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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/532

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528
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

the article was in the hands of the printer. Müller's manuscripts are said to have been the "terror" of all typesetters.

There was one peculiarity of this man of genius which, though perhaps a fault, no doubt favored the high degree of productiveness which Müller manifested throughout his life. This was his indifference to the formal completion of his written works. At the culmination of a certain line of investigation, in which he had arrived at definite, and usually important, results, he found too attractive the conclusions and speculations dependent upon these results, to spend his precious moments preparing or finishing his manuscript for the general reader.

Although Müller took, in the earlier part of his life, a certain interest in art, literature and music, it was usually the practical alone which was of consequence to him; and if this phase of the subject were once assured, he went forward in his work without much regard for the polishing or the agreeable rounding-off of his subject. And yet, had Müller lived under different influences and if he had dedicated to the superficial side of his work the same carefulness, we are bound to say that, like Cuvier, he too would have been a master of scientific style. But in spite of this tendency, in what Müller did write he was usually most thoughtful of the manner of his expression. He would sometimes read to members of his department, without disclosing the object, descriptions of certain forms to see whether or not he could awaken in his hearers the conception which it was his desire to implant. He was accustomed to enhance the value of his descriptions by forceful comparisons wherein the wealth of his imagination is readily recognizable. The dredging apparatus which worked before his laboratory window, the hood-like cap of Frau Martha, the little dagger of Cornelius, the sketch of Faust—all these common objects of his sight while hanging on the walls of his study were employed, as much else, for the elucidating of certain phases of the problems which occupied him at the time.

When we come to consider the nature and actual value of Müller's scientific work, it appears that in general he has more developed the principles set in motion by others, than himself given to the world epoch-making discoveries. In his teachings of the glands, of the voice, of the sense of sight and of the tumors, he has, with a tremendous power of work, heaped up an amount of raw material which not only became united in his own system, but has furnished a basis for much of the work in physiology since his time. It was Müller who first clearly recognized the interrelation of psychology and physiology. We remember that in his doctor's thesis he defended the position: "Psychology is nothing without physiology." In this regard Müller's own investigations, wherein he formulated his doctrine of the specific energy of the sense organs, demonstrated how fully dependent psychology might be upon physiology—a conception which in more recent times