Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 5.djvu/725

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MENTAL PHYSIOLOGY.

and that this dryness conferred upon them the greater power of resisting heat which characterized seeds. Nay, further—2. Although no seeds could be shown to be able to resist the influence of boiling water, Spallanzani assumed that these unknown seed-like germs might be able to do so. Thus alone was he able to continue in the panspermatist faith—on the strength of these assumptions only, could he refuse assent to the probability of a germless origin of living matter, more or less after the fashion suggested by Needham and others. It will, therefore, be interesting for us now to consider how far the progress of science tends to confirm or reverse Spallanzani's assumptions.

 
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MENTAL PHYSIOLOGY.
By Dr. J. C. BUCKNILL.

AN important work on the above subject, by a man so eminent and so various in science as Dr. Carpenter, cannot fail to attract the attention and to be worthy of the study of all those whose work in life is to prevent or restore mind from its morbid conditions, and who fully appreciate the necessity of building the edifice of Mental Pathology upon the sure foundations of Physiological Science.

The history of the work before us is told us by the author in his preface. It has grown out of the interesting and suggestive chapters on Psychology, which formed part of the fourth and fifth editions of his "Principles of Human Physiology." It is, however, more than a physiological treatise. It is an attempt to reconcile the facts of science with the reasonings of philosophy, to bridge over the abyss which yawns between materialism and immaterialism, to find some stand-point for free-will, morals, and responsibility, within touching distance of the brain-cells. Quoting from Charles Buxton's "Notes on Thought," the author says:

"Irresistible, undeniable facts demonstrate that man is not a den wherein two enemies are chained together; but one being—that soul and body are one —one and indivisible. We had better face this great fact. 'Tis no good to blink it. Our knowledge of physiology has come to a point where the old idea of man's constitution must be thrown aside. To struggle against the overwhelming force of Science, under the notion of shielding Religion, is mere folly."—(Preface p. xiii.)

It is not always certain, when language like the above is used, whether the writer intends to affirm that the body is the soul or the soul is the body, for there is confusion in using two words for one thing, and especially two words which through all the ages of thought have been held to express such opposite meanings. In a work on physiology, however, it is the body and its functions which have to be