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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/677

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A CHAPTER IN TRANSCENDENTAL PATHOLOGY.

only for a certain number of years, and it is well known that many of the most valuable standard works, both in prose and poetry, are being continually republished in England without any remuneration to the authors or their heirs. If authors have an inherent right to the products of their brains, the lapse of time should be no reason for taking that right away, and English publishers are as morally guilty of robbery when they fail to make remuneration to such authors or their legal representatives, after the law no longer protects them, as are the American publishers who do the same with English copyright books for which there is no American protection. O most conscientious Briton! when thou doest unto others as thou wouldst that others should do unto thee, then mayst thou, with more consistency, indulge in the abuse of those whom thou delightest to call "piratical publishers."

 

A CHAPTER IN TRANSCENDENTAL PATHOLOGY.

IN his address to the Pathological Section of the British Medical Association, on the occasion of its meeting at Worcester this year, the distinguished president of the section, Dr. J. Hughlings-Jackson, threw out the suggestion that inflammation should be regarded as a process of dissolution. His meaning will be fully intelligible only to those who have some knowledge of the system of philosophy which Mr. Herbert Spencer has given to the world. It may be interesting, both to those who are familiar with Mr. Spencer's writings, and to those who are not, if we somewhat expand Dr. Jackson's hint, and inquire briefly how far inflammation corresponds to Mr. Spencer's definition of dissolution. If we find that it is included in that definition, it may enable us to trace relations between inflammation and other allied processes—mineral, vegetal, animal, psychological, and social—which can not but enlarge and make clearer our views of it and them.

Evolution, our readers will hardly need reminding, is the process of growth and life; dissolution, that of decay and death. The definition of inflammation which is given by one of the most eminent writers upon the subject starts from the proposition that inflammation is the result of injury. We should, therefore, a priori, expect that changes which are the result of injury would have their analogues rather in the processes of decay and death than in those of life and growth. The definition of evolution which Mr. Spencer formulates is as follows: "Evolution is an integration of matter and concomitant dissipation of motion, during which the matter passes from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity to a definite, coherent heterogeneity, and during which the retained motion undergoes a parallel transformation."