The St. Louis Congress of the Arts and Science
To THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE : In the number of SCIENCE for August 28, I occupied considerable space in raising certain questions suggested by Dr. Munsterberg's article on the St. Louis Congress in the May number of the Atlantic Monthly. I objected
1. To Dr. Munsterberg's basing the working classification and grouping of the schedule or program of that Congress upon a scheme of philosophical methodology (of which he himself happened to be the author), and
2. To the representation made in the article that the Committee on the Congress had given his methodology an official sanction and endorsement by arranging a program upon its basis.
In what purports to be a reply in SCIENCE for October 30, Dr. Munsterberg elaborately ignores the objection I raised and as elaborately attributes and refutes a position which I neither took nor even suggested. The objection which he attributes to me is upon its face either a matter of minor importance or else is absurd. This is an objection to the actual working classification and grouping adopted for the conduct of the Congress. It does not require two pages of SCIENCE to point out that such an objection is trivial if taken to mean an objection to just this or that number and set of divisions, departments and sections; and absurd if taken to mean objection to any classification and grouping whatsoever. Nor does it require a careful reading of my SCIENCE article to discover that I never entertained such objections.
While I regret that Dr. Munsterberg has raised an irrelevant issue, instead of discussing the matter on its merits, I yet take one consolation from his article. His ignoring the real point of my objection suggests that as a matter of fact the philosophical methodology set forth in such a prominent way in the May Atlantic has ceased to have (if it ever had) any bearing upon the actual conduct of the Congress; and that what now exists is just a certain working classification, whose exact merits, as I have just indicated, area matter of detail and not of principle. In that case, while some explanation would seem to be due the editor and readers of the Atlantic Monthly, the scientific men of the country may rest reasonably content.
THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO.