Omnis fibra ex fibra : fibre economies in Bonnet's and Diderot's models of organic order

In Early Science and Medicine. Brill 66-104 (2010)
In a long-term transformation, that begins in Antiquity but takes a crucial turn in the Renaissance anatomies, the “fibre” becomes from around 1750 the operative building block and at the same time the first unifying principle of function-structure-complexes of organic bodies. It occupies the role that the cell takes up in the cell œconomies of the second third of the nineteenth century. In this paper, I will first discuss some key notions, technical analogies, and images that are related to “fibre”-concepts from Andreas Vesalius to Albrecht von Haller and then focus on Charles Bonnet's and Denis Diderot's fibre œconomies. In Bonnet's and Diderot's fibre œconomies, the self-active, regulating properties of fibre-agents and their material structures, that reach from fibre bundles, tissues and membranes to apparati of organs, are united within the concrete whole of individual organized “systems” or “networks.”
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DOI 10.1163/138374210X12589831573108
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