This book, which deals with man's self-image as influenced by the natural sciences, is no better than the average textbook. Like a textbook, it contains a considerable amount of information, condensed and well-organized. And, like a textbook, it is largely unreadable.
Matson has a wonderful way of avoiding direct statements: "However, the most significant (and unintentional) tendency of Comte's pre-behavioral science, together with that of the Saint-Simonians generally, was what Albert Salomon has called the 'totalitarian potentiality' implicit in its simultaneous cerebreation of society and nullification of the individual."
This kind of obnoxious writing might be tolerable if the author were a tongue-tied genius. But, in the end, the reader must conclude that Matson is merely inarticulate. He has grappled with the problem of man's image of himself and has taken 355 pages to demonstrate that he has nothing to say on the subject. Students will be famil-far with such lifeless tomes.