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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/818

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

phenomenon must needs have a physical cause was not the implied or expressed axiom that it is to us moderns.

The great man whose name is inseparably connected with the foundation of medicine, Hippocrates, certainly knew very little, indeed practically nothing, of anatomy or physiology; and he would probably have been perplexed even to imagine the possibility of a connection between the zoölogical studies of his contemporary, Democritus, and medicine. Nevertheless, in so far as he, and those who worked before and after him in the same spirit, ascertained, as matters of experience, that a wound, or a luxation, or a fever, presented such and such symptoms, and that the return of the patient to health was facilitated by such and such measures, they established laws of nature, and began the construction of the science of pathology. All true science begins with empiricism—though all true science is such exactly, in so far as it strives to pass out of the empirical stage into that of the deduction of empirical from more general truths. Thus, it is not wonderful that the early physicians had little or nothing to do with the development of biological science; and, on the other hand, that the early biologists did not much concern themselves with medicine. There is nothing to show that the Asclepiads took any prominent share in the work of founding anatomy, physiology, zoölogy, and botany. Rather do these seem to have sprung from the early philosophers, who were essentially natural philosophers, animated by the characteristically Greek thirst for knowledge as such. Pythagoras, Alcmeon, Democritus, Diogenes of Apollonia, are all credited with anatomical and physiological investigation; and though. Aristotle is said to have belonged to an Asclepiad family, and not improbably owed his taste for anatomical and zoölogical inquiries to the teachings of his father, the physician Nicomachus, the "Historia Animalium," and the treatise "De Partibus Animalium," are as free from any allusion to medicine as if they had issued from a modern biological laboratory.

It may be added that it is not easy to see in what way it could have benefited a physician of Alexander's time to know all that Aristotle knew on these subjects. His human anatomy was too rough to avail much in diagnosis, his physiology was too erroneous to supply data for pathological reasoning. But when the Alexandrian schools, with Erasistratus and Herophilus at their head, turned to account the opportunities for studying human structure, afforded to them by the Ptolemies, the value of the large amount of accurate knowledge thus obtained to the surgeon for his operations, and to the physician for his diagnosis of internal disorders, became obvious, and a connection was established between anatomy and medicine, which has ever become closer and closer. Since the revival of learning, surgery, medical diagnosis, and anatomy have gone hand in hand. Morgagni called his great work, "De sedibus et causis morborum per anatomen indagatis," and not only showed the way to search out the localities and the