Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

vi 
PREFACE. 
In arranging the volume now offered to American readers, from the 
materials furnished in Müller’’s Elements of Physiology, the editor has 
endeavoured to procure reduction in size of this latter, without any ab¬ 
straction of its vitality and mind. With this view he has omitted, for the 
most part, mere disquisitions, many details of experiments, matters of 
physics and natural philosophy, including mechanics under the head of 
locomotion, acoustics and the theories of music under voice and hear¬ 
ing, and of optics under vision,—much of the minutiae of comparative 
physiology, and metaphysics or metaphysico-physiology. But, while ex¬ 
cluding details on collateral topics, the editor has been particularly careful 
to preserve physiology proper, which, resting on the basis of histogeny 
and general anatomy, derives important aid from organic chemistry and 
microscopical observations, and, in its turn, serves to illustrate hygiene, 
pathology and therapeutics. Thus aided and thus applied, in the man¬ 
ner exhibited by Müller himself, physiology will invite the attention of 
the student in these pages. 
It will soon be discovered that, although this volume is an abridgement 
of the large work of Müller, it may rightfully claim to be considered 
a complete system of physiology, exceeding in copiousness and com¬ 
prehensive details, any other work on the same subject, which has yet 
emanated from the London press. 
Ample apology for the exclusion of topics merely collateral, which 
are taught and explained in separate and appropriate works, is fur¬ 
nished by the author himself, as indeed by other physiologists of dis¬ 
tinction, in his purposely omitting to describe the details of the struc¬ 
ture of each organ. He very properly refers the student for these 
matters to books of special anatomy. With still greater propriety 
should a similar reference be made when questions on the theories of 
light and colours, and of acoustics, &c. are under notice. If a mode¬ 
rate acquaintance with chemistry is supposed to be possessed by the 
student of Physiology, ought wè not à fortiori to presume that he 
is not ignorant of, or at least can soon acquire, a sufficient knowledge 
of optics, acoustics and mechanics, to follow his author and to under¬ 
stand the allusions to various points included in these branches of 
science? 
The reduction has not been after a uniform scale or rule of definite pro¬ 
portion. In some parts of the ‘Elements,’ comparatively little abbrevia¬ 
tion has been attempted;-—as in the prolegomena of general physiology, 
which is a carefully condensed summary of the subjects embraced 
under the general head, and does not admit, without obscurity, of any 
material curtailment. So, likewise, in the case of the functions of organic 
life, those of assimilation, nutrition and decomposition, much of the
        

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