THIS handsome and well-illustrated volume of some six hundred large octavo pages, by a young German physiologist already favourably known by his special researches, is ambitious in design but praiseworthy in purpose. The aut hor complains of the too narrow character of most of the physiological inquiries and writings of the present time; and not without some justice. A cursory reader of a modern text-book of physiology (of my own, for instance), might easily come to the conclusion that most of our current physiological doctrines had been arrived at by the exclusive study of the frog, the rabbit, and the dog, with occasional help from that of the horse, of a fish, of a bird, arid of man. All the wealth of opportunity for observation and experiment offered by the innumerable other forms of life, seems to be neglected. And there follows naturally the inference that physiology would gain a healthier tone and broader grasp, by widening the field of its study. Years ago the great Johannes Müller, in his immortal work, took such a broad survey; later on, Carpenter followed the same course in his “Comparative Physiology,” a work to which I, at least, owe much; and now Dr. Verworn attempts to present, in a general view, the light which the multitudinous special researches of more recent days have shed on the fundamental phenomena of life.
Allgemeine Physiologie. Ein Grundriss der Lehre vom Leben.
Von Max Verworn. (Jena: Fischer, 1895.)
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FOSTER, M. Allgemeine Physiologie. Ein Grundriss der Lehre vom Leben. Nature 51, 529–530 (1895). https://doi.org/10.1038/051529a0