John William Draper.

Human physiology, statical and dynamical, or, The conditions and course of the life of man online

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Online LibraryJohn William DraperHuman physiology, statical and dynamical, or, The conditions and course of the life of man → online text (page 1 of 77)
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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and

fifty-six, by


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York,


The publication of the text of the Lectures on Physiology which the
author has given for many years in the University was originally con-
templated at the repeated solicitation of his pupils, who have felt the ne^
cessity of having an outline of the science in its present state sufficiently
brief for their use.

There are some advantages attending such a publication of matter
which has been employed in Lectures. Among these, condensation or
compactness may be particularly mentioned. It is not possible to in-
struct, for any length of time, classes of many hundred persons without
detecting the more obvious imperfections of the course. An intelligence
quickly springs up between the professor and his audience, which un-
mistakably indicates to him where he is too diffuse and where obscure.

But there are also disadvantages, more especially where Lectm'es are
not read, but delivered orally from a text. Such a text, if published,
will show many obscurities in its descriptions which were perhaps re-
moved in the discourse.

To write a complete treatise on Physiology demands an extent of
knowledge possessed by very few men. What science is there which is
not involved in explaining our structure and functions ? Anatomy, Chem-
istry, Zoology, Botany, Geology, the various branches of Natural PhUos-
ophy, which themselves require as their foundation ]\Iathematics. Well,
therefore, may the author of this book, in view of his own imperfections
as tried by such a standard, express his opinions with hesitation, and, at
the conclusion of his labor, feel regret that he has ever undertaken a
work, the execution of which, with even a moderate success, is so hard,
and in which the detection of multitudes of imperfections is so easy.

The science of Physiology is the result of the labors of thousands of
the ablest men continued for centuries. Though of course, in its ad-
vance, physicians have taken the prominent part, it is also under mani-
fest obligations to men who did not belong to the medical profession.
To recall the names of its many cultivators would have converted the
following pages into a scientific history. The author desires to draw
liis readers' attention particularly to this point, since he has found him-
self constrained, by the plan and size of liis book, to avoid such a course-


and may therefore have exposed himself to the imputation of disregard-
ing that just tribute of respect which is due to those who have done so
much for this science. He trusts, however, that in this he will not be
misunderstood, and that his pupils and readers will constantly bear in
mind that, beyond the suggestion of a trifling fact or idea here and there,
the matter presented is not original with him, but derived from other
sources — the author's reading, during many years, of the chief works on
Physiology and its kindred subjects.

It is, however, proper to remark, that of contemporary works, Dr.
Carpenter's different treatises, Todd and Bowman's Physiological Anat-
omy, and Kirkes' and Paget's Hand-book, are employed as books of
reference in the University. vStudents who are familiar with these ex-
cellent works will doubtless recognize, in many places on the follo-^ang
■pages, the effect of their daily use in imparting coincidences of expres-
sion. The later volumes of Dr. Carpenter have become encyclopedic in
their scope. They are repositories in which may be found all the known
facts of Physiology lucidly arranged.

As respects recent monographs, the language of the authors themselves
is employed wherever it was possible.

A list of wood-cuts is annexed, in which reference is given to the
sources from which those not original have been derived. In the ex-
planations of these engravings, the description used is that of the authors
themselves wherever it was possible, and it is incorporated in the text ;
as, for instance, in Book I., Chapter XVII., in which, the engravings be-
ing derived from the Neui'ology of LeveiUe, the accompanying descrip-
tions are merely translations firom the French ; or, again, in Book II.,
Chapter VII., in Dr. Prichard's statements of the methods of examining
the skull.

With respect to the original engravings, it will be seen that many have
been obtained by the aid of microscopic photography, the process having
been so far improved by the author as to be rendered very available for
these uses. Among his friends who have taken an interest in his ex-
periments on this subject, the author desires particularly to express his
obhgations to Mr. Abbott, whose extensive collection of objects has been
liberally open to him, and to whose love of science many of the best il-
lustrations in this volume are due.

Photography is destined to render important services to science as well
as to art. Even in the minor application of enabling us to obtain, of any
desu-ed size, correct copies of originals, it is of great use. IS^early all the
copied engravings of this work have been thus obtamed tlirough the in-
tervention of photographs.

Having now mentioned the sources from which the material of this
book, both textual and illustrative, has been derived, the author will take


leave to moke a few remarks respecting the manner in which he has iisctl
this material, and the general aspect he has given to his work.

He has suggested the division of the whole suLject into two branches,
Statical and Dynamical Physiology. The expediency of this has been
impressed upon his attention by the necessity of conforming his course
of Lectures to the wants of a medical class. The physician is chiefly
concerned with the conditions of life — the organic functions, as diges-
tion, respiration, secretion, etc. The doctrines of development, and the
career of an organic form, are of less pressing interest. But it was very
soon found that other advantages were derived from this subdivision, as
might indeed have been expected, from its conformity to the usages of
writers on other branches of Physical Science. Doubtless, if such a sep-
aration be accepted by physiological authorities, it will tend to the more
rapid progress of both portions of the subject, by imparting to each a
more definite office.

Throughout the work Physiology is treated after the manner known in
Natural Philosophy. It was chiefly, indeed, for the sake of aiding in the
removal of the mysticism which has pervaded the science that the au-
thor was induced to print this book. Alone, of all the great departments
of knowledge, Physiology still retains the metaphysical conceptions of
the Middle Ages, from which Astronomy and Chemistry have made
themselves free. To exorcise it from such nonentities as irritability,
plastic power, vital force, is the duty of the rising generation of physi-
cians. It is also their interest. Empiricism will never be banished
from the practice of medicine until Physiology is made an exact science.

The reader will also find that the opportunity is taken, wherever it oc-
curs, of directing liis attention to those arguments which the subject of-
fers for elucidating the moral nature of man. Believing that the right
progress of society depends on its religious opinions, and observing with
concern the growing carelessness which is manifested in these respects
in our times, the author has not hesitated to show how advantage may
be taken of the facts presented by Physiology. We live in a period of
difficulty. Metaphysical Philosophy has lost its hold upon the human
mind. The uncertainties, contradictions, and emptiness of the English,
Scotch, French, and German schools are manifest. Already the belief
is wide spread that their barrenness of result and consequent worthless-
ness are the necessary incident of their method of investigation, and that
we must look to some wholly new system as a guide to truth on the
topics they have had under consideration. That guide is Positive Sci-

It would be in vain to discourage the cultivators of Positive Science
from attempting the solution of questions which have foiled Speculative
Philosophy. The attempt will certainly be made, and will inevitably


conduct us to the truth. Our concern should Ibe to direct it from the
outset in the right course.

The existence of God, his goodness, power, and other attributes ; the
existence of the soul of man, its immortality and accountability ; the
future life ; our relations to and position in the world ; its government :
these are topics with which Physical Science is concerning itself, and from
which Physiology can not hereafter be disconnected.

In what is said upon these points, the author has ever kept in view
the great influence, for good or for evil, which arguments based upon ma-
terial and tangible facts exert ; and, without in any instance sacrificing
what he believes to be philosophical truth, he has tried to present it in
such a way as to be conducive to our highest and most enduring in-

If the actions of man are influenced by his organization, his career
must be an exposition of his structural condition, and his history a branch
of Physiology. In a very imperfect way, the author has attempted an
innovation based on these considerations. It is only an outline of the
manner in which that interesting and extensive subject might be dealt
with. Viewed according to the methods of Positive Philosophy, there
are but two classes of facts which can be admitted into our discussions
respecting man. They are those which are furnished by his structure
and functions, and those which may be gathered from his historical ca-
reer. The proper presentation of the latter alone would requu-e a volume.

To the medical profession, as matters now stand, nothing is of more
importance than the dissemination of physiological knowledge. Empiri-
cism could not flourish as it does if the structure and functions of the
body of man were better understood. How many advantages would
arise if the elements of this science were made a part of general educa-
tion in America ! What branch of knowledge has intrinsically a better
title thereto ? Is it at all to be wondered at that every kind of medical
imposture prospers in communities where almost every one believes that
a man has one rib less than a woman, and, even among persons pretend-
ing to education, scarcely one can be found who has a distinct idea of the
size, shape, and position of his own stomach ?

Such a diffusion of physiological knowledge would not only tend to a
repression of empiricism, but would also exert an effect in raising the
standard of acquirement among medical men themselves. That a great
revolution is impending in the practice of medicine, no one who is at all
observant of the progress of science can doubt. The great physicians
of the future will be the great physiologists. He who can best correct
the imperfections of a macliine is he who best knows its structure and

Why is it that from Astronomy, Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering,


and such other subjects, empiricism has disappeared,? Is it not because
exact knowledge has taken the place of speculation and mysticism ? The
delusions of Astrology, Alchemy, and Magic have been unable to main-
tain themselves against simple truth. And so of the numerous medical
impostures of our times, they will die out as an exact knowledge of the
structure and functions of man prevails.

That this volume may aid in removing the great and noble science on
which it treats from Speculative, and in attaching it to Natural Philoso-
phy — that it may assist in establishing the great doctrine of the par-
amount influence of physical laws over organization, is the earnest de-
sire of the author. Conscious of the shortcomings of his work, he sub-
mits it to the scientific world with hesitation, yet not without the hope
that its errors and imperfections will be excused for the sake of the ol>
ject it proposes to attain.

C N T E N T S.

B O O K I.



Conditions of Life. — Natwe and Sources of Substances supplied to the Body. — Annual Quantities
required. — Table of Physiological Sta7idards. — Animals do not create, but transform Substan-
ces. — Properties and Quantities of Matters received by the System. — Properties and Quantities
of those it restores. — Heat of the Body arises from Combustion. — Cooling Agencies in an An-
imal. — Necessity of Repairs in the System. — Physical Aspect of Man. — The Soid. — The Vital
Principle, — Importance of Physical Science to Physiology Page 9



Tlie natural Subdivisions of Physiology. — Of Food: its Sources and Classification — its Value not
altogether dependent on its Composition. — Of Milk: its Composition, and Use of its Water,
Casein, Sugar, Butter, and Salts. — Variations in the Composition of Milk. — Of Bread. — Of
mixed Diets. — Of the embryonic Food of Birds. — Nutrition of carnivorous and herbivorous
Animak. — Food formed by Plants and destroyed by Animals. — Uses of mixed Food and Cook-
ing. — Absolute Amount of Food , , 26



Nature of Digestion. — 77/6 Mouth, Teeth, Stomach. — The Salivary Glands. — Different Kinds of
Saliva. — Properties of mixed Saliva : its Quantity, Composition, and Functions. — Relation of
the Salivary Glands and Kidneys. — Tlte digestive Tract. — The Stomach. — Gastric Juice. —
Organs for its Preparation. — Manner of producing Chyme. — Influence of the Nerves. — Artifi-
cial Digestion. — Pi-eparation and Properties of Pepsin. — Regional and functionai Divisions of
the Stomach in Animah and in Man. — Object of Stomach Digestion. — Peptones. — Use of Salt.
— Digestibility of various Articles of Food 40



Nature of Intestinal Digestion. — Sti'itcture of the Intestine. — Digestive Fluids of the Intestine. —
Tlie Pancreatic Juice. — Tlie Enteric Juice. — Juice of Lieberkuhn. — Secretion of Peyer^s
Glands. — Bile. — Digestion of the Carbohydrates and Hydrocarbons. — Properties and Varie-
ties of Lactic Add. — Doctrine of the Effects of Acidity and Alkalinity of the Digestive Juices.
— Illustration of Intestinal Digestion from the making of Wine. — Making of Bread. — Influence
of Heat over Ferments. — Comparison of Gastric and Intestinal Digestion. — Changes of the In-
testinal Contents. — The Faecal Residues 67



Double Mechanisvi for Absorption. — The Lacteak and Veiiis. — Lacteal Absorption. — Descrip-
tion of a Villus. — Analogies in Plants. — Introduction of Fat by the Villi. — Tlie Cliyle. —
Causes of the Flow of Chyle. — Intermediate Changes on its Passage to the Blood. — Action of
Peyer^s Bodies. — Lymphatic Absorption. — Nature of Lymph. — Structure of the Lymphatic
System. — Compaiison of Cliyle, Lymph., and Serum. — Function of the Lymphatic System. —
Production of Fibrin. — Cutaneous Absorption. — Causes of the Flow of Lymph. — Ajiparent se-
lecting power of the Absorbents. — Connection of the Lacteals and Lymphatics with the Locomo-
tive and Respiratory Mechanism Page 84


Proof of Absorption by the Blood CajAllaries. — Occurs as a physical Necessity . — Nature of Cap-
illary Attraction.— Its Phenomena in the Rise and Depression of Liquids. — Conditions for
producing a Flow in a Capillary Tube. — Passage of Liquids through minute Pores. — Genei'at
Propositio7is respecting Capillary Attraction. — Endosmosis and Exosmosis. — They depend on
Capillary Attraction. — Force against ivhich these Movements may take place. — Illustrations of
selecting Power. — General Vieiv of the entire Function of Absorption, lactealand venous 102


T7ie Offices and Relation of Blood in the System. — The Plasma and Cells. — General Properties
and Composition of the Blood. — Quantity in the Body. — Coagulation. — Blood-cells. — Their suc-
cessive Forms. — Tlie perfect Cell. — Hcematin: its Properties. — Number of Blood-cells. — Plas-
ma: its Composition, and Variations of its Ingredients. — Albumen, Fibrin, Fat, Sugar. — Min-
eral Ingredients of the Cells and Plasma compared. — Gases of the Blood. — Changes occurring
during the Circulation. — General Functions of the different Ingredients of the Blood. — Introduc-
tion of Oxygen by the Cells. — Their transient Duration Ill


The Heart as a Machine. — Inadequacy of Harvefs doctrine of the Circulation. — Physical Prin-
ciple of the Circulation; applied in the case of a Nucleated Cell, Pervious Tissue, Motion of
Sap and of Blood. — Dependence of the Circulation on Respnration. — Forms of Circulation :
Systemic, Pulmonary, Portal. — Description of the Heart ; its Movements. — Their Force, Num-
ber, and Value. — Sounds of the Heart. — Cause of its Contractions. — Description of the Arte-
ries, Capillaries, Veins. — Explanation of the Circulation of the Blood. — Facts supporting it. —
The First Breath 129

Resjnration introduces and removes aerial Substances. — Coalescence of B^spiratoi-y and Urinary
Organs in Fishes. ^Physical and chemical Conditions of Respiration. — Interstitial Movements
of Solids, Liquids, and Gases. — Condition of Equilibrium in the Diffusion of Gases. — Con-
densing Action of Membranes. — Forms of Resjnratory Mechanism. — The Lungs of Man. —
Tliree Stages in the Introduction of Air : Atmospheric Pressure, Diffusion of Gases, and
Condensation by Membranes. — Exchange of Carbonic Acid for Oxygen. — Divisions of the Con-
tents of the Lungs. — Variations in the exjnred Air. — Removal of Water. — Effect of ii-resjnra-
ble Gases. — Experiments of Regnault and Reiset. — Nervous Influence concerned in Respiration.
— Results of Respiration 140



Participation of Organic Forms in external Variations of Temperature. — Mechanism for counter-
balandmj these Variations. — Development of Heat in Plants at Germination and Inflorescence.
— Its Cause is Oxidation. — Connection of Respiration and Heat. — Temperature of Man. — His
Power of Resistance. — The diiirnal Variations of Heat. — Connection of these Variations with
organic Penodicities. — Annual Variations of Heat. — Control over them by Food, Clothing, and
Shelter. — Source of Animal Heat. — Effect of Variations in the Food and in the respired Me-
dium, both as respects its Nature and Rarefaction. — Hybernation. — Starvation. — Artificial Rcr-
duction of Temperature by Blood-letting. — Principles of Reduction of Temperature. — Radia-
tion. — Contact. — Evaporation. — Their Balance with the Heating Processes. — Local J'aria-
tions eliminated by the Circulation. — Control by the Nervous System. — Its physical Nature. —
Allotropism of Organic Bodies Page 17")



Object of Secretion. — Type of secreting Mechanism. — Filtration and Cell Action. — Of Serous
Membranes and their Secretions. — Of Mucous Membranes and their Secretions. — Of Hepatic Se-
cretions. — TJie Liver: its Development and Structure. — Source, Quantity, Composition, Uses,
and Flow of the Bile. — Existence of biliary Ingredients in the Blood. — Production of Sugar and
Fat in the Liver. — Changes q/^ the Blood-cells in it. — General Summary of the four-fold Action
of the Liver : it produces Sugar and Fat, eliminates Bile, is the Seat of the final Destruction
of old Blood-cells, and of the Completion of new Ones. — Of the ductless Glands. — The Spleen:
its Functions 181)



Secretion and Excretion.

Of the Kidney: its Structure and Functions. — The Malpighian Circulation. — The Urine: its In-
gredients, their Variations and Som-ces. — Abnormal Substances in it. — The Water and Salts
exude by Filtration. — The Cells remove unoxidized Bodies. — Manner of Removal of the Liquid
from the Malpighian Sac.

Of the Mammary Gland: its Structure. — Colostrum and Milk. — Ingredients of Milk and their
Variations. — Influence of Diet. — Inquiry into the Origin of the Ingredients of the Milk jits Fat,
Casein, Salts, Sugar. — Manner of Action of the Gland by Strainage.

Of the Skin. — Structure of its Epidenna and Derma. — Sudoripai'ous and Sebaceous Glands. —
Nails. — Hair. — Ingredients of Perspiration. — Exhalation: its Amount. — Causes of the Vari-
able Action of the Skin. — Its Double Action. — Abso7j>tion by the Skin. — Gene7-al Summary of
the Cutaneous Functions 213



Of Decay : Loss of Weight in Starvation. — Interstitial Death. — Effect of Allotropism.

Of Nutrition : Nutrition for Repair and Nutrition for Remodeling, illustrated in the cases of Fat
and Bone respectively.

Of Fat : Its Peculiarities, modes of Occurrence, and Oi'igin. — Inquiry whether Animals ever form
Fat. — Artificial Production of it. — Animals both collect it and make it. — Accumulation of it
expends Nitrogenized Tissue. — Conditions of the Fattening of Animals. — Summary of the
Sources, Deposit, and manner of Removal of Fat. — Its partial Oxidations, — Summary of its
Uses. — Nitrogenized Nutrition.


Of Bone: The Skeleton. — Structure and Chemical Composition of Bone. — Sources of its Con-
stituents. — The Process of Ossification. — Experiments on the Growth of Bone. — Influence of
Physical Agents on Development and Nutrition Page 2415



Divisions of the Nervous System.. — Cerebrospinal and Sympathetic. — Fibrous and Vesicular.

Structure and Functions of Nerve Fibres. — Centripetal and' Centrifugal. — Rate of Conductibility.

Anatomical Examination of the Structure and Functions of Nerve Vesicles. — Tliey diffuse Influ-
ences, are Magazines of Force. — Element of Time introduced by Registering Ganglia. — Oxida-
tion necessary to Nerve Activity. — Necessity of Repair and Rest. — Electiical Examination of
the Functions of Vesicles. — Anatomical and Electrical Examinations agree.

Automatic Nerve Arc. — Cellated Nerve Arc. — Multiple Arcs. — Commissures. — Registering Nerve
Arcs. — Sensorium. — Influential Arc.

Suggestions derived from cerebral Structure respecting the Soul. — Its independent Existence and

Ideas of Time and Space. — Objective, subjective, and impersonal Operations. — Vestiges of Im-
pressions and their Interpretation, — Finite Natui-e of Knowledge. — Mental Emotions 258



Primitive Development of Nervous System. — Its final Condition in different Vertebrates.

The Spinal Cord: its Structure. — Its Membranes. — Its TJiirty-one Pairs of Nerves. — Proper-
ties of their Roots. — Functions of the Cord. — Belt's Discovery. — Transmission of Longitudinal
and Transverse Influences. — Reflex Action of the Cord. — Nature of Reflex Action. — Motor and
Sensory Tracts of the Cord. — Summary of its Functions.

The Medulla Oblongata : its Structure and Functions.

The Pons Varolii: its Structure and Functions.

Dr. Carpenter''s Views of the Analogy between the Spinal Cord of Vertebrates and the Ventral
Cord of Articulates , 291



The Brain : its Structure. — Its Motor and Sensory Parts, Hemispheres, and Commissures. —

Online LibraryJohn William DraperHuman physiology, statical and dynamical, or, The conditions and course of the life of man → online text (page 1 of 77)