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In the flitting thought of Herodotus and with neither. We may easily go back of in the more circumstantial elaboration Empedocles, who so influenced them both of Aristotle, in natural selection and in and who said: "it is not the difference in pangenesis we have the two leading ideas the vines that makes the wine good or bad, of the method of evolution as they existed but in the soil which nourishes them.18 In in the mind of Darwin. Lesser men who the views of Empedocles, not only the nourhave come after him have for the most part ishment of plants but perception of animals had room for only one of them in their by the senses is effected by the attraccranial cavity. Men who preceded him by tion of kindred elements through their pores some 2500 years were in the same plight, from the earth in which they grow and by but the pangenesis germ sprouted in their the environment from objects of sensory minds, while in the minds of those who fol- emanations. These emanations are themlowed and out-Darwined Darwin the germ, selves an idea of primitive man. In another minute as we have seen it in Herodotus, essay19 I have drawn attention to the conAnaximander and Empedocles, became the ception of the Australian savage and of inconceivable germ plasm of Weissmann other men scarcely less primitive who in his early days. I am free to say that I conceive of the soul as emitting emanations do not perceive that Burnet and especially from its tenement in the body of a magician Gomperz are justified in drawing the parallel which may be blown by the winds into the quite so closely between the old and the new patient. They pass unseen through the evolutionary theories. The ancient nature pores of the witch doctor into those of his philosophers, Parmenides, Alcmaeon and patient who sits in his lee. The conception Empedocles, like Galton, all drew the simple of the soul which leaves the body temconclusion that the resemblance of mental porarily often existed in the primitive mind and physical characters of the offspring in a sense similar to our demonstration of depends on the proportion in which the seed radial matter. The emanations of the soul of the parents enters into the constitution of the savage may be considered the proof the offspring. Ætius reports that Em- totype of the sense emanations of Empedpedocles believed that the offspring were ocles. Many primitive men have this conaffected by maternal impressions, a firmly ception of the radial energy of the human held doctrine of more modern times or soul, and it is not at all difficult to follow by the fancy of the woman at the time of traces of it into the science and the philoconception—the basis of the philosophical sophy and especially into the religions of story of Goethe Elective Affinities—“for the modern world. oftentimes,” he says, 'women fall in love As to the senses Empedocles supposed with images and statues and bring forth that the percepts of the mind arrive there offspring like these.”:17
through the sense organs by pores which So we recognize the vagaries as well as admit the emanations from objects visthe other details in the evolutionary doc- ualized or noises heard, or odors smelt, trine of the day which are useful in allowing savors tasted, surfaces touched. Of specific us to perceive the very quintessence of a kinds these emanation atoms are recognized belief in the modifiability of the germ plasm. by like specific kinds within the organization We see that even at that dawn of history this doctrine, familiar to us in the works
18 Burrows, Ronald M., “Discoveries in Crete,"
New York: E. P. Dutton, 1907. of Hippocrates and of Aristotle, was original
19 Wright, Jonathan, “Blood and the Soul.” 17 Fairbanks, Arthur, "The first Philosophers of N. York M. J., July 20, Aug. 10, Aug. 17, Greece," New York: Charles Scribners' Sons, 1898. 1918.
of the percepient by the soul. Em- environment Empedocles had in mind when pedocles was the great homoeopathist. Out he postulated his theory of the rays, which of this form which homoeopathic or sympa- we have identified in chemistry, in physics thetic magic took in the doctrines of Alc- and in biology. The forces of nature, as mæon and Empedocles and Aristotle and open to the observation of the savage and the followers of the latter for two thousand of Hippocratic Greek as to our own, we are years sprang the firm conviction of mankind assured have no influence on the germ plasm in the inheritance of acquired characters. or on the units into which it is being subLike attracts like and like begets like. The divided. idea is inherent in the magic of primitive I am eluding all responsibility for the man so prominently that ethnologists epito- truth or the error of such a conception. mize its manifestations under the heading All I mean to say is that, although this of homeopathic magic. Neither primitive
basis lies outside of the reasoning powers man nor Empedocles nor Hippocrates nor of man so far as they attempt to conceive Aristotle nor their followers up to the middle of a material object unaffected by the of the nineteenth century ever had any proximity of another material object, it other thought than that the race of men is a perfectly practical one upon which to or the race of plants was governed in the rest certain phenomena in biological classimanifestations of its heredity by the en- fication, which is always a provisional and vironment in which its ancestors have temporary adjustment. It is practical and been placed. The whole order of the thought of value because it allows biologists to of mankind was indeed, until very recent separate them into two categories :-one in times, pantheistic, an order in which kindred which no proof exists that environmental enamations of a universal spirit pervaded influences have any effect one in which all nature and modified one another both such proof does exist. There has been a somatically and in their heredity. The idea ceaseless shifting from the first to the that there was something in nature not second category since this basis was adopted affected by its environment, spirit or body, by an influential school in biology, and this soul or matter, at once placed it in a new capability to provide for future results attests category of mysticism, essentially modern. its practical value. Anything that is clearly
The old order of thought is plainly mani- shown by evidence to be modified in its fested in the conceptions of a larger and potentiality is not germ plasm. As soon as larger class of cosmic phenomena, the certain transmitted characters are shown further back we go in tracing the history to be changed, then the hypothetical units of thought. As knowledge has advanced, of the germ plasm on which they depend one thing after another has emerged from must be removed from the terms of the the realm of mysticism and taken its place general hypothesis. Simply because a person in the domain ruled by natural law. Em- might differ from his grandfather, owing to pedocles and Aristotle thought their expla- his father's having lived in a different nation placed heredity there, inefficient as climate, has not until comparatively recent it is in the ultimate analysis, but it remained times seemed sufficient reason for removing for the nineteenth century biologists to the phenomenon from any dependence on place it back again in a new realm of mys- the true germ plasm. ticism by separating germ plasm from all It was about twenty-four hundred years other cosmic phenomena. It is the only after the death of the author of "Airs, thing which, we are now asked to believe, Waters and Places” that such an idea found is unaffected by any of the rays of the lodgings in the brain of man. Unnoticed by
its advocates, so far as I have observed, it takes its place alongside of the eternal and unchanging things whose existence we are forced to acknowledge but of which we can have no conception. If it is a reality, we must accept it as we must the actuality of time and space, something lying outside of every possibility of reasoning by analogy. Though Weismann himself finally recoiled before this logical deduction, it is not necessary here to decide whether we are as yet really driven to this desperate refuge or not. It is entirely sufficient here to draw attention to a possible reason why Hippocrates introduced, as such important factors in the etiology of disease, the environment of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the localities we inhabit, things which modern medicine for the most part seems to ignore—which we actually do ignore in our nosology. It was the absence of this miracle of the nineteenth century germ plasm, this unthinkable formula from the thoughts of men.
He had an added incentive for doing so. He believed they influenced not only the mortal body of man, but his soul and his heredity. When they enter into our consideration it is in the course of an enthusiasm for the therapeutical value of sunlight and fresh air in their effects on the tubercle bacillus, supposed to be wholly made up germ plasm, in the course of our observation of the effect of heat and moisture on various protozoal agents of disease whose albuminoids are, I infer, not wholly germ plasm, or in the course of dietetic studies which convince us that in certain localities the human organism assimilates, less readily than elsewhere, food of high caloric value.
In a historical essay, such as this pretends to be, I can thus enter into the modern biological argument only far enough to suggest it as one very important reason why Hippocrates seems to have exaggerated and why we very likely underrate the factors of air, water and localities in our
classification of disease etiology. Granting that this is an important reason, we may understand why the older commentators assumed a more sympathetic attitude toward this part of Hippocratic doctrine, and why, as we approach the era of Darwin, it recedes from discussion; notwithstanding the fact, entirely obvious to the quick perception of the student of modern medicine, that I am making the very scantiest allusion possible to other fields of modern research, very much affected indeed by considerations of airs, waters and localities. We cannot fail to realize, that, lately, in a historical sense, the advent of Darwinian doctrine and its further development in biology has radically changed our views of the effect of environment on disease. We have our ways of studying its connection with disease which differ from those of Hippocrates, and it will be interesting, biologically as well as historically, to take note of this difference.
It will not be entirely devoid of historical interest, at least, to see how Hippocrates made these factors influence not only the diseases of man, but, as I have foreshadowed, the nature of man itself. Of late years there have been undercurrents of opinion among ethnologists which deprecate extreme notions as to the racial differences of men, which to some extent are identifiable with ideas of stable elements in the human germ plasm in the conception of the biologist.
The idea seems to be that there is in reality one race of men whose somatic attributes are modifiable by the environment, climatic, as well as social and intellectual, but on the whole, this once eliminated, mankind is all much alike, especially from a point of view of brain capacity. I do not know that Hippocrates discusses the latter at all aside from his view, which agrees largely in fundamentals with this order of thought among ethnologists, but differs radically from that of the Weismannian or
ultra Darwinian theory. So far as the prin
those invested with the supreme power. ciple is concerned, he made no discrimina- Into this order of thought we must introtion between the effects of the environment duce modifications. We know that Asiatics on the body and on the soul of man, on his may be brave men and, even if they are mortal and his immortal part, on his soma not capable of sustained vigor of mind, they and on his germ plasm, if you will, for I often exhibit a contempt of life and a readiknow of no other class than that of the soul, ness to die, equal, at least, to anything Hipin Hippocrates' conceptions, in which to pocrates had observed among the victorious place the germ plasm. In reality as I have Greeks of his day. He had not seen Asiatics sufficiently insisted, it is something new, or Africans fired with the visions of Paraa third order of mental concept, partaking dise. If the religions of Christ, of Mohamof the body in its manifestation and of the med and of the Mahdi had been phesoul in its immortal nature, if we are to nomena of his day, raised up to counterspeak of the germ plasm in terms of the balance the pains of this life, he would Hippocratic philosophy. I shall speak only have realized that there are other instiof malaria here in its relation to the attitude tutions, besides the political organizations he evinces towards the question which has of freedom, which are quite as capable of for fifty years interested modern biologists. stimulating the furious valor of countless
millions of men. But he knew only those
political and social institutions which could Hippocrates emphasizes the differences do this and which make life worth while which he declares exist between inhabitants to free men. He did right in recognizing, as of Asia and Europe. He says the environ- did Xenophon and many others, that it ment of one continent had made the people was the intellectual and political freedom quarrelsome, assertive, independent, brave, of their cities which made men ready to die and the environment of the other across for the glories of Greece. Fanaticism, which, the narrow seas had rendered them mild, as we have known it in the annals of history temperate, indolent, soft and cowardly. for two thousand years, also makes men He does not develop his argument far in quite as ready to die, was a closed book to explanation of this, but his critics have, it him. Devotion to a local god or to the seems to me, missed the only indication heterogeneous assortment on Olympus was he gives of how he explained to himself not calculated to inspire men with the the manner in which this change comes maddened desperation to which the Prophet about. He recognizes that the warlike and spurred on his Arabians, panting for the the courageous themselves will be changed sensual joys of Allah, or with the valor by the institutions under which they live. which strove for the beatitude kept un
No one will dispute his assertion that it der the keys of Rome, and which carried is the change from the mean of climate that the cross as well as the crescent through stimulates the physical and intellectual the blood of a thousand fields of battle energies of men to activity. When, through both in Asia and in Europe. the influence of an equable climate of a high These are phenomena, knowledge contemperature, those subjected to it have cerning which the world has garnered from fallen under the sway of political institutions the annals of history and stored up as the such as the ancient oriental monarchies, wisdom of ages since the days of Hippocit becomes obvious to the dullest that their rates; but he knew the political causes of bravery, their vigor and their self denial are cowardice and lethargy in men as well as called into play for the exclusive benefit of we. The phenomena of fanaticism and faith
are “institutions,” which change cowardice into courage, but they were not the institutions Hippocrates had in mind. He had in mind the political institutions and the ideals, inherited from brave ancestors, for which men have just died on the battlefields of Europe. So far, then, as he seems to have had some sort of hereditary influence in mind, affecting the nature of man, it was a social heredity; a kind of heredity we recognize in which, at least, the modern germ plasm plays a secondary, and the environment a primary rôle. I fancy none of us, neither the modern Lamarckian nor the Weismannian, would claim that such environment as works through social and political institutions upon the social and moral impulses of men
effect upon the physical nature of man, but this confusion of social heredity with biological heredity often unconsciously invades the sense of modern discourses on the biology of man and his institutions.
The analogy to biology has always been pushed to ridiculous limits by the sociologists. It is likely to lead them far astray in theory, whether the biological theory is right or wrong, but it can hardly fail to do so when the model they pattern after is itself wrong. In practice “the survival of the fittest” has been the shibboleth in the present politico-social convulsion which has brought death and innumerable woes to many. If the unwary of today are betrayed into these lapses of logic and on the other hand apply to biological phenomena, including social phenomena, a charge to which Herbert Spencer himself was open, we can hardly expect such analytical discrimination could have been appreciated by the immediate successors of the Nature Philosophers of 2,500 years ago. However, I think it can be perceived from the text that Hippocrates was not entirely oblivious to the differentiation which today is imperative. In this analysis, revealed only
the introduction of his reference to institutions, there is of course no conception
of the intermediaries through which his airs, waters and places work in producing disease. He perceived, perhaps, that it was through “institutions” that the climate worked
upon the nature of men, but he had no inkling that there were different intermediaries through which the climate worked to cause the diseases of men. He traced to climate and locality, as causes, the phenomena of the moral nature of man, and he was instinctively right in reasoning by analogy that they were also often the causes of his diseases. The sickliness, the jaundice, the “quartan fevers,” the lack of bodily and mental vigor, he was right in bringing into relation with the winds, the waters and the sun exposure. This time there was no "institution” to interpose as a direct influence, but there was an institution—a micro-organism of which he knew nothing but the results. It was hidden from him just as the fanaticism, from which the Greek world was free, was hidden from him. One of the factors influencing the moral nature of man and one of the factors influencing the bodily nature of man were alike absent from his field of observation. It is not directly the sun's heat, nor the fog and moisture of the marsh lands, it is not the failure of the breezes which parch up the veins of the sons of men who dwell there or relax the flesh of their bodies and change the color of their skins to a yellow hue. (However, these are the elements in the environment which call into existence the two links we have discovered during the last generation in the chain of causation.) It is the anopbeles fasciata, it is the plasmodium which it carries that stands between the factors with which Hippocrates and, Littré and Adams were familiar—airs, waters and places—and ague. It is the parasite of Laveran which alters the blood their fathers have transmitted to them, not the forces of nature which have altered the heredity of men.
It is quite impossible to know what type