Human physiology, statistical and dynamical, or, The conditions and course of the life of man [electronic resource].

Draper, John William, 1811-1882 author.
Other Title:
Conditions and course of the life of man
7th ed.
New York, N.Y. : Harper and Brothers, 1865, 1878.
1 online resource
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Mode of access: World Wide Web.
"Two years ago the first edition of this work was published. Since that time several thousand copies have been disposed of; it has been introduced as a text-book in many of our medical schools, and has been very favorably received by the profession and the public. I have therefore felt it necessary to submit it to a careful examination, for the purpose of removing any errors it may contain, and improving it as far as its present form admits. In these corrections I have availed myself of many of the suggestions made in various reviews of the original work, and take this occasion to express my thanks for the consideration shown toward it both in America and Europe. To treat Physiology as a branch of Physical Science; to exclude from it all purely speculative doctrines and ideas, the relics of a philosophy (if such it can be called) which flourished in the Middle Ages, though now fast dying out, and from which the more advanced subjects of human knowledge, such as Astronomy and Chemistry, have long ago made themselves free-to do this, amounts, in reality, to a reorganization and reconstruction: a task of extreme difficulty, and for complete success demanding the conjoint labors of many philosophers and many physicians. To physicians I would earnestly address myself, in the hope of obtaining their continued aid and hearty patronage for every such attempt. I would ask them why it is that we never hear of empiricism in Natural Philosophy, Engineering, Astronomy? Is it not because the principles upon which those subjects rest have ceased to be speculative, and are restricted to the demonstrative, the experimental, the practical? In Philosophy, sects only arise while principles are uncertain; in Medicine, the quack only exists because there is a doubt. The practice of Medicine must rest on an exact Anatomy and a sound Physiology. As soon as it is brought to this, empiricism will disappear of itself; it will need no legal enactments, no ethical codes for its destruction. And for this reason, if there were no others, it is the bounden duty of every physician to encourage to the utmost within his own sphere of influence every attempt to realize such a state of things. The encouragement which has been given to this book I regard as a token that these principles are profoundly recognized by the medical profession of our country. In this work I have therefore endeavored to treat of man according to the methods accepted in Physical Science, but still of man as an individual only. Physiology, however, in its most general acceptation, has another department connected with problems of the highest interest. Man must be studied not merely in the individual, but also in the race. There is an analogy between his advance from infancy through childhood, youth, manhood, to old age, and his progress through the stages of civilization. In the whole range of human study there are no topics of greater importance, or more profound, than those dealt with in this second department or division. It is also capable of being treated in the same spirit and upon the same principles as the first"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).
Electronic reproduction. Washington, D.C. : American Psychological Association, 2011. Available via World Wide Web. Access limited by licensing agreement. s2011 dcunns
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