen Philosophie

Nature volume 131, pages 529530 (15 April 1933) | Download Citation



(1) PROF. J. B. S. HALDANE'S book is, as he says, a mixed bag. It consists of a number of essays, mostly short: and one piece of fiction (a thriller of correct pedigree, by John Buchan out of H. G. Wells). Some of the essays are no more than good popular journalism, some are more substantial, but all are worth reading. There is a certain unity of purpose running through them, making the book philosophical in the wide sense. This purpose is to consider the way in which scientific knowledge, or lack of it, affects human life and society. Civilisation cannot stand still but must either develop or decay. Which course it takes depends upon whether we use scientific knowledge to cut our own throats or to reorganise society. Many of the subjects dealt with by Prof. Haldane are of acute interest.

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