Stahl, George Ernest

, a very eminent German chemist, was born in Franconia in 1660, and educated in the science of medicine, of which he was made professor in 1694, when the university of Hall was founded. His reputation, by means of his lectures, his publications, and the success of his practice, was soon very highly advanced: and in 1716 he was invited to Berlin, where he became physician to the king, and even a counsellor of state. He lived in great celebrity to the age of seventy-five, when he died, in 1734. As a chemist, Stahl was unrivalled in his day, and was the inventor of the doctrine of phlogiston, which, though it may yield to the newer theory of Lavoisier and the French chemists, was admitted by the best philosophers for nearly half a century. As a physician he bad some fancies, and was particularly remarkable for his doctrine of the absolute power of the soul over the body. He maintained that every muscular action, whether attended with consciousness or not, proceeds from a | voluntary act of the mind. This theory he, as well as his folJowers, carried too far; but from it he derived many cautions of real importance to physicians, for attending to the state of the mind in every patient. His works are very numerous, but the principal of them are these, 1. “Experimenta et observationes Chemicae et Physicoe,Berlin, 1731, 8vo. 2. “Dissertationes Medica,Hall, 2 vols. 4to. 3. Theoria medica vera,“Hall, 1703, 4to. 4.” Opusculum chemico-physico-medicum,“Hall, 1715, 8vo. 5.” Thoughts on Sulphur,“Hall, 1718, 8vo, written in German. 6.” Negotium otiosum, seu skiamachia adversus positiones aliquas fundamentales Theorise verae Medicina?, a viro quodam celeberrimo intenta, sed enervata,“Hall, 1720, 4to. Here he chiefly defends his theory of the soul’s action on the body. 7.” Fundamenta chymiae,“Norimb. 1723, 4to. 8. A treatise in German,” On Salts,“Hall, 1723, 8vo. He was also deeply skilled in metallurgy, and wrote, 9.” Commentarium in Metallurgiam Beccheri,“1723, and 10.” Instructions on Metallurgy," in German, Leipsic, 1720, 8vo. 1

1 Eloy, —Dict. Hist. de Medecine. Thomson’s Hist, of the Royal Society.