27 November 2008
PAVLOV, Ivan Petrovich (1849-1936). Lektsii o rabote glavnykh pishchevaritel'nykh zhelez. [Lectures on the Function of the Principal Digestive Glands.] St. Petersburg: I.N. Kushnerev and Company, 1897.
8° (180 x 125mm). 16 engraved diagrams, one of these full-page. (Title with repaired tear and inner margin.) Twentieth-century half sheep, spine lettered in blind. Provenance: M.I. ?Kairovsnii (blindstamp on front endpaper; pencilled marginalia) -- Russian bookseller (small stamps on rear endpaper).
FIRST EDITION OF PAVLOV'S CELEBRATED LECTURES ON THE PHYSIOLOGY OF DIGESTION, 'perhaps the greatest contribution to our knowledge of the physiology of digestion' (Garrison-Morton). Lektsii contains the first demonstration of what Pavlov later named the 'conditioned reflex.' For his work in the physiology of digestion Pavlov was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1904. Pavlov's great achievement as a physiologist was to replace the traditional vivisectionist approach (which studied discrete elements of an organism in isolation), with a methodology which viewed the organism holistically, i.e. as an entity whose individual elements functioned together and were influenced by each other, and which was, in turn, influenced by its environment. Bringing his surgical knowledge and experimental ingenuity to bear on the problem, he created fistulae -- such as that to the stomach illustrated on p.19 -- which enabled him to study the mechanisms of digestion and their control, and to stimulate them artificially. Garrison-Morton 1022; Grolier Science 83; Grolier Medicine 85; PMM 385.
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