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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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Non-Spiritual Physiology I:

Non-Spiritual Physiology I:

“Physic” Rather than “Psychic” Functions

Chapter:
(p.173) Chapter 11 Non-Spiritual Physiology I:
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/9780199766499.003.0011

This chapter outlines the views about physical or natural responses from ancient Greek philosophers until the revolutionary medical theories that were introduced by Giorgio Baglivi and Francis Glisson. It studies Baglivi's claim that fibers composing the organs—particularly the muscles—are directly responsive to irritation. It shows that the Scientific Revolution that occurred during the Renaissance had deeply affected the understanding of living matter in a deep and very basic way: Organs were all composed of fibers, despite their differences in form and function. Gottfried Leibniz is credited as being the first one to have held this view.

Keywords:   physical responses, medical theories, Giorgio Baglivi, Francis Glisson, fibers, irritation, Scientific Revolution, living matter, organs, Gottfried Leibniz

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