Book - Russian Embryology (1750 - 1850) 10

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Blyakher L. History of embryology in Russia from the middle of the eighteenth to the middle of the nineteenth century (istoryia embriologii v Rossii s serediny XVIII do serediny XIX veka) (1955) Academy of Sciences USSR. Institute of the History of Science and Technology. Translation Smithsonian Institution (1982).

Historic Russian Embryology TOC: 1. Beginning of Embryological Investigations Lomonosov's Epoch | 2. Preformation or New Formation? | 3. Kaspar Friedrich Wolff - Theory of Epigenesis | 4. Wolff: "Theory Of Generation" | 5. Wolff: "Formation of the Intestine" | 6. Wolff's Teratological Works | 7. Wolff: "On the Special Essential Tower" | 8. Ideology of Wolff | Chapter 9. Theory of Epigenesis End of 18th Century | 10. Embryology in the Struggle of Russian Empirical Science Against Naturphilosophie | 11. Louis Tredern - Forgotten Embryologist Beginning of 19th Century | 12. Embryonic Membranes of Mammals - Ludwig Heinrich Bojanus | 13. Embryonic Layers - Kh. I. Pander | 14. Karl Maksimovich Baer | 15. Baer's - De Ovi Mammalium Et Hominis Genesi | 16. Baer's Ober Entw I Cklungsgesch I Chte Der Thiere | 17. Baer Part 1 - Chicken Development | 18. Baer Part 2 - History of Chicken Development | 19. Baer Vol 2 | 20. Third Part of the Bird Egg and Embryo Development | 21. Third Part - Development of Reptiles, Mammals, and Animals Deprived of Amnion and Yolk Sac | 22. Fourth Part - Development of Man | 23. Baer's Teratological Works and Embryological Reports in Petersburg | Chapter 24. Baer's Theoretical Views | 25. Invertebrate Embryology - A. Grube, A. D. Nordmann, N. A. Warnek, and A. Krohn
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This historic textbook by Bliakher translated from Russian, describes historic embryology in Russia between 1750 - 1850.



Publishing House of the Academy of Science USSR

Moscow 1955

Translated from Russian

Translated and Edited by:

Dr. Hosni Ibrahim Youssef # Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Cairo University

Dr. Boulos Abdel Malek

Head of Veterinary Research Division

NAMRU-3, Cairo

Arab Republic of Egypt

Published for

The Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C, by The Al Ahram Center for Scientific Translations 1982


Published for

The Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C by The Al Ahram Center for Scientific Translations (1982)


Also available online Internet Archive


Historic Embryology Textbooks

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Pages where the terms "Historic Textbook" and "Historic Embryology" appear on this site, and sections within pages where this disclaimer appears, indicate that the content and scientific understanding are specific to the time of publication. This means that while some scientific descriptions are still accurate, the terminology and interpretation of the developmental mechanisms reflect the understanding at the time of original publication and those of the preceding periods, these terms and interpretations may not reflect our current scientific understanding.     (More? Embryology History | Historic Embryology Papers)

Chapter 10. The Development of Embryology in the Epoch of the Struggle of Russian Empirical Science Against Naturphilosophie

The beginning of the nineteenth century in Russian and world embryology was characterized by the activities of H. C. Pander and especially the brilliant activities of K. M. Baer, both of whom afterwards were members of the Petersburg Academy of Science. After K. F. Wolff's work and general conclusions became available and understandable to contemporaries, but prior to Pander and Baer, it is impossible to name any other embryologist who was comparable in accuracy, breadth and depth of investigation.

Pander's and Baer's works will be reviewed in the following chapters with the necessary detail. The present chapter will be devoted to the characteristics of the ideas of Naturphilosophie which were generated in Germany and which for thirty years made their effect (mainly negative) on Russian biological science, including embryology. These ideas, which attracted some investigators, were abstracted on the way so that they sometimes developed unusual constructions . From the beginning they were rejected by representatives of the progressive materialistic trend in Russian science, which was supported by the brilliant achievements of natural science, including the activities of the Petersburg Academy of Science.

The excitement over Naturphilosophie was, to a certain extent, a sign of the times. The epoch of the eighteenthcentury French Enlightenment and the liberation of the French Revolution were replaced by years of political and ideological reaction, expressed particularly by the German idealistic philosophical systems. Among them is Schelling's system.


Schelling himself, by changing his opinions, demonstrated the movement from advanced ideas to reactionary political and philosophical ideas. The young Schelling began with the study of the unity of all features of nature. He anticipated the idea of the community of physical forces. He stated in teleological form the idea of organic development and the idea of the origin of living creatures from one initial form. He ended with the revelation of God as his approach. Engels described this evolution of Schelling 's ideas in the following lively and poetic passage:

When he [Schelling — L. B.) was still young, he was different. His charming intellect at that time gave rise to brilliant thoughts. Some of them served their role in the struggle of the younger generation. He, at that time, freely and courageously swam in the open sea of thoughts in order absolutely to open the Atlantic .... The fire of youth took him to the flames of enthusiasm ... he announced the approach of a new time .... He opened wide the doors of philosophy, and in the halls of abstract thought the fresh smell of nature appeared: a warm spring ray fell on the seeds and awakened in them all the sleeping forces. But the fire died; the courage changed; the grape, in the process of fermentation, did not become clear wine but turned into vinegar. The ship dancing with courage and joy on the waves fell asleep. It entered into a small harbor of belief and dashed the keel onto the sand, so that it could not move from its place . There it lies now and no one can distinguish that old useless ship from the previous ship, which had never, with its flags turned down, sailed in the sea with full sails. 1



1. F. Engels, "Schelling and Revelation: The Critics of the Newest Reactionary Attempt upon Free Philosophy" (1842) . K. Marx and F. Engels, WORKS, Vol. 11, 1931, pp. 163 - 164


Schelling's Naturphilosophie, originating from his subjective-idealistic ideas, is based on the idea that all living creatures on earth form a complete unity, the kingdom of the development of life, whose reason for creation develops from nature itself and initially from the inorganic world. From this comes the conclusion about the unity of the organic and inorganic worlds which is recognized by the corresponding forces. Hence, the basis of this unity is the spirituality of all bodies of nature. In the inorganic world, Schelling distinguished three forces — magnetic, electric, and chemical — which are capable of conversion into one another. In the world of living creatures, these forces correspond to reactivity, sensitivity, and productivity. This last idea Schelling borrowed from the anatomist Kielmeyer. £59) In the living, as well as in the non-living, Schelling searched for the development of opposing forces, which are identical, in his opinion, in the absolute into which merge subject and object, existence and consciousness, forces of attraction and forces of repulsion, positive and negative. The ideas of opposition or polarity in natural phenomena also belong to (Karl Friedrich von) Kielmeyer. In living creatures Schelling assumed the presence of opposition between interior and exterior, i.e. between the organism itself and the surrounding environment. The exterior and interior in living nature also merge in a harmonious identity. Harmony of the organism, as expressed by Schelling, "is the charm characteristic of organic nature," is the result of the unity of the opposition between the blind mechanical forces acting in the organism and the expediency inherent in it. According to Schelling, each living creature is single and integral and simultaneously represents part of nature which is considered an organism of a high order. Life, according to Schelling, is a process of continuous creation. In connection with that, he decidedly rejected the idea of preformation and considered that the problem of development of the individual should be solved from the point of view of epigenesis.

It is not surprising that the ideas of the young Schelling particularly fit the Naturphilosophie constructions which he developed in the university through brilliant and spiritual improvisations which delighted the young people who were coming, literally, from all ends of Europe to listen to him. The numbers of Schel ling's students and followers were not few. Among those serious scientists applying Schelling 's ideas of Naturphilosophie, the first mentioned should be Lorenz Oken.


Oken's main work, MANUAL OF NATURPHILOSOPHIE , begins with a statement of theological questions because, in his opinion, "Naturphilosophie is the science of eternal conversion of God intb the universe. "2 Discussing, from Naturphilosophie' s point of view, the meaning of positive and negative sizes and ciphers, Oken defined the essence of deity as follows: God is absolute self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is nothing, and, being nothing, "self-knowledge is God."^ Such a beginning does not foreshadow anything good. However, later on Oken's work included a discussion of a number of wonderful suppositions which were to be confirmed, in one degree or another, by the subsequent development of the biological sciences. Among these is the belief that the basic substance of the organic world is carbon, which by uniting with water and air forms mucous-like fluid. The primary fluid appeared, according to Oken, in the sea, and from this primary mucous like fluid all living creatures were formed. Oken described organic development in the following manner: the primary spots or vacuoles of mucus, which he named infusoria, can be combined in different ways and therefore give rise to the various higher organisms. Oken thus acknowledged the development of the organic world from the simplest creatures up to complex man. This development of the world of living creatures takes place, he thought, in the development of organisms into more complex creatures during their lives.

In Oken's examples it is possible to foresee a range from protoplasm and cell to the cellular structure of higher organisms, to the evolution of the organic world, and finally to the biogenetic law according to which the process of individual development repeats the stages through which the species had passed in evolution. Oken reached that understanding, not by means of direct study of the facts, however, but by intellectual methods, the essential aspects of which are instinct and argument by analogy. By way of setting up an analogy, Oken established an entirely imaginary classification of living creatures, by dividing the animal world into intestinal, vessel, respiratory, and meat animals, the latter of which (to which he related the vertebrates) he


2. LCorenz) Oken, LEHRBUCH DER NATURPHILOSOPHIE, I (1809) , p. vii.

3. Ibid . , p. 14.


divided further into animals of tongues, noses, ears, and eyes. In another place Oken stated that molluscs correspond to the organs of touch, insects to the organs of vision, amphibia to that of taste, and birds to that of hearing. Inside the organism some parts are analogous to others: skull to pelvis, mouth opening to posterior-excretory, and so on. These imaginative analogies played a role in the history of science, because they attracted biologists' attention to the problems of comparative anatomy and comparative physiology,


One of the achievements of comparative anatomy of that time, which was based on the general conclusions of Naturphilosophie, was the establishment of what is called the "vertebral nature of the skull." The authors of this theory were the great poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe and the naturalist Oken. In 1791 Goethe discussed the idea that the skull of the vertebrate animal was formed by the growth of four greatly modified vertebrae; however, he did not publish his speculations on this subject for a long time. (Ed.: Not until 1820 in ZUR MORPHOLOGIE.) Hence the initiative in establishing the vertebral theory of the skull is usually credited to Oken, who came to the same conclusions independently of Goethe and who reported them in a publication in 1807. Comparative anatomical work up to the second half of the nineteenth century found no significant objections to Goethe's and Oken's conclusions, if we disregard (Thomas) Huxley's remarks about the non-correspondence of the vertebral theory of the skull to the facts relating to the head of lower vertebrates. Huxley also briefly mentioned that the embryonic cartilaginous skull did not have segments comparable to the vertebrae. Only in 1871 did one of the founders of comparative embryology, Mechnikov, approach this problem from an embryo logical, evolutionary point of view and show the lack of correspondence of this theory to the facts.

In a speech devoted to the vertebral theory of the skull, Mechnikov gave an interesting opinion about its origins in Naturphilosophie. It is thus necessary to include here some quotations from this speech, which was published in a poorly distributed and apparently unknown journal. ^

4. I. I. Mechnikov, "Vertebral Theory of the Skull." Speech prepared to be read at the celebration of Novorossiiskii University, August 30,1871. NOTES OF NOVOROSSIISKII UNIVERSITY, 7 (1871), pp. 1 - 20.


"The vertebral theory of the skull ," Mechnikov said, was inherited by science from Naturphilosophie, that strange mongrel that resulted from the union of metaphysics with positive knowledge, and which, in general, had significantly slowed the progress of natural science. A whole generation of first-class scientists was needed to purge the science of living creatures of Naturphilosophie rubbish and to establish a stable basis of that science. Regardless of the antagonism between scientists and Naturphilosophie scientists, the former took some theories gotten from the latter, among which the vertebral theory of the skull played an important role. Already you see that it represents nothing significant in the line of thought of the Naturphilosophie school. It is sufficient to name one of the authors of the vertebral theory to show whether one should believe its generalizations.

Mechnikov mentions Goethe and then Ok en, and tells about the circumstances of the establishment of this theory. After that he gives embryological data about the sequence of appearance of embryonic skull parts in vertebrates; these data are incompatible with the vertebral theory.

Mechnikov ! s statement on Naturphilosophie is excessively strict. Engels, reflecting on the history of science, has written the following concerning German Naturphilosophie:

In it there were many absurd and imaginary things, but not more than in the contemporary non-philosophical theories of the empiricists. It included many intelligent ideas which were beginning to be understood when the theory of evolution started to spread. Thus, Haeckel accurately recognized the services of Treviranus and Oken. In his conception of the primary mucus and the infusoria, Oken suggests as a postulate of biology what was later actually discovered in the protoplasm and cell.-*


5. Engels, ANTI-DUHRING . Gospolitizdat, 1953, p. 11.


In another place Engels talked about Oken as the first in Germany to acknowledge the theory of development .6 Such a general evaluation of Naturphilosophie was given by Engels in "Ludwig Feuerbach":

. . . with the help of data obtained by the most

empiricistic natural science, it is possible to give

fairly systematically a general picture of nature as

a complete unity. To give such a general picture of

nature was previously the task of what is called

Naturphilosophie, which could only fill the gap with

imaginary connections of the yet unknown actual group

of phenomena. It substituted ideas for unavailable

facts, replenishing the actual gaps only by imagination,

In this case many clever thoughts emerged and many

of the latest discoveries were foreseen, but also

a lot was said which was nonsense. Otherwise it could

7 not have existed at that time .


Noting, therefore, the historical importance of Naturphilosophie at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Engels warned against useless attempts to raise it again in contemporary natural science. Such an attempt, Engels wrote, "is not only unnecessary, but also could be a step backward." 8


Giving great significance to solving biological problems of embryonic development, Oken turned to the independent study of the embryology of vertebrate animals and made a number of important factual discoveries. Their significance was depreciated by Meckel's translation of K. F. Wolff's work, "On the Formation of the Intestines, "^ where it was revealed that Wolff had achieved Oken's most important data forty years before in his paper in the "New Commentaries of the Petersburg Academy of Science," which was completely unknown to Oken. Oken's popularity as a professor and author of scientific and popular books, and also as the publisher of the scientificphilosophical journal ISIS, was very great.


6. See Engels, DYNAMICS OF NATURE. Gospolitizdat, 1952, p. 161.

7. Engels, "Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy," K. Marx and F. Engels, WORKS, Vol. II. Gospolitizdat, 1952, p. 370.

8. Ibid .

9. See Chapter 5.


The passion for Schelling's work, especially his Naturphilosophie, also attracted Russians travelling to study in the German universities, or those sent to Germany "for advancement" after their completion of high school. The young followers of idealistic German philosophy and its abstract presentations on the good and the beautiful, on the unity of all the phenomena of the world, soul, body, God and nature, were met on their return by a reality very different from "the harmony" which Schelling taught. His ideas necessarily clash with the most gloomy ideological and political reactions of the landlord government guided by Golitsyn, Magnitskii, Runich and others, "in whose dirty hands," according to Pushkin, "the unfortunate sciences were flung." 10 A section of Russian society resisted this reaction, the section from which the great Pleiadic Decembrists came. Although the latter grew up on the philosophical and social opinions of A. N. Radishchev and the ideas of the French Revolution and could not oppose Schelling's followers with a completed system, the majority retained deistic and even materialistic (atheistic) ideas. It is sufficient to remember the anti-religious poems of Pushkin, the closest to the Decembrists, and his feelings about Radishchev' s atheism. Free-thinking was particularly spread among the members of the more radical Southern Secret Society, where the most decisive judgments in this regard were stated by A. P. Baryatinskii. (40)

The followers of German philosophy in Russia did not represent an entirely homogenous group. Among them were people who later actually participated in the December revolt, such as V. K. Kyukhel 'beker, and people of liberal opinions such as D. V. Venevitinov. However, the majority of them voluntarily or involuntarily played a reactionary role, and these latter displayed an inclination to mysticism (V. F. Odoevskii, P. Ya. Chaadoev) , or to political reaction (I. V. Kireevskii, S. P. Shevyrev, M. P. Pogodin, and others).


10. "Second Message to the Censor." 148


The effect of Schelling's philosophy on Russian philosophical and scientific thought became manifest at the beginning of the nineteenth century with the organization in Moscow of groups to study German philosophy. One of these groups carried the lofty name of "The Society of Wisdom Lovers," at the head of which stood V. F. Odoevskii. Among Schelling's readers who showed his influence to some degree were Moscow University professors M. G. Pavlov and I. I. Davydov, and in particular, Professor D. M. Vellanskii of the Petersburg Medical-Surgical Academy.

Danil Mikhailovich Vellanskii had worked for Oken for three years and had attended Schelling's lectures, after which, in 1805, he returned to Russia believing in Schelling's views. All his subsequent educational and scientific-literary activities represented continuing propaganda for those ideas. There is no necessity to be concerned here with Vellanskii 's ideology; 11 hence, only some of his general opinions are stated, and, in more detail, his opinions about embryonic development, contained mainly in the book, THE BIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF NATURE, 12 and partly in the manual issued almost a quarter of a century later, BASIC OUTLINE OF GENERAL AND SPECIAL PHYSI0L0GY.13


11. A detailed description of the scientific activities of Vellanskii, especially his physiological opinions, is given in the book by Kh. S. Koshtoyants, OUTLINE OF THE HISTORY OF PHYSIOLOGY IN RUSSIA (1946). See also the article by A. M. Levin, "D. M. Vellanskii and Schellingism in Russian Medicine at the Beginning of the 19th Century," VRACH , Vol. 16, No. 28, 1895.

12. THE BIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF NATURE IN ITS CREATING AND CREATED QUALITY, CONTAINING THE MAIN OUTLINES OF GENERAL PHYSIOLOGY, the work of the doctor of medicine and surgery and Extraordinary Professor of Physiology and Anatomy of the Imperial MedicalSurgical Academy, Danil Vellanskii C1812) , xvi + 461 pp.

13. BASIC OUTLINE OF GENERAL AND SPECIAL PHYSIOLOGY, OR PHYSICS OF THE ORGANIC WORLD, the work of the Academician and active professor of the Imperial

St. Petersburg Medical- Surgical Academy, the Real Councillor Soviet, Danil Vellanskii, for the supervision of the teaching of physiology lectures. St. Petersburg, 1831. x + 502 pp.


Vellanskii's scientific method completely corresponds with the main principle of Naturphilosophie. "True knowledge of nature and the essence of the human" could be, in his opinion, achieved only by means of speculation and analogy. Since all the bodies of organic and inorganic nature completely correspond to each other, the mathematical relations (line, circle, parabola and so on) as well as the physicochemical processes (magnetism, cheraism, and others) and the geological elements (water, air, metals, and so on) should be completely analogous to this corresponding formation of the living organism. Vellanskii developed in detail the Naturphilosophie idea that the organism is like the planet.

Next Vellanskii turned to an entirely arbitrary analogy of the organs of living creatures with geometric forms. It is not necessary to stop at Vellanskii's examples illustrating the analogy of the organs with inorganic bodies and geometric concepts. It is necessary only to give examples of the internal similarities among the organs of the animal organisms . He wrote that : :


Corresponding to three parts of the body — chest, pelvis, and head— there are three pairs of extremities: hands, legs, and jaws .... The lungs correspond to the bladder in the pelvis; and in the head the nose is the neural lung. The tongue is the head's intestinal tract. Kidneys and the large intestine are related to the genital system and comparable to the liver and small intestine; and the sexual organs, male and f onale, are equivalent to the swallowing organs. Hands come from the chest which is formed separately as the animal organ of movement . . . . It is composed of seven chest ribs separated from the vertebrae and connected with the breast bone. The radial and the elbow bone, in essence, are two upper ribs of the chest which are divided into five fingers corresponding to the five lower ribs. The arm tassel is the chest cage turned externally, since the chest cage is also comparable to the hand tassel turned internally.* 4


14. Ibid., pp. 37 - 46


With similar arbitrary and imaginary analogies, Vellanskii gave an entirely speculative analogy between the skeletal elements of the arms and legs. 15 He also stated the basics of the vertebral theory of the skull: "The elementary form of bones is the vertebra . . , and the entire bone system is composed of one vertebra, in different variations. Each head has one vertebra, and three vertebrae: ear, tongue, and eye constitute the skull, and the nose enters into the composition of the face. "16

Vellanskii' s physiological imaginings are also based on Naturphilosophie, in particular on the principle of polarity.

Levin, in an article on Vellanskii, said the following: "The scanty source of physiological data in his time did not hinder him from giving himself over to real, frenzied reflection." 1 ? That this is not an exaggeration is evidenced by the following: "The nourishing juice (chyle) moves in the lymphatic vessels by polar tension between the lungs and intestines, and rushes from the intestines to the lungs as a result of the nutritional juice, which is composed of hydrogenated carbon and is of different polarity than the lungs which contain oxidated nitrogen .... From the opposite, due to its oxidized constitution which is of the same polarity as the lungs, the nourishing juice is pushed off by the lungs and passes downwards into the large intestine.


..18


It is not surprising that Ivan Pavlov, head of the Department of Physiology of the Military Medical (previously the Medical-Surgical) Academy, in which Vellanskii had never been, spoke of him in a mocking manner, Thus:

Vellanskii was a very talented man, brilliantly educated abroad, but he was not a real physiologist. Due to his being abroad, he became a nature-philosopher,


15. Ibid., p. 39.

16. Ibid., pp. 34 - 35.

17. A. M. Levin, "D. M. Vellanskii and Schellingism, " p. 790.

18. Vellanskii, BASIC OUTLINE, pp. 50 - 52.


i.e. he discussed all phenomena without considering reality. Now such Naturphilosophie seems so amusing that it can be humorous or entertaining as afterdinner talk . But at that time Vellanskii benefited from popularity among the public, and many people crowded into his room. ^9

The principle of analogy, which had frequently interested Vellanskii as well as other nature-philosophers, is an unfounded fantasy, but at the same time represents the basis of the comparative anatomical imagination. This principle of analogy was beloved in a strange way.

The basic idea of comparative anatomy has been expressed by Vellanskii in the following words:

The animal kingdom is one common organism, whose special members are in essence all animals, and man constitutes the general unity .... The origin of land animals in the organic world and the formation of external sensations in the human organism is in essence of one significance, and the six external sensations of man correspond to the six classes of lower animals, where each sensation is expressed separately in its specific significance. In worms the sensation of feeling is represented; in molluscs, touch; in fish, vision; in insects, smell; in amphibia, taste; and in birds, hearing. Thus the worm is equivalent to the lips of the human, the mollusc to the fingers, the fish to the eye, the insect to the nose, amphibia to the tongue, and birds to the ear. Mammals constitute a seventh class, which corresponds to the general unity of external sensations.


These extracts of Vellanskii ! s thoughts concerning general questions of the structure and life activities of animals and men he adopted from Oken's anatomical analogies and, in particular, his vertebral theory of the skull and other physiological ideas. Vellanskii added to these many, essentially unfounded, peculiarities of thought, which he defended in a letter' to M. G, Pavlov soliciting comments on his physiological lectures. 20


19. I (van) P(etrovich) Pavlov, LECTURES ON PHYSIOLOGY (1912 - 1913), issued by Academy of Medical Sciences (1949) , p. 269.


Vellanskii presented his erabryological ideas in the book, BIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS, the thirteenth chapter of which is "Birth and Death." For discussion of the natural development of the individual which starts at birth and ends at death, Vellanskii used the favorite principle of the nature-philosophers, the principle of polarity. He gave comparisons of opposing phenomena: "The moment of birth, in essence, is the conception and development of the fetus in the maternal uterus .... death begins with disease and ends with decomposition. Therefore conception is equal to decomposition, and development of the embryo corresponds to disease of the formed organism. "21


For understanding individual development, Vellanskii considered it necessary to analyze the minute structure of the formed organism, which he described in agreement with Oken's ideas: "In order to see the process of birth and death of certain organisms, it is necessary to look first at complexes in organic nature, in which unity is confirmed and its usual stability is found. This complex consists of infusoria, which are formed by the decomposition of any substance in water." 22


Describing in detail the way to obtain a culture of infusoria in an infusion of grass or meat, Vellanskii rejected the possibility that these creatures develop from eggs:

Infusoria in essence are the primary monads of the organic world .... But the consideration of these as preformed creatures which undergo aggregation and thereby give rise to all animals and plants could have been a crude understanding by the atomists, who assumed a mechanical composition of the visible world from pre-existing atoms. Nothing organic could ever actually originate and disappear, but only its form of existence is changed .... The materialistic existence of the organism . . . always changes according to the positive idea constituting its essences; the point is to geometric physics what the infusoria is to the organism. 23


20. This letter of May 29, 1834 is given in the book by Kh. J. Koshtoyants, OUTLINE OF THE HISTORY OF PHYSIOLOGY IN RUSSIA.

21 . vellanskii, BIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION, p. 402.

22. Ibid., p. 403.


He continued:

Just as the meaning of figures does not depend on the constituent points but on a combination, so the essence of any organism does not consist of infusoria but is a reflection of ideas discussed here.

A strange opinion, accepted as true, is that all living organisms originate from ova or eggs (omne vivura ex ovo) ; Oken proved satisfactorily that every living organism originates from a living organism.

Of physiological problems, birth is the most important, most difficult, and the one causing the most scientific curiosity . . . but, perceiving the subject from only one side, it is not possible to understand it appropriately. One light, Naturphilosophie, has driven away the darkness, and if not illuminated by it, it would be impossible to see this subject. Although many people have discussed theories of the evolutionists, panspermists, and epigeneticists, nothing but contradictions and disproofs have resulted. 24

As was recognized, Vellanskii rejected preformation ("the theory of evolutionists, panspermists") as well as epigenesis. Preformation in the form of ovism and animalculism had no supporters at the beginning of the nineteenth century after Wolff had proved, in the second half of the eighteenth century, the absence of preformation in fertilized eggs. Yet epigenesis as Wolff conceived it was unacceptable for nature-philosophers because, according to the principles of Naturphilosophie, no organic body develops; rather it presents only a modification of previously existing living bodies.


23. Ibid ., p. 405.

24. Ibid., pp. 405 - 406


A necessary constituent of Naturphilosophie is the idea of spontaneous generation, which nature-philosophers discussed metaphysically and idealistically. Their discussions were not about the development of the living from the non-living, i.e. not about the progressive development of the material, but about the continuous transformation of animated material — of the unchanged organic monads, which are different organic bodies and which exist primordially.

That this particular understanding of spontaneous generation was characteristic for Vellanskii is seen in his following statements:

Generation from undifferentiated creatures (generatio aequivoca) must be the beginning in the origin of organic creatures and characteristic for the lower types of animals and plants. These include, in essence: helminths, which originate and live in the interiors of animal bodies; worms originating from decomposing substances ; and some insects which originate in the skin of a living body, such as crab lice, lice, ulcerative acarus (Acarus exulcerans) . Originating in other substances at a special temperature and humidity, there are: fleas, some types of flies, mosquitoes, and many others. All these originate directly from specific organic monads, which are everywhere present and ready. The intestinal helminths do not find food or drink in the interiors in which they live, but they are conceived from infusoria which are present in the intestinal juice. Their worm shape corresponds to the structure of the intestines themselves; there are three types of helminths in man: round, which correspond to the small intestine; flat, the large intestines; and small worms, the rectum .... Therefore lice generate a disease called phthyriasis; and crab lice are frequently found in pimples of the skin which no outside eggs can penetrate. 25


25. Ibid ., pp. 407 - 408.


Thus, the simplest structured living creatures are formed from living monads — infusoria by means of spontaneous generation. How do variations develop among living creatures leading to so many multiformed organic shapes? By what means were the two kingdoms of the organic world, plants and animals, distinguished from each other? Vellanskii answered these questions by stating that this distinction begins with the development of primary creatures which still carry general properties but which at the same time have already acquired rudiments of the properties of plants or of animals.

The predecessors of animals, in his opinion, are polyps, and the predecessors of plants are the fungi. Simultaneously, there is observed in the polyp a characteristic property of the male sex (the creative property of man) , and that of the female sex (the creative quality of woman) is seen in the fungi. This idea is confirmed by the following, which compares the capability of regeneration in the coelenterata and fungi : "Not any branch of a polyp grows into a whole polyp; but each grain, by its jelly-like material, produces from itself directly such an organic body. Therefore all jelly-like material in the coral is a fruitful seed, which is characteristic in all known creatures of the male sex. Contrary to that, not any part of the fungus develops into a whole fungus, and consequently there is no creative force in it such as that produced by the polyp." 26

Vellanskii followed successfully the analogy of the origin of the male in higher organisms with the polyp and the female with fungus. He used the process of fertilization, which precedes the conception of a new organism, to demonstrate the weakness of empirical science, and he contrasted it with Naturphilosophical attempts to explain the process of conception and development. Thus:

The necessity of the male and female sex for the conception of all animals which are born from males and females is known; but the proper force and the effect of each in the production of the embryo, which might be discovered through studies of sex, remain an unsolved problem in empirical physiology. Evolutionists, assuming prepared embryos in the mother, attribute some help in their development to the father. Panspermists , considering the embryo as being ready in

26. Ibid ., p. 410. 156


the male sperm, consider the woman only necessary to receive and contain it until the appropriate stage of development is reached. But the evident likeness of one child with the father and another with the mother contradicts these theories which impute the essential force of conception either to the father or to the mother alone. Epigenesis, according to which the embryo originates from the mixing of male sperm with female, is also incorrect; for it was proved long ago, by de Graaf , that women do not have true sperm. 27

Noting that in animals having external fertilization, particularly fish, the milt cannot mix with the roe because the roe are covered with a jelly-like membrane, Vellanskii concluded that fertilization of the sperm is not represented mechanically or chemically, but dynamically, and he applied this conclusion to the higher vertebrates, in which "conception takes place by the effect of the male sperm on the follicles which are present in their maternal ovaries, where the sperm are present giving life, and the follicles are given life, the first being equivalent to the polyp, and the second corresponding to the fungus. "2°

Vellanskii could not, of course, avoid the well known fact that in the seminal fluid there are numerous active bodies with tails. He called the spermatozoids cercariae, assigning to them "the fertilizing property of the semen."

Cercariae . . . reach the ovary in the manner of polyps; they find there the Graafian follicles like the fungus corresponding to them; and these together produce a single creature, the embryo of the animal .... The follicles given life by the polyp swell and blow up, and the polyp within the flowing fluid forms the embryo, which does not originate from the mixing of sperm with the fluid of the follicle, but is a transformation of many cercariae into one organism. 29


27. Ibid ., pp. 413 - 414.

28. Ibid ., p. 417.

29. Ibid., p. 421.


According to Vellanskii, this is the Naturphilosophie theory of fertilization. It was possible to establish such a theory because the mammalian ovum was not yet detected, and because the essential content of the Graafian follicle was considered to be the fluid filling it. The demonstration of the presence of the egg or ovum in the Graafian follicle, by K. M. Baer in 1827, made it evident that Naturphilosophie was without grounds with respect to fertilization.

Turning to the phenomena of embryonic development, Vellanskii gave only the most primitive outline of factual data, since he was interested mainly in repeating the features of ontogenesis which are characteristics for a complex ascending series of animals, i.e. Naturphilosophie 1 s problem of analogy.

Higher animals, after conception, must pass through all the periods which are characteristic for the development of the lower classes, where they have a prolonged stay in their proper formation. Man, representing the perfect unity of the earthly world, after conception passes through periods which are characteristic of the development of all classes of the animal kingdom; therefore the proper development of his organism is the most prolonged. 30

The human embryo develops linearly at the beginning into a worm, along which form its membranes reach out . . . ; among them the external membranes

Cchorion) are highly shaggy. It touches the uterus with its filaments and assumes the fetal place

(placenta) . The internal membrane (amnion) includes the embryo itself, with its fluid (liquor amnii) . Almost one month after conception the embryo remains invisible; then it appears in a moving spot (punctum saliens) , from which in some days it grows to two and a half millimeters and has the form of a worm. 31

In the first day, according to Avtenrit, the embryo . . . hangs on a very short umbilical cord . . .


30. Ibid ., pp. 422 - 423.

31. Ibid., p. 424.


On its face is the lower jaw with the large structure of the mouth; two dark half-circles here designate the eyes; two small holes on the sides of the head indicate the place of the future ears; and four small pimples, two upwards and two downwards of the body, are the beginning of the arms and legs .... In the period of the fourth day . . . development of the tactile and visual organs begins; subsequently, the embryo is transformed from a worm into a mollusc and a fish.^2 i n subsequent periods of development, the embryo passes on to the condition of insects, amphibia and birds, as this observation shows. After fifty-two days . . . two depressed points appear at the place of the nose, and the ear helix formation begins as cut-out knots. By the fifty- fifth day, the sides of the nose appear somewhat raised, with closed openings . . . ; thus the basic formation of the nose as an organ of smell is equivalent to the insects, and ear formation starts as equivalent to the birds. 3 ^

In concluding his digressions on embryology, Vellanskii turned his attention to how parental features are given to children, and criticized Buffon's "atomistic theory," according to which

particles (les molecules) from each organ of the body are related to the (testicles) and ovaries; and each of them, representing a certain part, unites at the place of conception with others, and together they produce a new animal like the parents. But material organs and the particles themselves are in essence only transient features of life and not the parent's transitory body giving birth to offspring. The idea of immortality thus produces a reflection of itself. Consequently there is no need to assume that the sperm contain the miniature of all the parts of the body in order to produce a whole embryo . . . ,^ 4


32. Ibid., pp. 425 - 426.

33. Ibid ., pp. 426 - 427.

34. Ibid., pp. 422 - 423.


And next: "Although sperm do not contain particles from each member separately, there is no such production of the organism which has fulfilled all the conditions of its process, and where the idea of life appears possible to the extent that the organism is represented in reality. "$S

All that was stated represents a complete idealistic system of opinion on development and heredity, which takes its root directly from Schelling, which in turn represents, to a certain extent, a revival of the Platonic view of the material world as an imperfect reflection of the world idea.

The anatomical, physiological, and particularly the embryological ideas of Vellanskii are given here with the aim of showing an example of the expressed effect of German Naturphilosophie on individual representatives of Russian biological science. Strictly speaking, this example is unique in its type. Vellanskii did not find enough likeminded persons in his mother country for him to continue. His efforts to call attention to the ideas of Naturphilosophie remained useless. Only in Moscow University, under the influence of M. G. Pavlov, did a certain interest in Naturphilosophie appear, and its weak outgrowths can be traced up to the middle of the 1830s.

Michael Grigor'evich Pavlov (1793 - 1839) participated in 1813 in a spiritual seminar at Moscow University. He finished outstandingly in two faculties at once — mathematics and medicine — and in 1818 obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine. He devoted his dissertation to the embryological problem of nourishment of the human fetus. 36


35. Ibid ., p. 424.

36. DISSERTATIO INAUGURALIS PHYSIOLOGICO-OBSTETRICIA DE NUTRITIONE FOETUS HUMAN I , QUAM . . . PRO GRADU DOCTORIS MEDICINAE . . . ELABORAVIT ET PUBLICE DEFENDET Michael Pavlov. Moscow, 1818, 87 pp.


Michael Grigor'evich Pavlov.


M. G. Pavlov's dissertation does not contain particular observations. It is composed of critical reviews of the literature and the author's arguments about the sources of nutrition in the human fetus. This work is interesting because it gives a clear idea about the level of embryological knowledge at that time. The work begins with an address to the Dean of the faculty of medicine of Moscow University, the anatomist E. 0. Mukhin (41), and represents an aphorism: "In arduis audere juvat" (in difficulties it is pleasant to be daring). The dissertation is composed of three chapters, the first of which carries the name "The Appearance and Growth of the Fetus." It starts with a statement that no obstetrician accurately knows how long the time is between conception and the first appearance of the fetus, and, for this reason, there are significant disagreements. Thus, Moriss, Monro, and others have stated that on the third day after conception they have seen in the human ovum an embryo like a worm (vermiculi speciem) . Haller never recognized the fetus before the seventeenth day. The same period is indicated by the "superior and most famous professor, V. M. Richter." (42) Pavlov, here and below, cited the text and drawings of the first edition of Richter' s book, MANUAL OR GUIDE TO THE MIDDLE SKULL (Moscow, 1801). In a short description of the formation of the human fetus, Pavlov to a certain extent follows Richter: "The embryo appears in the form of a dull mucoid cloud, which is swimming in the cleanest fluid of the ovum; it is composed of three vesicles denoting the rudiments of the head, the chest, and the lowest part of the belly" (§ 7). About the third week after conception, in an aborted ovum, it is possible to see a crumpled fetus in the form of a small white body with a small rounded head. It is devoid of all signs of the extremities. It swims on the surface of a completely transparent, colorless fluid, and is connected by means of an umbilical canal with the umbilical sac. In a footnote, Pavlov remarked that specimens of these fetuses, which were obtained by E. 0. Mukhin, were present in the anatomical rooms of Moscow University and the Medical -Surgical Academy. About the fourth week of pregnancy, the body of the fetus looks bloodless, white, and semi-transparent; the head is entirely smooth; on it there is only a small slit denoting mouth formation. The umbilical canal becomes thicker. The rudiments of the extremities appear between the thirty-fifth and fortieth days. During the sixth week, according to Richter, the fetus is equal in size to a bee; its head is large in comparison to the body. Next to the mouth the eyes are visible, but there is still no trace of the nose. On each side, near the corners of the mouth, is seen a very small opening, which is the future aural canal; the extremities are short and thick, the upper are developed more than the lower; the fingers on these and the others are rudimentary. Between the end of the second and the beginning of the third month, the size of the embryo is about two Parisian inches; the forehead is rounded; the eyes are closed; the nose shows up; the mouth is closed; the lips are not yet turned back; the digits of the hands and feet are in the form of distinct rudiments. Between the tenth and eleventh weeks the umbilical vessels are strongly twisted and yet there is no trace of the placenta, which appears between the twelfth and sixteenth weeks of pregnancy. The second stage of development of the fetal membranes occurs in this period, and in particular the disintegrating membrane appears and the vessels outside the embryo aggregate in one spot. The amniotic fluid increasingly accumulates and becomes non-transparent, resembling milky serum.


Pavlov skipped the descriptive details of the fetal ovum's structure and cited "the brilliant work of the famous professor J. Wenssowitsch (43) , entitled, 'On the Structure and Role of the Fetal Membranes and Placenta.'" 37 Next, Pavlov considered the processes of fetal growth, denoting that in different periods of life the rate of growth is not the same; it becomes slower with the approach of the moment of birth. The increase in body size of all living creatures is a result of nutrition; the same thing relates to the fetus growing in the uterus. "From ancient times," Pavlov wrote, "the question of how the fetus feeds was raised; this question was solved differently in different times, because each school of physiologists had its own hypotheses" ($ 23) .


These words represent a transition to the second chapter, "Investigation of Opinions about the Nutrition of the Human Fetus." It begins with arguments on the use of hypotheses by citing Condi 1 lac's words: "It happens when they reach for evidence; in all sciences and arts they begin with the sense of touch." Concerning nutrition of the fetus, Pavlov divided the nutritional sources into three groups: the blood of the mother, the serum chyle (serum chylosum) , or the amniotic fluid. Turning to the first hypothesis, Pavlov remarked:


37. (Joannes Wenssowitsch) , DISSERTATIO OBSTETRICIOMEDICA DE STRUCTURA ET USU SECONDINARUM, QUAM . . . PRO GRADU DOCTORIS IN AUDITORIO MAJORE UNIVERSITATIS CAES. Moscow, 1803, 65 pp.


If the fetus feeds on the mother's blood, so it is necessary that his blood vessels be anastomosed with the mother's vessels; however, recently the existence of these anastomoses have been denied. It is natural to assume that the place where the maternal vessels could unite with the vessels of the fetus is the placenta? however, its structure speaks against such union. ($ 27, 28)


Giving the description of placental structure ($ 29 - 32) , with citations to Wenssowitsch's work, suggesting differentiation of the placenta into distinct parts — maternal (pars placento-uterina) and fetal (pars placento-umbilicalis) — Pavlov made a reminder about the attempts to solve the question experimentally. Wax introduced into the umbilical artery or vein sometimes does not pass into the uterine placental cells, even if they are not destroyed, and remains in the placental umbilical part. A wax injection from the side of the uterine vessels does not pass into the fetal vessels of the placenta. Therefore, despite Meckel's opinion, Pavlov accepted Mukhin's view that fetal blood vessels do not anastomose with maternal vessels. Next, he stated in detail other arguments against fetal nutrition by the blood of the mother, based on the observation of the rhythm of vascular pulsation in experiments with their ligation in animals and so on. Pavlov concluded with: "And so, if we accept that the blood vessels of the fetus do not have any communication with those of the mother, if the maternal blood cannot reach the fetus by any means, so it is concluded that the fetus does not feed from the blood of the mother" ($ 54) .


The second point of view, according to which the fetus feeds from the milky serum which is extracted from the maternal blood, Pavlov stated in the words of Wenssowitsch: "From the beginning. of pregnancy . . . the capillary vessels of the embryo extract a serous-lymphatic whitish nutritional serum from the maternal arterial blood vessels which are located between the placenta and the uterus. By attaining this stage of development when the fetus is increasing to a size that requires a large stock of blood, it begins preparing special blood from the chyle juice" (chylus). 3 ° In Pavlov's opinion, Wenssowitsch's hypothesis did not resolve all the doubtful questions and did not reject the third point of view of fetal nutrition (nutrition by the amniotic fluid) . This latter point of view assumes the intake of amniotic fluid through the mouth, through the skin, or through both. Pavlov compared arguments for and against the different opinions, in two columns divided longitudinally on the page. There is reason to trace this entire discussion, as it is sufficient to illustrate individual points.


1. Fetus does not breathe, and without breathing, swallowing is impossible.


In case of absence or interruption of breathing, the possibility of swallowing is not excluded (the opinion of MaksimovichAmbodik) .


2. Mouth of the fetus, in the natural condition, is closed.


Observations of Meerheim are given stating that on the introduction of the finger into the uterus after the destruction of the fetal membrane, the fetus takes this finger in its mouth and compresses its lips. Besides, if the mouth of the fetus is closed, then the amniotic fluid can penetrate through the nostrils.


38. Wenssowitsch evidently considered, however, that the amniotic fluid serves also to protect the fetus; and of its nutrition he said in the fourth thesis of his dissertation: "Probabile est, liquorem amnii, praeter defensionem foetus inservire quoque ad nutritionem ejusdem. "


DISSERT ATIO

INAUGURALIS PHYSIOLOGICO-OBSTETRICIA

DE

NUTRITIONE FOETUS HUMANI ,

Q If AM |

EX AUCTORITATE

AMPLTSSIMAE FACULTATIS MEDICAE

CAESAREAE UNIVERSITATIS MOSQUENSIS,

PRO

GRADU DOCTORIS MEDICINAE

summisque in Medicina honoribus ac iramuni tatibus legitime capessendis, elaboravit et puH lice defendet

Michael P aw low.


MOSQUAE, 1818. Typis Unirersitatis Mosquensis.



Figure 16. Title-page of Pavlov's "On the Nutrition of the Human Fetus"


3. There are cases of birth 3. This means that the fetus of fetuses devoid of is nourished not only on mouth or missing a head. the amniotic fluid.

4. If the fetus was fed by 4. Amniotic fluid is light swallowing amniotic food, from which only very fluid, then his intes- little fecal matter remains tines should have been filled with feces.


As to arguments in favor of nutrition by the amniotic fluid, Pavlov reported the evidence of investigators who had found amniotic fluid and also hairs of the embryonic fur in the fetal stomach, confirmed by chemical analysis. Favoring the intake of amniotic fluid by the skin are, in Pavlov's opinion, observations about the filling with fluid of the distended subcutaneous lymphatic vessels of the fetus. After giving these data, he moved to the following cautious conclusion: "It must not, however, be thought that the fetus feeds exclusively on amniotic fluid, because it is impossible to neglect the nutritional value of the milky serum" (§ 84) .


After reviewing different opinions about the sources of fetal nutrition, Pavlov moved to the considerations which make up the third chapter of his dissertation. First of all, setting aside the possible accusation of presumption and vanity, he defended his right to "dispute the opinions of scientists and to build his own path, leading to the truth." In his justification he said: "I am seeking the truth and, for this reason, I do not want to swear by the words of the teachers" (§ 87).


For solving the question raised, Pavlov chose the path of comparative investigation. He noted that different living creatures are characterized by different degrees of development, man and infusoria forming the extremes between which there is gradual transition. The different degrees of perfection of organization correspond to the complexity of organization: the simpler the organization, the less it is improved, and the reverse. The organization of the human is the most complicated, hence it is considered the most improved of all animals. So for the explanation of the function of any organism, the more difficult it is, the more complex it is. And "the physiology of the human body, if looked at by itself, could have constituted a problem that nobody could approach" ($ 90) . Pavlov recommended to proceed always from simple phenomena to the more complicated. Man, Pavlov said, is a microcosm; in him, as in the depth of nature, where there are four life forms, there is a fourfold life period, namely the life of minerals, plants, animals, and finally the intellectual life, or the human life. In a footnote ($ 92), Pavlov said that for the most brilliant work reviewing this question we are indebted to the great professor of the Petersburg University, Jakob Kaydanow C44) . This work was published under the title, "The Fourfold Property of Life, of the differences and reciprocal connections of the four main types of life, which are discussed in general and in relation to man in particular." 39 Following him in importance is I. M. Boldryev (45), at that time professor of anatomy and physiology of the Imperial Moscow Medical-Surgical Academy, with his dissertation "On the Features of Plant or Organic Life." 40 Speaking of man as a microcosm for the depth of nature, Pavlov followed the terminology of Kaydanow. Human nature, Pavlov said, citing Kaydanow, could have remained much less available to our understanding if animals did not exist, whose nature is discovered in the life of plants, and the nature of the latter in the life of minerals. "And so," he continued, "there is no doubt that for the thorough investigation of the truth there is a route leading from the simple to the complex, i.e. as if from the known to the unknown" ($ 93). So far as man and infusoria designate the extreme degrees in the limits of perfection of the animal organism, and so far as in nature nothing is done by leaps, so "it is hardly possible to imagine that man had occupied the highest of these steps without going through (not touching) the lower" 94).


39. Jacob Kaydanow, TETRACTYS VITAE SEU DE DIFFERENTIA MUTUAQUE CONTINUITATE IV CARDINALIUM FORMARUM VITAE, GENERATIM CONSIDERATAE , HOMINIS PRAECIQUE St. Petersburg, 1813, 107 pp.

40. J. Boldyrev, "De characteribus vitae vegetativae seu organicae principalibus ej usque praecique et animalibus in nomine differentia." Moscow, 1815, 27 pp.


The presentation of his idea in the form of the chain of being is much closer, of course, to the evolutionary argument in the spirit of Radishchev and Lamarck than to Bonnet's metaphysical version. The graduation of structural complexity which is recognized in a series of living creatures (from infusoria to man) is, as Pavlov claimed, reflected in embryonic development. "The formation and growth of the fetus," he wrote, "represents a line which, beginning from the lower animals and passing almost through all the steps of the animal organism, reaches up to man" ($ 94).


Pavlov suggested dividing the embryonic period into its two stages: the stage of evolution or metamorphosis, during which the development of the fetus is carried out, and the stage of ripening or perfection, when the developing structures reach maturity. Going back to the idea of the production in ontogenesis of progressive levels of creation, he stated that, so far as there is corresponding difference in the structure of infusoria and mammals, their nutrition is also different; is it not possible that during the first stage of fetal development, when the organism becomes gradually more perfect and complex, that nutrition has similarly become more complex? The more complex the nutrition, the more perfect the animal; hence the nutrition of the fetus during the first developmental stage becomes more complex.


With the second stage, when development ends, the type of nutrition is stabilized. "In order to explain more properly fetal nutrition from its beginning, comparative physiology is recommended, beginning from simple creatures to the more complex" (5 98) . "If you carefully trace the nature of formation," Pavlov continued, "it is possible to see that body rudiments originate in water. Crystals develop from the fluid; the green material of Priestley is the beginning of plant life. The infusoria, as the rudiments of animal life, also begin with water" C$ 99) . "From here it is easy to understand why the fluid condition represents a necessary condition for the formation of all bodies" ($ 100) . Agreeing with the physicists, Pavlov wrote that the fluid state of the body undoubtedly precedes the solid state; thus the cellular tissue itself, which is the basis of solid development in the organism, initially develops from fluid.

Later on, he put this thought in the form of an aphorism: "I expect not to stray from the truth if I change the law — that all that lives comes from the egg — to another law — that all that lives comes from fluid" C* J- 02) . In agreement with Lamarck, Pavlov imagined that fluid appears at the beginning, by whatever means. It then forms into cellular tissue, and from that a living body develops. For life to appear requires an organic interaction between fluid and the cellular tissue. This organic movement occurs through the stretching of the cellular tissue, and the latter responds to the pressure under whose effect displacement of the fluid takes place.


The fluid contained in the cellular tissue Pavlov, following Lamarck, called the essential moisture (in higher animals, this is the blood; in lower animals, uncolored fluid; according to Pavlov, this latter is ichor) . The first organic movement, according to Pavlov, makes possible the appearance of the basic life function — nutrition, which he considered the application of assimilated particles on dense formations, in which there are always cavities or canals containing the circulating essential moisture. This last disperses continually, and the organism needs its replacement through nutrition. The essential moisture must be variable in different animals, becoming more complex in composition as the animal's organization increases. Thus, in infusoria and polyps, the essential moisture is represented in a fluid watery jelly; in insects it is thicker; in Crustacea, annelids, and molluscs, it has a more complex constitution and contains little protein; in fish and reptiles there is not only protein but also fibrous material in the blood.


The process of assimilation of food is also related, Pavlov continued, to organization; hence more complex processes of assimilation correspond to complexity of the digestive tract. Likewise with the intake of oxygen, which Pavlov believed participates in the final stage of assimilation, especially in the formatiop of blood, which is not directly contained in the food. The source of development for these substances, Pavlov thought, can hardly be sought in oxygen alone. "Undoubtedly," he said, "such an extremely effective force, which is considered vital, can be called an assimilating force" (5 118).


Continuing the ontogenetic-phylogenetic parallel related above, Pavlov stated that the fetus is at first similar to the infusoria, not only in organization, but also in the character of nutrition. The infusorian extracts food and oxygen from drops of water in the mouth. At the beginning the fetus is constructed quite simply; it has the shape of a vesicle, devoid of any organs and composed of gelatin C"does not this structure simulate the organic infusoria?" Pavlov asked). The source of food and water for the fetus is an insignificantly small portion of the transparent amniotic fluid. When natural development moves upward from plants to animals, the digestive canal acquires great importance. In general, it is considered the first special organ. Digestion is the first function necessary for the continuation of existence. "Does not the same occur in the fetus?" Development of the fetal digestive canal is gradual; hence it is impossible that digestion develops suddenly. Pavlov suggested that the digestive canal in the early fetus is insufficiently developed and for this reason cannot accomplish its function. He noted that nobody doubted that the digestive canal in polyps, radiates, and insects can digest food. The developing fetus, according to his analysis, behaves as those animals do; why then does its digestive canal not function? As in higher animals the organs of digestion appear more perfected, so in the fetus the digestive system improves in the process of development.


Between the twelfth and sixteenth weeks, when, according to Pavlov, metamorphosis ends, the amniotic fluid provides insufficient food and oxygen to meet the requirements of the fetus. "Therefore nature seeks new means to complete the deficiency, and thus the placenta is formed" ($ 134). Between the fetus and the mother there is a juice, richer in nutritional substances than the amniotic fluid, which is extracted by the vessels of the umbilical canal.


Pavlov's third chapter, on human fetal nutrition, includes the assumptions which partially form his dissertation's conclusions. In summary, these include: 1) "All that is living is from fluid" (Thesis 1); 2) "Fetal life can be divided into two stages — the stage of metamorphosis and the stage of perfection" [Thesis 111); 3) The method of embryonic changes in nutrition repeats the changes in the transition from lower animals ("infusoria") to higher animals.


The processes of assimilation, according to Pavlov, are governed by a special power. This statement perhaps echoes Wolff's studies on the essential force. In general, Pavlov's bibliographic citations are rich. Wolff's work is not cited, so it is difficult to assess any possible effect of Wolff's ideas on Pavlov.


It is not possible to judge M. G. Pavlov's dissertation by contemporary standards concerning embryonic development and physiology of intrauterine nutrition. A few speculations are listed which produced an effect on German Naturphilosophie, but Pavlov's dissertation also contains a number of additional interesting thoughts and general conclusions. Particularly valuable in this regard are his onto-phylogenetic parallels, which Haeckel later combined to form his biogenetic law. Pavlov worked out in detail a comparison between embryonic stages of development and the degrees of structural and functional organization in the digestive organs of the animal world.


In his subsequent scientific and educational activities, M. G. Pavlov did not return to embryological studies. In 1820, after two years abroad, he went to lecture at Moscow University in physics, mineralogy, and agriculture. Besides that, he lectured publicly on the general subject, "About Nature," in which he treated Schelling's ideas, and he also delivered popular lectures on improved agricultural methods. It is possible to judge the importance of Pavlov's professional activities through A. I. Hertzen's memoirs.


German philosophy, Hertzen wrote, was transferred to Moscow University by M. G. Pavlov. The department of philosophy was closed from 1826, and Pavlov taught introductory philosophy instead of physics and agriculture. It was difficult to learn physics from his lectures, and impossible to learn agriculture, but his courses were nonetheless extremely useful. Pavlov stood within the physico-mathematic division and presented students with the question: "Do you want to know nature? But what is nature? What is there to know?" This was extremely important. Young men entering the university were entirely devoid of philosophical preparation; some had an understanding of philosophy, but usually completely wrong. As an answer to these questions, Pavlov quoted Schelling and Oken with a clarity that had neyer been present in other nature -philosophers. If he did not attain explicitness in everything, it was because of Schelling's weakness.41 (A6) Pavlov's brilliant lectures had attracted listeners from every direction, and their construction and content kept his audience enthusiastic. (47)


Critically stating the basic principles of German Naturphilosophic and the theory of knowledge, Pavlov concluded that speculative intuition by itself is entirely insufficient, and that for the study of the phenomena of nature it is necessary also to apply empirical investigation. The evolution of Pavlov's opinions could be traced by his articles in the manual MNEMOSIN, by V(ladimir) F(edorovich) Odoevskii and V. K. Kukhel'beker, and in an issue of the journal ATENEI. The articles in MNEMOSIN 42 reflect Pavlov's earlier period of philosophical development, when he had accepted, almost without reservation, Schelling's and Oken's principles of Naturphilosophie. The effort to discover the main reason for the countless phenomena in the harmony of nature, and to establish their general theory, Pavlov said, starts from two contradictory points — the experimental and the speculative. Nature is investigated by two methods: by the analyticalempirical method and by synthetic speculation; which method is more perfect? CPP« 8-9). Pavlov answers his question in the following manner. Because the truth is indivisible, all essential sciences must be based on a single unified theory. However, empirical sciences such as mineralogy, pharmacology and therapy have not just one, but many theories. "On what, then, does imperfection of the empirical sciences depend? Are their representatives deceived concerning the importance of experiment?" (p. 12). Many theories are based on the fact that material existence is accidental, imaginary, and actually exists only ideally. The experiment — analytical or empirical investigation—can perceive that which is only externally subject to sensation, i.e. the nonessential, while the ideal is not subject to experiment.


41. A(leksandr) Kvanovich) Hertzen, MY PAST AND THOUGHTS

CByloe i dumy) , 1946, p. 215.

42. "On Methods for the Investigation of Nature," MNEMOSIN, 4 C1825) , pp. 1 - 34. The article is signed with two Greek letters.


The external aspect of nature is the region of empirics, consequently the field of intellect; the internal is the aspect of speculation and the field of thought. Those following the first find only a reflection, which is a print of the ideal. Those following the second try to contemplate the idea which is reflective by itself, (p. 29)


And: "Empirics from the surroundings (i.e. from external manifestations — L. B.) strive to the center (i.e. to the main point — L. B.) at random, and speculation from the center goes out to the exterior — most likely" (p. 30).


It seems that from these idealistic judgments there must be an inevitable conclusion that only speculation can give true knowledge. However, Pavlov showed caution in his conclusions. At the end of the article he wrote the following: "However, speculation with all its advantages is insufficient. Each phenomenon (and nature — their combination) is a union of contradictions (synthesis oppositorum) , a combination of the ideal with the material. Hence, individually, speculative knowledge and empirical knowledge are incomplete."


Still more defined in this respect are Pavlov's considerations stated in his article in ATENEI.43 This work is simplified in the form of a conversation between the "wisdom -lover" Polist and his supporter Kenofon on one side, and Menon on the other. C48) The latter, who is expressing Pavlov's own point of view, demands a reasonable combination of speculation and empiricism. He argues: "In order to know philosophy, it is necessary first to know science; philosophy judges the possibility of what science considers to be present. Is it possible to make judgments about what we do not know?"


43. M. Pavlov, "On the Reciprocal Relation of Speculative and Experimental Knowledge , " ATENE I , Part 1 , No . 1 C1828), pp. 3 - 15; No. 2 (1828), pp. 1 - 19.


Consequently, speculative information, which constitutes philosophy, is possible only in the face of scientific experimental information. It is clear now that the sciences could exist without philosophy and not be complete nonsense, but philosophy without science is impossible. If one seeks to philosophize without knowing science, his wisdom will be delirium, shameful for the intellect, harmful for science, (pp. 17 - 18)

Despite the reasonable tone of these discussions, it must be acknowledged that M. G. Pavlov could not overcome the idealistic ideas that he had met in his youth.

The effect of Naturphilosophie was also shown in the opinions of those Russian zoologists and physicians interested in the development of the internal and external human parasites. This subject has an acknowledged relation to embryology, because the authors writing about the spontaneous development of parasitic forms also approached the phenomena of development in all other living creatures.

Studies about the spontaneous generation of parasites spread in Germany, where it was supported by those authoritative helminthologists, Rudolf and Bremser. From Germany this study penetrated into Russia. Bremser' s book was translated into Russian in 1839,44 accompanied by an article by J. Spassky supporting the idea of arbitrary or undefined development of parasites. Spassky himself, fifteen years prior to that, had published a dissertation devoted to the parasitic helminths'^ which also concentrated on their spontaneous generation. He expressed his idea in the following theses:


44. (Johann Gottfried] Bremser, ON THE HELMINTHS PRESENT IN THE HUMAN BODY, OR A MANUAL FOR THE IDENTIFICATION AND TREATMENT OF HELMINTHIC DISEASES. Translated from the German. 1839. xxii + 384 pp. (49)

45. Johannes Spassky, "Entozoologiae historiae progressus, et status hodierni brevis expositio." St. Petersburg, 1824. ii + 50 pp.


IV. The origin of interior animals in the human body is explained by means of primitive generation.

V. We deny that there exist in air or water seeds of worms which penetrate the animal body, and that interior animals multiply as such.

VI. We deny that interior animals can transfer from the mother to the fetus, (p. 49)


That same point of view is given in the dissertation which A. Kosminsky 46 defended at Moscow University in the same year as Spassky's. Concerning the origin of parasitic worms, Kosminsky gave various points of view. The possibility of introducing the parasites into man through food or drink, either in mature form or as eggs, is equivalent to the transfer of parasites or their embryos from the human parents through the egg from which the human fetus develops, or by means of infection through the placenta, milk, saliva, etc.; Kominsky decisively rejected all of this. His arguments included: "Regarding previous discussions . . . , it is sufficient to say that all the new authors collectively state that worms find a shelter in the intestines of people and beasts, and they get their start from spontaneous or sudden generation or development." 47 Kosminsky assumed that not only molds, fungi, lichens, and infusoria could develop this way, but also intestinal worms. Kosminsky envisioned the process of their spontaneous development as follows. In those parts of the organism which, for some reason, are weakened and consequently secrete abnormal serum, lymph, or mucus, there appear organic particles which represent rudiments of future parasitic worms. The mucus, serum, and lymph accumulate in the intestine, where the nutrient fluid, which was earlier converted into animal matter, thickens and coagulates. Covered with epidermis, it can easily give rise to the development of worms. 4 8


46. Alexander Kosminsky, "Dissertatio inauguralis medicopractica de entozois s. vermibus in intestinis hominum praecique nidulantibus , de remediis anthelminticus et methodis eadem exhibendi." Moscow, 1824. 24 pp.

47. Ibid ., p. 28.

48. Ibid ., p. 23.


In the theses submitted for his dissertation, Kosminsky expressed the same ideas more briefly and yet with more definition:

Thesis 4. The idea that the worms are conceived from eggs which get into the human body appears to be false.

Thesis 5. The development of worms is best explained by what is called spontaneous conception.

In 1841 in Dorpat, the doctoral dissertation of the physician Ivan Kramarenkov, from Sum, was published as "Something about the Flatworm, and Some Means of Its Expulsion. "49 Kramarenkov, with detailed study of the literature, discussed further the development of worms in the human body, and had come to accept the idea of their spontaneous conception The first section, titled "Something about the Origin of Worms in the Body," begins:

The question of how worms are conceived in the body can be solved in two ways : either they develop from some organic material and not from pre-existing creatures similar to them, which would suggest spontaneous development, or else new organisms develop as a result of the coupling of bodies similar to each other, consequently by propagative development, (p. 1)

Comparing the opinions supporting each point of view, Kramarenkov wrote that "Pallas deduced from his experience that from the eggs of cestodes, introduced into the abdominal cavity of a puppy, new small worms are formed. With some passion, he tried to explain the origin of worms as a result of eggs dispersed in nature (p. 4). Pallas' opinion, according to Kramarenkov, was completely disproved by Bremser; Kramarenkov himself considered that "the most probable is that human worms develop in the organism in the beginning neither from water, nor soil, nor from eggs or larvae, nor from food or drink. They develop by means of spontaneous generation" (p. 16). To confirm his point of view, Kramarenkov referred to such authors as Johannes Miiller and Hufeland, citing appropriate quotations from their reports.


49. Johannes Kramarenkov (Medicus primi ordinis Sumensis) , "Nonulla de Bothriocephalo lato ej usque expellendi quibusdam methodis." Dorpat, 1841. iii + 51 pp.


To characterize the biological ideas from the department at Moscow University over a twenty- to thirty-year period, we must give the opinions of A. L. Lovetskii, who was considered at that time to be its leading professor. His book, INITIAL INSCRIPTION OF NATURAL HISTORY, had for a long time been well regarded as a guide for students. A. L. Lovetskii C1787 - 1840), a physician and naturalist, gave presentations mainly for courses of zoology and mineralogy. In MY PAST AND THOUGHTS 50 Hertzen wrote disrespectfully about him, from which a negative impression could be formed about his scientific and teaching activities. Lovetskii suggested the spontaneous development of organisms, which appears to express the Naturphilosophie idea of the development of organisms from the products of decomposition of living creatures.


Lovetskii's and Vellaskii's ideas came from the idealistic and metaphysical notion of eternity and the unchangeable nature of the organic monads as germs or embryos of living creatures.


In 1824 Lovetskii published a paper "On the Initial Conception of Worms in Animal Bodies. "51 Concerning opinions on the spontaneous development of parasitic worms, Lovetskii wrote:


The observations of some scientists give grounds for the assumption and the defense of those ridiculous opinions affirming that they have seen intestinal worms outside the animal body. These opinions are disproved by the following conditions : a) there are no true and exact observations about the presence of these worms living outside the body; b) worms that are discharged from the body soon die; c) the genera and types of worms are as variable as the types of the animals in which they live; d) the worms are found not only in the newly-born infant, but also in the fetus; e) the character and type of life of the worms is specific and entirely distinguished from that of other animals .


50. Hertzen, MY PAST AND THOUGHTS, section VI, p. 68.

51. Lovetskii, in NEW MAGAZINE OF NATURAL HISTORY, PHYSICS, CHEMISTRY, AND ECONOMIC INFORMATION, edited by I. A. Ovigubskii, Part 2 (1830), pp. 17 - 34, 87 - 108.


Opponents of the spontaneous development of worms asserted that worms outside the host's body take another shape from that inside it. Lovetskii rejected this view with two arguments: "a) land and water animals which accidentally get into an animal's stomach die very soon either from digestion or from extreme heat; b) transformations, with the exception of insects and frogs, are not characteristic of any other animals."

Similarly, Lovetskii was not convinced that infection with worms could occur through their eggs' getting into food or drinking water. Thus, "the original material of their initial development should be in the animals themselves . . . and this development occurs in certain conditions as though a necessary sequence of their organization." Spontaneous conception, Lovetskii proposed, also occurs in arthropods. "The observations indicate," he wrote,

that they frequently appear suddenly in people in whom they were not previously present .... what are those internal conditions which promote the formation of worms? A scrofulous condition of the juices, copious and sticky sweat remaining on the skin surface, putrefactive hemolysis of the blood, and others are the conditions under which a watery organic material, in a condition of putrefactive fermentation ... is converted into such bodies as lice.

In no less clear a form, Lovetskii stated his corresponding opinions in his article, "Properties and Sources of Infection in General, and of Cholera in Particular." 52 There he described in particular detail the mechanism of spontaneous infection. The Naturphilosophical character of the idea of spontaneous infection appears clear from his words: "That destroyed animals and even plant materials are capable of conversion into embryos of new living creatures is evidenced by the fact that they are in essence materials which are not dead but only dying, i.e. they are devoid only of their previous form and not of the property of living in another form. The most important example of conversion of destroyed organic material into creatures that are alive and organized is the birth or development of animals and primitive plants [Protozoa, Protophyta) with which the organic kingdom began."


52. Lovetskii, in TELESCOPE, Part 2 (1831), pp. 52 - 74, 235 - 239, 354 - 382.


In relation to the vertebrate animal, Lovetskii rejected the possibility of spontaneous development. He stated his reasons in a special article, "On the Larvae of Insects and Frogs Living inside the Human Body. "53 He cited cases described by Professor Spassky where, according to the observations of a Doctor Gubchenko, a nineteen-year-old girl in a period from "July to October 13, vomited up to thirty live toads of different sizes." Assuming that she had swallowed developing toad eggs, Lovetskii wrote: "To confirm that the toads initially could develop in the intestinal canal of man by spontaneous generation is highly ridiculous and not in compliance with any understanding of things. Only the invisibles (infusoria, worms, lice, and mites) could appear by spontaneous generation in the animal organism."

Lovetskii' s ideas about fertilization and embryonic development stand close to his opinions about spontaneous development. In the above-cited article, "On the Initial Development of Worms," Lovetskii handled these issues with the following: "The plant grain and animal eggs, being still in an undefined and immature condition, do not have any defined shape. Essentially they are featureless material, which changes after fertilization by means of vital chemical fermentation. This material forms a mucous bladder (the initial point of body-development) , with later development of organs and equilibrium maintained by the same fluid materials from which it received its physical beginning." 54


53. Lovetskii, in NEW MAGAZINE, Part 2 (1828), pp. 265 - 275

54 . Quotations from the work of Lovetskii were^, adopted from A. P. Borgdanov, CARL FRANTSOVICH RULE AND HIS PREDECESSORS IN THE IMPERIAL MOSCOW UNIVERSITY CIzv. Obsh. Lyub. Estestv., Antrop. i Etnogr., 43, 1885).


The idea of spontaneous development, actually in somewhat variable form, found support at a later time between 1840 and 1850, for example in the work of the amateur naturalist Gros,55 w ho W as interested mainly in the origin and development of parasitic worms. He published his articles in the BULLETIN OF THE MOSCOW SOCIETY OF NATURE INVESTIGATORS in the period from 1845 to 1855.


Gros' earliest work^6 began with various microscopic investigations; besides observations on ticks, ascarids, tapeworms taken from snipe intestines, blood filaria, vaginal and intestinal trichomonads, and vibrions from the mouth cavity and human feces, there is a section on the development of the worm, in which Gros assumed that rotifers could develop from particular eggs. In the same report Gros described the embryonic development of the filaria, and gives explanations of the early stages of division.


A paper he published in 1849, 5? like the previous one, began with a variety of parasitological and embryological observations. He described a worm with five openings, a nematode from a tortoise intestine, an amoeba from a human mouth cavity, observations on blood parasites and infusoria, and, finally, some embryological data. Gros described his observations on the development of the eggs of human ascarids and pinworms, and he described briefly the structure and development of fresh-water moss and his observations on embryonic chick development. In this section he reported work on the structure of the yellow granules, on the differentiation of embryonic feathers, on the development of the crystalline lens, on the appearance of the gall bladder in the fetus, and on the development of the lungs .


55. Biographical information about George Gros was not available. In the card index of the members of the Moscow Society of Nature Investigators, in which he was named Egor Egorvich Gro, it was recorded that Gros was considered an active member of the Society from March 16, 1844, and frequently participated at the meetings with introductory presentations, and that his articles were printed in the BULLETIN of the Society.

56. Gros, "Observation et inductions microscopiques , " BULL. SOC. NAT. MOSCOW, 18 (1845), pp. 380 - 428.

57. Gros, "Fragment d'helminthologie et de physiologie microscopique," BULL. SOC. NAT. MOSCOW, 22 (1849), pp. 549 - 573.



His embryological observations led Gros to certain conclusions about spontaneous development, published in an article of 1847.58 In this report, after a history of the speculative study of spontaneous development, Gros reported with no hesitation the spontaneous development of the tapeworm. He described in detail the conversion of vacuoles in the digestive glands into worm eggs, the appearance of embryonic vacuoles in the eggs, and their disappearance before the beginning of division.


Gros stated his opinions most completely in a long article 0-30 pages) published in 1851.59 This work holds interest also for the history of the theory of evolution. His main objective was to affirm that organisms at successive steps of creation are genetically connected with each other. Thus: "Borders between the animal and plant kingdoms do not exist; on the contrary, they cross each other." "A cell can make a plant or an animal." "Conversion of types is proved by observations." "A cell is capable of multiplication as a plant Cfilaroent) or as a pseudo-animal cell (euglena) ; its daughter cells could multiply later as plant or as animal cells." "The cell developing as a plant provides the beginning of more complex plant types" — however, some of those cells, in Gros 1 opinion, constantly produce their specific type, and others go in the direction of regressive evolution (p. 458). "Filaments are capable of dividing into vacuoles, which can be turned into animal cells and converted into a number of transitional forms." "Euglena cells are related to both kingdoms and, apparently, form a cross between them" (p. 549). "Euglena cells demonstrate in a very clear form the relationship of the two kingdoms and form the beginning of two branches, one of which forms an ascending plant line, and the other an ascending line or generation of animals." Gros considered the effect of the surrounding environment — temperature, time of year, light, quantity and quality of matter — as the source of heterogenic multiplication O'whims of reproduction") . Gros illustrated his understanding of conversion of types by examples; he discussed the conversion of amoeba into ciliated forms, of euglena into solar forms, while infusoria, in his opinion, are converted into rotifers and sloths.


58. Gros, "De la generation spontanee ou primitive en generale et en particulier de Helminthes , " BULL. SOC . NAT. MOSCOW, 20 U847), pp. 517 -540.

59. Gros, "De 1 ' embryo log ie ascendante des especes, ou generation primitive, equivoque et spontanee et metamorphoses de certains animaux et vegetaux inferieurs, " BULL. SOC. NAT. MOSCOW, 24 (1851), pp. 283 - 340, 429 - 502.


The problem of spontaneous development or conception is part of the concept of evolution for Gros, But evolution was not understood by Gros as the arising of live creatures from "chaos and rotten stuff," as many of his predecessors had held. Rather, new forms began as animal -molecules.

Gros considered the possibility of the conversion of one species into another in an article under the title, "Primary Development of Round Worms, "60 in which he gave examples of metamorphoses, larvae of worms, and also the conception of the infusorian Torquatina from the cells of the mucous membranes of the urinary bladder of frogs.

The study of the spontaneous conception of parasitic worms in the first third of the nineteenth century reflected the negative effort of the idealistic principles of German Naturphilosophie. It is no accident, therefore, that the supporters of spontaneous generation directly connected the beginning of life with the life power.

There is no need to stipulate that the study of spontaneous development of highly organized living creatures, which was widespread at the beginning of the nineteenth century, had nothing in common with Engels 1 materialistic idea of the origin of the living from the non-living.

The question of the development of living creatures was solved by the supporters of spontaneous generation, and especially A. L. Lovetskii, without the traditional reference to God as creator. It is possible to think that Lovetskii was inclined towards materialism, but the strong root of his opinions was under the obscuring veil of Naturphilosophie. C50)


60. Gros, "Generation primitive de Nematoides , " BULL. SOC . NAT. MOSCOW (1885), pp. 204 - 226.


The signs of the effects of Naturphilosophie could also be obseryed in the biological ideas of Shchurovskii. Grigorii Efimovich Shchurovskii, (1803 - 1884} graduated from Moscow University's Faculty of Medicine, and became a teacher of physics and natural history in the Moscow Educational House. He was a lecturer on natural history in the Faculty of Medicine at the University. A great part of his later work was devoted to geology and mineralogy, but in his earliest scientific activities Shchurovskii was interested in general biological issues. In his "Organology of Animals" (1834) and three other works, he considered the questions of embryology.

In the first of the above-mentioned works, he touched on Pavlov's Naturphilosophical ideas. In particular:

Man by his physical formation lives a double life: private, in which he passes all the periods of his relative existence? and a general life, in which, along with all similar animals, he constitutes one undivided, gradually improving organism. In his life generally, he experiences changes induced by the natural sequence of ages. Radiate animals represent his uterine condition or embryo, which is not yet differentiated into the various organs. In the slugs or molluscs he has his infancy; in animals having external articulation he has his youth; in fish, reptiles, birds, and beasts he reaches maturity, which in turn is replaced by sensible and experienced old age. And thus man is the final development of the animal kingdom, and the last step of existence. 61

For Shchurovskii, the regularity of repetition in stages of individual development of all the animal kingdom takes a distinct Naturphilosophical form, without concern for empirical confirmation of these stated ideas.

The data for his lectures on heart development*^ a re more distinct. Here Shchurovskii used the data he had available,


61. Cited by A. P. Bogdanov, CARL FRANTSOVICH RULE, pp. 86 - 87.

62. G. E. Shchurovskii, "On the Individual Development of a Bird Heart and its Similarity with the General Development

( . . . contd on next page ) 184


especially that for the embryonic development of birds Che himself apparently did not make observations] , but he drew his conclusions both from data and from selected works of Naturphilosophie.

"Nature is an organic body, a part of which, in essence, is development, or perhaps it is better to say the repetition of one and the same beginning" (p. 192). Referring to Saint Hilaire, who called this repetition or identity "unity in the formation of organization," Shchurovskii formulated the following law:

Each organ of the animal body, moving from the nonexistent to the existent, from primary embryo to the most perfect form, represents a number of private developments which become complicated. Sometimes the private development of an organ in one animal reflects, in general, the development of the same organ in the whole kingdom. Thus, gradual development noted in the hearts of birds corresponds to different epochs of formation of this organ in the whole animal kingdom. Cp. 193)

An explanation of the agreement between the stages of development of the embryo and the group of all animal forms, Shchurovskii sought in Plato's and Schelling's ideas of the universe of ideas materially realized in the universe of objects. Thus: "The life of the organic body which is still not enveloped in material form is called its concept or possible constitution .... Thus in the egg is included the concept or the possible constitution of the bird, which enters into actual existence at the time of incubation, when materialistic forms and organs of the future animal begin to form" (p. 193).


(Footnote No. 62, contd)


of the Same Organ in the Whole Animal Kingdom," in SCIENTISTS OF WESTERN MOSCOW UNIVERSITY, Part I (1833), pp. 192 - 210. A year later Shchurovskii published two more articles relating to embryology: "On the Head Vertebrae of Higher Animals," SCIENTISTS OF WESTERN MOSCOW UNIVERSITY, Part III (1834), pp. 256 - 268, 466 - 276, and "On the Structure of the Cloaca in Birds and the Theory of Egg Formation," ibid . , Part II (1834), pp. 37 - 61.


In order to substantiate his ideas, Shchurovskii referred to the observations of "Malpighi, Haller, Wolff, Spallanzani, Pander, Preyost, and Dumas." He distinguished six stages or steps of development in the heart of the chick. The first (about twenty-seven hours after fertilization) produces an elongated straight tube, both, ends of which disappear in a transparent fluid. In the second stage (about thirty-one hours), the heart already has two venous and three to four arterial branches, and there is marked movement of colorless blood. In the third stage (thirty-six hours), the heart is characterized by the curvature of the heart tubing and two interceptors, "one of them separating the first cavity from the second, which is called the atrial system, and the other going from the second cavity along the span of the descending trunk, which is named the ventricular system." The first cavity he called the auricle; the second, the left ventricle; and the originating stem, the aorta, which by the end of the thirtyninth hour is divided into two stems, each of which develops side branches . In the fourth stage (forty-eight hours) the heart changes from its elongated form to an oval or spherical form. At this time the heart appears "with one auricle and one ventricle," and the colorless fluid is replaced by red blood. In the fifth stage (fifty-eight hours) the right ventricle is formed through the extension of the vessel which runs from the right part of the auricle to the ventricle. In this period the heart has one auricle and two ventricles. Finally, at the sixth stage (third day) , the cavity of the auricle is divided into two and forms a two-auricle, two-ventricle heart.

The essential error of this description is in the statement that the ventricle is divided into two before the auricle. This mistaken assumption of the presence of a one-auricle, two-ventricle heart, as will be seen later, caused Shchurovskii serious difficulty.

For a description of the development of the avian heart, we can compare its embryonic stage with the development of the heart of different animals. This is based on evidence that "the different periods of formation of this organ have a separate, independent life, and in their combination represent one organ, whose gradual development takes place in separate special organs in the different classes of animals" (pp. 197 - 198).


The most interesting of Shchurovskii 's postulates starts with the confirmation that all lower animals are analogous to the egg. Just as the formation of an organism is included in the egg, so in the lower animals "the possible development of the animal kingdom, for reasons not yet discovered, is included in the formation of the organs, Therefore in infusoria, polyps, and zoophytes, the ideas of the heart and other organs have not yet materialized," Shchurovskii assumed that the heart was first formed in insects, where it has the shape of an elongated unbranched vessel and is analogous to the heart of the chick embryo twenty-seven hours after fertilization. In spiders and annelids (annulated worms) , arteries and veins appear. "This second stage of development corresponds with the thirty-first hour after fertilization" (p. 199).


If in insects (first stage) the heart extends in a straight line, and if in the second stage it is stretched in its surface, then in the third stage, to which Shchurovskii related the molluscs, the heart "merges and closes up in a sphere." In "shell" molluscs it forms two widenings, "of which one (the auricle) . . . receives the veins, and the other (the ventricle) returns the arterial blood to all the body" (p. 200). Molluscs are thus analogous to the chick embryo in the thirty-sixth hour after fertilization. Shchurovskii located the heart of the cephalopod molluscs between the third and fourth stages, noting that, for example, in the cuttlefish there are three muscular widenings, to which correspond, in the more highly organized animals, the auricle, ventricle, and the descending aorta. Similarly, the hearts of fish correspond with the fourth stage of development of the bird embryo, i.e. to the forty-eighth hour after fertilization.


The heart of the lower reptiles (i.e. amphibia) is similar to the heart of fish, according to Shchurovskii. As "in tortoises, snakes, and lizards, which are considered of a higher class, it takes a special form of development .... The reptilian heart is of two-auricle, one-ventricle structure. This fifth stage of development corresponds to the fifty-eighth hour after fertilization, but with the difference that the duplication of the ventricle in birds precedes the duplication of the auricle" (p. 202). This stipulation interfered with the harmony of the postulate and is, as was mentioned before > a result of the mistaken description of the development of the chick heart.


In reptiles, as well as in the embryos of the higher vertebrates, the right and left heart, the vein pouring into it, and the pulmonary vein all have communication; therefore the blood can pass more easily through the oval opening between the auricles or through the valves directly to the aorta. According to Shchurovskii, reptiles are characterized by flexibility, a "cartilaginous composition," quick development, almost non-stop growth, abundance of blood, and other features characteristic of avian and mammalian infancy. "Reptiles are always young, always found in embryonic condition, swimming in the waters of the mother," Shchurovskii repeated (p. 205).


All this discussion concluded with the confirmation that the successive periods of heart development represent a fight between the powers of "dilation" and of "contraction. The first stretches the heart into a straight shape, and the second tries to compress it into a round form. This play of opposing powers is entirely similar to the systole and diastole of the heart of the great organism of the animal kingdom" (p. 206). And furthermore, all the nuances in formation of the various hearts are inspired by one understanding, so that, regardless of external variability, they are combined in internal unity. "Could it be otherwise? In nature each organ, each part, is necessary, an additional complementary voice to the general harmony of the universe" Cpp. 207 - 208). Hence in Shchurovskii 's work, embryological facts and suppositions were fantastically entangled in the substance of the latest ontogenetic-phylogenetic parallels, along with the Naturphilosophical snares of Oken and Vellanskii.


Regardless of such efforts by a few Russian followers of German idealistic philosophy, they did not succeed in establishing it firmly in Russia. The famous Russian physician Matvei Yakovlevich Mudrov (1776 - 1831) , the founder of national internal medicine, who had heard in Germany a lecture about Naturphilosophie, criticized its ideas. The following is a quotation from one of his letters:


Dazzled by the brilliance of the high-flown sophistications born in the depths of Naturphilosophie, the young physicians search for new causes of disease in the structure of the universe and do not want to accept the empirical heights of the non-materialistic world, not seeing what is under their eyes and what is confirmed by direct healthy understanding . Also , in pathology, instead of explaining the disease from the affected structure, which is not easy, they think it easier to look for sophisticated reasons abstracted from the material form. 63


The incidents of December 1825, after which not only unrestricted but also unclear ideas became dangerous to Nicholas's government, led to the dissolution of the "Society of Philosophy-Lovers," that weak bulwark of Naturphilosophie in Russia. Persecution trials sought to eliminate German idealistic philosophy from university departments. However, the failure of idealistic and Naturphilosophical ideas in Russia did not depend on government regulations. The government was trying to restrict philosophical thought by limiting orthodox theology. The decisive resistance which met Naturphilosophie in the environment of the advanced Russian intelligentsia persuaded the "philosophy-lovers" of their separation from reality, and of the idealistic character of their opinions.

It is possible to draw that judgment from a letter to V. F. Odoevskii from his cousin A. I. 0doevskii,64 the poet of the December Revolution, and from the literary and philosophical controversy which appeared in the pages of the newspapers "Son of the Motherland," "Moscow Telegraph," "Moscow Herald," and others. A negative view of speculative German philosophy was expressed frequently by Pushkin. P. V. Amekov, in "Materials for a Biography of Pushkin," stated that the poems "Poet," "Niello," "To the Poet," and others indicating the influence of German idealistic philosophy, were actually propaganda from the editorial staff of the "Moscow Herald." One of the managers of this newspaper, S. P. Shevysev, says in his memoirs that Pushkin "has declared vivid feelings to those young writers who have been fascinated especially by the new artistic theory of Schelling."65 Actually the matter was entirely different. Pushkin's agreement to participate in the "Moscow Herald," as seen from his letter to Ugazemskin and Tumanskii, did not exclude completely his negative view of the ideas of this newspaper's managers. Pushkin declared, for example, in his letter to Delvig of March 2, 1827, that: "You blame me for the 'Moscow Herald,' and for German metaphysics. God sees how I hate and despise it; but what can I do? Hot-headed boys have gathered, they are straight; the priest or the Devil with them. I say: Gentlemen, do you want to take from the empty and pour into the more empty? All that is good for the Germans, who are already saturated with positive knowledge, but we . . . the 'Moscow Herald' people, sit in a hole and ask: What faith is that?" 66


63. Matvei Yakovlevich Mudrov, cited in the introduction of an article by A. G. Gukasyan on the "Selected Works of M. Ya. Mudrov," PUBLICATION OF THE ACADEMY OF MEDICAL SCIENCE (1949), p. 30.

64. See KhCachatur] S(edrakovich) Koshtoiants, OUTLINE OF THE HISTORY OF PHYSIOLOGY IN RUSSIA, pp. 70-71.


Regarding the idealism of German Naturphilosophie, the foremost Russian thinkers opposed the materialistic understanding of natural conditions, including processes taking place in the human organism. Fighters for the materialistic ideology, in particular, came from the environment of the participants in the December uprising.

Among the Decembrist members of the Northern Society, more than others with similar materialistic and atheistic ideas, Ivan Dmitrievich Yakushkin was distinguished. He was the author of the well known "Memorandum" and a philosophical treatise hand-written in the 1830s in Yalutorovsk and kept in the archives of the Yakushkin family. 67


65. cited in the book PUSHKIN IN THE MEMOIRS AND STORIES OF CONTEMPORARIES, Gospolitizdat (1936), Government-Literature Issue (1936) , p. 462.

66. See B. Heilach, "Pushkin and Russian Romanticism," ISSUE OF THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCE USSR (1937), p. 177.

In this article there also were given evidences of the negative relation of Pushkin to German philosophy.

67. This treatise carries the title, "What Is Man?," published in the paper VOPROSY FILOSOFII (Questions of Philosophy) (1949, No. 3), pp. 291 - 298, again in

(... contd on next page)


"One of the most important and interesting manifestations in nature," Yakushkin wrote in the treatise, "is of course life phenomena in general' and the life phenomena of man in particular" (pp. 156 - 157). Por the investigation of life phenomena, it is necessary to determine the features of similarity and variation between man and other living creatures. "What distinguishes man from other animals? The answer to this simple question can be heard from all sides. The child, learning a short catechism by heart, and even those who did not learn it and cannot read, know that man has a non-dying root which is not present in any other animal" (p. 154). "The legend or tradition from old times is deep," and ironical, in the words of Pushkin. Yakushkin concluded with a narrow statement based on religious dogma. In brief but meaningful words, he gave the history of philosophical views on the nature of man, starting with Descartes, who said that "not under force can medieval wisdom be washed off the face of the earth" (p. 154), and Kant, with his agnostic criticism of the human capacity for knowledge.

Yakushkin suggested that "if man is convinced that he constitutes only a link of an endless chain of creation . . . then it is not difficult to trace from all the manifestations of nature, by studying nature's manifestations and trying to determine their interrelationships, their relation to man and the relation of man to nature, and in this way to clarify what man is" (p. 156).

The way to a materialistic understanding of human nature and the relation of man to other animals Yakushkin saw in the features of development. He made an interesting excursion into embryology, demonstrating his diverse education.

All life (Yakushkin wrote of the chick) goes out from the egg . . . which itself is formed from a small manuscript, with corrections of inaccuracies in the previous publication in the book SELECTED SOCIOPOLITICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL WORKS OF THE DECEMBRISTS, Vol. 1, Gospolitizdat (1951), pp. 153 - 170. In this last edition is the article called "What Is Life?".


(Footnote No. 67, contd)


bladder included in the membranous sac of the hen's ovary .... When it reaches the size of the yolk . . it (the bladder) destroys the membranes surrounding it in the ovary. At the same time the included animal or the primary bladder bursts, leaving on the surface of the yolk, under the membrane, its enveloping white speck or paunch, designating the place where the embryo begins its development. The egg, containing in itself the life conditions of the future chicken, can stay for some time unchanged; . . . for the development of life in the egg only warmth is necessary .... If you put the fertilized egg under a brood hen, or in a warm place, significant changes constantly take place. In the first day, in the middle of the elongated paunch, between both membranes of the yolk, a whitish streak is observed with thickenings at the ends and surrounded by a membranous fold .... This streak is the rudiment of the head, the spinal brain, from which develops all the brain and sensation apparatus .... On succeeding days the one-cavity heart appears separate from the brain apparatus . Soon the left auricle forms, after which the auricle is divided by a ring of membrane into two cavities . After three days, the right ventricle becomes clear, but the heart beats before its complete formation and contains at that time uncolored fluid. The red blood appears primarily in the vessels which form at a distance from the embryo in the membranes of the yolk? these vessels spread, become entangled, and push the blood to the heart. Soon after the appearance of the head and spinal brain, some pairs of spots appear close to it, representing the vertebrae .... After the appearance of the head, all the other external parts of the chicken gradually form. But that part of the abdomen which at the beginning is entirely opened, gradually shrinks, so that by the twentieth day it is absorbed by the remaining fluid and becomes entirely closed." (pp. 157 - 158)

"The development of the child takes place in a manner similar to, but not identical with, the development of the chick," Yakushkin added, giving the features of development in the human embryo. "And thus," he continued, "observations on embryos obviously indicate that the initial formation of all animals takes place in general in the same order; but in this case each of them varies infinitely in the details and stages of his development. Each animal exists separately from all other animals yet represents a link of the unbroken chain of all creatures" (p. 160).

Yakushkin compared the regularity of development of the chick in its egg and the human fetus in the uterus, with the idea, which was circulating at the beginning of the nineteenth century, of the successive formation in man of features characteristic of lower animal forms. That the character of Yakushkin 's argument had a historical and not a Naturphilosophical point of view is clear. He accepted the idea of recapitulation of the physical organization of thinking as a function of the brain, and talked about the gradual development of this function in animals. Affirmation of the gradual development of intellectual activities in the animal world, based on comparative embryology, led Yakushkin to the recognition of the primacy of matter over the soul, i.e. it revealed to him the basic scientific materialistic solution of the main question of philosophy. This ideology permeated his embryological ideas: to explain the phenomena of development he did not need the assistance of any special power or any unified world power, but would refer only to the material properties of the growing embryo and the effect of physical factors of the surrounding environment.

Evidence of the continuing struggle of the progressive (Ed. : materialistic, positivistic) ideology with idealism is found in a paper by that courageous nature investigator, the materialist Iustin Evdokimovich Diadkovskii (1784 - 1841) .68 Professor of Moscow University and the Moscow Medical-Surgical


68. The significance of the work of Diadkovskii for the history of Russian philosophy and science was elucidated recently in an interesting small monograph by S. P. Mikulinskii, "I. E. Diadkovskii (1748 - 1841) : Ideology and Common Biological Views," Mosc. Obshch. Isp. Prir. (1951), 117 pp., and also in S. L. Sobol ' , "I. E. Diadkovskii — A Russian Materialist-Biologist at the Beginning of the 19th Century," TRUGY UN-TA 1ST. ESTESTV. , V (1953), pp. 145 - 156.


Academy, I. E. Diadkovskii came from the national lower classes. He was born in^the yillage Diakove of the Ryasanskii Province, into a poor family. In 180? he finished the Ryasanskii Spiritual Course, where already at his young age he had shown an independence of thought. This apparently caused some worry to the priests giving the course. "In the course, Diadkovskii" succeeded, according to his biographer K. Lebedev, "in all the sciences, and showed a high level in his power of reasoning; frequently his teachers themselves suffered from his fascinating syllogisms. "69 i n 1812 Diadkovskii completed with excellence the course at the Medical -Surgical Academy and, with the financial assistance of Professor E. 0. Mukhin, remained in the Academy to prepare for scientific and teaching activities . After time spent as a physician volunteer in Moscow during the Napoleonic invasion, Diadkovskii returned to the MedicalSurgical Academy, where, as a result of opposition from the foreign professors, he did not at once receive the responsibility of teaching.


From 1814 Diadkovskii lectured for several years in the Academy's courses in botany and pharmacology, and later in general pathology, general and special therapy, and clinical therapy. As a naturalist, Diadkovskii was always interested in the common questions of natural science, considering them the basis of medicine. "His beloved interest," Lebedev wrote, "was the study of zoology, mineralogy, botany, and the collection of the natural products of all three kingdoms of nature, in particular the plant kingdom. "70 According to the same biographer, Diadkovskii was distinguished by an extraordinary memory, and as an adult he independently studied French, German, English, and Italian. Of the ancient languages, he knew Greek well, and especially Latin, which he could speak fluently.


In 1816, as a result of being involved in pharmacology and medication, J. E. Diadkovskii wrote his doctoral dissertation, "The Methods of Action of Drugs on the Human Body," 7 * which after his death was translated into Russian by K. V. Lebedev.


69. "A Discussion on the Effect of Drugs on the Human Body, with a Biography of Professor Iustin Diadkovskii," by Doctor of Medicine Kosmoe Lebedev. Moscow, 1845. 48 pp.

70. Ibid., p. 3.


This dissertation was considered an extraordinary contribution to the scientific literature of that time. Diadkovskii appeared as a fearless opponent of spreading idealistic ideas. He demolished the challenges by foreign authorities and successfully defended materialistic ideology, continuing the glorious traditions of Lomonosov and Radishchev.


The first section of Diadkovskii' s dissertation, "General Understanding about Drugs and the Circumstances Promoting an Explanation of the Methods of Their Action on the Human Body," begins with a dialectic: "Nature did not create anything that is absolutely useful, absolutely harmful, or completely useless. "72 Rather, drugs and poisons act, depending upon their nature, on the condition of the organism. At the end of the first section, Diadkovskii, having developed and illustrated this idea, lifted it to the level of a biological generalization. "There is nothing like the continuous tendency toward the destruction of the organism; however, in its recovery undoubtedly the useful becomes harmful , and the harmful becomes useful." 73


The second and most important section of the dissertation was entitled "Discussion of the Related Powers of Nature in General and the Life Powers in the Narrow Understanding of the Word." He started with opinions of nature-investigators, according to which there are two types of bodies in nature, living and non-living. The first, from this point of view, is characterized by the presence of individual life powers. Diadkovskii decisively confirmed that "the ideas about the differentiation of the bodies and their powers do not agree with their (the nature-investigators, confirming the existence of these differences) specific experiments, and in general with the proper method of decision and judgment about things.


71. Diadkovskii, DISSERTATIO INAUGURAL IS MEDICA DE MODO, QUO AGUNT MEDICAMENTA IN CORPUS HUMANUM. Moscow, 1816. 87 pp.

72. Russian translation edited by Lebedev, p. 159.

73. Ibid., p. 162.


Diadkovskii based his objection on his opinion that living bodies could form from the non-living. In general, he objected to the terms "dead bodies" and "dead powers." The use of these terms could lead to the conclusion that "all these bodies are considered products from the beginning of the world and are considered to exist without activity. But daily experience shows that these bodies have appeared in more recent years. The dead bodies act like those which are called living and, like the latter, are subjected in their actions to laws. "75 Diadkovskii asked "how this dead nothing, this absolute nothing, could reactivate dead, inert bodies and prompt them to activity?"


Instead of fruitless argument about the life power, Diadkovskii suggested careful investigation of the conditions necessary for the creation, formation, and preservation of bodies. In characterizing the condition of life, Diadkovskii gave some postulates and a general conclusion which was considered a decisive confirmation of materialism. He wrote that:


All the mystery of the development and preservation of bodies is included in certain materials that combine in certain quantity and are present in a defined relationship to the chemical and mechanical powers of surrounding bodies. If that is the case, then it is clear that the primary source must include and explain all the phenomena of nature. ^6 The primary source should not be considered a power or a particular beginning, which until now we could not research and which we can now reject as an entirely useless product of imagination, but only as a material which is a definite cause of these manifestations . 77


74. Ibid ., p. 163.

75. Ibid ., p. 164.

76. The translator Lebedev has inserted at this point an interlinear note relating the materialistic confirmation of Diadkovskii. To the phrase "all the phenomena of nature," Lebedev add "Apparently, materially, nature is also spiritually related to another, higher world." It is difficult to say whether that was a compromise to meet the requirements of censorship or "a correction" of the specific ideas of Lebedev.


Formulating a materialistic ideology free from any compromises, Diadkovskii approached idealism in its several forms. He objected to Erasmus Darwin's animism and Schel ling's philosophy of the general animation of nature, and to their dualism. Considering that his statement came at the time of the "Treaty of the Holy Alliance," his own words should be reproduced.

There is no . . . need to agree with Darwin^ to animate matter with such a life spirit, or, following transcendental philosophy, to reanimate it with the idea of universal life, or to divide it into objective and subjective parts. ^9 as matter [51] is, in our opinion, alive, matter contains in itself the beginning and the basis of all its actions? matter itself acquires the capability of all those actions which we observe in it, because it is not homogeneous but variable. And, particularly from this variation of its properties, we can explain the different manifestations of affinity and striving, the different types of hardness, viscosity, and heaviness of the material, and also the differences between the kingdoms of nature. These are the differences between individual classes, genera and species in relation to their method of birth or development, construction, conditions of life, properties, etc. We explain the main difference between individual organic bodies and their organs in relation to their structure and properties. 80


77. Lebedev ed., p. 176.

78. Present in the opinion of Erasmus Darwin.

79. Diadkovskii referred to Vellanskii's BIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS OF NATURE IN ITS CREATING AND CREATED QUALITIES (1812). K. Lebedev omitted to mention that Diadkovskii ' s objection to the national Schellingians do not appear to be addressed to anybody in particular.

80. Lebedev ed., p. 176.


The third section of Diadkovskii's dissertation is called "On the Powers that Form and Activate the Human Body." Concluding the diversity of matter and its capability of combining into different bodies, Diadkoyskii believed that nature could undoubtedly create the human organism by the same method as it did other bodies, by combination of materials


In accordance with the level of materialism at that time, Diadkovskii related all life manifestations, including the development of the embryo, to chemical reactions, and he considered that conception, growth, retrospective development, and the final destruction of the organism correspond with the different stages of chemical processes, whose character changes at different stages of development. He illustrated this idea with the following statements;


We know that males and females join together and regenerate, forming a body [namely that of the embryo) with the capability of achieving entirely different combinations than those they could achieve separately. We can seek the reason for this change only in their reciprocal affinity. We know that a child has capabilities for combinations different from those of youth, and the adult has the capability for combinations different from those of old age. Nature itself prepares and at once provides substances for the nourishment of the body soon after conception, and after some months other substances are provided. In the uterus there are certain substances? outside there are others. 81


At the end of the third section, when he had related all the life-activities of the organism and most all the opinions on this, he included some words about the spirit of man. Diadkovskii gave up the useless struggle to combine materialistic ideas with religious dogma. He concluded that "Because its (the spirit's) activities do not relate to our subject, I assume that it is not my problem to explain either that such spirit, by some means, is combined with or acts on the body,


81. Ibid ., p. 180. 198


or the converse, how the body affects it."°^ In concluding this section of his dissertation, Diadkovskii considered the different external forces affecting the human organism, especially the mechanical, chemical, thermal, and electrical influences. He concluded that "Continuous reciprocal influence of these powers in the human body, the influence of the external powers on the internal, and the internal powers on the external, constitute life. Without this reciprocal effect, it is impossible even to imagine the life of the human body. "83


In 1836 Diadkovskii published a manual of general therapy. 84 in the introduction, he established himself as a strong supporter of natural science, defending its progressiveness and independent character.


Russia has just recently stepped onto the route to enlightenment, moving by gigantic steps, quickly competing with other kingdoms which started far earlier .... Especially among teaching physicians, the Russians have achieved such progress that they are not only at the level of the people preceding them, but also have pushed ahead of some of them. 85


Diadkovskii reproached his contemporaries for an insufficiency of "that noble national price, that high patriotic love, that alone can give life to the spirit of national enterprise." He reproached them because they were "filled with some extraordinary spirit of cosmopolitanism suppressing competition in learning," because they are "indifferent to the progress of national education and, on the contrary . . . prejudiced in favor of all that is foreign. "86


82. ibid . , p. 185. Lebedev gives an underlined note, the object of which is entirely obvious. The translator strove not to soften the impression of Diadkovskii ' s materialistic conclusions. Deciding not to introduce a distortion into the text of the dissertation itself, Lebedev translated, in a note, the words of Huf eland on the immortal soul, spirit, and understanding, which are not material, that the immortal soul is combined with the body and in particular with the brain, and so on.

83. Ibid ., p. 186.

84. TIEfiERAL THERAPY, Issued for Guiding the Audience, by the Ordinary Professor at the Imperial Moscow University and Moscow Department SPB of the Medical-Surgical Academy, lustin Diadkovskii. Moscow, 1836. 121 pp.

85., Ibid. , p. iii.


About himself, Diadkovskii wrote that he was trained "from youth not to accept any mental attitude as truth unless I was convinced of its truth by its faithfulness and by its logical, moral, and physical usage. "87 He sought freedom from all predilections toward foreign teachings, which were so frequently logically ridiculous, morally deformed, and physically unsuitable for use. "For twenty years I have been proving that, with their present knowledge, Russian physicians have the capability of throwing off the yoke of foreign teachers and behaving independently. "88


In "General Therapy," Diadkovskii noted the bases of his theory (^"physical, " i.e. materialistic, studies) and the work of his students. From this humble information it is possible to conclude that Diadkovskii was not alone in his fight. His students continued to develop his ideas, though not always successfully. Diadkovskii paid great attention to his numerous listeners at the University and at the Medical-Surgical Academy; hence he was not driven away from teaching because of his progressive ideas. Two of his listeners later on became professors at Moscow University and played a great role in the development of progressive science in Russia. One was Professor of Physiology I. T. Glebov, under whom I. M. Sechenov studied, and Professor of Zoology K. F. Rule, a leading naturalist and one of Darwin's Russian predecessors.


86 . Ibid . , pp . v - vi .

87. This aphorism of Diadkovskii, which was set by the translator and publisher Lebedev in the form of an epigraph to "Practical Medicine," displayed the direct influence of Lomonosov, who wrote, in "Notes on Physics and the Corpuscular Philosophy," the following: "I do not accept any fabrication or any hypothesis, however probable it may seem, without accurate evidence, subordinate to the rules, controlled by the arguments." CM. V. Lomonosov, WORKS, Vol. I [1950], publication of the Academy of Science USSR.)

88. Diadkovskii, GENERAL THERAPY, p. vi.


Rule frequently*^ opposed Schelling's Naturphilosophie, and never returned to the question of the correlation between experiment and theory in the study of nature; he decisively rejected empiricism as well as idealistic rationalism. "Natural history," wrote Rule, 90


is the clean experimental science in which everything begins and ends with the experiment .... Observations and experiments are mute? they must be explained ... if not, they will stay without use in science. In its turn each speculation should be checked and reflected by some fact .... What will result from such clean experimentation and clean speculation? — a clean paradox." Cpp. 28 - 29)


The struggle between empirical (materialistic) ideology, whose supporters included Diadkovskii and his successors, and the speculative (idealistic) ideology of Naturphilosophie caused V. G. Belinskii and, almost simultaneously, Hertzen to resolve the issue of the significance of the true relationship of experiment and speculation in science. In 1844, Belinskii wrote the following:


All that he (Faust in the Epilogue of "Russian Nights") says about the predominance of experimental observations and analysis in the natural sciences is partly true. Nevertheless, it is impossible to agree that this could originate from moral corruption, from the fading life. It is possible instead to think that the general philosophical bases of natural science had not yet arrived because of the deficiency of facts, which could be obtained only by experimental observations, and that this contemporary empiricism should with time prepare the philosophical development of the natural sciences."^ Hertzen subjected this collision of science with speculative philosophy to detailed and deep analysis in "Letters on the Study of Nature," He first of all noted the fruitlessness of empirical science, which when separated from philosophy is equal to the fruitlessness of idealistic philosophy itself. "Philosophy without the study of nature is impossible, as is the study of nature without philosophy," Hertzen wrote. 92 In another place: "Without empiricism there is no science, but there is no science in one-sided empiricism. Experiment and speculation are two necessary, true, actual stages of one and the same knowledge .... If taken in opposition, they do not lead to anything, such as analysis without synthesis and synthesis without analysis. "93 And also: "Empiricism provided an open objection, and a loud one, against idealism. What idealism did was rejected by empiricism. It did not concede a step." Applicable to this phrase is another statement: "Is it necessary to repeat that empiricism was extremely ridiculous, that its uses in the 1840s was as ridiculous as the flights of idealism; one extreme created a similar extreme on the opposite side. "94


89. For example, in the course GENERAL ZOOLOGY (lithographed edition, 1850; reissued in the book, K. F. RULE: SELECTED BIOLOGICAL WORKS, ed. with commentary by L. Sh. Dovitashoili and S. R. Mikulinskii . Published by the Academy of Science USSR, 1954) .

90. K. F. Rule, "Doubts in Zoology as Science," "Native Notes, "„ Vol. XIX, Part II, pp. 1 - 13 (1841) (cited in K. F. RULE: SELECTED BIOLOGICAL WORKS, 1954).



Hertzen showed that empirical investigations had accumulated numerous assorted facts:

So long as natural science . . . remains within the limits of empiricism ... it becomes stronger,


91. Belinskii, COLLECTED WORKS (Kiev, 1911), Vol. Ill, p. 194.

92. A. I. Hertzen, "Letters on the Study of Nature. First Letter: Empiricism and Idealism" C1845) , in COLLECTED WORKS in thirty volumes, Publication of Academy of Science USSR, Vol. Ill (1954), p. 93.

93. Ibid ., p. 97.

94. Ibid., p. 120.


partially producing a common language, a systematic and necessary registry of the estate of science; this is material capable of subsequent development .... To remain within the limits of such empiricism in reality is difficult, almost impossible; for that, a great deal of temperance is necessary, a great deal of selflessness, the greatness of Cuvier or the stupidity of any dull-witted specialist. 95

There were two ways of searching for those common things which were so necessary for the intellectual natureinvestigator, embodied, Hertzen saw, in the names of Schelling and Goethe.

Schelling 's science . . . was not practical, not real nature; all this is more clearly seen from the fact that he was engaged with the advantages of Naturphilosophie and had never been involved in the actual study of any branch of the natural sciences. His erudition was great, and he knew the encyclopedia of natural knowledge. He was a genius amateur.

The naturalists, Schelling' s successors, took the formal aspect of his studies .... They built from his ideas a strange metaphysical-sentimental structure .... they took two to three general formulas which were strong and abstract, and from them they drew all phenomena and all the universe .... Oken was above all of them, but it is impossible to separate him from them entirely. Oken was awkward and narrow and no less dogmatic than others . His wide and voluminous work included the mistaken idea that nature is a thought. 96

Goethe was immeasurably superior to Schelling. "He taught that the object, to the highest level, was practical; he went into detail, not losing sight of the totality .... He knew that without speciality general therapy would be rejected by idealism, that the specific was part of the study of nature also, that the reading of the sources was history. From that he suddenly revealed to the world an entirely new side of his subject. Empiricists accepted all of Goethe's great thoughts and evaluated them." Hertzen noted the vertebral theory of the skull, the metamorphosis of all parts of the plant from the original organ — the leaves — and a number of Goethe's osteological discoveries, 97 Goethe, according to Hertzen, "was endowed to a high degree with the direct view of things; but he knew that, and he himself looked through everything; he was not a university professor or a department scientist; he was a thoughtful artist; he established, for the first time, the actual, true relationship of man to the world and his surroundings; by himself he gave the naturalists a great example, "9°


95. Ibid ., pp. 101 - 102.

96. Ibid., pp. 115 - 116.


Howeyer, Goethe did not establish a complete materialistic synthesis of philosophy and the empirical study of nature; moreover, this was not done, and could not be done, by the nature-philosophers. "Every success in the study of nature has been achieved outside Naturphilosophie," 99

In Russia, German Naturphilosophie does not appear to have had a marked effect on the development of the natural sciences.

Why, in the first half of the nineteenth century, K. A. Timiryasev asked, did

the waves of metaphysical speculation, barely touching German science, hardly coming into contact with our borders, not leave traces on our sciences? .... I assume that all of that was not accidental, that in the selection of their teachers, as well as worldwide brilliance and distinction of results, Russians had shown their natural tendency to go more willingly and successfully along the tracks of Newton, than along the route of Plato. 100

With these words K. A. Timiryasev underlines the materialistic tradition persisting in Russian science from the time of Lomonosoy. The successful aspects of embryology in Russia were thus not connected with Naturphilosophie.

97. ibid .

98. Ibid ., p. 114.

99. Ibid ., p. 118.

100. Ktliment] A(rkad'evich) Timiriazev, "The Festival of Russian Science," ASSEMBLY, Vol. V (1939), p. 43.



Historic Russian Embryology TOC: 1. Beginning of Embryological Investigations Lomonosov's Epoch | 2. Preformation or New Formation? | 3. Kaspar Friedrich Wolff - Theory of Epigenesis | 4. Wolff: "Theory Of Generation" | 5. Wolff: "Formation of the Intestine" | 6. Wolff's Teratological Works | 7. Wolff: "On the Special Essential Tower" | 8. Ideology of Wolff | Chapter 9. Theory of Epigenesis End of 18th Century | 10. Embryology in the Struggle of Russian Empirical Science Against Naturphilosophie | 11. Louis Tredern - Forgotten Embryologist Beginning of 19th Century | 12. Embryonic Membranes of Mammals - Ludwig Heinrich Bojanus | 13. Embryonic Layers - Kh. I. Pander | 14. Karl Maksimovich Baer | 15. Baer's - De Ovi Mammalium Et Hominis Genesi | 16. Baer's Ober Entw I Cklungsgesch I Chte Der Thiere | 17. Baer Part 1 - Chicken Development | 18. Baer Part 2 - History of Chicken Development | 19. Baer Vol 2 | 20. Third Part of the Bird Egg and Embryo Development | 21. Third Part - Development of Reptiles, Mammals, and Animals Deprived of Amnion and Yolk Sac | 22. Fourth Part - Development of Man | 23. Baer's Teratological Works and Embryological Reports in Petersburg | Chapter 24. Baer's Theoretical Views | 25. Invertebrate Embryology - A. Grube, A. D. Nordmann, N. A. Warnek, and A. Krohn

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