Harper's New Monthly Magazine,  11 (1885–86), 808–12.

Editor's Study

[William D Howells]


Regular Feature, Review

Publications reviewed:

Fiske 1884 Fiske 1885


Metaphysics, Darwinism, Evolution, Truth, Anti-Scientism, Induction, Christianity, Morality, Soul, Progress

    Contends that 'So many scientists have denied so many things that it is hard to understand that Science herself denies nothing, to begin with, but seeks only and always to know the truth', and suggests that the 'evolution of a believer in a God sensible to human need and in the life hereafter, from a metaphysician so purely scientific as Mr. John Fiske, is certainly one of the most interesting phases of Darwinism'. Arguing that the 'emotions and desires concerning our origin and destiny which seem innate are as fit subjects for [scientific] inquiry as the material world', praises the 'induction from the Darwinian theory, which teaches Mr. Fiske that in natural selection psychical variations were preferred to physical variations, that infancy was prolonged in the interest of the family and morality, and that man, thus differentiated from the other creatures, has been perfected by the gradual predominance of the soul over the body'. (808)


Howells 1891

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