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By James Hinton

Existence in Nature, first released in 1862, is a sequence of papers via the nineteenth-century English doctor and renowned technological know-how author James Hinton. a couple of 3rd of the cloth, even though revised and transformed for this ebook, had seemed formerly below the identify 'Physiological Riddles' within the Cornhill journal, during which Hinton defined organic phenomena for non-scientific readers. Hinton wrote this thirteen-chapter ebook to give a concise evaluate of the human physique, knowledgeable by means of the newest clinical insights, that might be extra simply intelligible for the final inhabitants than the medical physiological facts of his day. His purpose used to be additionally to illustrate the similarity among styles taking place within the natural global and within the remainder of nature. This booklet should be of price to historians of Victorian tradition and technological know-how for example of the way authors and publishers spoke back to the transforming into middle-class curiosity in medical discoveries.

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The same principles are acted upon by every boy who makes a bird-trap with tiles and a few pieces of stick: here is the opposition to gravity, the equilibrium of force and resistance, and the unfortunate bird applies the stimulus. But if the case be so simple, why has it not always been presented so ? Why has it been conceived that the living body had an inherent activity peculiar to itself? And why especially has the decomposition of the body been represented as the result, and not as the cause, of its activity ?

And for a long while this view It is natural; and until an exten- sive knowledge of the physical laws had been attained, it seemed to be necessary. Vital Principle. All have heard of the This was the agent supposed to reside in living things, and (either with conscious design or unconsciously) to build up, model, maintain, and use the organic frame. This figment, however, has long been overthrown. The labours of physiologists (among which those of Dr. Carpenter hold an eminent place: see especially his paper on the Correlation of the Physical and Vital Forces in the Philosophical Transactions for 1850) have revealed the proofs of a profounder harmony in Nature.

Explosive powders may be compared to steam that has been heated under pressure, and which expands with violence when the pressure is OF FUNCTION; OK, HOW WE ACT. removed. 11 The tendencies of these bodies have been coerced by some force, which is thus latent in them, and is restored to the active state in their decomposition. This is the point of view from which the living body, in respect to its power of producing force, should be regarded. The chemical tendencies have been resisted or coerced, and are, therefore, ready, on the slightest stimulus, to come into active operation.

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