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July 7, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXV(1):33-34. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460270041006

In an article entitled "A Consideration of Herbert Spencer's Essay on Education," David Starr Jordan,1 president of Leland Stanford University, points out that Spencer placed first on the list in importance among the leading kinds of activity constituting human life, "those activities which directly minister to self-preservation," and next in order those that indirectly operate toward the same end. Probably no one will deny the paramount importance of perfect physical and mental health. Ill health, whatever its cause, "deducts more from complete living than anything else," and shortens by at least one-half the possible duration of life. Hence Spencer concludes "that, as vigorous health and its accompanying high spirits are larger elements of happiness than any other thing whatsoever, the teaching how to maintain them is a teaching that should yield in moment to no other whatever." And Jordan goes on to point out that it is not merely