The pen and the Sword: Recovering the disciplinary identity of physiology and anatomy before 1800 - I: Old physiology-the pen
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 33 (4):631-665 (2002)
It is argued that the disciplinary identity of anatomy and physiology before 1800 are unknown to us due to the subsequent creation, success and historiographical dominance of a different discipline-experimental physiology. The first of these two papers deals with the identity of physiology from its revival in the 1530s, and demonstrates that it was a theoretical, not an experimental, discipline, achieved with the mind and the pen, not the hand and the knife. The physiological work of Jean Fernel, Albrecht von Haller and others is explored to prove this point. In conclusion this old physiological tradition is compared to the new experimental physiology, as practised by Francois Magendie and Pierre Flourens.
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