Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

The above mode of classification has its advantages, but it may 
give rise to misconceptions. The force which determines the develop¬ 
ment of the germ is identical with that which is the source of the 
constant preservation and renovation of the individual. The pri¬ 
mary forces of the animal body would, therefore, appear to be the 
vegetative, the motor, and the sensitive forces^ but it is a question 
again whether even this is not an artificial division. 
We can conceive that the essential principle of vegetable life, 
—the vegetative force,—may be combined in animals with other 
forces, namely, with the sensitive and motor, or with the nervous 
power, if the contractile power of the muscles is regarded as de¬ 
rived from the nerves, and not inherent in themselves. It may be 
imagined that these forces are united in ihe germ, and that, from the 
period of development, they manifest themselves in the different 
systems of organs, which react on each other; so that the vegetative, 
directed by the nervous force, reproduces and constantly preserves 
the organs of nervous life as well as other parts, while the nerves 
again give sensibility to the parts organised by the vegetative force. 
If, however, this theory be reconsidered, it will be seen to involve 
It is much more probable that these apparently distinct forces 
are merely different modes of action of one and the same “ vis 
essentialis” resident in the animal, which modes of action are 
determined by the different composition of the organs. There is 
indeed an absurdity in the very idea that the nutritive force forms 
the nerves, and that the action of these nerves, when formed, results 
from a force distinct from that which formed them. The vital force 
creates in animals all the essential parts, and generates in them that 
combination of elements, the result of which is the power of motion 
and sensation, or the power of conveying impressions to a central 
part, which is also the source of the reflex actions. The organs 
endowed with the power of assimilating matters which are destined 
for the use of the indivisible whole, the organs of motion, and the 
parts by means of which a central organ receives impressions from 
all the other organs, and transmits its reflex actions, are only the dif¬ 
ferent products of this first and sole principle of animal existence,— 
the primum movens, which produces and reproduces all parts of the 
body. The first set are the organs subservient to the renovation of 
the body, the second the muscles, the third the nerves. Then there 
are also parts which receive from the creative organic force merely 
the physical properties of hardness, elasticity, toughness, &c.—such 
are the bones, cartilages, ligaments, and tendons. 
The glands, for example, by nutrition and reproduction, acquire 
the property of attracting certain parts of the blood, combining them 
anew, and separating them from that fluid. By the same process of 
nutrition and renovation, the muscles acquire the property of con¬ 
tracting on the application of certain stimuli,—a property which is 
the result of nutrition, not a special force or principle distinct from 
the organic creative force. And, in the same manner, the nerves 
receive as the result of nutrition alone the power of manifesting their


Sehr geehrte Benutzer,

aufgrund der aktuellen Entwicklungen in der Webtechnologie, die im Goobi viewer verwendet wird, unterstützt die Software den von Ihnen verwendeten Browser nicht mehr.

Bitte benutzen Sie einen der folgenden Browser, um diese Seite korrekt darstellen zu können.

Vielen Dank für Ihr Verständnis.