Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/214

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200
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

come a corresponding knowledge of the frequent inability of drugs to control them; add to this that, with a fairly intelligent patient, the man who possesses an intimate acquaintance with the morbid change which produces the symptoms has the power of explaining his disease to him, and so successfully insisting upon the requisite conditions for treatment, irrespective sometimes of little, if any, assistance from drugs—such a knowledge can not be attained without a thorough scientific training, and I could multiply examples where this kind of education is as useful as it is to the physician.

At the risk of being tedious, I can not help repeating that the mental training which encourages the habit of careful observation, of accumulating facts, the reality and truth of which are tested by experiment, which sweeps away opinions based upon imperfect premises, which succeeds in leaving upon its pupil a profound regard for accuracy in all his work, must be a valuable addition to any course of education—an addition, for I should be sorry to urge that it was a complete substitute for any branch of knowledge except it be philosophy and metaphysics. How science has superseded philosophy was well told by George Henry Lewes when he wrote: "The method of verification, let us never forget, is the one grand characteristic distinguishing science from philosophy, modern inquiry from ancient inquiry. The proof is with us the great object of solicitude; we demand certainty, and, as the course of human evolution shows certainty to be attainable on no other method than the one followed by science, the condemnation of metaphysics is inevitable. Philosophy was the great initiator of science; it rescued the nobler part of man from the dominion of brutish apathy and helpless ignorance, nourished his mind with mighty impulses, exercised it in magnificent efforts, gave him the unslaked, unslakable thirst for knowledge which has dignified his life, and enabled him to multiply tenfold his existence and his happiness. Having done this, its part is played; our interest in it is purely historical."—Lancet.

 
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EDUCATION OF BRAIN-CELLS.
By J. MORTIMER GRANVILLE, M. D.

THE very interesting and important case recently narrated by Professor Sharpey in this periodical[1] recalls one that fell under my own observation rather more than twenty years ago. I will state its principal features, without going into details, and then venture to make the two cases an occasion for a few brief speculations which I am desirous of laying before medical-psychologists, with a view to

  1. See "Popular Science Monthly" for August, 1879—article "Reeducation of the Adult Brain."