The pen and the Sword: Recovering the disciplinary identity of physiology and anatomy before 1800 - II: Old anatomy-the Sword

Following the exploration of the disciplinary identity of physiology before 1800 in the previous paper of this pair, the present paper seeks to recover the complementary identity of the discipline of anatomy before 1800. The manual, artisanal character of anatomy is explored via some of its practitioners, with special attention being given to William Harvey and Albrecht von Haller. Attention is particularly drawn to the important role of experiment in anatomical research and practice-which has been misread by historians as physiological experiment. Although scientific status was claimed by some practitioners for the discipline, the knife remained the tool of the discipline. Finally the differences between the teleological assumptions underlying anatomy, and the 'argument from design' or natural theology are explored.
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DOI 10.1016/S1369-8486(02)00069-9
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