Page images
PDF
EPUB

the second time in 1893 he expected to begin that work of correlation, and this is doubtless the special significance of the announcement published at that time of a text-book on comparative neurology. But this period of work he was not able to enter far and the text-book is still unpublished. This manuscript, together with that of several other projected works on psychology and ethics, remains. It is yet too early to state how much of this matter can be edited for publication. If the last ten years of his life could have been spent in Granville, as was his plan, results of moment in the way of correlation would undoubtedly have followed. As it is, none of the papers in neurological lines were regarded by him as other than fragments.

The first important paper in neurology was published in the Journal of the Cincinnati Society of Natural History-Notes upon the Brain of the Alligator.” This is an elaborate descriptive article illustrated with nearly a hundred of the beautiful pen drawings which he used so freely in all of his work.

The second neurological paper of special importance was the leading article in the first issue of this Journal, on the histogenesis of the cerebellum in correlation with its comparative anatomy This paper was ignored largely by the workers immediately following, but its main points have been fully confirmed by later students. It is really, though very brief, one of his best contributions.

of the remaining neurological papers, the most important were published in this Journal, those in the Anatomischer Anzeiger, American Naturalist, etc., being for the most part summaries of the longer articles. These were descriptive articles, in most cases, devoted mainly to the brains of fishes and reptiles, with some atrention to amphibians.

The greater part of his descriptions of the fish brain have since been worked over with the same sections which he used in hand, and his descriptions have been found to be very exact, though often so brief as to make it difficult to understand them without reference to the preparations. Furthermore they stand the test of control by the more recent neurological methods very well, though of course not always in detail. His method of pushing a given research through rapidly enabled him to cover a great deal of ground with surprising fidelity to the facts of his material. But the method results in a positive hardship to his readers, since the matter was not fully digested and correlated before publication. While, therefore, this matter is of great value, it is hard to read and will not be used fully save by a few specialists until it is worked over and correlated within itself and with other more recent work. It is hoped that this may be done soon. The facts as stated must necessarily serve as the basis for any future work on the types which he studied.

After his departure for New Mexico a few brief neurological articles were published, but only fragments remaining from his earlier work or critical articles. This period was devoted chiefly to geology and other studies which could be pursued out-of-doors, and more recently to philosophical writing.

In 1892 he contributed a short paper to the LEUCKART Festschrift. In 1893 he wrote four articles for the supplement to Wood's Reference Handbook of the Medical Sciences. He also wrote a few articles for the second edition of the Handbook, beginning in 1900. In conjunction with C. JUDSON HERRick, he prepared the neurological articles for the BaldWIN Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology, some of these being encyclopedic articles of considerable length.

The best years of his life were devoted to his neurological work and it is all of a high order of merit, yet one feels that in very little of it did he do himself justice. His impetuous temperament and phenomenal ability to turn off research rapidly is partly responsible for this; but its unsatisfactory character is largely due to the fact that it was cut off prematurely. He never had the patience to polish his work as some like to see it done, and it would have been much more accessible if he had put even the unfinished reports of progress into more systematic form. Yet, even as it is, the aggregate is a monumental work to stand as the out-put of only about half a decade of productive work.

Of his work in New Mexico one who had first-hand knowledge writes as follows:

“He first resided, with his family, in Albuquerque, and while gaining strength, began to study the local fauna and flora. Perhaps it may be allowable to give an incident from this period of his life, for it is most typical of him.

“While recovering strength he was accustomed to lie upon a couch in the open air. His microscope was close at hand, and he began at once the study of our fresh water crustaceans. For a few minutes he would study his creature under the microscope, make his exquisite drawings, write out his description, when, being seized with a coughing spell, he would be forced to his couch completely exhausted, to remain there perhaps half an hour before he could resunie his study.

"This incident illustrates two characteristics. It illustrates first, his unremitting labors. Only when necessity compelled did he cease his labor. True, he had his recreations, but these were often of such a character as to be downright labor for most men. The incident also illustrates, secondly, his deep thirst for knowledge. Only he who has drunk at the fountain of in spiration could labor so incessantly under conditions so unfavorable.

"After some months spent in Albuquerque, Professor Herrick and his family moved to Socorro. There he became interested in geological studies, and also collected a considerable herbarium of native plants. He contributed occasional articles to the Journal of Comparative Neurology. In the spring of 1897 he, in company with his son Harry and Dr. Maltby, made an exploring trip to the Tres Marias Islands, off the western coast of Mexico, where a large natural history collection was made.

“Upon his return from Mexico, Professor HERRICK was elected President of the University of New Mexico, and began his new labors in 1897. His wide experience, having been connected with three universities, viz., Minnesota, Cincinnati and Denison, his several trips to Germany, where he met and worked with the leaders in the biological sciences, his national reputation in fields of zoology, geology, neurology, psychology and philosophy, gave him an ideal preparation as a college president. No wonder, then, that he drew to him immediately a

number of advanced students who were inspired by his genius and broad knowledge, and who fairly worshiped him.

"In passing, it may be mentioned that under him the policy of the University was completely reversed. From a literary academy, it became a scientific school; from a preparatory school it developed into a college with a post-graduate department. In three short years the institution was placed where it belonged-at the head of the school system of New Mexico.

“Upon entering his new duties, Dr. HERRICK commenced the biological and geological survey of the territory.

Two volumes of original investigations in these lines speak for themselves. In addition, contributions were made to some of the leading journals of America, especially to the Journal of Comparative Neurology, the American Geologist and the Psychological Review."

Of Professor HERRICK's contributions to philosophy a word should be said. That his interest was a deep and abiding one is abundantly evident from a glance at his writings which include many articles and discussions dating from the publication in 1882 of his translation of Lotze's lectures on psychology to the series of articles on "Dynamic Realism" which he had begun to publish in the Journal of Philosophy. Psychology, and Scientific Methods, at the time of his death. He made frequent short contributions to the Psychological Review, besides publishing various articles of a psychological and philosophical character in the columns of his own Journal. His interest in problems of ethics and religion is evidenced by divers articles in certain of the religious periodicals as well as by much unpublished MS.

Of his metaphysical writings it should be said that they were always inspired by his scientific researches.

He never was satisfied with the easy philosophy of the “anti-metaphysical" standpoint of many fellow scientists. Psycho-physical parallelism he regarded as the Great Bad." The aim of his life was to throw light upon just such so-called insoluble problems as the relation of consciousness to the brain. "Ignorabi. mus” is a word which never fell from his lips. The unity of

[ocr errors]

arc

the material and the mental is a truth upon which he came to lay increasing stress in his later years. Starting from a Lotzean spiritualistic idealism he never lost hold of the monism which characterizes that philosophic world-view, though in many respects he worked beyond it, his scientific studies serving to correct any tendency to an exclusive emphasis upon the mental. This is seen in the title under which his latest writings appear

- Dynamic realism”-in which many will find hints of a coming philosophic movement which is to reinterpret the fixed ontological categories of a past metaphysics in more dynamic and organic terms.

Of his contributions to the theory as to the nature of consciousness (equilibrium theory of consciousness), the physiological basis of the emotions, theory of pleasure-pain (summationirradiation theory of pleasure-pain), his discussion of the reflex

or organic circuit under the terms of his own coining ("aesthesodic" and kinesodic"), and in general his interpretation of experience in dynamic and energic terms, we may not here speak in detail. But the attention of the readers of this Journal should be called to this side of his work as it is embodied in his various published writings and especially in certain writings which are yet to appear.

In the memory of his pupils Professor HERRICK was greatest as a teacher. This statement can only be appreciated by those who knew him personally and were in his classes. There was no display or oratory. He was not what would be called a gifted public speaker, though he was often called upon for such services. It was in the class-room or about the seminar table or in general conversation that the inexhaustible fertility of his thought and fine suggestiveness of his language appeared. In his lectures one always knew that he was getting the best, the latest, the deepest results of his scientific research and philosophic reflection. Never was any work slighted in which his students were involved. Other things might be sacrificed-time, money, convenience, even health itself, but never the student.

The result was that his teaching was not confined to the class room or laboratory. There never was an occasion

« PreviousContinue »