The Instructive Corpse: Dissection, Anatomical Specimens and Illustration in Early-Nineteenth Century Medical Education

Spontaneous Generations 6 (1):50-64 (2012)
At the turn of the nineteenth century when anatomy and hands-on dissection became the prerequisite for a medical career, the medical community in England and France increasingly relied upon visual representations as part of a complex system of reinforcement of their professional goals. The production of novel illustrated textbooks that disseminated arguments through systematizing illustrations were thus integral to their professional status. Through an examination of a series of realistic diagrams that outlined the new methods of surgical and preservation techniques, this paper argues that visual diagrams were instrumental in supporting the systematic codification and prestige on which nineteenth-century medical knowledge was to depend. It analyses the visual rhetoric and the complex representational languages of these intricate and equally precise illustrations by asking how these illustrations embraced new representational strategies as well as embodied idealizing aesthetic techniques
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.4245/sponge.v6i1.17159
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,707
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Don Ihde (2011). Dissection and Simulation. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 15 (3):203-205.
Jordan J. Cohen (2011). Medical Education in an Era of Health-Care Reform. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 54 (1):61-67.
David Baronov (2008). Biomedicine: An Ontological Dissection. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 29 (4):235-254.
T. S. R. Boase (1966). Biblical Illustration in Nineteenth-Century English Art. Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 29:349-367.
Steve F. Sapontzis (1995). We Should Not Allow Dissection of Animals. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 8 (2):181-189.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

6 ( #336,406 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.