Writes on the subject of awarding degrees to women. Agrees with Sidgwick that 'things are not now as they were in 87'. Takes a fairly neutral stance on the issue, claiming that he would discourage any opposition to the request 'for a syndicate to consider the question'. Expresses concern at the interference of non-residents in University affairs, and discusses the importance of the University's constitution.
Trinity College - Nassau Senior's notions about the nature of science will provide WW with specimens of what is to be avoided: 'I will refer to the passages and revel in their absurdity'. The world will soon see them as non-sensical. WW will be glad to see RJ's recent speculations about induction - 'for among other questions it is certainly an important one how the true faith can best be propagated. I have done what I could in my review of Herschel' ['Modern Science: Inductive Philosophy', Quarterly Review 45, 1831]. What would RJ make of a 'popular exposition of the matter applied mainly to moral political and other notional sciences is what I do not so well see'. The principles of induction can only be taught or learnt by numerous examples. Of induction applied to subjects outside of natural philosophy WW can only think of RJ's book, and 'a good deal of Malthus's population is a beginning of such a process excluding of course his anticipatory thesis, the only thing usually talked of'. There are various subjects which are well worth an examination for this purpose, such as language and antiquities - but in what RJ calls intellectual philosophy WW sees 'scarcely a possibility of exemplifying induction. So if you can make anything of the matter I shall be very glad to see it'. Rather, WW thinks the pupil should first 'read Euclid and algebra and when he has done that, mechanics and Newton, and there then is some chance of his knowing in his third year what induction is'.
WW did not send RJ his first sheet 'so that I am a good deal in the dark as to what you mean to do with your positive law. In the mean time I find some phrases which had rather startled me do not startle the barristers to whom I repeated them and of course I was wrong'. RJ expects to send WW the first sheet of his lectures next month.
Written on the occasion of the death of [Mrs Sidgwick's brother, F.M. Balfour] in a climbing accident. States his intention of attempting to answer Sidgwick's question frankly and as clearly as possible. Announces that he is beginning to think 'all this mountaineering indefensible, but stresses that he should not blame either Balfour or himself for not having thought so 'before these terrible accidents.' Discusses the difficulty of laying down precise rules [in relation to mountaineering], and refers to papers he wrote for the Alpine Journal, in which he advised caution. Refers to Mather's and B[ ]'s letter. Discusses the relative merits of guides, and observes that they were more relied upon in the past. Explains that his wife does not wish to trouble Mrs Sidgwick with any expression of sympathy, but assures Sidgwick that she has been constantly thinking of her. States that his natural impulse would lead him to ask Mrs Sidgwick's forgiveness, but acknowledges 'the uselessness of saying anything of that kind.'
Four letters: "Refers to I. Newton letter to Sam. Pepys 23 Dec. 1693 bought by R. J. Edleston from F. Barker (who bought it from [?] 'Bibliotheca Phillippica' 4th July -6 July 1892) and later presented by Miss Edleston to Trinity College Library in 1953." - note on second page of Add.Ms.c.1/100.
Edleston, Joseph (c 1816-1895) Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge