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JOHN WILLIAM DRAPER, M.D., LL.D.,
PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK ;
AUTHOR OF A TREATISE ON HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY,' ETC. ETC.
At the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, held at Oxford in 1860, I read an abstract of the physiological argument contained in this Work respecting the mental progress of Europe, reserving the historical evidence for subsequent publication.
This volume contains that evidence. It is intended as the completion of my work on Human Physiology,' in which man was treated of as an individual. In this he is considered in his social relation.
But the reader will also find, I think, that it is a history of the progress of ideas and opinions from a point of view heretofore almost entirely neglected. There are two methods of dealing with philosophical questions—the literary and the scientific. Many things which in a purely literary treatment of the subject remain in the background, spontaneously assume a more striking position when their scientific relations are considered. It is the latter method that I have used.
Social advancement is as completely under the control of natural law as is bodily growth.
The life of an individual is a miniature of the life of a nation. These propositions it is the special object of this book to demonstrate.
No one, I believe, has hitherto undertaken the labour of arranging the evidence offered by the intellectual history of