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This very influential, oft-reprinted slender volume of four essays on education, remains controversial. Spencer's own style, of course, remains imperturbable and even-handed, a vexation for ... Read full review
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acquired action activity adult advantage animals bear become better bodily body bringing carried cause child classes comparatively complete conduct conform consequences considered constitution continued course culture daily depends desire direct discipline division early effects energy established evil exercise experience extreme facts faculties feelings follows forms functions further gained geometry give given greater growth Hence human ideas ignorant importance inflicted interest kind knowledge labour laws leading less living means mental method mind moral natural needful objects observation organic pain parents pass penalties physical pleasurable possible practice preparation present principles produce progress quantity question reason regard relations respect social society success supply teaching things thought tion true truth various young
Page 2 - ... very little aided by this knowledge he took so many years to acquire — so little, that generally the greater part of it drops out of his memory; and if he occasionally vents a Latin quotation, or alludes to some Greek myth, it is less to throw light on the topic in hand than for the sake of effect. If we inquire what is the real motive for giving boys a classical education, we find it to be simply conformity to public opinion. Men dress their children's minds as they do their bodies, in the...
Page 8 - How to live ? — that is the essential question for us. Not how to live in the mere material sense only, but in the widest sense. The general problem which comprehends every special problem is — the right ruling of conduct in all directions under all circumstances.
Page 77 - Children should be led to make their own investigations, and to draw their own inferences. They should be told as little as possible, and induced to discover as much as possible.
Page 146 - As remarks a suggestive writer, the first requisite to success in life is " to be a good animal ; " and to be a nation of good animals is the first condition to national prosperity.
Page 45 - On the contrary, science opens up realms of poetry where to the unscientific all is a blank.
Page 75 - General formulas which men have devised to express groups of deMENTAL DEVELOPMENT m THE RACE. 75 tails, and which have severally simplified their conceptions by uniting many facts into one fact, they have supposed must simplify the conceptions of a child also. They have forgotten that a generalization is. simple only in comparison with the whole mass of particular truths it comprehends — that it is more complex than any one of these truths taken singly — that only after many of these single truths...
Page 55 - ... been kept in the background, that her haughty sisters might flaunt their fripperies in the eyes of the world. The parallel holds yet further. For we are fast coming to the denouement, when the positions will be changed; and while these haughty sisters sink into merited neglect, Science, proclaimed as highest alike in worth and beauty, will reign supreme.
Page 39 - Accomplishments, the fine arts, belles-lettres, and all those things which, as we say, constitute the efflorescence of civilization, should be wholly subordinate to that knowledge and discipline in which civilization rests. As they occupy the leisure part of life, so should they occupy the leisure part of education.
Page 27 - But a few years ago she was at school, where her memory was crammed with words, and names, and dates, and her reflective faculties scarcely in the slightest degree exercised — where not one idea was given her respecting the methods of dealing with the opening mind of childhood ; and where her discipline did not in the least fit her for thinking out methods of her own. The intervening years have been...
Page 35 - ... the relations of the sexes, and the relations of parents to children. The superstitions, also, from the more important myths down to the charms in common use, should be indicated. Next should come a delineation of the industrial system: showing to what extent the division of...