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The Animal Spirit Doctrine and the Origins of Neurophysiology$
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C.U.M. Smith, Eugenio Frixione, Stanley Finger, and William Clower

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199766499

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199766499.001.0001

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Animal Spirit in Action

Animal Spirit in Action

Chapter:
(p.157) Chapter 10 Animal Spirit in Action
Source:
The Animal Spirit Doctrine and the Origins of Neurophysiology
Author(s):

C. U. M. Smith

Eugenio Frixione

Stanley Finger

William Clower

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199766499.003.0010

This chapter discusses the changes and elaboration of the animal spirit doctrine by the foremost biomedical thinkers of the 18th century. It reviews Georg Ernst Stahl's animistic ideas, which were inadequate and moved back to a more mechanistic physiology. It then introduces Herman Boerhaave, who is also called the teacher of Europe. The rest of the chapter focuses on Boerhaave's deep and detailed summary of early-18th-century work on the physiology and anatomy of the neuromuscular system. Finally, this chapter also reviews several relevant figures in 18th-century biomedicine and some electrical theories of the 19th century.

Keywords:   animal spirit doctrine, biomedical thinkers, Georg Ernst Stahl, animistic ideas, mechanistic physiology, Herman Boerhaave, neuromuscular system, 18th century biomedicine, electrical theories

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